Bountiful Baskets has been an AWESOME experience for us. “Us” being a young family of four – Lauren (me), Jason (the husband), and our two-year-old daughters. I started my “Healthy Eating” journey when my girls started eating solids. I soon realized that if I wanted my girls to eat healthy, I was setting a bad example! I knew what healthy looked like, but my food focus was on saving money by couponing (which often encouraged me to buy unhealthy foods – a box of cookies for 47 cents is still an unhealthy box of cookies!) and only buying produce when it was on sale (which limited the variety – and thus the appeal – of eating fruits and veggies).
So, it was time to change. I heard about Bountiful Baskets through friends at church, and was thrilled to give it a try. At first, I was overwhelmed with so much produce, with plenty of stuff we don’t usually buy, either because one of us didn’t like that fruit/vegetable or because I didn’t know how to prepare it. But, once I started researching healthy eating, I realized that if we wanted to eat right, we should be going through a minimum of one basket a week for our family to meet its nutritional needs.
So, I stepped up to the challenge! For a whole year I challenged us to consume a basket every single week. I don’t like to see anything go to waste, so our fruit and veggie intake skyrocketed. We snacked on fruit during the day. For dinner, I reduced the amount of meat, grain, and cheese in our recipes and instead put in more produce. The easiest dishes we found to incorporate whatever was on hand are stir fries, burritos/fajitas, salad, coconut curry, and spaghetti sauce with added sauteed vegetables. Once we figured out how to use them, the veggies were almost always gone by the end of the week. Any fruits left by the next week were sliced and put in the freezer (smoothies) or dehydrator (great “on the go” snacks for the kiddos).
In September 2010 I weighed 210 pounds. By August 2011 I weighed 155! I have been able to keep the weight off for nearly a year and a half now, because I made a permanent change in my eating habits through Bountiful Baskets. (I did also start working out on the elliptical 4x a week for 30 minutes a day – bribing myself with my favorite TV shows! These two lifestyle changes made a huge difference, and I feel great!) In the last few years my girls have been exposed to all kinds of different produce, prepared in all kinds of different ways! (Believe it or not, one of their favorite dinners is salad – with a generous helping of ranch dressing, of course!)
From March 2011 to May 2012 I decided to run a Bountiful Baskets site in my neighborhood, until I moved away and passed on the site to others. Running the site was a great experience. I made lots of friends, loved getting some fresh air in the morning, and took joy in helping others lead healthier lives with Bountiful Baskets produce! I’m so glad Bountiful Baskets came into my life and has brought about this miraculous change in my family. Thanks BB!