Archive of ‘Healthy Living’ category

5 Ways to Thrive in 2015!

 

Happy almost New Year! If your Christmas Season was like ours, it was very busy, but awesome. Lots of time spent with family and friends. Small splurges ‘here and there.’ I do believe in splurges at times, but it’s time for us to get even more serious about our already serious dietary changes. David’s actually been more hardcore lately–we know that the most likely time period for his cancer to return is between 3-5 years. We are approaching 3 years and so I think we’re both making sure that we are doing everything we can to support his health. Cancer or not, I feel that the dietary changes we’ve made since David got sick are life changing. I WILL NEVER GO BACK. PERIOD. I feel so much better and what we eat now tastes better too! In the classes I’ve taught over the past few years, many people have come up to me, very overwhelmed by all of the information shared, and asked where they should start. This post is dedicated to YOU! Anyone who has ever wondered where to start a healthier lifestyle. Many people have shared with me that they are scared their kids will ‘revolt’ if the family ‘diet’ changes drastically. Small steps. Baby steps. Any change in the right direction is a great starting point! This is the first of many ‘doable’ posts. Ideas and suggestions that everyone can implement. Here are 5 ways to thrive in 2015!

5 ways to thrive in 20151. Skip the SUGAR!

I learned shortly after David got sick that sugar ‘feeds’ cancer-especially brain cancer. Did you know that PET scans are tests where a radioactive ‘sugar substance’ is injected into a person’s body and the ‘areas of concerns’ are those areas where the cancer cells gobble it up? I know this is not scientific..but it’s the easiest way for me to explain/makes sense of it. Sugar also feeds a HOST of other health issues. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, so much more…Sugar is addictive. We do not use any form of ‘processed sugar.’ We do use organic raw honey or Stevia. Those are two acceptable sweeteners that I’m okay with. We used agave nectar for a while, but the research is so mixed–we just use honey now. Before cancer David was a sugarholic. He could eat dessert faster than anyone you’ve ever seen. Eating a refined sugar free diet is the BIGGEST change we’ve made overall. Sugar is in EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING has sugar. Point made? Candy is a huge problem. Not only is it filled with sugar, it also has a TON of artificial flavors, dyes, and preservatives. These ingredients are harmful for all of our bodies, but especially harmful for children. Check out this package: 5 ways to thrive in 2015 Basically sugar, sugar, and tons of food coloring. Another huge problem with candy and sugar is that when we eat ‘junk’ food, we are filling our bodies with JUNK. If you get full on candy, then you won’t have any room or appetite for nutritious food.

Here are a few quick, easy, and healthy snack ideas for 2015:5 ways to thrive in 2015!

  1. Green drinks (see Wells’ picture above)! Here’s my recipe! More to come!
  2. Fresh fruit/veggies.
  3. Almond meal cookies! Or Almond butter balls!
  4. Dried apple chips (see above)! Organic! $2.29 at TJ Maxx or HomeGoods!

 


5 ways to thrive in 20152. Opt for Organics!

Did you know that Trader Joe’s organic baby spinach is the SAME PRICE as the conventional (non-organic) baby spinach? Same size package. $1.99 each. That’s a no-brainer. This Whole Foods yogurt (that Wells enjoys with a little bit of organic raw honey) is $2.99. Fruits/veggies/dairy products can be laden with GMOs, pesticide residue, and other artificial stuff. The only way to make sure you are not buying GMO food items is to go Organic or look for the “Non-GMO project certified” label. Check out this list below. The DIRTY dozen includes items that are MOST important to purchase organic. The CLEAN 15 includes items that have less pesticide residue. CORN is a MAJOR GMO crop, please purchase ORGANIC corn AND organic products with corn by-products. When we began changing our diet, I took a printed copy of this list with me to the store (or snapped a photo of it with my iphone). I always had it with me incase I forgot. Now I purchase as much organic as possible. If the item I’m purchasing is on the Clean 15 and it’s expensive, I do weigh the cost difference. If it’s not significant, I go organic! 5 ways to thrive in 2015


 3. Look at Labels!

If you aren’t someone who typically reads labels when shopping, it’s very important to begin to do so! We eat as much ‘whole food’ as possible…meaning that we eat little processed food. Of course I’m going to allow Wells to have some snacks, but I do purchase Annie’s organic snacks, instead of conventional brands. Ex: they have organic cheese bunnies and he eats those instead of goldfish. If you are shopping at Whole Foods, Earth Fare, or Rosewood Market, you are guaranteed food items that are free from artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors. If you’re shopping at a conventional grocery store, you’re going to need to really watch your labels. Here are a few examples:

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Bad: The front of the Capri Sun box reads: “No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.” High fructose corn syrup (a highly processed form of sugar) is the 2nd ingredient! Probably made with GMO corn. That’s a highly processed form of corn and is not something I want anyone in my house to drink. As a special treat we buy Honest Kids juices. Here’s their box.

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Better: Honest Kids Drinks-Organic, 50% less sugar, and no high fructose corn syrup. Ahhh. Much better.

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Bad: Pringles- Check out that list of ingredients. They are tasty and cheap, but is it worth it? I think not.

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Better: Terra Chips-made from real vegetables. These are not organic, but most are non GMO project certified!

IMG_8223Bad: Conventional Microwave Popcorn. GMO corn, artificial ingredients. Preservatives.  Better: Make your own! Buy Organic corn kernels! Heat 1/4 cup kernels in a brown paper bag in the microwave for approx. 2 minutes. Pour in olive oil, coconut oil, or grapeseed oil. Sprinkle with salt. Serve! Affordable, healthy, and delicious!

 


 

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4. Moooooooooove toward Heathier Meat! 

Want 100 reasons? Watch Food Matters-that will do it for you! I only purchase meat at Whole Foods or Earth Fare. Scared of what it will do to your grocery bill? Check out my posts on how to save money at Earth Fare and Whole Foods! I usually buy meat at Earth Fare when it’s only sale. I stock up. I buy 6+ lbs of chicken when it’s less than $3 per pound. I individually bag it and freeze it. I always have it when we need it and I bought it at the best price. I do the same thing with steak, salmon, and crab cakes. They run specials ALL of the time on their meat. You do not want to get ‘stuck’ without meat when you need it…if you have to go buy it and it’s not on sale, it will be more expensive than conventional meat. I LOVE the strict standards that these stores have for the meat they sell. No antibiotics, hormones, etc…and they value animal welfare! As for red meat, we only eat grass fed red meat. Note: Bison is delicious and all bison is grass fed.


 

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5. Educate, Eat, Enjoy!

Don’t be scared to watch some documentaries that outline problems with our food supply. They are convicting and EXTREMELY informative. Fed Up and Food Matters and two of my favorites! Also, as I’ve shared before, one of my favorite reads is: anticancerbook

I wish, wish, wish that I knew then what I know now. I honestly wish that I could rewind time and begin the healthy habits we have now years ago. I am convinced that making healthy dietary choices has a huge impact on health.

Prayers that this post might encourage you to make 2015 your healthiest year yet. I have so many recipes I need to post. I will be posting much more often in 2015. That’s my commitment to you-I am very passionate about the information I’ve learned and love teaching others. Have you made any resolutions to be healthier in 2015? If so, please share below! If you implement any of my 5 ways to thrive in 2015, I’d love to hear how it’s going!

Happy 2015!

Lilla

Sprouted Bread Pizzas!

sprouted bread pizzas

Happy Election Day! So thankful to live in a county where we have the freedom to vote. If you haven’t voted yet, please vote–but make sure you are educated about who you are voting for!

Thanks to a school holiday today, you’re getting 2 recipes from me in 3 days. This is definitely a record! I’m excited to be able to post these pictures that I’ve had for about a month!

If you’re like me, I like already knowing what I’m going to fix for dinner one night a week. Like a standing tradition. For us, that night is Friday night. We have pizza night-sprouted bread pizza night to be exact! If we have plans or if we are heading out of town, then we have our pizza night Thursday night. We love pizza…we always have loved pizza. Since we’ve changed the way we eat, the idea of delivery from one of the well known pizza restaurants makes me cringe. I can’t do it. Making pizza at home requires a little more work…but the key word here is LITTLE. This pizza is really easy and tastes great! Best of all, it is made with sprouted bread.

Here’s a little background about why we eat sprouted bread. When David was diagnosed with cancer I started doing a ton of research–most of you know that already! I learned that sugar ‘feeds’ cancer cells…brain cancer imparticular.  When you eat refined carbohydrates…like bread…your body metabolizes those foods just like it would sugar. I know that everything you eat turns into glucose, but there are some foods that seriously spike your blood sugar! White bread, for example (and MOST conventional store wheat bread even) is so refined that digesting it causes a major blood sugar spike. Not good for David…not good for any of us. We tried avoiding bread for a while when we were living in Houston during his treatments…that didn’t go so well. Thankfully I came across sprouted bread and we’ve been enjoying it ever since! Don’t get me wrong…it is a learned taste. Sprouted breads are flourless and made from sprouted grains. We only buy organic sprouted breads. These breads are lower glycemic and do not cause the major blood sugar spikes that conventional breads do.  They also have a lot more protein and nutrients than regular bread. Food Babe has a very educational post you should read before you buy any bread again…fascinating and true. It’s frightening how much we DON’T know about the foods we consume daily. Read her post here, then come back for my pizza recipe! Okay…now that you are probably scared and checking your pantry to see what’s in the bread at your house–I will share a secret with you. I’ve tried just about EVERY sprouted bread product on the market. *Note: I am not a dietician and am not experienced with diabetes. If you have diabetes/other health concerns, please discuss any dietary changes with your doctor.

Here are some things you need to know:

1. These breads really ARE healthier. 2. They DO NOT contain flour. 3. They aren’t gluten free (just FYI for friends with gluten intolerance). 4. They can be a little dry and my family likes them more when heated or toasted. 5. Your kids will eat sprouted bread–Wells does and loves it.

Alright…my personal favorite is Alvarado Street California Style Complete Protein.the best sprouted bread

It has no added oil, sugar, or flour. This is my go to for sprouted bread. You can buy it at Whole Foods and Earth Fare (in the freezer section) a loaf costs about $4.99. I think this bread is more moist than other sprouted breads. I love eating almond butter and jelly (organic-without added sugar) sandwiches. I’ll refrigerate them during the day and heat the sandwich for 10 seconds before eating it. DELICIOUS! I also use this bread to make my sprouted pizzas. Here’s a tip for all sprouted breads: you’ll buy them frozen because they don’t have any preservatives. Refrigerate just the portion of the loaf you’ll use in 1 week–that way the rest stays fresh in the freezer!

For breakfast David, Wells, and I all love Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Bread.ezekiel cinnamon raisin breadIt has no added oil, sugar or flour. It’s SUPER TASTY toasted with just a tad bit of organic butter or ghee. You can also top it with almond butter or a little bit of honey. We go the butter route though. Cinnamon raisin bread + coffee=morning delight! Try it, you won’t be sorry!

Whew, that was a long aside…but I did want to explain why we eat sprouted breads and why they are healthier. They are more expensive…but like I’ve said before, one way we save a bunch of money is by rarely eating out. The money we save by eating at home allows me to purchase higher quality foods!

Okay-back to the pizza! I use the Alvarado Street bread as the crust for this pizza. Here are a few pictures to show the steps, then I will post the recipe!

sprouted pizza ingredients

Here are the ingredients. From Whole Foods: organic shredded mozzarella, uncured pepperoni, Alvarado Street California Complete Protein Bread. From Trader Joes: Organic baby spinach, organic marinara (this one doesn’t have any added sugar), organic mushrooms, organic squash (or any other veggies). I love making this pizza because it’s a great way to use up any left over veggies I have in my fridge.

IMG_4035Let’s get started! Spread 1-2 T of sauce on each piece of bread.

sprouted pizza ingredients

Sprinkle your chopped veggies and sliced pepperonis over the sauce and top them with wilted spinach (I wilt mine in the microwave).

sprouted pizzasTop with some mozzarella cheese.

sprouted pizzas

Bake (on rack or pizza stone) for 8-12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the edges are slightly brown!

sprouted bread pizzasSlice with a pizza cutter before serving!

quick healthy salad

Here’s a quick and easy salad I serve with pizza. Whole Foods/Rosewood Market: Trocomare seasoning, Annie’s organic oil and vinegar dressing. Trader Joes: organic arugula, organic tomatoes.

sprouted pizzaChop tomatoes, chop arugula (I usually stick some scissors in the bowl and roughly chop it just a little bit), toss with dressing! Quick, easy, and delicious meal! HEALTHY too!

Let me know if you try this!

Lilla

Sprouted Bread Pizzas!

Ingredients

  • The ingredients below are for 4-6 pizzas.
  • 4-6 Sprouted Bread slices (I use Alvarado Street California Complete Protein)
  • 1-2 T (per pizza) Organic marinara or pizza sauce
  • 1-1.5 cups of chopped veggies (mushrooms, squash, onions, etc...)
  • 1 cup wilted spinach
  • 3/4-1 cup of organic shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 c chopped pepperoni
  • Of course you can add more or less of an ingredient--make these to suit you!

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Heat the spinach in the microwave to wilt (in a glass bowl, put a few T of water, and heat for about a minute, covered. It's wilted when it's limp and darker green). Drain the water.
  3. Spread marinara sauce on the slices of sprouted bread.
  4. Sprinkle the chopped veggies and pepperoni on top of the sauce.
  5. Top with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake for 8--12 minutes (depending on your oven). Pizzas will be done when the cheese is melted and the edges are slightly brown!
http://cancerchangesthings.com/sprouted-bread-pizzas/

 

Are You Fed Up?

David and I are really looking forward to this documentary (Fed Up) coming out on DVD/Blu Ray. It will be released Tuesday, September 9! You can even pre-order it. The biggest dietary change we’ve made since David was diagnosed with cancer is avoiding processed/added sugar. We eat natural sugars, but do not eat refined sugar and/or processed food. When you start looking at the nutrition facts on food items, it is terrifying how much added sugar foods have. Sugar hides places you wouldn’t expect–from tonic water to beef jerky..it’s in almost everything. Please join us in watching this documentary. For a sneak peek, here’s the trailer.

Cheers to reducing America’s sugar intake!

 

 

How to Save Money at Earth Fare

How to save money at earth fareI had no idea (until I looked at the date of my last post) that it’s been a month since I posted! We’ve been busy-a trip to Houston (clear scans for David–so thankful), an trip to a friend’s villa in Hilton Head-my parents kept Wells (the first trip we’ve taken without Wells–what a blessing), a weekend at the Todd lake house, starting school, on and on. I took these Earth Fare pictures about three weeks ago with the intention of posting them much sooner…sorry about that. This morning David took Wells to Edventure and I am home because we are having our house pressure washed. I didn’t want them to be around the fumes from the bleach…so they are enjoying some time together this morning. I stayed back to make sure non of the bleach enters our house through some of our ‘vintage’ windows. Anyway…I decided this would be a great time to write a post about Earth Fare. Earth Fare has very strict standards for the food they sell. I love that because it means less stress while I am shopping–I know the food I’m buying won’t have artificial sweeteners, preservatives, etc…You can read about their standards here. One thing I LOVE about Earth Fare is that there are a TON of ways to save money while you are shopping there! I will definitely need a follow-up post to share more about how to save money at Earth Fare, but today I’m going to stick with 6. I don’t want you to get overwhelmed.how to save money at earth fare#1 Sign up for texts and emails and get their app!

Earth Fare does a fantastic job of communicating with shoppers to let you know what is on sale. If you haven’t already you need to sign up to receive their emails and texts NOW! You also need to get their app. Here’s why–you can save a ton of money by knowing what’s on sale. The best part is that you NEVER have to print out a coupon. You can just show the cashier the coupon on your phone…and if you don’t have a smartphone, you can just write down the coupon # on a sheet of paper! You can combine as many coupons as you’d like. It’s awesome. They are very coupon friendly. Okay, so here’s how to get signed up:

1. Text EAT to 71700. That gets you signed up for their text message coupons. They aren’t junk coupons. They are great coupons! Here are a few of the deals I have received from Earth Fare texts this week: $3.29/lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (these are safe and healthy), $9.99/lb Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, $5.99 take and bake cheese pizza (these are REALLY delicious), and 5 avocados for $5.00.

2. Sign up for Tomato Bank. This is their money saving program. You can earn points for lots of different things. The points can be redeemed for money off of your grocery bill.Sign up here…it’s quick and easy! When you sign up for Tomato Bank, you will begin receiving emails from Earth Fare. These emails include GREAT deals too! (Deals that are different from the text coupons. You can use these deals along with the text coupons).

3. Get the Earth Fare app. Just type in “Earth Fare” in the app store to search for it. The app is crucial because it’s a quick and easy way to see what’s on sale. It DOES NOT always include all of the deals from text and email. It DOES sometimes include ‘app exclusive’ deals. I always check it as soon as I walk in the store.

Here’s an email I received yesterday–LOVE the grass fed beef deal!

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I shop the Earth Fare deals ALL of the time. I save a TON of money using these deals. I buy almost all of my meat at Earth Fare when it is on sale and freeze it until I need it. I’m a HUGE fan of the coupons/deals Earth Fare offers.

 

how to save money at earth fare

#2 Shop the Daily Deals

Earth Fare has a ‘deal’ (sometimes more than one) for each day of the week. This is a great way to save money, know you are eating healthy food, and stay out of the kitchen (if you don’t have time to cook). Wednesday is my favorite day of the Earth Fare Deals. The protein/side deal from the deli is AWESOME.

 

Here are some pictures from the last time I took advantage of this deal. Wells and I had plenty left over and ate the rest for dinner! You get to pick a protein (they do have vegan protein options) and two sides. Delicious. Cheap. Easy.

how to save money at earth fare

Wednesdays are also $5 sushi days. Earth Fare’s sushi is made fresh daily and we LOVE it. There is a brown rice option. Wednesdays all sushi rolls marked “Sushi Wednesday” are $5.00. If you don’t see one you like in the case, you can ask in the deli and they will make one for you. There are 7 different varieties that Earth Fare offers for $5.00.

 

how to save money at earth fare#3 Shop the “Real Low” Deals 

Earth Fare has a huge list of ‘real low’ deals. These deals aren’t specials for a specific period of time. They are ongoing…and a lot of these ‘real low’ deals are things that you purchase all of the time…I promise! Throughout the store the real low deals are marked with a tag (like the picture above). You don’t need a coupon for these deals…it’s automatic when you get to the register. They add items to this list all of the time. Sometimes they even send a survey to customers to get opinions on what items should be added to the list! Check out the list here.

 

how to save money at whole foods#4 Buy in Bulk-spices even!

When we first started changing the way we eat, one of the most overwhelming projects was my spice cabinet. If you’ve ever looked at organic spices you know that they are REALLY expensive. If you cook a lot you need a lot of spices, so replacing all of your spices would be very expensive. Conventional spices have additives, preservatives, gmos, etc… I don’t want those items entering the food that I cook, so I believe it’s really important to have ‘safe spices’…Confession: I am still working on my spice cabinet. A few months ago I had an idea. I think it’s a great one (you’ll have to let me know if you agree!) I began purchasing small amounts of spices from the bulk section at Earth Fare. They have so many organic options! When you purchase a small amount you are only spending $1-$3. Very affordable. I decided to take the plastic baggies of spices I purchased and put them in my ‘conventional’ spice bottles. I washed and dried the bottles and labeled them with the date that I replaced the spice. I also wrote organic on the label. Replacing my cinnamon cost me less than a dollar. Replacing my garlic cost me less than $2.00. This is a very affordable way to replace your spices and reuse containers that you already have.

how to save money at earth fareHere’s my garlic powder. Now it’s organic. Not fancy, but very functional!

 

how to save money at earth fare#5 Shop the Sales 

Earth Fare allows you to use coupons on sale items. If they email you a $6 off of $45 or $11 off of $70, you can use that coupon along with other coupons or in store specials. Like I said before, I purchase almost all of my meat from Earth Fare. Buying grass-fed beef is more expensive, but the quality far outweighs the price difference. We save money each month by rarely eating out…we eat at home…and we eat really good food. I love knowing what is in the food we are eating and where the food came from. You do NOT have that luxury when you are eating out. Earth Fare offers so many quick meal options that can really help you when you are pushed for time.

how to save money at earth fare

Last year we made Friday night ‘pizza’ night. David stopped by Earth Fare on his way home from work and picked up one of the take and bake pizzas. Earth Fare puts take and bake cheese pizzas on sale very often for under $6.00.  They regularly have cheese, pepperoni, and veggie. We usually get veggie and ask the deli to add a few pepperonis (under $10.00)! These pizzas are delicious and the crust is organic. They are all made in house. There are healthier dinner options that pizza–I know that…but by Friday I’m exhausted and I know Earth Fare pizza is a lot healthier and cheaper than ordering delivery pizza. It’s something we look forward to–our weekly pizza night!

 

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#6 Shop Discontinued Items

Next time you go to Earth Fare, look closely at the green tags. Some green tags are simply sale tags…others say ‘discontinued’ and reflect a major drop in the price. These items are only available until the product runs out…but you can get a great deal while it lasts! I bought some Kiss My Face sunscreen this Spring that Earth Fare was discontinuing. It ended up becoming my favorite (and it was half price)…I used it all summer on Wells! They also have a metal rack back by the bread section that has a bunch of ‘final sale’ products on it. Those products are being discontinued as well…great deals if it is something you can use!

I hope this post will encourage you to sign up for Earth Fare coupons/texts/etc. I hope you’ve learned some great tips about how to save money at Earth Fare! I know Earth Fare has helped me save a ton of money–while also feeding my family food that I feel great about! All of these ideas and opinions are my own. This post is not sponsored by Earth Fare. Please comment with any questions/feedback. I love to receive comments! (The comment link for this post is at the top of the post). Thanks for reading my blog…my next post will be MUCH sooner than a month from now!

 

 

 

 

 

How to Save Money at Whole Foods

How to save money at whole foodsI can’t tell you how often people ask me, “How do you afford to shop at Whole Foods?” If you read about me here, you will quickly realize that prior to my husband’s diagnosis of brain cancer, I was an AVID coupon shopper! We started shopping at Whole Foods when David was a patient at MD Anderson and we were living in Texas during the summer of 2012. Shortly after we arrived back home, a Whole Foods opened a few miles from our house! You can call it fate…destiny…whatever. I call it a blessing. I immediately realized that I was not in the ‘Publix coupon world.’ As much as I love that Publix doubles coupons and as much money as I saved shopping at Publix, I now REFUSE to buy products with artificial ingredients/colors/preservatives. I didn’t know better before. I LOVE what Whole Foods stands for. You can read about their quality standards here. The other night David was brave enough to watch Food Inc. (on Netflix) with me. Previously he hasn’t been willing to watch it because he is afraid that it will turn me into a vegetarian…and I do all of the cooking. He’s not interested in becoming a vegetarian-by default. (Shhh! don’t tell him our diet is mostly plant based) Anyway… after watching the documentary, he definitely wants to continue eating meat, but did say that he’s completely done with fast food (which is a HUGE change from 2 years ago). What we don’t know about the food we eat is terrifying and is hurting our nation and our health.

Okay-sorry for that little aside…back to saving money at Whole Foods. Bottom line: YOU CAN SAVE MONEY AT WHOLE FOODS. YOU CAN SAVE MONEY AND BUY QUALITY PRODUCE/PRODUCTS! Don’t be intimidated! This is my first in a series of posts about how to save money at Whole Foods and other healthy grocery stores in town. In case you’re curious, Whole Foods did not sponsor this post. These are my own ideas and opinions and I’m writing this because I am passionate about helping people eat healthier on a budget! Here are a few tips to get you started…more to come!

how to save money at whole foods

#1 Shop In-Season Produce-  It’s corn season right now. Obviously, when produce is in season the prices will be lower because there will be more supply. It’s difficult, if not impossible to find fresh organic corn…but non-gmo is the next best thing. You DO NOT want to purchase GMO corn. Here’s why- Look for non GMO signs..corn is one of the top GMO crops. Another example: I buy a ton of fresh organic blueberries in the summer…and buy frozen organic ones in the winter when the fresh ones aren’t in season. Fresh organic blueberries are much more expensive in the winter (if they are even available at all). I love cooking with produce that is in season…it’s fresher, it tastes better, and it’s a fun way to enjoy the harvest of each season!

How to save money at whole foods#2 Buy in Bulk- So I’ll be the first one to admit that the bulk section can be a little intimidating. Imagine a bunch of clear bins filled with a lot of items I haven’t heard of and/or don’t know how to use! If you learn how to shop them they can be very useful! Whether you need a little or a lot of an item, bulk bins can be a great way to save money! Example: I use dates to make these delicious peanut butter cookie larabars. Pitted dates would save me a lot of time, so I asked one of the friendly produce men where I could find some organic pitted dates. The dates I used to buy are found in the refrigerated section, are around $8.00 per pound, and aren’t pitted. The dates from the bulk section are already pitted (easier and you’re not paying for the pit) and are $5.69 per pound! One of my favorite parts of shopping the bulk bins is that you can buy as little or as much as you like. If you want…you can just buy a few items to try-no strings attached! Just remember to write the PLU # on the bag so they will know how to charge you at the register. (One of my first trips to Whole Foods in Houston I didn’t know that trick and it took forever for the cashier to figure out what items I had in the bags)…Lesson learned-label your bulk items.

how to save money at whole foods#3 Use Coupons/Buy Cases- Every two months, Whole Foods puts out their “Whole Deal” coupon booklet. The same coupons are also available on their website. The most awesome thing about the Whole Foods coupons is that they can be used an unlimited number of times! Yes–you read that correctly! This means that if you like a particular item enough to buy a case…for bars a case is 12 (or how many come in a box)…for other items it may be different. Soft drinks are four 6-packs to a case. Ask to find out the specific quantity to make a case. If you purchase any item by the case you will automatically receive 10% off your total for that case. You are allowed to mix/match flavors. If the item has a Whole Foods coupon available, you may use the Whole Foods coupon on EACH item. Right now there are 50 cent coupons available for CLIF Mojos and Kit’s Organic bars. You can use this deal to get a great price on a case of bars! This is a great example of how to save money at Whole Foods! Note: Manufacturer coupons may only be used once. Whole Foods issued coupons are the only ones that allow multiple uses!

How to save money at whole foods#4 Shop for Produce in the Freezer Section- Don’t you hate it when you buy some fresh produce, stash it in the fridge when you get home, and a few days/weeks later you throw out something that doesn’t even resemble the fresh produce you ‘recently’ bought? One tip for keeping produce fresh longer AND saving money is shopping for produce in the freezer section. Organic peppers are expensive. They are also hard to find when not in season. Alas, Whole Food’s store brand (365) has a large bag of already chopped red, yellow, and green organic peppers for just shy of $3.00. This bag usually lasts 3-4 recipes in my house. Frozen produce is packed with nutrients because it’s harvested and quickly frozen at it’s peak. From organic corn, to organic berries, to organic quinoa. The frozen section is the way to go for saving money and convenience!

IMG_7161#5 Shop the Sales I spy BOGO. Do you see it? Whole Foods might not advertise their BOGO deals quite as well as some other stores in our area…but they have them! Pay attention to the advertised specials and sign up for their newsletter. Sometimes I find the best deals when I’m doing my regular shopping and see a sale tag. One thing I really love is that their deals go on for longer periods…2 weeks up to a month. That gives you ample time to get back to purchase more of an item before it goes off sale. For more information you can check our their money saving site here.

how to save money at whole foods

#6 Learn the Store- This tip is for the prepared food section. Whole Foods has a label “Health Starts Here” that means items are the epitome of health. Foods with this label are whole foods, plant strong, and don’t contain any added extras (like extracted oils or sweeteners). More info here if you’re interested. Anyway…if you need a quick lunch or dinner…you can grab $4/4. In the prepared food section (foods behind the case) you can choose anything with the Health Starts Here label. You can choose 4 different items or double one. You may not double two items. Each day the selection varies a little. If you do this you’ll be getting a ton of really healthy food for $4.00. You can’t beat that! Here’s a picture of one I purchased this week. You can’t see how deep the container is, but let me just say you’ll definitely be pleasantly surprised by the amount of food. I chose the three items pictured below and doubled the Caribbean Chicken Salad.

I hope this posts leaves you excited about your next trip to Whole Foods. I will say that we frequent Whole Foods so much that when Wells is ‘pretend driving’ anywhere..and I ask him where he’s going he says “Whole Foods.” Cracks me up. If I drive by and we don’t go in he has been known to cry. He loves the store…and REALLY loves the snack wagon for kids. A free treat per visit. In Wells’ opinion…you can’t beat that.

how to save money at whole foods

Do you have any other tips? If so, please leave a comment below!

Watermelon Summertime Salad…Mmmmm!

Watermelon Summertime Salad

Watermelon Summertime Salad

photo provided courtesy of foodnetwork.com

Lilla’s Notes: I made this watermelon summertime salad for our family 4th of July celebration at the lake a few weekends ago. It was the first time I’ve made it and I thought it was the perfect mix of summertime fruit with a slightly tangy dressing. I bought the bagged organic arugula from Trader Joe’s…and that worked out perfect! To make it even easier, I also bought my favorite inexpensive cheese from Trader Joe’s instead of shredding my own. It’s Parmesan, Romano, & Asiago Cheese…and it’s raw and under $3.00! We enjoyed it with hotdogs, hamburgers, and sweet potato fries! Tips: Don’t make the salad too far ahead–or the dressing will wilt the arugula. You can make the dressing ahead of time and let it sit a little while before mixing it with the salad! Yum, Yum!

 

 

Homemade Peanut Butter Larabars

Homemade Peanut Butter Larabars

Homemade peanut butter larabars

photo provided courtesy of ediblesoundbites.com

Lilla’s Notes: Currently I am doing The Daniel Fast with my sister, Ashley. On this fast I cannot eat any sugar–at all–whatsoever. I was craving something a little sweet and these homemade peanut butter cookie larabars really hit the spot! I’ve made these twice already. Wells loves helping me push the buttons on the food processor. I bought organic dates from the Whole Foods bulk bin–$3.00 cheaper per pound than buying the organic ones in the fridge section. Also, the ones I bought were already pitted! I used unsalted roasted peanuts from Trader Joes. The first time I made thin bars–I was trying to make them a good deal smaller than an actual Larabar. The second time I rolled them into little balls…well, more like mashed them into balls. Tip: I love these cold! So, I keep them in the refrigerator. Kid friendly–Wells loves them too. He calls them his peanut butter cookie balls! I upped the nut amount a tad to make them a little less sweet…I was craving something savory too! One last note…I made these once with raw peanuts. I had to toss those and try again. The consistency and taste were not even close to the ones I made with the roasted and unsalted peanuts. Although I typically love raw nuts, skip the raw peanuts for this recipe…you’ll be glad you did!

Almond Butter Balls

Almond Butter Balls

almond butter balls

photo provided courtesy of elanaspantry.com

Lilla’s Notes: I LOVE these almond butter balls! I use Trader Joe’s crunchy, raw almond butter! I also use a lot more flaxmeal than the recipe calls for. You can buy organic flaxmeal on the oatmeal isle of Whole Foods or Earth Fare. Usually it’s made by Bob’s Red Mill-you need the ground kind. I also like to add chopped walnuts for an extra crunch! I love to put these in the freezer and pop them out a few minutes before I want to eat one. They remind me of an ice cream Snicker’s bar and days spent at the pool as a kid. We used to run up my dad’s tab at the snack bar with our sugary purchases….Tips: I heat the chocolate chips on low and haven’t had a problem. You need to salt the almond butter balls while the chocolate is still wet. I salt a few then dip some more. Also, freezing the balls before you dip them in chocolate helps them hold together. I use a fork to roll the ball in the chocolate (two forks on either side…not one through the ball).

Delicious Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Delicious Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

delicious paleo chocolate chip cookies

photo provided courtesy of oatmealwithafork.com

Lilla’s Notes: I’ve made a ton of cookies with almond meal, but these are the most delicious paleo chocolate chip cookies I’ve made! I use Trader Joe’s Almond Meal (4.99 for a 1 lb bag). I also use 70% cacao organic chocolate chips. These have MUCH less sugar than those with less cacao content. I use Equal Exchange Chocolates brand. Found on the baking isle of Whole Foods. I also use either all Coconut Oil (Trader Joes brand, organic) OR I use half organic salted butter/half coconut oil. Sometimes David requests a little butter flavor (I know you’re all shocked that he still likes butter-haha!) These freeze really well! Tips: One bag of Trader Joe’s almond meal is a little over 5 cups-I usually bake large batches! Also, I use unbleached parchment paper from Whole Foods to make the clean up easier! Another helpful hint is that as these sit on the counter they can become mushy. I like to keep them in the fridge. They are good cold, or even better heated a little in the microwave right before they are eaten! They store very well if you separate them with parchment paper in a glass container or ziploc bag!

Quick Healthy Breakfast Ideas

 

quick healthy breakfast ideasOrganic Steel Cut Oats (quick cooking in the microwave)-the cheapest way is to buy the 24oz cylinder from Earth Fare. Whole Foods doesn’t carry quick cooking organic steel cut oats. We love these with organic chia seeds, a few walnuts, and frozen blueberries. The blueberries really cool down the hot oatmeal very fast! A bit of honey is a great way to sweeten it too!
quick healthy breakfast ideasEzekiel Cinnamon Raisin Bread-I buy this from Whole Foods or Earth Fare because Trader Joe’s doesn’t keep theirs frozen…I think it tastes fresher when it’s been kept in the freezer. Toast a piece! I eat mine plain! David like a little butter. Almond butter is good as well!
quick healthy breakfast ideasTrader Joe’s Organic Corn Flakes…I try to avoid cereal because I know there are WAY healthier options. Problem is David is a HUGE cereal fan…and consequently, Wells loves it too. We try to switch it up and definitely don’t eat it every morning. When we do, we will eat this. David has switched to using half organic almond milk/half organic milk. If I eat cereal, I use all almond milk. The texture is a little different…but there is virtually O sugar!
quick healthy breakfast ideasNature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola. I found this incredible treat when we were in Houston while David was going through treatment. Most granolas have A TON OF SUGAR! This one has much less than the others. A box of this lasts us a REALLY long time. We put a dash in with the organic corn flakes–it adds a special crunch and a delicious flavor. Easy to find in stores-EF, WF, TJ.
quick healthy breakfast ideasVega protein smoothie. Sometimes if I work out in the morning I need something light and cold. David and I have both tried to like the Raw proteins…they are organic….but the texture is too grainy for us. We will mix this smoothie powder with organic almond milk, 1/4-1/2 frozen banana, and a few ice cubes. Delicious, filling, and provides 2 servings of veggies!

Do you have any favorite quick healthy breakfast ideas that you’d like to share? If so, please leave a comment below!

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