The “Art” Of Health {updated budget & a new business}

Summer. Relaxing days spent outdoors blowing bubbles and lounging by the pool while the children swim happily. No fighting, everyone can swim without some sort of floatation device needing to be blown up. They can go potty alone, feed themselves and always keep a tidy room oh and no schedules, homework or field trips. What a dream. I don’t know why I wake up most days and think this is reality? We lead a very busy life, probably more busy than most and the last two years has been insane.

 

My Husband and his Brother have been tirelessly working hours on end, after their normal day job, creating an iPhone app. The last two years I have given up my Husband to pursue his dream, creating something with his brother for the iPhone. The day has finally arrived, the app is FINISHED and releasing in the iTunes store TODAY. I could not be more proud of them and I must say the app is really awesome. Here is a little bit about the company:

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 8.50.37 PM is an iPhone app that enables artists to share original art with their community and locals to find and buy art. A wall often exists between regular people and the art world. Artists, whether hobbyist or professional, have no simple way to make their art accessible, and everyone else has no simple way to connect with local artists and purchase their work. Finestra changes all that by giving people a chance to preview art on their own wall while hearing the artists themselves tell the story behind the art. Potential buyers can email an artist to set up an appointment or get directions to see the art in person right away. Artists use the app to easily capture, manage, and promote their work professionally, or on a casual basis. Art surrounds us, and Finestra connects us through art to restore the role of artists in our communities and re-imagine our living spaces.

You can watch a 1 min promo video: 

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/61433410″>Finestra Art App</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user16940238″>Finestra Art App</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

It would be really awesome if you could go like them on FB: Finestra! Also, if you have an iPhone go download the app and check it out and request your city! You won’t be disappointed 🙂

Thank you for letting me go outside my normal posting to brag on my Hubby. Now back to foodie talk 🙂 The last 4 months has been a time of learning and figuring out “what works” for our family. Thankfully we have finally gotten into a pretty nice groove and I have tailored down our budget A LOT!

After the great purge of GMO’s from our house we were left pretty bare. I had to do a lot of stocking up on normal everyday items that I threw away. It was an expensive first few weeks! Thankfully I have figured things out and I have barely stepped foot into Whole Foods in 3 months! Crazy. I hear from several people that “it was just too expensive”. I get that. It IS expensive. But, you have to weigh the pro’s and con’s of cheap food now… potential health problems in the future or a little more expensive food now and great health later.

 

1045111_10151731752918627_2117745892_n

Here is the break down of a general week in food for us. First, I get this really amazing farmer’s market basket every week that consists of local produce. I get a large basket and I typically add on 18 organic farm fresh eggs. It generally costs me around $30 dollars a week for everything you see pictured above. I also get my local raw honey from here for a great price! Do you have a local farmers market or farm share near you that you love? I would highly suggest looking into it if you do not know.

I do the rest of my shopping at Publix and Costco. Publix is generally just for spices, organic chicken, milk and gluten free items. Costco is awesome for frozen organic veggies, snacks and organic beef! We spend around $90.00-$100.00 a week in these places, sometimes it is less depending on what toiletries we need. So, in a month we generally spend $490.00 on groceries and toiletries.

I will do a much more detailed post in the future, but for now I need to help my Husband finish the last touches for our app release party here tomorrow night.

 

Advertisements

Cilantro Hummus {5 ingredients}

 

 

 

 

Hummus is such a fantastic snack. It is full of protein, filling and goes great with a variety of foods. Our favorite thing to eat it with is chips, but you could serve it with fresh veggies, use it as a substitute for mayo on sandwiches or a substitute for sour cream on a taco. The possibilities for flavor variations can be almost endless. Tonight we tried a cilantro hummus. Super quick, only 5 ingredients and waaaaay cheaper than prepared store bought versions.

This hummus makes a large portion, comparable to the large tubs of Sabra Hummus at Costco. Making your own hummus is cheap and does not include GMO’s or ingredients most people do not already have in their home, like Tahini. Did you know that peanut butter is a great substitute for Tahini?

 

Here is a price break down for my 5 ingredient Cilantro Hummus:

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans (also called chick peas) = $.89ea @ Publix
  • 1 bunch Cilantro = $.79 @ Publix
  • 1 lemon = $.25 @ Publix
  • Ingredients I had on hand: 1 T. peanut butter & garlic

MY COST = $2.82    COSTCO = $5.99

I did not use all of the cilantro so technically you could say it was cheaper, but I figured not counting the cost of garlic and peanut butter equals it out? I am not a math person so please just ignore this logic 🙂

photo-45

 

Cilantro Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans, liquid reserved
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 c. cilantro
  • 1 T. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • (you could add salt) I think the chips add a nice saltiness and omit adding it to the hummus.

Preparation:

  1. In blender, such as a Vitamix, combine ingredients.
  2. Slowly add liquid from beans until creamy consistency is reached.
  3. Serve topped with fresh cilantro and sprinkle sea salt on top.

 

Screen Shot 2013-05-05 at 9.30.07 PM

 

 

Cinco de Mayo, Recipe #5 {Organic Margarita}

Screen Shot 2013-05-05 at 7.48.42 AM

I am ending today with a classic Cinco de Mayo favorite, margarita’s. Did you know there are organic tequilas out there? I was pleasantly surprised. The unfortunate thing is they are not sold everywhere. If you cannot find one near you I would suggest getting the highest quality tequila you can find. Here is a list of all the organic tequila’s I could find: 

  1. Republic Tequila 
  2. 123 Certified Organic Tequila 
  3. Tequila Alquimia – Añejo
  4. Tequila Tierras – Añejo
  5. Artá – Reposado
  6. Casa Noble

Screen Shot 2013-05-05 at 8.04.42 AM

 

Photo Credit: www.examiner.com

This margarita is simple and refreshing:

  • 2-parts organic tequila
  • 2-parts agave nectar
  • 1-part fresh lime juice
  • 8oz ice
  • shaker

Serve it blended for a frozen drink or on the rocks, my personal favorite. Drink responsibly and Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

 

In case you missed the 5-days of healthy Cinco de Mayo recipes here they are again:

photo-43 Recipe #1 – Homemade taco seasoning 

photo 2 Recipe #2 – Fresh Salsa 

photo-23 Recipe #3 – Kicked-up Guacamole 

photo-44 Recipe #4 – Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Soup 

Cinco de Mayo, Recipe #2 {fresh salsa}

Fresh Salsa. I can go overboard when it comes to salsa. I love the chips/dip combo and salsa is one of my favorites. This recipe is SO easy and super cheap. This is my basic salsa recipe and it can easily be jazzed up with corn, grilled peaches, mangos, etc.

I said it was cheap and I really mean it. You cannot get a fresher organic salsa in this quantity for this price. Here is what I spent to make 32 oz of salsa.

  • $.69 (6) roma tomatoes @Aldi
  • $.86 (1) medium white onion @ Publix
  • $.15 (1) large jalapeño @ Publix
  • $.79 (1) bunch cilantro @ Publix
  • $1.69 (1) can 14.5oz Muir Glen organic  fire roasted tomatoes @ Publix
  • Spices (had on hand): cumin, kosher salt, garlic powder, olive oil

TOTAL = $4.18 

Here is the recipe. Feel free to be creative, add to it and play around with your taste buds. Let me know the variations you come up with and how it turned out!

photo 2

Fresh Salsa.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, diced finely
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (you can add less if you would like, I just love cilantro!)
  • 1 14.5oz can Muir Glen organic fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 6 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 T. olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Chop all the ingredients and mix in a large bowl. 
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Day Eleven. Organic Couponing On A Budget.

Day Eleven.

Top reason I have never eaten organic or cut out all processed foods before is simple: it is expensive! I cannot argue with someone who simply does not have the budget to buy all organic, but I do want to inform you that organic food does not have to be off limits. There are such things as organic coupons, farmers markets and produce shares that make organic items just as cheap. *see day nine where I talk about it more*

Let me start with organic coupons. Tonight is one example of one I am very excited about – FREE organic eggs. Yup, you heard me, F-R-E-E. Thanks to my Publix and their awesome coupon policy I can use Kroger, Target and Whole Foods coupons. Tonight I happened to have a Kroger coupon for a free dozen Kroger brand eggs. It did not specify “non-organic” so I thought it was worth a try! One tip I have learned from my Mother-in-law is, ‘you already know the answer if you don’t ask’. Lesson: just ask! The worst they could say is no, but you might just get an okay. Tonight I just asked, and the manager said “okay”! Yay!

I do know that Publix has started marking their Rudi’s and Van’s gluten-free items B1G1. Both of those manufactures have coupons listed on their website. A couple weeks ago I got 6 loaves of bread for free and 8 boxes of waffles for $8.00! I will get more into organic/ nonGMO coupon match ups soon. It is possible and it is possible to still find free items.

Here is the break down of what we spent last week. I have listed everything we ate at the end of each day so you can get a rough idea what to make. We already had some things on hand that we did not have to purchase, like my huge 50lb. bucket of organic wheat berries and a big bag of organic coffee from Costco.

Whole Foods: $163.21

This included: produce, dairy, meat, cereals, syrup, snacks, & toothpaste, soap, lotion.

Costco: $23.27

Coconut oil, frozen veggies

Farmers Market: $16.00

Raw local honey

Aldi: $12.00

Organic cheese

Weekly Total: $214.48 for a family of 5 with having company over 3 nights.

I hope those numbers encourage you that you CAN do it. Now remember, I am not going to be buying the $13.99 bottle of lotion every week. That huge thing is going to last me a loooong time. Some weeks will be larger, but some will be less.

Search around for local produce shares from farms near you. I have heard from people that those can save you a lot on produce! I have not found one yet, but I am definitely looking. Also, be sure to ask your local super market what coupons they accept. You never know what kind of deals you can get.

**Tomorrow I am going to talk about how to attend parties, go out to eat and even road trips eating only whole, real foods.**

Day Eleven Food In Review:

(clink on the links for recipes)

Breakfast:

Nature’s Path organic corn flakes with milk.

Lunch:

Rudi’s gluten-free bread with peanut butter and raw honey, organic cheese sticks and fruit leather

fruit leather

Snacks:

Kale, blueberry & apple energy smoothie, leftover muffins with honey drizzled

photo 1

IMG_0135

Dinner:

Gluten free broccoli cheddar quiche

photo 2

photo 3