I applied for a job yesterday that I desperately hope to get, working at a local organic food store called The Turnip Truck. There are many reasons it would be awesome – it’s two blocks from our place, I’m there a lot of the time anyway, and there is no product I believe in more than fresh, local, organic food. Please, oh please, I want this job.

Slow food has changed our lives. When Jaron and I moved to Illinois we slowly began to cook more (not a lot of entertainment in that town) and to use the local produce as Mireille Guiliano was teaching us to do. Two years later we are different people. We rarely get sick, we’re confident in the kitchen, and we have a new understanding of the earth and of sustenance. We have gone from spending more money each month on Dayquil than on vegetables to feeling like healthy, able-bodied people (with about 50 lb. less baggage between the two of us).

As I was reveling in the idea of being able to help people make the kinds of purchases that are so beneficial to their families and their communities, I was struck by how far we’ve come. It’s been a drastic change, maybe the most drastic I’ve experienced in my life. And the easiest. It came not from hearing about cooking, or watching Food, Inc., or even watching the numbers on the bathroom scale rise and rise. Those things made me want change, for sure. But what made me follow through was actually tasting the difference.

Tasting the difference has removed the feeling of “rules” in being healthy. It’s made us desire what is good for its benefit rather than for its lack of “badness”. I like getting sick less, I like knowing my food is from the earth rather than a factory. But I love the way a plum tastes when it’s been ripened naturally, in season. And I love the sustenance and warmth of buttery Yukon potato and kale soup in the winter, a favorite meal with only four ingredients.

Eating this way has required sacrifices. It’s a bit more expensive and it’s less convenient. But our lives are sweeter this way. We invest a little more money and time and are rewarded with vitality, appreciation for our neighbors and for the earth, and the sheer pleasure of eating flavorful food with our loved ones.

This is a change I believe in – a change that makes me believe there is hope for other problems that previously seemed impossible to solve. Dreams that once seemed as far away as feeling at home in my skin used to seem.

If you are feeling a lack of warmth in your life, have a new friend over for a nourishing meal. In fact, try one out at our house. We’d love to have you.