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.

 

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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.

 

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Day Forty Nine. Revenge Of The Sugar Demon.

Day Forty Nine.

 

Can I just say living with small children in a world surrounded by sugary treats, packaged in boxes plastered with their favorite TV and movie characters is SO HARD. Not to mention all the super cute birthday parties they go to with cakes, cupcakes, cookies and candy all begging for them to consume them…in large quantities. Drive through fast food chains with bright colored signs and the most fun looking playgrounds conveniently placed right in the front of the store, and do not forget all those toys they “give” you in a kids meal. Marketing to kids does not stop there. It continues to toothpaste, soaps, lotions and even medication. My kids are bombarded daily with reminders that we “eat differently” now and it has been a source of constant discussion to “why” we cannot eat this or buy that. Topping the list off my son, poor thing, for the time being has to eat a gluten free diet. This causes even more questioning to why Sissy gets to eat that sandwich bread and he has to eat the grainy, smaller gluten free piece.

 

You might think I am complaining, I am not, really. I am just even more aware recently to how addicting processed foods can become, not only with the way they taste, but also with the novelty of their favorite characters being on them. If Cinderella and Spiderman like fruit snacks then they must be good for you and you better believe your kids will beg just to hold that box. We have been on a journey to eat no processed foods or foods containing GMO’s over the last few months. It has been hard, but oh so good. However, recently I have found myself “slacking” when we are out. Letting my kids eat a piece of candy at a birthday party or giving them a cookie while in Publix (my friend just started a blog and she has a hilarious post about Publix here). I have become lazy and it is paying, the sugar demon has emerged and it.is.nasty.

 

One taste of processed sugar after several months of eating a clean diet and now my kids are begging constantly for sugar. It is crazy how quickly your body remembers the pleasures of processed sugary treats and once you eat one you cannot stop. Your body only craves more and more. It is a vicious cycle.

 

One addiction for this Mommy is in the form of drinks. I know, you are never supposed to drink your calories. I love coffee, specifically Starbucks. Their drinks are so bad for you and I know that, but for some reason (sugar demon?) I keep wanting to go back for more. Do you find this is the same for you? Maybe it isn’t Starbucks, but some other guilty pleasure? Please tell me it is not just me 🙂

 

Here is a healthier recipe for one of my favorite cold drinks at Starbucks: Sweetened Iced Passion Tea Lemonade.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 3 Tazo Passion tea bags
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 c. raw sugar
  • Lots of water and ice

Preparation:

  1. Boil a full tea kettle of water
  2. Place 3 tea bags in a large, 1/2 gallon pitcher
  3. When the water has boiled pour over tea bags and let it steep for 5 minutes
  4. Remove tea bags and stir in sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice
  5. Add cold water to fill the pitcher
  6. Serve over ice and a slice of lemon

Have a happy and healthy Memorial Day!

 

 

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 🙂

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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.

 

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Cinco de Mayo, Recipe #3 {kicked-up guacamole}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday I shared my favorite recipe for a basic salsa, today I am introducing you to yet another dip obsession of mine…guacamole. I love anything with avocados, yes, even the raw chocolate mousse made from them. They are not only delicious but they are packed full of nutrients, essential vitamins and minerals. Take a look at how jam packed 1/5 of a avocado is with nutrients:

Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 2.36.15 PM

http://www.californiaavocado.com/avocado-nutrients/

 

Guacamole is a very cheap and easy to make at home. Currently, at Publix you can get a 7oz package of Wholly Guacamole for $3.49. Now, I do think this brand is really good and if you need to have some in a pinch I would recommend it. But, there is absolutely no need to spend that amount when you could make it for a fraction of the cost at home.

Here the price break-down for my recipe, it makes roughly 2 1/2-3 cups:

  • $.96 (4) Haas avocado @ Aldi – if you do not have an Aldi near by Costco has a 6pk for $4.99 and Publix is $1 each.
  • $.46 (2) roma tomato’s @ Aldi
  • $.25 (1) lemon @ Publix
  • Spices and oils I had on hand: olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, cumin, salt & pepper

TOTAL = $1.67 + the ingredients I had at home already.

You absolutely cannot argue with that price! It is different than your typical guacamole because I add the dressing, but I really enjoyed the extra creaminess it provided. Give it a try this weekend and tell me what you think.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe avocado
  • 4 Roma Tomato

Dressing:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 heaping t. cumin
  • Half lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 t. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Chop the avocado and tomato and place in a medium size bowl.  Whisk dressing in separate bowl and pour over the avocado and tomato mixture. Chill and serve.

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!

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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.