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As soon as I received the news I was pregnant my first response was to want to be better in every area of my life; spirit, soul and body. I became increasingly more aware of the importance of what I was feeding my body and my unborn baby.
Just over 12 months ago I began to cultivate an organic diet and lifestyle. I was already eating a healthy and balanced diet but wanted to take my health to the next level.
At the outset it seems expensive to buy organic goods but with a little research, trial and error you can make an organic lifestyle work within your budget.
Here are a five tips to get you started that will have you and your baby smiling from the inside out:
1. Shop at the Farmers Market
Most farmers markets have stalls that sell organic produce and this is most definitely a cost effective way to purchase organic products.
If you can’t find the vegetable you’d like organically, it will usually be available pesticide free and grown locally which gets a thumbs up from me if there’s no organic option. Don’t forget to take a small trolley, bag or helper to carry your goods back to the car.
If you don’t have access to a farmer’s market or their opening times don’t fit in with your schedule, try ordering a box of organic fruit and veg online. This was a God send in an extremely busy time for me. Each week you log into your account, select the goods you’d like for the week and they’re delivered to your door saving you time as well.
Many of these stores also have an online pantry, butcher and fridge section you can purchase goods from. I found shopping this way cost effective as well as there are often online specials available and the quality of the produce was outstanding. You can literally do your groceries for the week without leaving the house and a present is delivered every week which was the most exciting part for me!
2. Buy Seasonally
You’ve probably heard your mum say it but buying seasonally is the key to cost effective eating. I’m currently loving the gorgeous stone fruit available while being aware that the strawberries will have to wait until winter.
If you’re unsure of what is currently in season, a quick Google search can tell you but generally you will be able to tell by the prices of the food being sold.
3. Minimise Waste and Make Your Own
When it comes to organic produce I try not to waste anything! I use off cuts to make broths and stock for soups and use tomatoes and onions that aren’t so bright as bases for my own sauces.
This is a great way to minimise waste and save money as I don’t need to buy a tomato base, I’ve already made my own. Plus I know exactly what’s in it and can ensure every part of the meal is organic and doesn’t contain high amounts of sugar life a lot of store bought bases do. Although I have noticed more organic store bought products available.
I have a sweet tooth and have found making my own treats can eliminate all processed sugar and again, is so much cheaper than buying a block of chocolate. You’ll be surprised at how much hubby enjoys them as well.
4. Be Organic Savvy
Sometimes organic fruit and vegetables will come packaged or in a sealed tray like oranges or green beans. If you are purchasing product this way, make sure it has a certified Australian Organic number and symbol. Sadly some companies will claim to be selling you an organic product but they aren’t actually certified. Make sure you’re getting the quality your paying for.
This goes beyond fresh fruit and veges and includes quinoa, chia seeds, coconut oil etc.
5. Grow Your Own
Although many of us have space limitations when it comes to growing a vege garden, a herb box is very achievable. “Harvest time” is so exciting and is a great way to educate children and get them interacting with what they will be eating. You’ll be surprised at what can fit in a small herb box. Did I hear someone say cos lettuce?!
Organic soil is available from your local nursery or hardware store and by simply growing your own herbs, you’ll keep the cost down and the nutrient level up!
Naturally, as you begin to cultivate an organic diet, it overflows into other areas of your life. I now make a lot of my own cleaning products (which has become increasingly important to me since falling pregnant) and beauty products from organic ingredients where possible. I always ask myself, “Is it alive?”
Overall, an organic lifestyle has simplified my life which I highly value especially during my pregnancy. There’s an appreciation of food and beauty that I have experienced eating this way and I would highly recommend you share that gift with the little one growing on the inside. Plus, everything tastes better!
They say once you’ve gone organic, you never go back. It’s true! I believe the gift of health is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children so developing a healthy lifestyle personally, is impertinent to cultivate one in them.