Last year I made the choice to start taking my health seriously.
After seven years of smoking, I finally quit!
And it felt amazing! When people talk about the importance of only putting healthy things into your body, I understood what they meant, but it wasn’t until I quit smoking that the idea actually felt true. I had a new confidence in myself and my ability to affect my own health.
All pumped up with new energy, I started wondering what else I was putting into my body. I wanted to use this motivation to lay a foundation for what a healthy life would look like for the rest of my life. So for me, it felt right to start simple by just eating more vegetables. Easy right? Boy did I under estimate what that would look like! I remember visiting the farmers market in April, when practically everything was in season. Rows and rows of farmers selling the most beautiful array of fruits and veggies. It was beautiful and exciting, it felt wholesome and oh so good. I practically bought everything in sight! (I happen to completely love grocery shopping so the farmers market, to me, is the best thing ever.)
Before my foray into the world of veggies I ate what I considered to be a pretty healthy diet. I cooked most of our meals at home so we weren’t eating a lot of processed foods to begin with. Most of my dinners consisted of a meat, potatoes or rice, and a side of veggies, usually frozen broccoli and corn, steamed. That was probably 70% of how I cooked, with the other 30% filled with pasta, casseroles, slow cooker meals, soups, stir fries, and salads.
When I came home from the farmers market with bags and bundles and packages of fresh, delicious veggies, I realized two big things.
First, my refrigerator was not made for a grocery list of mostly fresh, whole fruits and vegetables. Despite filling up the crisper bins in my fridge, most of the things I bought went bad well before I had a chance to use them. And, my fridge looked like chaos.
Second, beyond the requisite veggie side dish, I didn’t have a wide enough repertoire of recipes to make veggies the main focus of my cooking. I had a hard time coming up with a single dinner recipe I had made before that didn’t rely on meat.
In the year since my big shift towards living a healthier life, I’ve struggled with and learned a lot about these two issues. And I’m still learning. I still have times when the strawberries get moldy, the bananas go bad too fast, and my fridge is a total mess. It happens and for the most part, it’s totally ok. I believe that when it comes to our health and making big life changes it's important to keep reminding ourselves that it’s about progress, not perfection. Life is messy and hectic, and at the same time it’s completely beautiful and ridiculous in it’s imperfection.
So, #progressnotperfection is the reason I’m starting this blog and launching Parsley and Pumpkins now. Before I feel like an "expert." Before my first product is even finished! I still have a lot to learn about health and food and fitting all of that into an already full life, and at the same time I really do believe that a rising tide lifts all boats. If my journey to start this business can help you live a healthier and happier life, that’s really all that matters. Even if it’s something as simple as learning easier ways to store lettuce. So that never again will you go to make a salad and pull out a rotten soggy mess of spinach! Because I believe you deserve good salads!
Next week I’ll be writing more about Parsley and Pumpkins and exactly what this business will look like. In the meantime, I want to hear your story. Where are you in this whole world of healthy eating? Where do you struggle? What do you wish you knew more about? More than anything else, I want to make this adjustment into healthy living easy and fun for all of us!