I am suppose to leave the house and do something I am passionate about, like Volunteering. I am also suppose to make a couple of calls and send out emails to some of the organization’s sponsors. Oh and there is that thing called homework… I think I would feel a little more productive if I left the house for a few minutes…
Ooops… I am still here. I guess I’ll tell you what almost happened to this blog. How it almost became a crunchy shrine to perfection and how I dodged that bullet.
About a year ago I made the leap to transfer my blog from blogspot.com to here. Things from the old blog did post, but when it was transferred it combined words and capitalized everything. All in all, I lost 1 post. A post that was really the first post and it was about visiting a local farm and drinking Raw Milk. It was actually my first post. When I realized what happened, I cried. Screw this thing called blogging. Then I resolved to re do the post.
Except. I kind of grew away from that. I started blogging about homeschool, my personal life, and business events. I found I enjoyed it far more than my attempts at being crunchy. It feels like I am overdue for a confession, so I’ll do a recap and share some growing pains…
Ok so the first post went something like this;
Oh my goodness! I watched Food, Inc on Netflix and my mind is blown! Beware! Don’t watch this unless you want to face change! It was then followed by field trip to a local raw dairy farm. There were tons of pictures and everything.
Seriously. Before this movie I could show you how to spend $300 to feed a family of 6… and I rarely used coupons. The first grocery shopping trip after watching this movie was a game changer. I read every label of everything I normally would buy. 3 hours later I came home with 6 things. Honey was upset. Not that I was gone for 3 hours “shopping” but because I was gone for 3 hours and came back with only 6 things to eat. Shocking! < Still, I gotta give that guy some credit because he supported me and my “healthy” goals for our family. How could he resist supporting a mom, trying to do what is best for her family? >
I learned a lot about GMO’s or Genetically Modified Foods. I learned about preservatives… natural and unnatural. I switch to freeze dried foods because they had no added sugar or preservatives. I looked for organic farms and companies. Thankfully Amway/ Nutrilite has always organically farmed and in doing so have 100% quality control over how it is produced. I learned there was a difference between scientific advancement and cellular manipulation… the latter which cheapens the value of the original product.
I struggled with this when I lived almost 2 hours away from any all natural grocer. We had fruits and vegetables… fresh or frozen, instead of canned. Now instead of $300 a month, I now feed our family between $800-1000 a month. They are growing kids and I am feeding them right, so what do I have to complain about?
Well I fell into a food scare. I was scared to cook. I was scared to buy. There simply was not enough healthy choices around. Oh why, oh why, did I not live somewhere where I could attend a thriving organic farmer’s market or hire someone to prepare healthy organic meals for me? *Sigh*
I came out of my food scare through a revelation. I believed that if I prayed God would make the food, GMO or not, healthy for our bodies. Guests who heard our prayers would sometimes laugh. My faith was stronger than their laughter. My faith in the powers of God are still strong, but I also know that sometimes things happen to allow human beings and organizations the freedom to choose and to prove themselves through their actions. Crazy, but we are all connected to that experience. When I received my answer, I was able to move on. Sometimes all we have control over is how we respond or act to the experience… and that is just as valuable.
Recently, I came across a draft I never published… it was about coupons. The truth is… coupons don’t work. At least for me. < GMOs cheapened quality food sources and coupons furthered enabled that mission… what was I thinking? > The question is… do I buy the brands and products that I know is a good mix for our family or do I trade out and get this really good deal on something I don’t really want? The lure of a coupon can be powerful, but it doesn’t add up. Not to mention I would spend hours collecting them and then when it came time to shop… I would leave them at home.
Need a little more of a deal breaker? Visiting local trading or freecycle sites I noticed who the coupon queens were. They would post pictures of their treasures… 10 boxes of cereal, 10 packages of shaving razors and 5 liquid laundry detergents. They didn’t even know what to do with them all. Maybe they should make a donation to a local shelter, that way someone in need directly benefits! < Somewhere in the back of my business mind a little alarm goes off telling me that this process cheapens the product. Certainly in the mind of consumers whether they realize it or not, they now view that product to be cheaper than another and the belief of a lower quality soon follow on its curtails. There seems to be an element of desperation or plateau hanging in the air. Honestly, certain companies should pull back on the amount they are producing… > I only point this out, because for a while I was doing pretty much the same thing. I took pictures that said Look at how much I was able to buy for $10!
Don’t get me wrong, I jump when my favorite brand throws out coupon or has a reward system like Stoneyfield. Punch in your codes per participating product. When you are ready to cash out, you can pick the coupons you want and take them to your local retailer… I mean grocery store. The point is… I don’t bank on them.
I see them as treats.
Think about it. Do you know anyone who has become wealthy… using coupons? The most exciting and useful coupon I ever used? I really appreciate coupons when I check out, the kind that say $5 off my next purchase of $50 or more. Now you are giving me the freedom to shop the way I want to for the things I want! Give me $.50 off my next egg purchase and see what happens!
So this adventure that began as a hopeful crunchy adventure and based in frugality blog… really became my adventure in life based in a true balance. That is right. I had a reality check that I was caught up in a trend… a trend of emotional extremism. One day I woke up and realized it was a distraction. Actually I think it was a gradual process… then finally a little heart healing with Kristin helped me to reconnect with my heart and be in tune with my soul and my purpose.
I still believe that GMO’s are bad. I will eat as healthy as we can, when we can afford to. The question I now ask myself in all things, is this moderate? Is this sustainable? Only when things are in moderation can I hope to have a balance. Otherwise I end up running all over the place and stressing out how I should be here, or there, or giving in to some sort of expectation of performance. In doing so I rob myself of being free to be me… the joyful and most beautiful part of me.
So bring on the Paleo and raw food diet… I probably won’t do it 100%, but I will be inspired to try out a couple new dishes. GMOs beware, I still don’t like you. I applaud the effort. If it is not so bad, why does Europe label you and allow the consumers to decide for themselves? However to be completely honest… driving 2 hours away for 100% GMO free products is not economical at this time. I will stick to HEB Central Market’s brand and continue buying fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. If I have the opportunity to do more, when circumstance and options change… then I will do what is feasible… and sustainable for our family. If you can and are able… grow a garden. In the mean time you can expect that I serve couscous and green beans about as often as I do macaroni and cheese with a side of Concentrated Fruits & Veggies. My goal is to buy it from myself first or find a local and healthy option. It is as simple as that!
< My point? Don’t judge me. My priorities maybe a little different than yours but I do support the ability and opportunity for healthy food. If you want to help, offer a local cooking class or a local health delivery service. We all have different ways to go about doing something the “right” way. Sometimes we get emotionally charged and unintentionally demonize our friends who are not “trending” the “right” way. I am no longer emotional or extreme about it. As always I appreciate and Love you for who you are and for the inspiration each of you provide me through your comments and shares. Hope you still will love me where ever I am on this journey! >
I also absolve to shop local. My business sense tells me that doing this is about the local scale of economy and I need to support my community members if it is going to thrive. < I am also weary of local “organic” deliveries that must travel 1000 miles to get to me, when there are at least 5 CSA an hour or 2 from here that are not being utilized. > My point is, when we support the businesses in our communities, we support their families and endeavors. When we shop local, we empower them with the resources to make better choices. When we shop elsewhere, we rob them of the opportunity. The Health of our community depends a lot upon where we spend our money.
Weigh and measure the power of where and who you buy from. Need a place to start? Check in with your local Camber of Commerce for a list of members. Typically these are they who support and sponsor events in the community. Reward them with your business!