March 30, 2012

Project Food Budget; Week 3 for me!

Budget I set for myself: $100
Actual Budget: $156.76

This is harder than I think it is.. I also think that it's just figuring out exactly what I need each week (coconut water-it's a must).

Let's see, looking through the receipts here I wonder, 'did I forget to add anything?' Well, hmmm.. Since I didnt keep purchase by purchase account in my memo pad in my phone this time around I do wonder, but don't feel bad b/c I still went over and if I forgot anything then my total doesn't have to increase any more than it's already.

And, I have no idea why I set $100 as my goal. That's crazy pants.

It was also my birthday last weekend, so I allowed myself to spend more exuberantly on the big day, March 24th.. Holla' I have included a photo of the NY/East Coast style lunch I had after the trip! Look!

Ok, let's look at the items..

  • crumbled feta cheese.. mmmm
  • black trumpet mushrooms... ick-there were all kinds of twigs and dirt and leaves in the them. Got bulk at The Berkeley Bowl.
  • Salmon Jerky... mmmm.
  • Ox Tail and Beef Cubes for stew (all farm raised organically w/o hormones)- I made a 3 day crock pot with cabbage, rutabaga, brocolli, kelp noodles, tomatoes, kale and the like. It served a few rounds of meals for me. 
  • I've been eating Larabars in the morning when I dont have time to make a bigger meal. Then I slather coconut oil on the bar and mmm-mmm-mmmeatmmm up!
  • The Jalapeno cheese puffs were really good, and worthless.
  • The treat of the week was the GF Lemon Lavender tea cake. It was SOO moist and squishy. I wish Canola Oil wasn't used though.
  • The hot chocolate with whipped cream at the BART station served me well in the moment while waiting for a friend to pick me up last tuesday. I asked for some chocolate syrup on top and the lady's like, "that's extra." I'm like, "Come ON!" Then I got a free dribble. So yummy, but I had a stomach ache after.
  • I have to say the Udon Noodle Nori Logs are stupendous!! (wish i could find the link to those!) Umeboshi, toasted sesame seeds, avocado and udon noodles wrapped up in Udon.
Ok, gotta go dance now!

See ya'll soon~

~B (my friend Emily's blog post posted below-Project Food Budget is her creation!)

I’m excited to report that I have some great company on my Project: Food Budget challenge. Please check out these wonderful blogs, and give them support as they take on this challenge.
All have different budgets, number of mouths to feed, and food preferences {veggie + meat eating}. And yet, all have a common goal of saving money and making better choices when it comes to the food we put on our table.
Participating blogs:

March 22, 2012

Project Food Budget: Week 25

Goal for week 25: $125
Actual: $261.26 –wow.

Presently speechless. Kind’a. I counted every dollar and cent that went towards any liquid or solid entering my (or my friends) mouths. I did spend $68.39 on dinner for two last Friday night, as well as a new affinity for coffee (I haven’t drank the brew in almost 3 or 4 months) which accounted for a whopping $8.00. I also consumed a $5.00 whiskey drink last Sunday evening and about 7 slices of pizza too. Not bad for a holistic health coach;p So I wonder if buying friends tea or dinner counts as part of this project, Emily?

Also, I have this idea now to keep all the wrappers that come along with the food I buy and take a photo of that for the next time just b/c I’m starting to wonder about my own carbon footprint. For instance, and besides the melodramatic coffee habit I state to have now, I do have a coconut water habit. That I am clear of. I drank an estimated 10-12 coconut waters this past week. Retailing from $1.69 to $2.00 (all on sale!) is an estimated $22.14 on coco water.. Which is fine actually. Totally worth it.

Ok, we’ll see what pops for next week!

Goal for week 26: $100


This is my friend Emily Levenson's project and idea. You can visit her link below and find out more about her and if you blog, join the crew!
Want to get on board? Fabulous. {Now go here.}
Participating blogs:

March 15, 2012

Project Food Budget

Week 24 of Project: Week 1 for Brandon

Total Spent: $171.52
Goal: I had no goal (this is my first week!)

This was an interesting process for me, I did notice I was more conscious of my food spending and naturally wanted to keep my ‘no-goal budget’ as low as possible. Now that I know what I spent I can gage my resources better, look and see what worked and what didn’t work and create a budget for next week, which will be $125.

Most of the money spent here was at Rainbow Grocery (best coop EVER!), the farmers market, Whole Foods Market and then the rest was crappy junk food spending on donuts and pizza (no shame) and this spice shop in Oakland where 4.6% of my resources for the week went to two varieties of sea salt (I like calculating the breakdowns here- I’m a numbers guy).

However, 48.8% of my money went to groceries, the rest went to lunches, eating out, snacks and well, sea salt. Interessssstting.

This is my friend Emily Levenson's project and idea. You can visit her link below and find out more about her and if you blog, join the crew!

Want to get on board? Fabulous. {Now go here.}
Participating blogs:

March 11, 2012

Coconut Water 2.0

I love coconut water. Lot's of people I know love coconut water too! And then there are some people I know who love crappy coconut water, but that's not their fault. I think it's because they have yet to taste the water straight from a coconut, direct from source.

Enter the current coconut water boom in the ever expanding, ever competitive beverage marketplace. If you're like most natural food coconut water connoisseurs, taste is everything, price is too (obviously), but not as much as taste and quality.

Many of the now mainstream coconut waters on the market are sourced from factory farms in Thailand, India and Brazil. Some of the waters you will drink even contain blends of different coconuts, from different farms, they just pour 'em into a big vat or something and bottle. That's gross, and I'm not mentioning the chemical and formaldehyde processing that undergo the coconut water production line of process.

The thing with coconut water that makes coconut water's like Harmless Harvest so good, are that it's from a coconut. One coconut, right from the source, raw and unheated! This means Harmless Harvest will contain what coconut waters naturally contain; the electrolytes, minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium, amino acids, low sugar sugar content, alkalizes the body, clears the urinary pathway and apparently kills intestinal worms. There. Oh, and it will taste like coconut water. Not something indescribable like the many current versions available today. 

I once heard David Wolfe, a leading expert in raw food nutrition say that the reason raw foods are coming into play right now is b/c the world is hot, we are hot and inflamed as a civilization. You can just look at the news every day; war, fighting, greed. As well as some of the most prevalent chronic diseases and conditions like heart disease, diabetes and acid-reflux. These are all diseases of excess heat that cause inflammation. So coconut water is a great way to bring balance to the body because of it's cooling, calming and alkalizing properties that heal the body from an acid/inflammatory state to an alkalizing balanced state of being.

Back to the brands here; I used to drink C2O daily. Mostly b/c it was on sale at Rainbow Grocery for $1.69 which for me, is tops. I'm pretty selective when it comes to coconut waters. I won't buy Zico or VitaCoco anymore, the taste is just too far away from what a water from a coconut actually tastes like, surprise-surprise when it comes to food nowadays, right?

The tall 16 oz.cans like C2O that grace the cold cases in Whole Foods Market and natural food stores alike are usually pretty good and Brandon worthy. But I'm now just finding out that they are pasteurized, treated with chemicals and ready for this-not as good as what else is available (that, btw, is key here). Time for an upgrade? No problem.

I found Harmless Harvest, who pressurizes their coconut water without heat for preserving which doesn't kill beneficial nutrients. They don't use chemicals, are USDA organic and use farming practices based in sustainability. I can say I found my next coconut water of choice. And, yes, the coconut water tastes like coconut water-thank god.

But what about the price and the quantity? Why would I go from C2O to Harmless Harvest given that I will pay more and drink less? An 8oz bottle is $2.49 at The Oakland Whole Foods Market. 

I recently heard a branding expert, Eric Barron, speak about two things he looks for in a product or service, and that is if that product or service handles his fears and takes care of his wants he has no problem paying more. Given that he is an extrovert and someone who likes being in charge, he also loves when he is taken charge of. The example he used was his new tailor in Jersey. Recently moved from Manhattan and looking for a new tailor, he found an old-school Italian guy who's been doing custom tailoring since tailoring existed. "Get up there, turn around, I don't have all day." Eric mentioned that he loved being taken charge of and when his suit came back beautifully tailored, he had no problem paying this guy $200 on top of what he normally paid in Manhattan. His fears were taken care of, his wants met. Done deal.

Because this brand of coconut water handles my context for healthy living and healthy products, being that they are the most healing and best possible product out there I become a consumer. If a brand has that and I see that it has that, I won't be counting my change and going over cost/benefit analysis on the way out, I'm gonna buy it hands down and I'll be happy to do so. That's a good product. Here's their YouTube link on how they work, take a look.

March 08, 2012

Marching Along

29 Days of Didgeridoo has come and gone, I can't believe I did that, and did it successfully!? All of my posts are on this blog under the '29 days of didge' tab so you can scroll through and watch or listen to your favorite days.

Now that I am completed with that I've got 2 weeks to complete my indiegogo launch. I'm going for a few thousand to fund my first completed album along with some cool equipment I can mess around with and do some performing with.

This past weekend was IIN's Mega Conference, so we made a video on their red carpet that I will be sharing shortly, keep an eye out for that.

Being at the conference really inspired me. I realize I have lots to offer the world in terms of nutrition and wellness, coaching and creative solutions. I left feeling super around rebuilding this website and creating the foundation for living my dreams.. Oh I have some good ideas and I'll be sharing them soon as well, once the didgeridoo album is complete this summer!

In the meantime, if you want to find out about Integrative Nutrition please ask me and I'll share how this school will no doubt change your life!