We planted our organic garden this year with tomato plants (cherry and beefsteak), pepper, basil, oregano and eggplants. Depending on how well the plants thrive, we plan to add additional plants over the course of the summer.
We learned that natural mulch helps deter weeds. There has been plenty of late afternoon rain showers so the plants are growing nicely. Within the next two to three weeks we should start seeing the fruits of our labor.
In the meantime, our garbage has been reduced in half! We compost most of our leftover fruits and vegetables. The compost sales person was right, there is no foul decaying odor. In fact, there isn't any odor at all. We are looking forward to our organic soil in time for early fall planting season.
As part of my overall eco-friendly healthy living goal, I've decided to reduce our family consumption of meat by 25%. Going completely vegetarian was not an option (meeting a lot of resistance), so we figure we will compromise. I am able to achieve my goal by active meat reduction. For example, instead of cooking everything from the pre-packaged container, I make a conscious decision to only cook 3/4th of the chicken breasts and placing the rest in another storage container. That way, we are consuming less meat and I compensate by adding fresh organic tomatoes (since we love tomatoes) to almost every dish. So far, it's been a successful month. The kids don't even notice having less meat portions (thank goodness). I have officially stopped eating beef for almost nine years! It's been so long. I don't miss eating steak (the first 3 months were tough) at all. Maybe by year end, we can reduce our meat consumption in half! I noticed we are saving more money on our grocery bills as well. Fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits are usually priced less than meat.
So instead of considering being a vegetarian vs. not, you have other options and might want to consider overall meat consumption reduction. Bon appetite.
Part of my weekly purchases include a loaf of bread, organic milk, organic yogurt and organic eggs. In addition to recycling the milk carton, organic yogurt container and egg carton, I have recently begun to reuse the bread bag. When I come to the end of the loaf of bread, I store the bread bag away and use it for (surprise, surprise) holding lunch sandwiches and/or snacks on the go. It seems so silly to me to use a ziploc bag, when the bread bag that was just previously holding the bread will do the job.
If you really want to be adventuresome, trying baking your own bread. It only takes milk, eggs, flour and yeast. I buy yeast packages in bulk so when the baking mode strikes me I am prepared (most people already stock the milk, eggs and flour).
I love the summer. Yes, there are those who complaint about the relentless sun and heat. Despite those complaints, I love the extended days and list of outdoor activities to do. I love bringing healthy snacks to local parks and trails for my kids and I to enjoy while we enjoy the outdoors.
We've tried Newman's Own Organic Alphabet cookies which comes in three different flavors. We love the convenient packaging (only one layer of packaging so no need to struggle to open the package) and the lightly sweetened cookies. My kids enjoy making words out of the cookies before eating them. Newman's Own Organics also offer other great products as well.
For more information about their products and where you can purchase them, please visit www.newmansownorganics.com
Peter Rabbit Organics has added three new additions to their delicious all natural, squeezable puree products: Sweet Potato, Corn and Apple; Pea, Spinach and Apple; and, Carrot, Squash and Apple. They sent me samples of these new products to try and my kids were delighted. In the midst of the harsh winter and what seems to be never ending rounds of colds, having them eat healthy is high on my priority list. These easy puree snacks are healthy and delicious. My kids finished the pouches in a single setting. I was a bit skeptical with the Pea, Spinach and Apple combination but they loved it, too.
This is a great alternative to those cheesesaltine crackers that my kids devour afterschool.
For more information about the above products, please visit www.peterrabbitorganics.com
or just purchase them at www.amazon.com
As my family prepares our Thanksgiving dinner, we usually snack on various treats throughout the day. This year, we will be snacking on Newman's Own Organic Licorice. These treats remind me of my childhood days growing up and sharing candy with friends. They come in various fruity flavors. I love the pomegranate flavor.
Now that the kids are back in school, I am resuming a routine and some sense of normalcy. Although they are a bit older, I am still worried about the foods that they eat. We have recently tried Peter Rabbit Organic Fruit Pouches. These organic fruit snacks come in many different flavors such as mango/banana/orange, apple/grape and strawberry/banana. My kids love the easy to twist tops. In order to eat the snack, you need to squeeze the pouch. It's a delicious snack for kids (and admittedly adults as well). There is no refrigeration needed so you can just drop them into your kids' lunch bags.
Courtesy pouches were provided to me by Peter Rabbit Organics for this product review.
For more information about their products, please visit www.peterrabbitorganics.com
I have partnered with Peter Rabbit Organics to host a product giveaway!!! The product giveaway winner will receive 10 assorted fruit pouches from This giveaway will be randomly selected among registered email program members by September 30th. In order to have a chance to win this prize package, please visit Join Free Email Program and register for the free email program. As always, your information is never shared with any third party.
Summer is the best season of the year for fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes it's just easier to pack dried fruits. When we're on the go (which seems like every day), we love eating organic mango from Kopali. It is available at www.amazon.com. The dried organic mangoes have a naturally sweet flavor. It comes in a convenient package. It does not contain any sulfites or other artificial perservatives. The only ingredient is organic mango. Simple and delicious.
For more information about their products, visit www.kopaliorganics.com
Like most parents, I find myself driving and shuttling my kids in the car more often than I care to admit or ever imagine. Somehow, activities and errands translate to meals on the go. In order to eat healthy, I've tried packing fresh bananas (however, they tend to ripen too quickly and the banana skins stink up the car). Eating Melissa's Ojai pixie tangerines are the perfect solution. These sweet, juicy and seedless tangerines are great on the go snacks. Also, the leftover skin leaves a sweet citrus scent in the car (so I don't have to be in too much of a hurry to find a trash disposal).
I always fill up a water bottle for each of us before we drive the car so we won't be tempted to buy disposable water bottles when we're thirsty.
For more information about their products, please visit www.melissas.com
I have less than four days til my first race. The stress and anxiety are building up. For a quick self-indulgence, I ate Tierra Farm's organic chocolate covered cranberries. These USDA Certified organic treats are so yummy that it takes all of my self restraint from not finishing it all at once. I literally had to set aside a spoonful for a snack and store the container away quickly out of sight (yes, it is that delicious). When eating them, it made me reminiscent of my highschool days going to the movies (eating chocolate raisinets, except the Tierra Farm version is healthier and tastes better!). I love their no non-sense simple packaging (minimize packaging waste).
Tierra Farms is a small independent certified organic farm located in upstate, New York. In addition to chocolate covered dried fruits, they also have organic dried nuts and organic nut butter. For more information about their products, please visit www.tierrafarm.com