Simple Living- Our Journey and A New Commitment
Kelly S from IN
It's been building.
Perhaps since Clark and I walked the rocky shores of Vancouver Island nine years ago, hiked through rainforests, and sat on steep ledges to watch sea lions play in the frigid water below.
We were immersed in a different world; I wanted to become part of the landscape, the beautiful simplicity of it all...and I tried...but it was painful, and as I huffed and puffed up and down trails, I couldn't help but think that at 23 this was not how I should feel.
I didn't eat vegetables unless they were french fried or covered in butter and salt. I didn't eat protein. I didn't drink water. I lived on carbs, diet coke, and American Spirits. I was 115 lbs, and I felt horrible.
Clark was better off, we thought. He liked all foods and worked outside for a living, but when blood-work came back that indicated he had the triglycerides of an 80 year old, we knew we had to start to make changes.
Of course the first step was to quit smoking- which we did, eventually, but we needed to do more.
We've learned what foods we MUST eat organically, we got rid of soda, and all things artificial. We stopped buying junk food, eating at fast food restaurants, and started cooking.
With the addition of our first child, we've tried to be even better. We planted gardens, watched as our son ate off the vines, and exploded with joy when the raspberries came. We bought more and more organic produce, hormone free meat, and we tried to figure out how to pay for it all and find time to cook.
With the addition of our second, we started couponing. We had to figure out how to stay strong with our family's values that ALL food should be healthy and real while living on one salary.We canceled cable, committed to a very tight envelope/cash budget, and started finding other ways to provide. We bought our meat, in bulk, directly from a farmer , picked our own fruit, and joined a CSA.
Now, with summer starting and two parents home for two months, we think it's time to take the next step. We think it's time to grow and eat what grows when it's supposed to be growing. Time to create from scratch, and buy as much as we can from the people who grow food for our town, in our town. Time to stop playing the semantics game to define what "organic" or "free range" is and isn't.
Our first CSA purchase inspired us. Friends who run an organic farm, Jamie Oliver, SouleMama, and Barbara Kingsolver's work has encouraged us. We can think of no better way to spend our time and energy than by giving each other more time and energy.
We are now able to identify rainbow chard and walking onions, collards, spinach, and beet greens. We've started eating mushrooms (first for this mama) and our plates are happily filled with color.
We're making our bread and pizza crust. We're thinking about a bigger garden, making cheese, and maybe even chickens in our future.
This mama's focus is changing and moving towards more simplicity. Towards waiting for things, and it being OK to wait. Towards time that brings all of the people I love into the kitchen with me, everyday, and keeps us at the table longer because we're so glad to be sitting, chatting, and eating the things we picked, grew, and kneaded.
Our family mission is to buy as many organic and locally organic produced foods as we can and make the rest. Our goal is to save money by only eating what's in season and on sale. To eat foods that don't live in boxes or plastic bags.
We're starting off slow, to ensure success.
It's time to commit to us and the fuel we give our bodies and minds.
Nine years- it's been a long time coming- baby steps for sure. But the smell of freshly baked bread filling our home, the one year old eating greens, and the five year admitting that he does like "asparakgrass", the conversations each night with the big guy, and the kitchen filled with US all cooking together each night, remind me that the hard work and creativity ahead of us will be worth every bite!