By: Hannah Tate
Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease which came with a handful of gut health issues, including a gluten allergy. I was an athlete all my life and had previously never thought twice about the food I ate. That diagnosis made me shift my focus to look at the ingredients in my food, where it was coming from, and its quality. I realized that your health begins with food, and that mindset shapes the way I cook and eat every day.
Cooking has never been a chore for me; it's always come naturally and is really fun. If I could spend all day, every day cooking, I would. Unfortunately, I have a full-time job that prevents this. So, cooking happens on the weekend or weeknights, which means finding dishes that are quick, delicious, and most importantly, full of whole foods that keep me healthy.
This week, I’m making ground turkey tacos, roasted salmon kale salad, and tortellini in pesto sauce. I currently cook for my two roommates in addition to myself — lucky them — so I either make more meals or larger quantities of everything for the three of us to use for lunches and dinner.
I’ve found it's incredibly easy to find high-quality food that tastes great if you know which ingredients to utilize. It's why I started my Instagram account; I knew if someone could see a real person making healthy, delicious food then they would be inspired to do it, too. Plus, everyone kept asking me how to cook things, and posting it on Instagram is more fun than responding to texts.
I currently get fresh produce delivered by Imperfect Produce, a company that rescues produce unfit for grocery stores to prevent waste. Each week I get to customize what comes in my box, there are even organic options, and it is much cheaper than buying produce in grocery stores. I’ll use what's available in my Imperfect Produce box to decide what meals I want to make for the next week.
I usually do my other grocery shopping at either Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, depending on what ingredients I need. When I’m shopping to buy products I use the acronym SOIL - where is something sourced from, should I be buying it organic, what are the ingredients, and are there any red flags on the label? It's an easy way to make sure what you’re purchasing is high quality and made up of whole food ingredients.
This week I was able to get everything from my Imperfect Produce box and Whole Foods. Each week groceries come out to be between $20-$40 each for my roommates and me. Eating healthy foods doesn't have to be extremely expensive!