Big Produce & Being Flexible

I went to the grocery store, aka My Second Home, on Thursday and stumbled on a couple great in-store sale buys.  I always buy what’s on sale with my store club card.  Just one of the things I do to save money on my grocery budget.

Some weeks Fuji apples are on sale, some weeks it’s Jazz apples.  Some weeks it’s mangoes, other weeks it’s oranges.  I usually don’t care what exact types of fruits and vegetables I buy, just that I buy them.  And plenty of them.  And in an assorted variety.

I was really excited to see that avocados were on sale for 67 cents each.

I am going to make some Cheater’s Guacamole with the avos.


Mrs. Dash helps me cheat.  That way I don’t have to dice onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, etc. 



And Strawberries were 99 cents per 1 pound tub.  $1.98 for 2 pounds of berries.  We’ve eaten most of them already.  We may turn into berries.

Some of these berries are huge!  Palm-sized. And I am tall and have large hands and they are still palm-sized.

Two berries take up my entire palm.  I think these berries are on ‘roids.

While I was putting away the groceries, Skylar was examining the crown she made.

As part of my daily green salad quotient, these were some of the chosen plants.

Dressed with homemade Cheezy Hemp Oil Dressing

And paired the green salad with Spicy Vegetable, Corn & Bean Soup

It’s chilly and rainy and brrr here.  The soup was perfect.

And for a snack, Skylar and I split a Biggie Microwave Banana Oat Cake

From my last post about The Best Things in Life are Free, it was wonderful reading what you feel are the best free things in your life.  Reflecting on the good + the free things in your life = a recipe for keeping life in perspective.


1. Have you noticed that fruit and produce keeps getting bigger and bigger?

I have and I am not really that into it.  It just means that food is being genetically modified and engineeredSigh.

Ignorance is bliss though, right?  We can just pretend that the crops are growing that big on their own, right?

This article points out some of the pros, and cons, of GMO’ed foods.

In the past 10 years, I have noticed that vine-ripened tomatoes used to be golf ball sized or just slightly bigger, now they are baseball sized or bigger.

Apples used to be palm sized, and now they are like a big softball in the palm of your hand.

Bigger is better when it comes to many things, but not necessarily in the produce department.

2. What do you “have to have” at the store and what are you flexible with?

I have to have greens/lettuces.  I don’t care if it’s butter lettuce, radiccio, romaine, kale, spring mix, just give me green plants for salads.

Apples, must have them and they cannot be green apples (too sour) or red delicious (skin is too thick, apple itself is too mushy) but any other apples are fine.  I buy whatever is cheapest.

I have to have tomatoes, too.  I eat one per day and love my lycopene.

Other fruit and veggies, I am not that picky about what I buy.  Cucumbers, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, potatoes, carrots, oranges, bananas, grapes, mangoes, etc. they all make a rotation into the house, but not necessarily every single shopping trip.  Just depends on what’s on sale, and what isn’t, and I guide my purchases according to what looks the best in the store that day and what’s the best value.

3. Weekend plans?

I covered that alreadySee item 3.

Have a great day and weekend!


  1. Beautiful photos, as usual! Whenever I see the vivid colors of fruits & veggies, undressed, it seems so obvious as to what we should be eating!! They need no make-up! My must haves are greens, apples and nuts. Avocados if they aren’t too pricey. Won’t pay much more than one dollar a piece for them. But Apples are my staple!! Love Pepitas too!

  2. Averie, I just started following your blog and am already so excited to see someone as tall as myself (well close, I’m 6’1″) living a beautifully healthy lifestyle without trying to be a wafer, but proudly rocking the amazon look! Everything you cook looks delicious, down to the cheater’s guac (salivating atm), your daughter’s lovely, and I can’t wait to see what you do next!

  3. Cheaters guacamole! What a fabulous idea! I’m going to be making that sometime soon for sure haha!

  4. Yes, produce is getting huge! I actually live in a fruit producing valley in Canada and the aim is always to have the biggest fruit as if the smaller stuff isn’t good. I get my peaches from a lady who has the biggest peaches I have ever seen. Like barely smaller than melon sized peaches. Fortunately I know she doesn’t do anything too weird to them she just knows exactly how to prune the trees and everything else so they produce the biggest they can. I get a little more nervous when I see such amazing fruit at the grocery store.
    I seriously was looking for a “source” link after the first strawberry photo. It looks too perfect I thought it had to be done by a professional photographer!

  5. This is why I want to live where I can garden. I am so tired of all the crap we eat even when we eat fresh food. I always have to have apples, oatmeal and coffee. It’s a horrible day if those things are not in my house.

  6. The only kind of produce that I “must” have is bananas. Jason and I each eat at least one per day — so those are a “need”. Other than that I’m open. I usually just write “fruit” and “veggies” on my grocery list and I go with what looks good, what is on sale, etc. Then I can make salads out of whatever I get.

    Plans – 9 mile run tomorrow morning, bridal shower, going to a movie tonight maybe???

  7. wow im lucky to get avocado 2 for $3!! grab a bunch! i freeze mine in chunks and use them in smoothies! big produce scares me esp as a scientist. i dont want all those gmo foods!!

  8. I am so envious of your gorgeous and AFFORDABLE!! produce!! OMG! Do you know how much I just paid for ONE avocado? $2! :shock: and it wasn’t even organic. .99 cents for a pound of flawless strawbs? Are you kidding me? I thought $3.99 was a bargain for half rotten strawbs. Those are stunning!

    Seriously, I have Dustin looking at SoCal real estate right now, lol. Considering it!!

  9. I just hate that conventional produce is so much cheaper than organic. It’s not fair! Especially because I’m beginning to think I’m allergic to GMO’s (maybe its in my head)

  10. What sweet serendipity: I’m just drafting a post that’s somewhat about being flexible.

    Those avos are giant. And I’m right with you: I don’t like it that produce is getting bigger and bigger. With avos, though, there are so many varieties. In HI, there were avocados that were barely bigger than some of your ‘roided strawberries even when mature, and then there were some that were literally football-sized, growing wild. They weren’t very good, either, for whatever that’s worth. There’s something with humans about wanting things to be big and spherical and perfect and sweet–I don’t know if it’s my contrarian nature or what, but I always prefer the little, odd-shaped apples, etc…
    Have a great w/e!

  11. I just have to say first that in the picture of Skylar, it looks like the pillow behind her is an angel wing. I actually thought she WAS wearing wings at first! ;) Adorable!

    Yes, grocery store = my second home! I have noticed that about produce! Especially when it comes to items like apples and mangos. I end up having to search around for smaller ones.

  12. The only time I have seen avocados that large was when I was in Costa Rica. They were perfection – creamy, flavorful, and filling. When I was in Italy I noticed the fruit at the farmers markets were larger and more bright than those I get here in Canada. Can it be a climate/territory difference?

  13. “I have to have greens/lettuces. I don’t care if it’s butter lettuce, radiccio, romaine, kale, spring mix, just give me green plants for salads.”
    ME ME ME . :) And tons of fruit. As you said, don’t really care which…mix it up…I love (almost) all types of fruit!

  14. I HAVE to have bananas and tomatoes. Particularly heirloom tomatoes. I am addicted to both!

  15. I admit I don’t usually think about GMO produce, until I go to a farmer’s market and see the “regular sized” produce and realize how giant the fruits and veg at the supermarket are in comparison!

    My “must haves” are bananas and apples — the kids go through ’em like crazy — and some kind of leafy greens.

    This weekend — packing for our move back to Texas next week!
    Have a great weekend!

    • “I admit I don’t usually think about GMO produce, until I go to a farmer’s market and see the “regular sized” produce and realize how giant the fruits and veg at the supermarket are in comparison! “— YES TOTALLY!

  16. Hi love! The grocery store is also my second home. Glad someone else feels the same way =) I love the cheater’s guacamole, makes it so much cheaper and simpler to make a quick and easy guac!

  17. I overheard someone at the grocery store trying to convince her friend that she should buy conventional produce because its such a better deal – not because its cheaper, but because they are bigger! I wanted to helpe her out and explain why its bigger, but I figured she’s a lost cause. terrible, I know. She probably doesn’t really care anyway.

    this weekend I’m finishing my dissertation. Again. :(

  18. The banana I used in my smoothie today was GINORMOUS! i know what you mean about how it’s disheartening realizing it’s all because GMOs…. it was an organic banana and everything :(

    BUT super excited about Little League. GO BEES!

  19. I am a biology student and we looked at genetically modified foods in one of my labs. One of the things I learned is that organic foods CAN be genetically modified and still be referred to as organic. Organic means there are no pesticides… well, if a food has been modified with a gene that makes it resistant against bugs, then the farmer doesn’t have to use pesticides. For this reason, there has been a bit of a hissy fit about food labelling.
    I personally believe some foods should be genetically modified. I find it very difficult to visualize a world where there are no poor countries with starving citizens. Yes it is possible but I don’t think it is likely to happen in my lifetime. So although we don’t want our foods to be modified, adding some vitamin c into some rice for the poorer countries may make the difference between developing scurvy or not. However, I also personally believe that the majority of the foods that I am eating here in this first world country should not be modified unless absolutely necessary (example: type A fruit is going extinct and the only way to save it is to make it more resistant to the virus that is killing it). But that is more of preservation rather than changing for increasing crop yeilds (and money).

    • Crystal this is so on point. I knew all of this, didnt write it all out, but yes, have done tons of research on my own (years worth) which is why I am not married to organic. It doesnt mean so many things…all it DOES mean is it wasnt grown w/ pesticides but ive read that basically in the transporation of food, all food is thrown together and “rides” in trucks next to other food that has had the heck sprayed out of it so really….unless you grew it in your yard, you just dont know. I could go on and on but i totally agree w/ everything you said!

    • Not true. Organic is the only way that you can be sure (or mostly sure, since GMO “food” can’t be contained and can spread to surrounding fields, so the contaminated fields have their crops ruined and are often sued by big corporate giants like Monsanto despite having done nothing wrong. Btw, if you haven’t checked out what harm Monsanto has done for the world then you should. Not something anyone would want to support) that you’re not eating GMO. GMO doesn’t even have to be labelled! In fact, a lot of farmers who sold their food as conventional didn’t even know they were buying GMO seeds! Isn’t that crazy? For something to be considered organic it has to fit certain standards, including the avoidance of using GMO seeds. It also takes quite a while to get certified (I’ve heard it’s something like seven years). Also when GMO foods were first coming out they claimed that farmers would have to use less pesticides and would yield more crops, but they ended up having to use even MORE pesticides and other chemicals on their crops and got LESS than before.
      Conventional food usually has about half the nutrition as organic food, and it’s bad for the environment. Most of the chemicals we’re spraying on our food (and putting in our personal products, and into our processed foods, and our buildings, and furniture…) haven’t even been tested for safety by themselves, let alone synergistically, so we don’t even really know what they’re doing to our bodies!
      A while back I used to only buy certain things organic (berries, apples, etc) and others, like bananas, I would buy conventional. I stopped doing this, however, because I always felt funny after I ate the conventional produce. It also gave me a funny feeling on my tongue, something that never happens when I eat organic.
      No foods should be genetically modified in my opinion. You know those websites like Oxfam where you can send an animal to an impoverished country for somewhere between 15 and 200 dollars? Imagine how many organic seeds we could send for that amount! They could benefit from so much more nutrition and yield so much more food if we did that instead. Also, a whole slew of medical doctors agree that adding isolated vitamins into your food (or even taking daily vitamins) isn’t useful because your body simply doesn’t process them. For these vitamins to be effective they need to work synergistically with the other vitamins and minerals found in the REAL, whole food. Rice isn’t terribly nutritious (or even good for the soil) anyways, so why don’t we try something else? Also, if a fruit is going extinct, so what? Nature will take its course and we have to deal with it. If it’s because of human interference, then maybe we should change instead of changing nature. I don’t think we should be trying to interfere even if it is for preservation. There are so many different foods in the world that if something goes extinct it’s not like there won’t be a variety of different things with the same minerals and nutrients. It won’t be the end of the world if some banana goes extinct because its time is up.

  20. I’ve noticed that apples are getting to be so huge – I can’t even eat a whole one!!

  21. I have noticed that to! The mushrooms the other day were 1/2 the size of my head, I wish I would have taken a picture!!

    Weekend plaans = research paper… 2 more to go! Ugg…

    Have a great one!

  22. Strawberries+avocado are TOTAL summer cravings for me. Loveeeee it!!

  23. Ha, wow, those are some hardcore strawberries! They look really good though :)

  24. GMO “food” infuriates me. I only buy organic because I believe in the idea that your dollar is your vote, and I don’t want to support something that is harming people and the environment. I think I might actually do a blog post on this.

  25. I’m the same as you when it comes to produce shopping! I basically just buy what’s on sale, since I’m not too picky! I will say, though, that I must have bananas, and usually (this time of year, at least) sweet potatoes. If they didn’t happen to be inexpensive it might be another story; but luckily, they are! And greens. I’m not too picky which ones, though :P
    Those strawberries are huge! I’ve noticed some of the apples these days are CRAZY huge. Compared to the apples I would get from a local farm, they’ve gotta be at least 2x the size.

  26. I am very creeped out by a lot of the produce I see in stores (i.e. Grapples????? LOL).

  27. Must have spinach at all times. If I could only get ONE item, it would be spinach. I love it so much. Prefer it over other lettuces actually – dressed simply with EVOO, salt and lemon juice. Other than that, I like to buy what’s in season or looks especially delicious in the store. I am a sucker for mangoes, but they are so overpriced in the winter! It’s artichoke season, so you can bet I will be buying and snacking on my fair share of those!

    I just got back to the east coast from a week long trip to Oregon coast/mountains. While I was there I took the most AMAZING yoga class ever and I am curious if you know the teacher… Tiffany Cruikshank? She is rather up there in the yoga world I learned! Check out her nike video!!!….

    We began class with a five minute headstand, it reminded me of your yoga posts!

    Have a lovely weekend with skylar and scott and keep up the great posts!

  28. I must have carrots. Must. I mean, there’s a reason my blog is named as it is ;) haha. I legitimatelyw ent through a 5 poudn bag of baby carrots from costco in 2 days earlier this week… with a little bit of help, but really not all that much ;) It’s a gift… lol.

    But I posted about a huuuge strawberry I ate the other day! It was the size of my palm as well! Sometimes they seem less flavorful though… But maybe that’s just me :)

  29. Yeah big produce scares me a bit too. It’s definitely the results of being genetically modified. I believe that genetic modification can do really good things as Crystal pointed out but overall it can be scary when scientists mess with mother nature too much. It starts to affect evolution, biodiversity and survival of the fittest—important biological concepts that have been around since life was first formed.

    Even though I bargain shop I HAVE to have greens, (namely kale, collards and green leaf and lettuce) bananas, coconut water (I’m addicted to the stuff) and cashews. Those are my top few favs :)

  30. I “have to have” apples and grapes, specifically would prefer either honey crisp or fuji and red-colored grapes :)
    My weekend plans include hanging with my boyfriend, going to a friend’s 21st birthday bash, working out, homework, and watching movies.
    Have a good one

  31. I used to dislike Red Delicious for the same reasons, but lately I’ve noticed that there’s a new breed of Red Delicious that is actually…wait for it…delicious!

    I almost always have to have some kind of bread in my arms on the way back home from grocery shopping. Also diet soda. :-)

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  33. your short-cut for guac is genius!!!

  34. We’ve had so much rain the past few months that the local produce is sky-high; wish I could find a 67-cent avocado or 99-cent strawberries.
    I’ve also had some ridiculously huge strawberries. They taste great; I just try to focus really hard on not mutating after I eat them.

    Off to play basketball in a couple of hours. I hope people show up. It’s been pouring buckets all night; we’ll all have to swim to the Y.

  35. That produce looks mouth watering! As for fruit that is unnaturally “big”, I just refuse to buy it. Mother Nature did not make an apple the size of my head nor a strawberry the size of my fist. Produce that big can not be very good for you long term IMO. I always show my kids fruit like that in the store and ask if they think Mother Nautre made it or not. Hopefully they’ll remember this when they’re buying for themselves!!

  36. I would have stocked up on those avocados, yum! And Skylar is so cute with her crown!

    1. Yes, especially the non-organic stuff at regular grocery stores. I’m not a fan either and try to grow my own and buy organic when possible. I think this year I’ll be dedicating an entire garden bed to nothing but organic kale since the stuff I planted last year has produced so much through summer and winter.
    2. I have to have carrots, avocados, cabbage, broccoli … well just about everything because I like a variety. But this year I’ll be focusing on growing as much as possible … if our weather ever improves for a little gardening!
    3. Not much since the weather is a big question mark, helping hubby look at cars, maybe seeing a movie – that’s about it.

  37. I try and buy local organic produce just because the frankenfood scares me. Strawberries just shouldn’t be that big! Although sometimes my fresh food looks sad in comparison. lol

    I really wish I was the type of person who could be less picky about their produce. I am so particular in the type of greens I like and the particular veggies. I have to buy broccoli, frozen and fresh and I eat it daily because it’s my favorite! I try and experiment with other veggies and I just find myself coming back to the handful I know and love.

  38. the bigger the better… I know I shouldn’t like produce that is beefed up, but I do. I don’t like wimpy home-grown cucumbers; I like the ones from the store!

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