Where to find awesome stuff!!
From mapping out macronutrients like calories and carbs, to tracking exercise and fitness, to inventorying your micronutrients (minerals like potassium and vitamins like folate), this wellness-tracking platform does all the "heavy lifting", you just log in what you've eaten and the movement you've done that day. Even better, you can input your own recipes and it will give you the nutritional details (including those important micronutrients). And if a food isn't in their database - you simply input it yourself!
Trusted Resources for Ingredients and Equipment:
This family-owned company is my go-to for healthy, native Pima foods grown right here in Arizona. The nutritional virtues of traditional tepary beans (Bafv) are astounding - they're literally the most nutrient-dense, drought-resistant beans in the world. Grown on the Gila River Indian Reservation, owner Ramona Button and husband Terry were urged by tribal elders to bring back the tepary bean, which had nearly become extinct. Decades later those tepary super-beans are available via their online website (www.ramonafarms.com), along with other wholesome, American Indian grown food products. Though nutrition is indeed important, I have to say, this is also the tastiest bean variety that I've ever had the pleasure of cooking!
Online healthy market that has some of the best prices - and products around. Hard to find no-carb flavored kelp noodles, creamed coconut and excellent priced supplements are just a few items you'll enjoy shopping through. And with a nominal purchase, your shipping will be free!
Based out of Wisconsin, this has been my main source for spices since the early 1990's, and they just keep getting better every year. Two Phoenix and one Tucson locations. Multiple types of cinnamon (my fav is the premium Vietnamese), superb French thyme, and a shallot-based Sunny Paris herb blend that would make cardboard taste delicious.
My go-to store for all things coconut! Best raw coconut chips, flour and so much more. They also have a great selection of other organic products that are worth browsing through.
When you make meals from scratch, it is the little seasoning touches that make all the difference, which is why I use Terre Botanicals Savory Blends. These "infused" ancient pink sea salts are heaven on vegetables - or anything else you'd put salt on. Though there are a variety of offerings, my favorites include the citrusy Lime Sumac, zesty Piment d'Ville, and smoky Applewood Nutmeg. Though I rarely use sugar, when doing so I prefer Terre Botanicals deeply infused versions, like a heavenly aromatic lavender rendition.
Phoenix-Area Specialty Markets
Mekong Market • 66 S. Dobson Rd., Suite 130, Mesa AZ 85202
Great resource for every type of Asian ingredient you can imagine. Head here for all types of rice-based vinegars, sauces (soy, chili, hoisin...), kimchi, nori wraps, jackfruit (canned and fresh), sesame oil, rice, dried fish/shrimp and herbs. Fresh produce is appealing - as are the prices; shop for bulk ginger, shallots, a wide variety of mint, herbs, Asian radishes, chives, fruit (fresh lychee, Asian pear, dragon fruit and more) and these are just a few of the tantalizing possibilities. Huge seafood and butcher counter with very competitive pricing.
Baiz Market Place • 1858 W. Baseline Rd., Mesa AZ 85202 and 523 N. 20th St., Phoenix AZ 85006
A fabulous grocery store specializing in Middle Eastern ingredients. You'll find it all, from produce to full deli and butcher counter, including exotic cheeses, plus a long aisle overflowing with fresh spices and herbs. I love the variety of lentils and dry goods (like dried lemon), canned goods like tahini and garbanzo beans, the water-essences (rose water, orange water, etc.), plus a huge variety of pickled vegetables. My favorite tip is to replace horseradish with finely chopped pickled mango for a zesty flavor-punch.
Superstition Ranch Farms Market • 4755 E. Main Street, Mesa AZ and
7 N. 114th St., Apache Junction AZ 85120
My go-to for super economical produce. A small, family-owned produce and indoor specialty farmers market - and when this place has a sale - it ROCKS. In season, I've paid 4/$1 for beautiful baskets of blueberries - and that's when they're $1.29 per basket in mainstream grocery stores. Expect to find what's in season; they don't offer ads so you have to go to see what's on sale. That said, I've never gone when I didn't find a buy good enough to lighten my step after checking out.
CSA - Community Supported Agriculture
As a CSA member, you can be proud knowing you're the foundation for the success of small, independent farmers, while supplying yourself and your family with healthful local-grown foods. You literally purchase a "share" of the farmer's future harvests, which you pick up weekly or biweekly.
Maya's Farm • or email
Certified CCOF Organic, Maya Daily's 7-acre farm is located on an ancient, nutrient-rich riverbed near South Mountain, which affords her to raise incredible produce, eggs, flowers and fruits. A nurse by occupation, Maya shifted from nurturing people to nurturing the food we consume; she began full-time farming in 2006, and is one of Arizona's rare woman-owned and operated farms. Passionate about small farms, Maya makes it easy for CSA members by offering multiple locations for pickup.
Blue Sky Farms • or email
A highly successful family-owned certified organic farm based in Litchfield, Arizona. Not only do they supply local produce to Arizona's Whole Foods Grocery locations, they offer their lovely crops at the Scottsdale Farmers Market, in addition to offering CSA's. Their popular CSA's are even offered through the Virginia C. Piper Cancer Center at the Honor Health Shea Scottsdale campus.
Native Plant Education - Mark Lewis
Forager extraordinaire Mark Lewis, is owner of Chmachyakyakya: 8000-year Crops, an educational foraging . Desert forager and all-around authority on Southwest desert plants, be it for edible or medicinal purposes. Mark has been giving classes and Walk and Talk tours since 2012, and has been presenting and offering prepared samples weekly each Saturday morning at the “Chmachyakyakya: Thirty 8000-year Crops” booth at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers’ Market. Learn about these nutritional powerhouses growing in our surrounding desert. You can reach Mark at email@example.com
Urban Farm - Greg Peterson - urbanfarm.org
For those who want to dip their toe into the "gardening pond" or just need advice on how to add to (or expand) their edible landscaping, the Urban Farm is the Rosetta stone for growing in desert yards. Whether you're looking for advice on how to choose, plant and care for fruit trees, methods to harvest rain water, or advice on what to grow, when and where, Greg Peterson is an incredible authority, as are all the knowledgeable folks he brings together, adding their individual expertise on everything from raising chickens to composting and natural pest control.