Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fresh Abundance

Fresh Abundance is a chain of health food stores in the spokane area. They specialize in gluten free and raw foods, from what I can tell. They recently opened a store near my work and all my opinions will be based on the locale, as i have not visited the others. (Division).

There are a lot of details of this company that you can read about on their website, they appear to be a co-op, with the intention of bringing local and healthy food and products to Spokane, as well as creating jobs with livable wages. They do home delivery as well as their retail space, and have a special package for home delivery you can also read about on their website .

Upon entering the store you will first see their produce section. while not all produce is entirely local, it is all organic, and the selection is greatly varied, from apples, to leeks, to celery root, you can find almost everything here. in the summer i have even found fresh fava beans, which I was thrilled about, as they are not common here in spokane. I purchase their produce pretty regularly and always have been impressed with the quality and freshness. In the summer you will find everything fresh, including figs, huckleberries, cherries and all the joyful candy of nature...

Along the next wall is their bulk foods section where they carry everything. grains, seeds, dried fruit, spices, herbs, and hard to find things such as spirulina, bee pollen, etc. i especially like the organic dried whole bananas, they are a chewy and sweet treat that is a great replacement for candy.

They have a wide variety of rices and grains such as quinoa, another favorite, in both red and brown. There are brown rices of all kinds, including jasmine, which is highly flavorful. You can also find whole wheat pastas and if you turn the corner, many choices of organic pasta sauces and condiments.

There is a selection of tofu, tempeh, sea vegetables, and more in the refrigerator, as well as dairy products (and non dairy products). They carry raw milk, which is unpasturized and praised for its health benefits. They also have various cheeses with different benefits (dairy free, raw, etc)

They carry a freezerful of meat and fish, including elk meat. Some is local and all is killed and raised responsibly. You will also find quite a few meat substitutes (although I really wish they had more selection in this area).

In the freezer you will also find gluten free breads, waffles and other items for those who have celiac disease or are otherwise affected by wheat products. (I have recently discovered gluten free products to be rather tasty and sometimes better than traditional wheat products).

Finally there are the snacks, baking items, and home care products. they have many choices of flours, pure vanilla, honeys, and other natural baking items. As far as snacks go i LOVE the GORAW Superchips, and the Jennies Coconut Macaroons. bothe items are made with all natural ingredients, and no white sugar or flour, and taste better than anything you would buy in a big chain store.

In all, i have been highly impressed with this store, its products, the friendly and knowledgeable staff, the selection, and the social accountability. My only complaint is the steep prices, but I hope that as they grow, they will be able to come down a bit. Also, it is sometimes worth it to spend a little more for something you know will nourish you without harming you.

Store locations and hours are located on their website,

Saturday, March 14, 2009

st paddys day parade

So my husband comes home from his work at a downtown bar, where he had to work early to open by ten..... "chadya, guess why they open at ten today... it is the green day!" now, keep in mind my husband is foreign and not irish... so the green day is what he calls St Patricks Day. today is the parade. click here, to see the website.... i think there shall be parties all day and night.

fyi, the same general conversation happened around mardi gras, when he said "chadya, there was a big party tonight. for some reason you celebrate tuesdays... (french is his second of 4 languages...)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the whole is greater....

They say the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts. lately it seems to me that in some cases, if you focus on the parts, you will see something a lot greater than the whole. This can surely be said for a city.

In the case of Spokane there is a lot of beauty that is missed if you look at the things around it. for example, one of the best things about our city is the turn of the (20th) century architecture. All the brickwork and beautiful Craftsmans. In some neighborhoods which have fallen into disrepair, if you really look at the individual buildings, you can see that even the most worn down neighborhood has its beauty.

Stay tuned this weekend when my boy and I journey into some new old neighborhoods armed with our camera phone and a sense of adventure.....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Coeur D'Alene Lake, Coeur D'Alene , Idaho. Just some quick pics to help get in the mood for the upcoming warm seasons.....

The snow is gone

SO the snow is gone now, and save a few flurries here and there, we can't expect it to return. Now is the time to start thinking about what we will do when our Avista bills aren't taking up all our budget.

For me, that means planning my garden for the spring. for my husband, it means swimming and vacations coming up. Stay tuned for a summer of road trips.......

Sunday, March 1, 2009

today's stroll downtown....

Spokane is actually a great place to go for a walk IF you have a destination. we are definately a car culture in this city, which is unfortunate. since we finally got a car last year, there has been something missing in my life. I know what it is.

I lived until I was almost thirty with no car. I either walked or bussed anywhere I went. not easy here, as our bus system is depressing, but tahts another blog. since we got a car i drive almost everywhere. recently, i started having sundays off work, and me and my son decided to take that day to go on foot adventures. we live in the North Central neighborhood so its not difficult to decide where to go. Downtown of course. we have been doing this for three weeks now and its great. we see everything from natural eyes. not speeding by in a car. we dont need a destination.... we just go where our feet take us. we stop and chase the ducks in Riverfront park, take coffee at the 4 Seasons, window shop, maybe take lunch, and walk back home. This is an activity i suggest for anyone.

Spokane does have beautiful parks, and many of them, and while there are not a lot of foot friendly neighboorhoods there are a few. Garland, Downtown, and Brownes Addition are noteworthy. here are some pictures of what we did today.

Of note: we did pass by a new business on North Howard St. It is called Cretin Hop. Its an all ages club. they have regular shows (concerts, for those who dont know the punk scene) , coffee and wi-fi, or so the door says. they were closed today so i couldnt check them out. I would welcome a review by a reader, if anyone is interested. They are located at 1317 N Howard St.