coco’nuts’ about these products

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blueberry banana bread bars featuring fair trade coconut oil

Who else likes to check these boxes?

✅saving money
✅buying food that’s good for you
✅giving a hand up to those who need it by buying fair trade
✅sharing the secret with others

Today, I was able to do all four when I bought two of my favorite pantry essentials from Vitacost: Coconut Secret’s Coconut Aminos and Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One Fair Trade & Organic Coconut Oil.

Yes, these are more expensive than similar products, but there are times when I feel it’s important to “vote with my fork” and pay the extra money for a good cause.

Here’s the skinny on why I shell out the few extra pesos:

coconut aminos

coconut oil

So where does the saving money part come in?

Glad you asked. 😉

These two products are available at through Vitacost.com for a better price than I can find them in local stores and are priced better or competitively with other online suppliers.

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Leng’s salad featuring coconut aminos

And here’s where saving you money comes in…if you click on this link which takes you to the Vitacost site, you will receive $10 off your first order of $30 or more. Free shipping happens when you spend $49.

What I usually do is plan in my grocery budget to make a bulk purchase so I can save on shipping. So today I placed an order for six Coconut Aminos and two jars of Coconut Oil which brought be a hair over the $49 mark. Since these are shelf stable, I won’t need to order again for several months.

Want to give it a try to make a difference in someone’s life and fuel your body with better ingredients?

Head on over to Vitacost. Then come back here and tell me what you put in your cart.

*I participate in Vitacost’s Refer-a-Friend program. If you click the link and make a purchase from them, you will get $10 off on your order of $30 or more and I will also get a $10 credit. All my opinions are my own.

food journaling

FBhead3This week marks the first full week of the Sugar Pretox Challenge.

As part of the challenge, I’m asking participants to keep a food journal and record everything they eat and drink (with the exception of pure water) for five days.

Why start here?

Because I believe we all underestimate the amount of fat, calories, processed foods, and sugar we actually are putting into our bodies. The only way to be sure if our perceptions match with our food reality is if we take the time to record what we eat – every meal, every snack, every little tiny nibble.

According to this article in The Huffington Post, it’s also important to record items like how you were feeling, portion sizes, time of day and even location, especially if your goal is to lose weight. For the Sugar Pretox Challenge, I’m modifying that list slightly since the focus is on creating awareness around the amount of sugary items we eat.

You can see a sample of the food journal page we’ll be using. If you’d like to take on this challenge yourself – either keeping a 5-day food journal or the free Sugar Pretox Challenge – please, go to this post to submit your contact information so I can add you to our group and provide access to the food journal pages.

And if you’ve had experience keeping a food journal, I would love to hear about your findings…did it help? What surprised you most? How did it help you modify your diet?

Food Journal record page

breaking up with sugar

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I’m sharing an article today that I wrote for our local newspaper, for the full article, please click here to see a PDF of the full newspaper article. It’s on page 11, under the blue heading “Lakewood Cares.”

If I could pinpoint the moment when I felt a downward shift in my health, it would be late winter 2009 when a bout with bronchitis required antibiotics to take care of the infection.
For the following five years, I experienced continual cycles of fatigue and cold-like symptoms to full-blown colds… [find the rest of the article here on page 11]

For more details on the Sugar Pretox Challenge, you can go to this post and this one here on wildberrypress.

sugar detox challenge

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“I need to eat less sugar.”

“I’m addicted to sugar.”

“I have a hard time stopping myself from eating too many chocolates…cookies…desserts?”

“I wish I had more energy.”

“I need to lose weight.”

Sound familiar?

So often, I encounter people who share their struggle with eating too many sugar-laden foods or are frustrated by their lack of energy or their weight. Yet, they struggle with taking the next step to kick the sugar addiction.

Our culture doesn’t help. Cupcake wars, cake bosses, and Pinteresting parties with cakes and candies taking front and center encourage us to believe no special occasion or informal gathering is complete without some sort of sweet confection. And sugar, its cousins and chemical stepsisters are everywhere and not just in our desserts. For goodness sake, I’ve even found it in salsa.

In salsa!!!

As a fitness and nutrition coach, I am passionate about helping people live healthier lives. While I am not a dietitian, nutritionist or doctor, in my own life, I’ve found that maintaining an extremely low-sugar diet is one of those keys to a healthier life.

Two years ago, when I completed a three-month fast from sugar, my anxiety levels significantly decreased, my digestive health improved, and as an added bonus, I radically reduced the amount of allergy medicine I was taking to combat seasonal allergies. I did this fast without consulting any doctors, but after much prayer and research.

My heart in offering the Sugar Detox Challenge is to encourage others to explore the benefits of eliminating sugar from their diet, and, hopefully, maintaining a low-sugar diet once the challenge is complete. Since going “cold turkey” on sugar can be difficult, there will be a one-month Sugar Pretox Challenge to help challengers step down their sugar intake.

I invite you to join the full Sugar Detox Challenge (fee involved) which starts May 1,  if you:

  • Want to make a positive change in your health
  • Currently struggle with eating too many sweets and need some extra support
  • Suspect you have a systemic yeast overgrowth and have decided to try the Anti-Candida Diet
  • Are feeling tired, anxious, depressed, fatigued, angry and irritable, have a hard time sleeping and are often sick
  • Don’t believe me that cutting out sugar will make any difference in your health.

Join the free Sugar Pretox Challenge which begins April 1, if you:

  • If you are committing to the full detox
  • Are curious about coach and how coach it works
  • Believe you can do the full detox on your own

To sign up for either the Sugar Pretox and/or Sugar Detox, please complete the contact form below, indicating in the comment section whether you are interested in the Pretox, Detox or both and I will get back to you within one business day with more information.

 

Clean Eating Works!

CEC horizontal logoI’m so excited to share a few results from the 5-day Clean Eating Challenge that took place last week. I’ll admit I was skeptical at first if anyone would really notice a difference in just five days, but they did!

Here’s what a few of the Challenger’s said:

We both definitely feel better overall. We don’t feel so bloated and we felt more energized so that two of the days we didn’t even have coffee.

This is just what I needed. I think my favorite part was the snacks – being intentional and packed with raw foods. Plus, I have had such a hard time pumping enough milk and this week I didn’t…I am going to keep this up!

I think honestly it’s a menu I may use a guide because it helped me to maintain a more regular eating schedule. I am guilty of skipping meals (breakfast in particular), so I’m going to make it a personal goal of mine to start having breakfast more regularly.

My takeaways: I noticed myself that by taking the time to plan out every meal in detail and spend a few hours over the weekend preparing what I could, I ate better during the week when I’m on the go. Usually I do well at planning breakfast and dinner, but lunches often get overlooked. And I was excited to rediscover the joys of homemade hummus.

We also challenged our participants to increase their water intake – something I struggle to do. As a result of this challenge, I realize I want to step up my own meal planning game and continue drinking more water throughout the day.

BLT salad
One of the recipes featured in the plant-based meal plan and a challenger favorite!

I’ll be hosting another FREE 5-day Clean Eating Challenge sometime later this year, but if you want to give this a try and just can’t wait until then, gather a group of five friends and contact me via email: andrea(at)wildberrypress(dot)com and I’ll set up a private Clean Eating Challenge group for you.

If you’re looking to make clean eating a permanent goal and would like some support, I’d love to coach you in this! Just leave a comment, email me at andrea(at)wildberrypress(dot)com or visit my Beachbody website: www.beachbodycoach.com/wildberrycoach.

a few favorite products for cleaner eating

favorite products

As I prepare to help lead the FREE 5-Day Clean Eating Challenge that starts on Monday, I thought it would be helpful to share a few of my favorite products with you with some thoughts on why I like them.*

  1. Market Pantry All Natural (just peanuts and salt, folks) Peanut Butter @ Target: This is a recent discovery of mine. Not only does it closely resemble Smucker’s All Natural PB (which is favorite of mine), but it’s cheaper. Always an extra bonus when you save an additional 5% with your Target card and when they add it to Cartwheel. I’d say that’s definitely peanut better. 😉
  2. Eden Organic Sauerkraut: This is one of the few sauerkraut brands I’ve seen that doesn’t add weird ingredients that make you scratch your head in wonder. And organic always rocks more than the conventionally grown produce, so it’s a double win. If you’re in the Cleveland area, you can find it for a better price at March’s or here’s a link to a similar brand at Vitacost. (See below for how you can save more on your Vitacost order).
  3. Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Aminos: Better than soy sauce or tamari, this is lower in sodium and, again, with very simple ingredients. Love the story behind this company. Yes, it’s a pricier alternative, but I can often find good deals online, like at Vitacost. You also should see it in the natural foods sections of most health food stores. (See below for how you can save more on your Vitacost order).
  4. Simply Nature Organic Popcorn @ Aldi: Another recent find o’ mine. Organic popcorn is a must if you want to avoid GMOs in the US and this kind by Aldi makes snacking a snap (or is that a pop?). Packing tip: On a recent mission trip to the Dominican Republic, I bag three bags of this in my suitcase. The air got squeezed out, but the popcorn was fine. Can use this as a handy and tasty shipping material if you’re packing fragile items.
  5. Spring Roll Wrappers:  I got these at Earth Fare, but have purchased other brands too. These are a fun way to present food and make them portable. These are a better alternative to egg roll wrapper which typically contain a whole slew of questionable ingredients.
  6. Red Curry Paste by Thai Kitchen: I use this in my favorite 621 Thai Dressing. Love the simple ingredients and the zing it gives to Asian dishes.
  7. Avocado oil: Another recent discovery – this bottle is from BJs since we have a membership there. Avocado oil is a must for high heat cooking as it has a higher smoke point since most other oils become hydrogenated when heated.
  8. Kitchen Basics Veggie Stock: If I’m not making my own from veggie scraps that I save and freeze, I like this brand. No preservatives and unsalted so you can adjust the seasonings to suit your health needs and palette.

If you want to see how I’ll be incorporating these into the FREE 5-Day Clean Challenge, please visit my BeachBody page, click JOIN (in orange) and sign up for a FREE account. I’ll contact you with more details from there. 🙂

*I participate in Vitacost’s Refer-a-Friend program. If you click the link and make a purchase from them, you will get $10 off on your order of $30 or more and I will also get a $10 credit.
*Disclaimer. Some of these products contain affiliate links.