For me, this summer, indeed, this year, has been all about soul searching, self improvement, admitting the ugly things about myself and following God’s lead to become a better person all around.
And my pursuit of authenticity means that I want to be painfully honest with you, even at the risk of losing face or followers.
I want to talk to about living a 100% GMO free life.
The truth is, it isn’t easy.
The real truth is, that it’s impossible for me.
Being 100% GMO free would mean never ever eating out again. And while I do believe that as a family, we need more restraint and should eat out less, dining out is a great way to get my kids interacting with the world, including learning appropriate “in public” behavior. I believe our frequent outings have benefitted my kids, especially my daughter with autism, and I encourage all families raising kids with special needs to do as much as they can to get their kids out in public.
That, however, means sacrificing the purity of food because, as much as we’d like to ALWAYS bring the kids’ food with us, sometimes we need a restaurant that will cater to our kids’ special food needs. And finding restaurants that serve organic or grass fed foods is really, really hard and very, very rare.
In addition, it’s exhausting to cook 2-3 times a day, every single day. I know I should get better on this and I keep saying I will (and then don’t), but the fact is I’m doing the best I can right now and all that cooking is not in my current “best.” I’m hoping that during school I’ll have more time to cook – for the kids and my husband and myself, but right now after ensuring the kids eat gluten, dairy, soy, preservative, MSG, dye free, non-GMO foods, I’m just ok with ordering a GMO laden pizza for me and Chris.
And the real, REAL truth is that try as I might to buy strictly organic and non-GMO foods, it’s just not realistic on my budget and with my life and personality.
That’s part of why I rebranded this blog. I’m going to work to mostly bring you GMO free and organic food reviews and giveaways, but every now and then something might slip through that isn’t strictly “clean” in this way. That’s because as moms, we have to do “good, better, best” in our lives sometimes.
And more confessions? I do use completely nontoxic organic skincare but not makeup or nail polish. I want to, I just can’t afford it for something I so rarely use (I wear makeup maybe 2-3 times a month IF I’m not out at events). I believe in moderation, too. I’m good with Physician’s Formula which gets an “ok” or “so so” listing on Environmental Working Group because I rarely use it. If I were to use makeup every single day, like if I had an office job, I wouldn’t use that brand. And hair color is a must-have that is toxic and there are just no good clean solutions. I’ve asked the people who’ve done their research and the only solution is to go grey. I’m not that self-confident yet!
This is my real truth. My life is not perfect. I won’t be perfected until I’m dead and gone and won’t have any influence in this world. If it were totally up to me, I’d eat organic every single meal, every single food item. I really want to VOTE with my dollars and NOT buy crap, so I try not to purchase non-organic in the grocery store – just some produce with thick skins and most packaged foods, like 95%. And that 5% is never for the kids to eat.
That’s why I write this blog. I want you to feed your kids better – whatever that looks like for you! Maybe today the dairy comes out. Maybe today you go with the Clean 15 in produce. Maybe today you get rid of food with dyes. And then, in a few weeks, you take the next steps that you can muster.
You can’t do it all at once. Almost no one can. That’s just not realistic.
As for me, and my blog, I will still champion organic and non-GMO foods because the families that buy from that category as much as they afford to can have made a difference. Keeping the Kellogg’s and the McDonald’s out of our kids’ hands HAS impacted the market as those companies watch their stocks slide down the drain. Small companies like Annie’s and Applegate Farms are growing too fast not to go public and merge with bigger brands, whatever you think of those decisions. Bigger brands are stepping up to remove artificial dyes and GMOs as they worry about their market share.
Some of that is the work of Leah Segedie, who I am VERY proud to write for at Mamavation.com. My exposes on dumping the junk foods and what is a better or BEST choice help moms like you make good, safe choices for their kids, whether or not they are on special diets.
And I have just volunteered to help out at Leah’s conference, ShiftCon, where I will meet some amazing brands because everyone there is GMO free or organic. Does that mean I’ll be entirely GMO free by next year? Well, probably not but HOPEFULLY more so than I am now.
Modern moms have spoken: we don’t want to take it anymore. We want CLEAN FOOD for our families and our children. It’s the only way forward but toxic food and products are everywhere. Getting them out of our lives takes a long time – and that’s ok!
That is the essence of embracing imperfect: accepting where you are right now and making tiny adjustments to get to where you want to be in the long run. That is how you achieve real, lasting growth.
How do you move forward to find healthy ways to nourish your children?
One place (of many) that I do shop, that makes my life easier is Thrive Market. “Costco meets Whole Foods Market” is their MO. I can’t find every brand that I now use there, but there are a LOT of good ones – you can’t beat their price for Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos ANYWHERE. Check out my affiliate link and consider joining!