I don’t usually post grocery lists on my blog because:
a. I don’t like to obsess too much over the what (what foods are the “best”) but rather like to focus on the why (listening to your body & finding the foods that make you feel your best self)
b. My grocery lists change every week as The Boy and I both love experimenting in the kitchen
c. Grocery lists usually bore me. I’m more of a spontaneous, buy what’s in season, analyze the sales, grab-and-go kind of gal. Don’t get me wrong: I love lists and think they definitely have their place, but I don’t typically go by a list when it comes to grocery shopping. I also don’t like following recipes to a T either…where’s the fun in that?
BUT, BUT BUT… today I am going to be posting my grocery list for the week because:
a. The Boy is gone for a week and a half and I totally had too much fun doing some Single Girl Shopping tonight! (Is that normal?) I loved those days when everything in the fridge was mine and I knew exactly what was running out (no more eggs?) and what I had too much of. Of course, I have a blast cooking with my man, but I’m excited to see what I’ll create in the kitchen the next 12 days when he’s gone.
b. There were some great seasonal sales this week I want to tell you about!
c. I have a tons of health-boosting, affordable staples that I want to share with my lovely readers.
[tonight's din: an open-faced salmon burger topped with avocado and served with tamari & coconut oil sauteed baby bok choy seasoned with Seaweed Gomasio.]
- Cage-free organic eggs (a staple)
- Baby bok choy (Great sautéed with tamari and coconut oil!)
- Organic Mixed Greens (a staple)
- Bananas (I add them to most smoothies and my a.m. oatmeal)
- Organic grape tomatoes (love throwing them in salads, omelets, and stir frys!)
- Trader Joe’s Ancient Grain Gluten-Free Soup
- Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread (I usually hate gluten free breads because they lack that hearty texture but they were all out of my favorite brown rice wraps so I decided to give this a try!)
- Giant box of Clementines (on sale for a little over $5; will be perfect for snacking and salad-topping. Side note: clementines are great for those of you with sweet tooths!)
- Big bag of sweet potatoes
- Bag of Avocados (I put them in salads, smoothies, wraps, you name it. Such a wonderful healthy fat!)
- Gluten-free Quinoa & Black Bean Chips (For when that crunchy craving comes on)
- Trader Joe’s Three-Layer Hummus (Red Pepper, Cilantro, and Original. Need I say more?)
- Organic, all natural roasted turkey breast
- Baby bella mushrooms (a staple…love mushrooms for their health-boosting, disease-fighting properties and taste)
- Organic cucumber (add in salads, smoothies, wraps, you name it)
- Baby carrots (for dipping in hummus or to toss in smoothies)
Already In the Fridge/Freezer:
- Alaskan Salmon Burgers
- All Natural Chicken Sausage, various flavors
- Organic chicken, frozen (Leftovers from soup and previous meals)
- Lemon & Lime Juice
- Organic Celery
- Unsweetened Almond milk
- Organic apples
- Yerba Matte Iced Tea
Essentials We Never Go Without:
- Organic, Cold-Pressed & Unrefined Coconut Oil
- Cold-Pressed & Unrefined Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Leafy greens (Spinach, Kale, etc)
- Frozen organic broccoli
- Frozen organic spinach
- Frozen organic blueberries (great for smoothies!)
- Tamari (delicious gluten-free soy sauce alternative!)
- Vinegar (Balsamic, Apple Cider, and Rice)
- Old-fashioned-rolled oats
- Lemons / lemon juice (love it in my water!)
- Veggie or chicken stock
- Raw nuts (my favorites are almonds, walnuts and cashews)
- Raw, organic almond & peanut butter (Once Again is one of our favorite brands currently)
- Ground flax seed
- Superfood powders (like Cacao and Maca for smoothies!)
- Any & all herbs and spices (you name it…we have ‘em all)
- Sea salt
- Seaweed Gomasio (my favorite seasoning and great for sneaking in extra minerals!)
- Organic Quinoa & Brown Rice
- Brown Rice or Buckwheat Pasta
- Gluten-free crackers like Mary’s Gone Crackers
- A life-time supply of tea (If you can’t tell by my Instagram photos, tea is a must-have in our lives. We have about 15 boxes currently…I’m not kidding!)
- Organic coffee
- Something sweet (usually a dark chocolate of some sort)
- Usually some kind of local cheese (although I’m cutting out dairy this month so not lately!)
So there you have it; now you can get a better sense of what goes on inside and outside my kitchen! I’m sure I’m forgetting some things, but you’ll just have to come over if you really want to know everything we eat.
While we do a good amount of our grocery shopping locally or at the Harvest Co-op, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, The Boy and I save a lot of money shopping online for organic, non-GMO food with The Green PolkaDot Box.
If you’re wondering what it is or how you can sign up for a membership, shoot me an email and we’ll hook you up with more info or maybe even a free membership You can read my boyfriend’s inspiring story (he’s a Founding Trust Member) on why we choose to eat this way over here.
Now it’s your turn: what’s on your list?
It’s no secret that I absolutely adore pumpkins. I just love everything about them from the fact that they can help treat acne to their delectable seeds that are a pleasure to roast. Naturally, I try to cook with pumpkin when I can, and ’tis the season to do so!
Last week, I picked up a cardboard box of organic pumpkin puree from Whole Foods (from a local MA farm). While I try to use fresh as much as possible, sometimes in life you need to take shortcuts and make the best of what’s available. Plus, it’s much wiser than buying canned pumpkin which can contain toxins like BPA.
This week, I made two pumpkin treats: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins + Pumpkin Maple Oats. Boy were they delicious.
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
Makes about 20 muffins
I modified this recipe from Bob’s Red Mill but changed up a few things, like adding chocolate chips and replacing the oil with unsweetened apple sauce. These make for the perfect pairing with tea on a chilly eve.
What Ya Need:
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp Cloves, ground
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 c. all purpose gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
- 15 oz. organic pumpkin puree
- 1/2 c. applesauce, unsweetened
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
2. Whisk eggs, vanilla, honey, applesauce and pumpkin together until well combined.
3. Mix all dry ingredients together. Then, stir in egg mixture; add chocolate chips. Mix until blended, and fill muffin cups until about 2/3 full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Pumpkin Maple A.M Oats
Delicious in the morning with a cup of organic Equal Exchange Breakfast Blend…Like a winter’s kiss.
What Ya Need:
- 1/2 c. gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 c. water
- 1 to 2 TB pure pumpkin puree
- 1 TB pure maple syrup
- dollop of raw almond butter
- dash of cinnamon
- butter to taste
1. Cook oats according to directions. Once the water is just about gone, mix in pumpkin puree and maple syrup.
2. Top with cinnamon, butter and a dollop of raw almond butter on top. Enjoy!
Here are some other healthy pumpkin recipes from around the web:
Vegan Pumpkin Pudding (Note: I recommend replacing canned pumpkin with fresh or boxed)
What’s your favorite way to incorporate pumpkin into your cooking?
For the majority of the time, I prefer to simply do it myself in all aspects of life given my ability to do so. That being said, I will always pay money for a good-quality manicure, and try as I might, I will never perfect my mom’s famous Chicken Divan recipe.
Last week, I concocted my own Sugar Body Scrub for the first time. While I am a huge fan of beauty products and anything that smells good when it comes to bath supplies, I am not a fan of the harmful ingredients that often come along with them like parabens, added colors, and other chemicals. In my mind, if you can’t pronounce it or don’t recognize it, why put it on your skin, and ultimately in your body? (Same goes to food as well.)
I wanted to craft something that was simple, rejuvenating and smelled good so I chose to use Lemongrass Essential Oil I bought from Whole Foods for its fresh, earthy properties ideal for springtime. In addition, Lemongrass can be used for a number of health benefits including aiding sore muscles, boosting confidence and even acting as a natural deodorant! I also added in a touch of Pure Vanilla for its incredible aroma and natural soothing properties.
Simple Lemongrass & Vanilla Sugar Body Scrub
- 1 c. raw sugar
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed
- 1 TB pure vanilla
- Few drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
To Do: Mix the raw sugar and olive oil together with a wooden spoon. Once well blended, add in the vanilla and Lemongrass drops. Store in an air-tight container or jar.
Apply a small amount to dry or wet skin, smooth on thoroughly and then rinse off for a refreshing, relaxing skin detox. It works wonders for exfoliation, resulting in incredibly silky hands, feet, arms and legs.
Today is one of those days where I found myself pressed for time in the kitchen, let alone to breathe in general. With work at 6 a.m., then straight to a meeting with a client for a health counseling session, and hours of freelance writing in Starbucks, I knew I wouldn’t be home for dinner until at least 8:15 p.m.
However, I didn’t want to let my action-packed day get in the way of my dietary choices, as I know very well that the more wholesome and balanced the meal, the better I feel overall (mind, body, & soul).
As you know, I’m usually a huge fan of 100% home-cooked, all-natural meals for ideal nutritional benefits, but today I had to be a little flexible due to the time crunch. Instead of settling for ordering in (or dining out), to-go sushi, or bland pasta, I chose to make the most of what I had on hand with a little help from Trader Joes.
Here’s what made my plate:
1. Salad with organic arugula + extra virgin olive oil + fresh lemon juice + feta + fresh mint + dried basil + raw pumpkin seeds
2. 1 c. Trader Joe’s Lentil Soup with Ancient Grains (delicious vegetarian/gluten free blend of lentils, quinoa and amaranth in a wholesome broth)
3. Piece of low-sodium Ezekiel bread toasted with Grade AA Natural butter from Whole Foods + Himalayan Pink Salt
For a lazy evening, this trio came out pretty darn fabulous, not to mention nutrient-packed and 100% satisfying. You see, sometimes it’s worth skipping the admittedly tempting takeout as a ‘rescue’ and simply making the most of what you have.
Stay tuned for more healthy tips on making quick ‘n’ easy dinners when pressed for time!
Happy Earth Day ladies and gents. I’m off to work in a few, but I wanted to share three of my favorite, little ways to go greener right now. Enjoy!
1. Buy Whole Foods: Take a good, hard look at your cabinets. Are they mostly packed with processed, packaged foods? No need to revamp your entire kitchen overnight, but even a few small changes will suffice. Perhaps that means skipping the popcorn or potato chips this week, and actually purchasing real, whole potatoes and corn. Or maybe it’s simply buying your nuts and seeds in bulk and storing them in jars around the house. It’s the little things that add up, not only being safer for the environment, but also being much more safe and natural on your body.
2. Clean up Your Cleansing Products: Care2 published this amazing article “How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleansing Kit” that includes DIY alternatives for everything from soft scrubbers to window and oven cleaners. I highly suggest you check that out. Who knew how many natural solutions there were for common household cleaning supplies. Also, you may want to look into a more earth-friendly laundry detergent like Ecos Free & Clear Liquid Detergent that I own (thanks to The Boy).
3. Examine Your Beauty Supplies: I was absolutely shocked the first time I read the label on my makeup, deodorant, perfumes and other beauty essentials. Many contained parabens, chemicals, added artificial coloring and other harmful ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce. These chemicals are not only harmful for the environment, but also effect our body, skin, hair and nails!
Pick one everyday beauty product and read the ingredients – it can be anything from your shampoo to your foundation. Then, if you choose, make a small change by looking for products that are organic, free of parabens and other toxins, or most of all one that you can actually pronounce the ingredients.
For example, when I found out what was in some of my skin care products, I ditched my “zit cream” for natural tea tree oil and exchanged my additives-laden face wash for a more natural line from 302 Skincare. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a huge fan of Lush Cosmetic’s Karma Koba shampoo bar that cleanses the hair naturally and 100% bottle-free packaging.
What are your favorite go green tips and tricks? Are you looking to ‘green up’ your lifestyle?
Happy Friday loves! Hope your weekend is off to a good start so far. Today I took myself on an amazing date to Whole Foods, where I stayed for a good portion of the afternoon. I had a lot of work to get done today, and most of it I could do without the internet, so I decided to unplug from my Mac for a solid 4+ hours. However, I did bring an old-fashioned notebook and my IIN iPod in order to catch up on my latest lectures for nutrition school.
I loved everything I learned about today, from the pros, cons, and logistics of soy products to lessons of healthy eating from cultures years ago, like eating REAL, RAW butter and cheese and consuming all natural meat and fish products (fat and all) for nutrient optimization.
It definitely helped that I was listening to my lectures while eating a delicious, wholesome meal from the Whole Foods’ salad bar. My plate included lentils, spicy chickpeas, raw pumpkin seeds, salmon salad, roasted mushrooms, quinoa and feta among some other samplers. I absolutely love the different variations you can make at Whole Foods, and if I could I would go there every day if the budget allowed. How cool would it be to have a buffet like that in your own apartment? Hey, a girl can dream…
Anyway, since today’s Friday, here’s what made the cut for this week’s Friday Favorites:
1. Kombucha Tea
I used to drink this stuff in college because it was “low calorie” and I was scared of calories/fat/carbs/everything at the time. I hated the taste back then, but would down it anyway. Now that I know of the extreme health benefits of Kombucha, such as better digestion and immune support, I’ve been trying to add it back into my diet lately. I enjoyed some today with lunch and found myself to have great energy and concentration, without an ounce of coffee all day! Even better, I actually really enjoy the flavor now and find it to be super refreshing. I decided to go with one of GT’s newer flavors: Botanic No. 3 with hints of lavender and elderberry.
2. Sweating it Out
I have to admit; I’ve been totally slacking when it comes to cardio lately. My busy schedule mixed with core fusion classes mixed with walking all around the city has prompted me to put cardio on the back burner. However, yesterday night after an extremely stressful day I decided to go for a good, old-fashioned run on the treadmill. Who knew how exhilarating just 30 minutes of sweating could be? I loved the the energy burst I got, the clarity I found, and how amazing it made me feel over all. I’m definitely going to be incorporating some more cardio into my daily lifestyle again. Not too much, but enough. It’s just running & I work very well together. I’m also thinking about registering for another half marathon coming up if my iffy knees allow for it. I will certainly keep you posted!
3. Love Letters
The whole Valentine’s Day thing got me thinking about love letters, and how you simply don’t see enough of ‘em this day and age. As I expressed on my blog before, words mean more to me than any gift could ever mean and the card The Boy made me for Valentine’s Day was my favorite part. If I got a love letter sent to me every day, I would be the happiest girl on earth. OK, maybe not every day but you know what I mean. And it doesn’t even have to be from your significant other. It could be a love letter to your best friend, a love letter to yourself, or a handwritten “I love You” note on a napkin for your roommate who’s having a bad week at work. I wrote one for The Boy yesterday ’cause he’s been having a tough week, and it made me feel good knowing it’d make him feel good. Go ahead, write it out. It feels pretty good, now doesn’t it?
Do you pride yourself on making tasty apps and one-bite desserts? Are you looking for a way to let our your inner Rachael Ray? Don’t lie…we know you pretend you’re on your own celebrity chef television show when no one is watching (well, other than your dog Spot).
Well, maybe Whole Foods’ last chance contest is exactly what you need to embrace that inner chef! Today, Wednesday August 11th is the last day to enter into the exclusive “Contest for Small Bites,” hosted by Whole Foods Market. The challenge is to craft up a delectable “small bites” holiday recipe that costs no more than 50 cents per piece.
Yes, we know what you’re thinking. “A holiday recipe? But it’s only just August…” Well, guess what? If your bite size goodies are selected, you’ll receive a $50 gift card and be featured in the December issue of The Whole Deal.
So put on that snowman apron, whip out those oven mitts, and start cookin’! But hurry up, today is the LAST day to enter. Click here for more details on the contest and to post your recipe…and good luck!