10 Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Have you ever heard of Apple Cider Vinegar? I was really oblivious to this miracle worker until one of my holistic and nutrition savvy friends introduced me to it a few years ago, and wow, what a game changer! There are so many benefits to this product that I wanted to share the ten benefits I found to be more helpful in my everyday usage to hopefully help you be your best you too!

1. Facial Cleanser & Toner

If you mix one part apple cider vinegar with 5 parts of fresh water, you get a fantastic skin brightener and ph balanced solution for your skin! This solution has been known to help clear up any acne you may have, and has also been known to remove warts and moles too if directly applied to the source.

2. Weight Loss & Detox

If you mix a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a cup of warm water daily, the benefits can be tremendous. Not only are there cases of this being great for weight loss, it can also clarify and remove toxins from your body. This can also help improve circulation and help clear out a sore throat too if you have issues there too.

3. Energy Boost

One of my super healthy friends loves to make a smoothie daily with yogurt, fruit and veggies. He sometimes adds chia seeds, apple cider vinegar and flax seeds to it to further increase energy in the morning. I would recommend giving this a shot as it helps to replace a daily coffee or tea with more natural energy.

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4. Odor Neutralizer & Disinfectant

Have a shoe closet or entry way that smells odd? Have you tried wiping it down with a mix of apple cider vinegar and water? The initial smell is a bit pungent, but after this dries it should have a much more neutral smell to help clean your home.

5. Weed Destroyer

If you mix a few pints of Apple Cider Vinegar with a quarter cup of salt and two teaspoons of dish soap, kiss your weeds goodbye! This is a more natural way to manage your weed issue without the use of nasty pesticides that could poison your garden or plants nearby.

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6. Diabetes Prevention & Circulation Improvement

There has been tests to show that drinking apple cider vinegar overnight can reduce your blood sugar and also improve circulation. Also regular exercise and improved diet can help with this too, but this could help your current reoccurring issues.

7. Salad Dressing, Sauce & Soup Enhancer

Great news is that you can mix apple coder vinegar in your favorite salad dressing, sauce or soup and it gives it an instant flavorful brightness yoy and your family will appreciate. I add it to my homemade italian dressing and barbeque sauce, it gives it a solid kick for a notch up of flavor!

8. Deodorant

I wouldn’t recommend replacing your daily deodorant now, however if you are almost out or all out of your deodorant, try rubbing a little half and half apple cider vinegar and water action to your armpits to make them smell neutral. Make sure you let it dry before putting on your shirt to prevent from staining!

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9. Bad Breath Remover

Gargle with a little bout of apple cider vinegar with water and kiss bad breath goodbye! Always floss and brush your teeth daily, but test this out after you eat some garlic and you will be happy with the results!

10. Digestive Aid

Adding a little apple cider vinegar to juice or water can help give your stomach the acids it needs to be on your A game during the work week, especially if you have an upset stomach after eating fried or heavy foods.

Happy Drinking, and cheers to good health!

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10 Salty & Sweet Snacks on the Whole30

Guys!  I just had a great lunch and was really craving something sweet!  In the past I would just have a cookie or a potato chip snack in my office, but now that I am on the Whole30 I need to be prepped with better choices to make sure I remain compliant and stick to the plan of doing my best.

I wanted to share 10 different healthy choices that I have used as a snack and you can too.  If you are looking to do a sugar free diet too, this should help guide you on your way!

1. Organic Blueberries

I love blueberries especially when they are super sweet!  Typically if I am not in a rush I will try one blueberry out of the plastic canister first to make sure it is OK.  If it is nice and sweet I will take them.  Some people like the bitterness of them so that is fine too.  Whatever floats your boat!  They are good to have on hand as you go about your day!

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2. Coffee with Coconut Milk, Cinnamon and Nutmeg

OMG, in the middle of the day I am always super tired!  I love to freshen up with a nice cup of coffee.  This gives me a boost as I get into the end of the day as I finish up the rest of my work.  I also add in the full fat coconut milk, as it is a great substitute for a sugary creamer as the sugar and dairy really help you pack on the pounds!  To give this a little kick, I add organic cinnamon and nutmeg to it as well.  I also heard the Nut Pods brand and the Bulletproof coffee brands are really awesome too!

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3. Organic Apple Sauce

As long as there are organic apples without any added sugar you should be good!  Just check the packaging and nutrition label before you buy as you could end up with something not compliant which would stink.  You can make a homemade version yourself too if you have time on your hands which is awesome but time consuming.  I find it more convenient to grab this right off the shelf and eat it when I can!

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4. RXBar without added sugar

These bars are excellent and many of my friends are really into them as a snack or as a breakfast as a whole.  There are wholesome ingredients that are mostly Whole30 friendly but make sure you check the labels before you leap.  They pride themselves on no B.S., meaning no BAD STUFF! 🙂  Super cheeky and trendy.

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5. Pistachio Nuts with Sea Salt

I love these nuts!  These always remind me of Christmas time as my mom used to get all of us these fancy Zenobia pistachio nuts that we would always eat way too many of and get a stomach ache!  LOL!  Just be sure they are organic and made with sea salt!

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6. Grapes

Goodness gracious great balls of grapes!  I carry a sack of these at a time as they are filling when you eat a lot and are a good substitute for a sugar snack.  You can use green or red grapes as long as they are organic you are all set.

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7. Larabars 

Compliant ones only folks!  Make sure you check the label ahead of time, but if you are confused at which one to choose, check out my article here for guidance.

8. Bananas

Again check to be sure they are organic, these are fine to eat once in a while as you stay compliant on the Whole30 diet.

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8. Blackberries

I used to steal these from my neighbors bushes on Long Island as a kid and it was amazing!  I think they must have seen us there but never gave us a hard time.  It was a free snack! LOL!

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9. Flavored Seltzer, La Croix, Canada Dry, etc.

As long as there is no added sugar here, you should be just fine.  I like to cut a lemon and squeeze it in there too to make it extra delicious!

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10.  Sliced Watermelon & Raspberries

Surprisingly this is a delicious mix, add a squeeze of lemon too and you’ll be in heaven!

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Fried Bratwurst, Eggs with Potato Brussel Sprout Hash Whole30 Lunch

Sounds delicious, right? You bet your damn britches it is! Just made this bad boy for lunch and what a joy. It was actually enough for my next meal too, to those who are doing the Whole30 diet.

For those that are looking to get on the Whole30 diet, I would definitely recommend going to Whole30.com where you can see the rules and regulations to make it a success. Meal planning and food prep is a big part of the plan so make sure you have done a good week or so worth of food shopping to make it happen.

Here are some shots of my ingredients for lunch below:

 

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To start, defrost the Bratwurst Chicken Sausages under the faucet if frozen and you are hungry.  If you have some time and are ready to wait around for an hour or so to defrost be my guest.  In a pan on the oven, if you have bacon fat lying around light that up and throw in the eggs and defrosted Bratwurst links.  I then added chopped potatoes and the brussel sprouts whole.  Post cooking you can chop everything up into a hash mix or just eat as is.  Plated version below along with the pan version so you can follow along.

Not sure about you, but I love how the eggs crisp at the bottom!  It is so yummy!  I then sprinkled everything with a little bit of Himalayan salt and the end to give it a little more of a flavor kick.  Great part about this meal is that I made enough to last me through tonight!

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Happy eating!

Whole30 Bacon Wrapped Asparagus – OMG so good

I finally decided to start my second round of Whole30 this week! It took me a while to get into it again as I have had a busy month preparing to switch jobs. Good news is that I will be joining a new company at the end of the month! Excited for a new start in the new year, and ready to kill it!

In the meantime, I needed to do a big Whole Foods trip this morning to have me prepared for meals as I get hungry or thirsty. Many of you that know about the Whole30 know that success is achievable when you are prepared, and shopping for the week is really key in staying motivated and ready for your next meal.

Right now I am drinking two lemons cut up in a La Croix Grapefruit can as shown below:

And I just made this fabulous dish of bacon wrapped asparagus that was amazeballs! Normally I don’t like to eat asparagus as you know, your pee smells afterwards. It is gross. Y’all know what I am talking about! Either way I was craving some bacon which is like the cake of the Whole30 diet in my humble opinion. I bought a bunch of asparagus and uncured sugar free bacon this morning, see below:

This Wellshire Sugar Free Bacon packaging is genius as so many people are test driving the Whole30 diet now and thebsugar free aspect is right in the title. So easy for a consumer to know it is without sugar! So many other items in the supermarket has hidden sugar or cane juice in it and you would never know. This diet makes you check labels which is good to know what you body is taking in. For me, this diet has helped me realize the negative effects of sugar and wheat. My sister actually was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease growing up, which is gluten and wheat related from what I remember, and I have a feeling I may have it as well in a less prominent way. Either way I gained around 5 pounds a month after I stopped the Whole30 first round, abbreviated as R1D30 for the cool kids.

Good news is I am starting again to get to my goal weight of 155. I am 165 now. Ideally I would like to be a 135 lb super model bit guess it is not in the cards. 😂😃😎

Below is some shots of my asparagus that I wrapped in bacon and baked in the oven at 300 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes and then 500 degrees fahrenheit for 10 minutes at the end. As you see it came out looking pretty fancy:

I literally broke the asparagus and separated it in bundles. I cut each piece of bacon in half and then wrapped them together, placing them in a pan with a little bot of water on the bottom and olive oil on top. I think sprinkled Himalayan salt, black pepper, and garlic powder on each bundle and threw in the oven. This would be great as a side to a main fish, steak or chicken dish if you are having a dinner party. If you are having a cocktail party, best to cut the asparagus and bacon in half so your guests can just pick them up off the plate.

More shots below:

I would also make sure you plate it nicely for presentation to really wow your guests!

Off to do some house chores like cleaning Nutella off the carpet (yeppers momming is real) but wanted to share! Hope you like it and have a great night!

🙋‍♀️💃✨🦄🐒🎉👍

I Cheated on the Whole30

Ug.  It’s been tough starting the second round of the Whole30 diet.  This time around I had a few dinner parties to attend and blew it as I drank wine, plus my dinners out and about in town definitely had sugar somehow as the meat I ate was not uncured and organic.  On that note I am prepping for a restart tomorrow.  Buggers.

What was on my grocery list to restart?  Glad you asked!

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  • Russet potatoes, for what you may ask?
    • I can always stab with a knife and put in the microwave for 10 minutes at work, bringing along Tessemae’s Ranch Dressing to top it with, along with some Himalayan pink salt.
    • I use these for mashed potatoes during the week.
    • I use these as roasted potatoes, french fries and/or potato chips during the week.
    • I use these as a breakfast potato hash.

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  • Kale
    • I roast this in the oven for Kale Chips.
    • I use as a salad for lunch.
    • I use in a dinner side on the pan with olive oil.

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  • Cherry Tomatoes
    • I use in the salads for lunch.
    • I use as a snack during the day raw.
    • I use as a side cut up for salsa, and dip with homemade plantain chips.

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  • Plantains
    • I slice these up and either bake in the oven and use as chips or put them on the stovetop and eat them as a dessert.

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  • Eggs
    • I eat 3 eggs every morning sunny side up.
    • I boil eggs as a salad topper if I am in the mood for it.

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  • Grapes
    • Anytime snack.

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  • Apples
    • Anytime snack.

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  • Chicken Breast
    • Top it with garlic powder, black pepper, Himalayan Pink Salt, paprika, red chili flakes.

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I can’t believe I blew it, but time to start again in the AM.  It is harder for me to start this because I already lost over 10 pounds so feeling better, but still not to my goal.  I have to imagine how I will look and feel after the weight loss, which is one:

  1. More confident.
  2. Pretty.
  3. Crazy.
  4. Sexy.
  5. Cool.

Did you get that TLC reference?  If not here you go:

Have a great night!

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Whole30 Lunch – Homemade Baked Potato Chips with Boiled Eggs and Tessamae Ranch Dressing

2018!  I am on Round 2, Day 2 of my Whole30 diet.  First round last year I lost 13 pounds, and looking to lose 10 more this time around.  I have to admit I gained 3 pounds or so since my last round.  I haven’t had raw sugar however I did have non-compliant meat and dairy products sparingly.  I think this had to do with the weight gain.  Also it is that time of the month as a woman, so typically I gain at least 5 pounds of water weight.  Crazy I know, but I am hoping this was the reason for the weight gain too.

Day 2 of the Whole30 and the menu I have had thus far consists of Kale Chips that I baked in the oven at 425 degrees fahrenheit, and actually only drizzled some olive oil on top with Himalayan salt and pepper.  I didn’t have a full breakfast this time around so by lunch I was ready to feast!

For lunch, I am doing hard boiled eggs and potato chips.  To make the potato chips, I sliced white potatoes thin, all the same size.  I drizzled them with olive oil, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper, saving the Himalayan salt for last.

Once I put them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes I worked on the hard boiled eggs.  I put them in cold water on the oven, and made 4 but only was able to eat three.  I kept them on the stove for 10 minutes boiling and then turned the heat on low to have it simmer there for another 5 minutes.  The inside of the yolk was still not all the way cooked, but I like it like that.

I added my favorite dressing that is Whole30 compliant, which is called Tessamae’s Ranch Dressing.  It is Whole30 approved on there website here: www.whole30.com, and they have others too like Caesar, Hot Sauce, Ketchup and more.  I found this in the vegetable section of my grocery store Ralph’s, but you could find it in the salad dressing aisle too.

I have to say it was so delicious, and even my picky eater of a toddler loved it too!  Obviously they are not officially on the diet, but here and there they get adventurous and try new foods which is amazing.

Enjoy your lunch, and hope you try it! 🙂

Denny’s Friday Night Family Dinner

Happy Saturday everyone! I am happy to announce that my husband was able to convince me to go to a restaurant with the boys last night after work! It is super scary as the kids can be so unpredictable sometimes, but we were able to successfully eat an entire meal and not get kicked out! 🙂

 

My husband went buck wild and ordered the chocolate milkshake, banana salted caramel pancakes, that came with two eggs, hash browns and sausage, where I ordered the eggs and hash browns alone since I am on the Whole30 diet.

 

Luckily the hostess sat us right by another table of kids, two boys actually, so Pierce was closest to them and had fun with the little boy sitting in back of him. It was really cute as the neighbor gave him a goldfish of his, which was super sweet as he was starting to get a little antsy.

 

Good news is that we were all able to sit through one of our first family dinners outside the house in a long time. It is nice to know that Denny’s is very kid friendly so you can go with your children, nieces or nephews too! They have crayons and puzzles for them to work on too as the meal is being prepped by the chef. They also had sweet and low and sugar packets and maple syrup to which the boys were counting and trying to eat too.

 

Our waitress was very friendly and accommodating and we were happy to have a full meal there without them running out of the booth, crying, causing a scene, etc. For some time we were avoiding family dinners outside the home for this reason. It is unnerving to have to put them in a public situation as you know with kids they can be very unpredictable.

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Another great thing about Denny’s was the arcade games for kids in the front. One was minion related which was perfect for my boys as they love Despicable Me 3. So they were watching it and then watching the other game too, where they were excited to engage with it as we were waiting to be seated, along with catching them for a second time on the way out.

 

We ordered french fries and ketchup for the boys which is their favorite! We also were excited to be out on a Friday night as most of the week is the same old schedule, so great to mix it up.

 

I would highly recommend Denny’s as a reasonably priced diner to take the kids to when you are looking for something new and exciting to do with your family too.

 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! LATER! 🙂

Take Back Your Mojo via our Whole30 Dinner – Mojo Cubano Marinated Pork

I have to admit I have never been to Cuba, but I would really love to visit now that it is open to Americans to come in and stay! I hate to drop the Kardashian’s name in it but I saw them visit and Jezebel wrote an article about it here. Too funny!

I am always looking for new Whole30 recipes and now that it is the new year I am more determined to be creative with my meals. It is easy to fall into the monotonous cycle of food, so I knew that when I started Whole30 I would become a better chef. In gardening, good gardeners have the green thumb, in cooking, I have the opposite! LOL! I always seem to burn, or under, or over cook, and just the act of cooking more has made me more present when I cook, despite my two little boys running around the kitchen. I have to say my cooking skills are like a C+ right now, better then the D- I had before.

Onto the recipe, this came out excellent! Normally on the Whole30 diet you cannot drink juice however you can cook with it. This was the first time I cooked with juice and it really added a tangy and bright flavor.

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Ingredients

• ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ cup lime juice
• ½ cup orange juice
• 1 teaspoon of lime zest
• 1 teaspoon of orange zest
• 6 garlic cloves, chopped up finely
• 1 ½ cups of cilantro
• 2 tablespoons of oregano
• 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
• 1/6 cup of mint leaves, chopped up finely
• 1 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt
• 2 tablespoons of black pepper
• 2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder, in one piece

Instructions

STEP 1 – Add the cilantro, mint, garlic, orange juice, zest, lime and orange juice, oregano and cumin to a bigger ziplock bag and add the pork. Mash it around so that all is mixed up and coated nicely. Place in refrigerator and let sit overnight.

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STEP 2 – Preheat the oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit. Place a wire or cooling rack in your baking pan and take out the pork, leaving the marinade in the bag. Add the salt and pepper to the pork now, and add 4 cups of water to the bottom of the pan, then drop into the oven for 35 minutes. Bring the temperature down to 400 for an hour. If you are fancy and have a meat thermometer, inside temp of the meat should read 170 when ready.

STEP 3 – Pull out and let cool for 40 minutes before slicing, this allows the juices to redistribute to make sure you have the perfect texture! Carve and serve!

My mother used to make pork at home but would use a BBQ sauce which was nice. I will try to find another Whole30 compliant recipe and will share soon!

Bon Apetito!

Whole30 Dinner – Spicy Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots

You guys are in for an extra special New Year’s celebration meal!  This was a nice comfort meal I made yesterday which made all members of my household happy! 👍😄

It does taste as good as it looks!

Ingredients

  • 3 Organic Chicken Breasts
  • 1 bag of Organic Mini Carrots
  • 3 Russet Potatoes, Organic
  • 4 tablespoons of red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tablespoons of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 2 cups of wwater
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk for potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of ghee for potatoes

Instructions

STEP 1 Peel potatoes, chop in half inch thick slices to cook faster if you are hungry. Put in boiling water and cook until mashable. Add almond milk and ghee, season as you wish.

STEP 2-4 Put oven roaster chicken in a pan with the carrots, water, olive oil, then season chicken with all the spices.  Put in oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit for an hour, 425 degrees fahrenheit for the last 10 minutes for a cripsy skin.

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There is something to be said about perfectly cooked chicken.  My mother mastered it as we were growing up and the secret trick is water at the bottom of the pan.  She always advised the first 1/4 inch of the pan should be water and it will come out perfect every time.  I have actually tried chicken without the water and it comes out awful.  Some prefer to boil their chicken, but in my opinion, it is gross.  The skin is the best part, so having it extra crispy and spicy is amazing.  If you are a dipper and love sauce, Tessemae’s has a ranch and Caesar dressing that you can use to help calm down the heat.  Overall this meal was an A++ so I definitely recommend you give it a try!

Have a great night!

Whole30 Lunch – Kale Chicken Caesar Chive Bacon Salad

Oh wow, this was the BEST salad I have had on the Whole30 diet since I started my first round in November this year!  I had leftover baked chicken drumsticks from dinner last night so I chopped this up and added Tessemae’s Caesar dressing.  It is definitely more pricey than the regular dressing you find that has sugar, but it is Whole30 compliant and saves time for you so you do not have to homemake the dressing yourself.  I am a big fan of Caesar salads and didn’t think the salad would be great without parmesan or croutons, but it was STELLAR!  It was also super filling as it is dinner time now and I am still not hungry.  Not sure if you are like me, but I am mainly cranky when I am hungry and this salad really kept me full for most of the day. As you can see I also made some bacon which was leftover from this morning.  There is this paleo friendly, sugar free bacon at the grocery store and that is what I used here.

After stripping chicken, breaking it this and the bacon into pieces in the bowl, and taking out the Caesar dressing, I started on the salad part.  I bought Red Kale from WholeFoods last night as I made a night time trip which was so relaxing. Only stressful part is checking out as there is always a line.  Hopefully now that Amazon is invested in the company they can work on speeding up the checkout process somehow!  I heard there are stores that you can actually check out of without actually checking out.  Obviously it is not widely accepted yet but this is definitely in the works in the future!

As you can see I washed the kale first then hand separated it into small pieces.  I also had chives on hand and used a pair of kitchen scissors to cut and add chives into the salad as well.  I think chives are a lighter onion that does not overtake the salad.

After this was complete I added the chicken and bacon along with the Caesar dressing on top.  If you are fancy and like the Caesar dressing on every inch of the salad, I would definitely recommend putting all the ingredients in a plastic covered bowl, covering and then mix it by shaking it.  If you are not into chicken, then you can always substitute this with shrimp, chicken, steak, egg or garbanzo beans if you are vegan.  Tofu would be good too!

I dressed the salad right on top and it came out really delicious.  I ended up using more dressing later on, also adding some pink Himalayan salt and ground pepper to it as well to give it a kick.  I would suggest if you like your salads extra salty, you can add green olives and it should give you the salt fix you need.  Just be sure they are Whole30 compliant.

I wanted to share a few extra pictures of the Tessemae Whole30 Caesar Dressing, so you know what to look for at the grocery store.  Luckily I have found this dressing at Trader Joe’s, Ralph’s and WholeFoods thus far, so you should have no problem finding it.  Most salad dressings have added sugar, so you are in for a real treat with this one!

Happy Eating from Bradley Cooper and I! 🙂 🙂

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