eat things to do

you are what you eat – costco run



remember when i used to blog about healthy eating? well as i said in one of the posts, where i shop changes all the time because of prices and selection. so here’s my latest costco stash! they are getting more and more organic and all natural products and that’s exciting!

organic apple chips

organic fruit snacks (seriously like candy these are so amazing!)

organic sugar

chocolate chips (ethically sourced)

organic squeeze pouches (i try to use these more for when we’re out and i really need something on the go, otherwise i think it’s better for kids to eat whole fruits and veggies)

organic chickens (the best deal around! 25 for 2!! see my chicken post on how to cook a whole chicken – put one in the fridge and freeze the other)

organic string cheese

organic uncooked tortillas (2 pack which is great because you can freeze one)

kerrygold butter and cheese – see below

organic eggs (not pictured, they didn’t have any this time wah)

organic mac and cheese (annie’s brand)

ok so this brand is amazing! super affordable and grass fed cheese and butter!!! no need to be organic if it’s grass fed 🙂

obvi this is the best thing to get at costco though…you really can’t tell how big these are with this angle, i think you really need to go check them out for yourself. and then buy a u-haul to bring the thing home and then snuggle forever and forget all your responsibilities like making whole chickens and eating healthy…

eat things to do

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 🙂
read part six here
eat things to do

you are what you eat part 4

this is part four of a series about our all natural and organic diet. Read part one hereread part two here, read part three here.
we got into juicing because we had heard a lot of our friends talk about it and we watched a few documentaries about the food industry (which i recommend you watch if you want to cut out bad food because you won’t crave certain things afterward!!! – at the same time, they also have their agenda so take them as you will…) here are our thoughts about juicing and what we’ve learned:
when you’re learning about health food and start researching, you realize that every time you open a can of worms, you open another can of worms. this is why i’ve really loved going all natural, there’s no justification or talking myself into eating something that has a ‘no’ ingredients. the hard part though, is trying to figure out what is really all natural sometimes, especially with all the gmo talk and everything. but organic fruits and vegetables as far as i can figure are safe.
but another thing i was worried about with juicing is that eastern thoughts about food recommend cooking all vegetables, and not eating them raw. there are various reasons for this but it’s interesting that it directly contradicted western thoughts and say that cooking vegetables kills all the benefits. so when i did my vegetable challenge a year or so ago (cooking one new recipe a week with a new vegetable) i cooked all the veges. now, we’re trying juicing with raw vegetables so far with no ill effects 🙂 i did finally learn on one of the documentaries that there are nutrients and micronutrients in food. the micronutrients are all the vitamins and minerals in food (the nutrients being the rest of it like fat, fiber, etc…) so cooking food gets rid of the micronutrients which is generally why you would eat vegetables to begin with.
some people are concerned with juicing because you don’t get a lot of the fiber that you would get from just simply eating the veges. here’s my philosophy about that, would i sit down and eat this pile of vegetables throughout the day? not likely, in fact i probably wouldn’t eat that amount of vegetables in a week. so by only drinking the micronutrients of that pile, i’m at least getting more than usual. plus, how do good habits form? by starting them. so we’re starting every morning with juicing so that hopefully throughout the day we will remember how we started it and try to make good food choices the rest of the day. just because you juice doesn’t mean you can’t have a salad for lunch or carrots for a snack. i’m pretty sure you can’t get too many veges. also, our juicer has two settings, one that is mostly juice and one that leaves a lot of pulp so we do end up getting some of that fiber.
another thing we learned is to not put too much fruit in the mix. the point of juicing for us is that we don’t get enough vegetables. fruit is easy to eat by itself, it’s not really necessary to juice mostly fruit. if you’re trying to add green nutrients to your diet, just put in a little fruit for flavor but use mostly vegetables.
some of our friends who have gotten into it since have had concerns about recipes and how to know how much to buy. since i hate wasting time/money, i found a recipe we could both agree on (after trying several) and we just buy the amount of each vege and fruit for the week (and i shop once a week) and that way i have enough but my fridge isn’t so full. here’s what we do:
3ish handfulls of storebought organic kale or 3-4 stalks of garden grown kale (i finally have my garden up and growing and kale grows SO well here!!)
2ish handfulls of organic spinach
5-7 organic carrots (best place to buy these is at costco for $4/10lb bag
1 large organic cucumber (most expensive item but important to be organic)
1 organic apple
1 organic pear
(i juice them in that order too because some things get jammed in there and this is the best way to get the most of each thing that we’ve found)
we love it…now. what i mean by that is that the taste is something you have to acquire a little bit. the first couple days were rough i’ll be honest. once i found a recipe that was easy and nutritious without too much sugar (fruit) i stuck with it and now we crave it. you just have to change your thinking about juice. it’s not fruit juice that is chock full of sugar, and it’s not a smoothie that is also 90% fruit with sugar added. it’s a great way to start the morning full of vitamins!
(note: these two pics were from when i threw some beets in…i loved it, jared thought it tasted like dirt so beets are out. i also tried celery but i think it’s too bitter of a flavor so those are out too 🙂

read part five here 

eat things to do

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