World’s Most Unlikely Costco Fans!

2

Our tiny home on wheels

People are always shocked to hear how much we love Costco!

They don’t expect us to benefit much from a warehouse store membership because we live in a tiny space (and travel full-time) and we eat very few processed foods.

So, are we the “World’s Most Unlikely Costco Fans”?! Read below about the 2 reasons we think we might be…and YOU be the judge. 🙂

Reason #1 –

People are surprised we shop so much at Costco because we are passionate believers in the idea of living simply.

IMG_0811We personally own very few things. We live and travel full-time in our tiny campervan – literally everything we own fits in here and travels with us. We don’t have a storage unit full of stuff anywhere, and we sold our home and property years ago.

Because we own so few things, we only own things that we LOVE! And so many of our very favorite things were purchased at Costco because we love the savings as well as the quality of the products they sell (not to mention their awesome return policy!).

Here are a few of our favorite purchases from Costco…

christy with camera

Me and my Canon 70D

While traveling, we’ve developed a passion for nature and wildlife photography (and documenting our travels, too). All of our photos are taken with the Canon 70D camera that we purchased from Costco. Our nature and wildlife gallery is on display at www.ChristyP.com. These photos allows us to earn some income while traveling since we are only in our 40s and nowhere near retirement age.

My eyeglasses are a Costco purchase that I use all day, every day.

And, of course, we make use of the savings on gasoline – one of the most critical things we need for our travels! We try to run out of gas anytime we’re near Costco’s awesome gas prices!

Our GoPro video camera is great for recording our adventures, and we’d literally be lost without our Garmin GPS that we use every day (also a Costco purchase)!

We love our Bem portable speaker for listening to music during the day, but we especially rely on it for listening to white noise at night since we’re always sleeping in new places with unpredictable noises.

Thanks to the Braun cordless razor (which we got a great deal on at Costco), we’ve both switched to dry shaving since we live with limited amounts of water on board our RV; and this razor works WAY better than others we’ve tried!

We were super excited to find the Smart Works Pop-Up Organizer at Costco, which we use every week when we do laundry. For nearly a year, we wished someone would invent a collapsible laundry basket. We even scoured the internet looking for a space-saving solution. Then, one day, we spotted this amazing item while walking through Costco! YES!

Needless to say, with our adventurous lifestyle, we track a LOT of dirt into this tiny little space. So we needed a powerful vacuum that we could store conveniently. We tried out dozens of options, but there was no contest once we discovered the Dyson DC 44 stick vacuum at Costco!

And, since we’re on the road full-time, it’s great to have peace of mind knowing that we can fill our van tires to the recommended tire pressure or jump start our rig anytime if necessary without finding someone to help when we’re in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to the jump box we found at Costco, these things are never a concern for us – plus, we can air up our own bicycle tires in a snap, too.

Reason #2 –

People are surprised we shop so often at Costco because we are natural foods advocates.

kitchen

A glance at our kitchen

We eat a natural, additive-free diet; and we make a living teaching others how to shop for and prepare natural, additive-free foods at www.CompletelyNourished.com.

Until I tell them about it, most folks have no idea that Costco sells so many natural and organic food items…and at great prices! The savings on these foods alone literally more than pays for our membership fee!

kitchen cabinet

A peek inside our pantry 

When we moved into our camper van, I assumed I’d be kissing my Costco shopping days good-bye. But, actually, we can squeeze a surprising amount of goodies into our van as you can see by this snapshot of the inside our our pantry.

(The fridge is packed, too, with all sorts of meats, fruits, veggies and eggs from Costco…but I had trouble standing back far enough to get a good picture. LOL!)

I like to think that if we can eat natural, additive-free foods and benefit from the savings at Costco with our lifestyle and our teeny kitchen and limited storage space in our less than 150 square feet of living space, then anyone can find ways to eat more natural foods!

Some of our favorite natural foods that we are still able to purchase at Costco are:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Organic eggs
  • Organic and grass-fed meats
  • Cheese
  • Organic salsa
  • Olive oil
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Organic peanut butter
  • Natural almond butter
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Coffee
  • Organic lemon juice
  • Organic quinoa
  • Wild-caught canned salmon
  • Organic raisins and other dried fruits
  • Almonds
  • Larabar snack bars
  • Organic bread
  • Organic tomato paste
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Sea salt, black pepper and other dry spices

Of course, when we had a full-sized kitchen and more storage space we were able to benefit from even more of Costco’s products…and I still encourage others to do so by sharing all sorts of recipes on our website.

We love Costco for all sorts of products that are not specific to our businesses or lifestyle, too. Even with our tiny living space, we still find room to store other bulk goods and household items from Costco like paper plates, paper bowls, parchment paper, foil, plastic wrap, feminine hygiene products, Dr Bronner’s peppermint soap, etc.

So, what do you think? Are we the “World’s Most Unlikely Costco Fans”? Do you shop at Costco? Are you intrigued? What are YOUR favorite Costco goodies? We’d love to hear from you below!

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our blog if you’d like to stay up-to-date on our tips for natural health and happiness! 

 

Advertisements

How the Food Industry is Destroying Your Health & What YOU Can Do About It

accentIn the video presentation below, I explain many of the sneaky tactics used by the food industry to disguise toxic chemicals in our food.

I also explain how such additives in food cause and exacerbate a wide variety of health problems, and I share a little bit about my own personal struggle with chronic pain and fatigue (i.e., Fibromyalgia).

If you are living in more pain or with less energy than you would like, please take the time to watch this video and share it with anyone it may help!

You will learn why food additives matter and how to avoid them when shopping at the grocery store!

(If you’d like some help getting started, grab a copy of my “Eating Additive-Free” book that I mention in the video. It’s jammed packed with natural recipes and the grocery shopping guidance you need to get started avoiding food additives!)

And for even MORE great tips about living a “Completely Nourished” lifestyle, be sure to SUBSCRIBE to our site, and we’ll send you a message when we post new goodies here! 🙂

5 Simple Strategies for Ditching Processed Foods

IMG_5537Are you a little freaked out that all of the processed foods you’re eating might be less-than-wonderful for your health?

Do you feel overwhelmed about what on Earth to eat instead, so you don’t do anything about it?

Sometimes the hardest things about making a change are simply deciding where to start and realizing that you don’t have to know everything before you take your first step.

Sure you could flip your entire diet upside-down all at once and embrace the “cold turkey” strategy for ditching processed foods. (That’s what I did, but I’m also a wee bit nuts!) But I’m guessing that you don’t find that idea very appealing, so I’m giving you five simpler strategies here that will help you start ditching processed foods without losing your sanity.

What are “Real Foods”?

No matter which strategy you choose, you’ll need a way to figure out which foods are “real” and which foods are too processed to keep in your diet.

Follow this simple rule: Read the ingredients label on everything you purchase. If you can easily identify every ingredient as having come from a plant or animal in nature, then it’s a keeper. If not, then leave it on the shelf. Sure, you can research even deeper than this with food additives information and animal welfare issues (which won’t necessarily be represented on food labels), but we’re just taking our first step here, remember? So let’s just start with this one simple rule. Cool?

Pick Your Strategy

Strategy #1 – One Enemy at a Time

One popular way to start ditching processed foods is to target one food additive or chemical ingredient to avoid. You choose one additive (e.g., MSG, high fructose corn syrup, food coloring, natural flavor), and you stop purchasing anything that contains that ingredient. Once you’ve mastered that ingredient, you move on to another one. You don’t have to know everything about every food additive that exists; you just find one that you feel may be harming your family’s health and then refuse to purchase it any more.

Strategy #2 – Weekly Recipe Make-Over

One of the most overwhelming things about ditching processed food is that you likely don’t know how to cook anything. Well, there’s only one way that is going to change – start practicing!

Force yourself to practice by cooking one new recipe each week. And once you’ve mastered an additive-free version of a dish, avoid the old processed version of that dish from that point forward. Before you know it, you’ll have built an entire additive-free recipe portfolio of delicious meals!

And don’t think that you have to create any recipes yourself. Just search the Internet for things like “additive-free recipes,” and you’ll find all sorts of yummy ideas.

Strategy #3 – Start Sweet

Looking for a fun way to get started? Why not start with dessert? Homemade treats are a great way to build your confidence and win over the hearts and support of your family members. Choose this strategy if you’d like to build up your additive-free desserts arsenal (and your confidence) before conquering entire meals and worrying that everyone is going to turn their nose up at the dinner you worked so hard to prepare.

Strategy #4 – Master a Meal (Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner)

Feeling a bit more advanced? Choose one meal time and commit to eating an additive-free version of that meal every day. Once you’ve mastered that meal time, and it no longer overwhelms you in any way, move onto the next meal time.

Start with whichever meal time is most convenient for you to prepare. Maybe breakfast time is always rushed for you, so you choose dinner as your meal time to master. Or maybe dinner sounds the most overwhelming to you, so you choose breakfast because those menu items seem simpler to tackle (e.g., fried eggs or oatmeal). Or maybe you choose lunch because you’re fine with taking a salad to work every day, and that feels pretty do-able for you to figure out.

It really makes no difference which meal you choose. Just pick one and commit to making that one meal from scratch every single day.

Strategy #5 – Run Out & Replace

A very popular strategy for getting started with an additive-free diet is to simply convert your pantry to more natural products as you run out of the processed versions you have on hand. Commit to no longer purchasing chemical additives, but don’t throw anything away. As you notice that you’re getting low on an item (e.g. pancake syrup or peanut butter), start researching how you can select an additive-free version of the item when you run out.

Don’t reinvent the wheel here. You can search the Internet for “additive-free grocery guides,” and you’ll discover that others have already done all of the research to help you find additive-free products at the grocery store.

Get Your Mind Right

Once you start reading ingredient labels, you’re probably going to discover that much of what you’re eating really isn’t even food. It’s a bunch of mysterious ingredients whipped up in a chemistry lab somewhere. And if you are truly convinced that you shouldn’t be ingesting this stuff, then it’s time to suck it up and start making some serious changes.

No matter which of these strategies you choose, you’re only going to be as successful as your attitude will allow. So before embarking on any changes, it’s worth taking a little time to get your mind right. You simply cannot sit around having a pity party for yourself because you “wish you had a personal chef” or because “it’s not fair that you have so many dishes to wash now” or because “it’s so hard to make these changes.” Sure, these things may be true; but concentrating on your struggles isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Take a bit of time to mourn these things if you must, but then ditch the pity party and get on with the business of focusing on your strategies. Be grateful that you care for yourself (and your family) enough to go through the trouble it takes to nourish your body to the best of your ability. Start viewing shopping, cooking and doing dishes as acts of love rather than burdensome chores; and you’ll be amazed at how much happier you’ll feel.

REAL Food “On-the-Go”

Whether you’re running errands for the day or heading out for a day of fun, sticking to a REAL food diet when you’re away from home can definitely be a challenge! Here’s some tips to make things easier…

Below are the 4 links to all of the recipes and tips I mentioned in the video above. If you enjoyed this video, be sure to subscribe to my blog (in the left-hand column of this site), so you don’t miss future posts!

1. Grilled Chicken Thighs recipe

2. How to find “additive-free” meats

3. My Book – –  “Eating Additive-Free: Grocery Shopping Guide & Cookbook

4. Homemade Kombucha recipe