McCormick Pure Lemon Extract $2.99
Review: Great for lemon cakes, homemade from fresh lemons. This extract is also great for fish. Fish is a big part of my regular diet, and using a half cup of water and a couple drops of lemon extract, is great for baking fish. I also add several Italian, garlic, and onion seasonings.
I was very impressed by the smell, tastes, and ingredient list. This goes great with enhancing the flavors of natural lemon juice.
McCormick Organic Cinnamon Sticks $4.99
Pure Vanilla Extract Large Bottle $4.99
Pure Almond Extract $2.99
I absolutely love these extracts. The almond pairs well with vanilla extract and cinnamon, and is added to most of my baking recipes. This is my go to combination for pancakes, muffins, and other baked goods.
McCormick Mint Extract......................................................................... $2.99
McCormick Mint Flakes ......................................................................... $3.99
Mint is a great flavor to add to many different baking and cooking recopies. Also great when paired with Lemon.
McCormick Imitation Hazelnut Extract $2.99
Review: First let me say buying imitation was a mistake. A lot of the pure extracts have imitation versions. Surprisingly all McCormick extracts were the same price. Whether they were imitation or pure. I am unsure if pure hazelnut was available at the time. It was tricky as I almost bought imitation almond extract, but then found the real extract. I'm looking forward to using this extract, possibly with cloves, when I make my next stove top air freshener. I'm also making nut cookies. The packaging suggest using to flavor coffee, or chocolate cake frosting. Imitation Hazelnut has no real hazelnut but instead has natural flavoring listed as an ingredient. I'm curious to know what that natural flavoring is, and more research is required.
Personally I feel extracts are great for cooking and adding flavor. And can be used in place of over using sugar. I look for and extract without unnecessary ingredients, and try to avoid imitation products. The grocery store didn't have that many healthy options to choose from. I might be able to find better options online. The McCormick brand pure extracts have only a three ingredients, and no additives.
As part of making progress on my health goals, I've designed a plan to help remove certain aspects of my diet, and make healthier choices. In a later blog, I will clarify how to see how the body reacts to different foods, and to determine if a specific food group is effecting the body, as an allergen. Being lactose intolerant, having severe IBS, possibly having Chromes Disease, and coming terms with the fact that I was addicted to sugar, I am making health a priority. All babies need healthy parents, to lead by example and pass along the valuable knowledge of healthy living. Organic food isn't always an easy choice to make. Some will say that to buy organic is just plain silly because its "way more expensive". Well I wanted to get some extra research in, while changing the majority of my diet to organic. How much more does it really cost to provide our family with healthy organic products, compared to processed, and GMO-Food?
I was generally surprised by some of the results. Taking a look at spending habits, many people spend money on bad habits regularly, make frequent trips to fast food restaurant's instead of cooking, or drink their calorie intake and excel past recommended amounts of sugar with coffee or other sugar filled beverages. Instead of spending 5 dollars for a coffee everyday, or on grease filled junk food, eating healthier can actually save money. By reducing the bad eating habits, and spending money on food that is actually considered real food, it will come together easier then imagined! There is no use in spending 20-30$ on ordering food from a restaurant, and saying organic produce is too expensive. The more people that support organic agriculture by purchasing USDA Organic, and NON-GMO Project verified food at the grocery store, the lower organic food prices will become as well as, more readily available in stores.
The truth is, organic food is expensive. I saved my recite after our family's trip to the grocery store, to compare organic food prices to what we would usually pay. Listed below are different either healthier options, or completely organic products. Also provided is my personal review on products I've tried, and their prices. I shop at Market Basket. I went to a Market Basket about and hour and fifteen minutes away, to find better organic variety, and lower prices. These prices are subject to change, and may be different depending on your area. Also I choose to buy in bulk, to save money in the long run. Organic nuts, oils, and organic fruits that can be frozen is a part of the game plan to make organic food more reasonable, and last longer.
Coconut Oil: I searched high and low to find anything Market Basket sold with anything to do with coconut. They have coconut milk, coconuts, coconut syrup, coconut oil, and everything else coconut. I noticed that there are a lot of imposters. Many brands that I am personally trying to stay away from have coconut products. These brands can come hidden by another name, while still being owned by a junk food brand. Not all coconut products are made equal. The main mission was to find coconut oil. I wasn't sure what it looked like, what kind of coconut oil would be available, or if a good choice was sold in stores. I didn't even know what coconut oil looked like. I asked around to find the coconut oil, and to determine if it was sold at Market Basket, and it was! There was many different varieties, and it was rather confusing. If there was one thing I was sure of is, I was going to get what I paid for. The cheaper the product, the cheaper the ingredients and quality. Coconut oil is something I think one should be picky about. The whole point of using this particular oil is for the health benefits.
Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil, Certified USDA Organic (29 fluid OZ) Expeller Pressed, and Refined . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12.99
Review: Overall I am very satisfied with the Spectrum Coconut Oil. This product was one of the larger, and more expensive alternatives at the grocery store. Expeller Pressed and Refined, results in an odorless alternative, that doesn't taste like coconut. This was the one I wanted to try first because while I love the smell of coconut, I do not enjoy the taste of coconut. The best thing about the 29 Fluid Oz large sized jar, is how long it will last. Next time I buy coconut oil, I may order online, or try a health food store. The next oil will be Extra-Virgin Organic Coconut Oil, that is unrefined, and the brand is undecided. The goal is to buy the alternative kind of coconut oil before I run out of the Spectrum coconut oil. This way they both will last longer, and I can use one for self care products, and one for cooking. I can also rotate between which one is used depending on the results I'm seeking. There will be another review on the next coconut oil after it's been bought and tested.
Nuts: Healthy snack options should include a variety of nuts. I have been wanting to add raw nuts to my diet, and I finally made the leap! Nuts can be expensive, and there are a lot of different kinds of nuts available. I found some good options for less money, and some more expensive, bigger quantity options to choose from.
Orchard Valley Harvest Nuts, NON-GMO Project Verified (2.5 Oz) snack sized bags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 bags for $5.00
Review: I love that these little bags are convenient and NON_GMO project Verified! There was quite a few different options of nuts to choose from for a good price. We bought; 2 bags of pistachio's roasted and salted; dark chocolate covered almonds; and also an almond, cashew, and dried cranberry trail mix. All together 10 Oz's of a variety of nuts for only 5$. They are also delicious, and the girls love them!
Whole Salt Free Cashews, No additives or preservatives, Store Brand Market Basket (9oz bag) ... . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4.99
Almonds Salt Free, No additives or preservatives, Store Brand, Market Basket (9oz bag). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . $4.99
Review: While these nuts are not NON-GMO verified, they are unsalted, and only contain two ingredients. The ingredients include, the nut itself, and Roasted in Organic Sunflower Oil. Both of these options are my favorites. They came in a resalable bag, and enough to buy in bulk.
Drew's Organic Caesar Dressing, USDA Organic Certified ......... $2.99
Review: This is the best Caesar Dressing for salads, I have ever had! This was the first time I've tried any kind of organic salad dressing. There was a couple really expensive brands but this is a cost effective option and it tastes amazing! It is also USDA Organic Certified, meaning no worries of direct pesticide use, and no GMO ingredients! Very happy with this product.
Be on the look out for part 2!
This year was one of the first years I was excited about my birthday, in years! It felt nice to take some time for myself and to enjoy my birthday! I went to Hampton beach with my mom, her husband, and my husband. It was so much fun! The ocean is so beautiful! We brought some cool rocks home for Emma, and her rock collection. We even bought two hermit crabs! They are really active, and seemed quite happy about their new home. I just spent quite a bit of time learning about them, because I have never had a hermit crab before.
So overall, this was the BEST birthday ever!!!!
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We Love The Babies
This page is to bring you along my journey to find positivity and harmony. Its started as a 30 day challenge to learn more about ones self and how to truly take care of yourself. To take care of others, you have to be able to take care of yourself. Instead of a 30 day challenge I'm turning this into a year of positivity and the journey we venture to find what truly matters in this world. It is important as a mother to show children positivity can be found everywhere and anywhere. It starts with right now, and right here!