My mom recently lent me a book called "Eat This Not That! The Supermarket Survival Guide". If you're interested in taking some small steps to eat healthier (and save money!) then this is definitely the book for you. There is a plethora of information in this book that is helpful and easy to understand. One of the best features of this book are the pages that look like this: (Note: The newer edition that I have is a little better set up than this page. But this was the only picture I could find on google. I'm lazy and didn't want to take a picture of mine.)
This is a side by side comparison of different products that you actually see in the grocery store. The right side shows the healthier options while the left side shows the unhealthier options. I won't even tell you how many times I had bought a product that was on the unhealthier side because it looked healthier to me. Packaging and marketing are so sneaky! Now I take the time to read the labels and not be fooled by words like "natural" and "organic". It is so cool to see how easy it is to decrease your intake of extra sugar and saturated fat just by choosing a different brand.
Anyways, after reading about peanut butters I decided to make my own.
The ingredients. There are only four!
Then you need a container for your peanut butter when it's done...I used an old peanut butter jar for convenience.
Put 15oz of peanuts, a tsp of salt, and 2 tsp of honey in a food processor:
Then grind it UUUUUPPPPP for a couple of minutes. Slowly add in 1 tbsp of peanut oil and keep on grindin' until it turns into that yummy peanut buttery consistency. Grind longer for creamier peanut butter. And there you have it. Homemade peanut butter.
Let's hope I didn't lose anyone at the title. On Monday I went to three different grocery stores. I didn't plan to do so (and it certainly wasn't the most fun day of my life) but in the process I started comparing the three stores and (more specifically) their produce prices. This may sound snooze-inducing to some... but who wouldn't like saving money just by going to a different store??? If you don't buy your own groceries then this probably isn't the post for you unless you'd like to consider this post your own dose of melatonin.
Cutting coupons has never been my thing for various reasons. One: I try to buy (and stock up on) things that are on sale. Sale prices are always better than coupon prices. Two: Having too many coupons confuses me. (Yeah, I admitted it). Three: Most coupons are for overly processed food that I shouldn't be putting in my body.
Fresh produce always seems to be the most expensive part of my trips to the store. Produce is more expensive than boxed food... and my grocery lists always seem to be mostly produce. The downfall of trying to take care of this God-given body (bodies if you include David's). In the course of my snoozalicious Monday I decided to compare three grocery stores (mainly the produce prices/freshness) in an epic battle.
The competitors: Fresh and Easy Vons (aka Pavilions) Sprouts
Fresh and Easy I went to F&E with my list completely prepared to buy everything there like I had my first two years of college. I had heard their produce prices were good plus the name had me sold from the get go. It's fresh AND easy. How could you not try it out? But I was utterly disappointed. For me, the word "fresh" conjures up images of bunches of tomatoes on the stem, crisp apples sitting in heaps, and bunches of bok choy piled up together waiting for a good stir fry. As I walked down the produce aisle I was greeted with some good sights... tomatoes, apples, pineapple, butternut squash all sitting there ready to be scooped up, bagged and taken home to eat. Unfortunately it seemed as though a good majority of F&E's produce had been bagged up, put in a plastic box, or contained in some other way that is just a big waste. They had four apples prepackaged in a plastic bag. There were three Roma tomatoes prepackaged together in a plastic produce. There may be some business sense behind all of this... but why waste the plastic? Also, I noticed a lot of the produce looked a little overripe/no bueno. This is when I decided to go elsewhere for some good freshness.
Sprouts Let's get one thing straight... "health food" places like this intimidate me. I feel like they are full of trendy health nuts and actual health nuts plus a handful of real people like myself just trying to take steps to achieve a healthy lifestyle. The only reason why I went here is because my Mom told me they had great produce prices. Okay Momma bear, you win. I'll go. As usual, Mom was right. Their produce prices were awesome with an added bonus of almost no prepackaging. Love love love. Price comparison chart to come. Plus, the staff there is very helpful and unpretentious. I'm sensing a winner here but let's give Vons a chance too.
Vons This store is two minutes away from my house. I can (and often do) walk here. This store is part of my comfort zone. The aisles are familiar, the cashiers are nice, and they sell honeycrisp apples aka the best apples in the world. The store is well set up, has some good meat prices, and a WIDE variety of foods. In fact, there are only a few negatives. One: In the aisles it's all about advertising AND there are so many different selections that trying to do nutrition comparisions between the different brands makes my head hurt. Two: Their produce prices tend to be higher. Let's take a look at the price chart.
This is the real point of this whole post. This is where the dolla dolla bills come in to play. This... is... SPARTA!!!
Kidding. It's just a chart. Note: F&E is not included in this. You don't need it or want it.
My list happened to be a lot of stir fry that day but from the other prices I saw Sprouts is still the leader in cheap (and fresh) produce.
Let that be a lesson to me... don't judge a place by the hipsters that shop there.
They make their own cream cheese too! There are no cons to this place unless you happen to live very far away. And if you do.. please just think about visiting the next time you are in the vicinity. And enjoy.
The quotes in this post are from the book I'm Not Stiller by Max Frisch.
Another note: This class jams so much in 2.5 hours a week... and sometimes I can't wait for it to be over in December. Constantly thinking about this stuff is exhausting.
In life there is always a crazy paradox between life and death. In order to truly live, you have to be open to the idea that some parts of you will die (or need to die) along the way in order for you to truly live. But there will also be parts of you that die that you might need to reclaim along the way.
We all know that one of the Ten Commandments says that thall shalt not kill. What we don't realize is that we (unintentionally) kill all the time. "There are all sorts of ways of murdering a person or at least his soul, and that's something no police in the world can spot... I should like to see the person who cannot be killed by a smile, or by saying nothing... Haven't you ever wondered, my dear Knobel, why so many people are interested in a real murder?... It's quite obvious: because we generally don't see our daily murders. So it's a relief when there's a bang for once, when blood flows, or when someone dies of real poison, not merely of his wife's silence" (Pg. 109). In who's killing have we played a part in? Have we done this to someone recently? Are we doing it now??? How am I killing the people in my life?
"Anyone who is always seeing himself as a victim, it seems to me, never gets wise to himself, and that's not healthy. Cause and effect are never divided between two people, certainly not between a husband and wife, even though it may sometimes look like it" (Pg. 115).
Cause and effect are never divided between two people... in other words... it is never just one person's fault. What often happens is that one person just sees themselves as the innocent bystander and just reacts to the other person without stepping back to see what they brought to the situation. What have you done to the other person???
You can't try and change anyone. The sooner you accept that the better off you will be, especially in relationships. You can't try to change the other person... but at the same time you can't just let them keep doing the very things that are shooting them in the foot. You each have to work to bring something new to the table! You can't just stay silent. So you have to say BOTH things.... I am attracted to you because of this... but I also see the areas that you need to work on but I accept that you need to work on this yourself. I can be your support but I can't force a change.
Trying to change you for me is murder.
"'Thou shalt not make unto thee any image'. Every image is a sin... When you love someone you leave every possibility open to them, and in spite of all the memories of the past you are ready to be surprised, again and again surprised, at how different they arem how various, not a finished image such as you have made..." (Pg. 130).
This is such a huge temptation to do in any relationship that you have. Friendship, love, family, what have you. Let's take marriage... after you've been married for 30 years you think, oh I know him/her like the back of my hand. That is a dangerous thought. You still need to surprise each other and still need to keep your eyes and mind open to really SEE the other person. Humans are so complex that as the onion (aka us) unravels we see new facets of the person but only if we keep our eyes/mind open. Let others surprise you!!
We have to learn how to die. We need to learn how to venture within ourselves, to illuminate our brokenness that is screwing up our ability to love and we have to fight with ourselves and let those parts of ourself die. The great human challenge is knowing how to die so we can love the people we live with and truly live.
Venturing into ourselves not just about illuminating the bad within us... it also shows us the good within ourselves that we cannot possibly know without venturing. You can't discover yourself truly if you become idle and say that you are always the same. Don't be afraid of the venturing. Surround yourself with support and tread into the unknown.
I'm taking a course called the Human Challenge this semester and it is really really interesting and cool and also exhausting. It is making me examine everything in my life closer and making me realize things about myself that suck... and also things that are good. What is to come is nothing more than parts of my scribbled notes and a couple of my own add-ins. I'm no psych major (or minor), just another person in the world trying to figure it out.
The neurotic lock... already googled it and nothing popped up. Maybe my professor (a former psychologist) made it up? It basically is that I'm attracted to the something incomplete in YOU and I think I can fix it. It's one of the reasons why there are so many crazy, messed up relationships.
Stiller (in the novel Stiller) comes back to try and fix his marriage again... but he isn't able to break free of what EVERYONE ELSE in his OLD life thinks. This often happens in our lives. We are constantly evolving and learning, but sometimes people don't want to see that we've changed. They think they know us better than we know ourselves. We can either continue to be who we really are or we can slip back into the role of the person that they think they know and lose ourselves completely.
In relationships we often try to become what we think the other person wants. We want so hard to fill that void in them... but we CAN'T. We cannot fix a hole in someone else unless we were the ones to make the hole. We also try to make other people fit our perfect wish list of a person. In essence, we are looking for a man or woman who never existed! We take someone and subtley try to mold them into something different and completely miss who they really are!
We don't hear this in the marriage vows often, but a relationship is where you discover your weirdness and your brokenness. Brokenness you didn't even know you or the other person had. Marriage is a vow where you promise to stick with the other person even though you don't know exactly what that brokenness will turn out to be. But you say you will be there for the suffering and the hurting and the healing and fixing. But not many people associate marriage vows with that. They enter in to marriage, find the other person's holes, realize that they can't fix them and be the other person's savior and they say... "I'M OUT. We must not really be soul mates." But that isn't true. You're not supposed to be their savior. You're not supposed to be able to fix everything... you CAN'T. Your role is to support and encourage their growth... and to be patient when they are slow to grow.
We are constantly evolving. What if we never learned and changed from our life experiences? What if we didn't learn and grow from our old relationships? We would just go out and do the same thing with someone else.
We all have our wishlist... our list of what the perrrrfect man/woman for me will be. Take a good look at your wishlist. How long is it? In reality... it's probably too long. What REALLY matters? Surprisingly, there are only a few things that we really really need. You want your S.O. to be interested in most of the things you are? Well, they probably won't be. That's okay. You want your man to be your "spiritual leader"? That sounds fine and dandy... but is it a necessity? We need to loosen up our list. Ultimately... it gets shorter and shorter. And do you know what happens when we really prune our list? (Yes the pruning will be painful, get over it). When we REALLY prune our list we become more gracious and accepting of the other person.
My friend Janae hit the nail on the head in a recent chat when she said, "That's the beauty of life and marriage. I mean you're always going to be dealing with issues inside yourself. You're always going to be growing and changing and becoming a better you and the person you're married to will help you with that however they cannot be upset because you're changing but encourage the growth. Life is all about changing and learning and growing. It doesnt mean you stop when you get married."
Summer is about 2/3 of the way over. Holy moly. It's going by fast and yet it still feels like I have eternity left of summer (I wish). The only thing that I wish would hurry up right now is summer school. Only two weeks left of nonstop torture 8am-2pm M-Th. Midterms were today... only 7 days left!! YES!!!!!
More to come later (and I really mean it this time).