Category: Dishes and Dining Around the World


I am very enthusiastic about healthy living and eating a variety of whole foods as well as exercising regularly to feel, look & experience life in the most fulfilling ways. Because of this, I am constantly on the hunt for the latest shop or farmer’s market where I might find the most delicious and affordable selections of fruits & vegetables.

I live in Riverside, CA, which is a pretty interesting place to be for healthy living and the arts. I recently discovered this small health organics grocery store called Goodwin’s Organics and thought I would check it out. Upon my visit, I found this place to be a complete scam. While I love health food and organic grocery options as much as the next health food connoisseur, I really found this place to be a complete rip-off. For people who simply seek a place to shop that offers healthy food options, I find that there is no need or reason why they should have to shop at places such as Goodwin’s Organics only to be over charged for ridiculously overpriced items, offered a slim and sad selection of fruits and vegetables that do not look one appealing in the least and lastly, a small cafeteria style restaurant with overpriced food that any person could, not only cook to taste and be more appealing, but could also make themselves and save money.

Riverside offers a wide variety of options when it comes to healthy living that has nothing to do with shopping at any of these chain health grocery stores that are appealing at first look, but not a good long term option.

Here are a few options to consider INSTEAD of Shopping at your local over priced health/organics grocery:

 

 

Sun Organic Farm is a great option as you can buy online, by phone or fax or even by mail if you wish to do so. They have a wide variety of items, all organic, but the low part about this one is that they don’t carry any produce or meats so you can only purchase dried foods here.

Farm Fresh To You is a pretty convenient option for those who want to go the natural organic route, but have little time to shop or hand pick everything or those who really do not want to cook. Farm Fresh To You has package deal options that you can choose from such as Mixed Veggies Only, Mixed Fruits Only, Fruits & Veggies Mix, and even variants of these for those who want only produce that requires little to no cooking. They even offer healthy snack packs. This farm is family owned and ran, but the downside is that they may only deliver to the southern California area.

 

Shop Organic is closer to shopping at a normal organic grocery store chain than any of these, but I like that they sell a wide variety of items. From personal care products to dried and preserved foods to vegan, gluten-free, raw and kosher foods, Shop Organic has some cool options that are worth checking out.

 

Diamond Organics is a great option for organics. They have a little something of EVERYTHING. The items they have available include produce, meat, dairy, spirits (alcohol) and other various dried, preserved and canned items. They also have a wide variety of meal options available for purchase that include dishes from cultures around the world. They also offer overnight home delivery nationwide.

Lastly, Local Harvest is a great option that helps you either Shop Online if you wish to or locate a family owned farm closest to you. They have family farms across the USA in their directory that are located by plugging in your zip code.

Advertisements

I have recently began reading The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura which, though it was published in 1906, still holds relevancy to the traditions, customs and cultural beliefs in many Asian nationalities around the world. It especially shines light on that of Japanese and Chinese cultures in relation to tea, while enlightening Westerners on the common viewpoints of both respective cultures and is still not so surprisingly relevant to Western/ Eastern relations and common misunderstandings between the two. I find it both fascinating and a little disheartening that the culturally bias viewpoints in this book still exist today, nearly 100 years later. I also find it enlightening, fresh and a very educational piece on the history and evolution of tea in not only China and Japan, but also how it came to the West. The fact that this infectious drink could grab the tastes of the world and be loved by all, shows one very common thread that we all have in common. I highly recommend this book which is saying quite a lot as I have not even finished it yet.

The Book of Tea written by Kakuzo Okakura and published in 1906.

My boyfriend is a diabetic. This means that every time I go shopping, especially if it’s for something sugary, I check the calorie count, carb count, sugar count, etc. If he can’t have it, chances are, I won’t purchase it. So when I found this shaved ice syrup, I was really happy to find a healthy alternative to all the sugar syrups that have ridiculous sugar counts. Not only is this shaved ice syrup reasonably priced from $2-$3, it’s also MUCH healthier for you than the regular shaved ice syrups you would find at Target, Stater Bros. etc. For instance, my favorite, Hawaiian Blue Shaved Ice Syrup 13.05 OZ, is only $3.19 and has only 20 calories and 6 grams of sugar per serving. That means that, plausibly, my boyfriend could have a decent amount of this stuff (he LOVES shaved ice, icees, etc.) and not get sick from it. A healthier, sweet option for your Shaved Ice and everyone you love! AND it’s just tastes better okay!

Check out Shaved Ice Syrup here!

I recently was given one of these energy drinks by my step mom, who said she has them every morning to help get her going. Composed of vitamins B1, B2, B6, Taurine, Ginseng, and other natural ingredients that help you sustain a normal level of energy all day, this drink will not make you crash. I have been drinking these every morning and they don’t give me any of the side effects I’ve experienced with Monster and Rockstar. Side effects that SUCKED and included shaky hands, racing heart, and overall twitchiness. The Lipovitan drink is an energy drink that is popular in Japan and actually tastes really good. It doesn’t have any gross aftertaste that leaves a weird taste in your mouth like Monster does. It actually tastes pretty pleasant, very refreshing if refrigerated, and is really great in the morning. For someone like me who doesn’t really eat breakfast and is always on the go, this is THE best thing to have in the morning when I need to get going.  Comes in two versions: Regular and Sugar Free. I like the sugar free version. Available here for only $1.78 each! Also available in 6 packs at your local Cardenas. May be available on Ebay or Amazon.

If you don’t know what Ramune is, let me enlighten you. Ramune is a Japanese soda that comes in 12 different flavors on Www.AsianFoodGrocer.com. It can also be found on Ebay and at your local World Market or here, if you don’t have a World Market store near you. It is also available at your local BevMo or click to shop online here.

Although the history of Ramune is uncertain and many do not even know where the drink originated from, it has been in Japan for at least 100 years, evolving from a bottle held by a cork to its modern day bottle with its signature carbonated marble.

Imported from Japan, these sodas are a  more natural choice if you want to drink soda without all the crap they put in regular soda. Their flavors include Melon, Hello Kitty, Original, Orange, Peach, Lychee, Strawberry, Raspberry, Mango, Pineapple, and more. My personal favorites are Lychee, Melon and Strawberry. The Hello Kitty line is really cute and good for kids as well as being delicious and a more natural healthy option of soda (if there is such a thing!). These drinks are a great treat for kids at birthday parties or a good non-alcoholic alternative at adult ones. I really like that the soda comes with a carbonated marble that you push into the drink itself to ignite the carbonation. Your drink won’t go flat until you decide to drink it and not only that, but pushing the marble in is actually kind of fun. Asian Food Grocer supplies a variety of flavors/brands all at $1.78 each. YUM!

Click Here for a more in depth explanation of Ramune or Here for a more in depth history of Ramune.

Check this online store out ASAP! I know it’s really hard to find reasonably priced organic food that doesn’t taste terrible or that lies about how “organic” it actually is. My own interests always lead me to asian food stores online because they tend to sell the healthiest items that are not to unreasonably priced. My favorite online asian food provider: Asian Food Grocer.com. This place is awesome. They offer anything from traditional Japanese and Chinese rice to more modern microwaveable (but healthy alternatives!) rice based food plates for those nights you don’t feel like cooking. I LOVE them. They also carry Ramune (my favorite soda of all time. ALL TIME!) in a variety of flavors, some that even include a Hello Kitty label. CUTE! 12 flavors to choose from at $1.78 each. They carry a few options of different kinds of nori for sushi (Nori is seaweed), miso soup, miso paste, and asian noodles. Yay for Ramen and Udon! They carry origami paper, chopsticks and asian style cutlery/plates etc. They also sell Hi-Chew in a variety of flavors and Pocky.

Other cool things about this site include a blog archive of Asian Food Etiquette, Trivia, Traveling and how to shed pounds by eating miso! Yum!

Check out all this online grocery store has to offer by clicking here.