May 29, 2013

Clean Living | Farmer's Market and not breaking the bank

Hellooooooo! I have to admit, Wednesday is my favorite day now because I get to talk about Clean Living with you all. It makes my heart happy to share it with you. 

Last week, I talked about cleaning out the pantry/frig and restocking it with some "necessary" items for clean eating. 

This week, I want to share with you where we normally get all of our other groceries during the week. In Birmingham (where we live), every Saturday is Alabama's largest farmers market - Pepper Place. Stephen and I get up early every Saturday, grab our bag and head to the market. There are over 50 booth of local artisans and farmers selling their produce. 




















The farmer's market is a wonderful place to get local, healthy food. I love talking to the farmers I buy from each week. I highly recommend going to your local farmer's market and asking your grower how he/she grows, what they fertilize with, what types of pesticides do they use and so forth. They are very willing to chat with you about their product. Its become a family tradition to go get our foods from Pepper Place each week. Come November, I will actually setting up a booth to sell my Dad's satsumas and lemons. I can't wait to be more involved with our market!

We also discovered some farmers who aren't just fruit and vegetable growers.  We have met several pig, cow and chicken farmers. We actually just bought our first cow last week from a farmer about an hour away from our home. We talked with the supplier about the cows diet, process of slaughter and packaging and were very excited about ordering our own. We ended up splitting the meat with Stephen's parents because it was pretty pricey and we didn't need all the meat.

So,

I know what you're thinking, farmers markets and buying a whole cow is expensive. Yes, it truly is. BUT, we don't buy and junk food or extras and are have a budget in place to keep up on track. We have found that you can eat within your budget with clean eating. I received an email the other day from a girl wanting to know how to not overspend with eating clean. You do have to get creative at times, but it is well worth it. 

For instance, I only take $40 a week to the farmers market. I check out each booth for their prices and always take a list of items we need. I am careful not to get sucked in to overbuying, because it all looks fantastic. If I took more money, I guarantee I would spend it all. I also check out recipes beforehand that can use the same ingredients each week in different meals. I bought a bag of kale for $3.00 and have used it for two weeks now in smoothies, on salads, in soups and made kale chips. It lasts a long time, is in season and there are tons of ways to use it. 

With meats, you really don't want to skimp on quality. Normal meats loaded with extra hormones and GMO's, that you need to be careful. These hormones have fattened the cow up quickly and not allowed for  healthy meat. Did you know that normal meat you purchase at the grocery store has even been colored so that it appears better longer? SICK! You really want to be eating that?

 We bought our cow from a farmer who is USDA certified grass fed beef. We have actually met and spoken with him about his process and know what he does every step of the way. What grocery store do you have a relationship with or knows the answers to your questions?

The meat is expensive (around $7.44lb), so we only eat our meats at dinnertime. During breakfast and lunch, we get our protein in from eggs and almonds. We stay full and feel better about what we place in our bodies. 

Food Babe (a blogger I adore) did a post not long ago on 75 ways to eat organic on a budget. I had already been doing some of these, but there were new ones that have helped out a great deal. Don't let the cost of eating organic and clean freak you out - it really is doable and smarter for you in the long run. Check it out when you get the chance.

Also, if you are interested in writing a post about your experience with clean eating or products you love, send me an email at clarasschoen@gmail.com.

Walking in the Light




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6 comments:

  1. Meat sold in the grocery store is not allowed to be altered or colored to give an appearance of better quality.

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    1. The bottom line is always the bottom dollar. If you haven't already read the first Skinny Bitch book. The USDA, sorry to get political, is ran by the government and are crooks. There's a lot more than dye going into our food yet our government allows it and at the same time is trying to monitor what we do eat. It's a big fat contradiction. I don't understand it myself, but it's naive to think that just because they aren't allowed to do something they don't.

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  2. Your farmers market sounds wonderful! I am jealous because the farmers market in our town isn't that great. They have a bigger one up in the city but it still isn't that great. I was visiting my sister last week in Iowa and there was an awesome one in her town, sounds a lot like yours! Thanks for sharing all your clean living ideas. I may just have to do a post on the farmers market I went to in Iowa now! :)

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  3. I love Pepper Place- The soap stands are my favs! And also found some Watermelon Jelly this last weekend. I'm definitely going to start going on Saturdays, I just got to remember to bring more cash.

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  4. So I def almost went to pepper place last weekend. :) next time I go I will text you and we shall hang. :) missed you.

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