Week 2 was another success but also proved itself to have its challenges! To be honest, things this week felt more difficult and there was a moment where I had to let go on being fully organic – I explain in detail below. I realize further that the longer I do this challenge, how nearly impossible it is to deviate from my normal “routine” and still eat fully organic. This past week I also experienced my anxiety levels rising as I am finding it more and more difficult to not be able to conveniently grab food (even appearing-ly healthy food like smoothies and salads) when I am out and about. I am learning this is the sacrifice I need to make in order to eat clean foods free of toxic chemicals!
- The hardest part of my week was because I spent 2 days in Vancouver for work events. One instance where I decided to “let go” was at a breakfast event I attended for work. Although stating before hand that I was doing this “Organic Only” challenge – I also explained that I was not expecting the entire event to accommodate my dietary needs. I do know a lot of the food served at the event was organic, as the place it was hosted at was very conscious, however, I am entirely sure not everything was organic. I made the choice in the moment to eat what was in front of me and enjoy it to the best of my abilities. I chose to do this because I didn’t know who to talk to ask about what was and wasn’t organic. Secondly, I decided to do this because I started to feel bad about wasting the food that was prepared for me and sitting right in front of me. And finally, I did this as I think I just wanted to show my appreciation for the effort the people put in to preparing the food and to avoid further stressing myself and those around me out. Although I don’t know if this was the “right” thing to do – in the moment it felt like it was.
- Walking around Main Street in Vancouver I walked into 8 different coffee shops looking for an organic decaf coffee and nowhere I went had one! I settle for an organic chai tea and had to drink it without the usual almond milk I would add to it because the coffee shop didn’t serve any organic milk options
- While on the go, I decided I wanted to have a snack of carrots, hummus, and kombucha. Looking for organic store bought hummus was surprisingly difficult! I realize all my favourite usual brands were not organic. I did find “Sunflower Kitchen” Organic hummus (pictured beside) which ended up being really great!
- Not being able to go out for a quick dinner with my boyfriend was another challenge. After a long day in the sun on Saturday, if I wasn’t doing this challenge, we would have gone to the Salt Spring Inn for a veggie burger and enjoyed a nice night out. However, I knew there wouldn’t be a chance I would be able to find enough on the menu to eat that was fully organic. Unfortunately, we couldn’t think of any restaurants on the island that are open in the evenings that could accommodate a fully organic meal.
- Mentally this challenge is difficult on me! As I mentioned, I am starting to feel both anxious and frustrated to not be able to eat freely when I am out and about. However, even more difficult is the realization that SO many of the foods available to us contain pesticides and chemicals. I am blown away at the fact that even though I thought I was super conscious of consuming mostly organic foods before this challenge – I realize that I was eating so many inorganic foods on a regular basis without even thinking about it!
Things I Learned
- Although it sometimes feels difficult to carve out time to prep food I realized again this week that preparation is the only way I can be successful during this challenge! I was able to pack delicious snacks for my trip to Vancouver including a jar of roasted yams, Mary’s Organic Crackers with avocado, and raw carrots.
- There are SO many amazing and supportive people and companies out there! Organic Matters was so kind as to sponsor me on this Challenge with a $100 order of dried goods! If anyone is looking for super affordable and high quality bulk foods – check them out here. I also felt really supported and inspired by my sister who told me she is doing her absolute best to eat as many organic foods as she can as well! Tons of other friends have also been sharing about my challenge to help spread the word which makes me feel so grateful!
- I learned all about the top organic places in Vancouver. The ones I came across include: Sweet Cherubim, Eternal Abundance, Aphrodites, The Green Moustache, and Greens Market. I felt truly SO grateful to come across these places as I knew I could eat there with peace of mind. There are a few other amazing organic places in Vancouver too that I didn’t cross this time around on my trip but I will definitely highlight them when I do come across them another day.
- I also learned that having organic protein on hand is SO helpful! Luckily for me with a huge garden, at this time of year finding organic greens is super easy, however, protein is another story. I realize I need to always have Tempea Tempeh, Wild Salmon, and Veggie burgers in the freezer. It is also super helpful to have at least 1 type of cooked bean/legume in the fridge. This way I am always able to whip up a quick meal that contains a healthy protein source.
- I will continue to be prepared for the week with healthy snacks, proteins, veggies, and complex carbs on hand
- I am not exactly sure what else this week will bring but I am excited to find out 🙂