Tag Archives: Whole Foods Market

Today: Ready for Action! (a preview and giveaway)

One of the many advantages to being home these days is the opportunity to take my workouts outside.  In addition to long walks and short runs at Castle Island (who can beat that view?), Grace and I recently started joining my sister-in-law and friends for a stroller-friendly bootcamp a few mornings a week. 

I am absolutely loving it.  It’s exactly the structure and community I’ve been craving.  I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun working out, and it certainly helps having a cute little spectator cheering me on.  After having spent most of the winter cooped up inside, though, it’s taken me a while to get my act together in prepping for these workouts.  From sunscreen and plenty of water, to diaper stuff, toys and snacks (Grace snacks while I work out… I think she has the right idea), to a yoga mat and resistance bands, I’m bound to forget something.

After falling for nearly every product inside the Hello, Beauty! bag from Whole Foods Market, I was so excited to hear that they would be releasing a second bag, filled with Whole Body products, just in time for summer…. and just in time for me to stop making a second or third trip back inside our condo before bootcamp.  

My lovely friends at Whole Foods Market River Street in Cambridge hooked me up with a complimentary Ready for Action bag to preview before they are available in stores on Saturday… aaaand I’ve got one for you, too!

Each Ready for Action bag contains a carefully curated collection: sunscreen, aloe, Toms of Maine deodorant, arnica gel, Nuun electrolyte tablets and superfood shake mixes, along with coupons for other great products.  And the bag itself is really cheery.  It is hand-printed bag by RIJI Green, a company committed to ending human trafficking.  It’s perfect for storing sunscreen and snacks (clearly, we are all about the snacks) in your beach or gym bag.

When it comes to active living, our local Whole Foods Market really is a one-stop shop.  I know the products and ingredients on the shelves are going to be safe and family-friendly, which I can’t necessarily say about so-called nutrition and supplement stores.  

I couldn’t wait to put the Goddess Garden Organics Natural Sunscreen and Boiron Arnicare Gel to good use during this week’s workouts, and I’m looking forward to mixing the Amazing Grass vanilla chai Amazing Meal into my next shake.

You can pick up a Ready for Action bag for just $12 (it is valued at $50) tomorrow, Saturday June 27th at 10 AM at your local U.S. Whole Foods Market store, in the Whole Body department.

Ready for Action giveaway

I’m excited to share a Ready for Action bag with one U.S. reader.  To enter, please comment below.  A winner (though… you’re, like, all winners… and don’t you forget it) will be randomly selected on Tuesday, June 30th.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s on your list of summer essentials?

Today: Last Minute Larry’s favorite grocery store gifts.

If you’re like me you are an incredible and wonderful creature have a tendency to leave things to the last minute.  For someone who loves to plan and make lists as long as my dog is cute, I have a real knack for procrastinating.  Fortunately, there is still time to pick up the perfect gift and a half gallon of milk at the same time.  Which reminds me: I forgot to buy milk this morning.

Last Minute Larry’s favorite grocery store gifts

DIY gift baskets

My late uncle lived in Florida and often sent boxes of citrus fruit up North this time of year– the perfect bit of sun and warmth for those of us hunkering down for another New England winter.  Plus, it’s always nice to have a few grapefruits and oranges on hand to balance out the ‘nog and cookies.

You could spend a fortune on next day shipping and order a gourmet gift online, or you could simply hit up the produce section of your local grocery store and pick up a few of your favorite fruits (perhaps include something new and different for a friend to try?) and wrap them in an inexpensive bowl or basket.

Fruit not your jam?  Try a printed recipe and dry ingredients, or spices and cooking utensils.  Package your favorite teas with honey, biscuits and a lovely mug.  There are pretty much no rules when it comes to making your own food-themed gift baskets.  Welp, maybe that’s not true.

A few rules to abide by, lest ye give your sister botulism for Christmas:

  1. Include no fish, raw meats, nor cheeses that require refrigeration
  2. Avoid anything that could go bad and/or stinky
  3. If it doesn’t sound delicious, don’t wrap it up and give it to someone (unless you’re trying to send a very un-Christmas-like message)

Toys

Our favorite Whole Foods Market (the one on River Street in Cambridge) has quite the selection of toys, books, apparel and other gift-worthy items in their Whole Body section.  Who doesn’t love a sock monkey?  Someone I don’t want to know, that’s who.

Chocolate

When in doubt, give the people what they want.  I am a big fan of local favorite, Mexcian style Taza Chocolate, but most markets offer a variety of interesting brands and flavors, all of which make a lovely gift or stocking stuffer.

Something unexpected

The big advantage to holiday shopping at the grocery store (besides the opportunity to buy — or forget to buy — milk) is the unexpected factor.  Keep an open mind while browsing the aisles, and just about anything may capture your imagination as gift-worthy.

My favorite “unexpected” items:

  • The above mushroom kit from Back to the Roots
  • Potted rosemary “trees” — they look like little Christmas trees and make a great gift for your favorite cook
  • Items from L.I.F.E. line fashion (sold at most Whole Foods Markets), a remarkable project of CTC International created to employ and empower mothers of children with special needs in Kenya
  • The Whole Planet calendar — 100% of proceeds go to the Whole Planet Foundation, and the calendar (which costs $4) includes over $40 worth of coupons #winwin

See you at the market, fellow Larrys.

P.S. For the record:  This is not a sponsored post.  I just happen to really, really like our grocery store. 

Also On Tap for Today:

 What is your favorite gift to give?

 

Today: Grocery haul, and hauling boxes.

A little PSA before we get down to brass tacks:  It’s hot in Boston.  Really hot.  Please be careful, look in on loved ones, check up on elderly neighbors, and — if you can — carry an extra bottle or two of water with you today to share with people who are outside and need relief.  It’s important to take care of one another.  

I’ve been doing a lot of “Oh, crap… we are out of lettuce” and “Maaaaan, I forgot the spicy mustard” lately.  I’ve been doing almost no meal planning, nor list making, nor organized grocery shopping.  I knew things had gotten out of hand when I made three separate trips to the store last week (and um… asked Nick to pick up thirteen other things on his way home).

I had the good fortune (mostly, if you disregard what I did earlier in the day… and yes, I will tell you about that momentarily) to get out of work early on Wednesday, giving me ample time for a leisurely (and more importantly, productive) mid-day shop at my favorite Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods grocery haul

Pardon my glitter centerpiece.

Produce:

  • Basil (and a few lingering Frenchie paws at the top of the photo)
  • Heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 4 heirloom mega-tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Snap peas
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 carrots (one for me, one for the dog)
  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 box of Olivia’s Organics Spring Mix with Herbs (my absolute favorite)
  • 1 box of Olivia’s Organics Spinach
  • 2 orange bell peppers
  • 1 bag of red grapes
  • 1 bag of Clementines
  • 2 lemons
  • 6 smallish bananas
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • 2 boxes of Driscoll’s organic raspberries

Dairy:

  • 2 cartons of Stonyfield organic lemon yogurt
  • 2 cartons of Stonyfield organic vanilla yogurt

Random, delicious things:

  • Whole Foods guacamole (or as I like to call it, Heaven in a Container)
  • 1 package of gluten free brown rice paper wraps (for a fun Nasoya recipe I’ll share next week)
  • Amy’s organic vegetarian re-fried black beans with green chilies
  • Green Mountain Gringo tortilla strips
  • GoGo Squeez organic apple sauce on the go (because I am an adult who often eats like a small child, and can’t be bothered to pack a spoon)

These beauts warranted a close up.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day…

My office has had used several storage facilities during my time.  When one closed unexpectedly, we signed a lease (in a panic) at the facility closest to my office.  While convenient, it is also the most terrifying hell hole on the planet.  You may be thinking, It can’t be that bad.  I get it.  I love a good exaggeration as much as the next lady, but trust me.  I have seen things at that storage unit that I will never be able to un-see.  Things that would make grown men and women weep.  I have enough stories (including this one about possibly naked people) to write a book about this place, but I will not.  For the following reasons:

  1. Most people write zero books during their lifetime.  In the event that I am fortunate/talented/patient/focused enough to write one book during my lifetime, I would hate for it to be about a storage unit.  I don’t want that to be my legacy.
  2. It would be sort of depressing.  And kind of gross.  Especially if I include the part about the poop we encountered this week.
  3. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Needless to say, it was time — to quote the King of Pop — to make a change, for once in my life.  After a bit of research, we found a slightly less convenient (but infinitely more safe and clean) facility nearby, and manual labored our way from one place to the other in the span of 24 hours and 9 trips back and forth.  During a heat wave.  Nothing says I run an international organization quite like an inordinate amount of neck sweat.  My heart goes out to those working outside in this weather all the time (I am usually holed up in air conditioning set to “arctic tundra”).  By the time we finished our last load up the stairs at 3:30, it was time to throw in the proverbial sweat towel.

I promise, I (mostly) cleaned up before heading to Whole Foods.

Also On Tap for Today:

When do you get your grocery shopping done?  

 

Today: Holy basil.

I like to think that I never get sick, but in reality, I sometimes get sick but rarely actually go to the doctor.  I started coughing approximately three and a half weeks ago, and what started as a dainty, dry cough recently turned into a barking, bone-rattling hack.  I would think, I’ll call the doctor tomorrow.  And then I would feel better and not call the doctor.  And then I would feel worse, but the doctor’s office would be closed.  And then I would cough in public and people would look like they were going to murder me, if my germs didn’t murder them first.

So, finally, I went to the doctor last week.

Un-holy basil (and thyme and cilantro) on our roof

My cute, little summer cold had apparently turned into bronchitis.  Live and learn (and maybe even change?).  After listening to my chest (we had to take a break mid-way through the exam so I could have a cough attack strong enough to force me to lay down) and checking my oxygen saturation (99%, very Occupy Boston Bloodstream), my doctor suggested waiting a week before going on antibiotics (apparently bronchitis can stick around for four-ish weeks, but could develop into pneumonia), as whatever is growing inside me is likely viral.  Hmm.  What the heck am I supposed to do in the meantime?  Her answer: holy basil.

While I might have preferred the good stuff (i.e. some sort of purple drank Hulk-strength cough medicine), I appreciate that the doctors at this practice take a more holistic approach (several of the MDs practice Reiki, others prescribe yoga for their patients, mine seems to be in the tea-peddling business).  I left with a handwritten recipe for ginger/lemon/honey/black pepper tea, instructions for daily steam inhalation, and a recommendation for organic Tulsi (otherwise known as holy basil), which I found in the tea aisle at Whole Foods.

Holy basil

Though somewhat unconventional, these “prescriptions” have done the trick (less coughing, more breathing)… but if they hadn’t, it’s nice to know there are back-up options (ones that require actual prescription pads).  While integrative health and complimentary medicine may sound like a bunch of hippy crap, it seems to work for me.

In just a year, with the recommended dietary changes, supplements, and an attempt to yo, relax more, my health has significantly improved.  I shared a bit about these challenges and changes last summer (on the same day that a skunk got trapped in the stairwell, so maybe click through just for that), and am happy to report that, as of last week, all of my vitamin levels are now in the normal range.  I don’t like to type the words colitis and leaky gut syndrome (mostly because… ew), but it’s good to know that there are doctors and dietitians out there who are willing to get creative in the care of their patients, whether they’re dealing with a chronic condition or an annoying cough.

One more thing.  From now on… when I am tempted to swear and flip people off in traffic… I am going to say holy basil instead.  And then I am going to sprinkle organic tea leaves on the Expressway.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • I am way behind (per usual) on this, but I love this video
  • Happy to have our power (and AC) back 🙂
  • Planning on some pool time

What’s your favorite “home remedy”?