Organic Food!

If you’ve followed us or read our past blog posts, you know organic food is exactly why we started this blog.

After some health issues and vast amounts of research, we thought it would be best for our family to switch to an organic diet, and eventually going full vegan.

We have seen colossal improvements in our physical wellbeing, mental health, and overall consciousness.

This is why we started this blog in the first place.

We all know people who have health issues directly related to the foods that they put in their mouth and we want to help in any way possible. For us, that’s helping people realize that none of us are perfect and couldn’t hope to be.

So improvements must then be incremental and come from not only our continuous research but our mistakes as well.

This is an important attitude to have towards our health because there is always more information coming out, new studies being done, or some way we could be eating slightly different than we have been.

Organic food: Vegetables

Why Eat Organic?

Eating organic is a bourgeoisie dieting fad, isn’t it? Why should I do it?

I get it, believe me. I am a dedicated cheapskate and thought the exact same thing. Why should I pay any more for the food I already buy?

I never thought that there would really be a difference between organic and non-organic food, but after two years of dedication, my opinion has completely evolved.

You can get more information about our opinions on organic food in other blog posts, but let’s give a simple description.

To us, organic food simply means food that is not sprayed with herbicides or pesticides and is not processed. Processed meaning it’s not bagged, canned, or in a box.

There are numerous reasons why we do this, but our overall health has improved by just living by a few simple rules.

Our Three Simple Rules for a Better Diet

1. Cut Out All (Red) Meat. We’re fully vegan, but if you don’t want to make that full commitment, that’s your call. At least cut out red meats like pork and beef, at the bare minimum you should cut these back to as little as possible. Which is something we did prior to going vegan.

2. Eat More Vegetables! This is always an important dieting tip no matter what diet you eat. Vegetables are full of everything that we need to keep us moving: Protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, water, fiber, etc. Eating a higher amount of a variety of vegetables is always a good idea.

3. Cut Out Foods That Come in Boxes or Bags. This one is obviously not easy to follow 100%. Just remember these are guidelines, not necessarily rules that you must adhere to at all times. This tip is basically just indicating that for our collective health we should cut out as many processed foods as we are able to.

Processed foods are loaded with sodium, fats, preservatives among other things that you do not want in your body.

For instance, instead of buying canned, we try to buy dry beans if we need more than we grow and can ourselves. Still packaged yes, but not processed and shoved full of unhealthy substances that we don’t need in our systems. It’s usually more cost-effective and simply takes soaking beans overnight for most varieties to be ready to cook.

One study by Reuters concluded; “(Diets With Increasingly Processed foods)… tied every 10 percentage-point increase in the share of the diet made up of ultra-processed foods to more than a 10% increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.”

Eating a rainbow is really the best way to get all the needed vitamins. If you are going vegan I will say there are some considerations to take in. Vitamin B12 is a great example and one which we have discussed before!

I would also like to stress how easily and cheaply you can grow some of your own produce. Also, we shop the local farmers market and the Muncie Makers Market to get a variety of other things in the growing seasons. Buying local is cheaper and supports local folks, win-win.

These three tips have allowed us to lose over 80 lbs each and live a far healthier lifestyle than prior.

That’s enough rambling for this post. We’ve discussed the reasons for inorganic vs. organic food before and definitely will in the future, so let’s move on specifically to the benefits we’ve seen.

Cognitive Function

We almost immediately noticed an uptick in our eyesight and energy. I mean within a week it just felt like things were brighter and we both felt it.

The cravings had almost completely subsided and we really enjoyed trying new food combinations. TJ hated tomatoes until she found that she did love fresh tomatoes when they were actually homegrown. I absolutely fell in love with avocados and fresh garlic.

We noticed a big change in our youngest sons mood when he ate a good spectrum of foods throughout the day.

Between this diet change and adding a good Omega 3-6-9 to his daily intake, we almost completely removed a behavior problem that was sending TJ to the school a couple of times a week.

There has been a lot of research on the cognitive effects of an organic diet rich in vegetables and fruits, and though we may not be able to convince everyone, we have certainly felt the impacts.

Organic Food may help lose weight

Weight Loss

This is the most drastic change we saw in the very beginning of our diet change.

We began eating organic in February, and by May I personally had lost 100 lbs!

That already sounds ridiculous enough, but let me also add that I accomplished this with no exercising whatsoever and no special diet. Aside, of course, from eating only organic foods.

It’s also worth adding that we had both tried a variety of diets, such as low fat – high carb, high protein, even dabbling in vegetarianism and the like.

We had both tried other “fad” diets but never seen results near this drastic with so little physical effort.

And you can get unhealthy. You can eat junk on an Organic/Vegan diet too, so learning balance is important. We have seen when we steer away from homemade fresh foods, and too often indulge in vegan meats and cheese and sweets we will gain some weight.

But the ability to get back on track is always there, for us smoothies with lots of veggies and fruits for a few days can reset our body. Help reduce the cravings for junk and get back on track.

Organic produce

Relationship With Food

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always had the healthiest relationship with food.

I remember nights of eating copious amounts of foods that I knew were terrible for me. It wasn’t that I didn’t know that, but I’d block it out and eat so much more than I really needed.

I think that we all do this from time to time, but when it becomes a daily habit, it can get a bit unhealthy…

Once we got off the fast-food-express and cut out as much garbage as possible, it began changing how I felt about food.

Whereas I had always just wanted the largest amount of the cheapest food possible, now I feel much more satisfied with less.

Now instead of throwing cheeseburgers down my throat, I feel much more content with just one really delicious and healthy sandwich.

Instead of a huge amount of garbage for breakfast, I now feel better off with just a fruit and vegetable smoothie. Organic food helps us feel more full and satisfied that the foods that we know are unhealthy for us.

Conclusion:

Obviously, everyone should eat in a way that works best for them

I would never directly and dogmatically demand anyone to cut out all meat, or all dairy, or all processed foods.

All that I am able to offer is my advice and that with about $2.00 will get you a hot cup of coffee.

If you want to feel better, cut out as much processed and unnatural foods as you can.

That is not to say that you absolutely must eat nothing but completely healthy foods. Grab you some Taco Bell, life gets rough and sometimes we can’t realistically be expected to stay 100% on any particular diet 100% of the time. So it has to be a lifestyle change, not a diet, and we have to give ourselves grace and room to improve.

Just do you!

For more advice on organic foods, check out some of our other posts on Organic Foods and our Organic Recipes!