I have been busy in my garden, chasing kiddos with a hose and mending screen doors so far this summer. I thought I would share with you some of our adventures which I’ve been logging on my alter ego blog POSY FYRE.
Our kids call us hippy freaks because we like to eat slow foods. We subscribe to community supported agriculture (CSA) and shop at the natural foods stores as much as we possibly can. We do think there is a big difference between conventionally grown and organic foods. Not just the taste and vitality of the foods but also the absence of chemicals and genetically modified organisms. Organic foods still have some chemicals and radiation they go through but generally, if you are buying something shipped in containers to stores, the least concerning products should be the organic. If you have the good fortune to live in a climate where food is grown nearby most of the year, farmer’s markets are fantastic. There you can skip the organic label if you can speak to the farmer directly and understand their practices. Some farmers are far more rigorous and thoughtful with how they grow but do not want to pay the fees for the organic certification.
So our family philosophy of eating is the more dirt on the skin, the better.
Despite this mantram, we are your typical American family with four kids, trying to get everyone out the door each morning to school or sports with barely an hour unaccounted for. Busy kids and tired parents means that fast food is a part of life and the real question is where to find the slowest, healthiest fast food possible and to offset it with as many veggies as possible. But our children are not always eating at home. Lunches at school and snacks at events are nearly always subpar whether we’ve whipped it up for day long transport or the industrial geared facilities vacuum sealed the “product” for sale. The point is, highly processed foods are nearly impossible to avoid.
Given this sad reality, we decided we wanted to have an unprocessed summer where as many of our family calories as possible came from whole, organic, and locally sourced foods. I wrote about our SUMMER FOOD CHALLENGE rules here.
KEEPING UP WITH HUNGRY KIDS – I am stunned by how quickly my stores of fresh food fly out of the fridge and fruit basket. I walk through my shopping options in a small town and discover there are many sources and some really helpful apps to take along if I forget which fruits or veggies are safest when avoiding chemical exposures.
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE – The stress of trying to keep up with our human wrecking machines, healthy food and a spotless house for sale become nearly too much to bear as I share the more difficult moments of the challenge so far. I also share a great list of healthy restaurants in Portland, Oregon when I discover it’s really hard to eat well on the road.
THIS IS AN INTERVENTION – My frustration with being swallowed up by bored and complaining children comes to a head. Their overwhelming need for a food and health intervention consumes every last ounce of my energy as I seek ways to support and encourage them to become more responsible for their own goals.
GOING SLOWER – At last it feels like summer. The children and family are slowing and settling into this new rhythm and way of eating. Cooking and eating whole, fresh foods is no longer something contentious but an exciting project. I also realize that while our family has some challenges that feel big, intentions and attention will guide our hands one way or another.
I hope you enjoy our stories and please feel free to share. Eating well has never been more important to a healthy future.