Stevia is a powerful natural sweetener made from the leaves of shrubs in the sunflower family of plants. The steviol glycosides that make stevia sweet are about 300 times sweeter than sugar but have a negligible effect on blood glucose levels, thus making them great for people looking for a healthy sugar substitute. Trader Joes sells two varieties of stevia, Organic Liquid Stevia and 100% Pure Stevia Extract in powder form. (Avoid the larger container beside it, there is maltodextrin added to make it measure teaspoon for teaspoon like table sugar). Both are calorie free and add great sweetness to food or beverages, but use sparingly as they’re much more intense than sugar. As stevia is a natural and organic product, it has none of the harmful carcinogenic side effects of traditional artificial sweeteners like Splenda, Equal or Sweet & Low which are all chemically manufactured sweeteners that are unhealthy and can lead to cancer.

Grass-Fed Beef Meatballs

Grass Fed Beef

Who knew Trader Joe’s carried a range of grass-fed beef? We were browsing the freezer section at TJ’s and to our surprise we found vacuum-packed frozen grass fed beef from New Zealand. They sell ground beef as well as Sirloin and Rib-eye steaks. (Whitney’s petitioning for filets). Grass fed beef is far healthier than corn fed beef, which is sadly the majority of beef sold in US. (Unless it says “grass fed” trust us, its corn fed beef you’re eating). Not only does grass fed beef taste better than corn or grain fed beef, it is also 50% leaner and contains 200% more Omega-3’s than their corn fed counterparts. Grass fed also contains far less saturated fat and has high levels of vitamin E. Grass fed cattle also don’t need all the antibiotics that corn/grain fed do. Corn fed cows need these antibiotics as the corn they are being fed makes them ill as their bodies are not evolutionarily designed to eat corn or grains. These antibiotics thus also remain in corn fed meat but are not present in grass fed. Finally, grass fed cattle farming has a far smaller carbon footprint than the mass corn/grain fed variety. Pastures are perennial and rotated allowing new grass to grow naturally thus having less of a negative impact on the ecosystem.

Salmon Oil Capsules

Salmon oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, a naturally occurring animal fat which provides two important fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which are important in growth and maintenance of the body. Some of the most significant benefits of omega fish oils are to the heart and cardiovascular system. Consumption of the oils is proven to reduce triglyceride levels and increase levels of ‘good’ cholesterol. It can also prevent abnormal heart rhythms and slow the hardening of arteries. Another system that benefits is the body’s joints. Fish oils can help to reduce inflammation of the joints. They are often recommended as a daily supplement for those suffering from different forms of arthritis. In addition, they can reduce inflammation associated with diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, autoimmune disorders and psoriasis. Many people also believe that omega fish oils have anti-aging effects. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to slow the degeneration of protective caps covering chromosomes. This prevents chromosomal damage, the leading contributor to aging. It can also help prevent macular degeneration and preserve a person’s eyesight.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil doesn’t break down easily at high temperatures like other oils do so its great for cooking at high temperature, think Asian Stir Fry. It doesn’t go rancid easily and has amazing nutritional properties. Coconut Oil is an incredible source of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which have been shown to have many health benefits. Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties and it helps in the absorption of other minerals.

Make detoxifying Grinch Smoothie with coconut water. Click for recipe!

Zico Coconut Water

Natures “Gatorade”, coconut water contains a ton of electrolytes and minerals that help replenish the body during intensive exercise. It also has a refreshing flavor and makes a great alternative to sugary sports drinks. Be careful however, only get the natural one, the flavored varieties have a ton of added sugar

21 Seasoning Salute

This awesome seasoning product adds flavor to any dish. Works great as a rub for meat/chicken and is even good in salad dressings. The BEST part is, it contains ZERO sodium. Instead, a combination of onion flakes, various herbs, cayenne, black pepper, different kinds of citrus and garlic provide a powerful flavor punch without the bloating and dehydrating effects of sodium found in many other store bought spice blends.