10 YEARS! What?!?!? Has is really been 10 years since I have lived an organic lifestyle? Wow, time sure flies by. I remember last year sitting at my desk writing about 9 years and now here I am writing about 10. This is mind blowing!
10 years of my short 28 years of life have been lived with organic intentions. I changed my lifestyle 10 years ago, when I was 18, because my health had deteriorated, my stomach issues were at a sky high, and I felt lifeless. I literally felt like a character in the Walking Dead back then. Around that time, I was in and out of doctors. One of them advised me to change my diet to an organic one, so I did. Because of that doctor, I didn’t just receive my joy for life back or an improvement on my health, but I created an entire community and career out of it, and found my biggest passion.
I fell in love with the organic lifestyle 10 years ago. It has been the longest love that I have ever taken a chance on. It’s the love that fell into my lap at the time that I needed it the most. You know, the type of love that you never knew you needed or ever dreamed of, but the one that changes your life forever.
So, what has happened in 10 years?
Well, when I first changed my diet, I was 18 years old. I just graduated high school and started college. I decided to push off going to a university in another city because of my health issues. Instead, I studied at my local community college for the first two years. Once I felt better, I transferred to the University of Central Florida, where my passion for organics fully ignited. After college, I wanted to start my career in the organic field, but I honestly was lost and didn’t know how. Also, living in Florida, there weren’t many organic companies to work for, so it was tough to find a job. But, three months after I graduated, I was able to obtain a job at a famous organic company that many of you know of. For privacy purposes, I will not name the establishment. But, it was a great place to get my foot in the door and surround myself with a ton of organic products. After about a year, striving to advance my career, I decided to resign and embark on another journey.
At the time that I resigned, someone mentioned to me about the Natural Products Expo in California and I decided to attend. The Natural Products Expo is the world’s largest natural and organic convention. That was back in 2014. It was one of the best experiences of my life. It felt like the Disneyland of natural and organic foods, which was funny because Disneyland was literally right next to the convention center in Anaheim. While at the convention, I met a nice woman who put me in contact with an organic company in South Florida. I would’ve never known the company existed if it wasn’t for her. I worked there for a few months, but I still felt empty and unfulfilled. One day at work, something came over me and said, “Sara you need to get out of there and do something else.” It was one of the strongest feelings I had ever felt.
After that feeling, without a question in my mind, I immedietaly resigned. However, I unknowingly knew what that something else was going to be. Well, after a few weeks, I remembered that one of my friends in college once told to me that I should start a blog. Back then, I didn’t have the time. So, I decided to finally give it a shot. As I always say, “What the hell do you have to lose.” For 5 months, I took classes all around the United States to learn how to create a blog and touch up on my video editing and Photoshop skills. In addition, I also took some cooking classes. It was almost like I went back to school without actually going back to school. I was finally doing what I set out to do.
So, after taking all of those classes, in January 2015, I registered Sara’s Organic Eats and opened up my website. It took me 6 months to create and design the blog. I worked on it all by myself with some minor help from a few angels. I kept what I was working on a secret from so many of my friends and family until the blog was where I wanted it to be. And ever since then, I have been working on building this blog and creating a platform in the organic community.
In the past 10 years, I have traveled all over the United States and to many other countries, seeking out organic products, natural/organic grocery stores, restaurants, juice bars, dessert bars, and anything pertaining to organics. I am always on the hunt to find the coolest organic products from different countries and different parts of the United States. That is my greatest joy!
I also created an awesome Jeep, which I named the Organic Response Vehicle, to create a conversation about organics wherever I went. Although I no longer have this Jeep, I still spread the awareness wherever I go.
One of my missions is to visit all of the Whole Foods Market stores. Out of the 500 Whole Foods Market locations, I have visited at least 200 of them. I am unaware of how that desire started, but I am determined to achieve that goal. You can totally call me a Whole Foods Market nerd!
From 10 years ago until now, I have witnessed a vast growth within the organic community. I remember when stores didn’t carry as many organic products. But now, organics are everywhere! Through the years, labels have changed, products have improved, many have disparaged, and new ones have sprouted. Trends have changed drastically throughout the years as well. Whole Foods Market has expanded rapidly in 10 years and since their purchase by Amazon, their prices have decreased.
When I first started eating organic, there weren’t nearly as many options as there are now. Even with the limited amount of options back in 2009, I was able to make the lifestyle work. When you are committed to something and want to succeed in it, you won’t ever see the downfalls or setbacks, only the opportunities and possibilities.
Since I was a child, I was incredibly shy, and I never thought I had a voice that could inspire others. That disempowering story I created in my mind, I carried with me throughout my life. I thought that because I was only one person, or that I didn’t have a big platform, that I couldn’t inspire others through my passion. Since my late teens and into my twenties, I have worked so hard to let go of that limiting belief.
At the beginning of starting this blog, I had the hardest time telling others that I was an organic food blogger because of my fears. But, I then had to dig deep to a place of pure vulnerability to truly write authentically and feel confidant in what I was creating. Since this blog is so personal and meaningful to me, I wanted to share from a place that is real, raw, and organic and without anything holding me back. To accomplish that, I had to tear down all of my walls, let go of my fears, and overcome my shyness. As a result, this blog has opened me up as a person, made me a better writer, and has helped me create the best version of myself that I had so longingly strived for.
And, here I am, 10 years into this organic lifestyle, and almost 5 years into blogging, doing what my fear told me I shouldn’t. I am no longer afraid to tell others that I am an organic food blogger. Trust me I had every doubt, fear, negative thought, excuse, and reason to give up before I got started creating this blog and also a couple times during. But, I am proof that taking action and doing things that scare you the most, bring you to the biggest victories and next levels of your life. Even if I don’t have one million followers, if I make a difference in just one person’s life, I feel like I have succeeded! Countless times I considered giving up, but every time that thought came up, an angel came around that told me to keep going or they gave me an opportunity. Also, hearing “because of you Sara, I started buying more organic products, or I started eating more organic food,” or whatever else it may be, gives me the ammunition to carry on.
I can’t say it enough how much this organic lifestyle has changed me, has inspired me, has helped me, has challenged me, and has made me into the person I am today. I never thought at 18 years old, during such a challenging time, that I would’ve found my biggest passion in life. I also would’ve never thought that I would be doing what I am doing at 28 almost 29 years old. 10 years is a long time, but it has been the best 10 years of my life! I would never change this for the world.
I hope to continue living an organic lifestyle for as long as I live. I can’t wait to see what the future of the organic industry looks like in another 10 years. Who knows, maybe we all will live an organic lifestyle by then because everything will be organic? (A girl can dream right?)
Lastly, don’t ever be afraid to go out there and live your dreams. Even when they seem so far out of your reach and you don’t know what you’re doing, do it anyway! You will learn along the way and meet the right people that will help get you to the next level. Once you declare to everyone around you that this is your dream and this is what you want to do, I promise you, your pathway to success and the right destination will come along. Share your passion, share your dreams, and watch them come true. You deserve to live a fulfilled life!! Once you have a dream and a passion, pursue it, and DON’T EVER GIVE UP!!
Take that advice from a once shy girl with many fears, who unlike her peers took a very different route after college. I took a big chance and a major leap of faith on something that was not secure and not what I studied. I wanted to do this because it is my biggest passion and I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I wanted to once and for all find my voice that I never thought I had to inspire others. With hard work and perseverance, I can proudly say I created that! Trust me, you will be rewarded in more ways than you could possibly ever think of! And, you never know where that path will lead. If I can do it, so can you!
“Life is a journey, it’s not about where you end up, but it’s about how you got there.”-unknown
Most importantly, with my whole heart, I want to thank every single person that I have met on my 10-year organic journey. I want to give an enormous thank you to my family for their unconditional support in many ways throughout this endeavor. I appreciate them attending conventions and events with me, accompanying me to organic establishments, enduring long trips to Whole Foods Market and other organic markets with me, cooking organic food for me or with me, letting me cook organic food for them, and for always having organic options at holiday parties at their homes for me. Thank you to my friends, roommates, colleagues, new friends, and others, for also supporting me in many of those same ways.
I want to thank those of you who have opened doors for me in this industry by giving me an opportunity to work for you and with you. Every single person that I have met in these past 10 years has inspired me and made me a better person and I am truly grateful. I have learned so much from peers and leaders in the industry. Because of the organic lifestyle, it has led me to so many great paths and amazing people that I would’ve never imagined could be possible.
Lastly, I want to thank you again for letting me share my passion with you, for reading my blogs, following me on social media, and listening to me share about it in person! Even with what I wrote here in this blog post, words can’t fully express how I am feeling inside and how blessed I am for this journey. I will continue to share my organic passion, live my organic dreams, and keep on growing! There’s so many possibilities in this world, I’m ready for what’s to come next! Cheers to 10 years of being Organic AF and many many many more!
Sara, the most passionate, loving, organic girl that you will ever meet.”S.O.Eats”
*I apologize if my blog was a little long. 10 years is a long time to commit to something and words just kept on flowing.