Save Money on Paleo Foods by Shopping at Aldi


I won’t sugar coat it, eating a strict Paleo diet can be more expensive than a standard american diet (SAD).  There are definitely ways to cut costs and make it work with your budget though.  Like eating a diet heavy in vegetables and avoiding processed foods (even the Paleo kind!).  I wont get too in depth with it since there are literally entire blogs by people about just this subject.  What I will tell you is that you should be doing some of your shopping at Aldi!

Seems kinda crazy right?  In the past Aldi was laden with pretty much only junk food.  Things have really taken a turn though and the tides have changed.  As of January 1, 2017 Aldi has committed to removing 8 pesticides from all items in their stores.  As well as really increasing the amount of organic and gluten free items they carry.  Sure I can’t get all the items I need from their, but being able to go every few weeks and stock up on certain things has helped keep my grocery budget in check.

I took a trip there yesterday and picked up some things.  Below are pics and prices for what my store offers.  There are still many more things that are Paleo at Aldi than what I was able to snap pics of.  So be sure to check it out and save yourself some loot!  Side note:  be sure to bring a quarter for the grocery cart (no worries you get it back when you return the cart!) and bring your own bags too!

They don’t have a huge produce section but they actually offer quite a bit and a section of it is even organic.  One way I save money is by working off the dirty dozen and clean 15 list from the EWG.  I buy the produce listed on the clean 15 and only organic for those on the dirty dozen.

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Organic bananas= $.59/lb  Avocados= $.59/each  Cabbage= $1.09  Green onions=$.69/package  Cauliflower=$2.29

Seafood should always be purchased wild caught and not farmed.  Basically farmed seafood are swimming in a concentrated pool of their own filth.  Juuust let that sink in for a second.  Gross.  Aldi carries wild caught salmon, scallops and a few other fish such as tilapia.  They are even sustainably caught!  Heck yeah!

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Wild caught jumbo scallops=$9.99/12oz     Wild caught pink salmon fillets $7.39/2lbs

Pasta sauce can get really pricey when you start getting into organic no junk added sauces.    I’ve seen many jars upwards of $6-8/jar!  Ideally we’d all make our own but lets be real, most of us aren’t going to do that.  I’m hoping to this summer but until then I will keep buying the Aldi organic brand and add some extra dried herbs and olive oil to make it taste homemade.

Organic pasta sauce $1.99/jar

Frozen produce is not only a cost saver, it also can be a lifesaver on busy nights or when the fridge runneth empty!  They don’t have a huge selection but they have brussels sprouts and even organic berries!

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Frozen Brussels Sprouts $.99/bag 12 oz

A new find was this salsa!  They have always carried some really cool varieties but they only recently came out with an organic one and with pretty clean ingredients!

Organic Salsa $2.29/jar

I normally don’t shy away from healthy oils for cooking. I use a generous amount in my food.  However, there are times that using an oil spray is just needed, such as on a waffle iron, or in a muffin tin.  Every oil spray I have seen, that doesn’t also have soy lecithin in it, (Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray does have this) is about $5/bottle.  I was so excited when I spotted this olive oil spray that only has olive oil in it and a steal at $2.49!!

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Olive oil spray $2.49/bottle

Nuts are typically something most Paleo people keep on hand.  Aldi offers a wide selection of them, just be sure you buy raw ones that don’t have added oils.  They also have cashew butter and almond butter!

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Shelled Pistachios $4.99/6oz bag

This past year I discovered I don’t react to goat milk products!  It’s been so wonderful being able to eat goat cheese and goat milk yogurt.  I usually snag a few goat cheeses while at Aldi and found a cool red wine variety this trip!

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Red wine infused goat cheese $3.99   Garlic and herb goat cheese $1.99

A few other things to grab…

  • Coconut oil
  • Guacamole
  • Raw honey
  • Organic applesauce and squirt applesauce pouches
  • Organic baby food pouches (I take these when we travel for times there is literally nothing else to eat)
  • Rice pasta
  • Kerrygold cheese varieties
  • LaCroix is even there on occasion!
  • Organic ketchup (it has added sugar so if you’re looking for squeaky clean Paleo, skip it)

They are always getting new products in and have one time specials so there are many more things than just the ones I listed!  Check them out and let me know what you think!

Saying Goodbye to 2016 and Welcoming 2017. A Year in Review.


It seems as though everywhere I turn someone has been saying what an awful year 2016 was.  By the grace of God I managed to dodge that bullet.  In all fairness, I have had my fair share of rough years.  I mean rough!  So I pray that those years of learning, fighting, heartaches and pains are behind me.  I know I will face difficult patches again at some point, because life, but I have also learned that to get to the best parts you have to go through the worst.  

To those of you currently going through the worst of it, let me be here to tell you, it does get better.  Life isn’t straight sucky.  It really truly does get better, joyous, and even peaceful.  Despite the insanely hectic year we’ve had, I can still call it a peaceful year.   Seems odd, but peace doesn’t come from external things, it comes from within.  Digging deep to let go of the stresses, the anger, the pain, the regrets, all of it.  No life is perfect and no person is perfect.  We are all in this world, this beautiful mess of ups and downs together.  The happiest people I know don’t have what this world would consider “having it all”.  They are the people who choose happiness despite any situation they face.  They may get knocked down but they don’t stay down, they get up and keep fighting.   And we all know those people that no matter how good things are going for them, they choose to focus on the negative.  It’s all a choice we make.

People often spend the few days around New Year’s reflecting back on the past year and pondering the new year ahead.  I spend a lot of time daydreaming, thinking, over-thinking, and reminiscing.  When I think about 2016, I think of it fondly.  2016 taught me a lot, but that’s honestly no different than any other year.    In no particular order here are a few things I learned:

  • Blessings come in all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes hidden as curses.  Some of the most painful things in life will bring about the most beautiful blessings.
  • People will let you down and break your heart but other people will also be your glue to mend that broken heart.  Let them be your glue, break that wall down and let others in.  It’s worth it.
  • Putting yourself first and being selfish are not the same thing, but if we’re not careful it can become the same thing.  Meaning, it’s good to take care of yourself but don’t cross that line into neglecting others needs around you for your own selfish desires.  I can say with all that I am, the best feelings don’t come from getting, they come from giving of yourself for the betterment of others.
  • Do YOUR thang and don’t worry so much about the opinions of others.  The older I get the easier this becomes.  This year I really honed in on this and damn does it feel good!
  • Something I’m still learning but have made a lot of progress on (the last few years) is getting to know my body and what works and doesn’t work for me.  Gluten, dairy and soy-no Bueno!  Occasional grains and goat milk products-yay for me!
  • Along the same line as above is also physically attempting new things and yet always evolving.  I still love yoga and weightlifting, and I still am NOT a runner!!  I tried stand-up paddle boarding and LOVE it.  Skiing…not my jam, probably because I hate being cold.  My point, you won’t know unless you try!  Don’t be afraid to get out there and see what you’re capable of, what you like and dislike.
  • Perhaps one of the biggest lessons I learned this year, was that I am so much stronger than I believed.  I traveled alone to Costa Rica.  I stopped caring so much what others think of me, and cared more about what I think of me.  I was able to look back on my life and see the inner demons I’ve had to face and conquered.  Doing that is truly a big step for people.  It isn’t easy to see our own faults and then overcome them.

Every new year holds opportunity for growth if we allow it.  I have never been big on New Year’s resolutions.  However, like I said above, the changing of the calendar is a great time for people to reflect and look upon the horizon for new and better things to come.  HOPE is a word that fills my heart, and it’s a much better way of looking at the things I’d like to see come to life in 2017.  Things I HOPE for in 2017:

  • Continue to become the healthiest version of me I can.  Dipping my toes in the Keto-Paleo world and seeing if Keto works for me.  Check out The Medical Medium and the philosophies and teachings behind it to see if that may work for me…per my doctors advice.  These two things will be an all year adventure.  They aren’t a quick fix, not that any successful lifestyle change is a quick fix.  It takes many months to see progress and change, whether good or bad.  After being Paleo for two years, I’m ready to start digging a little deeper and find even more success with my health through diet.
  • Get on my yoga mat. Every. Single. Day!  This is something that to the naked eye looks like a resolution, but it’s so much deeper.  When in Costa Rica on a yoga retreat I learned a valuable lesson about yoga.  It is bigger than the asana-the pose. Yoga is a beautiful way of healing our bodies, the physical and emotional.  I had a particularly life changing class that caused me to break down and cry to the point the woman next to me asked if I was ok.  I was a mess.  A mending, healing, hopeful, heart bursting mess.  There are just some things that can not be put into words and the way I felt during that class is one of them.  For me, the best part of doing yoga isn’t the “workout” or flow, it’s the end, coming into corpse pose and finally letting it all go.  The meditative part of it all and looking deep within, quieting the mind and letting go of anything not serving me well.  I have struggled since that class to achieve that feeling again, and I know it’s because I haven’t devoted enough time to actually try.

Ultimately my hopes for 2017 are for a year filled with answered prayers, health, happiness, and continued personal growth.  I’m excited for 2017 and the promises it holds!  I pray that if you’re reading this, God will bless you abundantly this coming year and you may find true happiness in all things!

2016 Health Nut Christmas Gift Guide


I am so excited to share this post!  It is loaded with really amazing gifts for any health nut in your life, both men and women alike.  The items marked with an asterisk * by the number would also make great stocking stuffers! 


1)  Bioshield Smart phone Quantum Protector Shield     This is something that is at the top of my list!  Our cell phones and tablets are constantly emitting EMF radiation that disrupt our body in many negative ways.   This shield simply sticks to  your phone case and gives complete protection from EMF’s without disrupting service.  At only $19.99 it’s a steal!

2)  Defender Laptop Shield      This is the laptop equivalent to the shield for your cell phone.  This one is a little bit pricier but if you or someone you love is always sitting with your laptop on your lap, it’s definitely worth the investment.  Especially if you are looking to have children.


3) Yoga mat    A great gift to go along with this would be a gift certificate for yoga classes!


4) Yoga Wheel    I have this exact yoga wheel and LOVE it.  I didn’t realize how much I would use it, but it’s truly amazing.  It helps open your back by laying on it and rolling.  As well as doing plank rolls to strengthen your abs.  The possibilities are endless.

5) Essential Oils and Diffuser   Something any natural living person can’t live without is their essential oils and a good diffuser.  It’s also nice to have multiple diffusers for different rooms in the house.  The link will take you to my sister-in-laws essential oil Facebook group, she can help you order and pick oils for your needs!


6) Acupressure Mat     I received this last year for Christmas and use it all the time.  Similar to acupuncture, it helps reduce back pain, muscle tension, and stress.  While increasing circulation, energy, endorphins and improving sleep.  Not bad for a cushioned mat that only costs $19.99!


7) Rebounder Mini Trampoline    Rebounding has many benefits, such as increasing bone density, detoxifying the lymphatic system, increases muscle tone, balance and coordination.  All while being gentle on the joints.  There are many rebounders on the market, I linked to one that was decently priced.


8) Glass water bottle    BPA free is great, but most companies that make plastics have just swapped that out for other plastics that are just as harmful.   One way around this is to use glass, or stainless steel.  I own a water bottle similar to this one and love it.  It also helps keep your water tasting like water and not plastic!

9) Stainless Steel water bottle    I own two of these awesome water bottles.  We used them at Disney in July (100° + weather) and it kept the water icy cold all day!  Plus it has a little mesh ice screen so as you drink ice doesn’t fly up the bottle to smack you in the face.  Even better this can be used HOT or COLD!   It doesn’t sweat or burn your hands.  Prices range from $13-$22 and they are worth every penny!


10) Shower Filter    This is also at the top of my wish list.  Eventually I’d like to get a whole house water filtration system, but until then a shower filter is a great investment.  Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs what we put on it, including shower and bath water.  Hot water only opens our pores allowing more to be absorbed.  If you click the link, it will take you the description with more info about the benefits of this than I could put in this post!

11) Berkey water filter    Known as the best drinking water filter on the market, this baby is worth its weight in gold.  A quick google search would land you on hundreds of blog posts as to why this is a need.  Be sure to purchase the fluoride filters to go with it too!


12) Fitbit-Blaze    Much like an Apple watch, the Fitbit Blaze does many of the same things and comes in some really pretty colors (or manly if it’s for a guy!).  This is at the top of my wish list this year!  You can also purchase different bands to dress it up or down or just change the style.

13) Foam Roller    Indispensable tool for anyone who works out, or wakes up feeling tense and achy.  I love my foam roller and use it all the time.


14) Himalayan Salt Lamp   These have become pretty widely available and with good reason.  They have tons of benefits!  I have one in every room of our house.

15) Dry Skin Brush  Dry skin brushing is an incredible tool to add to your healthy lifestyle.  It helps detox, reduce cellulite, wrinkles and exfoliates dry skin.  I wrote a blog post last year on its benefits.  Here’s the link.

*16) Electric Hand Milk Frother    I have a travel size milk frother that I use every day.  I would love to use my ninja to make my blended coffee but it wakes everyone up.  One like this is great because it still does a great job of frothing the milk, and blending things like MCT Oil until it’s good and creamy!  At only $12.99 this is great for any coffee lover!


*17) Badger Lip Balm   Every woman loves lip balm and these are incredible.  They have great, all natural ingredients and really moisturize without feeling greasy.


*18) Beeswax Essential Oil Candles     Most candles have artificial fragrances and are made with petroleum.  Both of which are seriously bad for us.  Finding high quality candles that are made with either non-GMO soy, coconut oil, or beeswax can be difficult but they are out there and worth the money for someone who loves candles.


*19) Blue Blocker Glasses    These may look super dorky but they serve an amazing purpose.   Quoted from the site “Uvex Skyper Blue Light Blocking Computer Glasses feature an orange lens with Spectrum Control Technology (SCT) to absorb 98%+ of your computer’s blue light. This improves your focus, reduces eye fatigue, and helps inhibit vision problems like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.”  They also make other styles that are varying price points (and better looking).

*20) EarthPaste toothpaste    This is the only toothpaste I use!  It only has 5 ingredients that are all safe for consumption.  The majority of toothpastes on the market are laden with things that are unsafe and cause more harm than good.  This makes a great stocking stuffer, and given to the natural living person they will appreciate the thought behind it.


*21) High Quality Chocolate     Do I really need to explain this one?  Chocolate.  Without the bad ingredients.  Also, be sure you buy chocolate that is NOT processed with alkali.  That removes the flavonoids (aka the good stuff that makes chocolate healthy!)


*22) Tulsi Tea   This tea, also known as Holy Basil, has endless benefits and is really delicious too!  If you or someone you love has trouble falling asleep they make a nighttime blend that is truly magical!


*23) Charcoal Bar Soap   Women love luxurious bath products.  This charcoal bar is no different and it has benefits like removing impurities from the skin.


*24) Acure Brightening Facial Scrub   I’ve been using this face scrub for a few months now and love it!  It makes my skin so soft and smooth and has a great rating on EWG site.

*25) Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet    Also at the top of my wish list!  Not only is this bracelet really pretty, it serves a purpose!  It’s an essential oil diffuser.  You simply put a drop of whatever scent/oil you want on the felt pad and it’s like wearing perfume!  Without all the endocrine disrupting, cancer causing ingredients of regular perfume.  Plus essential oils have health benefits.  The link will take you to this exact bracelet but there are many other styles available.


*26) Mini Car Essential Oil Diffuser    One more fun way to use your essential oils is with a car diffuser.  I have this and it definitely makes driving more enjoyable.


*27) Subscription to Paleo magazine   A subscription to any favorite magazine!  There is just something special about holding an actual book or magazine in your hands compared to reading a recipe off a computer.  However, you can also get a subscription for a kindle for those peeps that prefer that!

Cider Braised Maple Bacon Cabbage


With Thanksgiving right around the corner this recipe is perfect to add to the menu.  It’s a crowd pleaser, and it’s easy to make so you’re not stuck making a time consuming difficult dish along with 20 other dishes.

You could shave even more time off prep work and buy bagged shredded cabbage or use your food processor to shred the cabbage.  I just chop mine up really quickly though.

Peel outer layers and discard. Cut cabbage into quarters and slice the core out.

Thinly Slice

This dish would also pair beautifully with pork or chicken.  You could have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes by starting the cabbage then cooking some pork chops!  Increase the serving size and let this dish be the star of the plate.


Cider Braised Bacon and Maple Cabbage

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 35 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A perfect dish for Thanksgiving or a quick and easy family dinner with a simply cooked pork chop.

INGREDIENTS

  • ~2 lbs cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 3/4 cup apple cider (not vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped into ½” pieces
  • 1 ½ Tb. maple syrup

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare cabbage and bacon.
  2. Place the cabbage and cider in a large cast iron skillet or wide pan, over medium heat.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir (I use tongs) and break up any pieces that are stuck together.  Continue to cook with the lid off for another 5 minutes or until the cider is all cooked out.
  4. Turn the heat to Medium/High and add the chopped bacon to the pan.  Stir to incorporate.  Continue to stir every minute or so to let the bacon render the fat and fully cook.
  5. Once bacon is cooked, pour in the maple syrup and stir to even distribute.  Let cook for about a minute.
  6. Serve!

A heaping pile of cabbage served with chiccarone crusted chicken thighs