The Whole Foods Life Without Ever Going to the Grocery Store Again!
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Never going to the grocery store again, now that’s a dream come true, but my family needs to eat. It’s not like growing my own food and relying on local farmers for sustenance is a valid option, right? Actually, it is, and one family is making it work rather well!
Say Hi to the Syner’s!
Hey guys! My name is Lisa Syner and I have been married to my wonderful husband, Cliff, for the past 12 years. I homeschool our 3 children on our small farm in Clarksville, Tennessee. I have a passion for the cultivation of the earth and the fruits of that labor, especially deep purple tomatoes and creamy Japanese sweet potatoes. Our family has chosen to follow Christ’s calling to love God and love others by stewarding this land and teaching others the beauty of tending, preserving and harvesting the bounty of His creation.
I had the great opportunity to hang out with Lisa and her family not long ago, see their farm, pick their brains, and soak up anything they wanted to teach me. They’ve taken a whole foods diet to a new level, and I’m intrigued.
Lisa and her family were stationed in Hawaii (whoop ,whoop for another Military family!). They saw firsthand fields of produce being mass produced, quickly grown, and sprayed with chemicals. She couldn’t shake the knowledge and concern of that food being shipped out and consumed by individuals who had no clue what gunk they were putting in their body, or where the food even came from.
Not many of us scan the isles of the grocery store looking for things that are harmful for us, well, sometimes I willingly purchase some sugary treat. For the most part, we buy things that seem healthy, or the box says it’s nutritional, so in the cart it goes.
Lisa says, “People are so disconnected from God’s creation. We don’t know how to eat.” I have to agree. We try to make the right choices, but we’re mis-informed. Before the Syner’s stopped going to the grocery store, they decided to only purchase and eat whole foods, meaning nothing from a box, and only organic, grass fed meats.
“Yes, it was expensive.” Lisa nodded with a grimace on her face. “We were spending $1300-1500 a month, easy.” I may have gasped or choked on my tongue at that moment.
And after the No Grocery Store Challenge?
“We eat the same quality of food, better actually, and we spend between $680-$740.” Lisa smiled, and I’m sure her hubby is still smiling over those savings. “We used to have so much waste, but now, we use every bit.”
This lifestyle couldn’t have been easy?
“It’s been a learning process, but we base our meals on local, seasonal foods, and it’s healthier, and cheaper.” She also adds that there’s no pizza night to fall back on, so she’s got to be prepared.
It’s really just getting back the basics of how things used to be.
They “grow slow,” using heirloom seeds (organic, Non-GMO), and raise heritage animals that are able to adapt to their environment, making them stronger, less likely to get sick, and can forgo shots other animals raised for mass production require. Their chickens cluck about providing fresh eggs, and their sheep will provide much needed milk for homemade cheese, which Lisa is very excited about. A dairy sheep! How cool is that? Local farmers and farmers markets provide what they have not been able to produce.
“Everything is made from scratch.” And she’s not lying. Even mustard, and cream cheese! “If I don’t know how to make it, I look up a recipe.” I love that attitude. “If it’s not local, we don’t buy it.” Not lying their either.
Any concessions to this way of life? I had to ask that.
“Coffee is a concession.” Totally agreed with her. “Since there are no local coffee bean farmers, we buy the beans from locally owned coffee shops. We also eat out once a month, and if we’re at a friend’s house, we eat what we’re served.”
What about treats and sweets? No chocolate?
“No chocolate.” I’m kinda sweating over this. “Veggies are our snacks. Honey, homemade ice cream is a once in a great while treat when we have excess of milk, and local/seasonal fruit.”
Any health benefits you’ve noticed?
“I have so much more energy since beginning the challenge, and my seasonal allergies are much more controlled.” Her eyes widened in a ‘Thank the Lord’ kind of way.
What have you loved most about this lifestyle?
“The anticipation.” Her eyes lit up. “Food is a gift, each season for a purpose. There’s also a freshness factor. Before doing this, I never stopped to appreciate these gifts from God.” Lisa sat on the couch with me, hand propped on her head. “I’ve also love the farmers. We’re building new relationships, connecting in new ways, face to face, and able to share the gospel.”
“We use a no till method.” The Syner’s lay cardboard on top of the ground garden area, then pile on their fall leaves, mulch, and compost. “Start this process around February.” By planting time they simply push the leaves aside and plant into the rich earth. They actually water less because of how well the mixture holds moisture.
“Fish fertilizer.” Okay, that stuff is disgusting, but, as Lisa pointed out, the Native Americans used fish in their farming, so even though it stinks, it works.
Take the Challenge!
What is your challenge for the readers out there, and any advice to help them meet that challenge?
“Try not going to the grocery store for 30 days by eating whole foods from local vendors.” Sounds sort of easy, but then again, we all know things are easier said than done. To help us stick to the challenge, Lisa says, “Be committed. Find your local farmers and artisans, and ask them questions about their produce. Plan and prep what you want to eat. Have fun.”
She ends with, “It’s not complicated, it’s commitment.”
How about it Dear Readers? Are we up to this challenge?
For More Info on Whole Foods Living & Resources, Connect with the Syner’s @
Liberty Star Farms
Liberty Star Farms on Facebook
Community Resource Guide
Other Suggested Reading:
Remember to Enter to Win a The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila, one of Lisa’s go-to resources.