In case we haven’t met,
I’m Tasha. I work too much, sleep too little, have a husband, a grown son and a pre-teen daughter, am dealing with more of my share of stress, do not make Oprah type money, just turned 40, have had a hysterectomy and am staring menopause dead in the face, teach fitness classes and personal train for a living, have a schedule that would make your head spin and do it all on a plant based diet.
That’s a mouthful.
Because of these reasons, I am VERY CHOICY about what I eat from where. That’s not to say I won’t have me a piece of vegan cake when offered every now and then but I have, most definitely, been referred to as a “food snob.” Call it what you want but I know that my food is key to dealing with my energy, hormones, fitness performance, weight loss and stress. There is just no way around that. I have goals. I want to be stronger, leaner and less stressed.
Can anybody relate?
And because I am on a budget, I have to make smart choices. I mean, I love avocados but the way I eat them I cannot spend three dollars on one. Do you know what I can buy with three dollars?
Three cans of organic black beans and four instant oatmeal cups at ALDI.
Last year, I took a couple of my girls to ALDI for them to experience what it was like to shop in a store that, in my experience, had always been deemed “low budget, low quality.” It was a MIND BLOWING experience for all of us. You can read about it here.
This time, I went shopping alone, for myself.
I was in a rush and I needed to get in and out.
First off, the store is clean and everything is clearly marked. The only thing that distracted me was the wine. I really tried to convince myself that a basket full of wine could have solved all of my stress problems and this trip could have been over. I opted to not buy the wine but I just wanted to be honest and say I thought about it.
I decided to tackle my biggest problem first: BREAKFAST. I usually have to be at the gym by O Dark Thirty and no one in my house is awake at that time. I try to make smoothies in my Ninja that I keep in the garage sometimes but often I just need to grab “something” to take with me to eat after I’m completely awake. I went straight for the oats. Overnight oats is always a great option (never heard of them? Check Pinterest!) and steel cut which I have put in the crock pot overnight and scooped out in the morning. ALDI has an AMAZING gluten free line, as well as a fit and healthy line and organic line! I found oatmeal bars, trail mixes, nuts and things to go with my banana or fruit in the morning.
I also found coconut oil to go with my Dandy Blend coffee substitute. Score! I need my healthy fats! It was $5.99. DOUBLE SCORE!
As I made my way around the corner, I found my staples for the cheap: tri-colored quinoa, brown rice spaghetti, lentils (yes, I eat carbs for energy and I love EVERY bite!) and then that’s where I found those organic black beans on sale and the oatmeal. I started doing the Nae Nae right there in the aisle (if you know me then you know I’m telling the truth). I found fire roasted tomatoes and tomato paste on sale (chili, anyone? Quick dinner idea when you are short on time but need something filling) and found some high protein wraps (the closer I get to menopause, the more protein I need. I did NOT say eat carbs all day every day). I made myself a vegan BLT with some stuff already had at the house when I got home that afternoon. (By the way, did you know ALDI sold sriracha?)
On the snack side (heavy snacker over here), I got these big bags of popcorn that weren’t too high calories (got microwave popcorn for my kids even though they are eating my bags) and some edamame that I can steam right in the bag (did I mention I’m short on time?). I packed my car with some items so I can stop making it rain all over town buying food when I’m out teaching all day. I’ve been eating really good and healthy without going broke all week. I even bought a reusable salad container to use for the salads I had planned to make with the spinach, arugula and baby lettuce I bought. Maybe I was too ambitious because the container is still in the pack but, honestly, sometimes I just stick my hand in the bag and eat my greens plain. Maybe #HealthyHardCore should be my new hashtag?
I have A LOT going on and I need to be simple and smart about my choices. I don’t need a lot of fanfare, just a place where I can get great quality food for the best price. ALDIgets better EVERY TIME I go. I don’t want to pay for decoration. Just give me the basics. I think this is true for our goals as well. Everything is so shiny and we reach for the glitter but the truth is if we define where we want to go and focus on getting from A to B instead needing to worry about everyone else’s A to B or all of the distractions in between, we can focus and get there faster.
And I just automatically feel better when I save money.
Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine” and I’m starting here, trying to climb each mountain, one small step at a time.
Here’s your chance to let ALDI be a part of your goals! (Want to learn more about them? Connect with them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and their blog!) Tell me in the comments what your biggest goal is and what you’d really love to buy at ALDI to help you meet that goal. One winner will be selected and awarded a $50 gift certificate to ALDI. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Good luck!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by ALDI. However, as always, all opinions are truthful and are my own.