Monday, October 19, 2015

My VitaCost Cart (+ $10 off for YOU)

Hey Fit Fam,

One of my favorite places to shop is VitaCost. I had no clue what VitaCost was until I started on my dedicated fitness/healthy life in early 2014. I started seeing so many fitness peeps post about shopping there for random food items (Umm ... hello chocolate chips made with STEVIA.) But you don't have to be into fitness the way some of us are to benefit from this site. You can get lots of great items for much cheaper than anywhere else! Plus they carry all sorts of organic/natural brands that I never see anywhere else. I'm not an organic shopper but if I can get it for cheaper .. why not?!

One downfall to shopping online is always shipping. But with VitaCost if you plan your shops for every few months then you will likely get free shipping because your order will be over $49 bucks! Plus their shipping is really fast! I always get my box of goodies within a few days! One other thing I love about VitaCost is that they also email out great discounts ...almost daily. I also discovered a little trick! Once you are a customer with an account ... I've found that if you sign in, shop and leave your shopping cart open for a couple days  ... they sometimes email you a 10% of coupon code to get you to "check-out"  :)

My order isn't the same each time ... but here are a few things I picked up this go-round! I am also including WHY I purchased them -- because I know many of you will email and ask :)

1 - Coconut Flour:  Now that I use Flexible Dieting, I am not restricted to grinding my daily oats into flour as my only "carb source" I use in my "Basic Batter Base" for things like my Mug Cakes and Waffles, etc.  I've started using other HEALTHY flours! I use at least one serving of coconut flour everyday, either in my AM mug cake, pm waffle or other healthy dessert creations! It has about 4.5 carbs per tablespoon... but most of them are from fiber!! So using this flour has really helped with me getting in my daily fiber needs! Only downfall ... I haven't perfected using this type of flour yet. I do know from the info under product description and some research (thank you Pinterest) that coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture ... so I never use it alone. I always combine it with other flours -- like almond flour, protein powder and/or ground flax or ground oats! They say use 1/4 to every 3/4 of another flour. I never use that much flour so I just guesstimate and am still learning the perfect ratio! Coconut Secret was the first brand I picked up a couple years ago and have been using it since because it's so cheap. I almost got another brand when at Trader Joe's this week .. but I happened to look at the Macros on the other brand. I don't know how (cause the serving size isn't different) .. but the Coconut Secret brand has way better macros than the others I have seen. So I'll be sticking with THIS ONE! VitaCost also has it on sale right now!

2 - Cinnamon:  But not just ANY cinnamon!!!! I probably need to do an entire blog on this one. But here we go ...

I use cinnamon on probably 3 of my 5 meals a day. Maybe even all 5. I'd say I take in a couple tablespoons a day. I've purchased cinnamon on vitacost before because you can get big bags for cheap! BUT this last shopping "trip" .. I noticed all the different KINDS of cinnamon they offered. Some were MUCH more expensive than others ... so I decided to do some research. I"m glad that I did!! While you never know how accurate all these "studies" are .. there are TONS of them out there with some pretty reputable backing that say that the type of cinnamon we typically buy in the store is made of something that may not be the best for those of us that consume 1 TEASPOON or more daily!! Yes .. only 1 teaspoon!!! I bet I consume 1-2 tablespoons a day!! You can read about why here and here.  I decided to fork over double the price (about 22 bucks) and get the Ceylon Cinnamon instead. Anxious to try it! Reviewers said it's much more sweet making it great for things like baking! Since I use it in my mug cakes, waffles, oats, shakes, etc. -- this should be perfect!!

((Typical Cinnamon purchased in store on left .. Ceylon Cinnamon from VitaCost on Right)) 

3 - Coconut Aminos: Love stir fry? Me too and this is THE soy sauce alternative! For a long time I only used Bragg's Liquid Aminos and I still do. But since I have discovered Coconut Aminos I use it much more! Especially on days that I use other high sodium condiments .. because coconut aminos has less sodium than Braggs. And NO it doesn't taste like coconut :) It is salty like soy sauce but also a little sweet .. so so so good!!! Aside from being soy free and gluten free .. coconut aminos are low GI and packed with minerals, vitamin C, and B vitamins. As the name suggests, it is high in amino acid, containing 17 different types. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and are essential to our health and nutrition. Get ya some .. now! But like all condiments .. watch that serving size :)

4 - Probiotics:  Okay. So I have regularly taken probiotics for over a year now. I started out with a brand recommended to be best for me. They were SUPER expensive and I was getting them at Whole Body. I finally found them on VitaCost and they were cheaper. But when I ran out this go round I didn't pick any up .. and guess what .. I didn't notice ANY changes. I still believe that probiotics are very important .. especially for those like me with endless stomach issues. So I did some research and picked up a different brand this time that have RAVE reviews and are MUCH cheaper. SO we shall see!

5 - Vitamin C: I take it twice a day. No explanation needed :)

6 - Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate Chips: I won't use these very often. Maybe 1/4 of a serving here and there, but considering the macro difference in these and the typical chocolate chips you get at the grocery store .. it's worth the 6+ dollar splurge!! They don't taste any different and with no SUGAR .. they are a win for sure!! I use them in my waffles, oats, protein ice cream, etc! I need to just toss my tollhouse ones because I'll never use them again!

7 - Walden Farms Pancake and Caramel Syrup: Yea, yea, yea. "All the chemicals". Well not exactly. Turn the label over and look at this one and look at other sugar free syrups that still have carbs and calories. Walden Farms actually seems to contain better ingredients than the other ... and has zero macros (except sodium.) Many of the WF products taste like crap .. but some are down right A M A Z I N G!!! I can NOT live without the pancake syrup, chocolate syrup and caramel syrup (in that order.) Also I've yet to try one of the salad dressings that I don't like ... and the bbq sauces are decent. These are not as good as the Lynchburg Diabetic friendly one I get at Kroger (only select stores have it) or the Hughes one you can find at RANDOM Wal-Mart stores (they don't have it at any of mine .. so I can never find it) .. but it will do! There are certain things I will NEVER waste macros on no matter what all these health/organic/no chemical peeps say - and syrups/condiments are one! If they are all chemicals .. then I guess GIMMIE THE CHEMICALS -- LOL!

8 - Liquid Stevia:  For whatever reason the Kroger brand that I usually get .. has been SOLD OUT almost every time I shop! This can't happen because I use it ALL DAY - in coffee, teas, shakes, mug cakes, oatmeal, etc. I've tried MANY other unflavored liquid Stevia brands and I never like them as much as the Kroger brand for some reason? But they are over 3bucks for little tiny purse size bottles. So ... I searched "Liquid Stevia" in the VitaCost box and ... boom! This one had amazing reviews from people that like their stevia really sweet .. but unflavored (that would be me.) It was around 7 bucks .. but for almost double the size of the small kroger brand ones I get .. so it ends up being about the same price. I personally have to use a few good squeezes for it to be sweet enough (not the 10 drops or whatever it is they suggest) ... but that is probably about the same amount of the Kroger brand I use. Very similar taste .. maybe a TAD less sweet! Most people RAVE about Better Stevia because you get the flavor and the stevia ALL IN ONE (which they sell for much cheaper on VitaCost btw.)  I just prefer having unflavored on hand so I can add it to my Starbucks creation and also because I drink a variety of coffees and use a variety of flavored (sugar free) sweeteners pending my mood :)

I picked up a few other things but those were my staples this go round!

Want to save EVEN MORE money?!?! You can get $10 bucks off your first order if you create an account!  Just use this link instead of going directly to the webpage! You should be emailed your coupon code when you sign up. If not .. give it a couple days and then look in your "promo pocket" upon logging in!

** I'm not some VitaCost ambassador and they certainly aren't paying me to post this, lol. They don't even know I'm posting this blog. I just want to pass on the savings to my followers :) Sooo.... Happy VitaCost shopping!! Be prepared to spend lots of time on the sit, lol. They have SO MUCH STUFF!! You can even get things like quest bars, quest chips, coffee, etc., for MUCH cheaper than most stores! Just use the search box and you will probably find just about any food, supplement, vitamin, spice, etc., that you are looking for!

Eat Clean. Train Dirty.

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