King County employee Bill Lawrence shares how he eats a whole box of CSA vegetables each week himself (hint: his rabbit helps) and other ways he stays healthy.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
What do you do for King County?
I am an Environmental Laboratory Scientist II at the King County Environmental Laboratory in the Microbiology unit, and I have been with the county since May of 2016. The Microbiology unit analyzes environmental samples from waters, wastewaters, sediment and biosolids for indicator and pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites and algae. Summer is particularly busy time for our lab as we monitor both fresh and salt water swimming beaches to ensure that bacterial counts are low enough for safe swimming.
Had you participated in any CSA program before joining CSA @Work?
This is my first time with a CSA. I have enjoyed finding fresh local products at the weekend farmer markets around Seattle. This year I am trying to eat healthier and I thought it would be fun to have a box of veggies every week that would challenge me to try new vegetables.
When you shop the farmers markets, what is your routine?
I usually go to the University District Farmers Market because it’s the closest to my house. I rarely go with a planned recipe and just look for what is fresh. The vendors are all super friendly and you can learn a lot about their products and get good cooking tips by chatting with them. There are certain things I will go specifically for when they are in season; the morel mushrooms were fantastic this spring!
It sounds like most folks in your office share a CSA box, except for you. How do you make sure you eat all your produce?
Well, we’re on week seven now, and for the most part I have been able to eat everything. I really enjoy cooking and I have friends over for dinner pretty regularly. I also have a rabbit who is an excellent composter, so nothing goes to waste.
What is your rabbit’s favorite meal?
Mr. Stripe’s favorite food is definitely banana, he does a couple of laps around his pen when I bring him a banana slice, and I call it his bunny dance. Probably his second favorite thing is carrot tops, some of my colleagues at the lab know I have a rabbit and donate the carrot tops from their CSA box. I offer him all of my vegetable scraps and he’ll eat just about everything. He’s pretty much spoiled.
Can you tell me a little about how you stay healthy (eating habits, physical activity, stress-reduction, etc.)?
In general I eat pretty healthfully. I rarely eat fast food or sweets. I’ve been buying meat from local farmers/ranchers for the last 15 years. For physical activity, I do a lot of yard work and projects around the house. I’ve been building a stone walkway in my back yard and I’ve moved and re-positioned about three tons of rocks in the last few months. I have also recently gotten back on the bicycle for commuting to the lab. I had a bike crash last year which took me a bit of time to recover from, but it’s good to be back on the bike for the commute. I also make sure to get a walk in every day and always try to get a solid 8 hours of sleep.
What is one of your favorite meals when you’re at work?
My favorite lunch is usually left overs. Today I’m having leftover Copper River salmon, brown rice and dino kale.
Do you have a healthy habit to share? We want to hear about it! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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