Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Natural Bug Spray/Balm with Lemon Eucalyptus

I have been seeing LOTS of posts about Lemon Eucalyptus Oil as a natural bug repellent lately.


Here are the recipes I use for natural Bug Spray-- and Bug Balm.  The spray is based in water/witch hazel and the balm is beeswax/coconut oil based.

I did a bit of a mashup of different recipes I found online.

Check out my Instagram to see videos of me making both recipes.

2 oz distilled water
1 oz Witch hazel (real stuff, not the $1 bottle)
30 drops Lemon Eucalyptus oil
10 drops tea tree oil
Mix! Pour into spray bottle.

Bug Balm Repellent

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp beeswax
Melt those two…
Then add…
5 drops each:
Lemon eucalyptus oil
Lavender oil
Citronella oil

Pour into small glass jar and allow to cool for 2 hours

Monday, May 29, 2017

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I got this recipe from Epicurious-- find the original here.

I modified it to the below for my family.

Makes 8 servings


    • 4 medium sweet potatoes 
    • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
    • 1/2 cup red onion, coarsely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 cans black beans, rinsed, drained
    • 1.5 cups water + 1 vegan bullion cube
    • 2 ripe avocados, mashed
    • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
    • 1 cup feta
    • Tortilla chips (optional; for serving)


    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Brush with avocado oil, roast for 60 min
    2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add onion and half of garlic and cook, stirring, until onion starts to release moisture and turns translucent, 2–3 minutes. Add beans, broth, spices, and cook until liquid is reduced and beans soften, about 10 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, mash avocado and lime juice, add salt to taste 
    4. Using the back of a spoon, gently push down in center of potato halves to create a divot. Spoon bean mixture into potato halves, then top evenly with  avocado mixture, feta, cilantro and spinach.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Cabbage Crunch Jr.

Whole Foods has this item on the salad bar I LOVE.
It's called Cabbage Crunch.
It is delicious.
Sometimes they don't have it, so I took a stab at replicating it.  It is almost as good.

1 head green organic cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (Bragg's)
1/8 cup black sesame seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
1/8 cup avocado oil
Real Salt to taste

Mix it all in a  bowl and refrigerate!

Good for 5-7 days-- this picture is on day 6 and still tasted great.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Homemade Granola Bars #2

You may have seen the other homemade granola bars I make on this post.
These are a little easier to make (less steps, maybe 1-2 less ingredients)...

4 cups 365 brand rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds (from bulk at Whole Foods)
1/4 cup chopped salty peanuts
1/4 cup 365 brand light brown sugar

1/2 cup organic applesauce, unsweetened
1 cup 365 brand peanut butter (natural is key)
1/4 cup 365 brand honey
1/2 cup 365 brand mini chocolate chips

Mix first 4 ingredients in large bowl

Add other ingredients and mix very very well

Spread onto bar pan and pack down--- put a sheet of parchment paper over the mixture and really spread it out and pack in down tight (slap it!)

Cut in to 4 rows of 7 and store in refrigerator up to 1 week (probably fine longer than this but may not taste as good)
Taking for lunch?
Put in a  container (not ziploc) and throw an ice pack into the lunch bag

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Peanut Butter Cups

365 brand creamy peanut butter
365 brand dark chocolate chunks

In a 12-count muffin pan, line with paper muffin wrappers

Melt half a bag of the chocolate
Spoon one spoonful into each paper cup and spread out (thin layer)
Freeze 10 mins
Now spread out 1 spoonful on peanut butter in each (on top)
Freeze 20 minutes
Now another layer of chocolate
Keep in freezer up to a week-- enjoy!

Half a bag of chocolate chunks should make these 12 cups

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Emily's 6 Biggest Cost Saving Tips at Whole Foods

Family of 5 on a Budget: 12 meals for $103


5 people. 

$103.  12 meals-- all ingredients purchased at Whole Foods.

I get requests for this all the time... LEAST expensive, but still fairly healthy meals.
I've put together my top 12 inexpensive meals-- all calculated based on Whole Foods prices-- I buy everything at Whole Foods. (Obviously.)

This is 12 meals for a family of 5 using approximately* $103-- so 2 weeks of dinners.
In many cases there will be leftovers that can be used the next day for lunch, or on the 7th night if you want to try to do 7 dinners for $50.

This list was not created in an effort to make sure your diet is well rounded (although it's fairly healthy.)  This list was created for those weeks when you have to get your grocery budget to stretch super tight.  Or, for months when you have an unexpected expense and had to dip into grocery money to cover it--this is for THAT.

When I tell people I blog/Instagram about how to shop & save at Whole Foods, some are really surprised.  Whole Foods often has an unfair reputation as being too expensive.  Sure... if you want to compare buying "anything-goes" groceries to the items Whole Foods allows (at last count they have 81 ingredients banned from being on their shelves), then technically there are many items that are "cheaper" at another grocery store.  But, I stick to a tight budget-- and over time I slowly gave up all other stores for Whole Foods.  (I still buy ONE thing at Publix-- olives.  It's the only 365 Brand item I don't totally love-- but I do splurge on the amazing olive bar when I can.)  But Whole Foods wins out in terms of lower cost for healthy/natural/responsible ingredients.

The reason I'd rather figure out how to shop at Whole Foods is simple.  I would rather pay the farmer than the doctor.  And to get real for a second here--- with healthcare the way it is at this moment-- this is more important to me for my family than ever.  Quality ingredients, sustainable, healthy--- and foods that will improve my health, not diminish it.

Let's do it

All of these are vegetarian, some are also vegan, and some are also gluten free.
Click on the meal to go to the recipe.

Week 1:  (serves 5 people)

1.  Lentil Soup- $7

2.  Quesadillas- $8

3.  Pasta Salad- $8

4.  Barley Soup- $7

5.  Frittata- $8

6.  Shepherd's Pie - $12 (you will have enough to make this again, though)

$50 total

Week 2:  (serves 5 people)

7.  Mac & Cheese- $9

8.  5 Bean Chili- $11

9.  Loaded Baked Potatoes-$9

10.  Pizza- $9

11.  Nachos- $8

12.  Avocado Pasta - $7- boil pasta, top with avocado, salt, olive oil, garlic- simple!

$53 total

I also have a great Split Pea Soup recipe here that costs $6 to make-- you could sub that in for one of the $11 or $12 meals above and the total cost would be even a couple dollars under $100.

Tag me if you try any of these recipe @ilovewholefoods
Eat well & have fun!


*I say approximately because, for example, this week avocados are $1 each at Whole Foods, but in the off season they may be $2.50-- so it's an average.

***The above costs assume you have spices and condiments already.  (Salt, pepper, cumin, thyme, olive oil, etc) Even if you don't have them you could technically make it without-- they'd just be blander!  If you are starting from scratch and have no spices, try to buy 1-2 new species a week if you can budget for it.