10 Vacation Things I Could Have Freaked Out About, but Didn’t

IMG_0019Organic Eater and fam (plus in-laws) drove over eight hours to Disney World in Orlando, Florida recently. “Happiest Place On Earth”, unless you’re an organic eater with a type-A personality who can “think about things” a little too much if given opportunity. Oh dear. There were some things I had to LET GO while we were in Orlando, because stress is just as unhealthy as the things I’m going to list below, and I was trying not to stress! I was trying to enjoy my wonderful family and vacation time. A “let it go” mindset was critical to our vacation success, but you have to decide what you can let go of in your own family.  Also, I am VERY aware that all of these issues are first-world problems, minor in the big scheme of life, and I know how good I’ve got it!

10. No recycle system in the home we rented. It pained me to see all that plastic and glass going in a trash can, which would then be going to a land fill. I had to let it go because there was no recycle pickup for this house and I could not search Orlando for a service or a recycling center in between visiting theme parks. I let it go.

9. Bugs. Oh, not at Disney World. That place is completely bug free (no, I’m not going to let my mind question how that magically happens, or I would have to make this an 11 point post). All the bugs from Disney go to the rental houses apparently. We killed more than I wanted to count. I had to let it go because I could not hire an organic exterminator to come to the rental house in between visiting theme parks. I let it go.

8. Water. I had no idea what kind of water rating the city of Orlando has, and I forgot to bring my filter pitcher for use in the kitchen of the rental house. My research indicates bottled water is NO better and probably worse, so that wasn’t an option either. We did at least have Bobble water bottles that have a filter, so when we were at the parks we could use those bottles/filters on the water fountain water. For the at-home and restaurant water, it’s anyone’s guess what I was drinking, but I could not get a Berkey Filter shipped to the rental house in between visiting theme parks. I let it go.

7.  Soft drinks and sugar for the kids. Yep, I let em have some. We never have soft drinks in the house (not normal GMO sodas anyway) and I limit sugar and junk food like a boss around here. I loosen up on vacations and try not to envision the GMO poisoned chemicals and health-robbing obesity-inducing sugar going down their little throats.  Hubs is a grown man, so I do what I can, but there’s only so much a wife can do, and he really is very supportive of our organic lifestyle. To his credit, he never drinks regular soft drinks anymore and has even cut out his sweet tea consumption! That took about 2 years to accomplish, but I think he’s “unsweetened” here to stay. But I digress… for many families, I think this sugar issue can be a special point of contention when around extended family who think some sugar and soft drinks are just fine. It would have caused more stress on my family to fight this rather than for me to give in a little on this one. I let it go. (I limited it, but I still let it go)

6. Lack of Sleep or relaxation time. If you’ve ever been to Disney for (only) one week, with two kids and six Parks to visit, you know this is no vacation for the parents. It’s non-stop theme park excitement, and it’s awesome, but it is not relaxing or restful until you hit the bed every night. It took me about a week after we got home to recuperate from my vacation. I let it go while I was there, and I let it go when we got home and I needed a lot of recovery time (no guilt for lots of post-vacation sleep).

5. Lack of Quiet Time with God each morning. Yeah, that was pretty much out the window for me with our activity level. My spiritual side was lacking by the time I got home. There were many prayers said, but no time in the Word quietly in the morning with my hot tea. Just gonna be flat out honest here. I had to recover from that when I got back too, and thankfully He is full of grace and new mercies every morning!

4. Forgot supplements most mornings. In the craziness of the mornings, trying to get out the door, I forgot to take our supplements, and sometimes that evening too. Oh well, had to let it go. Fortunately, that one is not life threatening for us and it was totally OK to be super slack that week. Got back on track when we returned.

3. No HIIT exercise, only walking. LOTS of walking. My heart rate didn’t get “up there”,   except for that one time I raced my 9 year old from the park to the parking lot. Like I even had a chance. But at least I was moving in some way with all the walking. And walking. I let it go. It’s good to take a break from your exercise routine anyway!

2. No organic food to be found and questionable ingredients used in restaurants (I didn’t ask). I heard (from this Disney specialist) there was a restaurant called “The Wave” at the Contemporary Resort that has local and organic foods, but we didn’t work it into our schedules to get over there, so I don’t know what selections were really available. Wish I had, but when you’re with extended family, you’ve just got to go with the group decisions and be flexible and keep the peace. I’ve said this several times since we’ve returned: ONE week does not a lifestyle make!! I did the best I could to eat real food as much as possible and let all the rest go! Yes, I had to recover after we returned. Yes, I am now doing a vegan cleanse to detox, but I needed to do this cleanse anyway!  We had precious family time and created wonderful memories that my children will never forget.

1. My child and husband got stuck on a roller coaster ride at Magic Kingdom. Now this is the ONE thing I really could have justified freaking out on! They were stuck for close to an hour before they were on the ground with me and I knew they were safe. I could have easily freaked out here, but thankfully this is another benefit to a maturing spiritual life (thank you, Lord!) and healthy #lowcraplifestyle living. He overwhelmed my soul with peace during the incident and my healthy lifestyle keeps my hormones in balance and happy. So, once I saw them safely returned, all was well in the world again:)

We had a spectacular, joy-filled, laughter-filled, beautiful week at Disney, with perfect weather I might add. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. OK, well, I could have, but  I’ve let those go…… and I am extremely thankful for my blessed life! Tell me what YOU have to let go of when you travel! I’d love to know if you share any of my “freak outs”:)

If you want to see our pictures on Instagram, or read my #Disneytips in the comments of those pictures, go HERE (if you’re planning a trip, I highly recommend reading those tips). Those pictures can also be found on my Facebook page, which has an “Instagram Feed”. You can click on that to see our Disney pics and tips (you will have to scroll down on both of these because I have taken a LOT of vegan cleanse pictures since the Disney ones were posted).

Encouraging Health, and Happy Vacations,

Organic Eater

My First “Farm to Fork Dinner” : the Good Life in NC

ImageFriday night I experienced one of the most lovely evenings one could imagine! In Union County, NC there is small but thriving organic farm at the corner of Way-On-Out-There and Are-We-There-Yet. They grow “beyond organic” produce, which means pesticide free (blog post explaining that term is coming soon) produce for Atherton Market and for 7th Street Market on Saturdays. The Ross family hosted their first “Farm to Fork Dinner” at their farm, and it was one of the happiest nights of my foodie life!

It was the ultimate in “eat local” and “eat seasonal”!

Upon arrival, we could feel the peace of country living flowing in and the stress of city-life ebbing away.  We breathed in the fresh air and blooming flowers. We toured the organic vegetable gardens, strolled among the blueberry bushes, marveled at the edible flowers and herbs, and smiled at “the ladies” who greeted us from behind the chicken wire. Dinner was being created by Roots as we toured the farm. Then we gathered, about 30 of us, to hear from Baucom’s Best about the exceptional quality of the pastured chicken we were going to enjoy at dinner (did we ever!). The food was blessed, and we were grateful to sit down to what we knew would be an amazing meal (Roots has an exceptional reputation here in the Carolinas!) I was so excited, my real-food-foodie-heart was about to burst! And then the serving dishes were placed on the pristine white tablecloths for us to eat “family style” and we dug in. Perfection pictured below:IMG_0133


Local greens, flowers, and beets, with parmesan "crackers"

Local greens, flowers, and beets, with parmesan “crackers”

Pasta with herbs and vegetables from the garden

Pasta with herbs and vegetables from the garden


Main Course: local pastured chicken

Dessert: Strawberry Milkshake and Biscotti

Dessert: Strawberry Milkshake and Biscotti


Almost everything on the menu was from the Ross’ farm, Bell’s Best Berries, but any additional ingredients were definitely local. Chicken came from Baucom’s Best, another local union county farm.



The beauty of the farm is indescribable. Not enough adjectives to properly put into words.

This “Bells Best Berries” Farm also happens to be where I spend my Fridays, helping the Ross family prepare for Saturday’s Markets and CSA members (Community Supported Agriculture). Can you imagine a more lovely place to “work”?! It’s a beautiful commute, and the benefits are innumerable. If you have any questions about their CSA membership or buying produce from the markets, you can contact them on their Bells Best Berries Facebook page. I will include more pictures from the dinner below, if you care to look. I hope you too will find your own local sources of organic or pesticide free produce and be able to participate in a Farm to Fork dinner in your area. Let me know if you do!

A big thank you to the Ross family of Bells Best Berries farm, Roots catering and Baucom’s Best farm! Let’s go ahead and get another one on the calendar!

Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater

IMG_0108IMG_0109IMG_0110IMG_0111IMG_0129 IMG_0130IMG_0139 IMG_0143 IMG_0147all photos taken with my iPhone. Thank you for being awesome, Apple.