Grocery Shopping at Natural Grocers

Last week Josh and I had the opportunity to attend an event at the now opened Natural Grocers on Val Vista and Williamsfield in Gilbert. This is Natural Grocers 121st store. I also thought it would be fun to share our grocery shopping trip with you and show you what we purchased on this visit.

Natural Grocers Val Vista

Grand Opening Event

The event we attended focused on educating about Natural Grocers and their commitment to quality food and supplements. We were treated to a wonderful meal that included a green salad, chickpea salad, chicken salad, fruit, and the hands down best vegan and grain free cookie I have eaten!

Natural Grocers VIP Meal

Why You Would Want to Shop at Natural Grocers

Natural Grocers does NOT carry products that contain artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. They do NOT sell hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils. My favorite thing about Natural Grocers is not having to search between conventional and organic produce! You will only find USDA Certified Organic Produce at Natural Grocers.

100% Organic Produce - Natural Grocers

They also believe healthy foods and nutritional supplements should be affordable to everyone and they are the low price leader in this industry and they will price match. During this shopping trip we wanted to see what the prices were on items we typically purchase at Sprouts and Whole Foods. If the items were cheaper we purchased them, more on this later.

Things to Know Before You Shop at Natural Grocers

They don’t have a butcher but they do carry Mary’s, Applegate, and several other popular non-GMO brands. The reason they do not have a butcher is to keep their costs down so they can provide better discounts throughout the entire store to their customers. Natural Grocers is also a bagless store. Either bring your own, buy reusables from them, or grab some boxes at checkout to carry out your purchases.

Another point I want to mention before I get to our shopping trip is that each store has a Nutritional Health Coach that is available for FREE consultations to shoppers to answer questions on special diet needs, design eating programs, and can educate consumers on individual health and fitness goals.

Sara is the Nutritional Health Coach at the Val Vista location and has been a dietician for 11 years. She began her career in hospital and clinical settings but soon realized that she didn’t truly believe in what she was being trained to tell her patients about nutrition. She is thrilled to work for a company that wants to promote whole food eating and she would love to work 1 on 1 with anyone in the community looking to better their health through nutrition.

Natural Grocers is very big on community education and has a separate room at the front of the store for this purpose. Be sure to check out their monthly calendar in store to see upcoming events you can participate in FREE of charge.

Our Shopping Trip

Onto our shopping trip! We wanted to really try to stay true to what we would normally buy during our weekly grocery shopping trip. We tend to buy most of our organic meat these days at Costco as well as whatever organic produce they have in stock. In order to give a good idea on what a typically shopping trip would cost we did purchase Mary’s chicken while at the store. We did also buy a few supplements which would normally not be an item we include in our grocery budget.

Supplements

We LOVE Natural Grocers vitamin selection! There many great quality brands to choose from and by far one of the lowest prices for many brands we have seen locally. If you are running low on your vitamins be sure to check out their prices before you purchase at another local store. We ended up purchasing several different supplements along with a body wash and sunscreen on this trip.

While Natural Grocers does carry a plethora of different brands they unfortunately do not carry the major brands that we use in our household. Want to see what supplements we use in our house and why we picked these brands? Additional Reading: Vitamins and Supplements for a Healthy Family

Produce

We didn’t go crazy in the produce department, but we easily could have. All the produce is so pretty and vibrant. Our kids adore watermelon and we snagged up this almost 10 pound organic beauty for $5.63.

Shopping Trip Produce

Meat and Cheese

For meat and cheese we purchased Mary’s chicken, our beloved Applegate Organic Hotdogs (and yes I know they are still hotdogs but if you are going to eat a hotdog this is the brand to choose) they were a full $1 cheaper then what we normally purchase them for, and Rumiano cheese. The cheese was hands down an amazing deal! Each block was $3.99! These typically cost us between $5.69 – 5.99 a block. With the price being so amazing I bought several and put the extras in the freezer.

Shopping Trip Meat and Cheese

Bulk Section and Inner Aisles

And then we came to the bulk section and inner aisles of the store. We really try hard not to go crazy in the inner aisles of grocery store and shop the majority of our food along the outer edges. Which is a really good thing for me because at Natural Grocers my new found favorite cookie dough, Capellos, is in the refrigerated section along the outer edge of the store.

Bulk Foods - Natural Grocers

Some of our favorite brands/products we wanted to mention that Natural Grocers carries are Namaste Waffle and Pancake mix (this is so good and gluten free and GMO free) and Yummy Earth Fruit snacks (the kids love these, the price was $5.69 for a 10 pack, and let’s be honest we love them too). Josh was also really happy to peruse the bulk section and he discovered an assortment of raw/organic nuts and coconut date rolls.

Shopping Trip Bulk Foods and Aisles

Total Cost of Shopping Trip

I am sure, by now, you are all wondering how much money we spent on this little shopping trip. While we only left the store with two reusable bags filled with our purchases and carried out our watermelon we did feel like we still had a very successful shopping trip. Our grand total was $240.78.

Natural Grocers Shopping Trip Receipt

Now this amount also included supplements that wouldn’t normally be on our list and we also were kindly given a $30 gift card after the VIP event that we applied to this amount. If we subtract the supplements, soap, and sunscreen and the gift card from our total our shopping trip cost $141.26.

Final Thoughts and Overall Impression

I do feel like we did get some good deals on products and brands that we normally buy but there were a few items that we typically purchase that we had to pass on at Natural Grocers. We always buy organic apple juice to add to the kids water bottles for flavor but found that because they don’t carry their own brand of apple juice the price on the brands they did carry were more expensive, $10.99 compared to $7.99. So we had to pass. We also buy canned coconut milk for smoothies and breakfast porridge and the canned organic coconut milk was $2.99 compared to the brand we normally buy $1.99.

Our overall impression after shopping at Natural Grocers was a positive one and we will definitely be back. We were happy with our purchases and what we were able to buy at better prices.

1625 E Williams Field Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85295

Store Hours: Mon-Sat 8am – 9:04pm, Sun 8:30am – 7:35pm

(480) 917-9000 | www.naturalgrocers.com

I want to hear from you! Have you ever shopped at Natural Grocers? What is your monthly food budget? 

PS…Natural Grocers also has stores in Gilbert (Baseline/Gilbert) and Chandler (Kyrene/Ray)!

PSS…While we were invited to the grand opening event and given a gift card to Natural Grocers this post was not sponsored or solicited. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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3 Biblical Reasons to Take Care of Your Body

What motivates you to take care of your body? Here are 3 biblical reasons to take care of your body that personally motivate me. Fitness, just like anything, can become an idol if you allow it. By shaping your worldview around what the bible says,taking care of your body can be another act of worship.

3 Biblical Reasons to Take Care of Your Body

TAKING CARE OF OUR BODIES GLORIFIES GOD.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. -1 Cor 10:31

God created your body. He wants you to take care of it. Illness, disease, and death are going to happen. No one, not even Christians are immune to it. It doesn’t matter if you tithe your 10%, give a little extra, serve in a ministry, and honor your spouse. Life happens, everyday, all the time. There is only so much we can do to take care of the bodies we have.

Self care is a discipline. It takes dedication, time, and effort to grocery shop, cook healthy meals, and workout. Just like reading the bible, praying, and tithing are considered spiritual disciplines, the process of taking care of your body to glorify God is also a spiritual act. More on this also in the next section.

JESUS DIED SO YOU COULD LIVE.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. -Romans 12:1

This reason is super important so don’t miss it. Your life has a purpose (Jer. 29:11). It is easy to go through seasons of our lives on autopilot missing all the good God has placed around us. I am totally guilty of this. Any other moms to little ones agree? I can become so consumed in my own little world that I miss opportunities that I could have been used by God to bless another person.

God is whispering to us all the time. It is a matter of deciding who we will pay attention to. God’s whispers or the enemy’s lies. I have battled with anxiety and can happily say that God has given me the power to overcome my anxious thoughts by leaning on Him and being in His word daily. Read my post 10 Bible Verses for Anxiety. Doing this wasn’t easy and it took time, prayer, and effort on my part to say NO to lies I was hearing and to start allowing God’s truths to permeate my life. By listening to the enemy’s lies I was not being able to live out my purpose for God, instead I was in a place of constant fear.

By taking care of our earthly body we have the potential to be God’s hands and feet here on earth. Our spiritual, physical, and mental health need to be aspects of self care that we evaluate on a regular basis. Exercise for the purpose of maintaining the health God has given you is not vain. It is one of the ways we can show God, and be a witness to others, that we care enough about the body we have. By keeping God at the center of everything we do, even exercising and at meal times, we are ensuring that our bodies do not become a stumbling block for us but another way to give glory back to God.

Make no mistake about this. Living an unhealthy lifestyle has the high probability of ensuring you less time with your loved ones and less time to make an impact for Christ to others.

THE BODY IS GOD’S TEMPLE.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. -1 Corinthians 19:20

The Holy Spirit lives in you. Our bodies are a gift from God and do not belong to us. As Christians we need to realize that our bodies are on loan to us until heaven. If a friend loaned me an item that they greatly valued, they would expect me to return it to them in the same condition. They would be hurt and disappointed if I returned it to them destroyed. Shouldn’t we as Christ followers view our bodies with the same care and respect we would for a friends treasured belonging?

With social media and fitness magazines constantly blasting us with before and after pictures and telling us about the latest diet craze it can be challenging at times to remember that taking care of your body needs to remain rooted in God. NOT what the media says. If we rely on the quick fixes of this world we miss out on the power that comes from asking God to give us the spirit of self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Today is the perfect day to start making healthy changes. Start small and don’t try to do everything all at once. Get out for a walk everyday, drink more water, up your veggie intake, or eat your meals at home. And just to clarify, eating meals at home means cooking the meals, not ordering in ;). Small daily changes over time can add up to huge health benefits a year from now. Most importantly remember this about your body…

God created. Jesus died for it. The Spirit lives in it. So we better take care of it. -Pastor Rick Warren

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How I Got a Flat Tummy in 30 Days!

Want to know how I got a flat tummy in 30 days? Me too! I would love to know when the results shown in the photo below never happened to me in 30 days.

Over the weekend I received an email from a fellow blogger, thank you Sia, notifying me that another blogger was using one of my before and after photos to promote a 30 Day Ab Challenge for a flat tummy. The image was quickly gaining traction on Pinterest.

How I Got a Flat Tummy in 30 Days!

This made my jaw drop. I felt like I had finally made it as a “blogger”. My work was stolen and used without my consent.

And just so we are all clear on my work here, I mean selfies taken on my iPhone in the bathroom mirror.

I know it is probably lame that I got excited about this, but what is it that they say about flattery? 😉

Anyway, as flattered as I am that someone used my photo to promote their fitness challenge, I wish that my image had not been used in this way.

THIS FIRM FLAT TUMMY IS NOT FROM A 30 DAY AB CHALLENGE

I highly dislike the idea of people seeing that picture of my midsection and thinking that by doing a 30 Day Ab Challenge they can achieve those same results. Let’s chat about the photo for a second. Here is the original. As you can see the dates had been cropped out.

Before-After

These two photos were taken 18 months apart. Not 30 days. This before and after photo was 547 days in the making.

In October of 2011 I had just found out I was pregnant. There was no flat tummy happening for numerous months between these photos.

I exercised throughout my entire pregnancy and my diet was very healthy. I also taught several group fitness and yoga classes weekly.

After my son was born I updated my progress monthly but two years ago decided to remove most of those posts for fear of my images being stolen to promote products I don’t use or believe in. My 10 Month After Baby Stats post is still published if you would like to read it.

On a side note, this photo created quite the controversial stir back in May of 2013 when I guest posted on FitLife.Tv. The majority of the comments about my article were not about the article itself but targeted this same photo. You can read all about this in my post The Problem with Body Bashing.

I did not do a 30 Day Ab Challenge for these results. When I workout I don’t ever focus on only my “abs”. I do however work my core and focus on all the muscles from the shoulders down to the quads.

I do NOT think there is anything wrong with my before picture. I love my flat tummy in both photos and I love my tummy now.

HOW TO SPOT A FAKE

I also really dislike the fact that the image was used by another “personal trainer” to promote themselves. There are tons of fitness bloggers on the internet who claim to be a personal trainer yet do not share how they are certified. This is a huge red flag. If a trainer is not forth coming in a Bio or About Section of their blog or website on the certifications they hold do not look any further into buying a program from them or paying for online coaching. This industry is super competitive and trainers pay $$$ each year to keep their certs current and have liability insurance. Legit trainers have certs and will place that information in an easy to find location on their website.

The next time you see a before and after picture that looks a little to good to be true, it is probably because it is too good to be true. Many supplement companies and fitness brands grow because of the success they have with sharing before and after photos. While reputable trainers and fitness bloggers use their own clients before and afters there are many Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook accounts who are looking to promote their at home business by “stealing” someones hard earned before and after photo.

Before you Pin, Share, Double Tap, or Buy when you see another before and after photo determine first if it is from a legitimate source. Please remember, a firm flat tummy happens over time and with consistent effort and dedication both in the gym and in the kitchen. Not from being able to copy and paste a photo of another persons hard work.

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