If you’ve been reading here for a while, or you happen to be related to me (as a good percentage of my blog subscribers are), than you probably know that I can sometimes tend be a little overzealous about implementing various healthy living books/programs that have caught my attention over the years.
So it probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that last year, after devouring Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and subsequently organizing a community discussion about it, I decided, among other things, we would banish bananas from our diet.
This might not have been such a big deal except that having also discovered the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen, an eye-opening ranking of how much pesticide residue can be found in various produce items, I had already banished conventionally-grown strawberries, grapes/raisins, apples, peaches and pears.
And while many of these produce items are available in organically-grown varieties, for a family of four living on one income, the organic versions were often too big of a stretch for our weekly food budget.
And so we basically just stopped eating fruit for a good portion of the year. And I really didn’t notice it until a few months ago when the youngest member of our family began having irregularity issues and suddenly noticing what we were (or were not) eating became an everyday activity. And what we realized, quite glaringly, is that we were not eating enough fruit and fiber!
So in the post-holiday, New Year’s intention setting time of early January, I decided that, with all due respect to Ms. Kingsolver, whose work I have long-admired, we needed to start buying some non-seasonal, flown-in-from-warm-places, fruits and berries.
And at the same time, John and I made a commitment to eat breakfast together, as in all sitting down at the table, and talking to each other, and relaxing together (even if it is just for 10 minutes) every morning before we run our separate ways to work and school and wherever else we need to go.
The results have been absolutely amazing. Our little guy has gotten back into a much more regular rhythm, our mornings are more enjoyable and peaceful than ever before, and the adults in the household have noticed a very positive side-benefit — dropping a combined 15 pounds in one month!
I am doing my best to buy as much organic fruit as I can, and I am already making plans to add more strawberry plants, blueberry bushes and raspberry canes to the yard so we can increase the amount of berries we are growing (and freezing) ourselves. And I am once again focusing some attention on creating a root cellar so we can store apples, pears and other fruits and vegetables that we can pick or purchase locally.
But for this winter, I am really, truly appreciating the awesome variety of flown-in produce that is available in our grocery store because eating more fruit is really working for our family!
A nice big bowl of fruit now sits on our kitchen counter ready for anyone who needs a snack, and below is a picture of our new weekday breakfast buffet — a bowl of oatmeal surrounded by small bowls of apples, strawberries, blueberries, sliced almonds and coconut flakes — all served on a very fun Lazy Susan, which I found for $3 at the thrift shop!