Back to school, organics, yonanas, new apartment, food challenge, and recovery #whew

Hey guys,

I know it has been a bit since my last post and with graduate school underway, it has been difficult to find a time when I am not studying, cleaning, sleeping, or totally spaced out to work on this blog! BUT some interesting updates:

Back to school– oh graduate school sucks! That about sums it up! Haha.  But really…

Anatomy is trying it’s best to drag me down but I am trying very hard to be positive and not self-defeating.  Thus far, I am staying afloat in it…and that’s all I need to do to get through this trimester.

Still it is good to be back at campus, more active than my online classes. Which brings me to update on my online Masters in Nutrition program…I am almost done with it but as the remaining courses are concurrent with the DC program (you take them in the DC program so to save money/time you just wait to take them in the DC program and they will count towards the MSN program), I have currently gone as far as I can for a bit.  But I  did well enough to get Dean’s List twice!

Organics-

The funny thing about that MSN program…is that it has totally motivated some extreme changes in our diets.  I took this one class about food from farm to your plate and it was truly eye opening.  You can find many of the videos we utilized by scrolling through the TEDx videos on YouTube.   Anyways, we were motivated to go almost completely organic.  I say almost because some things are hard to find at a reasonable price and every now and then we aren’t able to do the organic version.  But I figure as much as we can is what matters.   It has been an expensive transition for sure, but one that we both believe is well worth it.  I could espouse all the reasons we believe it is so much better but unless you watch some of those videos and are ready to make the change, it will fall on deaf ears.  So instead, I will just make a short list of the positives and negatives we believe have been a result of going organic.

Positives

  • The food simply tastes better ( my boyfriend at first said that it tasted like something was missing from the produce and we laughed and said ‘ya, pesticides!’)  But since that revelation, food tastes so much better that I would never go back! In fact now, the produce that is not organic has a weird taste to it!
  • It is healthier for our bodies.  The more I learn about it, the more it makes me believe that the more chemicals and hormones we put into our body through conventional foods, the more damage we are doing to ourselves and that this damage is what is leading to many of our widespread diseases and the obesity epidemic.  This is coming from a patient’s perspective.  I cannot say that I ‘feel’ differently since going organic, but I can say that I feel better about what is going into my body.  Knowing that I am not constantly building up toxins in my body and eating clean, healthy food makes me feel like I am making progress. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of it: Definitely check out the TEDx videos on antibiotic resistance due to antibiotic use in livestock.
  • It is better for the environment.  You have got to check out those TEDx videos about how pesticides has damaged soils, air, and waters. Listen to families talk about how their whole town stinks and has unbreathable air due to the pesticide useage and to the stinking waste water pits of factory farms.  Learn about how important crop rotation is to soil and what it takes to be an organic farm. Then take a look at what a factory farm looks like and compare that to the farms of your imagination….see any green pastures and free roaming cows? Now check out organic farms…
  • It is better for the animals. I know they end up the same way but ultimately so do we and that does not change our continuous desire to improve our daily lives.  So check out the way organic farmers treat their livestock and the way they are treated in conventional factory farms.  You will quickly  discover that the animals in factory farms are sickly and being made to produce unnatural characteristics (genetically choosing for larger breasts in chickens, so much so that  they cannot walk…does that sound like a healthy chicken?) which are no doubt having their effects on the consumer who eats them. Furthermore, watch the antibiotic resistance videos to learn about low-level maintenance doses of antibiotics are given in the food but actually end up contributing to poor health of the animal and antibiotic resistance.
  • It IS sustainable! This paragraph could go on and on and on.  But I won’t do that to you. I will just say this…If we raise animals the way they are designed to raised, let them roam freely in the sun with access to plenty of good food and clean water, you are going to get a healthy animal product.   If you let crops grow the way nature intended and utilize natural insects and pest controls, the plants will be healthy.  This mean that the soil, water, and air which are crucial for all life can remain healthy. This means our food supply is healthy which in turn means we are healthy.  So many worry about feeding the population if we switch to organic….but it’s counterintuitive: how can contaminating our waters, producing sick animals, wearing out our soils, and playing God with the DNA of our food lead to a sustainable supply of food?

Negatives

  • it’s expensive

I’m not gonna lie, it costs a pretty penny to go organic, especially in regards to meats! But I do believe that a reduction in medical bills and health problems will balance that out.  In addition, I justify it by knowing it’s better for the environment, the animal/plant, and for myself.  Still, sounds great but how can you afford it on a budget?  I plan to write a blog on this subject, but for now check into local farmers markets and CSA programs. We currently are using Green Bean delivery and they provide us with fresh produce and groceries delivered to our door for $35 a bin.  But we also shop at a handful of places to obtain the best prices on our organic foods.  Currently we get:

Produce- Fresh Thyme or local farmers market (check out amish foods which are raised organically but they don’t pay to have the organic label)

Whole Foods- Meats, lunch meats, eggs, snacks, fresh foods, oddball items- I wont lie…this can get pricey.  We get 2 bags of frozen chicken at $8.99 each (3 lbs each), 2 lbs ground chicken or turkey (cheaper than beef),  2 packs of catfish (about 4/pack) for about $5 each, and then about 2 lbs of whatever meat is on sale that week…usually a roast/ steak of some kind.   This lasts us about a week, maybe 2 and can cost about $50.  Then we get lunch meat from them…try to go on sundays for $2 off/lb.  We usually get about 3 lbs of cheese and meats which end up being another $20.  So we spend about $70 on meats.

Aldis- salad, pasta, sauces, tuna, milk, miscellaneous items- does have some organic produce but its pretty sparse.  Where they shine is for oddball items like pasta sauce and pastas.  They also have a gret price on a large container of organic salad greens.

Other miscellaneous places to try- Walmart, Dierbergs, Schnucks, Costco, CSAs. farmers markets, and Amazon.

Items we have trouble finding for a decent price: tuna, canned chicken, diced tomatoes, avocadoes, bell peppers, olives

As I said, I will probably be doing a few posts on this soon to give you more info,

 

Yonanas

We just finished a 21 day sugar detox and found orselves going crazy needing a little something sweet.   we first tried making ice cream in a blender….well its just not ice cream, more like ICE.  I happened to stumble across this Yonanas machine which makes ice cream- like creamy ice cream- by using ONLY fruit! No sugars, no milk…just fruit.  So we tried it and we love it! I will definitely be posting on this soon!

New apartment-

Well I guess it; snot that new anymore as we have been here almost 6 months already!  BUT still lots to finish up and we plan to get it all done during spring break which is right around the corner so I will be finishing up our apartment part soon here!

Food Challenge-

I KNOW I HAVE BEEN SO BAD ABOUT THIS! But I promise I will be coming back to it! I really loved incorporating new and different foods!  But because of school, this will no longer be a consecutive week challenge but more so a ‘down week’ challenge…when there aren’t finals or a crazy amount of tests!   But I will be picking it back up very soon, promise!

Recovery

Recovery has been slow but steady.   I still do not have the strength to lift much or bend a lot.  Pain is a pretty constant reminder of surgery, but it is better than it was before surgery.  I am now receiving regular chiropractic care from school and I think it might be starting to help. I will be starting acupuncture soon as well so hopefully that will be good too.

 

I think that’s it! Stay tuned and I will definitely have some good stuff headed your way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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