Weekly Vegan Grocery Haul + Meal Plan |3|

Hello again! I’m quite liking this series and hope you are too. It’s nice because it’s intentional. It makes me slow down and take stock of what I’ve bought and plan to do in the coming week. A good reflection process, and it’s allowed me to narrow in on what doesn’t really need to be bought (to save on the budget). Bye hummus, lemons, and limes!

Albert Heijn and Jumbo

Sorry, got these two mixed up since I did the shopping at the same time! But I would say: 80% from Jumbo and 20% from Albert Heijn.

Produce: bananas, ginger, frozen fruit (mango, pineapple, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries), spinach, apples, zuchini, and passion fruit.

Dry goods: chia seeds, nuts, lentils, pasta, granola, buckwheat flour, oatmeal, maple syrup, rice, peanut butter, and pasta sauce,

Other: tempeh (what category does this go in?!)

This was a good week! I only spent 59 euros here even though I felt like I stocked up on a lot.

Farmer’s Market

If you checked out my post from yesterday, you know it was a beautiful day at the Farmer’s Market! I swear, not much else makes me happier than a sunny spring Saturday.

I picked up: beets, broccoli. cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes.

All for just 15 euros! For organic, local produce, I consider that awesome.

That means I spent 74 euros, equaling 37 euros for each of us. I’m happy with that! We each may spend another 5 euros later in the week picking up more milk or pasta sauce, but we’ll see.

Meal Plan

Total creature of habit…

Breakfast: banana + cacao oatmeal with hemp + pumpkin + chia seeds, blueberries + raspberries, and peanut butter.

Lunch: Smoothie bowl + granola.

Dinner: (like last week) a variety of grains + a veggie. Keeps things super simple and affordable! If pasta, we just use pasta sauce. If rice or quinoa, I mix in fresh ginger and turmeric. And of course, tempeh!

Snacks: sweet potato fries, nuts, apples, and passion fruit.

Have a wonderful Sunday, and let me know if you have any questions!


Weekly Vegan Grocery Haul + Meal Plan |2|

At the Rijksmuseum earlier today!

Happy Weekend, everyone! You know what that means…I finally have enough time off from work to leave my computer for more than 30 minutes – ha! I tend to do all big tasks over the weekend, as I find that makes me a lot less stressed during the week. Plus, nothing makes me happier than prepping things for the work week on a weekend, hence grocery shopping.

My girlfriend and I are keeping it pretty simple this week in terms of meals since we both have a lot going on. As such, we’re using up a ton of remnants in our pantry (think – quinoa, rice, pasta, lentils) and tried to stock up on just produce.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know we went to a painting class at the Rijksmuseum today (Saturday)! It was such a cool experience that got both of us out of our comfort zone and creative juices flowing. The one downside was I missed the farmer’s market I raved about in my last grocery haul. No problem for one week – I simply bought more produce at Albert Heijn (they have more organic + better quality options in this category over Jumbo).

Onto the haul!

Jumbo

I did most of my shopping here this week.

Produce: apples, broccoli, limes, lemons, bananas, ginger, mangoes, avocados, lettuce, and a ton of frozen fruit (raspberries, blueberries, mango, cherries, pineapple).

Let’s get a closer look!

Dry-goods: nuts, rice, oat milk (organic Oatly is the only brand I buy if I don’t have time to make my own since it only contains water + sea salt + oats), bread, popcorn kernels, dark chocolate, cinnamon, and a wheatgrass powder for smoothies.

Other: hummus and tempeh.

I spent approximately 60 euros here this week – pretty good and on track!

Albert Heijn

Produce: spinach, cauliflower, two zucchinis, and (more) broccoli.

Dry-goods: pasta, coffee, cauliflower, (more) peanut butter, and pasta sauce.

I spent 16 euros here, which brings the total weekly spend to 77 euros (38.5 euros for each of us).

Meal Plan

You will soon begin to see I’m a creature of habit! But I think that’s okay as it makes eating healthy not too overwhelming. Find what you like and stick with it!

Breakfast: banana + cacao oatmeal with hemp + pumpkin seeds, blueberries + raspberries, and peanut butter.

Lunch: avocado toast with chickpea mash + smoothie (banana, mango, pineapple, cherries, wheatgrass powder, and spinach).

Dinner: a mix of many things this week! It will be a grain (quinoa/pasta/rice/lentils) + large serving of vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini) + tempeh.

Snacks: nuts, apples, homemade popcorn, and chocolate.

I guess you could maybe call this a “Lazy Vegan Haul”! I’d love to know – do you stick with your favorite meals week after week or do you need more variety? Breakfast + Lunch is where I’m a creature of habit, so I try to incorporate some variety into dinner mostly.

Disclaimer

So. Much. Plastic. Ugh. How do you shop without plastic + keep your grocery bill down? There’s an awesome bulk store close to me, but I’ve tested shopping there and it’s regularly 2-3 euros more expensive for the exact same thing/amount at Albert Heijn or Jumbo. Maybe that’s just an Amsterdam problem. I’m still on the hunt and mission to improve!


Ten Thoughts from a Wednesday |1|

I love this series on a favorite blog of mine, so I thought I might try and recreate it on Coco’s Wellness! Here’s ten thoughts from this week.

one.
I’m voting today – in Dutch elections! This is incredibly exciting for me and something I’ve never done before. I learned since moving here that since I am an EU citizen and Dutch permanent resident, I’m eligible to vote in certain, smaller elections (plus a larger EU one in May). Even with the language barrier, I did my best with studying the different parties and having my partner explain the process to me and how to understand the ballot. I have no idea if it will be in English or not…I’m off to do it early today as I have an afternoon packed full of work meetings.

two.
Yoga. And Yoga Teacher Training. I missed out on a YTT I was due to start this month after realizing my shoulder was definitely not as strong as I hoped. It was a humbling realization, and I was sad to say no to something I had so looked forward to. I’m doing less home practice and more studio practice now to make sure I’m pushing and challenging myself in the right ways. Even with just a few weeks of this, I’m starting to feel progress on my pesky shoulder. If all goes well, I’ll instead be doing a summer intensive course!

three.
Deodorant has always been a struggle for me. I struggled to get off the conventional brands, and when I finally did two years ago (praise!), I’ve since dealt with extreme sensitivity to natural deodorants. I still can’t quite figure out if it’s a baking soda or essential oil sensitivity. I’m much hindered by the fact that my natural deodorant options are quite slim here in the Netherlands. I’m planning to stock up on this Primal Pit Paste option when home in America in two weeks as I had some luck with it last time!

four.
Speaking of America, I will be home for a super quick weekend (Thursday-Monday) for a doctor’s appointment relating to my whiplash injury. Particularly my right shoulder and chronic pain spots on my back. Though flying across an ocean for a doctors appointment might seem crazy, this has become my life the past 1.5 years! My best health insurance is still in America + the doctors I went to see right after the accident. For this particular visit, my hope is to get an MRI for better clarity on what’s going on underneath the surface. As frustrating as it can be sometimes, I take each small step forward as a blessing, and I try to never lose hope that I someday won’t feel this pain – and can do my chaturanga in peace, for example! (I’m planning to do a more thorough blog post on the injuries I have and what I’ve done over the past 1.5 years)

“Mini” afternoon tea at Koffie ende Koeck

five.
Three words. Koffie end Koek. I’ve been addicted ever since I discovered their vegan croissants two weeks ago! Since then, I’ve been back multiple times for croissants, scones, sandwiches, and coffee. All INCREDIBLE. Just this past weekend, we went for a mini afternoon tea! If you’re in the Amsterdam area, I highly recommend.

six.
At this point, I shouldn’t be surprised by how environmentally conscious the Dutch are (their whole biking + small house + lack of consumerism mentality is shocking to my American self!), but I did get so happy to see the above boat cleaning out the canals earlier this week! Unfortunately, in my opinion, it’s the tourists who can have a lack of respect and that’s how the majority of the trash ends up in the water.

seven.
I’ve been wanting to try collagen for so long after hearing every blog + Instagram rave about it! However, I was always under the impression it wasn’t vegan friendly (it’s derived from bovine). When I was perusing Thrive Market for things to stock up on when in America, I came across this plant-based version! Still contemplating given the price-tag, but I’m just so curious to see what all the hype is about.

eight.
Totally off-topic, but I’ve been in love with Billie Eilish’s music lately. I find her voice so soothing and relaxing. Personal favorites: when the party’s over, bellyache, and idontwannabeyouanymore.

nine.
Do you constantly have a full Amazon cart of things you want to buy? Please tell me it’s not only me! A few things in mine: this face serum, this book, and this superfood.

ten.
My favorite saying on Wednesday: “Tomorrow is Thursday, which means the day after that is Friday, which means I’m excited.”

Happy Wednesday, everyone!


Why I Do What I Do | FAQ!

As a long time blog enthusiast, I never enjoyed finding a new and exciting blog and having to hunt down an FAQ on the author. I enjoy connections through social media the most when I feel like I have a decent understanding of the person on the other side of the screen, so this is me saying “Hi!” as my first blog post!

First, the basics. My name is Coco, I am in my mid-twenties, an expat living in (and loving!) Amsterdam, and I work in the tech industry by day. Wait…hold up! Tech industry? And you have a health and wellness blog? And you’re an aspiring yoga teacher? My interests have always been hugely varied growing up, and it never seem to wane as I matured. Hence, the dichotomy!

My favorite city in the whole world!

However, I know with yoga and intuitive, healthy eating I have found my passion – and so much more. It’s a way of life for me that goes far beyond the duties of a job. I feel called to share the insight and body peace I have found through this lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong. It was not always this way! As with most teenage girls, I had a youth fraught with an unhealthy food relationship. I agonized over my body image and yo-yo-ed in weight, and I constantly beat myself up over it. On the surface, it looked like I ate “healthily”, but depending on the season, I was either eating way too much processed food or not enough food at all.

In my early twenties, there were two significant events that flipped my body image and eating habits on their head. First, I was in a traumatic car accident (hit by a delivery truck going 50mph) that left me nearly immobile with pain for months – debilitating neck and back pain, intense migraines, blurred vision, limb numbness, and more. It happened months before I was due to start graduate school in London, and I suddenly wished I could turn the clock back on every moment I had taken my previously healthy body for granted. Chronic pain is a bitch. Chronic pain when you’re 22 almost felt like a death sentence.

Thankfully, I didn’t give up and cave to the pain. I did have to massively adjust my life and I still massively adjust my life to this day. But I attended rigorous physical therapy, took up gentle yoga to relax and re-strengthen my tense and torn muscles, and I started thinking deeply and introspectively about how I could best preserve my health and mobility given the circumstances.

Enter in significant event number two: a plant-based diet. I read Michael Gregor’s famous book “How Not To Die” around the same time, and it was the final straw in shifting my mindset. I no longer looked at food as something that was either going to make me fat or skinny. I looked at is a source of nutrition, fuel, and immense healing properties. I began asking myself the question, “is this going to aid in my recovery and prolong a healthy and active lifestyle?”. If the answer was no, it got ditched!

The same happened with exercise. I was an avid runner before my accident, and in the space of a second, I was left with an injury that prevented me from running for 1.5 years after! Yes, 1.5 years! The intense movement caused pain from my lower back through my neck. This is where I rediscovered yoga from the advice of a few close friends. Moving my body gently has become the single most quick way to alleviate an aching back or tense neck. Kinked my neck in a weird way and feeling pain? 20 minutes of yoga. Back pain after finishing up my work day? 20 minute walk around the block.

The chronic pain never made me want something so badly as a “normal” life again, and I’m so happy that I found food and exercise as my “medicine”. I learned to treat my body kindly, and I’ve never looked back!

My goal with Coco’s Wellness is to educate and open minds to the way we should be treating our bodies – not as a number on the scale or some vehicle to get me from bed to work to couch to bed again. We’re so much more than that, and I don’t want it to take a traumatic accident for more people to realize!

Our bodies do so much for us, and I am huge advocate for holistic, functional health and medicine to keep them in top-notch shape and up to the task of doing what we love. Everything from exercise to work to travel, all the way to climbing a flight of stairs to learning a new language to chasing after a toddler. Ultimately, long and happy lives! I want to be the 90-year-old still going to yoga class and not forgetting a single persons’ birthday or name!

I plan to share information on a plant-based diet, recipes, non-toxic products, yoga, holistic medicine, and everything in-between. Thanks for coming along!