Four Food Brands Worth Checking Out

Oh hey…I still exist. Just in case you were wondering.

Things here have been running at the continued frenzied pace of “omg hold on for dear life.” And I’ve loved every second of it.

Seriously, my love for this city sometimes utterly overwhelms me. There is no where else in the world (yes, the world) I’d rather be than in NYC. Even with the many bumps an bruises that came along with this move, I’m just so utterly at peace, finally. And yes I know it sounds counterintuitive to find peace in the city that never sleeps but for me, it just works.

All that being said, I must concede one point to Boston – VegFest. I’m officially counting myself a VegFest connoisseur at this point given that I’ve literally been to events up and down the eastern seaboard (ok ok…from Boston to DC). And to this day, Boston still wins. In fact, after having attended NYC’s this weekend, I can definitely say that there is no place like Boston…for VegFest. And VegFest only. Lest there be any confusion about my true affiliation. Winking smile

Even disregarding the fact that NYC’s is a ticketed event (thankfully they do $5 end-of-day tix for the last 2 hours), the choice of vendors…ok. It was fun to see all of the local brands but there weren’t a ton of commercially available products (read: no coupons). There’s obviously positives and negatives to both of this and I don’t want to get into the debate at this moment, but given the fact that we are, indeed, still on a budget, buying my goodies exclusively online (without a discount) just isn’t totally practical. I also didn’t think there were nearly as many hot food vendors as at other shows…

Plus, why is it in the middle of winter? Ok the end, but still…having to lug my coat was a PITA. Yes I know…I’m a spoiled New York-er. Get over it. Winking smile

Like I said, I did discover some fab brands that I’m excited to share with you today. Many of these do fall into the “can’t buy in stores” category but they are so worth sharing about because they rock.

Nuttin Ordinary
Source

I know that making cashew cheese is a fairly simply process. But the price of buying nuts in bulk still gives me a heart attack and honestly I usually just end up using them to make raw desserts. Enter Nuttin Ordinary. First of all, I ❤ their name. Secondly, their Spicy Cheese Spread has such a great kick to it without being overwhelming. And when they told me to think of their products as vegan goat cheese…and then it tasted like vegan goat cheese…for much less than the cost of Kite Hill or Treeline…I was hooked. Oh, and they’re a New Hampshire-based company. Love my New Englanders!

Right now their products are only available in NH, Brattleboro, VT, and Western MA. But they’re obviously expanding and I can’t wait until they’re more readily available!

footerlogoSource

I was a little confused on these at first…and honestly had already spent a lot of money on chocolate. Shh, don’t tell! But alas I was hooked from first bite!

The best way to think Mountain Morsels is as chocolate-drenched trail mix. Do I have your attention yet? They’re mixtures of dried fruits, nuts, and spices all smothered in dark chocolate delicousness. And they aren’t overwhelmingly sweet. Win win win.

And since I’m clearly on an I<3theNortheast kick, I’ll add that each Morsel flavor is named after a part of the Appalachian Trial. A fact that my ego would like to inform you I figured out all by myself after seeing the name of one of the peaks the beau and I climbed several years back. Ego aside, love that this Bronx-ite is also a NH-native and is giving a delish shout-out to her roots!

Unfortunately, these goodies aren’t available in any stores but will be at NYC farmer’s markets. I win. Smile with tongue out

https://i2.wp.com/organiclivingsuperfoods.com/themes/current%20shop%20theme/images/OLS_logo_120H.pngSource

First up, I really hate the name of this company. I know – not a good introduction. But it’s a) bulky and b) contains the word “superfood” which I generally dislike

All that aside, OLS’ stuff effing rocks. Like I sampled about 10 different things (I also was trying to shove as much food in my mouth as possible in the 75 minutes I had to see the whole damn expo) and proceeded to buy three of their products. They offer a ton of different products ranging from dried fruits (you know things like goji berries and mulberries), trail mixes, nuts, energy squares (omgosh so damn good) and my fave: Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Chunks. Which taste like a mounds bar except a million and one times better because its real chocolate and not a bunch of fake stuff.

OLS sells their goodies at over 50 locations in Boston. <—wait how the heck haven’t I seen them at Boston VegFest before?! What the what?!


Source

Last but not least – my new fave bar. My previous fave bar decided to stop being peanut-free which broke my little heart…I found out at VegFest and lodged as formal of a complaint as possible before taking my money back. Soooo sad…but thankfully Amrita (which apparently means ‘immortal’ in Sanskrit) was there to be my rebound. #allhail

So as you can see these bars are all fantastically allergen free (and utterly delish) which is great because finding a vegan bar that isn’t made in a facility that processes peanuts (and isn’t just a shit ton of soy protein isolate b) is kind of hard. And by hard I mean “nearly impossible” and “outrageously expensive.” These bars unfortunately still fall into the latter category but they are available in stores throughout the Tri-State area. And sometimes its worth spending a little more so I can kiss my beau without worrying about brushing my teeth or potentially killing him because I just wanted a damn larabar.

My favorite part of NYC VegFest was the fact that my beloved Emmy’s was back. Yes I could buy these down in Balto but you know what? There’s nothing like stuffing yourself with unlimited samples of your fave macaroons and then buying a few bags for half the grocery store price. Sooo perfect and amazing.

Yoga/beauty/yum,

Kait xo

Advertisements

Project: Food Budget – This is It!

Holy crap…this is my last P:FB post.  😥  I’m actually really sad this project is over since I’ve had a blast, met some great friends, and learned a ton.  I hope these weekly posts have been useful for you!  Thanks to everyone who has commented and offered support and feedback.   🙂

Anyway, Emily asked that we go a little rogue this week and do a bit of reflecting on our participation in this project.  So here goes…

I’ve always considered myself a good budget-er.  That is what happens when, for better or worse, you become financially independent at 16 and are responsible for every dime you spend (car insurance included).  However, when I graduated college and was working full time both at UMass and Passion Parties (that would be 6-8 parties/month), I experienced wealth like never before.  Now, this is relative wealth since what I was making, combined, most people would scoff at.  Fact of the matter is, I was making more money than ever and I could spend it how I chose.  I was frugal about saving because I planned on going to medical school and am extremely grateful because it saved me from taking out a very very large sum of additional loans.

But somewhere along the way, I let budgeting slide.  Probably because, for the first time in my life I didn’t have to watch every single dollar and cent. <–I can still remember hand writing a weekly budget every week during high school. I didn’t have to budget so why should I?  The short answer is that I first became a foodie…and then a couponer…and then a grad student.  The longer answer is that just because I have the money to spend doesn’t mean I should spend it carelessly.  If there is an opportunity to save, I should take it.  Not because I’m living in a state of lack but rather because being frugal is just plain smart.  <–And I’d prefer to save my money for a vitamix.  *sigh*

P:FB came into my life at the perfect time when I saw my food spending getting out of control ($80-$100/week was the norm for just me) and one of my good friends had just introduced me to healthy couponing.  Like most things, I went a little overboard with the couponing at first but I’ve now found a good balance…I spend one morning a week (usually Saturday since that’s when the sales flyers come out) meal planning and couponing.  Does that mean I miss stuff?  Absolutely.  But it also means I stay a bit saner.  And, you know, there’s all my grad school stuff!

As I’ve taken this journey I’ve learned a few things about myself and my habits.

  • I effing love a good sale.  And its really hard to turn one down even if I technically-sort-of-really don’t need it.
  • I have no qualms about pulling from my monthly “fun fund” to buy a new ingredient.
  • Some weeks you just have to put your budget aside.  <–more so when this budgeting thing was just for fun!
  • Some weeks you have to pay the cheaper total price rather than the best unit price to stay on budget.  😦
  • I’m really good at massaging numbers to make myself feel better.  <–note to self: I am not defined by a $ amount!
  • Couponing is really fun…and can be time-consuming…but mostly its a great intellectual challenge.
  • There’s nothing quite like the high you get from a big haul!  <–especially if you haven’t eaten/drank too much caffeine
  • Group accountability counts for something.  I knew I had to post every week and I didn’t want to let myself or anyone else down.
  • I really love taking photos of food.  I’m not that good at it but man is it fun.  🙂
  • I’m glad I had a chance to “play around” with this before being put into a situation where I had no choice.
  • Going off of that, I feel blessed that this budget is not a be-all-end-all for me.  Even if I do go over, I can usually make the difference up with one Passion Party or, if worse comes to worse, can borrow money from someone.  Not everyone on  budget can say the same.

Given that I’ve had such a great time with this project, I do plan on continuing to do it.  I have to live on a budget now so it just makes sense.  That being said, I’ll be switching my food budget posts to Mondays.  This way, I can write up the posts while the food is cooking AND you can get to WF before the sales end.  🙂

OK so onto this week’s meal plan…

Weekly Menu

*Starred recipes are test recipes for the forthcoming Happy Herbivore cookbook.

After some excessive spending two weeks ago, I decided to use up pantry items this week and I based my meal plan on that + what was on sale/I had coupons for.  I must say, I’m pretty impressed given most of this stuff I just had lying around!  Including the spinach which I had gotten for free with a Cascadian farms coupon.  *woot*

Sunday Night Sushi Feast: avo, cucumber, and asparagus roles, seaweed salad, and homemade roasted edamame.

Mexican Salad with arugula,black beans, olives, red pepper, pineapple salsa, and hot sauce

*Loaded Baked Potato 1 – seriously you can’t even see the potato!

Sauteed Spinach with Silken Tofu and Red Rice

*Kale with black beans and vegan ricotta ^perhaps my favorite picture ever.  *note to self* photograph on the concrete again

Loaded Potato, take 2*
The most amazing chili* in the world
Lots of Cascadian Farms granola

Spending Savings

Farm stand: $6.50
Whole Foods: $20.07
Trader Joe’s: $5.65
Glut Co-Op: $11.00

Total: $43.22 🙂

Total Saved: $10.48 (~25%)

I’m really super impressed by this week considering the only place I used coupons was WF!  And everything I bought at Glut was really nto necessary (lots of nuts, tofu ricotta that was only $2.00, awesome crackers for the same price…you get the picture).

That’s it folks because its midterms and my big brother is visiting tomorrow so I need to tidy this place up a bit.

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

 

A Saturday of Food

DC VegFest was this weekend.

I happened to be visiting my friend in DC.  <–see I was totally meant to be a plant-strong foodie.

I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed.  No free parking (no cheap parking either..the $20 lot was the cheap one) like in Boston.  Fewer take-home food vendors, more restaurants (and non-profits).  Different companies, including more processed foods than ever and fewer whole foods vendors (and dessert vendors…I was definitely missing Emmy’s and Theo like WHOA).  I expected differences but to be honest I wasn’t impressed with some of the fill-ins.  Oh well.

It also didn’t help that the weather decided to be almost summer-ly and I had only brought black jeggings with me.

Oh well…at least I looked cute while having my first ever coconut experience.

I ❤ my “Ask me why I’m a vegetarian” shirt.

This was by far my favorite part of the fest.  Or maybe my 2nd…but since the triple chocolate donut I savored (and for reals…it took me an hour to eat it because I just wanted to enjoy every glorious bite) didn’t get photographed, we’ll go with the coconut.  <–plus I got to ask the girl I was buying said donut from if she would “hold my coconut.”  Tehehehe  Seriously though, you need to go get a coconut (and a machete) and try this.  The machete is so you can open it with a super-cool swish/swish!

I also got some pretty decent swag:

Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of the first 1,000 to arrive (see aforementioned note re: parking) but the bag + swag only cost $5.  <–also a tax write-off since it’s supporting a non-profit. #win  What you don’t see are the coupons…there’s a decent amount of them, including enough Earth Balance ones to replenish my stash which is expiring at the end of this month.  That totally counts as another #win.

After the Fest + some bonding time with my bestie (who I was visiting), I headed off to the happiest place on (my) earth: the Glut Food Co-op.  This place is like my heaven…its filled with just about every bulk item you can want, including liquid bulk items like tahini, tamari, and maple syrup.  The prices are ridiculously affordable…$3.52/lb for tahini, <$10/lb for raw organic nuts, etc.  And you don’t have to be a member to shop there or get the discounts.  Its owned by the people, for the people.  And it is simply amazing.

I had pictures of the liquid bulk items to insert here but I accidentally deleted them…think the giant things you usually see lemonade in…except rectangular in shape…and filled with deliciousness.  <–you get what I’m saying, right?  😉

Nom/nom/nom,

Kait xo

An Open Letter to Dairy

Dear Dairy,

The time has come: we’re through.  I know what you’re thinking…”oh this won’t last very long, just like every other time.”  But you’re wrong.  You see, last weekend was the deal breaker for me.  I can’t do it anymore, living this double life where I love and hate you, because at the end of the day you just don’t love me back.

And so, I’ll say it again, we’re through.

You and your damn hormones hurt me in so many ways.  You bloat, constipate, and inflame me.  Both literally and figuratively.  You leave my body feeling drained of energy as it works to rid itself of you and yours, despite lacking the proper machinery.

Fact of the matter is, I just can’t excuse your mistreatment of me anymore.

You see, my body is a temple.  Its beautiful and strong.  But when I let you pass my lips, oh how it hurts.  My brain rejoices, as you zing along all those little feel-good pathways, but the rest of me?  It dies a little.  Within minutes I’m congested; for days after I can barely climb a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing because my airways are so full of your mucus they don’t work properly.  Come a week, I can see the effects on my skin (yes pimples, I’m breaking up with you too).

So everyone won’t understand.  I know you will bring up others’ opinions when you come wheedling back into my life (which assuredly you will given our culture).  But they don’t have to live it.  There’s no pill I can take for freedom to breathe and to be.  So I will politely decline.  I will ask for now cheese.  I will get the crappy salad (oh how that pains me so!).  I will do what I need to do to be rid of your grip.

Because, at the end of the day, you just aren’t worth it.

And because my temple, you see she deserves so much more than you can give her.  She deserves the respect of me eating to please her, and the lightness, the glow that comes along with it.  She deserves to be treated like the treasure she truly is.  At the end of the day, I’ve got her and she’s got me and that’s all there is.

So yes, this is it.  We are through.

So long dairy.  Goodbye cheese.  I hope we never meet again.

The victim of your unrequited love,

Kait

Project: Food Budget, Week 49

Holy crap we’re on week 50 49!  That means only two three official weeks to go.

Not that I’ll stop budgeting or meal planning or couponing.  So my question is: do you guys want me to keep going with P:FB-like posts?  Let me know.  😉

Weeks 48 and 49 47 and 48 were a bit *ahem* hectic.  The former was finals week and the latter was my break so I was home, spending far too much $ eating out and visiting friends and generally enjoying life.  I’m guessing that I was on-budget for the month of August, at least with my food budget, if not with my extraneous spending.  <–trying not to think about that!

Meal Plan

*Starred items are test recipes for the 4th Happy Herbivore cookbook.

Chili*
Corn Soup*
Parmesan Celery Salad  <–new favorite blog!  Thanks Emily!  And seriously everyone make this.  And yes, I used faux cheese.
Avocado Pasta with Zucchini Tagliatelle

Spending Savings

Wegmans: $38.03
Whole Foods: $33.72

Total: $71.75

Between an empty fridge, some deals that were too good to pass up, and the need for probiotics to help me recover from this weekend’s exploits ($16 on sale), it was a pricey week!

Total Saved: $19.76 (28%)

Steals & Deals

Wegmans
*Coupons up to $0.99 are doubled

2lb bag lemons: $3.49
Bananas: $0.49/lb
Organic Celery: $2.69
Salsa: $1.99

Barbara’s Shredded Wheat (29oz): $5.99
$1.00 Barbara’s cpn
=$4.99 = $0.17/oz = $2.72/lb

Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats (24oz): $3.79
-$0.75 Bob’s Red Mill cpn
=$2.29 = $1.53/lb

Cascadian Farms Frozen Spinach: $1.42
-$0.75 Cascadian Farms cpn
=FREE!

Silk Almond Milk (1/2 gal): $2.99
-$0.55 Silk cpn (here’s a $1.00 one)
=$1.89 = $3.78/gal

Whole Foods

Earthbound Organics Power Greens (16oz): $3.99 (sale price)
-$0.75 EB Farm cpn
=$3.42/lb

Olivia’s Organic Spinach (16oz)
-$1.00 Olivia’s Organics cpn
=$1.99/lb

That’s it loves.  Don’t forget to let me know if you want me to continue doing food budget posts once the project ends!

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

Project: Food Budget, Week 46

So finals start tomorrow (!), a fact which I embarrassingly enough didn’t even know until Monday since I had put an older version of the academic calendar into my editorial one.  Between this fact + getting in late on Sunday from Passion Power, let’s just say my eating this week was less than ideal.  And this post will be rather short….mostly because I’ve had a heavy case of the procrastination-blues for the past…well all week.

Tip of the Week

Rain checks are your friends!  Please remember this folks…please?  Because I didn’t this week and ended up paying twice as much for cherries as I would have if I had thought, “Hey, while I’m getting my money back for this coupon I forgot, I should also get a rain check for the cherries since this is the second day in a row that WF is out.”  <–didn’t happen.

Meal Plan

Well…there was a plan.  Once upon a time (aka Friday before I left for NJ).  And that plan got tossed out the window…partially because I got lazy and partially because WF was out of ingredients I needed.  <–see above

To stay semi-healthy and energized, I still had a green smoothie every morning.  However, cereal made an appearance for dinner at least twice.  And dessert made at least two appearances a day.  =/

Otherwise it was quickie meals.  For example, I made this Monday morning while I got ready.  I heated the water while I prepped the ingredients, cooked the lentils while I showered, then tossed everything else in while I finished getting dressed, packed, etc.  Averie’s one-pot meals are some of my absolute favorite because they are truly quick, easy, budget-friendly (I used only pantry items to make this), and chock full of amazing flavor. 

I also discovered that if you stir raw spinach into pasta (because WF ruined your plan to make this after you already cooked the most perfectly fluffy quinoa ever…) it wilts a little.  This is a big win folks.  It means you don’t have to dirty a second pan and you can get away with calling your pasta dinner healthy because it has greens in it.  <–you know you love me.  🙂

Now onto that budgeting stuff.

Spending Savings

Whole Foods: $38.18  <–the price you pay when
Rite Aid: $4.24

Total: $42.42

I’m calling it a win.  Just go with it folks.  😉

Savings: $11.22 (27%)  <–not too shabby for shopping on the fly, dontcha think?

My favorite deal this week was getting two packages of Ziploc bags for only $4 at Rite-Aid.  They were on sale 2/$5 and then I had a $1 coupon from one of the Sunday papers.  Even though I try not to use baggies too much (and totally wash-and-reuse until they fall apart), sometimes you need them for storing things in the fridge and freezer.

That’s all folks.  Hope my feisty-ness didn’t scare anyone…that’s just my Inner Passion DIVA being coy.  Or something like that.  😉

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

 

 

 

2nd Week of Passion: Passion Power 2012

This was scheduled to go up yesterday but I had some tech errors. Therefore, the 2nd Week of Passion will officially continue through next Tuesday. 🙂

20120814-133431.jpg

Welcome to another Week of Passion here on y/b/l! This past weekend found me in Piscataway, NJ for Passion Parties’ annual summer conference and I am super excited to share my experiences with you. 🙂

Two years ago when I attended Passion Power, it was my first corporate event. It also was my first real training experience…and it kicked my biz into high gear. Followed by our annual Convention only six months later, Passion Power taught me how far I could go in this business if I wanted it badly enough, worked hard, and believe in myself.

My business and my bank account thanked me. Last year I didn’t make it and though I don’t regret my decision, I did miss the valuable training and visit experience.

This year, going just felt like the right thing to do.Despite transportation snafus, dealing with disappointment, and having my-dress-I-haven’t-fit-into-in-three-years lose its zipper, the weekend was just what I needed.

A time to bond with my Passion Sisters. A time to remember why I joined this business in the first place. A time to reconnect with my passion and remember that through this “job” I truly am changing people’s lives.

I arrived Friday evening after a rather long day of travel and checked into the suite. They had the cutest little towel art and it reminded me of going on cruises when I was younger (fun fact: I met the beau on one of these cruises!).

20120814-132818.jpg

It was close to 11 and I hadn’t eaten dinner so I hit up the hotel bar for some edamame, conversation, and the perfectly sweet ending to an otherwise stress-filled day.

20120815-114033.jpg

My roommates arrived and we stayed up far too late talking and catching up. It had been several years since I had last seen Amanda so there was a lot I catch up on!

Saturday and Sunday we spent learning from leaders in the company. My favorite session was titled, “Get Out of Your Own Way.” <;–no shock there, right? We also had sessions in selling and follow-up, a mock party presentation, an several panel Q&A sessions. I have a quotes post coming up later in the week but I want to share one with you now.

“Bless and release.”

This was a major theme for the weekend and it was a huge ‘aha’ moment for many of us. How many times do we hold on to something that is no longer serving us, in business AND in life? It’s so easy to stick with what’s comfortable (aka regret, grudges, etc) but sometimes we just need to let it go! The whole weekend was a wonderful reminder of that.

Saturday night was our mini awards night that mimics Convention’s bigger dinners. Despite my wardrobe malfunction and the fact that the hotel hadn’t prepared food for those of us who abstain from flesh and dairy, it was a wonderful evening full of Success Speeches, good conversations.

20120815-092402.jpg

The pasta dish the kitchen put together for those of us non-flesh eaters.

The most exciting part was that I got to walk for the first time! I was recognized for my sales achievements (>;$15000) between January and June. Corporate is so good about recognizing our achievements an it’s been a goal of mine to walk the stage for the past two years.

Yes it felt as awesome as I had imagined!

;

20120815-093657.jpg

Being silly after walking the stage! 🙂

Sunday afternoon was bittersweet, as the end of a good experience always is. My upline (my sponsor’s sponsor), one of my direct Passion Sisters, and I snapped some fun photos to remember the weekend’s (and our) amazing-ness. 🙂

<;3 these ladies

Check back Friday for a passionate, quote-filled post. Until then…

Yoga/beauty/passion,

Kait xo

Project: Food Budget, Week 43

Happy Thursday!  I was done shopping bright and early on Sunday so you guys are in for a treat…a FULL post! Yay.  🙂

Tip of the Week

At the end of last week I found myself out of flax and cereal <–it was tragic, running out of nutritional yeast, and in need of mascara that didn’t get gross ten minutes after applying it.  I thought about it and decided I was going to make the VitaCost plunge.  If you’ve never shopped here its like a natural food lover’s dream come true.  A lot of bloggers prefer iHerb but I spent a lot of time researching and time and again, Vita was cheaper.  They also give you free shipping on all orders $49+ so I recruited a friend.  I view shopping online the same way I view shopping at club stores: its a bit scary to put out quite a bit of money but you know that its an investment that will last you a while.  For example, I have almost 2 lbs each of nutritional yeast, flax, and cereal coming.

Don’t disregard online natural food stores for products that you use often.  But also don’t assume they have the lowest price.  Chia, for example, is actually still cheaper at Wegmans so you can guess where I’ll be getting it.

Meal Plan

I fell in love with a new food blog this week: Raw on $10 a Day (or Less!).  You’ll see that reflected below…and on Pinterest.

Tomato and Basil Soba Noodles  <–I used basil only and subbed different Asian noodles.

https://yogabeautylife.wordpress.com/wp-admin/media-upload.php?post_id=2038&tab=gallery#Avocado Soup <–I had one lone avo that needed to be used.  This was outstanding and super filling.

Green Goddess Nachos – Happy Herbivore’s Queso Cheese Sauce over steamed kale, sauteed onions + zucchini, and blue corn tortilla chips

A ridiculous amount of Indian food including veggie samosoas and pakora, garlic naan and some other bread.

So this cookie truck is right outside the metro stop every Monday.  I usually resist.  This week, I have a sinus infection.  Therefore cookies = medicine.

Hummus on Tomatoes  <–the zucchini I got were rather large so I made a double batch of this hummus and used my extra squash to make muffins. YUM.

Crispy Edamame  <–I subbed nooch for the cheese.  These are so so delicious!

Healthy Cookie Dough Dip <–It didn’t last long enough for photos.

Spending Savings

From L-R, starting in back: Frank’s Hot Sauce, Romaine Hearts, Late July chips, Kale, (7) Blue Diamond milk, (5) Goya beans, (6) cucumbers (they’re hidden)), Cunchmaster Crackers, (3 lb) almonds, Alter Eco chocolate bar, yellow tomatoes (3lb) bananas, GIANT basil, (4) zucchini, (4) peppers, (3) tomatoes, (6) peaches & nectarines. Not shown: Neturogena spot creme, mascara, Ecover spot remover, 26 oz each Mesa Sunrise cereal, nutritional yeast, and flaxseed

Wegmans: $18.24
BJs: $13.81
Whole Foods: $9.97
Farmer’s Markets: $19.00
VitaCost: $19.23

Total: $80.25 😀

Before you think I went crazy putting that smiley there, let me explain.  This week is half July, half August.  I had $35 left for July and $40 for the first week in August plus $5 left on my WF giftcard.  Which means I went exactly $0.25 over.  Not too shabby, if I say so myself.

Eligible Spending (excludes Farmers’ Market: $42.02
Savings: $15.79 (36%)

I did well this week in that I only bought packaged items that I had a coupon for.  The fresh produce was almost all purchased at farmers’ markets which means I got more bang for my buck as well.   Gotta love farm-fresh veggies.  🙂

Steals & Deals

Wegmans

Goya Beans, $0.79-0.99
-$1.00/5 Goya cpn
=$0.59-$0.79/can

Late July Tortilla Chips, 2/$5.00
-$1.00 Late July cpn
=$1.50

Crunchmaster Crackers,2/$5.00 (reg $2.99 ea)
-$1.00 Crunchmaster cpn
=$1.50

Blue Diamond Coconut/Almond Milk (32 oz), $1.99
-$0.50 Blue Diamond cpn
-$0.50 (Wegmans doubles coupons)
=$0.99 ea or $3.96/gal

Alter Eco Chocolate Bar, $3.49
-$1.00 Alter Eco cpn <–I had one that was expiring
=$2.49

Neutrogena Spot Cream, $5.99
-$1.50 Neturogena cpn <–no longer available
=$4.49

BJ’s

Almonds, 3lb bag: $10.97
Bananas, 3lb: $1.49

Nature’s Greens (16 oz), $1.99
-$0.55 Nature’s Greens cpn
=$1.44

Whole Foods

Blue Diamond Milk (32 oz), $1.99
-$1.00/2 Whole Foods cpn <–no longer available
-$1.00/2 Blue Diamond cpn
=$0.99 ea or $3.96/gal

Earthbound Farms Romaine Hearts, $2.79
-$0.75 Earthbound Farms cpn
=$2.05

A Food Discovery: Coconut Banana Oat Bran

Ok so I realize the title of the post is unnervingly vague.  I hope it did its job and drew you in!  😉

A while back I stocked up on some free oatsAnd I mean a lot of free oats.  I’m sad to report that five months later I’m finally coming to the end of my stash.  That being said, I had a container of oat bran staring me in the fact that I had gotten on a whim because hey…it was free.  Now I’ve tried Mama Pea’s oat bran recipe and didn’t love it but for some reason that darn container was calling my name last night.  So I listened.

And I’m so happy I did.  The result was this bowl of deliciousness (seriously can anyone make oat bran look amazing?).  Yes the inclusion of pb & j ab & j may seem odd but I figured coconut tastes good with just about everything so what the heck.

Also, in case you were wondering…Thursday is oatmeal-for-dinner night.  I go to a late yoga class and usually don’t eat until around 10 pm so I want something comforting and, well, not veggie-filled.  Its my version of thirsty Thursday but, IMO, way better.  <–yes I realize that made no sense.  Just roll with it folks.  😉

Banana Coconut Oat Bran

1/3 c oat bran
1/2 c milk of choice
1/2 c water
1 small banana (or 1/2 a large one)
1-2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp+ ground ginger
1 tsp+ vanilla
1 Tbsp nut butter (optional)
1 Tbsp jelly/jam/preserves (optional)

  1. I prepare all my oats using Kath’s life-changing method.  It involves the 1:1 ratio of milk:water and cooking the banana in.  Follow her all the way up until she does the add ins.
  2. Once you remove your oats from heat add in coconut, ginger, and vanilla and mix it in, tasting to see if you want more.
  3. Top with nut butter and jam if you desire.

I wouldn’t suggest trying this with regular oats.  I’ve found the addition of shredded coconut gives them a really weird taste and so I’ve stayed away from that combo since once bad day.. 😉  With the oat bran though, the coconut blends in seamlessly, leaving you with nothing but pure deliciousness and the perfect texture.

As a random aside, some alternative dieticians believe that banana and coconut are great ways to help tighten the lower esophageal sphincter aka the muscle at the base of your esophagus that sometimes allows bile to come up and cause heartburn.  I try to stock up on these two items.  Placebo effect or not, I’m happy to oblige. 

Have wonderful weekends everyone!  Mine involves a garden party, grocery shopping + cooking, and lots of studying for my next midterm.

Yoga/beauty/mmmmm,

Kait xo