3 Hobbies to Help You Take Control of What You’re Eating

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shutterstock_231382711As a health-conscious person who wants to eat natural and organic foods where possible, you can do a lot more than simply buy groceries that carry these labels. Raise the bar even further and take up hobbies to ensure that the foods that fuel your body are homegrown and free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

1. Grow Your Own Fruits and Veggies

Instead of paying a pretty penny for organic produce at the grocery store, consider growing your own. As The BayNet notes, anybody can create a home fruit and vegetable garden—all you need is some quality soil, water, and space.

If you live in an apartment or have a small yard, consider purchasing a strawberry planter and some pots for a container garden. In many ways, growing herbs and produce in pots can be even better than a traditional garden plot since you can move them around to take full advantage of the sun. Plants that grow in pots also attract fewer pests than those that are in the ground.

Begin by selecting a few of your favorite fruits and veggies and decide whether you want to start growing them from seed or from small plants—both are readily available at most big box home improvement stores and gardening centers. However, since different fruits and veggies fare better during different seasons, it’s important to learn the right time of year to grow different types of fruits and specifics about [growing winter vegetables].

2. Hunt Your Own Meat

If you are looking for a good quality source of protein that has not been pumped full of hormones, consider hunting at least some of your own meat. Animals like deer and elk that live in the wild are inherently free-range versus cattle and chickens that are often raised in small confined spaces. Hunting can and should be done in a very humane way, making sure that there is little suffering and waste involved.

Be sure that you have the proper education and the right hunting license for your state by visiting a website like HunterCourse.com. HunterCourse.com offers online hunter safety courses that meet the mandatory education requirements for each area, and also provides a hunter’s safety guide, an online shooting range, and plenty of exercises that further educate hunters on the safest and most humane techniques.

3. Embrace Your Inner Chef

One of the easiest ways to control what you are eating is to prepare the majority of your meals at home. By taking up cooking as a hobby and carefully choosing the ingredients you need, you’ll be completely aware of what you’re putting into your body.

As the CDC recommends, start off by making a list of some of your favorite entrées and side dishes, and then look for ways to prepare healthy meals inspired by those dishes. For example, if you love beef stew, either adapt your own tried and true recipe to include home-grown and free-range ingredients, or browse recipes online for more ideas.

Before you know it, you’ll be amazing your family and friends as you serve up some of your favorites like organic guacamole and salsa, grass-fed beef Wellington, and sautéed asparagus cut fresh from your garden.