A Better Me, A Better Community:

Today, I’m home sick.

At first, I was concerned that after the weekend off, a day on the couch would put me terribly behind. I was hugely relieved to find that my laptop works with remarkable similarity to the desktop in my office (surprise!). So here I am, pajama-clad, and messy-haired. Why? Because somehow this Fruit Share business has worked it’s way deep into my psyche and I can’t stop thinking about it. 

Also, because I’ve decided it’s time to make a change in my life. A promise to do better for myself and follow the advice that I give. There is no doubt in my mind that I am home today because my body is trying to tell me to take better care of it. I don’t want to feel sick because my system is trying to work out the garbage I put in it. So much so, that it decided that it wanted no more to do with all the chemically-sugary-fair that I treated it to over the weekend. 

My body has been trying to tell me for years what it doesn’t like. It doesn’t want all the sugary drinks that I think are refreshing. It hates the heavy, yeasty bread that sits preserved on shelves and on top of my fridge. It really doesn’t want the dirty oils that flash-fry the processed treats that make my mouth water. It does not need full-fat, extra cheese on top of the pizza. I know all of these things, and yet I can’t convince my brain of it. 

I’ve been a vegetarian for going on five years. I made this decision, amazingly, as a New Year’s Resolution in the middle of one of the coldest prairie winters that I remember. At the time I was spending countless hours working out in the gym. Counting calories, grams of protein, fiber, and fat. I had a personal trainer who was sculpting my muscles into that of some kind of She-Hulk. I ran, I cycled, I pumped, I sweat. The change came as an addition to these healthy life-style hobbies, but also as a final push to do something that I had thought about my whole life. My reasons are many and it’s a choice that I’ve stuck to since, despite the sometimes difficult ramifications. (Turning down holiday turkey can come off as kind of cruel to the person who just spent a dozen hours perfecting it). 

It the aftermath of a very difficult period of time in my life, I find myself looking to get back to that lifestyle. My approach has changed a bit. I’m no longer going to train like i’m headed to the Olympics, although I did love feeling that strong. I want to ride my bike in the sunshine and use my muscles digging in the garden and navigating the push-mower. I’m not going to count each calorie, but I’m going to be tough about what actually goes on my plate. I’ve been touting the importance of eating fresh and local, and that’s what I aim to do. On the brink of turning 28, I’m going to start to actually listen to my body. It may know more than I give it credit for.

So, my plan, for whoever is interested in the goals of a late-twenties, vegetarian, local-produce-pusher. I’m moving into the very center of downtown starting July 1st. I will be within walking distance to both the garden I coordinate and the office where I work. I will use my legs and other connected muscles to get there on a daily basis. I will break-up with the foods my body hates and vow to only buy locally produced grains, fruits, and veggies (with addition to locally raised meat for my carnivorous husband). I will eat only food that has been grown and shipped from within Manitoba, Brandon-area when available. I will pay it forward and put what I have to spend back into the community. I will watch my mood, energy, spending, and waistline. Maybe I’ll surprise myself, and the ripples of this decision will spread further in the pond than I think possible. 

Have suggestions? Comments? Want to help cheer me along? (That always feels good!)

Find me at fruitsharebrandon@gmail.com- @bdnfruitshare on Twitter- and www.fruitshare.ca on the World Wide Web.
Also, on the couch for the remainder of the afternoon with a cup of tea and a nice, soft pillow. 

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