Thursday, May 22, 2014

Healthy Shopping at Walmart

You heard me right.  As demand for healthy and organic food increases, even Walmart's shelves have been rapidly changing to reflect this.  They even have little "Organic" signs hanging off some of the shelves to help you locate the products.  I found a lot more organic food than I expected to during this shopping trip, and I would predict this trend will continue.

In a perfect world I would never shop at Walmart.  I have problems with how they do business as well as how their demand for cheap products fosters a culture of "sweatshop" labor in underdeveloped nations.

However, in the real world the Walmart Supercenter is the closest grocery store to my house.  Sometimes I am running late and I'm out of options, so Walmart is where I end up.  I also realize that a lot of people shop at Walmart and I wanted to showcase the good things that can be found there!  (Remember from my previous post that I am shopping for products without table salt, sugar, corn, or potato.)

Walmart Shopping List   (in order of how it appears at my Walmart Supercenter)
organic lettuce, spinach*, salad
organic baby carrots
grass fed beef
Krema peanut butter
organic tea
Wild Oats organic beans
Muir Glen organic tomatoes*
Muir Glen tomato sauce
Truvia sweetener
Prairie Gold White Whole Wheat Flour
Red Star Yeast
Rumsford Baking Powder 
**optional products, see below
Cascadian Farm organic strawberries*
organic eggs

Step by Step Guide 

organic lettuce, spinach*, salad
organic baby carrots

grass fed beef
this surprised me!  It's not organic, but I was excited about it!

Krema peanut butter
no salt, no sugar

organic tea
{no photo}

Wild Oats organic beans

Muir Glen organic tomatoes* (several varieties)

Muir Glen tomato sauce*
(remember at Whole Foods how the pizza sauce was the only sauce I could find without sugar and with sea salt?  Well, here's another one for much cheaper!)

Truvia sweetener
(I have heard opinions about whether these refined Stevia products are really "healthy" but if you want to try some Stevia this is the only one on the shelf, and there are several, that does not have added dextrose.)

Prairie Gold White Whole Wheat Flour
(this is not organic, but it's non-GMO and I like cooking with white whole wheat flour.  I get the nutrition of whole wheat with the appearance of white.  Since I bake a lot I get the 10 lb. bag.)

Red Star Yeast 
(the only yeast that does not contain potato)

Rumsford Baking Powder (the only baking powder without potato)
{no photo}

**If baking bread is too much of a chore and you want to buy bread, I did see this one that seemed to be "legal"; however, at $4.88/loaf, I would much rather spend $1 to bake my own!

**If you are wanting something different to drink, I did find this one Vitaminwater drink which is sweetened without sugar and appears to be fine, ingredient wise.  But only this flavor- acai blueberry pomegranate.  Sorry the picture is so blurry, I was trying to get a close up of the ingredients!  I bought one and it did give me a headache for some reason though...
The best water alternative I would recommend is to buy some sparkling mineral water at any other grocery store (I've never found it at Walmart), and mix it in equal parts with 100% juice.  Healthy soda!

**Amy's Burritos- only the organic beans & rice, non-dairy variety
If you need to have a convenience food on hand, this one is acceptable.  I do cringe a bit at the price though!

Cascadian Farm Organic strawberries*
*starred items are on the "Dirty Dozen" list of produce with heavy pesticide amounts, get organic!

organic eggs
wow!  Walmart's offerings have changed a lot lately, it wasn't that long ago that I could never find any good eggs here, and now there are several brands to choose from.

Now you may think you can buy organic milk at Walmart, but let me tell you the only kind they have is ultra-pasteurized, which is a heat treatment that is so high it actually changes the protein structure of the milk and it is not good for you.  Alpenrose has a pasteurized organic milk (not ultra-pasteurized), and the whole milk does not have any added vitamin A palmitate (a potato derivative).  I have found this at QFC so far.

I prefer the milk found in the glass jars at Whole Foods and Chuck's, but my family does not always appreciate it's rustic "cream on top" appearance.

Where will we shop next?  Costco!


Monday, May 19, 2014

Whole Foods Shopping Trip

I went shopping tonight & decided to take pictures of what I found. This is for my friend who recently found out she needs to avoid sugars, corn, as well as table salt, and certain other items, and is wondering what she can eat!  Whole Foods can be an expensive store, but if you shop for store brand items (365 Organic) their prices can be quite reasonable.

It is quite a challenging task to find items that do not contain either sugar or table salt.  But I did find some!

Whole Foods Shopping List   (in order of the store layout, at least I tried to do it that way!)
Produce:  salad dressing
Meat Counter: sausages, any meats on sale for a good price
Dairy/Refrigerated Case:  organic unsalted butter, organic eggs, organic whole milk plain yogurt, (all store brand: 365 Organic), Emerald Valley salsa
Middle Aisles:  Maple Syrup (grade B has more minerals, so try it out), organic pizza sauce, organic pasta, organic beans
Cheese:  Rumiano cheese
Frozen Section: store brand frozen organic berries (for smoothies?)

Produce:  If you're going to buy organic produce go to the Farmer's Market or Chuck's!
If you need a salad dressing, I did find a few there for 2.99 that have sea salt in them & no sugar.

However, my favorite easy & cheap salad dressing is equal parts salsa (look for the one I found below) and sour cream (either Daisy brand or Tillamook Natural contain no added ingredients, find them at most stores)

Meat Counter:  If you want to have sausage they have some very good chicken or pork sausages that are made with sea salt.
Sometimes you can also find other organic meats on sale for a good price here too.

Dairy/Refrigerated Case:  
organic unsalted butter (365 Organic),
organic eggs (365 Organic),
organic plain whole milk yogurt (365 Organic or buy Total if you prefer Greek yogurt, just not the 0% or 2%:  add maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon to flavor it, or coconut, raisins, or fresh or canned fruit), 
organic Emerald Valley salsa

Middle Aisles:
Maple Syrup (365 Organic: grade B has more minerals, so try it out), 
Muir Glen organic pizza sauce,

It has been impossible for me to find a pasta sauce that does not have sugar, and/or is made with sea salt, this is the closest I could find.  We had it tonight as a pasta sauce, and it had a bit too much tomato flavor for me.  I think it would taste good if you cooked up the sausage or meat ahead of time with extra Italian seasoning and garlic, and then let them simmer together to meld flavors.

organic pasta (365 Organic),

organic beans (365 Organic)

I bought Rumiano cheese here, because it is the ONLY cheese made with sea salt that I can find.  The kicker is the cost!  6.99 for 8 oz.!  I have bought the same or similar cheese at Chuck's, and it may be a little cheaper there, so I will have to see.  (If you're making a trip to Trader Joe's they have a store brand Monterrey Jack cheese made with sea salt that is much cheaper.) 
Don't let the kids touch this cheese, it is for you only!  

Now you have at least two easy meal nights: pasta night, and taco night (get organic ground beef and/or chicken at Costco- just don't use those taco seasoning packets: use salsa in your meat or make your own taco seasoning, make some rice to have it "bowl" style- I haven't found "legal" tortillas yet).  Add your vegetables and you're ready to roll!