The crazy thing about change is sometimes the progression from where you were to where you are now is so slow you don’t notice you have moved. Until you stop, turn around and see the starting line so far behind you. Rereading that old blog post was a good exercise for me in turning around. There are days I feel we are so far from where I desire our family to be. Days when that finish line seems out of reach. Most of the time I cannot articulate to myself what I want our finish line to be. It’s easy to compare our families to others. An innocent picture on Facebook of a friend’s daughter happily eating some roasted chickpeas makes me question my decision to allow my crew to have store bought icing and pretzels as their after school snack. The instinct to compare ourselves in our roles as mothers runs deep and wide and is fodder for another post. But teaching my children the importance of balance is not lost to me. I strive to instill in myself, them, my friends the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time we will choose whole, organic, responsibly sourced food. Eighty percent of the time I will prepare food with no need for nutrition labels. Eighty percent of the time I will choose to sit around our dinner table and serve up something home cooked. And we will balance that by the 20 percent. Snacks like pretzels and chocolate icing, treats like Swiss Rolls (my 6 year old’s teacher sent him home with instructions to try one!), and choosing to go out to eat.
Choosing what our “eighty percent” was going to be took some thought and consideration. The smalls steps of change that I find to be my truth. So we started at the basics- meat and produce. The decision on what we choose as consumers of meat was a long time coming. We started with half a hog, then filled our freezer from This Old Farm but the meat went fast. Come spring, we were looking for more. There are many things I love about being a Hoosier but the proximity to so many small farms has moved to the top of the list. A trip to the Indy Winter’s Market introduced me to one of those farmers. I was looking for information about joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). These programs would allow my family to receive a bag filled with farm fresh meat or vegetables each month. Different farms provide different options for their CSA but we were looking for a meat only CSA. I stopped by Becker Farm’s booth and talked with Emily about their CSA program. My first impression was the affordability of theirprograms. For less than $100 a month we could get about 15 pounds of various cuts pork, grass fed beef, and whole chicken along with 2 dozen farm fresh eggs. My second impression was how passionate Emily is about farming and providing other families with access with quality meat. My kind of woman! So we joined their CSA that spring and haven’t looked back. We no longer buy any meat from the traditional grocery store. There are times when we need to make additional meat purchases during the month but I’ve done my research about stores have humanely raised, responsibly sourced chicken, pork, and beef available. We have also begun to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our menu. It’s been a HUGE change for our family. One our kids have been a participated in. We took a trip to Becker Farms last summer and saw where our meat comes from. While some may disagree with our choice to openly share our food sources with our kids, we wanted them to know that our meat does not magically appear wrapped in saran wrap. That sunny summer day was one that I will forever hold in my memories. If you are local please check out Becker Farms (www.beckerfarmsin.com). Kyle and Emily are wonderful folks who are passionate about changing how we feed our families. One family at a time!
As I mentioned in my previous post, we use Green Bean Delivery for the majority of our fruits and vegetables. During the year when the kids are in school for most of the week, we have a bin delivered every other week. I will purchase organic fruit and vegetables in the off weeks as needed. When summer comes and the kids are around more, I change Green Bean to a weekly delivery schedule. I love we can be adventurous and try new veggies or stick to the basics. I use what we are going to receive in our bin as part of my meal planning process. And their customer service is second to none.
There are smaller steps that we have made- making oatmeal instead of buying packets, switching to organic whole milk, buying bread through Great Harvest (delivered in our Green Bean bin!), and I am currently trying to reduce how many artificial sweeteners my kids consume. Our family’s nutrition habits will always be a work in progress. We will always be moving towards that unknown end point. We are closer than where we were a year and a half ago and not as close as we will be a year and a half from now. But I am confident in our small steps. If you have would like to know more specifics or have any questions, post below!