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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Shopping Healthfully on a Budget

It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to be able to eat healthful, nonprocessed, or even organic foods.  Many people think that buying healthful and organic foods is an expensive luxury that we cannot afford.  But thanks to a wonderful blog titled “100 Days of Real Food,” we learn that this is not always true. (Visit the blog site HERE.) It offers information on many different topics, from recipes, meal planning, and tips for shopping for nonprocessed foods to how to stop eating processed foods, budgeting ideas, and more. The post I found most beneficial and inspiring was titled “12 Ways to Keep it Cheap” (to see the full blog post, go HERE.)

 

Here is an excerpt from the post, showing 12 ways to shop healthfully and stay on budget:

 

1. Set a specific budget. This tip may sound basic, but as I just said simply thinking about “not spending a lot of money” DOES NOT work! Here’s how to structure a budget…

  • Pick a realistic budget amount that you will adhere to each week or month. I personally think a weekly budget is easier to follow because you can’t go too far over budget before you realize you are in trouble.
  • Consider using cash in an envelope so going “over budget” isn’t even possible. (For those who’ve heard of Dave Ramsey, yes, we’ve both read his book!) Also, no matter what, make a commitment that if you do for some reason go over budget you will deduct that amount from the following week or month.
  • Define what will and will not be included in the budget. Will it just be for food or for household items too? What about alcohol, entertaining, and going out to eat?
  • Keep track of all your expenses on paper whether you use cash or not. It is important to see where your money goes.
  • Share and discuss the running budget total with the other adults in your household…accountability is what it’s all about!

2. Be organized and plan out your meals for the week. Last minute purchases that you haven’t put a lot of thought into can add up fast.

3. Minimize waste by saving all uneaten food instead of throwing anything away.

4. Know and use what you have on hand especially if it’s perishable. Even consider keeping an inventory list of food on your fridge or freezer so different family members can check off items as they use them. I know my husband is more likely to eat something in the fridge if I leave a note telling him it is there (don’t ask me why)!

5. Make substitutions in recipes to reduce how many things you have to buy…or even leave out a small ingredient all together.

6. Maximize “cheap” foods like bananas, beans, and pasta. Here are some of our favorite super cheap recipes:

7. When making inexpensive meals like soups and pasta dishes double the recipe and freeze the leftovers for when you have one of those days where you just don’t have time to plan out a good dinner.

8. Make sacrifices like drinking water instead of milk and skipping juice and other flavored beverages all together. If you really have trouble kicking the juice habit at least water it down a little so the juice lasts longer.

9. Reduce your consumption of meat and desserts. Meat can be a big-ticket item and while dessert is certainly a “nice to have” it is by no means a regular necessity (sorry)! Also experiment with “stretching” your meat dishes by mixing in veggies and/or beans.

10. Buy produce that’s in-season and if you like to frequent your local farmers’ market  try going just before closing time to get some great deals on items the vendors won’t want to haul back to the farm.

11. If you can’t afford the organic version of everything consult the dirty dozen list. 

12. Check your receipt after you get home to make sure your your money was spent wisely (most grocery stores accept returns!).

Thanksgiving is for Giving

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and celebrate with friends and family over a delicious meal.  A growing trend across the nation is to prepare and serve organic, locally grown and healthy foods, and this trend has now become present in homeless shelters.

Bruce Horovitz from USA Today wrote an article that explains the drive behind this movement of healthy food in shelters. The full article is available HERE.

Here are two quotes from the article as to why shelters are offering a healthy thanksgiving dinner for the homeless.

Director of Miriam’s Kitchen in Washington, DC, Steve Badt, “If I have a guest coming to my house for Thanksgiving, I’m not going to open a can of beans for them. A homeless person who is my guest deserves no less.  There’s really no added expense, since all of the shelter’s food is donated,” Badt says. “Why can’t a soup kitchen run like a high-end restaurant if it’s not costing anyone else money?”

Co-pastor of the Greenpoint Reformed Church in Brooklyn, N.Y., Ann Kansfield, “Their dinner will be served the day before Thanksgiving and will include locally grown and organic fruits and veggies. “If that’s how I feed my own children, that’s how I prefer to serve other people’s children.”

It is this thinking and the generosity and donations of others that allows for the shelters to offer these healthy meals.

Lets take a cue from these shelters and make our own Thanksgiving celebrations  happy, healthy and most importantly, organic. 

2011 EMA Awards Wrap-Up

This year’s Environmental Media Association Awards ceremony was a huge success!  Not only did it feature more A-list celebrities than past year’s, but it also brought more media attention.  The goal of the organization is to use the power of celebrity to get the word out about eco, green, and environmental practices, and this year they did just that! With a green carpet packed with celebrities and environmental gurus, the attendance brought more news and media outlet coverage.

The award ceremony was followed by an organic dinner prepared by award-winning chefs and a silent auction.  OMI donated a Terra mattress for the auction which also included other enviromental and eco-concious items, with all proceeds going to various charities.

The Honorees:

Justin Timberlake - EMA Futures Award

Marc Nathanson – EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award

Southern California Edison – EMA Corporate Responsibility Award

PGA Green – EMA Green Production Award

The Winners:

Yogi Bear – Feature Film

Revenge of the Electric Car – Documentary

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – “Fracked” – Television Episodic Drama

Futurama – “The Futurama Holiday Spectacular” – Television Episodic Comedy

Real Time With Bill Maher – Episode 188 & HGTV Green Home 2011 - Reality Television

Bubble Guppies – Children’s Television

Take a look at the Highlight Video as well as pictures from the Awards below.

Amy Smart, Nicole Richie, Christa B. Allen, Kim Raver, Charlotte Ross

Aubrey Plaza, Darryl Hannah, Emily VanCamp, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Madeleline Stowe

Constance Zimmer, Wendie Malick, Perrey Reeves, Michelle Kwan, Justin Timberlake

Grocery Store Wars, Teaching Kids the Importance of Organics

In today’s society, more and more focus is being put on going “green.” From using sustainable materials when building houses to driving hybrid cars, many people are changing their lifestyles to save energy, or just to get healthy.  Changing our lifestyles is great, but how do we change things for the future? We teach our future generations the importance these choices make for their lives.  Teaching kids habits like shutting off lights when not in use and turning off the water when brushing teeth are good conservation habits, but what about their diet?

Supermarkets are like magnets for kids with their processed foods and sugary snacks.  We need to make organic fruits and vegetables a natural choice for children.  So why not educate them in a fun and entertaining way?  Here is a lighthearted and comical argument for the benefits of organic and non-genetically modified foods.

Enjoy!

What’s Wrong With Our Food System?

Inspiring words from our future generation.

Making The Organic Choice

In today’s world of economic struggles, more and more people are seeking organic products. This is proven by a recent study performed by The Organic Trade Association (OTA).

OTA is a membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. They send out newsletters with industry information, announcements and great tips. Check out their site here for more information or to sign up for their informative newsletters.

The study polled 1,300 U.S. families about their attitudes and behaviors relating to organic food. According to the study, 78 percent of U.S. families are choosing organic foods. The study also indicated that four out of 10 families are buying more organic products than they were a year ago. The main motivator for the drastic increase in organic demand was revealed simply by 48 percent of parents: “Organics are healthier for me and my children.”

The full study is available for purchase by visiting OTA’s bookstore.

This motivation is also reaching more into the media, informing more of the general public about ways to be more organic and the important reasons why. It is even reaching into the entertainment business through celebrity organizations like the Environmental Media Association. A great example of this is Eva Longoria, who chooses organic options.

Here is a clip of the actress stressing the importance of buying organic:

2011 Mom on a Mission

Healthy Child Healthy World is a movement to empower parents to protect their children from harmful chemicals. More and more evidence is found connecting everyday environmental contaminants to asthma, learning disabilities, obesity, cancer and more. The organization was founded in 1991, by James and Nancy Chuda after their daughter Colette died from Wilm’s tumor, a rare non-hereditary cancer. Read about their touching story HERE.

OMI has joined forces with this wonderful organization to help children sleep safe and honor moms who, through love and perseverance, help to create a healthy future for our children.

Mom on a Mission is a program that honors parents working within their communities to create healthier and happier environments for children and families.  On October 28th Healthy Child Healthy World announced their 2011 Mom on a Mission winner, Tamara Rubin, at Stella McCarthy Kids boutique in New York City.  Tamara Rubin is the founder of the Lead Safe America Foundation that raises awareness to the hazards of lead based paints in and around the homes. Watch the video below to learn more about Tamara’s selfless mission.

Over 125 people attended the private event earning more than $500 from the raffle alone! OMI donated a 100%-natural rubber Youth Bed for the raffle. Alexandra Zissu was the winner of the Twin size mattress made with a single core USDA certified organic natural rubber latex sap, covered with our signature OrganicPedic knit quilting. We were excited to be able to give Alexandra’s children a healthy and chemical free bed to enjoy many peaceful nights of dreams in!

Read more about the OMI Youth Bed as well as other wonderful products on our website and make sure to vote for next years 2012 Mom on a Mission nominees by clicking HERE.

Event Photos

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