Salad days: A five-day experiment in the world of healthy eating

I’ve never been a healthy eater. That’s actually an understatement. I’ve been known to intake approximately one poutine per week. As I’ve “matured,” I’ve seen the value in healthy eating: people seem to be happier, more intelligent, livelier, more energetic, and generally more well off. I decided to see what all the hype was about. So I went to Organza, an organic food store near Confusion Corner, and dove into an organic experiment.

Day 1
The experiment began tonight after my shopping trip. I searched for healthy, organic recipes and was most successful on the Disney website, confirming my suspicion that I haven’t fully matured into an adult yet. I found a lovely rice casserole recipe that intrigued me—mostly because of the copious amounts of cheese—and ventured to the shop.

I then found out the cost of organic eating. My poor, tired, depressed Visa card took a hard hit tonight. However, my excitement over the prospect of not feeling terminally lethargic, overpowered my over-spending guilt. I ate a wonderful ready-made salad from Organza for dinner, and I’m ready for my first full day tomorrow.

Day 2
I have spent most of the day hungry. I ate oatmeal for breakfast, a vegetable potpie for lunch, and pecked like a bird at pumpkin seeds all afternoon. By the time I got home I was shaking from weakness. I NEED SATURATED FATS! I made a kickass “green greens rice casserole” with a shit ton of cheese, enough said. I topped it off with baked potatoes and fresh multigrain bread. I served this wonderful meal to my parents—I think they worry about me less now that they see I can hold my own in the kitchen­— while my two-year-old nephew enthusiastically ate organic macaroni and cheese.

Another plus: I haven’t felt like vomiting all day, which I usually feel like after I eat an entire bag of jalapeño chips in 10 minutes. Point organic diet. Now, I am going to go munch on leftover kale roots because that’s all I’m allowed to eat.

Day 3
I started today off with the usual oatmeal. Apparently instant organic oatmeal doesn’t fill you up as much as a McDonald’s sausage McMuffin, because I was starving by noon. I then ate rice casserole leftovers for lunch and snacked on more pumpkin seeds and seaweed chips throughout the afternoon. I decided to experiment and fry up the leftover kale and Swiss chard roots  ­– I’ve gathered that it’s hip in the organic crowd to use every bit of the vegetable. The cheap Mennonite in me loves this. The roots, however, left the meat-craving Mennonite in me disappointed. I ended off today with a fried egg on toast with cheese and organic popcorn.

Day 4
More oatmeal. More rice leftovers. Organic eating takes time and effort – time and effort that I don’t always have while working full-time. However, the one large meal I have made did leave me with leftovers for the entire week. My partner cooked up a tasty organic dish tonight: quinoa stir-fry with tofu, kale, broccoli, and asparagus. This meal has improved my organic outlook for the week. It was filling and I feel energized for the rest of my night. The pessimism is slowly evaporating.

Day 5
Well today, dear diary, will be my last organic eating day. Mainly because I have run out of organic groceries and my limited food budget won’t allow me to shop again this week. I had a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs with kale and toast. My grilled cheese for lunch, however, left something to be desired. A grilled cheese just isn’t the same without Kraft singles. I then had an afternoon snack of Greek yogurt, which was awesome, as are all things Greek.

There we have it, thoughts straight from the mind of a junk food deprived woman. All in all, it was an interesting experiment. I walked away from the five days with some revelations about organic eating:
It is expensive – like I mentioned in many of the diary entries, the $90 grocery bill that only lasted me five days is not sustainable for my lifestyle and budget. I have been told, however, that I chose the wrong place to shop. Places such as Safeway and Superstore have a large selection of organic produce at a more economical price.

It is time consuming but worth the effort – the time it took to make the one main meal was significant, however, the meal lasted several days and allowed for already prepared lunches at work.

It does indeed give you more energy – I never felt lethargic or too full after eating an organic meal. I often felt lighter and more energized. This was the most notable change I saw with the experiment.

Cooking is not as difficult as I had made it out to be – as a self-proclaimed kitchen hater, I was anxious about making my meals from scratch, but I learned to enjoy it and realized the benefits of spending time in the kitchen, letting your creative juices flow.

In conclusion, the experiment taught me the benefits of not just organic eating, but healthy eating in general. While I cannot say that I will be a devoted organic eater from now on, I can say that my diet has taken a turn for the better. I can also say that I no longer fear a premature death from an overdose of preservatives and poutine gravy.

1 Comment on "Salad days: A five-day experiment in the world of healthy eating"

  1. There are certainly health benefits in stored for those who eat organic foods.

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