World’s Most Unlikely Costco Fans!

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Our tiny home on wheels (click photo to enlarge)

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 last year. 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 30s 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 (click photo to enlarge)

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 (click to enlarge photo)

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!

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The Dangers of GMO Foods: “Genetic Roulette”

Please view the documentary below about the health and environmental dangers posed by the Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs) that have been unleashed into our food supply. The film is available for FREE online until 9-22-12 (likely there will be a fee after that)!! It’s definitely worth the time to watch it….and FORWARD it!!!

Evidence is mounting that GMOs cause gastrointestinal damage (leaky gut) leading to FOOD ALLERGIES and a host of other health problems (e.g., excema, asthma, allergies, autoimmune diseases, food intolerances, birth defects, infertility). According to experts in this film, there are even implications for those suffering with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Some of the most common genetically-modified foods include: corn, soy, sugar beets, canola and cottonseed oil, aspartame (artificial sweetener), growth hormones in milk, papaya, and zucchini squash.

(If the video posted below doesn’t work, please click here to view this documentary.)

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Tour of Our Garden – Sept. 8, 2012

We’ve had quite the drought this summer in Nebraska, but I’m incredibly grateful for everything that’s still holding on for dear life in our garden…How is YOUR garden doing?

WANT MORE?!

“Follow” our blog (in the left-hand column of this site), and we’ll send ya more great tips!

Larabar boycott got you down? Make these homemade bars instead!

Here’s my most recently published article on NaturalNews.com. Recipe is included! Enjoy…

(NaturalNews) As revealed recently on NaturalNews.com, information has  surfaced that consumers have been betrayed by many so called “natural” brands in  recent months. Larabar and several other brands have played an important role in  the natural foods movement by providing convenience foods made from simple,  wholesome ingredients. Unfortunately, many of these brands are now owned by  large corporations that are contributing funds to prevent the labeling of GMOs  in our food supply – an unnatural move to say the least. Consumers who truly  want to know what is in their food and what they are supporting when they  grocery shop, must purchase whole, unprocessed foods and learn to enjoy making  their own homemade versions of these “natural” convenience foods using recipes  like the one for “Pecan-Date Snack Bars” included here.

Eating a  natural food diet can be quite challenging and with so many families adopting  natural and organic diets, there is a growing need for products that consumers  can trust when they need store-bought short-cuts. Unfortunately, there are very  few brands that meet these criteria. And with so few healthful food choices on  the market already, discovering that some of these trusted “natural” brands have  sold out to corporate interest is a huge blow to organic consumers. Larabar is  one such brand whose snack bars consisting of very minimal ingredients  (primarily nuts and dried fruits) have been a favorite of the natural food crowd  for years. While their ingredients are not certified organic, Larabar  does boast on its product labels that their ingredients are non-GMO. But how are  consumers supposed to take comfort in Larabar’s non-GMO ingredients when General  Mills, the company that owns Larabar, is spending hundreds of thousands of  dollars to defeat proposition 37, the GMO labeling initiative, in  California?

To help defend consumers against these hypocritical “natural”  brands, Mike Adams recently issued a boycott  of Larabar and several other brands who are involved in this GMO-supporting  deceit. If you are feeling a little lost without Larabar in your life, be sure  to try this simple recipe below for an even tastier treat: Homemade Pecan-Date  snack bars. Making snacks yourself is a great way to control the quality of your  ingredients, and even a novice in the kitchen can easily whip up the simple  homemade recipe included here. Enjoy!

“PECAN-DATE SNACK BARS”

Makes eight bars

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/3 cups of pitted and roughly chopped Medjool dates

2 cups plain pecans (not roasted nor salted)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350  degrees.

Place dates in a medium bowl and cover them completely with  water. Allow to soak for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, process the pecans in a food processor until they  resemble the texture of breadcrumbs.

When the dates are done soaking,  drain the water. Add dates to the food processor and process with the nuts until  well-combined and dough comes together into a ball.

Line a 7″ x 11″  baking pan with parchment paper – this makes clean-up easier. (Two bread pans  would make a great substitute if you don’t have a 7″ x 11″ pan.)
Press  dough evenly into the pan, pressing firmly with your hands to compact the  mixture as much as possible. (It’s helpful to wet your hands with water to  prevent batter from sticking to your fingers.)

Bake for about 10 minutes,  until the top looks a bit dry. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely  (about one hour).

Transfer bars (with parchment paper) to a cutting  board, and cut into eight bars. Enjoy!

These bars are also delicious when  enjoyed frozen for increased sweetness and firmness.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.naturalnews.com/036834_Kashi_Larabar_boycott.html

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs

About  the author:

Christy Pooschke is the author of “Eating  Additive-Free” – a natural cookbook and shopping guide. If you want to eat  less processed food but aren’t sure what to buy or what to eat instead, then  this book is for you (includes 160 recipes)! Hard copy and e-book versions are  available for purchase on her website at CompletelyNourished.com.  Christy blogs regularly on her website to  teach you how to shop for and prepare natural, additive-free foods. Subscribe  today, and all of her great tips will land right in your inbox! You can also  follow her on Facebook. For folks  who desire a more individualized approach, Christy also offers personalized  Diet Make-Over consultations and personal chef services!           In  her free time, Christy operates CompletelyNourishedCommunity.com – an online  community she created for folks interested in networking with regard to natural  health, green living and positive thinking. The site features 200+ natural  recipes for a variety of dietary restrictions (more recipes added weekly),  natural living videos, forums, discussion groups and more! Join today!        Christy’s passion for eating REAL food was sparked in 2007 when she eliminated  her Fibromyalgia symptoms through  diet and lifestyle changes. Until this time, she had been eating a typical  American diet of boxed dinners, soda pop, candy and fast food; and she was very  ill. Since regaining her health with an additive-free diet, Christy has been on  a mission to educate others about the dangers lurking in their cabinets; and she  has helped people around the world to maximize their health by reducing their  reliance on processed foods.
Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/036975_Larabar_recipes_boycott.html#ixzz24wjdb36p