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Smart, local ways to be well in 2015: Doorganics


Yeah, yeah: you want to lose five pounds, exercise more, eat less. Who doesn't, at least during the month of January? But wellness means more than numbers on a scale, and a few local initiatives are playing their part in crafting a healthier Grand Rapids. Each week this month, Rapid Growth will feature one unique way to be well in West Michigan. Want a more thoughtful, sustainable path to feeling better in 2015? Read on.
During the month of January, Rapid Growth is featuring unique ways of being well in West Michigan. This article is part two of a four-part series. For part one, a profile of nonprofit yoga community EmbodyGR, click here.
 
New Year's resolvers everywhere know one key to being well at any time of year is eating right. But here in Michigan, access to fresh, organic produce is much easier when the CSA starts up in May or your backyard garden begins to yield tomatoes and peppers in August. In the cold of January, it's tougher to find. But one growing local company, Doorganics, thinks having the largest variety of organic produce options in town delivered to your door might just help you keep that resolution.
 
Doorganics founder and owner Mike Hughes, who founded the company by himself in July 2011 and has just hired employee number eight, says the growth in their customer base has largely been due to convenience – and he encourages those resolving to eat healthier to "embrace easy" and make a specific, actionable goal.
 
"A lot of our customers begin Doorganics because they don't have the time for shopping and running errands to buy local food year-round, or they want to save money buying organic," he says. "'Embracing easy' isn't about setting an easy goal. It's about finding the best way to accomplish your goal using available resources."
 
About that goal: Hughes makes a distinction between a general goal of "I want to eat healthier this year," which isn't inspiring or actionable, and a better, more quantifiable resolution like, "I aim to cook three healthy meals a week and test one new recipe a month." The latter, measurable statement is the one more likely to get results.
 
And once you've made a specific goal like that, Hughes says the best way to succeed is to take action and make an investment. "Whether it's buying the yoga classes in advance or scheduling a regular running date with a friend, action inspires action, and sometimes that's the motivation you need to keep going."
 
Doorganics offers weekly delivery to your doorstep of produce bins ranging in size from small to large and in price from $29-49 per delivery, with over 60 choices available each week. (Customers who want less produce can even choose every-other-week delivery). It also allows customers to add on options like locally sourced, pasture-raised meats as well as eggs, cheese, and baked goods, all of which are locally sourced and non-GMO. The farms, apiaries, bakeries and dairies where the food is sourced are listed on the Doorganics website; many of them are within 90 miles of Grand Rapids. Customers can control their delivery schedule and customize their bins, plus see what's in the current week's box by checking the website.
 
Though several local markets carry a great range of organic produce as well, Hughes says the Doorganics model differs from the grocery store in that it allows customers to spend more time cooking healthy meals and less time shopping. Proof that the Doorganics model of organic produce delivery is attractive to local shoppers who want to eat healthy year-round? The company doubled its customer count from January to December of 2014. Going into 2015, Hughes encourages West Michigan residents looking for a new way to be well to invest in a system that will work for them long into the future, not just in January, when resolutions are everywhere.
 
"It doesn't matter if you didn't start on January 1 or you've already slipped up," he says. "Do something today to set yourself up for success and begin again."

Stephanie Doublestein is the managing editor of Rapid Growth Media. She also writes at Reclaiming Sunday Supper, a project that explores rest and connection around the table.
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