There is something more personal I would like to share with you. The love of my life, 1LT Jonathan Oliver Roberts, has been deployed to the Middle East since last Fall. He is my biggest supporter and my hero and I am both incredibly grateful for his love and support and proud of his commitment and accomplishments. AND I am elated to announce that he coming home very soon!
Thanks to technology, Jon has been able to follow along with my journey and my progress from across the globe. After hearing me talk endlessly about the dangers hiding in our food system and witnessing the results of my lifestyle change, he is eager to educate himself and begin his own journey to set us both up for the fullest, healthiest life we can have together. This makes me very, VERY happy! This is a man who, when I first met him, nearly needed to be be force-fed vegetables. So, for my research, experience and blabbering to open his eyes and have him want to make such a change is really a testament to the power of spreading awareness!
|One of the Very Generous Care Packages Jon has Received from Supporters|
Though he has endured unbearable heat, training and months away from family and friends and is undoubtedly well-adapted to changing environments, I know this is still not going to be an easy undertaking. Redefining your relationship with food can be one of the more challenging adjustments you make in your life, but it will also be one of the most rewarding. And ultimately, I think that mindset will set anyone, including Jon, on a path toward success! This change will also begin to take place as he is returning to his normal life and reconnecting with friends and family, a major adjustment in itself. He has suffered through months of eating pretty disgusting food - there aren't organic farms for picking fresh produce in the middle of the dessert on an Army base, lets just put it that way. Then you have all of the wonderful and generous care-packages people send over filled with cookies and chips and chewy bars. His body is dying for real FOOD (not to be confused with what I consider REAL food haha). I know he can't wait to get out to wing-night, eat REAL pizza, go out on dinner dates and cook - Jon loves to cook and grill (something I think will benefit him in his journey).
|After a Mini-Tough Mudder Overseas|
Jon & Food
Jon loves all things cheesy- nachos, mozzarella sticks, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, blue cheese, cheeseburgers, cheesesteaks, pizza, cheez-its, cheese on his popcorn, cheese on his vegetables. Some of his other favorites include french fries, crab cakes, tomato soup, chicken wings, chili (with cheese, of course) and Taco Bell. He's in the loop about the importance of grass-fed, pastured meat and dairy products and eliminating processed foods and is totally on board (...I think). He's probably really nervous about possibly having to give up all of his cheesy favorites, but I'm confident we can figure out ways to adapt his new lifestyle to accommodate some of the foods and activities he enjoys.
|Jon Digging In at Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh|
Preparing for Jon's Journey
I've assured Jon that we're a team and as such, I will be there to support him as he navigates his new lifestyle in this very tempting inorganic world. He's asked me a lot of questions about some of his favorite foods and restaurants and if it's possible to make healthier versions or choices. Of course! He has been away for so long, forced to eat crappy food, it's important to me that he feels like he can still enjoy himself. So, I promised him that we would figure out ways to incorporate healthier organic versions of his favorites into his diet. I've already prepared a baked organic mozzarella stick recipe as well as a cinnamon french toast recipe, to test out upon his return. For his fast food cravings, I've located a grass fed burger spot and organic thin crust pizza chain nearby.
We both really enjoy grocery shopping, menu planning and cooking. Sharing these interests will allow us to experiment with new recipes and recreate old favorites together with an organic and even local flair! Taco Night has been a special tradition for us so, I've actually been saving that to experience and recipe-plan with him - I can't wait to see what we come up with and will be sure to share our recipes and tips with all of you!
|Jon Enjoying Authentic Margherita Pizza|
Jon loves to go out for a nice dinner every now and then. He asked me a couple months ago to put together a list for him of restaurants that I support and ones I have read about but haven't been able to visit yet. I thought this was incredibly sweet and thoughtful. He's a real team player, I'll give him that! I used my trusted resources, EatWellGuide.org and LocalHarvest.org, to research and create the list for him and I cannot WAIT for our first farm-to-table date night :). It makes a fun night that much more special to know you're both enjoying fresh, organic fare and supporting your local organic merchants.
We've also decided to do a cleanse together after he has had a few weeks to indulge and settle back into "the real world". It'll be fun to do it together and encourage one another in moments of weakness that inevitably arise during detox. This will be a great way for Jon to eliminate any toxic build-up from his deployment, get rid of sugar, salt and fat cravings, and kick start his new lifestyle.
As for the rest we will figure it out together!
I have a feeling it's going to be an entertaining and story-filled journey and also something many of you can relate to. Whether you have roommates, wives, family members or co-workers who have expressed interest (or who you wish would express interest) in adopting an organic lifestyle or you yourself are just starting to entertain the idea, I think Jon's story will resonate with you. For this reason, I am going to make Jonny Goes Organic a regular series piece on the blog. You can follow along with us and be a part of the questions, cleanses, cravings, recipes, frustrations, successes and more as they're happening! What I'm most eager (and maybe a little nervous about, too) is how our two journeys will react to each other. Will his pizza and nacho cravings throw me off? Will I make him feel pressured to eat like I do? Will he cheat when I'm not around? What sort of benefits will he realize from his lifestyle change? Stay Tuned :)
|Jon Crossing The Finish Line to Earn His Expert Infantryman Badge|
I hope Jon's decision to adopt an organic lifestyle will inspire you or someone you know to make the change as well! Share your own stories and offer advice to Jon in comment section below or over on our Facebook page. Please share this with anyone you know who would enjoy or benefit from following Jon's journey.
Keep it Real & Support the Troops,