13 Items That Will Help You Reduce Waste

Waste (trash, plastic, litter, etc.) is a huge problem for humans and our planet. Not only is it ugly, it’s harmful to the planet and all the life it supports. Each and every one of us, yes that includes you and me, is a part of the problem. We can all do better. We can all reduce our impact on the planet. I’m not going to write a whole big to-do on how bad people are and how we are destroying everything – that’s not productive. Instead, I’d like to share some examples on how to make big little changes in your life that will help you reduce YOUR impact on waste. My advice to you is not brilliant rocket science, it’s as simple as reduce, reuse, recycle. I challenge you to reduce your waste by choosing reusable products over single-use.

Say bye-bye to single-use items and hello to REUSABLE items.

Single-use items are super convenient; they’re there when you need them and you can toss them when you’re finished with them. Some common single-use items include plastic water bottles, plastic grocery bags, ziplock bags, paper plates, make-up wipes, tin-foil, saran wrap, grease spray bottles for baking (such as PAM), coffee cups, straws, paper towels, and cleaning wipes. The list goes on, but you get the point. Now, how many of these items are items that you use? How often do you use them?

What if I told you that there is a reusable alternative to every single item I mentioned above? Would you use them? Imagine how lighter your trash bin would be each week if swapped out these single-use items for reusable items. Image how much fatter your wallet would be, given that you don’t have to keep buying the same products over and over again.

Making changes in your daily routine is hard. Take a look at the list below and see which items are manageable for you currently. Try to implement them into your lifestyle, and once those changes become a normal part of life add some more reusable items to the mix.

Swap your…

1. Plastic water bottles for reusable bottles.

Single-use water bottles are incredibly popular (and wasteful). Reusable water bottles are a great alternative. Here is my favorite water bottle: The Hydro Flask.

I’ve carried a Hydro Flask with me since college and I have never stopped loving it. This bottle keeps your water ice-cold for hours and hours. Seriously. My Hydro Flask has kept ice-cubes solid for over 24 hours. The great thing about this brand is that they offer so many sizes, colors, and lids. I’ve always carried the 32oz with the sippy cup lid (pictured above), but the options are pretty endless.

2. Swap disposable coffee cups for reusable thermoses.

Disposable coffee cups fall into the same realm as plastic water bottles. We use and toss a lot of them. I have two favorite brands for hot drinks: Hydro Flask and Yetti. Both of these brands keep your drink HOT for quite a while. I can’t say the same for most other brands.

3. Swap plastic straws for stainless steel (or bamboo) straws.

You’ve probably already seen the video online of the sea turtle with a straw in it’s nasal cavity. That probably sucked for the turtle. Use a reusable straw instead and save a few more turtles. The package pictured below comes with a carrying bag, multiple straws of various shapes and sizes, and two cleaning sticks.

4. Swap your Keurig, Nespresso, or coffee filters for a french press.

Coffee is essential to most adults. It’s delicious and it gives us the boost we need to get through the day. But, it also causes us to waste a lot. You know, like straws, and cups, and coffee filters, and Keurig/Nespresso pods. I’ve shown you reusable alternatives to the straw and cup issue, so now here’s an alternative to the pod issue: the french press. French pressed coffee does not require any filters or pods. All you need is coffee grounds and hot water, the simple machine does the rest. The best part is: french pressed coffee is rumored to taste better than your average cup of joe, you look super fancy, and they’re dirt cheap.

5. Swap Ziplock bags for silicone bags.

Plastic baggies are endlessly handy. They’re great for boxed lunches, sandwiches, snacks, etc. Think about how often you use them and then throw them away. There are now great alternatives to single-use ziplocks. Silicon bags do the same job and are REUSABLE. The bags listed below are called Stasher bags, and come in a variety of sizes and colors. Click the image to browse your options on Amazon.

6. Swap tin-foil or parchment paper for silicon sheets.

The beauty of baking on a pan lined with tin-foil or parchment paper is that clean up is a breeze! Just crumple up the lining after baking and toss it in the trash. Easy! No scrubbing the pan for 20 minutes for you. Silicon baking sheets also offer easy clean up, but hold the waste. Simply wash them off after baking and let them dry. Your cookies, chicken, etc. won’t stick!

7. Swap saran wrap for Bee’s Wrap.

Saran wrap is convenient, but it’s also clingy, annoying, and wasteful. Bee’s Wrap is a naturally sticky alternative that can be reused again and again, and save you some frustration along the way.

8. Swap PAM for MISTO

Spray cans of cooking or baking grease are great if you’re making a cake or trying to control how much oil you use. But have you ever thought about how many of these cans you have used? Each time the can runs out of grease, you have to toss it and buy a new one. MISTO is a reusable spray can for cooking oils. Each time you run out of oil, all you have to do is pour more in. I like to buy large jugs of oil to keep in the pantry so that I always have plenty of oil on hand. It saves plastic, and my time.

9. Swap paper towels for reusable cloth towels.

Paper towels and napkins are a staple in many house holds, but they’re also trash. There are so many reusable options now online, especially on Etsy. The option I am sharing here is for heavy duty, reusable bamboo towels. These bad boys are machine washable, and one roll will last you 6 months!

10. Swap disposable cleaning wipes for reusable.

My friends at Shady Creek Farms make awesome reusable washcloths and swiffer pads! All you have to do is wash them when they become soiled. The swiffer pads just slip right on, and they are so durable. You can order them in what ever color you’d like, too. Check out their Etsy shop and use the code WHOLEHEART20 to get a 20% discount!

11. Swap shampoo and conditioner bottles for bars.

Shampoo and conditioner bars are becoming more and more popular, and I’m loving it. We go through a lot of shampoo and conditioner bottles year after year, and I’m so excited to now be able to ditch the plastic bottles and remain hygienic. You can shop bars online, or head on over to your local Lush Cosmetics store. Each bar lasts about 6 months, and if you purchase them from a store such as Lush, you can reuse the metal storage tin.

12. Swap bottles of body wash for soap bars.

In addition to reusable cleaning pads, my friends at Shady Creek Farms also make great bars of soap and soap savers! Bars of soap are the plastic-free alternative to bottled body wash. Their Cambiran Blue Soap bar is my favorite, and the knit soap savers double as a loofa. 🙂 Check out their Etsy shop to search a variety of soap options and use the code WHOLEHEART20 to get a 20% discount!

13. Swap disposable make-up wipes for knit facial rounds.

Shady Creek Farms knits facial rounds that are great for removing make-up from your face, and instead of throwing them away when you’re finished, all you have to do is toss them in the wash! Check out their Etsy shop and use the code WHOLEHEART20 to get a 20% discount!

This short list offers just a few of many ways we can reduce waste in our lives. What other ways do you reduce waste at home? Let me know if the comments below!

13 items

FULLBELLYWHOLEHEART

**I am an Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! ❤

I Quit My Job For An Adventure Of A Lifetime

Everybody dreams of quitting their job and traveling the world. There is something so magical about the idea of roaming around new places, exploring natural wonders, being… free. Well, I’m excited to say that this is a dream that is going to be a reality for me! My boyfriend and I will be traveling across the U.S. in an RV for nearly 6 months before relocating from Maryland to California. I recently put my notice in at work, and I could not be more excited/pumped/happy/anxious/terrified. That’s a normal combination for something like this, right?

So here’s the story: My boyfriend has recently left the Air Force after 7 years of service and has started a business with his father: Rugged Bison. Rugged Bison is a men’s grooming and style brand that offers handcrafted grooming products and thrift clothing. While on the road, we plan to vend at craft fairs and festivals to promote his business. We plan to participate in several festivals in Maryland this spring, and then begin our road trip in June. Once we finally arrive in sunny California, we’ll settle somewhere outside of San Francisco. My boyfriend will begin a masters program, and I’ll… well I don’t really know yet. I’ll figure out my next career move when I get to California. Leaving my full-time, benefit providing job (that I actually like) to pretty much be unemployed for 6 months is a little daunting, but I’m willing to take the risk.

Rv

The picture above is of my boyfriend and I, and our new house. Our new house is a 2006 Sunny Brook 5th wheel toy-hauler (RV). It has everything we need: a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dinette, a couch, and even a garage! It’s surprisingly roomy and is just enough space for the two of us, our two dogs, and all of my boyfriend’s business supplies. We are currently in the process of renovating the inside, so stay tuned for a before-and-after blog post!

Actually, stay tuned for many blog posts! I intend to continue blogging while on the road. I’m staying with the theme of healthy recipes, but will also dive deeper into the “whole heart” section of my blog. I’ll be sharing posts about reducing waste, whether it be food or single-use items, as well as posts about the different adventures we come across along the road.

With that said, I’d love to hear your suggestions on what to do and where to go along our route! I’ve listed the states and towns on our route below along with a rough map, please leave any and all suggestions in the comments section! I’m especially eager to see your suggestions on: places to hike, great campsites, and great but unknown towns.

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 10.28.29 PM.png

Our route:

  • Quechee, Vermont
  • New York, New York
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Vadnais Heights, Minnesota
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Florence, Colorado
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Springville, Alabama
  • Austin, TX
  • New Mexico
  • Utah
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Portland, Oregon

 

Reduce Food Waste and Hunger with Hungry Harvest

Have you ever noticed that grocery stores are always stocked with perfectly shaped, perfectly colored produce? Have you ever wondered how farmers manage to consistently grow produce that is uniform in size, shape and color? It’s not science, and it’s not magic. The truth is that farmers do not consistently grow produce that is perfect. Their produce is just like the produce we harvest from our backyard gardens or local pick-your-own farms; some of it is perfect, while the rest is oddly sized, misshapen, or non-uniform in color.

What do you think happens to the mass amount of food that doesn’t fit the grocery store’s mold of perfection? It’s still perfectly edible food, right? Right! But unfortunately that perfectly edible food usually ends up getting tossed. That doesn’t seem like the most logical plan since there are millions of people living in our country who don’t have access to fresh food. So why are we as a society consistently throwing away perfectly edible food when there are so many people who need it?

Food waste and hunger are two issues that are not easily solved. However, when people come together to solve an issue, progress and change can happen. That’s what Hungry Harvest is doing. Hungry Harvest is an amazing non-profit that sources unwanted food from farmers, wholesalers, and grocery stores and delivers it to your door through a weekly subscription service.

“We believe that no food should go to waste and no person should go hungry. That’s why we source 🍐, hand pack and securely deliver delicious boxes of rescued produce on a weekly and bi-weekly basis. For every delivery, we empower a family in need by providing access to affordable fruits & veggies through our Produce in a SNAP program and through donations to local community organizations.”– Hungry Harvest

As of September 2017, Hungry Harvest has recovered 4 million pounds of produce, and has donated 500,000 pounds of produce to local communities and reduced-cost markets.

Hungry Harvest refers to each of their subscribers as a “hero,” and the nickname could not be more accurate. Every single week, each Hungry Harvest hero helps Hungry Harvest rescue over 100,000 pounds of food.  With every box, each subscriber is making a huge difference on a weekly basis:

Hungry Harvest

I have been a Hungry Harvest hero for over two years now, which means I have received over 100 boxes of recovered produce. Let’s do some math.

In two years, I have saved more than:

1,000 pounds of food

1,500 gallons of water

400 pounds of greenhouse emissions

That’s a pretty big deal. Thanks to Hungry Harvest, I, as one single individual leading a normal life, have been able to save more than 1,000 pounds of food from going to the landfill just by ordering groceries online. It’s so simple, and you’d be amazed at how beautiful and delicious “ugly” food can be. Hungry Harvest isn’t only saving fruits and veggies from the trash. They’re also rescuing eggs, cheese, yogurt, bread, oatmeal, salad dressings, pesto, and even packaged snacks like chocolate covered raisins.

It’s absolutely insane what our society views as waste. So why not join in with the solution to food waste and hunger? By coming together, WE can make a giant difference. Take a look at the images below to see what a difference we can make in just 1 year if each current subscriber encouraged a friend to join:

I want as many people to join Hungry Harvest as possible, so to sweeten the pot, I have a discount code to share with all of you. Visit their website to learn more, and use the code HERO5 at checkout to receive $5 off your first order.

If you need some more convincing about why Hungry Harvest is awesome, check out some of my other posts:

**I am a Hungry Harvest and Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! ❤

 

Waste Less and Give More this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving began long ago as a day of giving thanks for the bounty of summer’s harvest. Today, it’s a holiday that’s dedicated to being grateful for several aspects of our lives: family, friends, shelter, clothes, and of course, food. On Thanksgiving, many of us are lucky enough to be able to gather in a warm cozy home to share a delicious feast with our friends and family.

Yet while we have many things to be thankful for, Thanksgiving is named “Thanksgiving” for a reason. In addition to being thankful for what we have, Thanksgiving is also a time to give to those who are in need of the very same things we are so thankful to have.

The funny thing is, though, the items that we are so thankful for are the same items that are often wasted. Food is frequently thrown away before it reaches the grocery store, and clothes are tossed in the trash bin instead of donated. When we live in a world that offers such bounty, there shouldn’t be so many people needing and wanting for items that so commonly go to waste.

This Thanksgiving, challenge yourself to waste less and give more by following the steps below.

1.  Reduce food waste by becoming a Hungry Harvest Hero.

  • By becoming a Hungry Harvest Hero, you are wasting less and giving more all at the same time! Hungry Harvest is an amazing non-profit that sources surplus, discolored or oddly shaped food from farmers and grocery stores and delivers it to your door.
  • For every delivery, a family in need is provided access to affordable fruits & veggies through the Produce in a SNAP program and through donations to local community organizations.
  • To date, Hungry Harvest has delivered more than 3,000,000 pounds of recovered produce, provided access to 50,000 pounds of reduced-cost produce, and donated over 500,000 pounds of produce to partner organizations. To learn more about Hungry Harvest, click here

2.  Brush the dust off your closet and pantry and gather items for donation.

  • By the time Thanksgiving rolls around each year, there’s bound to be items in your pantry and closet that just aren’t being used. Instead of letting your canned or bagged goods expire and tossing your old clothes out with the weekly trash, donate them to a local food drive or shelter.

3.  Reinvent your turkey-day leftovers!

  • Leftovers can become boring and repetitive, and in turn go to waste.  Instead of donating your leftover feast to the trash can, transform them into delicious and fun meals. Some ideas and recipes are included below.
  • Save your turkey bones, onion skins and more to make bone broth! Broth is great for soups, and freezes well for later. Check out this recipe by The Starving Chef for inspiration.
  • Grilled cheese, anyone? Leftover turkey and cranberries belong on leftover bread with brie cheese.
  • Want a lighter take on leftovers? The Gluten Free Homestead has a great salad recipe for leftover turkey, potatoes and kale.
  • Don’t toss your pumpkin decorations! They deserve to be bread. Shifting Roots has an awesome and simple recipe for pumpkin bread that can be made in a mixer.
  • Tired of turkey? Make freezer burritos to save some for later! You could make a breakfast burrito with turkey, leftover mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs, or use leftover turkey with some cheddar cheese and black beans for a lunch burrito. Just wrap the burrito in tinfoil and pop it in the freezer. To reheat, remove the tinfoil, wrap in a damp paper towel, and microwave for 3 minutes.

 

Are you up for the challenge to waste less and give more this Thanksgiving? Leave a comment below to share how you are reducing your impact this holiday season. Happy Holidays!

 

**I am a Hungry Harvest and Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! ❤

Maximize Your Harvest With Your Freezer

Hungry Harvest

Mini Harvest + 1 sweet potato and 1 block of cheese

If you have read other posts on my blog or social media platforms, you’re probably already aware that I’m a bit obsessed with Hungry Harvest*. Chances are that you will be (or are), too.

When chatting with friends about Hungry Harvest, whether they have subscribed to HH or not, people usually say that they love the idea of HH and support their mission. However, that awesome statement usually has a big fat BUT on the end of it. They usually say something along the lines of: I love Hungry Harvest, BUT…

  • “I don’t have enough time to cook all of it up during the week. I feel like I’m still wasting food.”
  • “I’m too busy to cook a creative dinner every night and am tired of roasting veggies.”
  • “I don’t have the patience, time or creativity to meal prep every week.”

Okay, I get it. Not everyone is as pumped about cooking as I am. But lucky for you, there is something in your house that will make your Hungry Harvest life SO much easier… your freezer! There are so many ways you can use the freezer to  your advantage when using Hungry Harvest. Sure, you still have to cook SOMETIMES, but if you take the time every now and then to make some meals, sauces, etc. for your freezer, your future self will thank you.

Not only does the freezer save you time during the week month, it’s a great way to use up those extra HH veggies. You know which veggies I’m talking about, those veggies that you forgot about for a week and a half and are now looking a little sad.

*Use the link above with the code HERO5 to get $5 OFF your first HH order! Don’t know what Hungry Harvest is? Check out my post: 5 Reasons I Love Hungry Harvest #hungryharvesthero

How I maximize my Harvest with the Freezer:

Freezer Burritos: Turkey & Black Bean

Freezer Burritos: Turkey & Black Bean Filling

Turkey & Black Bean Burritos: This is my FAVORITE freezer option. It also happens to be my most popular recipe on the blog. Seriously, these burritos are so yummy. The HH veggies I typically use in this bad boy include: tomatoes, onion, garlic, zucchini/yellow squash, and sometimes spinach! I always have these burritos on hand because they are an absolute lifesaver when I don’t have time to prep a lunch or dinner.

Turkey & Black Bean Burritos have lunch and dinner covered, but don’t worry, there’s a recipe for breakfast burritos too. Sweet Potato & Bacon Breakfast Burritos are a great way to use up HH sweet potatoes and eggs!

Hidden Veggies Tomato Sauce

Hidden Veggies Tomato Sauce

Hidden Veggies Tomato Sauce is another staple in my freezer. It’s great to have on hand to use on pastas, in eggplant parmesan, etc. There are many HH veggies that you can use in this, but I typically use really sad looking veggies for this recipe. Tomatoes, onion, celery, carrot, parsnip, peppers, garlic and herbs are just a few of the options you can use in this. Here are a couple links to recipes on my blog that use this sauce:

 

Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas

Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas

Chicken + Veggie Enchiladas are great when you’re in a pinch for dinner! Simply throw it in the oven for half an hour and you’re good to go. Assembling these guys doesn’t take long, thanks to the help of rotisserie chicken. The HH veggies I like to use in these include: HH onion, spinach/kale, peppers, squash/zucchini, tomatoes.

 

Smoothie Cubes

Collard Greens Smoothie Cubes

Last but not least, Leafy Greens Smoothie Cubes! Do you ever find yourself with super sad kale, spinach or collard greens? Me too! Throw them in a blender with some water, freeze ’em and toss one or two in a smoothie. Don’t forget to add some Vital Proteins Collagen to your smoothies, too. I’m addicted to that stuff – it has my nails growing long and strong!

I challenge YOU!

These are some of my favorite ways to use the freezer to my advantage, but I challenge you to come up with some of your own tricks too! Half the fun of Hungry Harvest is figuring out what to do with it anyway. : ) If you’d like to share some ideas, comment below!

 

 

**I am a Hungry Harvest and Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! <3

Who Needs the Grocery Store When You Have Hungry Harvest?

When I first subscribed to Hungry Harvest in the start of 2016, fruits and veggies were really the only thing on their menu. Don’t get me wrong, fruits and veggies are GREAT, but Hungry Harvest has really stepped up their game. I hardly need to go to the grocery store for anything these days besides meat and almond milk!

Hungry Harvest now offers a variety of food products beyond produce. Bread, eggs, cheese… even canned tomato soup!

Hungry Harvest Options

Can you believe it? The food that Hungry Harvest sells is considered to be TRASH by wholesalers, famers and grocery stores. Is it expired? NOPE. Is it delicious and fresh? Yep. I’m always impressed with the quality of the food I receive each week. The eggs are always of the highest quality; large, delicious and never once cracked. I often use them to create make-ahead breakfasts like my Ham, Mushroom & Spinach Egg CupsCholula Chicken Frittata or Veggie-Dump Frittata.

It’s so crazy that all of this food would be going to waste if it wasn’t for Hungry Harvest. Just look at all of that bread! Don’t worry, it’s not moldy, the bakery just made too much.

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 4.17.54 PM

What I’m trying to say here is that you should go check out their website. It’s like shopping at the discount food store, except you don’t have to leave your house AND you’re helping to reduce food waste in our country.

Also, as your reward for reading the entire post, I have a discount code for you! Click HERE and use the discount code HERO5 to receive $5 off your first order. You’ll love being a #hungryharvesthero

If you don’t know what Hungry Harvest is and want to learn more, check out my post 5 Reasons I Love Hungry Harvest. In short, they are a non-profit organization that recovers “ugly,” misshapen, or surplus food and delivers them to your door. They also do a lot of work in the community and have donated thousands of pounds of healthy foods to various organizations. 

**I am a Hungry Harvest and Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! ❤

Discovering I DO SUP: Wearing plastic bottles never looked so good.

Sustainable Clothing

I DO SUP @ Maryland Seafood Festival

My mom and I spent the day together at the Maryland Seafood Festival in Annapolis, Maryland over the weekend. We mostly went to pig out and enjoy the beautiful weather, but in the process we discovered an I DO SUP booth selling sustainable activewear made from RECYCLED PLASTICS. My inner eco-nerd nearly exploded out of me, and I started ooh-ing and ahh-ing like a kid in the candy store.

I DO SUP uses a fabric known as rPET in their clothing. rPET stands for “recycled polyethylene terephthalate,” and is made from post-consumer plastic products like water bottles. I’m not a fancy plastic scientist, but basically they collect plastics, then sort, clean, and transform them into a yarn-like material. Obviously there are other fabrics used in the clothing, but what’s really awesome is that each garment contains 60-95% of rPET fabric.

The fact that this clothing line is made using recycled plastics was enough to sell me – the clothing could have looked like potato sacs and I wouldn’t have cared. But, luckily it also happens to be super cute. They have leggings, shorts, a variety of tanks and even some long sleeved shirts! I couldn’t help myself and bought way too many things. I’ve included some pictures below.

 

 

But what could be better than cute clothes made from recycled plastics? Could it get any better? It can, I DO SUP did. In addition to being eco-friendly and cute, the fabric is so so soft and comfy. Some how these geniuses have figured out how to turn icky, tough plastic into soft, comfy wonderful-ness. And to make it even better, my husky’s hair doesn’t stick to it. If you have a long-haired dog that sheds like no other, you get it.

I can’t wait to try more of their clothing in the future. Check out their website idosup.com to learn more about their clothing and to browse their options! The leggings and graphic tank are my favorite. 🙂

 

5 Reasons I Love Hungry Harvest

Hungry Harvest

Mini Harvest + 1 sweet potato and 1 block of cheese

If you’ve met me in person or read some of my blog posts (or any social media posts..), you’ve probably experienced my ranting and raving about “Hungry Harvest.” It’s pretty much my favorite thing to talk about (and participate in). In this post I will be sharing some of my favorite things about Hungry Harvest as well as a discount code for your next Harvest! : )

1. Hungry Harvest is making a difference.

Hungry Harvest is an amazing non-profit that sources trash unwanted food from farmers and grocery stores and delivers it to your door. It is AMAZING to see the quality of the food that is considered “trash” – just look at the picture above. That’s the delivery I received today.

“We believe that no food should go to waste and no person should go hungry. That’s why we source 🍐, hand pack and securely deliver delicious boxes of rescued produce on a weekly and bi-weekly basis. We currently deliver in Maryland, DC, Northern Virginia, Philly, South Jersey, and South Florida. For every delivery, we empower a family in need by providing access to affordable fruits & veggies through our Produce in a SNAP program and through donations to local community organizations. To date we have delivered over 3,000,000 pounds, provided access to 50,000 pounds of reduced-cost produce and donated over 500,000 pounds more to our partner organizations!” – Hungry Harvest

It is seriously so mind boggling that the food I receive is considered to be waste. The produce is always delicious, fresh, and BEAUTIFUL. Sure, some might be oddly shaped or a little scared. But who really cares? You only have to look at it for like 1 second before chopping it up. What’s really cool is that Hungry Harvest’s website describes why each and every item has been discarded. Some of the reasons will amaze you.

In addition to being able to pat myself on the back once a week for participating in a solution to food waste and hunger, I love Hungry Harvest for many other reasons…

2. Hungry Harvest helps me try new foods.

Growing up, I was one of the pickiest kids ever. Fish sticks, pizza, chicken nuggets and french fries made up the majority of my diet (in addition to the occasional carrot – if I didn’t have the chance to throw them behind the couch when my mom wasn’t looking). I didn’t even like PASTA. Weird, right?

As I got older, my horizons expanded and I now eat a diverse range of foods. Hungry Harvest is helping me expand my diet even more because you don’t exactly get to choose what comes in your box every week. Sure, there are some customization tools available for harvesters to use, but there really is no way to ultimately control which fruits and veggies will be recovered each week – so sometimes you are thrown some curve balls.

For example, I have received some really unique produce in my box, like dragon fruit and chayote. Those are things that I would never typically purchase (or even see) at the grocery store, but ended up being super tasty and fun to eat.

Hungry Harvest has also helped me learn that I don’t dislike some of the foods that I thought I hated! The best example of this is eggplant. A year ago I would have told you that those giant weird looking purple things were disgusting. Now I get excited when I see that I’ll be receiving one in my order. My favorite eggplant dishes to create are Eggplant Dippers (whole 30 compliant) and Roasted Eggplant Spread.

Harvest from June 2017

Harvest from June 2017

3. Hungry Harvest makes me HEALTHIER.

There’s really no way to avoid eating veggies when they are delivered to my door every week. It is so much easier to avoid eating take out, fast food, or icky pre-prepared meals when you have fresh, healthy ingredients on hand at all times. Your body will thank you for the nutrients.

Because I always have so many – seemingly random – veggies on hand, I often have to search for recipes online for inspiration. In doing so I have discovered several diets and lifestyles that have totally changed my relationship with food. Some of these include the Whole30 and Paleo diets, and the clean eating and real food lifestyles. I’ve never had any issues with health or weight, but implementing this way of eating into my life has me feeling and looking better than ever.

4. Hungry Harvest encourages me to be creative.

I have always enjoyed cooking, but Hungry Harvest has brought my love to the next level. Each week I am presented with food and am challenged to utilize it in meals throughout the week. It’s like perpetually living in an episode of Chopped, and it’s the BEST.

Harvest from July 2017

Harvest from July 2017

5. Hungry Harvest is CHEAP.

Hungry Harvest isn’t expensive. It’s actually cheaper than the grocery store when you break down the items in your box. I don’t know about you, but I love eating healthy for cheap.

Lucky for you, I have a discount code for 5 dollars off your harvest if you’d like to have some fresh veggies delivered to your door for EXTRA cheap.

I’m proud to be a #hungryharvesthero and hope you will be, too. Just here and insert the code HERO5 for $5 off your order.

 

Happy Harvesting! : )

**I am a Hungry Harvest and Amazon affiliate. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from one of the links above, I will receive a small percentage, at no additional cost to you. I will only ever recommend products that I use myself and totally approve of. Thank you! ❤