Life, Food, Home Changes

For the last year or so, my family and I have made some changes in our lives. We are embracing a much more natural and holistic lifestyle – everything from food to cleaning solutions to medicine. It’s way too much to explain it all in one post, but I wanted to kind of give an overview of some of the major changes we have made. Even though it’s technically not running related, I feel that it does directly affect my running and performance so I wanted to share.

One of the best quotes I’ve heard recently is from Organic Living Magazine – the new magazine that Rodale is launching next week (which, coincidentally, I’m attending their launch event in NYC next week!)

“For us, organic is a mindset or an aspiration. It’s not a rule.“- James Oseland

That really sums of the approach we are taking lately. For us, it’s not black or white. It’s a process. We are slowly transitioning more and more in our lives to a natural, organic lifestyle (free of GMOs, pesticides and harmful ingredients). A lot of it has come from things we have read. Some has come from my sister and other friends who are on the same page as us for a lot of these things. And some has come as a result of wanting to change the way we physically felt.

Grass-Fed Pastured Meat: One of the biggest (and most expensive) changes we have made was switching over to grass-fed meat (we primarily eat beef and chicken). It’s definitely not cheap, but we have figured out a few ways to reduce the costs a bit.

  • Bought our first cow: Okay, so technically, not the whole cow. We split 1/4 of an organic, grass fed cow with my sister and her family (roughly 75 pounds each) which included a ton of ground beef, steaks, roasts and bones (perfect for bone broth!). It was a lot of money all at once, but we haven’t had to purchase any beef in almost two months. (Note: we have a second fridge/freezer down our basement where all the meat has been).grass fed
  • Look for sales/stock up: As with anything we purchase, you pay the most when you have to buy something at that moment. We’ve gotten better with waiting until grass-fed, organic chicken is on sale and we stock up (and freeze it).
  • Find a farmer: My awesome sister has all these incredible connections with farmers and like-minded families and she gets us the hook-up on grass-fed chickens, grass-fed, free-range eggs and so on directly from local farmers. A couple of months ago, we were able to purchase whole chickens (for a fraction of what we would pay in the store)!

– Organic Fruits/Veggies: Not all of our fruits/veggies are organic but we try to purchase the ones that are most recommended (Dirty Dozen Plus) based on their levels of pesticides. We get our organic fruits/veggies from one of two places these days – Door to Door Organics (which is an awesome delivery service!) and Wegman’s in NJ (they have an amazing selection of organic veggies/fruit for a much lower cost then places on Staten Island). It’s amazing how even with the cost of gas and bridge costs, we spend so much less with a trip to Wegman’s! Last spring/summer, we participated in a CSA which was amazing (we’ve opted out this year since we are going to be away a lot this summer and you can’t put weeks on hold and it was extremely time consuming to clean all of the freshly-picked/harvested vegetables).

– Reduce processed food/dairy/grains: My husband has been following a Paleo-diet, so as a result, I have fallen into a paleo-ish diet. I still eat my pasta, milk (creamer in my coffee!), cheese, wine and chocolate but most of our meals are paleo-centric. I have found that I am eating more at meals and snacking less throughout the day. The biggest change for me here has been cutting out peanuts, legumes and quinoa (because my husband has cut them out, I try not to cook with these anymore). The first couple of weeks were tough but I love the way I feel these days – no more bloating, stomach pains or indigestion (which I think is from the entire diet change).

– Natural products in the home: This area is definitely a work in progress. We have slowly begun to replace products in our home with more natural alternatives – from beauty products to cleaning solutions to toys. Per my sister’s instructions, we made our own cleaner a few weeks ago – it’s as simple as vinegar, cinnamon sticks and orange peels in a air-tight jar. Keep it closed for 2-3 weeks and voila – you have an effective and delicious smelling natural cleaner!

IMG_3777– Essential Oils / Homeopathic Route: I definitely think modern medicine is a wonderful thing and has a place in our lives. However, I believe that we can overmedicate. For years, at the first sign of a fever with me or my little guys, my reaction was to take tylenol or some other over the counter medicine. The more I read, the more I’m learning about our bodies and the way we fight infections and sickness and that there are alternative, effective ways to heal. My family went the entire winter with only taking conventional medicine twice (when fevers were extremely high). In it’s place, we’ve used a mix of essential oils and homeopathic options and I truly believe they have worked. I’m definitely not an expert in this area – a lot of what we do and learn is directly from my older sister!

homeopathic

My sister made the oils on the far right!

Hope you have a great weekend! Best of luck to everyone racing!

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I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

For More NYC Running Mama training updates, pictures and ramblings, check out:

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    11 thoughts on “Life, Food, Home Changes

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    2. Thank you for posting this!I just wanted to say I think this is a beautifully honest post and thank you for sharing your story. You seem like a very gracious person with a big heart and I am excited to be discovering your blog.
      We are also same in this business.

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    4. I would love to read a post about your use of essential oils. That really intrigues me, since I have also come to realize that we can overmedicate.

    5. I love all those ideas. I actually added meat and eggs back into my diet this year after realizing there were humanly raised, chemical free options out there. -and farm fresh eggs are so good!
      But why I really wanted to comment is on the essential oils -I found them this year too and it has sort of been life changing! My absolute favorite is cypress which I use on my feet for plantar fasciitis and raynouds and I swear it also helped cure my calf last fall when I tweaked it and couldn’t run for a bit. I’m in search of an oil or oil combination which will help my sprained ankle… if you (or your sister) have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them.
      BTW, love your blog so inspirational!

      • I’m going to text my sister now with your question! I’ll let you know ASAP what she says (I am not as well versed in the essential oil area as she is!!).

        Thank you for your sweet words – glad to hear that the oils have worked for you, too!!
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Life, Food, Home ChangesMy Profile

    6. I think those all sound like great, sustainable things to be doing as a family. I love buying meat from local farmers and we have several great ones around here with very healthy practices. Win/win.

      I always laugh at any of your pics showing your countertops b/c they are mine, too!
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