Food and Healthy Living Basics

When I first started switching over to a healthier, more natural lifestyle, one of the first questions I had was where to find the best options for real food ingredients and natural products?

Over the past several years, I’ve tried many different natural options and it took me awhile to find the brand and products that worked well for me and that met my standards for being real, simple, and natural.

I’ve put together a collection of my favorites all in one place. These are the ones that I use on a regular basis and recommend, whether you’re just starting the transition to living a more natural lifestyle or whether you’ve been eating “real” for a while now and are looking for something new to try that might suit your needs even better.

You might be able to find some of these at health food stores or possible even at a regular grocery store. If you can’t find them near where you live, though, or if you just like the convenience of shopping in your jammies, I’ve included links to where you can find them online.

Note: Some of these links may be affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission if you decide to buy any of these items after clicking on my link. The cost for you remains the same, though. And you have my old-fashioned word of honor that I only link to items that I personally love and feel good about recommending to you!

Herbs and Herbal Products:

Mountain Rose Herbs has a big variety of herbs to choose from as well as herbal tea blends, culinary spice blends, oils, beeswax, hydrosols, salves, and even containers to use for making your own homemade herbal products.

Shop their selection here:

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 Natural Whole Food Supplements:

Perfect Supplements is a great source for organic, high-quality, whole food supplements from a variety of natural brands.

Find them online here:

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Thrive Market:

Shopping online at Thrive Market is a convenient way to get foods from your favorite natural and organic brands at discounted prices:

Learn more here:

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Pantry Staples:

Real Salt Sea Salt

Real Salt comes from a mineral-rich salt deposit in central Utah, and it’s naturally speckled pinkish color is because of the trace minerals that are part of the salt. It has a really nice flavor, and I use it for both cooking and baking.

Find it Online Here:


 

Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips

These chocolate chips are dairy, nut, and soy free so they’re perfect if you’re avoiding any one of those common allergens but still want to be able to eat chocolate chips or bake chocolate-chip cookies for your kids (or yourself!)

Find Them Online Here:


Powered Gelatin

In the past, people who ate soups and stews prepared with traditional collagen-rich broths and stock had a lot more gelatin in their diets than many of us do today. Great Lakes gelatin is made from healthy, humanely-raised animals, and there are a couple of different options to choose from. My favorite is the collagen hydrolysate (green canister) because it’s cold-water soluble and won’t clump up if you want to use it in cold water. The kosher beef gelatin (red canister) is a good option if you want to make something like jello that needs to gel and solidify.

Find It Online Here:


Real Food Snacks:

Jovial Organic Einkorn Cookies – Ginger Spice

I love these cookies for times when I want something a little bit sweet to have with a nice cup of tea in the evening but don’t have the time to actually make a batch of cookies myself. These have only a few simple and organic ingredients, so they’re basically like homemade but without the work ­čÖé

Find them online here:


Equipment:

VICTORIO Hand Operated Grain Mill

This grain mill is the one I’ve been using for the past few years. It’s a great option if you’re not quite ready to spend the money yet on an electric one but still want something that will work well and be sturdy enough to last for awhile. I’ve been very pleased with the quality of this one and with the flour that I’ve been able to make using it.

Find It Online Here:


Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware is a staple in any old-fashioned, real food kitchen. Cast iron was the cookware of choice for centuries and a well-seasoned skillet is the original “non-stick” pan. The best type of cast iron are the skillets that have been well-used and handed down for decades, but if you don’t have a hand-me-down skillet like that, there are modern skillets that are good quality too. I like to having a variety of sizes so I can have a larger skillet for cooking meals or making skillet cornbread, a medium one for re-heating smaller portions of food, and a mini one for cooking a single-serving egg.

Find Cast Iron Cookware Online Here:


 

Mason Jars

When you start cooking real food the old-fashioned way, you end up with a kitchen that’s overflowing with Mason jars! I use Mason jars for just about everything – making jam, storing pantry ingredients, keeping single-serving portions of soup in the freezer, packing snacks or lunches, etc. The sizes that I use the most often are the 4 oz. jelly jars, the 1/2 pint, pint, and quart sizes. I also like getting the 4 oz. and 1/2 pint jars that are freezer-safe so I can store food in the freezer if I want to.

Find Mason Jars Online Here:


Dressing Your Truth

The Dressing Your Truth program is one I’ve written several posts about because it’s been such a great experience for me. I’m always a little bit hesitant to call something “life-changing” because I know how cliche that sounds, but this program is one that really was a life-changing experience for me. It’s changed the way I shop and the way I view the clothing in my closet, but it’s also changed the way that I know and understand myself.

The basic idea is that you dress so that your clothing matches the truth of who you are as a person. I had so much fun learning about the different Types of Beauty and finding out which one I was! You can read more about my experience with Dressing Your Truth in these posts: