five years no wal-mart, one year no meat

Like so many, we have tried way too many times to start eating healthy only to fail miserably time and time again. As individuals, we had very different eating habits. When our lives began to become one, we aimed to put our best foot forward and to understand exactly what it means to be healthy. It’s crazy to say it out loud, but we had to relearn how to eat.

I sort of  let the cat out of the bag back in our harvest post, but now I am ready to really dive in.  Yep, I’m officially a vegetarian (and a vegan wannabe). Before all of the meat disappeared from our fridge, we were already shaking things up.Wally World got the boot five years ago. Target went out the door four months ago (there’s one way to eliminate impulse shopping). One by one the big box stores were falling.

While we were concerned for our own health, the general welfare of our friends, environment, and community has become the backbone of how we eat and spend our money. There is something that just makes us sick about spending  money that should go to support someone like our favorite farmer and instead giving it to some bigwig CEO only focused on profit.

Early in 2009, Ryan and I were playing cards at his apartment and doing what most poor college kids do… watching Netflix because you don’t have cable. We have gone through periods where we are all about the documentaries, and this was definitely one of them. Wal-Mart was in the headlines striking controversy once again, so we decided to throw on Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.  Some things you just can’t unlearn. That night we traded in a few ‘saved dollars’ for quality, community (no matter the size), and customer satisfaction (our own). If you are a frequenter of the facility, I strongly suggest you take 90 minutes to check out this documentary. Grab a deck of cards (and maybe a stress ball) like we did. Honestly, it feels fantastic to free Wally- you know what I mean.


These kinds of topics can be touchy, but asking these questions and digging deeper has become part of who we are and how we live. That is what we are here to share.  Everyone’s needs are different, and we all beat to the tune of our own drum…this is just the jam I dance to.

Fast forward to March 2013. This time, the two of us were kicked back getting our documentary on and boom water works. My heart was breaking for these animals and the lives they live just so I can have something that “tastes good.” We were watching one of the many documentaries that dives into the inner workings of our food system. I, like many others am aware of the abuse in factory farming and still chose to consume meat in just about every single meal, but this time something changed. I immediately sent a text to my dad asking him to leave out any meat in my birthday dinner that was taking place days later.

The more I learned and understood the effects meat and dairy actually have on the body, the easier it became to correct my diet. A lot of folks worry and might assume that a vegetarian has a poor diet and may become malnourished, but not in this house. I am one lucky lady to have a husband who supports and helps me find and cook up new meals that truly nourish the body.

My first picture as a veg head. This was taken about a week after my ‘911 call’ to my dad.

 first annual cabin trip

Not only has Ryan supported my decision, he has also cut meat (aside from a few special occasions) and most dairy from his diet as well. It’s a journey we have taken together, and it feels like another puzzle piece put in place. It just feels right, literally. We have never felt better. In today’s world, with such a shrouded and broken food system, there is much to be said about growing your own food and knowing exactly what’s in it and where it comes from. Just like they say,”every time you eat or drink something, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.”

Knowing your giving your body the best it can have, not only for yourself, but for your family and even future family (winky face) is empowering. This whole thing has become one big snowball effect. We have been on a conscious and subconscious mission to form our lives into what we want our future children to grow up in. Now here we are energy savings addicts trying to recycle, reuse, and farm every square inch we can all the while blogging about it. Not to mention if we can find a way to make a product (deodorant, laundry detergent, toothpaste, etc.), call it a done deal.

I love hearing about others who have made ‘the leap’. John Robbins is one of my favorite advocates.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.

I feel like John Robbins took the words out of my mouth, except for that whole billion dollar franchise thing.

It has been an arduous but enjoyable journey towards our ‘dream life.’ We have made a lot of mistakes (and probably always will), but we love the direction we are headed. We learn new things every single day, something I hope never changes. Living is learning, and when you stop learning, you stop living. We never judge others for their choices only striving to demonstrate that there is a better way out there.

We have a whole slew of reasons why we eat like we do, so if you have any questions let ’em rip.

Any other ‘food awakenings’ out there? Has anyone else stepped out of the comfort zone of big box convenience shopping?

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  • Reply
    Ashley c
    April 2, 2014 at 11:45 am

    How inspiring is this?! I have often wanted to do both (cut out Walmart and meat) and yet I still get sucked in due to convience. Do u have any tips for me? Lol

    • Reply
      this natural dream
      April 2, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      To hear this greatly warms my heart, so happy to inspire. We have helpful guides rolling out soon, but a few immediate tips would be tempeh and tofu are a great swap for meat. When it comes to shopping remember going a little out of your way now will make a lasting impact. Trader Joe’s is our favorite place for organics (when the farmers market is out of season) and healthier quick meals. When we are there we’re able to pick up a few household items as well.


  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I had once worked with an ex-wal-mart employee and she told me how horrible it was to work for the company. Her experience, unfortunately didn’t fully sway me from the store, until I watched that documentary. I have not shopped at wal-mart in almost 2 years now and I actually save money. I continously try to get my family and friends to do the same. So happy to see this blog and know more and more people are beginning to no longer support this horrible corporation!

    • Reply
      this natural dream
      April 2, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this! You are the first person to tell us they no longer shop a Wal-Mart. Feels good to know you’re out there!


  • Reply
    Emily Whitaker
    April 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Wow! I am so inspired to do better and impressed at the lady you have become! Kudos!!!

    • Reply
      this natural dream
      April 2, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Hearing these kinds of comments has made my day! I am elated to hear we have inspired you. Thank you so much for your kind words. (I am cheesing ear to ear over here.)


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