Budget For Organic.



If you shop smart are flexible and open to new foods and prep your food for the week, eating well does not need to be expensive or so time consuming! Let me explain…

Have An Open Mind and Get Creative.

I made the most delicious dinner yesterday with six small blue potatoes from the farmer’s market, one carmerlized yellow onion and about 1/3 of a bag of frozen organic peas. With onions carmelizing in grapeseed oil with a little salt, thyme and a small Thai chili, I boiled my potatoes and drained them in a colander over the frozen peas.  While they sat, I let onions get a tad more brown and finally when all was done, I took my little potato masher, crushed my potatoes and peas in a bowl with a tad salt,  tad butter and some olive oil and topped with carmelized onion and chopped parsley (I already had it chopped and stored in fridge for easy breezy access). This delicious meal was fast, super inexpensive at $4 max and comforting. It was also clean food: no additives, no canola or vegetable oil and lots of nutrients, fiber and protein from those peas. Now that’s value!

If you think outside the box, combine whole  foods you already enjoy and keep it simple, you too can create fast and tasty meals for pennies on the dollar.


Be Versatile, Buy Bulk and Use Your Freezer.

My porridge with buckwheat groats, flax and hemp seeds is a perfect nutrient and fiber rich base that is not only super filling, loaded with heart healthy oils, and inexpensive but also very versatile. Think a breakfast porridge with toasted pecans, maple syrup and fresh berries or a savory porridge with roasted tomatoes, braised greens, fresh herbs and a fried egg on top. Think using this to make a sweet griddled brunch cake topped with warm jam and ricotta or using the base with greens, beans and other veggies for a hefty veggie burger that is loaded with protein. You can even add a heaping tablespoon or two to your favorite smoothie!

Buy these ingredients in the bulk section for super savings and guess what else? This porridge is completely gluten-free, grain-free and tastes great after freezing so make plenty to always have on hand.

Ask For What You Want.

If you engage your farmer, use all the green tops that come with your carrots, beets, fennel and turnips and buy in bulk, the farmer’s market doesn’t have to be expensive. Cook those greens! Also, at the farmer’s market you don’t have to spend more buying everything certified organic. Engage your farmer and learn about their practices and you will come to find out that many are just as sustainable as a certified organic farm but for financial and other reasons, have chosen not to certify their land.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for a few things: Tomatoes for example are super expensive BUT if you don’t mind yours bruised and battered (great for stewing and sauces) then you can get them for so much less if you ask your farmer if they have any because guess what? They usually do and they put them aside for folks just like you but you’ll never know if you don’t ask. This also goes for apples, peaches, avocadoes and apricots and other soft fruits and veggies. A farmer would much rather sell them than feed them to their pigs.

And keep in mikd: Don’t be afraid to ask for a deal on all your farm fresh goodies ONLY if you are buying a lot from one stand. I do not recommend buying one bunch of carrots and asking for a discount because that is not being thoughtful to the expense and labor the farmer exhausts to bring us their bounty BUT if you are buying a few bunches of this, a few of that with some of this and some of that, definitely ask!

Some more tips on shopping the market on a budget courtesy of Food52

Stretch Your Dollar With Animal Protein.

If you still believe that you must eat meat with every meal, you are doing a disservice to your budget and your health but if you must then be smart about it. Eat less and learn how to make it last through the week. One chicken breast can be three chicken salad sandwiches if you add lots of herbs, potato, celery, red onion, carrots and lettuces. Make ragus, soups and stews because you can use more grains and veggies to stretch the dish and favorites like shepherd’s pie and casseroles are perfect budget-friendly meals.

Also, if you are on a budget (or not) never throw away your bones! Make stock to make more meals (soups, pilafs and beans). Less waste + more mindfulness = a little extra for a rainy day.




Life is so fun and I urge anyone who has a dream, big or small, to just go after it without hesitation and without fear. Just know what you want and take a step forward because that alone will catapult you closer to your dream and into a whole new experience.

As you know, my goal with Farmer’s Market Groupie is to set higher standards for how you eat and make healthy living delicious so you are inspired to get cooking. Creating classes and community events that motivate you is key but getting this off the ground posed some financial challenges; a space equipped with a great kitchen, all of the necessary equipment and room for my students to engage is costly, especially if at first no one comes, which is a realistic concern. New ventures take time to build momentum and I had to be smart about this. I knew what I wanted though: a great space with a built in audience where I could refine my technique and point of view in a beautiful farmer’s market accessible location for my clients. I put it out there…

Continue Reading »


I know it was Cherry Festival at Murray Family Farms but honestly, it was the blueberries, blackberries, apriums and pluots that were out of control. There was such abundance of fruit in all shapes and colors that my appreciation was overflowing for the soil in which this fruit grows, the sun and water that nurture the process and the farmers that harvest all the fruit. I definitely cried happy tears. The trees were singing and the berries were smiling in all their plumpness. It was damn cool!

There are a few reasons I created Road Trip Series” First, I want to motivate people to engage  one-on-one and get off their phones and computers to enjoy a new fun experience. I figure if I pick you up and drive, it’s the incentive you need to get you to come out and do something you always say you want to do but never do. Lastly, I created these events because of my desire to introduce you to your community and to your farmers and the people that harvest your food. I believe learning comes easily when having an adventure and the way in which we learn when out and about is much different than having me stand there while you sit there and I tell you how to live your best life. Instead, I know that once your endorphins are running high and the sun is shining on your pretty and handsome faces that you will readily embrace the unknown and begin your new journey toward your healthy lifestyle goals. Do you agree?

Lastly, If you are limited in your access or are really struggling financially and cannot afford to visit a farm or eat locally sourced food, there are a few options. First, for every two people that sign up for a Road Trip Series a third person, young working adult or single parent, gets to come along gratis for the ride. Also, a great way to afford this lifestyle when on a tight budget is to pool resources with your other friends who are also watching their dollars and cents. You guys can shop together, cook together, drink wine together and take little adventures together all while creating the most beautiful and memorable life experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Where there is a will, there is definitely a way so if you would like more advice on how anyone on any budget can enjoy amazing healthy living experiences out and about, feel free to email me at and I will show you the way.

below is a fun photo album from the day visiting Murray Family Farms in Bakersfield. Oh what fun we had. xo




When embarking on something new and thinking how hard it is, remember what it was like to learn anything for the first time and the learning curve and time needed to adjust to your new experience as well as the challenge of unlearning unhealthy habits and rituals that prevented you from succeeding at your goals. Remember how after some focus and dedication, you had your lesson down and moved forward, seamlessly implementing what you learned? Well, this same theory applies to budgeting for and cooking new foods, prepping them for the week, shopping smarter and creating meals your kids will love. It just takes a little time and an open mind.

When it comes to living a happy and healthy life, there are a lot of choices, tons of experts and a lot of fear attached to your food. With companies vying for your attention (and money), each one is upping the other in their marketing of a gazillion terms and products. Clearly the healthy living space is becoming “too much of a good thing”. Yes you want to avoid GMOs, not eat abused animals, eat wild fish, avoid high fructose corn syrup and not throw food away at the end of the week but while your intentions are pure, you have a budget to stick to and all this pressure to do the “right thing” without a trusted resource to help you filter through the madness is fueling anxiety and leaving you feeling defeated before you even start. Continue Reading »

Question mark made of strawberries

For some time, I have been meaning to write this post and just recently after reading an article in The Tampa Bay Times titled Farm-To-Table Restaurants, You’re Being Fed Fiction I knew it was time

As you know I come from a 20-year career in organic beauty. In early 1991 when I decided to create my line, I got down to it and spent the next few years learning everything I could about the business of beauty. My research was vast and began with the who’s who and the what’s what, ingredient technology, packaging and marketing and then I began to hold meetings with the crème de la crème of cosmetic chemists, cosmetic testing labs and the top manufacturers that supplied all the raw materials. After my meetings, I would go to the library to research everything and that is when I learned much more than I ever imagined possible. Continue Reading »

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