As I mentioned earlier, we recently moved out-of-state. We said adios to our life-long home of Texas for the wide, open plains of Oklahoma. And I’m not talking the surprisingly cosmopolitan Oklahoma City or uber-trendy Tulsa. Nope, my friends, we moved to a small town in Western Oklahoma. I went from the fourth largest city in the US to a this-is-what-they-call-Americana small town. The scenario is rom com gold. Anyhoodle, back to my point – we live in the country so certain products, stores (Target, I miss you) and brands are not available at the local market. And by market, I mean Walmart. Lately, I have started to switch our family to eating organic, responsibly produced, whole foods. In Houston, it wasn’t that hard to do – endless options at our fingertips and some even well priced on a tight budget. In the country, fast food and truck-stop diners are the local fare. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoy our Saturday morning breakfasts at the local diner and the occasional chicken fried steak, but if we eat like that every day we will have a whole host of health issues. After a super unsuccessful, very expensive and defeating trip to the one and only grocery store in town, I headed to “the market” for my next grocery run. Now, it isn’t always in a state of pure cleanliness but I have been pleasantly surprised at their offerings of organic and gluten-free options. Which got me thinking, this eating clean, living healthy thing might actually be possible in our small town.
BUY THE BEST YOU CAN, WHERE YOU CAN
The “market’s” organic produce section is seriously lacking but I was relieved to find the Harvestland Brand for chicken. The meat comes from vegetarian fed chickens, no antibiotics are ever used and no animal by-products in their feed. They also have a good range of options – thighs, legs, thin strips, individually wrapped breasts, etc. My local “market” only carries a few Harvestland products, but I hear they make a whole host of meat products.
There is also a large gluten-free section at our local “market” – much larger than the local grocery store. And of course they carry organic milk, eggs and yogurt. Even a few options for organic flour and sugar. So for now, we do our main shopping at… ::sighes:: Walmart.
THERE’S ALWAYS AMAZON
Nope, not the rainforest. Amazon.com and even though it’s widely criticized it can be often be your best friend when it comes to obtaining unusual and hard-to-find items. We are Prime members and I’m also an Amazon Mom member so we get discounts on diapers, wipes, formula and loads more. We have them all automatically shipped to our house each month – not having to run to the store for diapers is one of life’s little pleasures. My latest Subscribe & Save item is organic coconut flour. Who knew, right? Seriously, Amazon sells everything. And Prime members get free two-day shipping, even to the country.
EAT LOCAL, Y’ALL
As I mentioned, the “market” does not have a great produce section so I started looking for other options. The great thing about the country? That’s where real food is grown. I found several options for local organic co-ops and decided to sign up for one. Every two weeks, I have a LOAD of fresh, organic, mostly local fruits and veggies to haul home. I have to drive a little ways to get my share but I always pair it with a visit to my “city” friends. Local farmer’s markets are also a great option. Ask around, I’m sure there is one in your town, if not the next one over! You can usually pick up fresh eggs and meat this way as well.
Another option for organic meat is to find a local grass-fed cattle producer. You can usually buy meat by the cow or half-cow and you can find a friend to split a cow…sounds totally weird but its totally economical!
CUT THE EXCUSES
Eating fruits and veggies whether they are organic or not, cutting out processed food and making your own meals goes a long way to being a healthier you. I’m not saying anything groundbreaking here and I’m not preaching either. It’s a daily struggle for me to not take the convenient option and I fail, sometimes miserably, at it quite often. See the paragraph below… It’s a big ole stinkin’ commitment to eat real food. All.day.long I cut, cook and clean up every meal or snack. Being prepared is the key because when you’re hungry and tired the last thing you want to do is prepare a meal from scratch. I think all of us will admit ordering pizza sounds much better at that point.
GIVE UP ON PERFECTION
It’s impossible for everyone to be perfect all the time. We all know this, but when it comes to mommy guilt, stress and just overall daily pressures the grass looks greener at the neighbor’s house. The neighbors may make it look easy, but you’re not in their shoes – I bet they feel the same way about you. Give yourself a break! It’s okay to indulge occasionally and we all fall off the wagon at some point. Just get up and get back on. That’s the part that counts. I wrote this post almost 3-4 months ago and since then we have (majorly) fallen off the wagon. Think Girl Scout Cookies, fried chicken, too much wine and fast food. I threw myself a pity party, got up and now we are getting back on. I already feel better.
Here are a few other resources for grocery shopping and eating healthy in general:
I would love to hear your thoughts and tips on how you keep healthy whether you are in a big city or a small town!