Embracing and Eating More Fruits and Veggies


Eight years ago, I primarily ate a whole food plant-based diet and I felt and looked amazing. People that I didn’t even know would come up to me and tell me that I was beautiful. My skin radiated and no one would have guessed my age. I had lots of energy and vigor and my outlook was positive and upbeat. Then, slowly over years, I would allow processed foods and sugar to enter my diet and those foods became more prevalent as the fruits and veggies took a back seat. Now, I can really feel and see the effects this has had on me- I’ve gained lots of weight, I rarely do any physical activity, I yawn and I don’t sleep as deep and soundly as I once did. I could chalk this up to age, stress and personal circumstances but the fact of the matter is that I haven’t been taken care of myself for quite sometime and I am nutritionally starved (even though my waist circumference has dramatically increased.)
The sad thing is, I should know better. In 2013, I received a certificate in plant-based nutrition from eCornell. I have read the China Study and Eat to Live as well as other books by T. Colin Campbell, Rip Esselstyn and Dr. John McDougall. I’ve watched all of the documentaries, from Food, Inc. to Fork Over Knives and A.U.M. Films What the Health. I know that eating a diet filled with whole foods of fruits, vegetables, beans,  nuts, seeds and whole grains helps me look and feel my best. Yet, over the past several years I have eaten more than my fair share of vegan donuts, white rice, unhealthy fats and sugar… oh, so much sugar. But this is a new year and I have committed to my sense of improving my well-being and the first major change is going back to a whole food plant-based diet.
But I needed help.
Going to the grocery store is tough for me. It is the temptation that lies within the store. Though I absolutely LOVE my veggies and fresh fruit, I am tempted by the chip isle, the cookie isle, the ice cream freezer and the convenience faux meats and cheeses. This little voice in me will say, it’s OK, it’s vegan, go ahead and throw that into your cart. Or, it would say, you had a salad yesterday, it’s OK to have this treat. In moderation, there is little harm with these foods. However, I have never been one who embraces moderation.  My whole cart would be filled with vegan junk food. So, I knew to break the habit of visiting those sections of the grocery store that I would have to change things up a bit, even if it was just temporary.
So, I did something that I thought I would never do since I love to cook. I subscribed to a few meal delivery programs, those that focus on fruits and veggies. I needed to stay out of the grocery store and I needed something to be as convenient as all of those junk vegan foods to get me on track. I needed to do something different. This is why I decided to try these services and I am sure glad I did!
My first delivery of goodies came from Daily Harvest. I ordered Harvest Bowls and a few soups. I would love to say that it was love at first bite but the first meal I had eaten; I was disappointed. It tasted bland to me. I didn’t find it satisfying and I thought it was a waste of money. Little did I realize that this was due to me overeating the past few years and eating unhealthy foods. I had forgotten what real food tasted like that wasn’t covered in fat and sugar. However, I kept eating them because I didn’t want to waste the food or the investment. To my amazement, a few days later, I was craving my new Harvest Bowls and couldn’t wait to enjoy them. The flavors were fresh and bright and most of all, enjoyable! It is amazing how quickly we can adapt when we make the right choices.  Now, I find them to be completely satisfying and delicious. They are also inspiring me to cook again, which is what I did when I received my delivery from Misfit Markets.
So far, I have only received one box from Misfit Markets but I am excited about receiving my next box at the end of this week. Misfit Markets is kind of like a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) except for it is not- since this is a company that ships to your door and takes produce that couldn’t be sold to grocery stores for a variety of reasons- such as that the yellow squash was too long to stock neatly on a produce stand inside of the grocery store or something like that. Everything at Misfits Market is organic and non-GMO. My first delivery contained broccolini, parsnips, red onions and potatoes and I made a very delicious and soul satisfying soup from it. The box also contained pears and apples as well as romaine lettuce and I enjoyed some very tasty salads. Oh, and that very long yellow summer squash was in the box as well!  I love the surprise of unpacking my box since I have no clue what will be inside. For me, it is like Christmas.
After a couple of weeks of eating this way, my cravings for sweets have all but disappeared. I am starting to feel better. I am thinking about creating an exercise routine. I am looking forward to being that woman who gets random compliments on her beauty. I am looking forward to increase energy. I am embracing health. And, I am loving my fruits and veggies again.
I am grateful for these new food delivery programs. I am not sure if this is something I will do permanently but I know for now, they have been a huge help to transform my diet to something that is good for me. Because of these deliveries, I was able to avoid the pitfalls that can happen when a lifestyle change is being made.  I feel confident that I am now on the track of health and well-being. Hail to fruits and veggies! And kudos to the delivery programs I chose.
 - By Theresa Touhey. Theresa is a writer, artist, grandmother, animal lover, nature enthusiast and the owner of Nature Reflections Jewelry. 

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