Super Simple (Almost) Raw Pasta

This week I made a fantastic quick lunch dish that I wanted to share.

Yes that’s right, I’m sharing a recipe!  WHAT?!

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This super simple dish came together in bout 30 minutes and was filling and all sorts of delish…tangy and crunchy and refreshing and light.

Super Simple (Almost) Raw Pasta

2 zucchini (mine were ~5 in each)
1 carrot (same size)
1-1.5 Tbsp oil
1 large clove of garlic, minced.
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2+ Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

Make raw noodles using a spiralizer, juliennee peeler, regular peeler, or sharp knife.

Heat a frying pan on medium-low When the pan is warm, add oil (you may need more or less depending on the pan you’re using). When the oil is warm, add garlic and pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes.  Add raw pasta, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, and salt and pepper. Mix together and heat for 3-5 minutes, depending on how soft you want the noodles. Top with additional nooch and hemp seeds.

That’s it! It was a filling, delicious, colorful, and filling lunch.

Yoga/beauty/mmm,

Kait xo

 

Money Saving Monday: Three Trips

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Happy Monday all! Not sure why I’m so excited about this…probably because I feel like this week, there’s something good coming. In fact, let’s just make a pact right now: good things happen this week. Period.  ;)

Before I get to the meat tofu of this post, In case you missed my *gasp* Saturday update, be sure to head over to Sunday Paper Coupons to read my guest post. I also made sure to add the link to my still-new Couponing page here at YBL.

No tip this week…my writing muse (I think I should name her…any suggestions?) has been inspiring me left and right. So, instead, be on the look out for more frequent posts and a return to more-than-just couponing topics. ;)

Meal Plan

Pasta with mustard greens and grape tomatoes.
Zuke pasta with tahini sauce and other goodness with a side of roasted taters
Curried Corn Soup (from Parade magazine. #noshame)
Some kale salad with baked tofu of some sort

Last night we had Curried Ginger and Raisin Lentils with quinoa and hummus. This is one of my go-to dishes when I need something hearty, delicious, and quick. During school there were definitely days where I cooked this while I got ready in the am. Grad school: encouraging resourcefulness, one rushed recipe at a time.

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Spending Savings

After last week’s awesome deals, this week was a bit of a let-down. I was convinced we only would have to go to the farmer’s market and BJs…and they didn’t have avocados and after surviving last week with only one the whole week I needed them. So off to Trader’s we went. *dramatic sigh*

Farmer’s Market: $24.00
BJs: $30.60
Trader Joe’s: $24.68
Total: $79.38

Farmer’s Market: $1.50
BJs
: $9.31
Traders: $1.50
Total: $12.31 (16%)

Steals and Deals

BJ’s

Some BJs store coupons can be printed online here. Otherwise, the coupons are included in the monthly mailer members receive and/or the in-store coupon fliers.

Buy (1) Snikiddy Sea Salt Fries (16 oz), $3.69
Use (1) $1.00/1 Snikiddy Sea Salt Fries BJs coupon
with (1) $0.75/1 Snikiddy product (4 oz+) coupon
Total: $1.94

Buy (1) Chobani 12-pack, $10.79
Use (1) $2.50/1 Chobani 12-pack BJs coupon
with (up to 12) $0.30/1 6 oz Chobani yogurt cup coupon
Total: as low as* $4.69 or $0.39/cup
*If you have two computers you can print 4 coupons so more realistically it’ll be about $7.09 or $0.59/cup which is still awesome!

Trader Joe’s

Organic lacinto kale (10 oz): $2.29
Organic carrots (1 lb): $0.89
Avocados (4-pack): $3.49
Local zucchini: $0.79 each
Raw sunflower seeds (1 lb): $1.99
Unsweetened applesauce (25 oz) $1.99
Organic frozen peas (1 lb): $1.99
Dried cranberries (8 oz)L $1.99
Chocolate chips (1 lb): $1.99

Buy (1) Barbara’s Shredded Wheat (24 oz), $3.99
Use (1) $1.50/1 Barbara’s product coupon
Total: $2.49

Buy (1) Ezekiel 4:9 loaf, $3.99
Use (1) $0.50/1 Food for Life product coupon
Total: $3.49

There you have it. Be sure to check back Wednesday for a super simple recipe.

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

Guest Posting – Sunday Paper Coupon

Hi all!

You probably think I’ve gone a bit bonkers because I’m posting on a Saturday but I assure you…I haven’t. At least no more than usual.

Anyway, this is a quick check-in to invite you to check out my guest post over on Sunday Paper Coupon. I was super stoked when Jayme reached out to me and couldn’t have been happier to share my story.

I hope you enjoy.

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

The Kait-Approved BJ’s Pricebook

When it comes to grocery shopping, I’ve been totally spoiled with the opportunity to shop at stores like Wegmans and Safeway where I can check prices online.  However, when the beau and I decided to invest in a BJs membership, I knew we would end up spending an afternoon wandering around the store and collecting the prices of goodies.  Hence, this pricebook was born.  Consider it a living entity that will be updated as necessary.

What does ‘Kait-approved’ mean?

Before I get into the actually products, I want to clarify what this pricebook is and is not.  ‘Kait-approved’ simply means that all of the products on this list meet my shopping guidelines.  Generally, I focus on purchasing products from companies whose values align with mine.  Specifically, this means that I focus on purchasing items that are produced and/or grown

  • locally
  • sustainably
  • fairly
  • organically
  • with whole foods ingredients (e.g. whole wheat flour, no preservatives, etc)

My budget means sometimes I have to make sacrifices to one or more of these values.  For example, as much as I’d love to buy local, hand-made pasta, the fact that I can get whole wheat Barilla for around $0.50/box means I get the Barilla.

Additionally, I follow a plant-based diet.  This means that you won’t find prices for any items produced with animal products (e.g. meat, eggs, dairy, meat-based broths, etc) on this list.

And now…

The Pricebook

Product Name

Size

Price

Unit Price

Fresh Organic Dates 2 lb $8.99 $4.50/lb
Dried Dates 40 oz $7.49 $2.99/lb
Raisins 3 lb $6.99 $2.33/lb
Food Should Taste Good 20 oz $5.99 $4.80/lb
Popchips 11 oz $4.49 $6.53/lb
Xochitl tortilla chips 24 oz $5.59 $3.73/lb
RW Garcia tortilla chips 32 oz $4.59 $2.30/lb
Cape Cod Chips 18 oz $4.99 $4.44/lb
Utz 16 oz $4.99 $4.99/lb
Wilds Riceworks Chips 14 oz $4.99 $5.70/lb
Lara Uberbars 12 pack $10.99 $0.92/bar
Coconut Water 68 oz $7.99 $15.04/gal
V8 2 gal $5.69 $2.84/gal
Silk Soymilk 1.5 gal $7.99 $5.33/gal
Blue Diamond almond milk 86 oz $3.49 $5.19/gal
Lucini sauce 25.5 oz $3.99 $2.89/lb
Rozanno sauce 2, 32 oz jars $6.99 $1.24/lb
Grey Poupon dijon mustard 2, 16 oz jars $6.79 3.40/lb
Guldens mustard 4, 12 oz jars $4.99 $1.66/lb
Organic ketchup 2, 44 oz jars $6.99 $1.27/lb
Sweet Chili sauce 20 oz $3.99 $3.20/lb
Kikomann low sodium soy sauce 40 oz $5.49 $17.57/gal
Whole Grain Barilla 8, 13.5 oz boxes $9.49 $1.36/lb
Organic fancy/real pasta 2 lb $4.99 $2.50/lb
Seeds of Change 4 pack $7.99 $2/pack
Brown Rice 4 lbs $4.99 $1.25/lb
Rice Select 48 oz $7.99 $2.78/lb
Arborio rice 4 lbs $4.99 $1.25/lb
Muir Glen tomatoes 6 cans $6.99 $1.16/can
Capers 16 oz $5.79 $5.79/lb
Olives 6, 6 oz cans $6.49 $1.08/can; $2.88/lb
Minced garlic 32 oz $3.99 $2.00/lb
Goya black beans 6, 15 oz cans $4.29 $0.72/can; $4.78/lb
Goya kidney beans 6, 15 oz cans $4.29 $0.72/can; $4.78/lb
Goya chickpeas 6, 15 oz cans $4.99 $0.83/can; $5.32/lb
EVOO 1 liter (~34 oz) $5.99 $22.55/gal
Organic EVOO 1 liter (~34 oz) $8.99 $33.85/gal
Carapelli EVOO 1 liter (~34 oz) $7.99 $30.08/gal
Calavalita garlic oil 32 oz $6.99 $27.96/gal
Balsalmic Vinegar 1 liter (~34 oz) $9.99 $37.61/gal
Rumfords aluminum-free baking powder 2 cans $3.29 $1.65/can
Maple syrup 32 oz $12.99 $51.96/gal
Honey Bunches of Oats 4, 48 oz boxes $6.99 $2.33/lb
Cascadian Farm granola $4.99 $2.35/lb
Frosted Mini Wheats 70 oz $8.39 $1.92/lb
Tofu 32 oz $3.99 $2.00/lb
Gardein black bean burgers 12 $12.99 $1.08 ea
Fresh Express organic greens 1 lb $4.49
English cucumbers 2 pack $2.39 $1.20/cuke
Avocados 4 pack $3.29 $0.82/avo
Organic garlic 5 bulbs $1.99
Cherry tomatoes 32 oz $4.99 $2.50/lb
Pineapple 1 $1.99
Organic strawberries 1 lb $3.79 $3.79/lb
Bananas 3 lb $1.49 $0.50/lb
Frozen mango 4 lb $7.69 $1.92/lb
Frozen mixed berries 3 lb $9.99 $3.33/lb
Wymans blueberries 3 lb $7.39 $2.46/lb
Frozen spinach 3.5 lb $5.29 $1.51/lb
Frozen corn 6 lb $6.99 $1.17/lb
Organic frozen peas 4 lb $6.49 $1.62/lb
Charmin Basic 113.4 sq m $17.99 $0.16/sq m
Scott Naturals 69.9 sq m $10.99 $0.16/sq m
Scott Extra Soft 126 sq m $18.99 $0.15/sq m

BJ’s stock and prices may also vary by region so if things are different, that is likely the reason. If there’s a specific item you want to see added to this list, just leave a comment below and I’ll make sure to look it up the next time I’m there.

I hope you find this pricebook useful.  I love that big box stores are slowly but surely starting to add healthier products to their shelves so that all of us, regardless of food values, budget, and dietary needs, can take advantage of the great savings!

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

Money Saving Monday: The Big Haul

i-love-saving-money-copyHappy Monday lovelies! Before we get down to business, I invite you to check out my newest page above: Coupoing Goodness. I’ve compiled links to all my couponing posts so they can guide you in your own adventures in saving money while keeping it natural. :)

I missed you all last week but given that I was travelling, I used my budget to buy food on-the-go. I grabbed some travel staples (larabars and the like) and easy-to-carry accoutrements since I knew I would be receiving breakfast and lunch each day but wasn’t sure what to expect. As it turned out, the meals were surprisingly adequate!

Anyway, being the end of the month, I slipped into my Couponing SuperStar outfit (which I imagine is pink and sparkly and spandex, of course) and geared up for some great hauls. And ladies and gents – great hauls I had!

Tip of the Week

Make the most of your trips to less frequently visited stores. For those who’ve been following along for a while, you know I used to be a Wegmaniac (Wegmans maniac for those who aren’t familiar). Its relative distance, the lower price of items at Whole Foods, and the consistent;y disappointing selection at the stores close to me, led me to cutting back my trips to about once every six to eight weeks. However, when I got home from my training, I had a $5 of any grocery (aka no produce) purchase of $25 or more coupon waiting. <–Pause: I <3 coming home to presents! You know I had to use that. So I sat down with my coupons and figured out what were some products I actually could use (beans, yogurt, tissues), what coupons were expiring, and what, of those, would make good deals. A lot of this comes down to knowing prices and the fact that Wegmans doubles coupons. So coupons that gave me okay deals elsewhere are suddenly taken to a new level there. Some of the items I bought were planned splurges (e.g. the coconut milk yogurts and Mary’s Gone crackers). Other things I bought in huge quantities (e.g. beans). But all are things I’ll use and were at rock-bottom prices. I ended up saving 77%! *squee*

Target is another store I visit only occasionally. Knowing that we had no extra dish soap,I jumped at the chance to get Seventh Generation’s for only $0.94 (!). Again, since we don’t go to Target often, I got creative with the other Mobile Coupons (see below for sign-up instructions), using them to get things that, again, I use regularly and would be at rock-bottom prices. $0.04 bananas and $0.49 avocados? Yes, please! Contact solution for less than $3 a bottle? Sure! Dirt cheap toilet paper that I actually really like? Give.it.to.me. Though my savings was only 49% at Target, the trip showed how coupons can be used positively even without items that were on sale.

In short…know your prices, make the most of your trips, and shop smart. :)

Meal Plan

Oh my goodness how have I become such a poor meal planner?! Its a combination of having a minimal schedule + the beau’s laissez-faire-ness + his ability to throw meals together on the spot. Oh and heat which has made me crave smoothies, avocado toast, and not much of anything else. There will be lots of greens this week though because as good as the conference food was, it was rather carb-heavy. I’ve never craved veggies quite this much…

Oh and just because this post needs more photos, here are some from the food I enjoyed at training.

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EPIC oats…aka what happens when you let a vegan loose at a buffet bar with about 10 different types of fruit.

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Breakfast buffet + tupperware = so. much. fruit. for my daily afternoon snack.

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Celebratory dinner at Sticky Fingers after completing my training! #nomnomnom

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Money Saving Money: I <3 Whole Foods

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Happy Monday lovelies!  I hope you had a wonderful sunny weekend and scored some mega deals while shopping (*coughKristincough*).  I know I did…between one of my good friends visiting and a super nice sales clerk, this one was a win.  :)

Tip of the Week

Bring your coupons back and speak up!  Last week I was super disappointed that my Whole Foods didn’t have the latest coupon booklet so I missed out on some sales.  Luckily, WF and many other stores allow you to bring your receipt + the coupons back and get a refund.  I do this all the time.  Sometimes its a last-minute stop and I don’t have my coupons with me.  Sometimes, I just forget I have a coupon for a product.  And other times I’m waiting for the coupons to be reset so I can print more.  Any and all of the above count.

This week however, the simple adjustment went so much better than I could have expected.  Not only did I need to get the $ back for the coupon I also needed to fix one of the items I had purchased which was put in as the wrong price.  When I explained everything to the clerk (I didn’t have the WF coupons with me because I thought the new booklets would be out, etc), he offered to refund me the entire amount for both mistakes due to the store inconveniencing me.  I seriously could have kissed the kid.

So don’t be afraid to bring your coupons back and nicely speak up about mistakes on your receipt.

Meal Plan

So I didn’t do a great job meal planning this week.  I know there will be homemade hummus, massaged kale salad, and  a raw pasta dish at some point but otherwise, I’m going to let creativity + cooking challenges take over.

As usual, there will also be lots of smoothies, avocado toast, and fruit.

Spending Savings

Soap.com: $7.63
Farmers Market: $23
Whole Foods: $19.44
Trader’s: $7

Total: $57.07

Oh this week…we needed toilet paper and hand soap and a bunch of pantry staples plus all of our regular goodies.  And its just me!  So I knew I would spend a little more and planned accordingly.  I was fully prepared to go without the Trader’s trip until that happy little exchange with the WF man.  :)

Savings

Soap.com: $10.84
Whole Foods: $20.73

Total: $31.57 (55%)

55% essentially means I got twice as much stuff than I paid for.  I’ll take it!

Steals and Deals

Whole Foods

Olivia’s Organic Spring Mix: $4.99 (11 oz)
-$1.00 Olivia’s cpn
=$3.99

Earthbound Farm Arugula: $1.99 (5 oz)
-$0.75 EB Farm cpn
=$1.24

Go Veggie vegan shreds: $2/6 (reg $3.49)
-$1.00 Go Veggie cpn
-$1.00 July/August Whole Deal cpn
=$1.00

Dream non-dairy beverages: $1.99
-$2.00/2 Dream cpn
-2 x $1.00 July/August Whole Deal cpn
=FREE

Until next week…

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

 

Money Saving Monday, City-Style

 

i-love-saving-money-copyHi there lovelies!  Welcome back to another week of Money Saving Monday.  Unlike Project Food Budget, I will never abbreviate the title of this series.  You see, in the public health world MSM = “men who have sex with men.”  So yea…not what these particular posts are about!

Last week was an exciting one for this little couponer.  Why?

  1. I started receiving my newspaper again after 3 weeks without it.  Yay for coupons!  Now if only I can figure out where the heck my mail is…
  2. New July coupons, including a brand spankin’ new Whole DealNeed I say more?
  3. We can officially walk to the Farmers Market.  And we did, despite the 100+ degree heat.  #worthit
  4. All the summer fruit is out.  We have blueberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, and plums for the week. It was essentially a whole new farmers market.  So so good.
  5. Popsicles.  There is this stand that I’ve never seen before.  Vegan, homemade fruit possible with locally-sourced ingredients.  I got cherry dark chocolate chunk; the beau, peach sriracha.  Nom nom nom
  6. I officially started shopping at the downtown Whole Foods.  Ok there were ups (such a better vibe – younger, hipper, and more urban…obviously) and downs (where the heck is the new Whole Deal and don’t you tell me the May/June one is it…come on now folks).  But all in all, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
  7. We learned to never take public transit across town. Our trip to WF took about 2.5 hours…we were int eh store for maybe 45 minutes (and that’s super duper generous).  Mmmm hmmm…. thankfully it was sunny and we had nowhere to be.  And our frozen stuff didn’t completely melt.  <–win

Though most of our shopping was done at the Farmers Market and will continue to be for as long as its open, I wanted to share both a tip and some great deals that we scored at Whole Foods and Walgreens.

Tip of the Week

Haggling at farmers markets is totally ok.  You might not hear a ton of people doing it but I can promise you its happening.  Haggling is especially easy if you go towards the end of the market.  Obviously the risk here is that the selection will be less, but you’ll also likely get the most amount of savings.  Its definitely a tricky balance!  I try to go within the last hour.  By then, the farmers tend to want to get rid of as much stuff as possible so they don’t have to lug it back.  I actually had someone come right out and say this to me yesterday!

By the end of the market, the farmers tend to fall into one of three categories:

  1. Those who automatically discount their prices.
  2. Those who will give you extra produce just because (e.g. you ask for 2 zucchini and they give you 4).
  3. Those who do business as normal and only discount if asked.

This last group is key for haggling.  They’re smart too- since the customer has to initiate the deal, its less likely that the farmer will sell their products for less than they’re priced.

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Money Saving Monday: Eat More, Spend Less Review

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Man what a month it has been!  I travelled a total of 14 days during June and we moved in-between all that craziness!  The beau was gone just as much which means a) we still aren’t completely unpacked and b) we weren’t really doing anything resembling normal grocery shopping.  Since there was only one week when we were here for all of it, we did minimal meal planning and couponing.  It just wasn’t a priority this month.  However, I am super happy to report that despite all of this, we were under budget every single week.  Including splurges.  #win  Just please don’t look at my discretionary spending fund… *whistles*

Anyway, this week there isn’t anything particularly special about our spending.  In addition to the most perfect loaf of bread we picked up in the city, we went to Trader’s on our trip home, bought a handful of things that tickled our fancy (with the plan to go to the store again later in the week) and that was that.  Threw together a greens-grains-beans bowl last night (kale, Bulgar, and chickpeas) and voila!

Instead, this week its a special Money Saving Monday.  A little over a month ago, Emily Levenson, the fab gal behind Project: Food Budget, contacted me to see if I would review her new e-book, Eat More, Spend Less.  Of course I said yes immediately.  I truly loved doing P:FB, both for the challenge and the community.  I learned so much about couponing, self-discipline, meal-planning, my spending habits and motivations, and just being a savvy shopper.  These are the pieces I did my best to weave throughout my P:FB narrative, to inspire you and record my journey.  Therefore, I knew that Emily’s e-book would be a summary of all of that. And in this case, I was right.

Eat More, Spend Less: Mastering the Art of Food Budgeting
By: Emily Levenson, MSW,CHHC

Eat More, Spend Less (EMSL) is the perfect beginner’s guide to food budgeting.  Emily writes with both humor and grace, encouraging readers to have fun with this process and also to forgive themselves on weeks that aren’t “perfect.”  The guide, however, is also a great reminder for those of us who’ve been budgeting for a while now.  Though most of the information was not new to me, it was still good to see so many of hte lessons I’ve learned compiled into one quick read.

At 29 pages, EMSL is  concise and straightforward, all the while providing a plethora of important details and tools.  It is this very mix that makes the book so awesome.  Emily doesn’t just provide instructions on how to, say, set your budget or meal plan, she provides worksheets and examples that guide you through the process.  On ever page I felt like Emily was a spending-savvy girlfriend, guiding me through the maze of food budgeting with patience and without judgment. 

The book itself is divided into six parts:

  • Setting the Stage provides info on why budgeting is important and how it changed Emily’s life.
  • Setting a Budget takes you through the steps to choosing a realistic budget you can (mostly) stick to.
  • Budgeting Tools are the nitty gritty of the book and include tips and tricks for staying on-budget.
  • Budget-Friendly Meals offers guidance on stocking your pantry and a lot more detail on meal planning.
  • Resources include websites and books that will make this process more automatic and simple.
  • Appendix has all your worksheets (tracking your budget, weekly meal plan, etc).

Rather than just give you this information, Emily really narrates a story, one that is directed right at the reader (hence that whole “it feels like I’m hanging with my bestie” vibe).  She doesn’t just write about the benefits of food budgeting, but shares her personal experiences and challenges with it.  The book really goes beyond the basic and heavily discussed ideas about the topic and delves into some reasons that you might not immediately think of.  For example, Emily writes that food budgeting can help build your self-esteem.  Though this wasn’t something I was actively aware of in my own adventures, once I read it I realized that, indeed, setting and rising to a challenge each week was really confidence-boosting!  To that end, I also appreciate the Emily does not shy away from the fact that whenever we’re talking about money, a lot of ‘stuff’ can come up – anger, resentment, guilt, etc.  This fact is acknowledged and the reader is reminded that this is both normal and ok.

In the same spirit, the ‘Tools’ section begins with all your basic, budgeting 101-esque advice.  Meal plan, use a shopping list, buy food in season.  But slowly it shifts to more novel ideas like working splurges into your budget and finding an accountability buddy.  Though unconventional, these tips are so important and vital for budgeting success.  Having my P:FB family was so key for those weeks when I felt I had totally failed or when I just wanted to forget about my budget and go a little cray at the supermarket.   Splurging–on things I’d normally make at home (e.g. hummus) or dessert or the brand I really love–also helps budgeting to feel less restrictive.  And this, ladies and gents, is the second major theme of the book:  budgeting does not have to hurt (too much).  Splurges are good if they are planned.  Going over is ok as long as your overall trajectory is towards spending less.  So on and so forth.

Overall, I’d highly recommend EMSL for anyone who is interested in learning more about food budgeting and/or beginning to budget for themselves.  Between it’s ‘girlfriend guide’ tone and guilt-free message, its the perfect book for exploring the world of saving money on what you eat.  For those who have been in the budgeting world for a while, it might not offer too much new information.  However, as a refresher it is definitely ideal because it reminds readers so well of why they started to budget and what is so awesome about it.  Plus its a gentle nudge to go back to those basic tools that work oh-so-well.

Want your own copy? Eat More, Spend Less can be purchased at Emily’s site for only $8.99!  #bargain

Thank you to Emily for the chance to review this new book and remember why I love couponing and budgeting.  And a special shout-out to my P:FB comrades for all of their continued inspiration and motivation.  You all rock!

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

All views expressed in this post are my own.  A copy of EMSL was provided in exchange for writing a review.

Qi’a Giveaway

Hi beautiful people!

Well two weeks ago I promised a giveaway.  In the meantime the worst finals week of my life hit <–seriously, I wish I were kidding!  And anything that didn’t involve working, catching a bit of sleep when I could (and by “a bit” I mean 4-ish hours a night ugh), drinking more caffeine in two weeks than I do in an average 3-month span, and showering every now and then, nothing else mattered.

But alas I am back…and here is the giveaway as promised.

Truth be told, I wish I had a bit of Qi’a in my pantry during finals to fuel and energize me.

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Delicious, versatile, crunchy Qi’a.

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Guaranteed, non-GMO, nutrient-packed, filling Qi’a.

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Qi’a that can be all yours.  Not just one bag.  But three…one of each flavor.

The wonderful people at Nature’s Path have decided to share all three flavors with a lucky winner.

Simply leave a comment below telling me which flavor you’re most excited to try.

The giveaway ends Friday, March 22 at 11:59pm.

Yoga/beauty/mmm,

Kait xo

Qi’a™ Review

Now that I’m back, it’s time I do a little catch-up.  So let’s talk one of my favorite topics: food!

Far too long ago, the wonderful folks at Nature’s Path sent me some of their newest product: Qi’a Superfood Breakfast Cereal.  At this point I don’t even remember how I found out about Qi’a but I do remember being ridiculously excited and eager to try it.

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By now most of you know of my obsession with this company.  But just in case you need a reminder, here’s some of the reasons they rock:

“Nature’s Path is a family run, independent company that has been committed to organics and sustainability for over 25 years. Our goal is to be a trusted name for quality organic foods in every home – socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and financially viable. We are the number one producer of organic cereals in North America, with products ranging from breakfast cereals, granola, granola bars and waffles.

Nature's Path

All of Nature’s Path’s products are USDA certified organic, grown using a wholesome process using non-chemical agriculture. Furthermore, Nature’s Path is a founding member of the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit organization created by industry leaders to offer consumers a consistent choice for organic and natural products that are produced without genetic engineering or recombinant DNA technologies.” (emphasis added)  Source

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Qi’a (pronounced KEE-ah) is made from three nutrition superstars: chia, hemp, and buckwheat.  In other woods, each 2 Tbsp serving is chock full of plant-based goodness like protein (6 g), fiber (4g), iron, calcium, and Omega-3 fatty acids.  It’s also ridiculously low in sugar, ranging from 0-3g depending on the flavor.

Speaking of flavors, what are your options?  Well, you’ve got three: Original (og sugar), Apple Cinnamon (3g), and Cranberry Vanilla (3g).  You can probably tell by the above 2 photos which flavor I received.

Just in case, here’s another close-up (and my favorite photo from this shoot).

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The idea with Qi’a is that you mix 2 Tbsp with milk and let it gel, similar to chia pudding.  I personally wasn’t a fan of this approach, both because of the texture and because I didn’t feel full.  Then again, over the past few months I’ve come to realize that cereal generally doesn’t do it for me, even epic, calorie-dense bowls.

So instead of using it “as directed,” I got creative!

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My favorite way to use Qi’a on top of a bowl of either oatmeal or coconut milk yogurt, nuts/nut butter, and fruit.  <–or sometimes pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup…what can I say? It was fall!  One of the few dairy items I really miss is Greek yogurt, so from time-to-time I splurge on its non-dairy counterpart…and make bowls of deliciousness. Unfortunately, I’ve fond the nondairy version doesn’t keep me full quite as well as the Greek one did.  Enter Qi’a.  With its added boost of protein and fiber, I noticed myself feeling much fuller and more satisfied than if I had used, say, regular ole’ granola.

Because all yogurt bowls, diary or otherwise, need something crunchy on top!

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I also topped a couple of green smoothies with it.  This would have been awesome had I been eating said smoothie out of a bowl…with a spoon.  Because the flavor was phenomenal.  Just not while trying to drink out of a mason jar while driving to a different state.  Thankfully there was traffic so I could dig out the chunks of nutrition- and flavor-packed goodness.

At the end of the day, I would highly recommend Qi’a as a cereal/oatmeal/yogurt bowl/green smoothie topper.  Its heartier and healthier than most granola and adds great texture (read: crunch) + nutrition.  I can also see how awesome it would be on its own for my friends who aren’t super hungry in the morning. *coughAmandacough*  Or as a quick snack before or after workouts (or just because its delicious) to those who love the texture of chia gels and puddings.  Despite the fact that these latter uses weren’t for me, I had a ton of fun finding new ways to incorporate Qi’a into my diet!

This awesome product Qi’a can be found at some natural food grocers.  In addition, you can buy it online here, here, or here.

What do you think: is this a product you’d love to try?

Yoga/beauty/mmmm,

Kait o