When I first started switching to a healthier lifestyle, one of the first questions I had was where to find the best sources for real food ingredients and natural products?
Over the past several years, I've tried many different options, and it took me awhile to find the brands and products that worked well for me and that met my standards for being real, simple, and natural.
I've put together this collection of my favorite sources all in one place to share with you, whether you're just starting the transition to living a more natural lifestyle or whether you've been eating "real" for a while not and you're looking for something new to try that might suit your needs even better.
These are all online sources, so if you like to shop in your jammies like I do, then these sources have the convenience of online shopping but still have the quality we're looking for in natural and "real" foods.
Note: Some of these links may be referral links. This means that I get a small commission if you decide to buy something 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!
Shopping online at Thrive Market is a really convenient way to get foods from your favorite natural and organic brands at discounted prices.
Thrive Market carries over 4,000 different products from the top organic and non-GMO brands, so you can find all of the same healthy food staples that you would buy at a health food store but for a 20-25% discount, plus you can have them delivered to you rather than having to go out shopping (which is awesome for those cold winter days when you don't feel like leaving the house!)
Thrive Market is a little bit like a Costco where you join their membership program and pay a small fee (it ends up being less than $5 a month), but you get such a good discount on the stuff you buy that you end up saving a whole lot more than the cost of the membership.
You can learn more about how Thrive Market works, plus get a free 30-day trial and 15% off your first order by clicking the link below:
Perfect Supplements is a great source for organic, good-quality, whole food supplements from a variety of natural brands.
These supplements are whole food supplements, so they are the kind that are basically like eating healthy foods, but just in a form that is easier and more convenient to take. This makes them a much more natural option than supplements that were synthetically derived in a laboratory.
You can learn more about all of the different supplements you can find at Perfect Supplements by clicking the link below:
Cultures from Health offers several different types of natural cultures and starters if you want to try making your own healthy cultured foods at home.
Some of the cultures they offer include cultures for yogurt, cheese-making, sourdough bread, kombucha, kefir, and buttermilk.
Real Salt Sea Salt
Real Salt comes from a mineral-rich salt deposit in Utah, and because it is unrefined, it has naturally-occurring trace minerals. It also has a great flavor, and I love to use it for cooking and baking.
Theo Dark Chocolate
I love this chocolate, and I'm basically addicted to it. I have it multiple times per day, but it's all organic and fair-trade and made with just a few natural ingredients, so I consider it a healthy addiction! All of their flavors are good, but my favorite is the 70% dark chocolate.
Great Lakes Gelatin
Gelatin is rich in collagen, and Great Lakes gelatin is made from healthy, humanely-raised animals. The green can (collagen hydrolysate) is cold-water soluble, so you can add it to any liquid. The red can works like regular gelatin to gel hot liquids.
I love using organic einkorn flour for baking, and einkorn is the oldest variety of wheat. Einkorn wheat is an ancient grain that hasn't been hybridized like other modern wheat varieties.
Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil
I like using this kind of coconut oil because it is organic and expeller-pressed but it has a nice neutral scent and taste, so it's great for times when you want to use coconut oil without the coconut flavor.
Cast Iron Skillet
A cast iron skillet is a quintessential part of any old-fashioned kitchen. Cast iron was the cookware of choice for centuries, and a well-seasoned skillet is the original "non-stick" pan.
I've been using this hand-operated grain grinder for the past several years. It's a good option if you want something dependable to grind your own grain at home but don't want to spend the money for a more expensive electric grinder.
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.