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natural living : a peek into my pantry

i try to buy as many one-ingredient things as possible. that's a good gauge for me, as to whether i'm sticking to this natural eating thing or not. this means that i shy away from super processed foods and pre-made meals. we do eat them, just not for the bulk of our meals. in general, less is more when it comes to the ingredients.

here's a typical grocery list. this week's list, actually.

 i like having the menu in front of me when i'm at the store, just in case i realize i forgot to put something on my list, 
or maybe they're out of something and i need to improvise a bit. it's just handy. 

you can see how i write everything out, and then put the little estimation of the price right next to it. this helps me stay in my budget. if i have to cut things out, i will. sometimes there's an item that i'm almost out of, but could maybe move it to next week if i'm over my budget for this week. for example, i had coconut oil on the list this week, but probably could have survived until next week if i had needed to cut back somewhere.

and you'll notice that most of the items on my list are just a single ingredient, like i mentioned. lots of fresh produce, too. let me just say: don't think that just because you eat lots of veggies, you're eating bland and boring meals. season your food! add garlic, paprika, [himalayan sea] salt + pepper, hot wing sauce, mustard. all those yummy spices and seasonings make for tasty meals without added calories or chemicals. please don't eat plain and boring food in the name of natural living. we're not trying to be martyrs, we're trying to make a feasible and lasting change that we can actually enjoy!

these are a lot of the seasonings i keep stocked.  although, if you can, it's best to keep fresh garlic and fresh herbs. 

anyway, you can see my list above, but of course there are lots of other things i keep stocked in the pantry and fridge that i just happened not to have to purchase this week. i figured it might be fun / helpful to give you an idea of what kinds of things i usually keep stocked at all times.

i do a lot of juicing, so i'll always have organic uncut carrots on hand, and then i'll throw in tomatoes, cucumber, apples, and whatever else. what's nice about juicing is that you can throw in mushy strawberries that you may not want to eat [and would normally just throw out], but they taste just fine in the juice.

not pictured:  tomatoes | yogurt/kefir | breakfast bars for hurried mornings | applesauce | brown rice cakes | frozen chicken breast | lots of different sauces for my husband | organic butter | ground turkey | sprouted grain tortillas | mac & cheese. 80/20 remember?

sardines: do you guys know about omega-3 fats? well they're super important for our brain and general health, and most of us get almost none from our diet. we get plenty of omega-6, found in all our junk food, which is bad for us. the awesome thing about sardines is that they're loaded with omega-3 but because they're caught so early in their lifespan, they're not loaded with mercury like almost all other fish we assume is healthy for us. win-win. here are some good ideas for how to eat them, if you're scared.

peanut butter or almond butter: i get the "all-natural" stuff. you know, with the oil on top that you have to mix in? and the ingredients are just straight peanuts and sea salt? it's really good once you get used to it.

bread: i slowly transitioned us to ezekiel sprouted grain bread. i was doing "whole wheat" for awhile, but the truth is, there's all sorts of yucky ingredients in store-bought bread, including high fructose corn syrup [fake sugar, made from GMO corn].

plain almond milk: this is what Reese drinks, instead of cow's milk. if i could source out raw cow's milk, i'd buy that, but instead i feel like organic almond milk is a much better choice than pasteurized [yes, even organic] cow's milk.  it has 50% more calcium, too.

unsweetened coconut milk: i use this in my coffee instead of cream. coconut, in general, doesn't get enough attention as a super-food,  but oh my goodness, it's so good for you. [read more here]

2-3 different fruits: usually i just do whatever's in season and sometimes it'll change when i get to the store, depending on what's available organic. apples, berries, and grapes are all important to buy organic.

himalayan sea salt: pink salt that comes in a grinder at trader joes. replace all your regular table salt with this stuff. i actually try to drink a glass of super saturated salt water every morning, first thing. supposedly that gets your organs going, and cleans them out. can't hurt, right?

hummus: this is a great way to get your kids to eat veggies! Trader Joes has lots of different flavors or you can also make your own pretty easily. i'll also spread it onto an ezekiel tortilla and add a bunch of veggies + quinoa for a quick and yummy lunch wrap.

raw honey: my inlaws keep bees, so i get honey from them. if they're out, Trader Joe's usually has some. it's important to get raw, organic, and as local as possible. did you know that a lot of the commercial honey in stores isn't actually honey at all? because most "regular" honey is filtered so to make it totally clear, it's basically just honey-flavored goo without any nutritional value.

a couple frozen meals: burritos, orange chicken, lasagna, sometimes a pizza... just to have stuff on hand. for sanity's sake.

and last-but-not-least, we get "farm-fresh" eggs from my in-laws whenever we need them. and by "farm-fresh", i mean they're a day or two old, from free range chickens that they raise on their property. doesn't get any better than that. and seriously, they taste 100x better than store-bought. i eat eggs almost every morning for breakfast.

now that i've gotten this all down, i'm feeling like some recipes, or just quick meal ideas might be in order. maybe next week. in the meantime, please ask any questions that you might have, and by all means, click on all those links above and learn more!


  1. Great post!! :) Thanks for sharing.
    I do have a question about your daughter drinking AM--what are your pediatricians thoughts on it? I've gone back and forth with my daughter--sometimes organic whole, sometimes AM, sometimes half/half. I feel better about giving her AM, but our pedi is concerned with the protein. Do you just supplement extra protein through the meals? Are you concerned about it at all? Just curious. :) :)

  2. I love all your recents posts! Just chatted with Shelby last night and I totally miss all of you. Miss you friend!

  3. i'm really loving this natural living series,
    you've opened my eyes to so many things {hello himalayan sea salt}
    i have to go back and read your posts one more time, but did you mention
    cheese at all? do you guys eat cheese or do you try to keep it at a minimum?
    {we are cheese lovers over here} - curious to see what you do.. :)


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