June 3, 2009

Radventures in Upgrading

Today marked my first Radventure in shopping for upgrades. In case you missed it, I'm working on tiny tweaks to make my eating and self-care a bit cleaner and healthier. I will use up the food and body products that I have, but they will be replaced with healthier alternatives, where appropriate. One great habit that I have in place already is to create a week-long menu every weekend that outlines everything I plan on eating for the following week, right down to the snacks. Therefore, I shop for only what I need to execute that menu plan, and my shopping trips tend to be on the small side. Of course, life happens sometimes and I'll deviate a bit to accommodate that, but in general, I've saved a lot of money this way!

So after a quick 30 minutes in Whole Foods (yes, that's quick for me), this is what I ended up with:

Tom's mouthwash, tissues made from recycled material, organic coffee, Annie's organic whole wheat shells and white cheddar, plus organic produce (raspberries, limes, yams and avocados), except for the nanners, but that's ok.

I also bought two Kombucha drinks (Achilles heel alert!), which I left in my office's fridge. I enjoyed half of the Gingerberry one with a Kashi cereal bar for a snack this afternoon.

Gena wrote an exhaustive post about soy today, and it reminded me not only that it's far from the ideal health food, but that it exists in more places than the obvious tofu, tempeh and soymilk. Soy lecithin is in all kinds of processed foods, so although I hardly exist on a diet full of major soy products, the cumulative effect may be harmful in time. Alas, this may mean goodbye to my beloved Kashi products, because don'tcha know soy lecithin is among the ingredients in that there cereal bar. Right now I am avoiding reading the ingredients on my most favoritest cereal (Go Lean) because I don't know if my heart can stand the trauma. That one might have to stay.

Ironically, I had tofu for lunch today, but like I said, I'm not going to be wasting leftovers or anything, just to be able to say I have eliminated [insert less desirable ingredient] from my diet overnight, cold turkey. Still, it was interesting to feel informed enough to realize that in addition to that tofu, soy was in my snack and likely my morning oats as well, which were the (again) Kashi quasi-instant variety.

Anyway, back to the Whole Foods loot, the reasoning behind the organic produce should be fairly self explanatory. I bought what I wanted to have on hand for meals in the next few days, and stayed mindful of the cost - organic raspberries were actually on sale (finally!) for $3, so that was an impulse buy, but for example, the bag of four organic avocados was $3.99, which is actually what I would have spent on two conventional avocados. That's a no-brainer, at least. Between that and the limes (three for $1), maybe I have a certain recipe in mind?

The macaroni and cheese likely appears to be the offending item here, if any, and I wouldn't blame you for thinking that. I definitely did, even as I was paying for it! However, it was on sale (three for $5), it's whole grain and it's organic. You might actually be surprised at how few ingredients it contains (if you can in fact read them below).

I'm not saying this is an all-star food, but girlfriend still feels the need for a crutch in times of can't-be-bothered-to-cook-ness or I-wish-I-was-eating-junk-food-ness. It could be worse. And notice how it's made on equipment that also processes soy! It's eeeeeverywhere...

The next upgrade on my list was actually mouthwash. I am a stickler for good dental home care. I have had but one cavity in my entire life and with good reason! No braces either, for that matter. My point is that I religiously brush, floss and rinse daily. Here we have both the standard and the upgrade:

After reading that fluoride is not necessarily something desirable for dental care (even my own jury is still out on this one), I thought I might as well give a natural mouthwash a try, since I'm obviously about to run out of my trusty Act. I'd never thought to read the ingredients on my mouthwash before (except to avoid alcohol, and the same goes for face toner), but lo and behold, I discovered not only fluoride, but Green 3 and Yellow 5! Gwoss! That can't be good...

We'll see if I find Tom's up to my gold (tooth) standard. Like I said, I have a pretty immaculate dental history, but I guess time will tell. At my last cleaning, the hygienist did gently suggest a natural mouthwash (such as Tom's, in fact), but also said that my teeth looked so good that I needn't disrupt my routine if I didn't want to. I didn't, so I didn't...and then I did.

Ok, that's enough about not-food for today. I'm getting the shakes. 

Apart from a potential guacamole, I wanted the limes on hand primarily because come dinnertime, I like to drink seltzer with a fresh lime wedge squeezed in. I made the switch to seltzer some time ago in an effort to phase out Diet Coke, which was a worthy upgrade and one I've been able to sustain easily. Diet Coke is currently the most major offendor in my diet, most likely, but I am still weighing whether or not I want to also cut the one or two cans I enjoy each week.

I digress. Thanks to the boyf, I now make my own seltzer, which is a REALLY worthy upgrade, on both the environmental and economic fronts, apart from it making a better beverage option over diet cola. Can you see the bubbles going in?

This is a fantastic contraption and I highly recommend it. If you're a big seltzer drinker, it will surely pay for itself in short order. In fact, I just got a postcard from Soda Stream and they are having a Father's Day promotion, so I'm going to pass it on to you, in case you're interested in buying a soda maker: 
  • Save an additional $10 off the sale price of any new soda maker with promo code POPDADDY. Soda makers ordered by June 15 will be delivered in time for Father's Day.
  • Save 10% off any order for soda supplies when you use promotion code SUMMERSTOCK at sodastream.com
Hope you get to try it! Or buy it for the Dad in your life and try his! And no, I so did not get paid/bribed to endorse my soda maker. I just think it's a worthy investment for a lot of reasons. Do try to receive it as a gift, if possible, though. :)

Alright, it's time for dinner. What was that you said, Mr. Pollan?

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Baked organic yam with roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts. I topped the yam with a typical Diana mixture: cottage cheese with a few chopped green olives, lemon juice, dill, garlic powder and paprika. Sprinkle everything with a little sea salt and a healthy crank of the pepper grinder and we have ourselves a simple but rocktastic meal. I guess that's why I eat it so often! (Way more often than it appears here, in fact...heh.)

I hope you enjoyed today's Radventure as much as I did. Give it up for tiny changes! They all add up over time. 

Uh oh, I feel an anecdote coming on...

As I was growing up, my dad always dumped his change in a beer stein at the end of the day, and I would help him roll the coins when it got full. When I was 18, I suddenly found myself with $250 to start my first bank account! Don't discount the small change - every dollar is made of good cents. :)


melissa said...

I am LOVING this series. and really need my own selzter maker, although buying in bulk at costco is cheap, i may just take advantage of your great promos

One Gillian Reasons said...

That was a very educational post for me, thanks for all the information. I too am trying to incorporate a more "raw" approach in my diet...who knew those Kashi bars had soy? I am due for a "quick" trip to Whole Foods now and plan to recreate the yam and cottage cheese meal - yum!

Dori said...

Great work with all your new Whole Foods buys! Your meal looks amazing as well. As for the Annie's mac and cheese, I have to tell you to get the DELUXE version. They contain gooey cheese packets and not the powder you mix with water!

Anonymous said...

30 minutes in WF is definitely quick -- it might not be possible to do it faster!

it IS the little things that add up, and your upgrades are excellent! very enlightening anecdote. you're so wise :-P

Emily said...

ack - I NEED that seltzer maker! That is an exciting Green package you received, I've been wanting to try that but I haven't seen it in the Slope, you'll have to give us a review.