Sunday, February 19, 2012

Change in diet and lifestyle. Thank you Saoirse.. I love you..

Just a quick post. It is Sunday and I am going to get the materials to build a Cold Frame Hoop house so I can start lettuces, carrots and get my bedding plants started. While we may still have some snow and nights that have freezing temps, this won't effect the cold frame. We didn't have a hard freeze this winter (odd in Massachusetts and a good part of New England) so my garden soil is soft, not frozen. so i figure "why not?". .. I just need to find a tiller.. Not a lot for sale in the area on craigslist. We are switching over to a whole foods diet and organic. That stuff is expensive, but we are finding ways to make it affordable. One of the ways is to grow our own root veggies, lettuces, kale, peppers, etc.. I have complete control of it. Through the summer I will gather supplies to build a hot house so I can grow all year round. I have the land to do this and no restrictions.  This will also enable me to grow more variety through out the year such as peppers, tomatoes, spices, and a wide range of winter lettuces and root veggies. (you can also grow your own veggies in buckets with grow lamps in the house through out the winter. Just a quick search online will produce a lot of good information on how to do this if you don't have the garden space. The other way is to join a co-op (info listed below in Kezia's post) as well as buying from local organic farms.  One of our Facebook followers also sent us a site called that has a lot of good information on it, including coupons. Yes coupons for organic food. :)

What I am finding since we started buying organic is the money spent on organic seems to be balancing itself out because we only buy the essentials. No junk food. No dairy. No waist. Also, not buying meat at this time also helps save. This includes red meat, chicken and turkey. The meat that is sold in stores is so full of antibiotics and chemicals. Also, cows raised for mass production are fed grain and kept in bins with very little time in the pasture.. this goes for dairy and cows for beef. Cows are not meant to eat grain or stay cooped up in a barn stall with no room to move.  They are meant to eat hay and grass.. Yes, buying mass production beef or chicken is cheaper than buying grass fed beef  or free range chickens in stores but when you either eliminate eating beef & chicken, or cut down drastically the amount you eat, you actually end up spending less to eat farm raised grass fed beef and free range chicken. This also goes for turkey and pork.  (you can buy it at the local farm much cheaper or join a co-op where the prices are reasonable) I found a site that lists a lot of local farms

We are not doing this because we think animals are cute.. it really has nothing to do with it at all. The conventionally grown vegetables and fruits are sprayed with pesticides that have chemicals in them and most apples and fruits are painted to make them look prettier and more appetizing.  Cattle are given antibiotics and the grain they eat has chemicals in it. I can keep my garden organic with organic sprays and plants that discourage bugs. This is about the health benefits of a whole foods diet. Its not about a "fad" or jumping on a band wagon. Its about getting healthy and doing things to prevent cancer and doing things to prevent heart disease and to prevent as much as we can from putting genetically modified chemicals and products into our body. Once the 3 weeks of the initial diet is up, I will occasionally eat farm eggs and bacon.. But only occasionally.

We have been doing our research. A lot of it. Below is Kezia's post yesterday on her blog

Please read it and share it with your friends and family.

"Vegan is NOT a four letter word

So, in an effort to change our lives for the good, and improve our health, we have been reading and researching about how our diets in this country affect our overall health. After lots of research, and too much time spent on the internet, we have decided to make some major changes in our home and our lives. 

Change #1:
NO MORE CHEMICALS! We got rid of all of our traditional household cleaners, pesticides, and personal products. We will be replacing them with all natural oil soaps, and cleaners made from basic ingredients like vinegar, salt, lemon, and backing soda. 

Change #2:
ALL ORGANIC! Pesticides have a very strong link with Neuroblastoma in particular. They can also carry compounds that can have a profound impact on overall health. Avoiding them (and GM products) as much as we can is our goal here. 

Change #3:
WHOLE FOOD/PLANT BASED EATING! For a very full description on this concept, and the science behind it, see the documentary "Forks Over Knives."(ps: it's now on Netflix!) We are trying to prevent cancer in particular, but the benefit of having healthier hearts, and better overall health makes this lifestyle worth the little bit of extra effort at the grocery store. 

Change #4: 
EAT LOCAL! This one will take a little time for us to adopt. We have signed up for a CSA this year through the Farm Direct Coop. We are very excited to get some amazing local, organic produce over the majority of the year. We will be growing our own garden too, and will be putting a lot of effort into gathering enough produce over the season to hopefully can and freeze for the winter months. I think the most difficult thing to track down will be local beans and nuts, but we will be looking into that over the coming months, and hopefully work something out. We are still loving our local, organic produce being delivered to us each week by The Fruit Guys, and it's so great to know we have that to rely on. 

Some major life changes, but all for the better. It will be tough at first, but so far we are determined to make important changes like this to help our family grow strong and healthy in the future! "


  1. Thanks for including Kezia's post about this in your post - makes it easier to share them both. :)

    Regarding your paragraph starting with that you're not doing this because animals are cute and talking about how this isn't a fad and that at some point you're going to eat eggs and bacon sometimes -- It seems like maybe some people are giving you a hard time about this or that you're worried that people will give you a hard time about this. But it really doesn't matter what people think and really (from my experience as a vegetarian for 10 years) there probably will be people who give you a hard time about it at least at first. I really don't understand that - why some people feel the need to even care what vegetarians and/or vegans are eating enough to tease them or give them a hard time, but it is what I've found to be true sometimes (esp at the beginning). But I don't take it personally when someone says something to me about being a vegetarian - it's really something about them, not me - even if I don't know why they're doing it.

    But I just wanted to say that from my experience I've found it's best to not justify myself and my choices about food when the person I'm speaking with clearly isn't interested in a real conversation about food choices and why each of us are making the food choices that we are (usually it's pretty obvious who's actually curious and interested and who just wants to give you a hard time). If that's hard for you to do in the moment, perhaps have some generic phrase you always use for those situations so that you don't have to think of something to say within the moment.

    I've been a vegetarian for more than 10 years now and when I first started it was because I didn't feel comfortable eating animals and I didn't feel comfortable with how those animals that are available for consumption are treated during their life and when they were killed. Some people gave me a hard time - but eventually they stopped because it wasn't fun for them because I didn't really have a big reaction. Now that's still one reason I'm vegetarian, but I also know that a vegetarian diet has much cheaper and healthy protein sources (beans, lentils, etc.), so my husband and I feel like it's the best choice for our entire family overall. People rarely say anything negative to me and if they do I either don't react at all or I calmly say something about beans being awesome. :) LOL.

    And related to your post title - I want to thank you, Kezia, and Saoirse as we are (much slower than you) looking into local co-ops in our area for locally-grown fruits and veggies, etc.

    Lots of love!

  2. We love you and your family Courtney.. Thank you for the post and encouragement. :)

  3. We rented a tiller at Home Depot when we did ours, hope this helps until you can find your own.

  4. Glad for you and Kezia on your plans:) I am on the process of being a vegan someday. Yes, I have read Kezia's blog that you posted here, before this one:) Thanks for the link too.

  5. I have never met you or Kezia, but have been following your story for a while since learning about you through my mom's group from Beverly Hospital (my son is now a year old, so a little younger than Saoirse). I just wanted to say that I am so glad you have found Farm Direct Coop. My husband has worked for them for 3 years and it is a great community and organization. He actually drives one of the trucks out to western mass bi-weekly during the season to pick up all of the goodies from the farms. The farms are great, too! I think you will really enjoy it. Also, we get dried beans through the coop and the Marblehead farmer's market (during the season) from Baer's Best in South Hamilton. I don't know if they have a website, but they appear to have a facebook page and maybe you could find a way to get some before the coop and farmers markets get started. I know you mentioned wanting to find a local source for beans and these are great. Best of luck in your journey and thanks so much for sharing your story.