Category Archives: Shopping


This Year’s Stocking Stuffers

I’m not a huge Disney fan. At all. I’ve never been to Disneyworld and have no desire to go. But there’s one thing Disney does that I’ve taken to heart, and that’s their marketing strategy. You know, the whole “The vault is opening on this movie for only the next month, so hurry and get it now!” thing. (Where exactly is this famed vault, is what I want to know….) Creating this false sense of scarcity and rarity makes people see these movies as special things that must be gotten while they can!

A smart parent will know how to take this strategy and turn it to her advantage. Like with treats. How do you get a kid to think that something that they like but is healthy is a treat? Make it a “special occasion only” treat, or say, “Okay, but only two!” as though you’re reluctantly giving in to their request, and suddenly that bag of pistachios is as coveted as jelly beans.

You don’t believe me? Try it. I swear, it works.

So, it’s in the spirit of this strategy that I’ve selected this year’s stocking stuffers. Other years, I’ve had a thing of stuffing stockings with goodies I don’t always let the kids have. We have chocolate oranges and peppermint bark and Kinderchocolate (it’s a German thing). And I’ve always figured that it’s sweets, but it’s a special time of year so I didn’t obsess over it.

Now that I have a whole new outlook about sugar, however, I just can’t bring myself to do it. I feel like I might as well just pour poison down their throats as to give them all that sugar, and I just can’t do it!

But, since there are things that they like that are healthy, and that they view as “treats” thanks to my Disney-esque treatment of them, I can use those instead! Here are some of the things that are making their way into stockings this year.

honey mints

These honey mints are something I’ve talked about before on here. They have just honey, peppermint extract, and unsweetened chocolate as ingredients, so as candies go they’re not bad at all. I keep a bag on hand so that when I’m having a sweet urge I can eat one and calm it down. Just one goes a long way with me, and so a bag lasts a really long time. I’ve let my kids have some occasionally, but they’re generally “Mommy’s emergency candy” (the kids actually call it that too) so I don’t let them have it too often. But it’s their lucky year! Because each child is getting an ENTIRE BAG of these things in their stocking. They’re going to be over the moon about it.


This might not seem like much, but my kids are crazy about pistachios. Like, really really crazy about them. I usually restrict how many they can eat only because they’re pretty expensive, but because I restrict them, the prospect of an entire bag – each – all to themselves is going to seem like a huge indulgence to them!


My husband often has Altoids, but doles them out pretty frugally, and not very often at all, when my kids ask if they can have one. So I’m giving each of them a mint of Altoids Smalls all to themselves!


These are just for my son, as my daughter doesn’t like them. But my son is crazy about them, so he’s getting a whole bag!

peppermint bark

And…since it IS Christmas, after all, I’ll give each of them a couple pieces of Peppermint Bark. A few pieces won’t kill them if they’re eating mostly non-sugar options, so I’m treating them to some.

Besides these things, I’ll probably also get them each a pack of gum. They’re in the same category as Altoids for being “things that we only get occasionally.”

What are some things that your family sees as “treats” but are actually healthy? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Flaxseed bread

My New Bread

One of the biggest problems after starting this diet was bread. I’d already been buying organic whole wheat bread, but even that has some refined grains, as well as sweeteners, and it wasn’t okay for me to eat anymore. I tried a truly whole wheat bread, but it was so dense and heavy that I couldn’t tolerate it, much less the rest of my family! I probably could have tried making my own bread, but – honestly? – that’s just WAY more work than I’m willing to do. So, I just kind of gave up and decided to stick to my puffed spelt cakes.

But, then I found this bread. And it was at my local regular grocery store, of all places!


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alternate flours

Trying Out Alternate Flours/Pastas

Today I went on a hunt for different flours and pastas, after my experience eating the whole wheat lasagna. I found success at the Amish General Store in the Trenton Farmer’s Market, and Big Bear health food store. If you don’t live around here, I don’t know where to tell you to look for these things, but try health food stores and places like Whole Foods. A lot of times Amish Markets have these sorts of things too, so if you happen to have one nearby you can try it out. Here’s what I found.

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honey mints

Shopping Goodies

I went shopping today. Shopping anymore is adventuresome, and usually involves stops at places I didn’t used to go to as often as I search for alternate food ideas. Today’s visits to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods (which is conveniently across the street from TJs) yielded a couple promising finds!


I found these Dark Chocolate Honey Mint gems at Trader Joe’s. There’s just three ingredients: honey, chocolate liquor, and peppermint extract. Honey is on the list of no-no foods for anti-inflammation, so these aren’t things I can eat a lot of, but it is at least a whole, natural food, unlike sugar, so is easier on the body. And they’re delicious! With no refined sugar in these they might be a good occasional treat!

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