It's been in the back of my mind for years maybe. What we eat. What I buy. I've known it wasn't the best, but a more than full-time job, the kids' school schedules, and my husband's return to school full-time increased my stress and decreased any extra energy I had to think about it.
Over time I got tired. Bone dragging tired. So tired I could barely make it to the end of the day. And cereal and pizza seemed to make sense. "I don't have time to cook," I said. "I need sleep."
But it didn't matter how much sleep I got. I was still exhausted. So, I went to my regular doctor. "There's nothing wrong with you," he said.
My hair started to fall out. Like, covered up the bathroom floor in a dark shag carpet of the stuff that was still supposed to be attached to my head, falling out. So, back to the doctor I went.
"There's nothing wrong with you," he said.
"Yes, there is."
So he did a full blood work-up. Four vials of blood to check my thyroid, white blood cells, cholestorol, lupis indicators, and a whole page worth of stats. The prognosis?
"There's nothing wrong with you."
To say I was frustrated would be a monumental understatement.
Desparate, I turned to non-traditional methods. My husband and I talked long and hard about it. We tapped our savings and I signed up for the Mellman plan. Nowhere left to turn, we invested in my health. Quite honestly, it was a last ditch effort. We had no idea what to do, but we had to do something.
Not long after I started the program, my hair stopped falling out. And I had ENERGY. And I felt better. I was preparing my own healthier foods, the ones I could eat, but I was still feeding my family the same stuff I had been cooking before. In other words, crap. This quietly, unobtrusively gnawed at me, a silent hammering away at my subconscience.
Then I watched Food, Inc.
Insert several hours of contemplation. Then anger. Then resolve. And hours of research.
I was exposed to new vocabulary words, like free-range, organic, locavore and grass fed. But I also remembered words I already knew, like budget, depleted savings and the phrase "full-time working mom."
I had hard questions and wanted answers Google couldn't give me. How do I feed a family of 4 a healthy, organic, local diet without blowing my budget? What meals can I prepare that won't require hours in the kitchen? Can I do it without making a zillion trips to thirty different stores? How will the pickiest eater on the face of the planet, my eight year old, deal with these changes?
How do we become an organic family on a budget?
This blog is my attempt to answer that question. I'm not naive enough to think it will happen overnight or that I won't make mistakes along the way. But I have to try.