The Healthy Junk Chronicles: Bulk items are you friend

Let’s face it…healthy foods can be pretty expensive! Sometimes, I feel like I’m buy Louis Vutton instead of “organic”, “all natural”, “grass fed”, “gluten-free” foods. I didn’t post for a while because I was racking my brains trying to figure out the best ways to get you great food…at a budget.

Today, it hit me in the head. BUY BULK! Now I’m sure you heard this before. As a matter of fact, I know you heard buying bulk is the way to go if you want to enjoy organic food but do you know how many items come in bulk, especially if you know where to look?

I thought of this today. I went into one of my favorite food stores in Manhattan, Integral Yoga Natural Foods, craving their Cherry Vanilla Granola. I got the idea from my boyfriend to eat it like cereal (I also have this late love for Rice “Drink”…we’ll talk about that later). I ended up buying $14 worth of the stuff. At first, I was like, “damn this is expensive.” But when I saw how much I put in the bag (a about 4 lbs.), a huge light bulb came over my head.

This is going to last me a super long time and it won’t spoil. Should I really be upset? Especially when this great tasting food is around $5/lb?

I know someone from Brooklyn is saying, “girl, that’s expensive.” Not for NYC!! It’s a damn good price for the West Village and I’m not mad. I then realized how many things I buy in bulk: herbs, rice, pasta, even organic maple syrup! And at the end of the day, I save a lot of money. Hell, I can even get detergent in bulk if I want too (thank goodness for DIY…baking soda, apple cider vinegar, water, lemon juice, etc)!!

So if you want to find out where you can get items in bulk, here’s a quick guide:

Your local food co-op. You’ll be surprised how many food co-ops are popping up throughout NYC. Click here to find out.

Your local health food store/natural market. Integral Yoga Natural Foods and other stores like it know the power of bulk. Sure, they can sell that expensive stuff but if they want repeat customers, they will have bulk in many items. If you don’t see it, ask for it. Trust me, then will go through hell and high water to make sure they get it for you (or at least tell you where to go).

At the end of the day, when you have to deal with mega chains like Whole Foods (also known as Whole Paycheck), competition among smaller stores makes no sense. Whole Foods doesn’t have much when it comes to bulk because they need the big brands to keep them afloat. So support your local store, save money, and still maintain your health.

Thank me later.

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The Healthy Junk Chronicles: Junk Fruit II

Hey everyone! :D

10/22/09 Before I start, I want to tell you that I went to Whole Foods last Friday. I went to the produce section and lo and behold! I saw MOST of all the apples listed as ORGANIC! Of course I went to look for my favorite apples, Macintosh, and they were still CONVENTIONAL. Oh well. You can’t win them all! ;)

I’m not going to sit here and act like most Americans haven’t heard the term “organic” – what it is (basically) and where it comes from (ideally). I can create a blog just explaining what this truly is but I won’t do that…what I will do is explain the difference between organic and conventional foods.

Besides the obvious – pesticides and the lack thereof – the difference between what is organic and conventional is manifold. The first difference is skin deep: conventional fruits are usually brighter and “prettier” than their organic counterparts. They’re less prone to oxidation (bruising on fruits – inside and out – is based on the presence of oxygen, especially with apples…that’s why if you cut an apple and leave it out for a minute, it will start to turn brown. It’s not that it’s getting rotten, it’s just the effect of the presence of oxygen on the open apple) and because of this will look “prettier” for a longer period of time.

If you look at most organic fruits, they won’t be as pleasing to the eye because of the effects of their travel time from the farm to the supermarket (or wherever you get your organic foods). Since they don’t have pesticides the enable them to last longer, you’ll have to eat them within a shorter period of time too.

The second problem is that to the average person, who is not familiar to the “organic” lifestyle, the taste of the fruit won’t be as pleasant either. At least, not at first. :) That’s ok…I’ll spend plenty of time (later on in these posts) to talk about that. ;) Matter of fact…I spoke about it in my Fight dis-ease! blog (just a little bit).

Continue reading

The Healthy Junk Chronicles: Junk Fruit

Well hello there true believers! :D

I know it’s been a while since I posted on this site but that really needs to change. Ish happens and that’s no excuse to keep forward with my goals of providing you with the best information on transitional foods and knowledge on the junk in a lot of “healthy” foods. I hope this post is a step forward in the right direction.

This summer was a healthy one – at least in regards to what I eat. ;) I ate a good amount of fruit and veggies. Salads were a great mainstay as well as chicken (which I remembered is a lighter meat, meant to be eaten in the summer. Thanks Michael Pollan) and vegan falafels (I’ll talk about that another time).

Looking back on my summer, I realized that a lot of the fruit I ate was from my local “fruit market” (smaller than a supermarket but bigger than a bodega..they usually have a bunch of fruit and veggies in the front of their stores). It was junk. Continue reading

The Healthy Junk Chronicles: My Experiment with Junk II

What’s good everybody?

I hope you’re all enjoying this Earth Day and did your level best to be green…even if it’s only for one day! ;)

provided by allstarlodging.com

provided by allstarlodging.com

I wanted to continue with my experiment with Junk Food and what I have done, so far, to rectify my situation.

disclaimer time!

Everything I am about to discuss from here out, you don’t have to do. You can try it and if you like it, then, go ahead and make it happen. Otherwise, wait for me to get specific and explain certain things before making a decision. It don’t make sense to ride the horse if you don’t know how to ride! ^^

When I got home from running, disgusted with my time and how I felt, I sat down and decided to make some changes. The first change I was going to make was how I was going to budget my money for food. Usually, I’m hungry. I see how much $$ I have. I then go downstairs and buy whatever will last me for the day. Then, I would wake up the next morning hungry and feeling funky.

I needed to buy enough for a week. Refrigerated, Microwave it (we’ll talk about that soon too. I told you I’m a “flexitarian” (lol)) and save it for later…I was all for that. So I went to my stores and bought dried cranberries (in bulk), a bunch of pears, 2 Macro/Vegan Noodle meals (Pad Thai and Udon Noodles), an organic microwaveable meal (yo, Whole Foods got it…don’t sleep!), some chocolate (I can’t wait to talk about this with you but first things first! (siffle)), and my gallon of water. Continue reading