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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fresh Food Deals at Meijer for 7/17-7/20

The following advertised prices and unadvertised price drops are for Meijer stores in the Dayton, OH area and may vary by location. All printable coupon links are in blue.
Meijer mPerks coupons are downloadable e-coupons that you can access for free HERE and redeem at the register by entering your cell phone # & personal pin #. [Note: If the mPerks coupon says "Store Coupon" in the bottom left corner, it CAN be combined with another printable or paper manufacturer's coupon. If it says "Manufacturer's Coupon" it CANNOT be used with another printable or paper coupon.]

Buy 10 Items for $10, Get 11th Free!
Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Carrots
-$1/2 coupon  (Prints "Good on any EBF product")
Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Peppers
Dole Bagged Salad Mix (most varieties)
Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Juice  FREE after coupon!
-$.50 off coupon
Larabar Singles
-$1/2 coupon or $.75/3 coupon
Old Orchard Frozen Juice Concentrate $.75 when you buy 4!
-$1/4 coupon
Meijer Frozen Vegetables, 16 oz.
Chobani Greek Yogurt Singles  $.40 after coupon!
-$.30/1 coupon
Meijer Canned Pumpkin
Aunt Millie's English Muffins
Meijer Pasta (green box)
Meijer Naturals Salsa

8/$2 Bi-color Sweet Corn
$2.99 Organic White Mushrooms, 12 oz.
-$.50 mPerks coupon
$2.99 Kiwi, 2 lb. tub
-$1 mPerks coupon
$.97/lb. Grapes
$1.99/lb. Organic Grapes (domestic)
$1.99/lb. Organic Nectarines
$.77/lb. Green Beans
$2.99/lb. Sweet Cherries
$.77/lb. Zucchini or Yellow Squash
3/$1 Green Onions or Cucumbers
$.89/lb. Red or Green Leaf or Romaine Lettuce
3/$4 Blueberries, pint
$3.99 Earthbound Farm Organic Clamshell Salad, 1 lb.
-$1 mPerks STORE coupon
-$1/2 coupon (Prints "Good on any EBF product". Buy some EBF carrots too?)

$3.49 Kraft String Cheese, 12 ct.
$3.49 Meijer Chunk Cheese, 16 oz.
$2.50 Sargento Natural Shredded or Sliced Cheese, 5-8 oz.
$2.00 Chobani Champions Tube Yogurt (rBST free!)
-$1 off coupon
$3.50 Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt, 32 oz. (rBST free!)
$1.99 Daisy Cottage Cheese, 16 oz.
$1.50 Smith's All Natural Sour Cream, 16 oz.

$3.50 Hormel Natural Choice Nitrate-Free Bacon
$3.99 Applegate Nitrate-Free Beef Hotdogs
-$.50 off coupon
$5.99 Applegate Organic Grassfed NF Beef Hotdogs
-$.50 off coupon
$1.19/lb. Meijer Fresh Chicken Thighs
NEW $2.50 Al Fresco Chicken Breakfast Sausage Links
-$1 off coupon (sign up for newsletter)

$1.50 Annie's Homegrown Mac n Cheese $.80 after coupon!
-$.35 off coupon
$1.99 Kraft Organic Mac n Cheese
$2.25 Imagine Soups  $.25 after coupon!
-$2 off coupon
$2.00 Mom's Best Naturals Cereal
-$1.50/3 coupon
$1.39 Joy (reg. or GF) Ice Cream Cups or Cones $.39 after coupon!
-$.55 off coupon

Thanks Bargains to Bounty!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Meal Plan Monday: Gluten-free & Oven-free Meals for July 15-21

Here is what's on the menu at our house this week. Items in BLUE are recipe links.

I am in the middle of a month long coffee-free, low-carb, low-sugar diet to help maintain even blood sugar levels throughout the day. You can get an overview of what I can and cannot eat HERE. I will be altering the plan slightly by adding brown rice, GF oats, cheese (a few times a week), and a few lower sugar fruits (cherries, sour apples, pears and berries) sparingly. All meals and snacks are gluten free and most are very low in sugar/carbohydrates. Many meals are also dairy/cheese free (yogurt is allowed on this diet).

If you haven't checked the weather forecast for SW Ohio this week--it's gonna be HOT! We have no central air and only a couple of window AC units. If I attempt to use my oven in 90 degree weather, my first floor rises at least 3-4 degrees. And at dinner time--the hottest part of the day--let's just say that's not an option for this momma! So, this entire menu is oven-free and our meals will be made using the stove top, grill, crockpot, microwave and toaster oven. Stay cool, friends!

Creamy Brown Rice Porridge topped w/Butter, Cherries, Nuts, Seeds & Cinnamon

Oat Flour Pancakes w/Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese & Sliced Pear
Nitrate Free Breakfast Sausage Links (Al Fresco makes these.)
Oat Flour Pancakes -- these were delish! used honey instead of sugar and applesauce instead of oil
Buckwheat Granola & Mixed Berry Parfait (I'll make the granola in my new toaster oven!)

Cherry Vanilla Chia Smoothie

Dinner Leftovers

Tuna Melts in Lettuce Cups

Apple Almond Quinoa


Trail Mix Energy Bites

Raw Veggies & Hummus

Green Apple w/Almond Butter

Yogurt Covered Strawberries

Dandy Blend Iced "Coffee" w/Almond Milk

Zucchini Lasagna Rolls* w/Marinara Sauce
Cheesy Cauliflower Bread (Use pizza stone on the grill)
Tossed Salad w/Homemade Ranch
*Make zucchini rolls, cover with sauce and cook on low in crockpot for 2-3 hrs.

zucchini-herbs-cheese Recipe

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado (BLAT) Wraps*
Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad w/Black Beans & Roasted Corn
*Use GF tortillas or wrap the filling in a large lettuce leaf.
Blackened Chicken on the Grill
Baked Sweet Potatoes (crockpot) w/Butter & Cinnamon
Sauteed Fresh Green Beans

Taco Turkey Burgers
Cucumber Tomato Salad

Southwest Chili Cornbread Casserole (made in microwave)
Tossed Salad w/Homemade Ranch

Beef Pepper Stir Fry w/Brown Rice Noodles

I seriously do not know how I did menus before Pinterest. Do you use Pinterest for meal planning? Leave me a comment with your Pinterest link. I am always looking for new friends (with yummy pins!) to follow.

Friday, July 5, 2013

"I Can't Believe It's Not Coffee!" ~ My New (Almost) Coffee Discovery

Photo: Looks like coffee, smells like coffee, Tastes like coffee... But no caffeine and it's good for you??? What!? Yum!!
Thanks for the picture, Christi!
It looks like coffee. It even smells like coffee. It definitely tastes like coffee (well...it tastes pretty darn close!). I seriously can't believe it's not coffee! I've had it iced, blended as a frappe, and cappuccino style--I love them all. Friends have tried it and raved. My mom liked it so much she bought half of my bag. It's gluten-free*, caffeine-free and dissolves in water. What is this magic "almost coffee"? I'm glad you asked!

This delicious beverage powder is called "Dandy Blend".  It is made from roasted dandelion root, chicory root, barley & rye. It contains over 50 trace minerals and costs as little as $.07 a cup. You should read the Amazon reviews on this stuff--it has 5 out of 5 stars! Our local bulk food store, Country Bulk Barn, is where I bought mine but it is slightly less expensive on Amazon. (*Note to GF friends--The company explains on their website how they make this product GF. I do not have a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. If you do, you may want to investigate the GF claim on this product for yourself before drinking it.)

A friend tipped me off to Dandy Blend and to say I was skeptical is a massive understatement. I love coffee!! A month or so ago, I was drinking at least 6 cups of coffee a day. I would say my average daily coffee/tea consumption was around 36 oz. It never seemed like that much, because first of all I have really big coffee mugs. Secondly, I was drinking it all day long. I rarely left the house without my stainless steel cup filled with warm, delicious Colombian goodness. Oh--let's not forget the massive amounts of whole milk and sugar (I justified it by using unrefined sugar cane) I put in there. But three weeks ago, I gave up my love affair with coffee to regain my health. I had been without my beloved drink for quite some time when I got my hands on this "new guy".  Dandy Blend was going to have some HUGE Starbucks-sized shoes to fill.

I put my finger in the powder to taste it before making a whole cup of iced coffee. Oh. my. word! "This tastes JUST LIKE COFFEE!" I shrieked in disbelief. I poured the powder into a bit of water, stirred it up, added my vanilla extract, my milk and a bit of liquid stevia. Then I nervously took a sip. Ahhhh....heaven in a cup! So what would make delicious into spectacular? A teaspoon of cocoa or carob powder (caffeine free), some ice and a blender of course. After two long weeks without coffee, Dandy Blend became my new favorite friend.

I have shared this secret (almost) coffee with my mom and several friends. I am not the only one who thinks this stuff is beyond awesome. The fact that I can make it various strengths without having to brew it hot--makes it the perfect choice for iced and blended coffee drinks. Because it is not caffeinated, it doesn't put stress on my already stressed adrenal glands. It doesn't make me jittery, or irritable, or moody. It doesn't interfere with my sleep and cause daytime fatigue. It isn't addictive. It doesn't make me crave carbohydrates an hour after I drink it. Best of all, if I sweeten it with a low-glycemic sweetener like NuNaturals Liquid Stevia, it doesn't cause my blood sugar to crash after drinking it. And that makes Dandy Blend the perfect coffee alternative for my new caffeine-free lifestyle.

Here are some tips on using and storing Dandy Blend from a reviewer on Amazon:
"There are smaller packages of Dandy blend available even here on Amazon, however economically this size makes best practical sense, as it's the least expensive (price per oz) option, provided you will store it right.
The instruction on the label say that Dandelion is sensitive to moisture and the bag needs to be resealed completely after each use. However I found out that itself is not enough (I live in area with high humidity).

From my experience, the best thing to do if you buy this size is to either share it with a friend and/or do the following: I put mine in a small size glass mason jar with a lid and store it in the fridge (or even freezer, either way). What is left, stays in the original bag,  gets sealed, put in additional Ziploc bag and stored in the freezer. There it will last quite a long time.
What happens if you leave it at room temperature is, it absorbs moisture and hardens into a block pretty quickly, and you have to literally chisel it to break a piece off, plus it dissolves lot harder and loses some original flavor, so it pretty much gets ruined. I found out the hard way and had to throw away quite a sizable amount the first time I bought it. Cold temperature will keep it nice, powdery and fresh for a long time. 
You can play with the concentration (some people like less, I prefer mine stronger), drink it 'just like that' or put all kinds of enhancements in:
sweeteners (I don't use white sugar, prefer stevia, xylitol or coconut sugar),
"whiteners" (half and half, rice milk, almond milk etc.),
cacao powder,
natural flavoring like almond or vanilla (whatever your imagination comes up with), just as you would with coffee."

What are you waiting for? Go order some of this better-for-you (almost) coffee, then come back and tell me how much you love it!

The links to Dandy Blend and NuNaturals Liquid Stevia in this post are affiliate links. You are not obligated to purchase this product through these links, but doing so gives me a small commission for the work I do as a blogger. Thank you! Amazon has not asked me to review this product nor have the product manufacturers. All statements and opinions are completely my own.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Gluten-free, Anti-Candida Diet Meal Plan ~ July 1-7

 Here is what's on the menu at our house this week. Items in BLUE are recipe links. 

I am beginning a month-long anti-candida diet (ACD) to flush yeast and sugars from my system. You can get an overview of what I can and cannot eat HERE. I will be altering the plan slightly by adding brown rice, GF oats, cheese (no more than 2x a week), and a few lower sugar fruits (cherries, sour apples, pears and berries) sparingly. All meals and snacks are caffeine free, alcohol free, gluten free and very low in sugar/carbohydrates. Most meals are also dairy/cheese free (yogurt is allowed on this diet).

The theory behind the anti-candida diet is that an overgrowth of yeast in your gut and digestive tract can lead to bloating, headaches, feelings of fatigue and in extreme cases can cause rashes, chronic sinus infections, yeast infections, etc. This overgrowth can be caused by past infections, overuse of antibiotics, sustained high cortisol levels from stress and/or food sensitivities, etc. I have very mild symptoms of yeast overgrowth (mostly bloating and fatigue), but through allergy testing I found my candidas albicans score to be in the moderate range. I am also severely sensitive to yeast and eggs and mildly sensitive to cheese, whey and casein (dairy protein). Here is a cool clip from the Dr. Oz Show (Part One & Part Two) on fatigue & yeast, what sugar does to yeast and how to diagnose a candida problem.

I absolutely hate the idea of using stevia, despite it being hailed as a "natural plant-based sweetener"--but for the next month my typical go-to sweetener use (sucanat, maple syrup and honey) is VERY limited. I will be using liquid stevia in several of these recipes. NuNaturals brand has the least aftertaste, from reviews I have read online. I have the SweetLeaf liquid stevia that I purchased from the natural food section of Kroger.

Creamy Brown Rice Porridge topped w/Butter, Nuts, Seeds & Cinnamon

Lemony Blueberry Muffins

Coconut Flour Biscuits & Homemade Turkey Sausage

Baked Pear w/Greek Yogurt and Roasted Cinnamon Nuts

Cherry Vanilla Smoothie

Chia Seed Pudding w/Raspberries & Roasted Cinnamon Nuts

Dinner Leftovers

Lettuce Wraps w/Avocado Chicken Salad

Homemade Vegetable Soup

Sea Salt Nut Butter Cups (think Reese's!) -- Recipe coming TODAY!!

Raw Veggies & Hummus

Green Apple w/Almond Butter

Herbed Yogurt Cheese Spread w/Sprouts & Homemade Nut Crackers

Dandy Blend Iced "Coffee" w/Almond Milk -- More on this product SOON!

Rice Cake w/Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Cheese (think cream cheese)

Unstuffed Peppers w/Quinoa, Basil & Tomatoes (add cheese for hubby)
Oven Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts & Cauliflower

Spaghetti Squash Topped w/Marinara Sauce (omit sugar) & Meatballs (use oats & flax instead of breadcrumbs & egg)
Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Blackened chicken with cilantro lime quinoa and avocado cream sauce.
Photo Credit
Blackened Chicken over Cilantro Lime Quinoa w/Avocado Sauce
Grilled Zucchini with Garlic, Olive Oil and Parmesan

Chili with Ground Turkey and Sweet Potato
Tossed Salad w/Apple Cider Vinaigrette


Beef Faijitas with Quinoa Tortillas (Eeek! Mine were a flop!)

Grilled Salmon with Lemon Butter & Fresh Dill
Brown Rice & Grilled Asparagus
Tossed Salad with Cucumber Ranch Dressing (made from yogurt)

I'll be adding some more new recipes this week (providing they come out well)! Make sure you subscribe to e-mail updates, using the box above, so you don't miss any of my yummy new recipes!