I am a big fan of Stonyfield yogurt- it’s organic, it tastes wonderful, it is from a company that cares about many important issues, and my kids love to eat it! If you don’t buy this yogurt already, you should give it a try, especially if you have little ones. Most of the more “popular” yogurts that are advertised like crazy on tv today are filled to the brim with artificial flavors, colors and LOTS of sugar! What’s the good in eating something that’s supposed to be good for you if it’s filled with bad stuff? Anyway, if you are interested in downloading a free e-cookbook from Stonyfield, you can do so here. You can choose to either download it to your e-reader device or as a PDF file if you don’t own an e-reader. In the cookbook, you will find a week’s worth of recipes that use yogurt as an ingredient.
Also, if you buy Stonyfield products, you should sign up for their rewards program. All you do is enter codes from the lids of the yogurts you buy from them and accumulate points, which you can later use to get free yogurt, donate toward environmentally-friendly organizations, or other free stuff!
Give Stonyfield a try! (Our favorite is the French Vanilla!)
Stonyfield Organic is one of my favorite brands, especially for the yogurt my kids love! Well, they are currently running a sweepstakes in which you can win a year’s worth of organic dairy products from them! There is one winner drawn each week AND for every entry, Stonyfield donates $.20 to Wholesome Wave, an initiative that makes it possible for federal assistance programs to provide wholesome and locally grown food to our nation’s under-served communities. Follow this link to enter! Good luck!
If you are somebody who tries to buy organic and/or locally as much as possible when it comes to produce or have ever thought about it, then you will enjoy this post!
Since it is National Organic Foods Month, I thought it was only fitting that I post this! This link will take you to an online database that lets you search for farmer’s markets in your area. It has a list of most of the farmer’s markets in the United States! I entered my zip code and found about 10 markets within 20 miles of my house! Most farmer’s markets have organic food choices that are grown locally, thus making them better all around- for you and for the environment!
So, never been to a farmer’s market or not sure why you should try it? Never fear! This link will take you to a video and article that explains why buying at farmer’s markets is a good choice!
My favorite organic buys…
I usually try to buy all of my fresh fruit/vegetables that does not have a hard outer skin/peel as organic. Fruits and vegetables that do not have that peel or skin can easily absorb the pesticides that are used, therefore exposing you and your family to more chemicals.
And, it might be easier than you think to buy organic. You don’t have to have a store that specializes in just organic foods near you to do so (though I love my Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods!). For instance, my Jewel store carries an organic brand, Wild Harvest, that I really like for their organic microwave popcorn and corn chips. Also, my SuperTarget carries the Archer Farms brand that has lots of organic products. And, there are many nation-wide brands that are organic that are sold at chain stores, such as Amy’s, Kashi, and Earth’s Best (to name a few).
Give going organic (or at least partially organic) a try this month! Get to a farmer’s market near you and see what you can find!
Organic Valley is a company that is dedicated to providing healthy, organic food to their customers. Organic Valley products can be found in most Dominick’s, Woodman’s and Butera grocery stores. You can go their website and print out coupons for their products and you can also subscribe to their newsletters while you are there. You will periodically receive coupon offers AND you have the option of having them send you a FREE Farm Friends Kids’ Activity kit, too! The kit contains a magazine, activity booklety, a Go Organic! bumper sticker, and a booklet of Organic Valley coupons! Visit their site to start saving!
If you are asking yourself why you should go organic, take a look at the chart below to compare what is allowed when producing organic foods with what is allowed when producing what are called “natural foods”. If this kind of stuff is permitted when producing “natural” foods, can you imagine what foods with artificial ingredients are made of? Hmmmm….
Chart courtesy of OrganicValley.com
Cheese ravioli (photo courtesy of Earthsbest.com)
So, today, as I was doing my grocery run through Target with the two little ones in tow, I talked myself into giving myself a break from cooking for a day (okay, maybe two if needed!). You all know how crazy I am about feeding my family the good stuff (meaning no artificial anything) if you follow my blog. S0, I was on a mission to find something quick yet healthy and nutritious for my little ones in the frozen section! And, what do you know…Earth’s Best Organic products and Peas of Mind were just what I was looking for! (no joke!). They provide quick meals for little ones that are organic, all natural and nutritious! I bought some cauliflower “fries” from the Peas of Mind brand and a Cheese Ravioli Sesame Street meal from Earth’s Best Organic. The kids liked the “fries” (with a little ketchup), but we have yet to try the ravioli. I actually tried a couple of the fries and they were tasty! To top it off, my kids are getting vital nutrients from veggies that they wouldn’t have gotten had I just given them regular potato fries. I will definitely be using these brands to give myself more “breaks from cooking” in the future!
Here is a link to some coupons for Earth’s Best products if you are thinking of trying them (While you are at their website, enter the Sesame Playdate sweepstakes that is going on right now! Why not?)
Also, check out the Peas of Mind website here to see what products they have to offer (I have yet to find coupons for them!)
Here are some awesome resources I came across that Whole Foods offers on their site/blog. And, the good part is that you don’t have to have a Whole Foods store nearby to take advantage of the tools they offer on their site. In the links I have provided below, you will find lots of goodies and be able to take advantage of the coupons, too, if you have a Whole Foods store that you go to!
Meal planner, recipes, and activities for kids here!
Coupons for Whole Foods here!
Watch a short video about making healthy lunches for your kids, leave a comment, and enter to win a $100 gift card to The Container Store! Yippeee!
MEGACOOL HEALTHY CHICKEN AND RICE (“ARROZ CON POLLO”)
A friend asked me for this recipe so she could make it for her almost one-year-old daughter. I make it quite often and freeze the leftovers for later. (To warm it up I just sprinkle a little bit of water over the top and stick it in the microwave on medium power). I like my version because I have replaced the traditional white rice with half brown rice, and I have added in a few more veggies along the way…oh, and all natural ingredients, too! As always, I have linked to coupons or told you where to find ingredients on sale whenever possible…enjoy!
- 2 or 3 organic and/or all natural chicken breasts COUPON
- 1 1/2 c. of long grain white rice mixed with 1 1 /2 c. of long grain brown rice (each of these can be found for $.69 a bag at Target)
- 1 box of organic or all natural chicken broth or stock (I buy the Kirkland organic brand in bulk from Costco because I use it quite often in my cooking)
- 1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (Meijer 12 oz. steamer frozen vegetables on sale for $.99 a bag this week)
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 1 small tomato and or zucchini, chopped
- Bijol seasoning (this can be found in the Hispanic foods aisles of most grocery stores; I like it because there is no MSG in it!)
- garlic powder (spices on sale for $1 at Jewel this week)
- sea or kosher salt COUPON
- ground cumin (spices on sale for $1 at Jewel this week)
- olive oil COUPON
- Fill a large pot about 3/4 of the way full with water mixed with chicken broth
- Add about 2 tsp. Bijol seasoning, 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. sea or kosher salt, 1 tsp. ground cumin and chicken breasts to water/broth mixture and bring to a boil. Let boil until chicken is cooked all the way through (usually about 30 minutes or so)
- In a separate saucepan (while chicken is boiling), with 1 tbsp. olive oil, sautee the green pepper, white onion and tomato/zuchinni for about five minutes or so on medium high. Set aside.
- Once chicken is done boiling, take out the chicken breasts and shred them or cut them into 1/2 in. cubes. Set aside.
- In a rice cooker, combine the 3 c. of mixed rice, chicken, bag of frozen mixed vegetables and about 5 1/2 c. of the broth that you used to boil the chicken.
- Add a dash of salt, if you prefer, and about another tbsp. of olive oil to rice/veg/chicken mixture.
- Cook rice as you normally would in the cooker.
- When done, add the sauteed green pepper, onion and tomato mixture.
- Serve with sliced avocado and lime for squirting on top of the chicken and rice.
LET ME KNOW IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE AND WHAT YOU THINK! YUMMY!
Your child’s diet and his/her behavior
I read an article yesterday that I would like to share with all of you Megacoolmamas! As you know if you’ve read “My Philosophy”, mostly everything my family and I eat is as close as it can be to all natural. Not only do I feel better physically when I eat “clean”, but, most importantly, I know I am doing something good for my family by choosing products that do not use artificial ingredients. This article chronicles one mother’s conversion from artificial to natural products and the effects she realized those artificial ingredients were having on her child’s behavior. Here is the link to the article. Enjoy!
And, speaking of eliminating artificial ingredients, it’s easier than you think! And, you might think it’s more expensive to do so, right? Not necessarily! That’s what my blog is about…helping you make that change and save you money at the same time! I’m sure that if you follow my tips, you will save money on what your old grocery bill used to be! I spend a LOT of time researching good, healthy buys for my own grocery list, and I share them with you! I hope you can benefit from all of my hard work!
Happy Tot find at Target
Have you seen the “new” trend in helping kids get their fruits and veggies lately? I’m sure many of you Megacoolmamas already know about this, but I just wanted to share…Happy Tot is a brand recommended by Dr. Sears that produces these cute little pouches of fruit/veggie purees that are chock-full of everything good for your little one! They are 100% organic (yay!) and can be re-sealed and re-used at a later time (their no-spill top is awesome)! Here is a pic of what I got today at my local Target at $1.19 a piece…my kids LOVE them! And I LOVE knowing they are getting their fruits and veggies!
Healthy Lunch Maker Tool
So, I found this neat online tool that helps you know whether the lunch you are packing for your kids is nutritionally appropriate for his/her age and nutritional needs! I tried it and found that my son is probably getting too much protein in his lunch, so it was useful! Here’s the link…let me know what you think!
Have you tried eliminating artificial ingredients from your child’s diet? Did you notice any changes? Let me know!
So, if you are familiar with “My Philosophy” then you know I only endorse on my blog the products that I feel pass my test: NO high fructose corn syrup, NO hydrogenated oils, NO white enriched flour, and NO artifical preservatives. I strongly believe that many health problems in the United States today stem from the use of artificial and BAD ingredients in foods that we eat; diabetes, cancer, hyperactivity, mood swings, migraines, chronic fatigue and pain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, obesity, sleep disorders, depression (the list goes on and on) can all be linked somehow to these ingredients. (Read more about the effects of these ingredients here.) I have made it my mission to try my best to eliminate these ingredients in my family’s diet. So, this page is dedicated to those foods and companies that I have found actually produce food that is GOOD FOR YOU! I find most of these foods at my local Target, Walmart, Jewel, Costco and Meijer. This page will consistently be updated as I find more foods and companies that are dedicated to the same quality I am. My sincere hope is that you and your families can benefit in many ways from this list! Enjoy the coupons you can get from some of these websites as well (I have tried to link you directly to some, but others you may have to register with and form an account…only takes a minute!)
- Kashi (cereals, snacks, granola, frozen meals, etc.) COUPON
- Annie’s Homegrown (Kids’ snacks, mac & cheese, etc.)
- Horizon Dairy (milk) COUPON
- Old Orchard (juice) COUPON
- Healthy Life (bread)
- Stonyfield (yogurt) COUPON
- Polaner (all natural fruit spread)
- Smart Balance (butter, popcorn, etc.)
- Barilla (pasta)
- Prego (pasta sauce)
- Smuckers (all natural peanut butter)
- Hunt’s (No high fructose corn syrup ketchup)
- Archer Farms Organic (Target brand) (various products)
- Apple and Eve (juices and squeezable fruits) COUPON
- Wild Harvest Organic (various products and good advice about Green Living and Going Organic)
- Coffee Mate Natural Bliss (coffee creamer) COUPON
- Betty Crocker Gold Medal (whole wheat flour)(Please note that this is about the only item I buy from Betty Crocker)
- Amy’s (various frozen meals such as mac & cheese, burritos, brown rice & tofu & veggies, pizzas, to name a few…) COUPON
- Van’s Foods (waffles, french toast sticks, etc.)
- Sensible Portions (Veggie Straws, Apple Straws, etc.)