Wholesome Foods Are Expensive for Small Budgets

In search of wholesome vegan and vegetarian food brands. Looked in 4 stores in the Cleveland suburbs including Marc’s, Aldi’s, Acme, and Whole Foods Market and haven’t found brands suggested.

I love perusing new grocery stores, farmer’s markets and community gardens in search of the best wholesome local food. However, wholesome does not equal wholesale prices.

whole foods market logoEver since I watched Oprah’s staff go vegan for a week and listened to the complaints as well as the accolades of how much better they felt and some staff members actually lost weight, I’ve been in search of the wholesome vegan and vegetarian brands mentioned on the show. So far, I’ve only found the website and their fan page, I have looked in 4 stores in the Cleveland suburbs including Marc’s, Aldi’s, Acme, and Whole Foods Market and haven’t found one of the brands mentioned.

I did, however, find several other “meatless and soy-free” frozen products, which wasn’t what I was looking for since I really like the soy products and not the vegetable protein crumbles that resemble meat. These generic and name brand products were outrageously expensive for such a small serving. For example, 1 box of meatless chicken patties cost nearly 6 bucks and only contained 4 patties. Products such as these do not fit within my small monthly food budget for 2 people.

My son and I did find fairly good prices on organic and specialty dairy products and soy milk. We have taken a liking to soy milk both for drinking, adding to morning coffee and cooking with it. And it seems to last a little longer in the frig too.

Overall, I found 4 out of 5 items on my small grocery list at Whole Foods Market, and a couple other inexpensive items including frozen soy beans and organic yogurt. My total for about 15 items…$33.64. Between local farmer’s markets, Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s and Whole Foods I think I might be able to squeeze in some wholesome meals that are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

Where do you find the best prices on organic foods, or wholesome local foods in your neck of the woods?

What is Organic Green Tea?

Two leaves and a bud Jasmine Petal Green Tea

http://www.twoleavesandabud.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/jasminepetalhigh-300x214.jpgSome Jasmine tea is simply tea leaves that have been harvested, prepared as green tea, and then jasmine flavor is added.

Higher quality Jasmine tea, like two leaves and a bud’s Jasmine Petal green tea, is harvested in April and May, and when June arrives, the tea is spread out for five nights and the Jasmine flowers that bloom that month are laid on top of the tea. Tea absorbs odors very easily, and so during the cool nights, the premium green tea is basking in the floral scent, building up a nuanced taste profile.

If you’ve never had this quality tea, it’s a revelation when you taste something like two leaves and a bud Jasmine Petal green tea. This is the sort of tea you taste as much with your nose as with your tongue, as its delicate, flowery Jasmine flower scent lingers over the cup.

Exclusively through 4/15/2011, use promotional code JASMINE2011 and receive 20% off Jasmine Petal green tea. Click here to order now.

The Truth Behind Certified Organic Beauty Products

Organic beauty products are not regulated as much as our food, so when the label on your face cream, cleanser or makeup claims that it contains “organic” ingredients you better do your homework first.

When I hear the word “organic,” I think of holistic or grown without harmful pesticides. When I was just 4 or 5 years old, my parents (hippies) had 2 large gardens on a spacious lot and owned an organic fertilizer business. Organic, like chemical free, not like the government’s standards of what can be labeled organic now.

I also think organic as pertaining to food, not something I put on my face like the post Organic Face Cream: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly on Eco Village Green.

Organic beauty products are not regulated as much as our food, so when the label on your face cream, cleanser or makeup claims that it contains “organic” ingredients you better do your homework first.

Here are the facts you need to know about the truth behind organic beauty products:

1. 1 natural ingredient does not qualify the entire product to be organic. Check the rest of the ingredients and how much of this “natural” ingredient is actually in your product.

2. If a beauty product is labeled organic, then it must contain 70 percent of its ingredients that are truly organic.

3. In order to have a certified label of being organic, then 95 percent of the ingredients need to be organic.

4. Organic includes no animal testing, but no animal testing does not guarantee that a product is organic.

5. “All natural” ingredients really means they may be grown in contaminated soil and pesticides were used. There is no certification for this label.

6. Read all the ingredients on your beauty product and avoid these ingredients, which are commonly referred to as “the deadly dozen”:

  • Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine)
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG 4 – 200)
  • Sodium Hydroxide
  • Triclosan
  • DMDM and Urea (Imidazolidnyl)
  • Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Propyl.. etc)
  • Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40)
  • Mineral Oil
  • FD&C Color Pigments
  • Fragrances (synthetic fragrances will have names like “essential lavender oil”, because no lavender was even used)

I found the best information about what is considered organic, natural or synthetic on Oblige by Nature.

A few trusted companies that sell organic beauty products include Burt’s Bees, Origins Organics, and Oblige by Nature. Also organic beauty products typically cost more than their synthetic counterparts.

Shop smart and be beautiful!