Healthy Tips From Vitacost: Organic Shopping 101

We hear about Organic foods a lot these days and it can be confusing when to spend a little extra and what you are really getting for your hard earned cash. sent me an excellent guest post to share with you the 411 on how to decipher organics when you’re filling your cart to feed yourself and family. Thank you Vitacost!!

By: +Elizabeth Lotts writer for

The organic versus non-organic decision is still a cart-stopper in the grocery store. Which fruits are healthier when grown organically? Which vegetables? What about that box of crackers? Trying to pick the cream of the crop becomes a chore within a chore when you don’t know the ”why” and “what” factors. All you need is a quick, Organic Shopping 101 course to narrow the selection and get you to the check-out line in record time.

First, determine why you are shopping organic so your selection doesn’t feel so fruitless. If you need to justify (to yourself or your budget-conscious significant other) why you’re spending a little more on certain items, then consider these reasons:

  • Organic means farmers use no antibiotics and no growth hormones, grow produce within sanitary and spacious facilities and use the fewest conventional pesticides
  • No GMOs– organic foods are not genetically modified in any way
  • A smaller carbon footprint–organic farms use the most sustainable methods to promote biodiversity and a healthy eco-system
  • Cleaner water, soil and air–pesticides from conventional farming can intoxicate the water supply, wildlife and the atmosphere

If these reasons don’t inspire you to go organic for every single purchase, consider that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing situation. Just keep in mind that certain conventional fruits and veggies are produced with a high number of pesticides– these, you should buy organic.


– Apples

– Any berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)

– Nectarines

– Peaches

– Pears

– Cherries

– Grapes (imported variety)


– Leafy greens (spinach, kale, lettuce)

– Bell peppers

– Carrots

– Celery

Meat, eggs and dairy: The organic options ensure animals are provided healthy living conditions, organic feed and adequate treatment for injuries or illness. When buying organic in the refrigerated aisles, select “all of the above.”

Crackers, cookies, cereals, coffee and anything else in a box or bag: This is an open-ended question, which means you can pick and choose which of these are better organic based on your preferences of taste, brand, price and/or variety. The same rules apply, though: organic cereals must contain all organic ingredients. If your mixed berry granola claims it’s organic, then it was made with organic berries. (Hint: buy only as much as you need. Packaged goods usually find a place in the pantry for many months, but organic versions have a shorter shelf-life due to their lack of artificial preservatives.)

Your final exam: Make your shopping list and match the items on it with the groceries above. If you study the organic foods and brands you prefer, then you won’t second-guess yourself!

This article has been provided by the folks at who has been selling discount vitamins since 1994. They have grown into one of the biggest online marketplaces for healthy living essentials-with vitamins and supplements being just one of their many helpful categories! They sell everything from Coq10 to Raspberry Ketones.’s customers mean the world to them, and it’s their goal to provide you with the best nutritional supplements, health foods and sports nutrition toarticles on the benefits of probiotics. Be sure to check out Vitacost Coupons for discounts. is not affiliated with this blog, and isn’t responsible for content outside of this article.

Healthy Eating Trends in Restaurant Menus

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance writer and researcher for She contacted me to write a guest post and I happily accepted. I asked Bridget to share about healthy eating trends in restaurants drawing from her culinary expertise. Thank you Bridget!!

Restaurant meals aren’t known for being health food. Most restaurant meals are two or three times the proper portion size and are loaded with extra fat, sugar, and salt to make the food taste good and stay fresh. However, with a growing focus on healthier eating, many restaurants have adapted to the demands of the marketplace and are starting to give their menus a healthy makeover.

Here are just a few of the healthy eating trends in restaurant menus you may have already begun to notice:

Lighter Fare Options

Many restaurants have begun to offer their health-conscious consumers more options for lighter fare. This can include smaller portions of popular dishes or lower-fat or lower-calorie versions of those dishes. For example, you might be able to order that pasta alfredo in a half-portion, or simply order a version that’s made with half the fat.

Look for these options under a special section for healthier fare in menus at the restaurants that offer them.

More Natural, Local Ingredients

The local food movement is growing, and the restaurant industry is responding. More and more restaurants are sourcing their ingredients from local farmers, and they are advertising the practice on their menus. There is also a greater focus on using organic ingredients and on eliminating additives and other artificial ingredients from recipes.

Recognition of Food Allergies

Gluten intolerance has gotten a lot of press in the last few years, and more and more restaurants are now either offering more dishes that are gluten-free or are making note of the dishes on the menu that are naturally gluten-free. Other common allergens are beginning to get similar treatment, including allergies or sensitivities to dairy, eggs, shellfish and peanuts.

More “Healthy” Indicators

As many television shows have pointed out again and again, a dish that seems healthy may actually be hiding a lot of calories and fat. There have been countless stories of a popular salad that has more fat and calories than the steak dinner. To help you quickly understand which options are the healthiest on the menu, many restaurants are now including small pictures indicators next to the items, such as a “GF” for gluten-free or a leaf for vegetarian. Other symbols may also denote heart-healthy or low-fat option.

More Nutritional Information

Some restaurants have gone so far as to list the nutritional content right on the menu, including counts for calories, carbohydrates, fat and more. Even fast-food restaurants are getting in on the practice. While it may discourage you from ordering that giant pasta dish or the heaping slice of cheesecake, it will help you to make healthier choices and to only splurge when you intend to (not because you didn’t realize what you were putting into your body).

The healthy trends in restaurant menus are a reflection of a move toward greater health across our society. As we become better informed about the food choices we make and how they affect us, we can start improving our health and the quality of our lives.

What other healthy trends would you like to see reflected on restaurant menus? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance writer and researcher for, where recently she’s been researching garde mangers. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

Nut-Free Living in a Nutshell

If you have a child with a nut allergy, or you have one yourself, you worry about everything from school lunches to family gatherings—“nut” anymore! While nut allergies can be dangerous, they’re also common, affecting an estimated 3 million people, including more than 400,000 school-aged children, in the U.S. Today, there is greater awareness and recognition of nut allergies—along with more resources and solutions for those suffering from the condition.

Whether you’re allergic, sensitive to or just don’t like nuts, they can be avoided with these basic strategies:

1. Scrutinize labels: Review ingredient lists with an eagle eye. Look for any variety of nuts and/or nut oils, as well as warnings that food products were manufactured in a facility that processes nuts. If your child has a nut allergy, teach him or her how to read labels carefully. Also be aware that manufacturers can change ingredients or production processes at any time. Even if you have used a product for years, scan packaging for information.

2. Wipe it Clean: For those with severe nut allergies, a reaction can occur simply coming into contact with items or surfaces that have been contaminated by nuts. When caring for a child with a nut allergy, be vigilant when he or she plays with other children, ensuring that dishes and utensils aren’t shared. Wipe down toys and tools, and be sure your child washes his or her hands frequently, especially before eating.

3. Fake it: You can still enjoy the flavor and texture of nuts, without actually eating them! The key is to creatively mimic their taste and consistency. For example, old-fashioned oats can make a mock pecan pie seem like the real deal. For a nutty flavor, toast chickpeas and sprinkle with sea salt. For similar nutritional benefits, snack on seeds, or use them in baked goods and other recipes.

4. Bring your own: Headed to the spa? Many massage oils and beauty products contain nut oil. To stay safe and still enjoy a little pampering, bring your own oils, or call ahead to let the spa know you have a nut allergy. While equipment is generally sterilized and should be free from oil residue, mention your allergy to the staff beforehand, so you can truly sit back and relax.

5. Fly without fear: Before you board a plane, let the airline know you have a nut allergy. They will remove all nuts from the aircraft and make an announcement before take-off, so that any nuts carried on by passengers will be removed as well.

Whether it’s a plane ride or birthday party, always give a timely heads-up so the host can prepare accordingly – and don’t forget to show your gratitude. Nut-free living in a nutshell: Be gracious, be mindful and be prepared.

This article has been provided by the folks at has been selling discount vitamins since 1994. Since then it’s grown into one of the biggest online marketplaces for healthy living essentials-with vitamins and supplements being just one of their many helpful categories! You can find out about Gluten Free Diet or get information about the Green Coffee Bean Extract. You will get the best price on vitamins, nutritional supplements, whole foods and diet. It’s goal to provide you with the best nutritional supplements, health foods and sports nutrition to help with your health and wellness. is not affiliated with this blog, and isn’t responsible for content outside of this article.

By: +Elizabeth Lotts writer for

Whole Foods at a Fraction of the Price

I am a huge fan of and I also love whole foods. Read on for more information on what whole foods you can get from Vitacost with just a few key strokes.

Unless you’re talking price, a fraction of something usually isn’t ideal. What is ideal is paying just a fraction of the price for something complete, fulfilling and wholesome. And what could be more wholesome than whole foods?

Whole foods, a term heard frequently these days, are foods that haven’t been processed and contain no added ingredients—colors, flavors, fillers or preservatives. While certainly better for your health, whole foods can strain your budget, especially when they’re organic.

To better satisfy your body—and your bank account—shop at for whole foods in nearly every grocery category. Though we don’t carry fresh fruits and vegetables, at Vitacost you’ll find a variety of certified organic, all-natural, preservative-free options.

And while you might normally have to run to one store for organic foods and another for your gluten-free items, at Vitacost, you’ll find it all. The best part of the whole shopping experience? You don’t have to leave home to get what you need. And you won’t be tempted by processed cheese balls—because we don’t carry ‘em.

Click your way to the checkout after browsing these go-to grocery sections:

Produce: Just as you would in the supermarket, head straight to the produce section and fill your cart with good-for-you fruits and veggies—the more colorful the better. Vitacost offers a variety of canned, dried and pureed organic fruits and vegetables. Many of our featured natural brands harvest fruits and vegetables at their prime ripeness, ensuring you get the freshest possible products. And choosing organic means your produce is grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals.

Dairy: In the Vitacost (non-) dairy aisle, you’ll find a variety of natural, plant-based milks, derived from nuts (almonds), rice and coconut. You’ll also find goat’s milk, which is naturally rich in vitamin D and easier for some to digest than cow’s milk.

Meat: While Vitacost doesn’t carry fresh meat, we have a great selection of natural, freshly harvested fish, including tuna, salmon, herring, sardines and anchovies—plus crab meat, oysters and clams. There’s also organic beef and chicken stock for soup and other recipes. You can also fulfill your protein needs with beans (we carry just about every kind, from aduki to soy) and lentils.

Breads, Pasta & Grains: Spaghetti night just got a lot more exciting. At, you’ll find dozens of healthy pastas, from gluten-free and low-carb to whole wheat and brown rice, which can be enjoyed with homemade garlic bread, prepared from one our healthy bread mixes. Or, choose from whole loaves of bread, rolls, or even English muffins, many of which are gluten free. We also carry organic brown rice, wild rice, couscous and other favorite grains.

Baking: If you’re committed to making your own whole foods from scratch, you can choose from natural flours, plant-derived sweeteners and other baking essentials.

Find your inspiration for wholesome cooking by shopping for whole foods at

This article has been provided by the folks at has been selling discount vitamins since 1994. Since then it’s grown into one of the biggest online marketplaces for healthy living essentials-with vitamins and supplements being just one of their many helpful categories!’s goal is to provide you with the best nutritional supplements, natural foods, sports nutrition and products like green coffee bean extract to help with your health and wellness. is not affiliated with this blog, and isn’t responsible for content outside of this article.

By: +Elizabeth Lotts writer for