New Groceries

January 8th, 2013 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits

I rarely buy books. I much prefer to spend my money on late fees at the library. I did buy Deep Nutrition because it’s not in our library system and b.) I need more than 3 weeks to get through most books these days. (I can read Goodnight Moon in about 3 minutes flat though. Just saying.)

When I bought Deep Nutrition, I also bought The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth because hello, free supersaver shipping! And b.) I get this dorky smile on my face whenever I read the myriad of awesome things that good foods can do for our bodies.

150 Healthiest Foods on Earth

And that’s exactly what this book is full of – loads of facts and details about what makes each of these foods so great and why we want to eat them.  I was ready to declare myself The Most Clever Mother of the Year after I caught my reluctant vegetable eating children thumbing through this like a produce catalog, rattling off the fresh foods they think they might like to try.  Would someone please get me the broom so I can sweep my jaw up off the floor?

Anyway, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth and Deep Nutrition are both responsible for some new groceries that I’ve been tossing into my shopping cart lately.  I’m excited to share a little run down of some of the new items that have been showing up in our kitchen over the past couple months.

I’m still making my own salad dressing, and I’ve recently been alternating olive oil with flax seed oil.

Flax Oil

Most people know about the wonders of flax seed oil, but I haven’t bought a bottle in years.  The 150 book reminded me about it, I like that flax oil is a great source of Omega 3′s.  These days I’m being more mindful about getting closer to the recommended 2:1 ratio of Omega 6′s to Omega 3′s.  Flax oil is extremely delicate, it will oxidize and go rancid easily.  It’s important to remember to never heat it or cook with it.  Be sure to store it in the refrigerator in it’s opaque bottle that protects it from light.  Keep it cold, eat it cold and you’ll be good to go.  In addition to salad dressing, I’ve been putting a little in smoothies, mostly for the girls.

Newer grocery item #2 is celery.

Celery is Good for You

Yes, celery. How terribly unexciting. Celery has never been produce staple in my house though, mostly because I thought it was void of nutrition and was comparable to eating air. I get air for free, thanks.

(Notice the creeper baby stalking my celery?)

It turns out that celery has some anti-inflammatory benefits, can potentially lower blood pressure and is full of antioxidants and flavanoids. OK, ok, FINE! I’ll start buying celery.  Celery is among the dirty dozen - I prefer to skip the chemicals and pesticides here and always try to buy organic.

I’ve been chopping up celery to throw in salads and for soups too.  I’ve also been including it with my favorite green juice ingredients and will sometimes snack on celery sticks with almond butter.

Next up – raw, organic milk.

Raw Organic Cows Milk

This one doesn’t come from a grocery store, I get this direct from a local, organic dairy farm.

Deep Nutrition is to thank for my interest in seeking out raw milk, but The 150 Healthiest Foods whole heartily agrees that this is a health food item – you can find a similar list of the reasons why I’ve made the switch to raw milk here.  If/when I can’t get raw milk, organic whole milk is my next choice.

We get a gallon each week, I’ve been using it in smoothies, drinking it warm with Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea (I just bought an extra box of this tea on sale because they are trying to get rid of the holiday teas!  Hurry!  Go!  You don’t even need any sweetener!) and using this milk any baking I do.  I’ve just started making my own kefir as well – it’s ridiculously easy!  I plan to dedicate a post to it soon, making my own kefir is saving me some money at the grocery store and is (sadly?) my new definition of fun.

Since we’re talking about milk, I’m now buying whole milk dairy with just about all the other dairy products I buy as well.

Full Fat Fage

Full fat Fage has replaced my usual 2%.  I’ve also been buying whole milk yogurt for the girls (although not always, they have a couple of favorites from Stonyfield Farms that don’t come in a whole milk variety), full fat cheeses and sometime raw, aged cheese too.

I’ve been playing around with the ratios of macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) and am definitely finding that a diet higher in fat (combined with less carbs) per Deep Nutrition is working very well for me.  Full fat dairy extremely satiating, I don’t struggle with food cravings, I love how satisfied I feel after meals and probably eat less calories overall despite eating foods higher in fat.  Along with whole milk and whole milk products, I’m getting more fat from eggs, loads of avocado, nuts, olive oil, flax oil and coconut oil, bone-in, skin-on chicken, even a some bacon and beef when I can get it from the winter farmers markets.  They all leave me feeling full and content for hours with lots of energy to boot.

Speaking of dietary fat, it’s time to talk about grass fed butter.

Kerrygold

Butter has become one of my new favorite fats now that I know the benefits of choosing a better butter.  It’s a good source of vitamins A, E and K.  Grass fed butter is also where you’ll find CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), a fatty acid that can help keep you trim by fighting weight gain and has the potential to help with weight loss.  I’m now a firm believer that saturated fat can be good for us, bring on the butter!  I’ve also come to understand why it’s so important to get your dairy from grass fed cows.  (I admit that I still don’t buy ALL organic, grass fed dairy products – cheese is the last place I’ve yet to make the switch completely, mostly because of the expense.)

We tried organic butter a few years ago, but it tasted… awful.  We stuck with it for a while but the kids really complained, and I eventually went back to conventional butter because we didn’t eat it that much.  After reading about the wonders of butter in Deep Nutrition (and The 150 Healthiest Foods as well), I was convinced to give it another go.  I’m happy to report that Kerrygold is great!  No complaints from the peanut gallery either – we absolutely love it.  I can find it at Trader Joes and some of the bigger Wegmans with the specialty foods and cheeses.  I’ve been use it to cook eggs (instead of olive oil) and have been putting it on steamed vegetables and slathering it on Ezekiel toast for the girls.

It’s just so YELLOW!

Kerrygold Butter Very Yellow

Another new item is turkey burgers.

Applegate Farms Turkey Burgers

I’m the only one that eats these right now.  Zak is still a vegetarian, Ava and Maxine are slow to warm to anything new and different.  I can only find them at the local food co-op, but they make a quick (sort of) lunch for me.  These are not cheap - but I reconcile this fact that it works out to be about $2.25 a burger – which at first seems like a lot, but is less than you might spend lunch out at a restaurant.  Given we rarely go out to eat, I feel fine buying these for a once-in-a-while meal when I’m short on time and don’t have dinner leftovers for lunch.  These taste good and are an easy source of protein.  (17 g per burger!)

Ezekiel bread in not new here, but what is new is that it’s the only bread I’m buying.

Ezekiel Bread

I started buying Ezekiel bread when I read about it in the General Nutrition forums from Runner’s World a long, long time ago.  I was trying to figure out how and what to eat in the hopes that it might make running a little less sucky.  (It worked!)  Breads made from sprouted grains are supposed to be better for you and are easier on your digestive system.  It’s still bread, it still contains gluten and all the things that make breads and grains not so great for us, but it feels like a better option when/if we’re going to eat bread.  Zak and I are both fine with not eating bread at home, but it’s tough cutting it out for the girls – so I keep a loaf of this on hand.

Even though I’m not currently buying the whole wheat bread that I use to use for their sandwiches and toast, I do still make them pumpkin muffins and banana bread from time to time.  But in our regular, day to day lives, it’s Ezekiel bread or nothing.  I know, I know.  I’m sure that sounds dictator-ish of me – Deep Nutrition rocked me to my core, people!  There was some resistance to Ezekiel bread at first, but they’re coming around and don’t mind it anymore (especially when I slather it with butter, sunflower butter or peanut butter).

If you’ve never tried Ezekiel bread and are curious, look for it in the freezer case of your health food section – it contains no preservatives, so it will spoil quickly – keep it in  your fridge or freezer.  I can definitely tell you I prefer it toasted or grilled than not.  Toasted cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with almond butter and sliced bananas is still one of my favorite breakfasts of all time!

So there you have it, some new foods and one the new books I’m enjoying.  Got any new groceries or books showing up on your shelves lately that you’re excited about?  What are you stocking  your fridge with these days?


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12 Responses

  • Pat says:

    YO! Welcome to Celery Land! Bill and I did some reading on the health benefits of celery as far as flavenoids….so here is a smoothie we do:

    1 stalk celery
    1 large carrot
    a mix of red and black raspberries
    blueberries
    to total about 2 cups
    about 1 cup of cranberry Juice.

    Blend it all together and slurp it down. This is all good flavenoids for brain health, believe me, we need it. I add the carrot to help cut that celery taste a bit, carrots and celery are a pair in my mind, I wonder if there is some wisdom about that food pairing I need to know. Love it that you are going whole dairy! Woot Woot! I’l researching all the time, so you will probably hear from me more than you want! Learning every day!

    • I will try this celery smoothie! I even have a bag of frozen cranberries in the freezer that I might use in place of cranberry juice. Celery is the new black.

      • Pat says:

        hmmmm…. cranberries. I did not think of that….have you looked into Acai berries? any news? These are a mystery to me.

        • I’ve heard of acai berries and know they’re supposed to be a superfood, have seen them dried in the health food section but have yet to buy them or look into it further. (I’ve wondered how to pronounce acai and finally heard it pronounced “ah-sy-ee”, I’d been pronouncing it with it a hard “c”!)

  • jen says:

    I recently added celery too! Weird. But I will start buying organic.. I already buy organic carrots and bananas. I can’t skip my mini-bagel at lunch lately though!. It’s just a teeny miniature one… hehe.. but I’m curious about the bread.. I went a long while without eating bread at all but the bagels snuck back in.

    I also just read yesterday that flax oil is a great way to season cast iron so I’m going to look for that because I’m a nerd haha.

    • Increased celery consumption is probably thanks to that spicy red lentil kale soup! That’s when I first started buying it more and then when I started reading about it I kept buying it.

      Seasoning with flax oil… a quick search lead me here – http://www.instructables.com/id/Best-Way-to-Season-Cast-Iron-Pans-Flax-Seed-Oil/ – I had no idea! Cool!

      • jen says:

        I forgot to look for flax oil haha. But, I found the ezekiel bread. I bought the cinnamon raisin one and I actually like the … rough-around-the-edges-ness of it a whole lot. Toasted with some butter and it was really good hehe.

        and yup, you’re right about the celery! Normally I skip it but that soup seemed like it’d be lacking without it so I bought it, and then I cut the leftovers up for our veggie dish (I always put raw cuts in the fridge for the kids to snack on and put it on the table @ dinner) and they love it so I kept buying it. 2 out of 3 of them won’t eat the soup though haha.

  • jane/you-know-who says:

    Celery has been called “the Bridesmaid vegetable”….never the star of the show, too bad. It’s great as a snack (even in semi-huge quantities). I’m glad you’ve come to appreciate it.
    I’ve been buying Pacific brand organic Cream of Celery Soup for a long time and use it for everything.

  • Erin says:

    Alison, this is awesome! Good for you in being changed and making changes, and I’m so glad that you’re really feeling the effects of that yummy golden butter. Mmm-mm!

  • Jillian says:

    Great list. I used to buy a lot of these things…fell out of habit I guess. I love how the new year prompts us to re-evaluate our habits versus what we should be doing–time to re-add those! Have you ever looked into keeping freeze-dried veggies on hand? They make a great quick snack (I pack them for the kids for gymnastics and karate practices–yes, we even use freeze dried celery!
    http://jtueller.shelfreliance.com/foodstorage

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