Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy Sunday: Shopping list, V.1

Sundays are one of my all-time favorite days of the week. My parents really love Sundays and they've kind of passed that down to my sister and myself. Every Sunday morning they get coffee and tea together, and then do all their food shopping for the week at Trader Joe's and Sprouts, and sometimes Whole Foods too. Whenever Hank and I are in town we always go with them, and it's really fun to have this weekly tradition to look forward to. When we're up here at home, we usually do similar things, although with his current schedule it makes it a little hard. But Sundays to me are for getting ready for the next week, planning meals and solidifying schedules, and getting an overall sense of balance before the next week begins. I've written about this before, but Mondays always feel like a bit of a restart to me. I use Sundays to plan for this new week, and on Monday, no matter what happened the previous week, I can restart and have a fresh beginning.

Today I will be going food shopping, so I thought I would make a post of some of the "must-haves" I always get. I'm not going to include fresh veggies or fruits here because that list would be incredibly long, but I thought I would share a few of the special staple items that I've always loved and get every single week.

1) Ezekial bread products (especially the wraps!)


These products are some of my favorite things in the entire world! I eat at least one of their products a day. They're great for you, have a low glycemic index (which means they won't spike your blood sugar like many other "carb/bread type" items), they're organic, nutritionally-dense, and high fiber. They're also one of the few bread products out there that actually contain all 9 essential amino acids, low in fat, and contain no trans fat or cholesterol (nutritional info from various websites). I really enjoy their breads- especially the cinnamon raisin bread topped with almond butter and bananas, or just with plain butter as a treat- but they also offer a wide variety of other products as well. I am a huge fan of their English muffins- their cinnamon raisin is to die for, but their regular sprouted grains are great too. And then of course the wraps, which are one of my TOP five favorite food items (if you're curious, each HUGE wrap contains 150 cal, 4g fat, 6g protein, 5g fiber and 0g sugar!). You can buy these at your local health food store, in the the health food section of your regular grocer. Here are some ways I use their products:

Wraps: I love to make healthy pizzas on these. Simply use a toaster oven or regular oven, preheat it, and while it's getting warmed up take a tortilla and spread some tomato sauce on it. Then add tons of chopped up veggies, a bit of cheese if you eat dairy, top with a little sea salt, some nutritional yeast, oregano, whatever you want, and bake for a few minutes until the tortilla gets a little crispy. If you have cheese on it, just take it out once the cheese is melted! Slice it up and you have a super healthy pizza. So good. You can also make these pizzas using the Ezekial English muffins and they're delicious as well.

Here's an example of one my Ezekial pizzas- this one is extremely loaded with veggies so don't feel like you have to go that overboard! :)
today's yummy lunch

Then here's a regular cheese and broccoli I made for Hank-
super easy and delicious!

The wraps are also a delicious alternative to a typical tortilla or pita, and much healthier. You can use the wrap in place of regular bread for a sandwich, in place of chips for dips like hummus, or really for any use you can think of! My Mom loves to make bean burritos out of them- she simply fills up the wrap with beans and any other fillings she desires, folds it like a burrito, and cooks it in a pan on the stove top. Here's an example of a turkey sandwich I made using one:
dinner

I also love to use their bread as toast in the morning. It's SO filling, and truly delicious. I keep the bread in my freezer and toast them frozen. This way the huge loaf doesn't go bad. This particular breakfast I topped the toast with organic apple butter. Yum!
yet another food photo! yummy breakfast after my run

2) Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah)

I've posted about this wonderful, wonderful food numerous times, and with good reason, as it's a huge staple in our house. Quinoa is a bit of a super food, and is another complete protein item that contains all 9 essential amino acids. Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn (from bodyecology.com). Although it isn't really a grain (it's a seed!), I think of it as being in the pasta family and that's typically how we eat it. It's extremely easy to cook. All of you have to do is add two parts liquid (water or broth) to every one part quinoa. So, if you wanted to cook 2 cups of quinoa, you'd add in 4 cups of water. You simply add all of it into the pot at once, and wait for the liquid to boil out. Fluff with your fork and wa-la, you're done! It's super easy and is a great pairing to most dishes. Like I mentioned you can cook this with broth or water, and add in whatever your heart desires. It's extremely delicious on it's own with just butter and sea salt, but it's also great as an Italian dish (we add in tons of peppers and veggies with tomato sauce after it's cooked), or in place of rice in a stir fry type dish.

Here I added in tofu, veggies, beans and my favorite spicy condiment, SRIRACHA!
yummy lunch before i head home! thanks mom!

I've also used it as a healthy way to make stuffed peppers-
quinoa stuffed peppers

and as a great base for quinoa tabouli!
homemade quinoa tabouli

You can buy this in the bulk section of your health food store/regular grocer, or some places like Trader Joe's have it packaged for you and ready to go.

3) Almond milk

Our family love love loves almond milk. Years ago when we first learned about the negative health implications of soy products we cut back a lot on not just our tofu consumption but gave up soy milk as well. If you're curious about the problems with soy, check out this link: http://www.naturalhealthstrategies.com/dangers-of-soy.html, but remember that just because I agree with it doesn't mean that you have to! There are a million websites and books out there that back this up, but I'm sure there are some that hold fast to the opposite side of the coin. Anyway, when we ditched the soy milk, we replaced it with delicious almond milk! There are many different brands, and different varieties within those brands, but our everyday staple is Almond Breeze's Unsweetened Vanilla.

It's really smooth and really delicious. I use it in my morning cereal, or to thicken up my oatmeal. It's a great alternative to soy milk, and definitely worth a try if you're curious. It comes in both unrefrigerated containers (be SURE to refrigerate once you open it), and also in a bigger pre-chilled milk carton type container you can find in your milk section! Even Walmart is carrying this product now and I've seen both packaging at our local one when I've had the misfortune of finding myself in that horrid place. ;)

Each cup of the kind we like (pictured above) has just 40 calories. It's creamy, but not thick at all. I wouldn't call it watery either, it's definitely a step above the consistency of skim milk. Be sure to get the unsweetened version though, so you can avoid any added sugars. Basically, it's an all-natural, non-dairy beverage made from real almonds. It's sugar-free and contains no artificial sweeteners. It's gluten, cholesterol & lactose free, an excellent source of calcium and vitamins D & E, and a good source of vitamin A (stats via hungry-girl). You can also use in in cooking, smoothies, and a million other recipes.

Here's a photo of delicious almond milk in my morning cereal-
breakfast, yum!

4) Greek yogurt!

Oh my gosh I love this stuff. It's so, so delicious but I will warn you right off the bat that is isn't for everyone. It's a LOT thicker than regular yogurt, and if you get the unsweetened, plain kind (my favorite), it has a very "plain yogurt" taste. There are many other types that have fruit added in, flavors, etc...but with those comes a lot of sugar so I really prefer to just get the regular and add in my own fruit! The neat part of Greek yogurt is how filling it is- it actually contains double the amount of protein than regular yogurt (typically 13-20g per container!), and is very low in calories, carbs, and due to the low-carbohydrate content there's less lactose which means it's easier to digest. You can use it in a variety of ways, but my favorite it just on its own, with fresh fruit!

greek yogurt and blackberries, breakfast of champions

5) Kashi products

I've been eating Kashi products forever and ever, and my favorite item would have to be their Go Lean cereal. However, if I'm not in the mood for cold cereal and instead want a hot and quick breakfast, but I don't have time to whip up some steel-cut oats, I reach for their instant oatmeal. Trust me when I tell you that this stuff is amazing. My FAVORITE flavor is the Go Lean Oatmeal with Honey and Cinnamon (see photo below) and that's the variety I'm going to recommend you try first if you've never had it before.



Here's how I make it: I use two packets, and empty them into a bowl. I then add in tons of fresh berries (typically blueberries and raspberries), and then some water as specified in the directions- less for thicker oatmeal, more for thinner. Then I pop it into the microwave for a minute, stir it, put it back in for another 30 seconds to a minute or so, then let it sit for a minute in there. When you take it out your oatmeal will be transformed into this amazingly delicious, piping hot breakfast that is seriously beyond scrumptious! The berries ooze into the grains, and I feel like it tastes like a huge bowl of pie. This stuff keeps me filled up for the entire morning and is incredibly healthy! Each packet has 150 cal and is loaded with fiber and protein. You don't have to use two packets but I like to so it fills me up.


perfect breakfast

These are just five of the many items we get every week, so let me know if you've found this interesting and if so I will continue to make little posts like this! I love food so much, and I love talking about it, blogging about it, etc. that I feel like I could write forever on this topic. And I do hope that you found something worthwhile here. Perhaps you found something new to try or a new idea for an old favorite, or maybe you just got excited about heading out to get some delicious food later today. Either way, thanks so much for stopping by, and happy grocery shopping!

58 comments:

  1. YUM. I have to find some of these products. Being veggie + diabetic, they look perfect. Definitely need to make some healthy pizzas tonight! Great post.

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  2. Mmmmm yummm I love all of those things!
    Love Eizekl bread, Quinoa is an essential, just like couscous and rice and I love fresh yogurt. Thanks for sharing!

    XXXX
    -Morgan (Blackbird Fly)
    "http://blackbrdfly.blogspot.com/

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  3. I buy Quinoa Flakes and eat those every morning with fresh fruit and a splash of almond milk. It is a wonderful (and gluten free) alternative to oatmeal. Plus it is great to bake with.

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  4. I always see the Ezekiel bread in the store but I haven't stopped to check it out yet. We usually just pick up a loaf of sourdough and have the bakers cut it for us. I'll def try this next time!

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  5. I'm SO glad you posted this. I've really been trying to learn how to eat healthier and more sustainably but sometimes I feel SO lost.
    I've heard of those Ezekiel products, I'll have to check them out. And quinoa sounds delicious!

    And we love almond milk! My husband and I never really liked regular cow milk so when we discovered almond milk we were in heaven!

    Anyway, please post more of these food posts. I find them so fascinating and helpful. Thanks again!

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  6. Yes please! You look great I would love to see what you buy to have a reality check :) I have tried the tortilla's and love quinoa! But I need to get some more of the goodness!

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  7. that kashi outmeal looks awesome, i actually should try and pick that up. im also going to look for those bread products too!

    http://piggyxlove.blogspot.com/

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  8. Yummy! I'm definitely going to try out Ezekial pizzas!! I absolutely LOVE Kashi but I've never tried the oatmeal! I'll have to try it your way because it looks super yummy! Thanks for sharing!!

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  9. I am a huge fan of all the things you listed. The Ezekiel tortillas are a must have for me, I love all the things they can be used for!

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  10. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep doing these kind of posts! I always feel like I'm stuck in a rut when it comes to eating healthy :| I loved this post so much! Quite inspiring! Thanks a lot! :]

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  11. Hey, I think we have identically stocked kitchens!! I love love quinoa and my favorite recipe is my stuffed peppers one, yum!! Thanks for sharing some great food tips :)

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  12. I loved this post! I hope you write more like it!! =)

    ox::sk

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  13. Yes, please keep sharing. My boyfriend and I just moved across the country to a place of our own and with him in grad school, we've become mostly vegetarian to save on grocery costs. I love finding new foods to try, especially since I was raised in the Midwest, where every meal must have meat and potatoes. I'm definitely going to give almond milk a try!

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  14. I loved this post!! So much fun to read & gave me a lot of good ideas. I've been meaning to try quinoa for a while....

    -jamie.

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  15. These are all awesome ideas :) I get so many good ideas from your page!! <3

    stephanie
    femmenamala.blogspot.com

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  16. It's so funny that you posted this today. I've been making my grocery list today & trying to think of some healthy recipes for lunches & dinners. And I thought to myself that you probably have some good recipes & maybe I would ask you to share some. Even though we are not vegetarians, we could still use whatever you suggest & modify it. So our minds are on the same page today! Thanks for sharing. I actually am going to try oatmeal this week (I've never really liked it) & maybe I'll give the greek yogurt a try. I really love the Oikos caramel kind, but I'm sure it's loaded with sugar.

    So keep these lists coming!

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  17. You should certainly keep it up - I love finding new foods to try.

    I love Kashi but have never tried to the hot cereal.. I think your pictures are pretty convincing though.

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  18. This is SUCH A GREAT IDEA!!! Not only does it give everyone an exact idea of what products you are talking about specifically, but maybe regular posts such as these inspire others to finally eat healthier [and maybe stop crowding your formspring inbox with the same questions over and over ;) ]

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  19. i had no idea you were so healthy!! (well, it's not like you gave off an unhealthy vibe either!) i have been wanting to move out of the ramen cuisine post college, this is inspiring me to try out a new item or two!

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  20. I loved this post. I'm a big fan of food and I love seeing people eating healthy fresh things! Please do this more often :)

    -Malori

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  21. you've just given me tons inspiration and ideas. Being in college, it's hard to eat healthy all the time, but I try my hardest. I am SO trying the pizza on the wraps like that. brilliant.

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  22. Oh I have heard so much about Ezekiel bread but have always been too "scared" to try it. For goodness gracious, who is AFRAID to try bread?! Well, me. And that is TOTALLY ridiculous!

    XOX,
    Little Miss Paige

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  23. i love this post! i am always looking for new healthy things to try. i like how you had lots of breakfasty things in this one. i always have a hard time finding healthy things to take with me to work for lunch. i'd like to see your ideas for yummy lunches b/c i am so over ramen and sandwiches lol

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  24. Love this! More food posts would be AMAZING :)) I am so clueless with food, haha.

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  25. Love this! More food posts would be AMAZING :)) I am so clueless with food, haha.

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  26. thank you for sharing! i loved this post. although i feel like i eat fairly healthy, i think i need to change my diet a bit for my health. i would love new ideas! :)

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  27. i really like this feature! i hope you post more like it!

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  28. A great post! I love the pictures that you put with them too! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Jenn

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  29. Seriously good eats! Please post recipes

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  30. Yum! You are my kind of grocery shopper! I love all this stuff. My husband and I are about to move to an area that has a trader joes... and I am pretty stoked.

    Hope you are having a wonderful Monday!

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  31. That oatmeal looks delish! I love cinnamon and berries. Over here in England though you can only really buy porridge oats or ready mixed porridge with flavourings that are full of sugar and feel like baby food in your mouth :/ I'll have to look in the health food store next time i go into town.

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  32. I loved this post so much. It's such a reality check to see how much better I could be eating! I'm going to make a healthy shopping list right now!

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  33. I love this!!! I looooooove Ezekiel bread products. Definitely keep doing posts like this - I will appreciate them for sure :D
    Have you heard about the blood type diet? I have a fitness blog and I wrote some posts about it. Pretty much the way you're eating is great for blood type O which is what I am :) Anyway, if you wanna check it out, you can here:
    http://www.lizzyfitness.com/2010/08/blood-type-diet/ - you'll be able to see the other blood types there as well but I just linked you to the type O post.

    ~Lizzy~

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  34. This was very informative and helpful! Thank you. I always wonder about almond milk at the grocery store, as opposed to rice milk. But by the time I get home I have forgotten to search for info online.

    I have recently become lactose intolerant, and bought some of those Lactase pills to take with dairy products but I'm finding it easier on my gut to just not have it at all or as little as possible. Rice milk isn't bad, but I think I'll give the almond milk a try next time! Thanks Danielle!

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  35. This was a seriously great post. My fiance and I recently moved back to the Midwest from the West Coast and we've gotten into a rather unhealthy routine (Chicago is much fonder of hot dogs and pizza than veggies and yogurt). Anyway, we're trying to re-vamp our eating habits-this gave me some great shopping ideas! Thanks!

    XO
    Carly

    All this is Grace and Charm
    http://allthisgraceandcharm.blogspot.com

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  36. I love love love Almond milk! Mmm. Also, can I plz hire you & Hank to be my personal chefs? I promise to babysit baby H in exchange :)

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  37. I DEFINITELY found this to be interesting! You've really inspired me in the past year I've been reading your blog to start eating better. There's a couple of things on this list I need to try & look forward to more lists. :)

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  38. I love almond milk too! It's really good in Kashi go lean. :) I will have to try that bread, around where I live that kind of stuff isn't ..."right out there". We don't have Trader Joes or anything like that so it's hard to find sometimes!! I love Kashi products too! Your diet is very similar to mine. :)

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  39. I LOVE LOVE LOVED this! I love your blog and loved hearing about new foods (healthy ones). Please do another! Also, if you have any health/ health food blogs you like to read, please let us know! It's so hard for me to find any. Yours is like the only one I enjoy reading

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  40. I really like this new feature. I hope it becomes a "usual" here in your little blogging world. I am in college, and I cook for myself. This post was great for some meal-planning and grocery shopping.

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  41. Love that you shared this info... I've heard about the almond milk. The girl I heard it from swears by it! Think I'm gonna have to give it a shot. I'm cooking mung beans tonight (never have before). I've got an Indian-like recipe for it :D

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  42. Would love to see more posts like this! I have never had Quinoa but I will certainly give it a try now for stir fries and Italian dishes.

    Thanks!

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  43. Yeah, I'd LOVE to be a guest at your house when you're cooking! This all looks delicious!! The only thing I'm iffy about is greek yogurt - I can only eat it with honey and granola. Otherwise it makes my tongue feel SUPER dry...is that weird?!

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  44. PLEASE continue these! :) This might sound ridiculous, but when it comes to shopping for food, I always feel at such a loss. Also, as a fellow teacher, I am very interested to see what type of healthy "packed lunch" meals you come up with. I am REALLY struggling with this and would love any help I could get. All shopping/recipe/cooking/lunch packing posts are greatly appreciated. Thank you for this post and keep 'em coming! ;)

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  45. Love this post! Everything looks so yummy! Please continue this, it is a great way to learn about new products!

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  46. THANK YOU for making this post! I think it would be great if you shared more of your "recipes" with us! I love the Ezekiel pizza idea, and using quinoa as a pasta/rice alternative. I have been using quinoa for a few years now, and never considered using it to REPLACE something. Genius! I am especially interested in other things that you make for dinner, as that's where I run short on ideas. Thanks again!

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  47. This was so interesting to read! And everything looks soooo delicious! I think if healthy items like these were easier to find in Oklahoma (and not crazy expensive) we'd love to get more of them. It's just not the culture around here, which is sad (and why much of our state is over weight!). We do what we can with our fruits and veggies, and I LOOOVE tabouli!

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  48. I love food shopping and love to tried out new food.

    Never thought of using wraps as pizza...very good idea. My husband will love this idea.

    I never in my life try quinoa. I am going to buy this today. We have lots of green pepper I want to use before it spoil.

    Many thanks and keep on blogging about food.

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  49. Mhhh almond milk!

    I love food posts and seeing what other people eat - it's so inspirational!
    Feel free to follow me on my little food adventure on "Cooking the Universe":

    http://cosmodimsum.blogspot.com/

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  50. I love Ezekial brown rice wraps. I'm Celiac and these things opened up so many doors for me. I haven't tried the pizza idea, but i'm off to the store later this week to give it a go! Thanks for the idea

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  51. Awesome! I'm such a organic/natural/health food nut. I'm SO happy to know that other people are aware of the negatives of Soy products!

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  52. i LOVE ezekiel... they have the best bread, hands down. it's so hearty and delicious. almond milk is yummy, i LOVE it in cereal. and we always have greek yogurt on hand, we really should just buy it in bulk! ;) it's so good... i love trader joe's brand, it's my favourite. it's SO much better than regular yogurt, and it doesn't make my stomach hurt. also, i give it to my two little dogs! i found out that it's really, really good for them. i put a scoop of the plain in their food everyday, and not only do they love it, but their coat is so much shinier and healthier and it helps with their digestion, as well! greek yogurt and fruit are one of my favourite snacks ever.

    and some people say healthy food is boring and doesn't taste good... oohh how they are wrong. ;)

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  53. I love to make my own greek yogurt, and it's super easy! Just make regular yogurt and then strain! I usually use coffee filters over a glass and let it sit for a couple of hours, or until a spoon stands up in it.

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  54. Because of this post, I went out and bought almond milk AND a kashi cereal (both were on sale so that helped). They are AMAZING. I put raspberries in mine!

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  55. so much deliciousness in one post! Greek yogurt is a staple for me, I have it for breakfast every morning, but before I started eating that I was all about the Kashi products!

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  56. Im so glad you posted this!! i made a list of all the foods you featured so that I can try them- even though I already know and love Greek yogurt!:) I'm getting into the habit of eating healthier and taking better care of myself. Thanks again!!

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  57. cool post. i live in australia so a few of those products probably arent available here but things like quinoa & almond milk are. ive been a long-term vegetarian, newly vegan & love reading about other peoples diets! keep it up!

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