Grocery Store & Mailbox Finds and Organic or Not?

Happy Hump Day.  Halfway there, the weekend is in sight!  What’s on your agenda til then?  I’ve got a 5:30pm yoga class to teach this evening.  I have a newish playlist that I burned that I have only used one time that I am excited to play tonight.  As a teacher, I have to keep my music fresh or I get really bored.  The only good thing about using the same playlist is that you know without looking at the clock, how much time more you need to make your students sweat approximately is left in the class.  The downfall is autopilot which is the antithesis of being present, living in the moment, and avoiding mental cruise control.  Earlier today I’ve been out running errands and I took Skylar to the park.  We practiced writing our names in the sand with muddy sticks and sung our abc’s 23 timesIn a row.  But I loved every second!  Whatcha got going on today?

I am really glad you enjoyed my Vegan Mexican Feast yesterday:
Vegan Fajitas with a Vegan Cheezy Sauce Option or Cumin Ginger Lime Sauce

See the sauce drooling pooling off?

And Chocolate Mexican Wedding Cookies for dessert

Enjoy!

And I really loved your great comments about Blogger Honesty.  And if you Fear Being Too Honest or Fear What Others’ Think.  I really relished your thoughts and perspective about how much you choose to reveal, or not, about yourself in your posts and why.  If you still want to chime in, feel free to let me know about just how honest you are and how much you care what people think, or not.  Good Stuff, kiddies.  I love these types of conversations!

As promised, let’s move on to some Grocery Finds.  Sit back and relax, I’ve got alot to show you…

Remember over the weekend when I mentioned that I hit up 3 Markets in one day after yoga?  Well, here’s a few things I got that I’m groovin’ on.

I hit up Trader Joe’s for some essentials.
Like coffee.  New to me, and I love this coffee!!!!!!!  I have a major problem paying $12 bucks for a bag of Starbucks, or $14 for Peet’s or even more for fair trade/organic coffees.  So, I am in Hog Coffee Heaven when not only is this can only $6.99 for a generous 12 oz. can, but the taste is awesome. 

It’s rich, bold, but not bitter.  The label says “bright” and I would agree.  It’s perfect and it’s going into rotation with my beloved Sumatra from TJ’s.

And I picked up some toddler crack.  You can get a toddler to do anything with these.  White Cheddar Puffs.  Sorta like cheaper Pirate’s Booty.

…But Scott said he actually prefers these to Pirates Booty, and at $1.99 for a huge bag from TJ’s, I’ll get my family their dosage of processed starch and sodium rather cheaply.  Cool.  And yes, I am clearly aware this is not a vegan product.

I also picked up some TJ’s frozen mango.  I think theirs is the best and tends toward the least amount of freezer burn, but it’s not perfect.  Why do some stores sell freezer burnt food?  Seriously, a mystery that I do not enjoy finding when I break into my bag!

And Raisins.  Love this mixture of golden, yellow, and dark raisins.  $4.99 for a massive bag.  The same thing would be about 10 bucks at WF

And since all the cool kids rave about this bar, I figured I’d pick one up.

The ingredient list is long and probably not vegan.

And I think my Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars are going to be better, but hey, I’m up for trying new things!

After TJ’s, I ventured on to Whole Foods for some Coconut Oil

This is a new brand of coconut oil I’m trying.  It’s unrefined which is nice.

Here’s a Cheat Sheet on Unrefined vs. Refined for all you inquiring minds.
What are its advantages over Refined Coconut Oil? Well! Let’s check them one by one;

  • Taste: Unrefined Coconut Oil is tastier than the Refined Coconut Oil as it is neither bleached nor refined.
  • Flavour: Again, Unrefined Coconut Oil has a beautiful flavour of that of fresh coconuts which is absent in Refined Coconut Oil, since it is deodorized.
  • Nutrients: It is more nutritious than the refined one, being least process and subjected to least heat. It is richer in proteins (this is almost absent in refined oil), vitamins and anti oxidants.
  • Natural: It does not undergo any chemical processing, unlike Refined Coconut Oil which is treated with Sodium Hydroxide and bleached. So, it has that more natural touch.
  • Wholeness: It is wholesome coconut oil.

What are its disadvantages? Every coin has two sides. Here is the other side.

  • Hygiene: It is less hygienic than the Refined Coconut Oil, since it does not undergo any refining and may contain dust particles and other unwanted stuff.
  • Therapeutic Uses: It may not be suitable for therapeutic uses.
  • Internal Applications: The Refined Coconut Oil is better in this respect, being more hygienic.
  • Cost: Despite being less processed, it is bit costlier than the refined one, since most of the coconut oil produced is converted to refined oil and hence there is much less crude oil in market than the refined one. Further, it is less in use too.
  • Availability: Again, Unrefined Coconut Oil is less easily available than the refined grade.

It seemed to work just fine in the latest batch of Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs I whipped up.

Chocolate Snowballs In the House!

At WF I also picked up this Giovanni Organic Hair Detangler & Leave-In Conditioner

Which is the best thing ever for my tangle-prone, wavy locks

 It does not leave my hair greasy, and no stiff & crunchy feeling, either.

And it works great on Skylar’s, too!

I cashed in some Blogosphere Give Away Winnings…
Evan’s TruWhip Contest

And Alina’s Tempt Hemp Milk Ice Cream Contest (One of these I bought, the other one I won)

I’ll let you know how it compares to So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream

In the mail I also received a couple Special K Treats from Foodbuzz & the Special K people

They’ll make good snacks for Scott or Skylar to nosh on

I also received this Yoga Accessory:
Aurorae Yoga’s Rosin Bag.  It’s to help absorb perspiration and keep your hands from slipping on your mat if you’re sweating.

I normally am not a big sweater and use my Lumi microfiber towel that I’ve had for about 6 years if I am going to a hot practice, but hey, I live in Arizona and it’s gonna get hot soon!

So when the weather gets warmer and I’m more sweaty, I can’t wait to chalk upThanks, Aurorae!

And in the mail today, I was lucky enough to crack open the newest copy of Brendan Brazier’s Thrive.
Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program

You may recall I was reading Brendan’s first Thrive book in Aruba

And can’t wait to dig into this one!  Thanks, Brendan & Sequel Naturals!

Whew, that was alot of finds!  Thanks for sticking with me!

A few plates of Greenery around here have included:
Raw kale, tomatoes, cauli, brock, cukes, & lightly steamed Brussels’

With My Homemade Vegan Slaw Dressing

I try to eat half my weight in brock.  Daily.   Fiber? Check.

And this plate was:
Raw brock, cauli, carrots, tomatoes, cukes, sugar snap peas, and lightly steamed Brussels’. Dressed with Vegan Slaw Dressing

There is nothing better than the crunch of a sugar snap pea.

Oh wait, maybe there is.   
Chocolate Dessert!
Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Snowballs

Yoga today is the full extension of Utthita Hasta Padangustasana, the standing splits.

Tip of the Day: The information on Coconut Oil that I presented in the middle of this monster post. 

I also wanted to mention that I rarely shop at Whole Foods.  I try to go there less than once a month because it is simply price prohibitive.  I buy all my produce at either the conventional grocery store or at TJ’s.  I don’t always buy organic.  Actually, I only buy organic if the price is close to conventional.  I know that for some people, organic is very important to them and I think it’s wonderful, but for me, it’s not a reality.  Gena has posted on this topic as well.

When I lived in San Diego, I was part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and had a weekly farm share.  All my produce was locally & organically grown, and it was seasonal.  Since recently moving to the desert, I haven’t explored that option yet, and so in the meantime, I try to buy produce that’s at the front of the grocery store.  In the winter that’s oranges and grapefruits, in the summer it’s strawberries and raspberries.  In the fall it’s turnips and parsnips, in the spring it’s chard.  You get the point. 

Are you familiar with the Dirty Dozen?  Those 12 items that you should buy organic when possible?  Here’s a downloadable guide.
Or here you go.   
The most contaminated (buy organic with these if you can):
•    Apples
•    Cherries
•    Grapes, imported (Chili)
•    Nectarines
•    Peaches
•    Pears
•    Raspberries
•    Strawberries
•    Bell peppers
•    Celery
•    Potatoes
•    Spinach



And the least contamintated:
•    Bananas
•    Kiwi
•    Mangos
•    Papaya
•    Pineapples
•    Asparagus
•    Avocado
•    Broccoli
•    Cauliflower
•    Corn
•    Onions
•    Peas

What’s your take on Organic?  Do you think it’s important?  Do you buy organic?  If money was no object, would you buy organic?  How do you feel about our foods being irradiated?

And on lighter matters, what’s your splurge food purchase that you don’t care how much it costs, how healthy it may, or may not, be…you have to have it!  

Fave TJ’s food?  Fave WF’s food?  Fave food in general?  Did someone say Chocolate?  I thought so.

Stay Tuned For The Yoga & Raw Vegan Foods Retreat Info Announcement…

   

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