Let’s Start at the Very Beginning
I grew up as your stereotypical picky eater, loving chicken nuggets and pizza and running away from anything “healthy.” When I left for college I was still picky, and I had no cooking skills. I thought my nutrition professor was crazy for warning us about the dangers of processed food. Since I was skinny, I thought I was healthy. Honestly, I thought that nutrition wasn’t a big deal.
It wasn’t really until my oldest son started solid foods and would only eat 2 or 3 things, that I started to pay more attention to my food choices. While my husband was in graduate school, I taught myself to cook. I got really good at making pizza, whole grain muffins, and pasta. I felt like I was making substantial progress, but in reality, my family’s diet was still based on fat, sugar, and salt. Unfortunately, those ingredients were a recipe for disaster in my second pregnancy.
A Crisis Turns Me Towards Real Food
We moved to a new state right as I became pregnant with my second son. I struggled with depression and I had some health complications in my last trimester. Starting the morning of my 39-week midwife appointment, everything just exploded. I woke up to a nightmare flea infestation, my blood pressure shot through the roof, and I had to vacate my new home. I had planned to use a birth center, but I ended up in a hospital for 32 traumatic hours of labor. Thankfully, I delivered a happy, healthy baby boy. But I was far from being either happy or healthy myself.
For the first time in my life, I didn’t know if I could trust my body. I didn’t know if I was physically capable of caring for myself. What I did know was that things had to change. I decided that it was time to learn what proper nutrition was. I wanted to be off my blood pressure medicine, have energy, and truly nourish my body.
My personal healing began with a ton of prayer and a ton of research. I devoured books like Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, Mark Bittman’s Food Matters, and Frances Moore Lappe’s Hope’s Edge. I watched Food Inc., Forks Over Knives, and a variety of TED talks on national and global health issues. And, I became a fan girl of Lisa Leake’s 100 Days of Real Food blog. In the end, I could never subscribe to a particular “diet,” because I am not interested in being told exactly what and how to eat. Instead, I took Michael Pollan’s food philosophy to heart: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.”
New Hope in Thrive Life Foods
Over the coming months, I squared my shoulders to the task of learning to eat real food. I started a buyer’s club with my local farmers, volunteered at the community garden, and stalked food blogs to improve my cooking skills. But, I was still overwhelmed with the task of feeding my family. I still wasn’t adding all the nutrition I wanted in my diet. And, I didn’t have any extra money to buy better foods.
I was caught in a cycle of overwhelming expectations and limited resources. Even though I was tempted to throw in the towel, I kept searching for better foods to feed my family. I needed something more than the same options I kept finding at the grocery store. So, when I found Thrive Life, I knew it could really change things for me.
Thrive Life foods offered simple ingredient lists, vine-ripened produce, and shelf-stable staples like fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products. I was fascinated by the idea that freeze-dried food could taste good and could save me time and money. Plus, Thrive Life foods opened up an incredible opportunity for me to earn groceries and commission from home, rather than always trying to save enough to live off of my husband’s income alone. I jumped right in, joined as a consultant, and haven’t looked back since.
A Work in Progress
Today, I am confident in how I feed myself and my family. As I write this post, it has been just over a year since I found Thrive Life foods and began using them regularly. It has been a slow, steady process, much like the rest of my health journey. And while Thrive Life foods are not the only part of my personal solution, they have been a major game-changer for me.
With Thrive Life foods in my home, I have gained a renewed confidence in the kitchen. I am able to provide real, consistent meals to my family, and cater to different dietary restrictions and preferences without losing my mind. Although I still have to make some compromises to keep everyone happy, I love having a well-stocked pantry. I have benefited greatly from the free and half-off groceries and the commission checks I’ve earned along the way, and I have gained some incredible friendships and mentors in this company. As for my personal health, my biggest personal victory is that I crave color in my diet on a consistent basis.
My health journey is very personal and very bumpy. I have made a lot of mistakes, but I have also made substantial progress. I want to inspire others who struggle to nourish themselves as they feed their families every. single. day.
I know that real change is possible, and I know that Thrive Life foods can help anyone looking to reduce stress in the kitchen and add nutrition to their diets.
Thanks for reading all the way through, and Happy Thriving!