Archives For organic

Thrive Market Giveaway!

Caitlin Webb —  January 24, 2015

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I’ve recently discovered Thrive Market, and am happy to see such a place popping up online! It has a product lineup best compared to Whole Foods, with prices and a membership setup similar to Costco (price 25-50% off retail). They also aim to make “healthy living easy and affordable for everyone”, and for every membership purchased, one is given to a low-income family.

And for the readers here – they are generously giving one year membership for free, a $59.95 value! Enter for the chance to have access all year to 25-50% off your favorite organic and natural market items.

I love shopping at my local health food store, but love online shopping even more…so I felt right at home here. I did a little research for you via an order thanks to the kind folks at Thrive and I am really excited to report how wonderful my experience was!FullSizeRender (2)

First of all, the website is gorgeous. I love clean, simple lines and this site balances a full inventory with a surprisingly clean, minimal interface. Easy to navigate and shop – which makes the process faster and much easier than in-store shopping.

The product lineup is pretty extensive. I found all of my favorite teas, baking ingredients/dry goods, snack bars and supplements. There are a few things I may still have to go to my local health food store, like refrigerated probiotics.

Oh – and an important feature – once you have an account, your shopping cart syncs across devices! I love this since I often pause and pick back up later on my iPad.


They have my favorite tea for almost 1/2 price! I actually have paid even more than the retail price they list for it – bad!

A few of my favorites…organic_Moroccan_Mint_tea_-_Thrive_Market

Moroccan Mint Tea
Cocoa Chewy Bars
Pomegranate Rose Hip Argan Oil
Raw Honey
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar

 

 

 

PROS
great selection
easy checkout (really, really easy)
beautiful site
great mission
get your organic goods while catching up on Scandal
membership prices

CONS
still get your refrigerated items at the store
shipping is average – not fast, not slow
can’t wait for even more products available

So, you can save money while eating clean, healthy foods. And, especially if you live in an area where organic foods are hard to find, Thrive Market is an essential site to check out! I am happy to share the below giveaway. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Clean Slate! Your Health

Caitlin Webb —  January 20, 2015

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So, how are the resolutions going?

Whether you like to enter the new year with a list of resolutions for yourself or not – you can’t deny that a shiny new year is associated with a clean, fresh start!

I personally do not like resolutions. Only a mere 8% of people have success*, and the rest may feel badly about the “failure” and end up worse than before! A big new years resolution (they can be small but let’s face it, they are usually big ones) doesn’t exactly jive with the “baby steps” path to health that I subscribe to. For example, the top resolution is to lose weight. But that doesn’t associate well with the reason WHY you want to do that, or how. It’s a giant, looming, disconnected ambition without a plan. Instead, choose a baby step that focuses on happiness, or a small goal that is a part of reaching your weight goal. In time, the weight loss will feel like a coincidental by-product.

With that in mind, do take advantage of the clean slate and think about what baby steps you can take this month to start the year off right! Maybe this will be the year of lasting habits, not resolutions.

Keep an eye on your email – this month we have several giveaways coming up to help you on your way!

In the meantime, get into the mood for change…

Get excited with a new Sugar Paper calendar

This one is my favorite! I can’t resist gold dots…it’s a problem.

Let TED talks give you some ideas for more enjoyable resolutions

2014 still weighing on you? Learn how to get over anything

Add some happy habits to your life.

I love this post from Zen Habits – my thoughts exactly!

 

*Statistics Brain http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

100 Days of Real Food Cookbook

By Caitlin Grace Webb, Lifestyle Contributor

I have been on a real food, whole food journey for a while now. One of my favorite resources is the 100 Days of Real Food blog by Lisa Leake. Lisa’s blog combines the necessary resources for a whole food lifestyle with the common sense and simplicity needed for real life. For me, it is a reliable, comfortable resource.  Since I’ve been following her blog from the beginning, I am so excited to be a cookbook ambassador and review the book I received!

She recently released her first cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love, and it is a perfect reflection of the blog. Not just recipes, but dedicated to making the recipes and lifestyle easy and natural for you and your family. No kids yet here – but if you are a parent you will love the tips! I have been in awe of what she is doing for her children for years.

This is not just how to cook healthful recipes, but how to make it happen and why.

My favorites so far are the Shortcut Eggplant Parmesan and the Chocolate Truffles made with dates. If you are not yet using fresh Medjool dates as a dessert option, start now! I could not live without them.

100 days cookbook eggplant pic

Photo by Caitlin Webb

I love the chapters designed to make this easy – grocery lists that aren’t confining, favorite brands and dried spices and tips for substitution equivalents. And the chapters that provide the facts and awareness needed for a whole food lifestyle  – details about whole wheat and whole grains, processed ingredients versus homemade ingredients and why food dyes are horrible (a personal favorite), among other things!

Gluten-free, Vegetarian and dairy-free recipes are included, as well as freezer friendly options (is anyone NOT taking advantage of freezer cooking yet?!). And, all the photos are gorgeous!

With any cookbook or blog I use, my favorite tool is Pepperplate. It is a wonderful meal planning app that syncs wirelessly so I have my shopping lists and recipes available wherever I go! If you feel stuck when you go to the grocery store – give it a try!

pepperplate image

Email me for my favorite tips!

Try my favorite recipe and share your comments below!

Shortcut Eggplant Parmesan

Shortcut Eggplant Parmesan

Photo by Carrie Vitt

Shortcut Eggplant Parmesan

If you do not already follow Lisa’s blog, check it out here. Or, find her on Facebook! That is actually my favorite way to check in and see the latest. Don’t wait to transform your idea of real food, buy her cookbook today!

Enjoy life!


 

Caitlin profile picLiving by the beach in Charleston, SC, Caitlin is an artist by nature and is inspired by the beauty in everyday life. You can find her doing yoga, making jewelry, working, cooking and decorating her new home.

 

superhero

ARE YOU A FOOD SUPERHERO?

Become a superhero and know what is in your food!

Join Healthy Child Healthy World and visit www.iwillknowmyfood.com to create your superhero profile. I did!

For every profile created, Stonyfield Farm will donate $1 to Foodcorps to help provide children with access to healthy foods. About $1,600 has been raised so far!

Help others and maybe win something for yourself…how about:

A Superhero Pack from Stonyfield!!

Pack includes $50 gift certificate to Whole Foods, a superhero cape, and a 6-ounce cup of Stonyfield product.

There’s a Food Superhero in all of us. Spread the word.

Enter to win via Rafflecopter, here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Official seal of the National Organic Program

Image via Wikipedia

Long before we actually went organic, I had been thinking about the benefits. But, deep down, I thought going organic was for people who had more time and energy than I did. I have 5 kids and I do not like to cook!

I figured maybe we really needed a garden…a farm.

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You know, we needed to be one of “those” kind of people. The kind of people who really put time and effort into their food…their health. Ummm….A person who likes to cook.

Thankfully, one day I read The Conscious Kitchen and turned to my husband and said,

“You know, we can do this”

and, truthfully, that was it. We changed our eating habits overnight.

Because it was early Spring and we were new in our town, I knew of no local organic choices. So, the first thing I did was go to a Whole Foods–my husband enjoyed that trip, but was worried about costs.

Also, we knew there must be local farms who did low or no spraying, so little by little over the next two months we began to actually know which questions to ask.

Surprisingly Costco has some organic items. And our local Farmer’s Market is in full swing right now…and we have found a big organic center in a nearby college town…and a local butcher nearby. In fact, we were watching Food, Inc, and realized one of the people in the movie actually stocked our local butcher’s shop.

Overall, we are eating so well! Our food budget did spike in the second month. After that bad month, we made some decisions to do more pasta and vegetables…to eat less, but eat better.

Overall, our food budget is reasonable for a family of 7 now. If I cooked more, I know I could get it lower. I am lucky that one of my sons loves to cook. He is making a lot of bread right now–so that helps!

We have a lot to learn–I would like to have a large garden and eat more fresh vegetables–and then can more fruits and vegetables. And, I am thinking it would be useful to buy some organic staples online….maybe go ahead and get a wheat grinder….

But, meanwhile, I am pleased with all the change we have made. I have even changed over many of our personal and cleaning products. I laugh when I hear the kids say that they can’t imagine why everyone isn’t organic–because it tastes so much better. I agree.

Ok. Here are the Top Ten Easy Organic changes around here:

Only organic meat. If you can't find a local option/butcher, Costco carries organic ground beef. I get 3 lbs for 12.99.

#1 Only organic meat. If you can't find a local option/butcher, Costco carries organic ground beef. I get 3 lbs for 12.99.

I can also get organic milk from Costco. I'd rather a milk share...but this works, too!

#2 I can also get organic milk from Costco. I'd rather a milk share...but this works, too!

Organic eggs--again, I can even get these at Costco. At first, I thought I had been tricked when I couldn't find the USDA logo--but it is on the inside of the carton:)

I love the Pasta at Whole Foods. I buy the 1.99 organic version.

#4 I love the Pasta at Whole Foods. I buy the 1.99 organic version.

Fruit at Farmer's Mkt is reasonable. Otherwise I have to get it at Whole Foods and it is more expensive.

#5 Fruit at Farmer's Mkt is reasonable. Otherwise I have to get it at Whole Foods and it is more expensive.

I find cereal to be a problem item. It is so expensive! I am trying an organic granola recipe this week.

#6 I find cereal to be a problem item. It is so expensive! I am trying an organic granola recipe this week.

I was surprised to find organic yogurt at Costco...reasonably priced

#7 I was surprised to find organic yogurt at Costco...reasonably priced

My New Cast Iron Skillet...yes, this is making me want to cook again!

#8 My New Cast Iron Skillet...yes, this is making me want to cook again!

I like this deodorant crystal--I had tried Tom's and it irritated me. This lasts for so long and seems to work just fine

#9 I like this deodorant crystal--I had tried Tom's and it irritated me. This lasts for so long and seems to work just fine

This shampoo is my new favorite--it has a rich lather and my hair looks great. The matching conditioner works well on my daughter's long hair...

#10 This shampoo is my new favorite--it has a rich lather and my hair looks great. The matching conditioner works well on my daughter's long hair...

And, one more thing….I love cleaning the bathroom with just a bit of vinegar and water–who knew that really worked?? It does. Just mix 1 cup vinegar with 1 cup water in a spray bottle. You can add a drop of soap if you like. Spray in shower and be surprised it works. (if the shower is really bad, you can add a bit of baking soda, for a scrub) The vinegar scent is not great, but it evaporates quickly and your shower is looking good and shiny!

I have tried many other organic products and you can see a couple of reviews on my organics page.

UPDATE: As of 6/14/10, we have VERY much changed our habits and are eating sooo much better! I also enjoy Alexandra’s Facebook updates- like her page, here

You know, it is not often that you can change your entire life in a month. However, around here, we have basically done just that. This all began with a simple giveaway kit from Seventh Generation and a book called The Conscious Kitchen from Alexandra Zissu…

Going green is easier than ever!

Yes, I have another kit to giveaway, but stick with me a little bit.

First off, I have to admit, while I always felt guilty about it, I was not very environmentally conscious. When my youngest was born almost 5 years ago, I realized her birthday coincided with some cool Earth Day festivities in our town. So, I paid a bit more attention. You know how once you “see” something, you see it everywhere? Well, I had that going on. So, I visited health food stores and began attempting to recycle.

Sadly, I have to admit, my feeble attempts to get “greener” never lasted. I have 5 kids and making drastic grocery changes seemed so hard…so maybe that played a role? Is it because I am ADD? Oh, and we are not rich or really hippie, so maybe that was it? In my mind, I rationalized all kinds of reasons why I could not be more environmentally concerned.

Then I read Alexandra Zissu’s book, The Conscious Kitchen. And I changed. Because…well, I could. I suddenly got it. Now, I am just sorry I did not understand some of the concepts earlier. I feel bad that I was not one of the pioneers. Because this is worth doing and it is not hard anymore.

I was lucky enough to get to interview Alexandra! I totally recommend reading her book (You can buy it on Amazon, here). The clear writing with specific examples about how to have great tasting food and maintain a green and healthy kitchen made going green the most natural thing in the world for us!

This interview will give you some great ideas about how to get started. As you will see in the interview, Zissu is very smart, down to earth and kind:

1) Alexandra, I am a busy mom of 5 children. I am also a lousy cook. I try to buy organic food and I download articles about cleaning with vinegar (but I have not done that)…I have begun to buy Seventh Generation products often. But, I have to admit that is about all I have done to “green my kitchen” What would you consider the main steps for “going green” in feeding your family?

First of all I’m sure you’re not that lousy of a cook! If you’re buying local food in season, you’re off to a great start — stand back and let the ingredients shine. Secondly, no need to download another article on vinegar. Just do it. Stick some in a spray bottle and use it the next time you want to wipe a counter down. Simple as can be.

Here are some other thoughts: Steal away from the five kids and peek through The Conscious Kitchen. It’s a friendly and accessible guide (I hope!) to methodically working through the kitchen. Anyone can turn their kitchen into a safe, non-toxic environment for the whole family. Source the best, purest, most local produce, meat, seafood, and dairy products you can find. Cook in and store food in tried and true materials (cast iron, enamel coated cast iron, stainless steel, glass) that aren’t known to leach harmful chemical components into your food. Keep the kitchen well ventilated. Clean only with natural products. Filter your tap water if needed. Avoid plastic whenever you can. Repair, reduce, reuse, recycle, compost.

If you can’t do all of this at once – and who can? — choose what you’re willing to do and add more steps as it makes sense. It’s a process, but a very worthwhile one.

2) What would you consider a number one, first step for “going green” in choosing cleaning products for your kitchen? Does your answer change if there are toddlers involved?

I like to say that if I won’t eat it, I won’t clean with it. Chemical residues for cleaners can and do remain on surfaces for a long time after you clean. I don’t want these getting on my food. I spend time and money making sure my food doesn’t have pesticides on it, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to then prep my food on surfaces that have been disinfected with pesticides.

This approach doesn’t change for me if there are toddlers or infants or puppies or grandparents: natural cleaning products are better for the whole family. But certainly the smallest among us are the most vulnerable. Pound for pound their exposure to toxic chemicals is higher than for us adults. Of course you always want to make sure you have a lock on the cabinet you’re storing cleaning products in, especially if there is a toddler around.

3) I have a large family–I feed 7 people each day. I worry about costs–for cooking and cleaning. What two products–one for cleaning, one for cooking would you consider essential? (ie, like skillet?)

There are cost-effective ways of getting organic local foods. Have you ever heard of buying a share in a farm through a system called Community Supported Agriculture? I talk about it in The Conscious Kitchen. It’s also a great thing to get the kids involved in. Or, if you have the space, time, and desire to plant a vegetable garden, that’s another great way to bring costs down.

Green cleaning products don’t cost more than conventional cleaners, and many of them are multi-taskers – you can use an all purpose product for just about anything, even mopping (dilute in water). And there’s pretty much nothing in a kitchen that cannot be cleaned with warm water and natural dish soap.

I have a few pots and pans that really never leave my stove top I use them so much, including an enamel coated cast iron dutch oven. There’s nothing I can’t make in there, and they’re great for stews and soups that can feed large families. These can be expensive to buy new, but might be something you could find second hand. Cast iron versions are less expensive and also very safe to cook in. I also really like a stainless steel pressure cooker for when I need to feed a lot of people well and quickly.

4) And, what one or two things would you consider important to teach your children about being green in the kitchen? My teen son, who loves to cook, asked me to ask you–“what oil do you use?”

That’s too sweet about your son! The number one thing I always say is to involve kids in the discussion so that they will be interested in being green, and identify themselves as green. Teaching by example is key. Getting children involved with cooking is among my favorite things to do, hands down. There are many important lessons in understanding what food is and where it comes from – that it’s not just something that appears on your plate or comes out of a package. And it’s a great way to introduce many flavors. Please tell him that I use many oils but my favorite is organic olive oil. I try to eat mainly local food and sadly we don’t live near any olive groves. But I love it and it’s good for you. I use other oils, too, to flavor various dishes, and some of these are more local than others: pumpkin, sunflower seed, sesame. If you’re using canola, it’s always a good idea to buy organic. It’s made from a crop that tends to be genetically modified (GM). USDA organic regulations do not permit GM foods.

5) I hardly ever cook fish. My husband does not like it and I am not a great cook–and need to have 7 servings of everything. What would you recommend as an organic and easy way to add fish into our diet?

Seafood can be very contaminated with things like mercury and PCBs so whatever you choose, choose wisely. Fish is one of those things – some people just really don’t like it. If you’d like to add it to your diet, I’d suggest looking up a handful of species on an environmental website that lists safe fish (like OceansAlive.org – I list many others in The Conscious Kitchen), and then tasting through them to see what you like. If you live near waterways, and they’re not contaminated, always buy local wild fish that has been caught in a sustainable fashion. It’s really hard to go wrong if you bake a piece with olive oil, fresh herbs, and sea salt in a glass dish. Just don’t overcook! That’s the main mistake that happens with fish.

For more information, visit Alexandra’s website and Seventh Generation.

Thanks to Alexandra, and also to Seventh Generation. I loved the “Disinfecting Cleaning Kit” that included the new Botanical Disinfectants–disinfecting multi-surface cleaner, bathroom cleaner, wipes, my copy of The Conscious Kitchen, a cleaning caddy made from recycled plastic, and two rolls of 100% recycled, unbleached paper towels…the cleaners worked so well and I prefer the lavender scent.

You can sign up and get coupons from Seventh Generation on their site, here

I get to giveaway this Great Earth Day gift pack!

For your main entry, leave me a comment telling me what is the best thing you have done for the environment this year–or something you plan to do!

Additional Entries: (please leave a separate entry for each)

My trial products, the gift pack and information were provided by Seventh Generation through MyBlogSpark.

emmaeasterpr

Congrats to Susan! Susan blogs over at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds. Check out Susan’s blog for some great teaching ideas. I hope you guys enjoy the fruit pouches!

Thank to everyone who commented, and thanks to Peter Rabbit Organics for sponsoring the giveaway!

What a treat! These Peter Rabbit Organic Fruit Pouches are absolutely marvelous–and PERFECT to put into Easter Baskets!

In our family, we are now trying to make the shift to using mainly organic products. I expected this change to be difficult, but instead I am finding there are many great options out there and feeding your children organic food is MUCH easier than I anticipated!

The Peter Rabbit Pouches are 100% organic, 100% fruit snack fruit pouches that can be eaten on the go…or relaxing at home. They are being sold for babies six months and up and children, but…shhhh… I love these also! A quick healthy sweet snack:) My 4 year old says the Strawberry and Banana is the best.

so cute, so healthy!

so cute, so healthy!

Right now they come in three fruit varieties, Strawberry and Banana, Mango, Banana and Orange and Apple and Grape.

To me, they taste like a fruit puree. They have an anti-swallow cap and you can also re-close the cap—if your child needs just a bit, reclose and save for later—I think that is genius…you do not need a spoon or anything and can stick them in your purse or baby bag.

And, using them saves me a lot of worry about sugar and preservatives.

I recently saw some in my local Starbucks. You can also get them at select Whole Foods Markets and independent natural food stores in a number of regions across the country. All three flavors are also on Amazon.com. See their website for lots more information on where to buy.

One lucky reader will win a Sampler Pack of Peter Rabbit Organic Snack Pouches! (10 pouch case of mixed flavors).

How to Enter:

Visit Peter Rabbit Organics and tell me what you think of their site.

Additional Entries: (please leave a separate entry for each)

I will draw a winner on 4/4. Good Luck:)

Thanks to Peter Rabbit Organics for providing the organic fruit pouches for my review. I have received no monetary compensation and have given my unbiased opinion.

More: PR Organics is a small, privately owned company based in London, England. Company employees, inspired by their own families, work to make it easier for parents to give their children healthy, organic food with no added salt, sugar or artificial ingredients. Founded in 2004, PR Organics makes a range of 20 organic products including juice, pasta and pasta sauce in the UK, and introduced its popular, award-winning fruit pouches in the U.S. in 2009.