When Do You Really Need More?

When do you really need more of something: more shirts, more horsepower, more channels.

We live in a time with a dazzling array of options, but knowing what you need, versus is what is overkill, can be tricky.

research1
I am guilty of this.

For example, I did lots and lots of research before buying an elliptical machine for our home gym. Lots. I compared consumer ratings, what Consumer Reports said, and overall customer satisfaction. I finally decided on one after six months of research. And, I way overbought. I will never use a tiny fraction of all the things the model I bought can do. On the plus side, that means it’s been quite reliable as I haven’t really taxed it.

This same thing came up when we decided a few years back to start drinking smoothies for breakfast. It got us a bunch of good nutrients first thing in the morning, they can be made quickly, and they’re easy to get down when your stomach is feeling rebellious. Neither my husband nor I am much of breakfast people as our stomachs really aren’t interested in food right away in the morning, but we can both consume a smoothie without or stomachs protesting too much.

tripleberrysmoothie
Triple Berry Smoothie. One of our favorites!

 

After about four or five months of smoothies for breakfast, our blender died. We went to the store and bought another. It was a good little blender, but it didn’t really get the smoothies to the consistency both of us liked. Especially if we tried to sneak something like spinach into them.

I started researching. Our $50 Oster was a very good model at that price point, but if you wanted a truly smooth smoothie, you were looking at quite a bit more. I mean a lot more

money-1428594_640
Yeah, about like that.

As part of my research, I asked a woman where I work what she uses. She even makes green smoothies, and they are always smooth.

She told me to buy a Vitamix and I wouldn’t regret it. She said she drinks a smoothie every day, she’s had hers for eight years, and it’s still going strong. Best of all, it makes smooth smoothies. She then tells me a story about how she warned her sister not to buy a lower cost model as she’ll regret it. Her sister didn’t listen, and she regrets it as she can’t justify letting go of her two-hundred dollar blender to get the Vitamix now.

And, no, Vitamix isn’t paying me to say any of this.

Armed with my research and testimonial, I scoured the web to find the best price on it. Finally, I bought one.

I’ve never regretted it. We’ve had ours for almost three years now, and we use it almost every morning. Even on weekends. It does an amazing job, chomps through ice and frozen fruit with no problem, and makes a smooth smoothie. It was worth what we paid for it, especially as we expect to have it for many more years to come.

 

How about you? Ever over-bought on something and regretted it? Ever under-bought and regretted it? Do you research the heck out of a decision before making it? Or do you rely on your gut for this?

Hulless Barley

What is Hulless Barley, you might ask?

Here’s a pretty good look at it:. Not pearlized barley, mind you, though this is what most of us think of when I say barley. Hulless is quite different from its processed cousin, both in taste, texture, and fiber content.

I came across hulless barley back when we were really trying to add more whole grains into our diet. I really like it. To me, it tastes faintly sweet and nutty. I can take or leave rice, but I actually will eat hulless barley without butter or other toppings.

But then, our local grocery store stopped carrying. Yes, I could drive across town and get it from the organic store, but let me tell you about shopping with a toddler and preschooler in tow.

parenting11

So, yes, we make one trip to one grocery store per week. My husband and I make the grocery list together, and one of us goes on a mission to acquire the groceries while the other stays home with the kids. It’s sort of like a mini-mission impossible: get out of the house without either child noticing and going into a fit of tears because mommy or daddy is leaving.

Of course, if you ask them if they want to go to the store, the answer is always no. If you take them anyway, there is a price to pay, and I’d rather them cry at home than at the store.

Anyway, we gave up on the hulless barley and moved on to other grains.

Then, my love of Amazon reminded me I could check there.

Lo and behold, while Amazon didn’t sell it, one of their third party vendors did. On prime, no less, and their with shipping included was less than what I’d been paying at my local grocery store. You know I hit that Buy button.

So, we made it with stir fry the other night. Yes, that’s right, barley instead of rice. Delicious. And really good for you. Then, I had it the next day in my lunch. But, I’d forgotten what eating such a high fiber food when you aren’t used to it does to you.

moderation

Moderation. I won’t forget again.

 

How about you? Any whole grains you like? Perhaps something new and amazing, or something you’d like to warn the rest of us about?