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Empowering Your Plate: Discovering the Beauty of Seasonal CSA Offerings

June 27, 2024

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Empowering Your Plate: Discovering the Beauty of Seasonal CSA Offerings

What if I told you that it IS possible to do less and have more?

A few years ago I would have called my bluff, but it turns out that adopting and applying these 4 simple mindset shifts has helped me to do just that – do LESS and be MORE productive, have BETTER results in my health, my business, and my relationships. Let’s dive in.

When our first son was born, this was a tough one for me to swallow. Like whyyyyyyy could I not continue to do all the things? I’m reminded of this space now as we continue to transition and navigate all the things added to the plate in 2020.

Whether it is a season with young children, aging parents, a move or a job transition, or a global pandemic, each season brings new experiences, teaches new lessons, and as quickly as a new one begins, another ends. When we recognize that our life comes in seasons, this allows space for us to just be present in the season that we’re in, to honor them. Where can you ask for help?

It may be asking your partner for more consistent help with the dishes, with laundry, or getting the kids to bed. Maybe asking a neighbor or family member to help with child, pet, or lawn care each week to create a little more time for yourself. Or even hiring someone to clean your home once a month, to cut your grass, or to plan your meals. You are one person and IT IS OKAY TO BE SUPPORTED.

Have you considered that by saying YES to everything you are saying NO to something else? Saying yes to planning the Halloween party at school means saying no to your yoga class. Saying yes to the volunteer opportunity means saying no to meal prepping. Saying yes to the night out means saying no to crawling into bed early with your book. Catch my drift?

What I’ve learned is that politely declining not only allows time to focus on self-care in this season of my life, but decreases my stress tenfold. It opens up more time to just be present with my family, take time to stay in my PJs all day and cook veggies on the couch and watch cartoons with my kids, share a few drinks with my hubs, or just BE. Not being available for all the things all the time isn’t a sign that you are weak – it is a sign that you are human.

The idea that there is a mold that we should all fit into not only puts the pressure on, but increases stress tenfold. I mean, who defines this stuff anyway? Instagram? Listen, fancy filters may tell a fairy tale, but YOUR fairy tale is YOURS. Allow yourself space to break the mold of the way that your life should be and create what you WANT it to be.

Which of these shifts feels easiest for you to begin to layer in? Comment below and let me know. Let’s stay connected – contact me anytime here.

I spent my entire life judging, comparing my body to others, obsessing about food and exercise, and never feeling like my body was good enough.

I was constantly thinking about what I did or didn’t eat, what I was allowed and not allowed to have. My pant size was never small enough. I was never happy with the scale, and I was constantly checking my reflection to make sure clothes weren’t pinching to make me look bigger than I already was. GAH, I am exhausted just thinking about it!

It took peering back at the reflection of my body after 2 back-to-back pregnancy losses between Ziggy & Tripp for me to realize that in order to truly heal and move forward, I had to learn to embrace, love, and celebrate my body NOW in this moment. Because if I was honest in reflecting, attaining that size 4 wasn’t going to heal shiz.

So I stopped trying to be superwoman and allowed myself to be supported. I gave myself grace, I opened up space to FEEL, and I began to slowly talk to myself like someone I love. And to gain some awareness around the beliefs that I was not worthy, not good enough, not thin enough, or not deserving enough.

Do I have it all figured out? Nope. That negative shit still creeps in and I am still learning, still listening to my body every day. Self-love is a tricky thing. It requires some deep inner work, the right support, the right questions, the right care, and the right reflections. Especially after years of defining yourself by a number and defining a big part of your self-worth around your physical body.

It feels SO FREAKING EMPOWERING to truly embody MY body and all that it can do. It is a miracle to have a body. So as I proudly wear this swimsuit, I remind you to say f*ck the numbers. Let’s be done feeling like our bodies are inadequate and are letting us down, and let’s lift each other UP. You are not a body – YOU HAVE A BODY. Sending massive love, xo sarah.

PS – To celebrate a new month, we are offering half off your first month of The Veg Out Project Meal Plan Series. Tap here to learn more about what’s inside and use code SEPTEMBER.

It dawned on me this week that I don’t share this enough.

Everything we offer inside The Veg Out Project is a qualifying medical expense. That means it’s a qualifying expense with benefits including HSA, FSA, and most Employee Wellness Reimbursement Programs. So amazing, right?

If you’re like but howwww – every day there is mounting research and evidence proving incorporating more plant foods into your diet drastically improves your health. Up to 40 percent of annual deaths from each of five leading US causes are preventable with diet and lifestyle. Yes, FORTY PERCENT (CDC).

While Heath Insurance companies aren’t quite there in terms of valuing nutrition and lifestyle as key in preventative healthcare measures, this is a huge step in the right direction. Over the last several years, I have worked with people who have watched their high cholesterol, sugars, blood pressure, and excess weight drop. I’ve cried tears of joy with people who are no longer living with joint pain. I’ve cheered people on as their energy and stamina increased through daily intentional walks, long hikes, running with their children & grandchildren, and even completing their first 5k. And all they did was start eating more plant foods.

Let’s stop feeling crap-tastic. Commit to having more energy, feeling more regular, and incorporating some easy & delicious recipes into that beautiful body of yours. Our meal plans & recipe portal can help you to do just that. We are so grateful to share these resources with you.

PS – we’ve been getting so much thanks and feedback about how quickly our recipes come together — see a few open shares below. So thought we would share one of our summer favorites — Arugula with Tomato & Olives. Grab the recipe here. Let’s stay connected – contact me anytime here.

We live in a time where seasonality isn’t really a thing.

Produce and goods are shipped around the globe, and we can find strawberries & summer squash in the grocery in the middle of winter, pears and winter squash in the middle of summer. While it IS really easy to get what we want when we want it, have you ever thought about the price tag that comes along with it? Not just our wallet, but to the environment, our local economy, and our health.

I’m the first to admit I’m not perfect at shopping and buying seasonally, but little shifts make a big impact. Our eating and shopping habits are not just important for our health, but for our local economies, the environment, and the future of our food system. We cast a vote each and every time we buy – how and where we choose to spend our money is really important, and every dollar we spend creates a much greater impact than we realize.

Ready to simplify the perks of shopping/eating locally? Because locally grown food has a shorter travel from the time it’s harvested to your plate, it’s better for the environment. When eating in season, there is typically an abundance, so you save the moo-lah – it’s supply & demand, yo. Foods eaten in season are more flavorful and packed with more nutrients. Have you ever eaten a spring strawberry that literally takes like a skittle? Yesssss.

Because eating seasonally usually means you’re eating closer to home, produce spends a shorter time in transport, which means fewer gas emissions – better for our mother earth. Nearly half (45%) of money spent within local markets will remain there, compared with a meager 13% of money spent in chain retailers. It becomes evident that even the most modest change in spending habits can produce considerable economic impact.

Eating seasonally can be hard off-season, especially in these cold winter months. It takes a little bit of creativity, flexibility, and a willingness to try new things. Not sure where or how to start? Try shopping your local farmers market. It is an amazing way to shop seasonally by default. Check out localharvest.org to find markets in your area just by typing in your zip code.

If you are looking for seasonal cooking inspiration, The Veg Out Recipe Series takes the guesswork out by featuring seasonal recipes. All you have to do is login and print about the weekly grocery list. What other ways do you make eating seasonally easy? Connect with me seriously any time HERE.

How often does someone check in to see how things are, ummm, moving?

Yes, for real. As someone who struggled with constipation for most of my adult life, this struggle can be REALLLLL and really painful. It wasn’t that long ago that I cleaned out our medicine cabinet. I reorganized and threw away the norm–expired cold medicine, stray bandaids, the bottle of lotion with one squeeze left in it, Miralax, stool softeners, Beano, Benefiber, Metamucil – among what was pulled out of that cabinet, the pool of over the counter supplements, meds, and aids for (or lack thereof) the struggle was real for a long time, yo.

There was a span of a few years where I was terrified to eat anything because it seemed anything I ate caused me to blow up like a balloon – literally my belly like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man. And don’t get me started on the frequent gas. It was embarrassing, it was hard to talk about, and it felt shitty (pun intended).

And for the longest time I was putting a bandaid on the problems. I know what it’s like to walk into a drug store, willing to drop any amount of $, for any sense of relief or hope for regularity. It took a reallyyyy long time for me to realize that I would never solve the problem without getting to the root of the issue. That started with the foods I was eating and learning what works best for my unique body.

Want to know the magic formula? While it’s not exactly the same for everyone, it generally encompasses 3 things: FIBER, WATER (from plant foods), and GLUTEN FREE sources of carbohydrates. That’s it! You’ve got to try out this awesome plant-filled gluten-free recipe for Tabbouleh – it’s a favorite around here. If you are interested in learning how to identify the foods best for your unique body, our 14 Day Cleanse with support is an amazing tool to help you figure it out.

Let’s connect – contact me HERE anytime.

You can have fun this summer without feeling deprived, forrealyo.

Here are some tips to help you get through:

CHOOSE WATER FIRST – Going for seconds? No probs. Gulp down 12-20 ounces first. Want the sugar cookie? Sure thing. Gulp 12-20 ounces of water FIRST. Want a margarita? Perfect. Gulp 12-20 ounces of water (not tequila) first.

BRING along a healthy option to share. This is a kind gesture while also guaranteeing a healthy option at your celebration or small gathering. The Veg Out Meal Plan Series offers a wide variety of amazing, easy, healthy dishes.

EAT MORE PLANTS – Envision dividing your plate in half and loading up HALF of that plate with fresh fruits & veggies. The Veg Out Meal Plans are another super easy way to do this.

STAY active. Warmer weather is even more reason to move your body with intention. Get a walk under your belt, a short hike, or run around and play an active game with the kids. You will feel so much better by keeping your body moving.

Most importantly, ENJOY yourself. You are NOT dieting. You are choosing high energy, NOURISHING foods. And chances are you will inspire someone.

And here’s our favorite homemade hummus recipe, perfect for sharing. We’re sharing an awesome promo over here as we kick off summer too. Let’s stay connected – contact me anytime HERE.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • parchment paper
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/4 c tahini
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 c prepared pesto
  • 1 box brown rice crackers
  • 1 bag baby carrots

Preheat oven to 425. Roast tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 12 minutes. While the tomatoes roast, prepare hummus by combining beans, tahini, garlic, & salt in a food processor or blender. Spoon pesto over prepared hummus. Top with roasted tomatoes. Dig in with carrots & brown rice crackers for a perfectly balanced lunch or share with friends. Serves 4 as a main, more as a side.

PS – Happy summertime! To celebrate summer, we’re offering 5% off the Veg Out Meal Plan Series. This week brings lots of EASY healthy meals, perfect to share at your next picnic or small outdoor gathering. Use code WINNING at checkout for 5% off access to this meal plan, grocery list, and all of the amazing resources inside the membership hub. This offer is through Monday 7/6 only. Let’s stay connected – contact me any time here.

What You’ll Need:

For the dressing:
– 3/4 – 1 c olive oil
– 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
– 2 Tbsp local honey
– 1 shallot
– 1/2 tsp sea or Himalayan salt
– 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

For the salad:
– 1 large head lettuce OR 1 5-7oz bag salad greens, any variety, chopped
– 4 carrots, diced
– 4 stalks celery, diced
– 2 c frozen shelled edamame, thawed
– 1 broccoli, crown finely chopped
– 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
– 6oz bleu cheese
– Fresh ground black pepper

Combine salad dressing ingredients in a small food processor or blender. Puree until creamy. Prepare salad ingredients and toss together. Divide equally into 4 separate containers for easy grab and go throughout the week OR combine all ingredients in large bowl to share. Toss with dressing just before serving. Serves 4.

Want more recipes like this? Check out The Veg Out Meal Plan Series.

These flowers got me like 😍

I’ve been working on establishing these perennial gardens since we moved into our house 9 years ago. It’s taken a lot of trial, error, lots of love, support from seasoned gardeners, patience, and consistency.

People come to me often looking for a quick fix, a magic pill. The magic pill? It’s a little trial and error, support from others, patience, consistency, and most importantly, loving yourself along the way.

If you’re ready to take your magic pill, be in touch HERE. Lessons from Mother Nature, fueled mostly by plants. PS – you have to try this chop salad recipe. It is so easy and delish. Let’s stay connected – Contact me any time HERE.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 c gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1 onion
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • Desired fixings: pickles, spinach, lettuce, sprouts, salsa, tomato, onion, mustard, avocado, cheese, a bun or wrap – whatever your heart desires!

Our favorite combo:

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Thornapple CSA: A community-driven initiative championing sustainable agriculture. We connect members with fresh, organic produce, celebrating the bond between land and community.

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