you are what you eat part 5

you are what you eat part 5 – sweets
this is part 5 of a healthy eating series, to read the rest go here: Read part one hereread part two hereread part three here, read part four here
another common thing that people say to us when we say we went all natural is ‘wow, you guys are so good’, ‘how can you function without any bad food?’ well, honest answer? we don’t. just because we eat all naturally doesn’t mean that we avoid sweets. when we made this decision, it was spring. we forgot we’d have to deal with saying no to a lot during holidays, especially halloween. for me, it’s almost easier to just say to myself, ‘well, it has high fructose corn syrup or dye so i just can’t have it’. but sometimes, we just really need a piece of candy or chocolate. so here’s what we’ve found…WARNING: don’t read this post if you are hungry, tired or at ‘that time of the month’ because you will probably go out and buy everything…
red and black licorice – trader joe’s has an all natural one, colored with beets. it does have corn syrup but supposedly trader joe’s doesn’t make anything with gmo’s…take it for what you will. vons also carries a brand of red licorice that is all natural.
fruit chewy candy and salt water taffy! – trader joe’s has this as well, colored with vegetables, also with corn syrup
chocolate – this has been the most tricky thing for us because as much as i’ve researched it, i just can’t figure out if soy lecithin is bad for you. we’ve cut out all soy, but they say that soy lecithin is from fermented soy which isn’t bad. other places say, well it’s probably gmo so it’s still bad, and others say that because it’s such a small amount, it doesn’t matter. so it’s up to you on the soy lecithin issue, but trader joe’s has a mighty plethora of delicious all natural chocolate products, YUM!
another thing i do to get around the sweets issue is just bake things myself. this is actually a great way to talk yourself out of junk food because you have to decide if you REALLY want it since you have to make it yourself. i do love baking but i don’t always have time, so i can usually talk myself out of the sweets this way. but, if i NEED chocolate (you know what i’m talking about ladies…) i bake with chocolate chips or chunks from jimbo’s. they are all natural, NO soy lecithin ANDDDDDD they are fair trade, yippee! they also have baking m&ms at jimbo’s with all natural coloring. i also found all naturally colored sprinkles at sprouts so cupcakes can have some color once in a while 🙂
there are a lot of cookies at trader joe’s but again, much of it has soy lecithin or enriched flour, so i just bake these myself to be safe. plus, i can buy the flour non gmo at jimbo’s.
sweet breads like pumpkin bread or any kind of muffin i also bake myself. this is mainly because most of the muffins out there are full of all the things we cut out and so full of calories. i sometimes steam my own pumpkins, puree and freeze them in baggies until i need it for recipes, that way i don’t have to worry about pesky aluminum (see, everything is bad for us!!!)
so enjoy some goodies! hopefully i’ll post some fun recipes soon 🙂

You are what you eat Part 3

this is part three of a series about our all natural and organic diet. Read part one here, read part two here.

on shopping, what we buy, and reading those pesky labels.

this is probably one of the more common questions we get from people, usually based on two concerns, time constraints and money. so since i hate being wasteful of anything including time and money, i’ve put together a little list. DISCLAIMER: items in stores are changing constantly so keep a list of where you like to buy things to save time.

here’s where we shop and why:

1. Jimbo’s (similar to Whole Foods) – jimbo’s is more expensive than some of the other stores, but since most of their items fall under what we can eat, it saves tons of time shopping there not having to read labels.

meat: you can find lots of organic meats but they are not super cheap. it’s good to know where they sell it though in case you need it. plus they have a meat grinder so if you want ground chicken they’ll do it for you right there. i also buy my all natural nitrate/nitrite free bacon, hot dogs and salami products there.

bread: i have actually started making my own bread with a breadmaker to save money (plus it’s delicious) but jimbo’s is one of the only places i’ve been able to find all natural bread with no soy that jared liked, hahaha! it’s just really refreshing when something only has a small amount of ingredients.

fruits/vegetables: most of their fresh food is affordable but the best thing about jimbo’s is that ALL of their produce is organic so you don’t have to worry about finding the things you need organic and compromising on others. this is especially important for us because we juice. i don’t want to have to go to multiple stores looking for all my juicing ingredients, i just grab everything i need in 2 minutes.

drinks: jared loves zevia, an all natural soda that uses stevia instead of sugar so it’s all natural and calorie free. i prefer the cane sugar sodas (when i crave one ever so rarely) and they have those too.

2. trader joe’s – my new favorite place to shop and according to their website (not sure how true it is) all of their name brand items are GMO free, which is awesome!

meat: they sell organic chickens. they also have frozen free range beef for the best price i’ve found so far.

candy: i’ve found a bunch of all natural candy here which is great because it’s nice to not have to give up everything you like when you go all natural. i’ll do a whole post on sweets 🙂

produce: not everything is organic at tj’s but they do have some things in bags like kale and spinach which makes it much easier for juicing.

appetizers: tj’s has the best all natural appetizers for parties when you don’t have time to make them yourself, they also have puff pastry and philo dough if you do want to make your own.

3. sprouts – i used to shop here all the time, but when i started reading labels i realized that many things there were off my list.  but they do have plenty of all natural snacks and sodas. i also just found all natural sprinkles which is great for cupcakes and cake since i don’t use food coloring.

4. costco and vons – every time i go to costco or vons, i see something new that is all natural. they don’t have a ton of things, but it’s great to see that they are listening to people and what they want.

5. farmer’s markets – great for all natural food, but not a time saver because they won’t always have what you’re looking for. but i love going when i want to wander and run into people i know!

if you are looking for a specific item, leave me a comment and maybe i can point you in the right direction 🙂

reading labels: this is the most important thing if you are going to change your eating habits, mainly because of all the advertising gimmicks. something that has a healthy looking label might be horrible for you. there is high fructose corn syrup in so many things you would not believe, and i’ve found sucralose (splenda) in a ton of products that aren’t even labeled as diet. so don’t just look at the name, ‘natural’ doesn’t mean ‘all natural’, always always read the list of ingredients!!

here are some examples. this jam you would most certainly think is healthy, ‘pure boysenberry preserves’

but check out what’s really in it…

this one at least is honest about their use of splenda

but it’s not just sugar free, it has preservatives and food coloring…why do we need food coloring in jam???

 even something i thought for sure would be healthy, i picked this up to maybe buy it and read the side first…when the fruit is the 3rd ingredient, you have to wonder…

and this example is why you should always read the labels…these are actually all natural cheetos, but the packaging is so bad you would probably pass over it assuming they were bad. so don’t be misled by branding, it is worth your time to read labels!

 read part four here