If you read my post Making the Switch to Organic, you would have learned of the reasons why I made the switch, and perhaps have taken an interest in doing the same.
Or perhaps you are new to the site and this is the first post you are reading, so welcome :)
Many people often wonder what exactly switching to organic is, how much it costs, types of food to eat, etc.
Switching to Organic is a simple introduction for you to understand how and why you can make the switch. Like every option you have in your life, the choice is up to you.
You decide whether you want to replace bad items with the good, or make the switch completely.
You decide what you will do with the information I’m about to share, and if this lifestyle is the choice you wish to make for a better, healthier you!
It’s easier than you think.
Listen converting does not mean giving up meat and becoming a vegetarian or vegan, making the switch to organic does not mean you have to skip out on foods you love, it just means that you are selecting the healthier alternatives to your favorite foods, minus the additives, preservatives, hormones, pesticides… etc.
I eat meat, but I buy from local farmers who I’ve spoken to and know that my meat is coming from a family farm, and not a disgusting animal-cruel factory farm.
One thing to look out for is the certification that the product/item you are buying is labeled “Organic”
If the label says “Natural” it does not mean it is organic
(this discussed in Organic vs Natural).
Always read the ingredients and you will realize most of your foods are processed with some sort of alteration – this is obviously not good for you, and no food item should ever have a long shelf life!
Fruits and Veggies are harvested on farms that spray harmful chemicals and toxins onto the foods which we eat.
If the workers are required to wear full bodysuits and gas masks while spraying food that is to be consumed by the consumer, I see that as a HUGE issue.
Support Local Farmers
If grocery shopping is a chore to you, the next time you are at the store, you may want to consider where your food comes from and more importantly what is actually IN the food you are buying.
It actually saddens me looking at the meat section, thinking about the living condition and torture the animals went through, all for mass-production.
Not only does our country spends millions of dollars importing food every year, but we export very little of our own food, leaving a very small return of investment to support the Canadian economy.
Supporting local farmers, keeps business within the city and you are buying fresh local home-grown produce, meat, dairy, grain, and so much more!
The term “Locavore” has popped up in the food industry as someone who eats local food. Being a Locavore allows you access to high-quality, nutrient-rich food available at affordable costs.
Local products are fresher, have fewer pesticides (unless you are purchasing from a certified organic farm), and just more authentic if you really think about it.
When farmers sell directly to the consumer, there are no additional costs to cover processors, distributors, and marketers; by supporting local farms protects the local economy and the environment.
Have Fun Cooking
If you’ve already considered switching to organic, than you either know how to cook, or don’t – which is fine.
You will also know that there are foods you’ve never even heard of, or heard of but never tried, which will be exciting to add to your dishes.
I think the most problematic issue is finding the time to cook.
With a 9-5, it’s easy to grab a coffee and donut for breakfast (or skip it completely), then comes lunch, and you grab quick take out, then go home after your work day is over, and the last thing you want to do is not only prepare dinner, but cook it too! May seem like a lot of work, I get it.
Like cooking for any meal, it comes down to preparation.
Start on the weekend (maybe Sunday if it’s a lazy day like mine), and prepare veggies, legumes (AKA beans) , fruits, and marinade any meat or fish.
Portion the food and freeze/refrigerate what is necessary, and take anything out to defrost the night before.
One of my favorites is freezing cut up fruit; it’s a quick way to making smoothies when I need, so if you find yourself rushing and don’t have time for breakfast, throw some fruit in the blender with a cup of orange juice (add some yogurt or acidophilus if you want) and you are good to go!
Pre-soaking your raw/dried legumes and rice also helps with time as well. It’s best to soak for 24 hours, so Saturday night I will set my portions and soak everything. Then comes Sunday, and I’ll cook what is needed, separate and freeze my legumes till ready for use.
With rice, you can let it soak in the water up until you are ready to use it (just be sure to rinse and change out the water every other day).
Cooking is always easiest when starting with familiar foods. Recreate recipes you are familiar with, and slowly introduce new foods/recipes to your meal plan.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by looking up recipes, and expecting to be a master chef; take baby steps.
Check out my Food section for easy to follow recipes to help you with ideas when you are feeling creative.
You can still out eat out
Eliminating fast food joints and family franchise restaurants/bars will be difficult, especially if you eat out all the time.
Plus, think about the amount of money you will save!
An average person spends between $30-$50 a day on their meals – and that doesn’t even include drinks!
Challenge yourself to cut back on how many times you eat out a week, and be selective with specific items you order.
Think about eating at a restaurant the same as doing your groceries – where is the food is coming from? what is in the food? how is it made? … etc.
Allowing these questions to run through your mind will make you aware of the foods you should be putting into your body, and the foods you should avoid.
One thing I like to do is recreate a dish I would have at a restaurant, or see on a menu. Not only is it cost effective but you will learn to appreciate cooking for yourself and actually enjoy doing it!
Do your research
There is only so much information I can pump out to help you understand and inform you on our food, health and lifestyle.
Put time aside for you, after all this is your life and you deserve to make the most out of it!
Learn and grow through research by reading articles, books, anything you come across involving the food industry, that will help further educate yourself.
There are many documentaries available to download or watch on Netflix or YouTube, and you will open yourself to a whole new mindset on this lifestyle and more importantly, take control of your health and well-being.
Give yourself time.
Like anything, don’t expect to make the switch to organic overnight.
Slowly wean yourself off of the bad foods you’ve been eating and do your research.
Here are some documentaries I highly recommend watching…
An excellent book you must read is Skinny Bitch.
It’s a little biased as the 2 authors are both vegan, but the information provided is straight to the point (in a somewhat humorous way when needed).