Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunflower Power

What a great last day in Santa Cruz!

I woke early and headed over to Kirsten's house for some morning coffee and great company.  Kirsten makes delicious coffee.  She is one of my favorite uplifting people to hang out with.  I asked her if she wanted to go shopping with me for supplies and food before I leave for One Love and she happily offered to do the driving which was super sweet and gave me a chance to see a little more of my hometown before I leave today.
Santa Cruz Light House at Sunset

Pony Park Santa Cruz, Ca Taken by Kirsten
I grew up here in this town of ma and pa stores. One thing I love about Santa Cruz is the lack of big industry stores like Walmart.

Santa Cruz supports local business owners and that rocks!  

Growing up in Santa Cruz was the best part of my childhood.  What a great place for two little hippie girls to run the streets all day.  Being here makes me homesick for my hometown, my friends and mostly my dumb stupid sister.

Shopping for healthy foods is so much easier here because this is a healthy town full of health conscience people.  We went to Staff Of Life for the bin foods, they have plethora of bulk bin items.  I weighed up on beans, soup mixes, oats, fresh pressed almond butter, seasonings and more.  We probably would have shopped more there if they had handicap carts.

Next we headed to Trader Joes for more goodies and found the prices even lower there which was great seeing how I am on a super tight budget.  This is my 3rd month of new food shopping.  The first month it seemed like such work.  If you remember I almost gave up but Self wasn't having that.  The second month was easier but still had it's challenges.  This month was so much easier.  First I went online and printed coupons.  I learned that while Trader Joes does not take coupons they do take manufacturer coupons.  I also changed my thinking over the past month.  Running low on food really sucked so this month I wanted to have enough but do even better on eating right to really get this diet moving.

I decided that I am going to cook 4 large dinners, 2 now and 2 later.  Separate them into dinner portions and freeze them.  I bought fresh veggies that I like raw so I can include raw organic veggies with every meal even if it is just carrots and celery.  Then for lunch I will do the same and breakfast I will make daily.  Every thing I bought was preservative and additive free, yippee!  I will share each recipe as I make it and take pictures and give you the 411 on how they all taste.

All Organic pre-made dinners
1. Tamar's Turkey Con Chili,
2. Split Peas Soup
3. Bean and Vegetable Stew
4. Lelania's SpaVeggi and Meatballs

All Organic pre-made lunches
1. Three Bean One Love Salad
2. Chooglin Chicken and Lima Beans :)
3. Turmeric Turkey Chili

*All Organic Steel cut oats with fresh cut fruit, chopped raw almonds, dates, raisins and coconut oil
* All Organic 2 eggs, chopped zucchini, fresh spinach, diced onions, fresh minced garlic and 21 Seasoning Salute

All Organic Snacks
Sea Weed Snacks (sea weed is a powerful power food)
Honey pretzel sticks
Apples, Oranges, Bananas
Raw Almonds

I am replacing oil with organic coconut oil in fact I will be using it for a variety of uses and cutting pretty much all my butter intake out as well.  Check out for yourself all the benefits to coconut, WOW!

I know I can do this and think having a pre planned menu of less options will make life simpler for me in more ways than one.  I know one thing is for sure while I used to think I couldn't afford to eat better I know now I can't afford to NOT eat better.  If I have to eat the same thing more often to feel better all the time I can live with that, literally. Smile

Shopping Organic at Trader Joes

After loading the handicap cart full of natural organic goodness we got in line and I noticed the flower stand near the entrance of the store.  Warmed with a memory I shared with Kirsten how Tamar and I used to buy ourselves flowers every week.  We did so for years.  It was our little thing to remind ourselves that we were loved by self.  My Sister started this beautiful tradition.

Izzy the very cute checker greeted us as he started to ring up our groceries.  He was super friendly, easy going and full of positive energy.   I was tempted to give him my number, he just seemed like someone good to know.  I have never been good at giving out my number I will have to work on that now that I am trying new things this year. I did give him the blog address so if he reads this he will know I thought he was super cool and cute.

Thank you for making my day!
Just as we were leaving the check stand another very handsome and sweet guy told me he heard my conversation about buying myself flowers and thought I deserved one while handing me a big beautiful Sunflower.  I almost started crying right there, silly I know but I get so touched when someone does something like that out of the blue unexpected like.  Random acts of kindness and generosity touch my heart.  Thank you total sweet stranger who bought me the flower you will probably never read this to know how much you touched me today with your thoughtful gift.

Today has been a day of surprises.  I was a little stressed over how I was going to make this month work budget wise.  When I got to Kirsten's I shared with her how I felt about my budget and the disappointment of spending money I didn't have and not getting reimbursed gas as expected.  We talked it out and came to the conclusion that the Universe will provide all I need.  Tamar called shortly after to tell me that I could come by her work and pick up her credit card and go buy 100 in groceries and put gas in the car to get home.  Thank you Sister, I love you so much.  Thank you Kirsten, thank you Universe.
Pony Park, Santa Cruz, Ca photographed by Kirsten

Kirsten and I enjoyed scrumptious deli sandwiches once we got back here to her house and now I am getting ready to go to Sissy's and drop off her credit card and groceries that I got for her then I am hitting the road and headed back to One Love and Mr. Marley who I miss so much.  But not before one stop in the bay to see Diane who has a present for me for my Birthday, besides I can't miss the opportunity to see Diane I love her to death and back.  Be there soon girl.

I hope you all had a great Monday.  Next Monday is my 43rd Birthday and I am looking forward to turning a year wiser, wink.

Love you all!  Love you Santa Cruz, Dumb Stupid, Kirsten, Dawn, Charles and my niece and nephew for making my visit a super special one.  Kirsten is trying to get me to move to Santa Cruz and I sure would if I could afford to live here.  One day maybe for now I have a Journey to live and plan on living it as if it were my last to make each moment count.

Mr. Marley mama's on her way with dog treats, a new collar and cute lil frog toy woot woot!

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