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Posts Tagged ‘Farmer’s Market’

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHappy Tuesday, Everyone!

It feels great that I can proudly display this badge on my blog once again.  At one point over the weekend I was getting a bit down on myself because I’d “only” lost 20 pounds after all of my blood, sweat, (money!) and tears on Medifast.  But then I realized that 20 pounds is a lot, and while going on Medifast was expensive and restrictive, it did give me the jumpstart I needed to  continue towards my pre-op surgery goal.

Now that I’ve gotten that initial chunk off, I can follow a more realistic eating plan.  I’m calling it SBD, but really it’s just healthy eating.  It’s the same lower carb plan that my surgeon and nutritionist recommended.  They gave a 1200 calorie/day guideline, but through trial and error last fall I realized that my “sweet spot” is between 1300-1400 calories, which is still way below the guideline for someone at my weight.  And it seems to be working.  I know that my weight loss is going to be at a slower pace than it was on Medifast, but the tradeoff is that I’ll be able to enjoy what I’m eating and work it into a social and active lifestyle.

Which leads me to the main part of this post.  Fruit!  Now that I’m on Phase 2/following a healthy eating plan, I’m enjoying all the fruit (and veggies, of course) that are available this time of year.  Yesterday my sister stopped off at a great permanent farmers market on her way home from work, and picked me up a few items.  My fruit bowl is overflowing with the bounty of summer:

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I love it!  Last night I had some grilled eggplant and zucchini which were the best part of my meal, by far.  Yum!  It just reminds me that I need to start hitting up the local farmers markets that are within bike riding distance from my house.  I have three farmers markets that are a 20-minute bike ride away, so my goal for the next two weeks is going to be to hit them all up to compare/contrast their offerings.  I’ll be sure to do a little write-up for you, especially if I try something new.

In the mean time, I’ll leave you with a beautiful shot of my breakfast: 1/2 cup of part skim ricotta, 3/4 cup of strawberries, 1 white peach. It tasted even better than it looks.  Now I’m ready to tackle the day.

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What did you have for breakfast?

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What a great weekend! Especially today, so I thought it was time for another edition of Sunday Smiles, where I take photos of all the things that made me smile today.

Friday

It started off with me taking Friday off so I could see CTLB who was out from Boston visiting SF. We only spent about 2 hours together, but it was so good to see her in person and catch up a bit. I’m hoping that the next time we see each other there will be a lot less of me for her to see!

I raced home from San Fran in order to set up the Lulu’s 1st birthday party.  Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook might’ve already seen these photos, but for those who aren’t here are some highlights…

I didn’t expect to find puppy party supplies at the store I went to, but there they were, and of course I couldn’t resist.

I also made sure we had sweet treats for the puppies and the girls, too. The chocolate cupcakes are for the girls and the cookie cupcakes were for Lulu and Minnie.

And here are a few shots of the birthday girl herself, Miss Lulu.

This one is going to serve as a “before” photo someday soon.

And finally, you know it’s a good party when one of the pooches is pooped out!

Saturday was a nice day.  LC and I went to Zumba, I did a bit of household stuff, and generally relaxed, but nothing really noteworthy happened, other than making The Best dinner.

Oh, I also got some new shoes which I absolutely love!!!

Yes, they are furry, too.  They look just like Vans, but they’re from Payless Shoe Source.  I got another pair in solid canvas black.  So comfy and so sassy.

Sunday
LC and I decided that we’re going to make going to the farmers market a regular part of our Sunday morning routine, so we started off there. The girls came along, too, and had lots of fun looking at all of the arts & crafts, flowers, and produce. I bought my new favorite – dino kale, as well as some savoy cabbage.

I’m always looking for a great plant for my dining table, and today I picked up a pretty, purpley-pinkish ranunculus.

Next up, we stopped at PetFoodExpress to get some food and a two-dog leash.  I’ve been telling LC how difficult it is to take both dogs at once.  And most of the time my parents and the kids come along, but some days they can’t/don’t want to, and I always feel badly about leaving Minnie out, so LC decided time to try a leash made for both of them. Here we are about to take off on our maiden walk.

I was definitely keeping my fingers crossed, but I never had anything to worry about:

And here’s a bit of video so you can see it in action:

And of course, since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I spent a bit of time writing cards to my family:

Maybe next year I’ll have a true valentine to give a card to.  If it’s right, it’ll happen.

A perfectly lovely day, not to mention the fact that I’ve resisted quite a few temptations this weekend and stayed 100% on Medifast (and it’s showing on the scale), but I’ll save that for the Wednesday Weigh-In post. All in all, lots of simple moments that put a smile on my face today.

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temescalmarketbig With summer approaching, I know that many of us will start (or continue) frequenting our local farmers markets to buy fresh, in-season produce and unique items that you can’t find anywhere else.

There are several farmers markets in my area, but once summer begins, I plan on making a weekly trip to one that I’ve never been to, which is actually really close to my house.  It’s every Friday from 10am-2pm (which is the reason I normally can’t make it there), and it’s close enough that I can ride my bike there really easily.  The cool thing is that I’ll be able to use the basket on my bike (which is detachable) to carry all of the goodies I find.  I really can’t wait to start frequenting this farmers market, because it’s one of the larger ones in my city.

I recently read an article that was originally written for the Chicago Tribune, which gave some great tips about shopping at farmers markets that I thought I’d share with you.

11 tips for shopping at a farmers market

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune

Posted: 05/21/2009 11:56:23 AM PDT

Outdoor farmers markets have returned at a time when interest in sustainable produce has never been stronger.

But whether you are a market newbie or a market veteran, we’ve got some tips that will help you get the most from your farmers market visit.

1. Tear out/print out a schedule of your local farmers markets and keep one copy on your fridge and one in your work bag so you can keep track of which days markets happen near your job, home or commute path.

2. Know your priorities — minimal pesticides, organic, in-state farmers — before you go so you can find the right market for you and ask the farmers the right questions. “I don’t limit myself to certified organic farmers,” said Jeremy Lycan, a veteran of Bay Area and Midwest farmers markets and chef at Niche restaurant in Geneva, Ill. “I go with sustainable farmers whom I trust and who often practice organic methods but don’t have the resources to get certified.”

3. Make a menu plan before you go based on how many nights you are going to be home to cook. “This way you know how much you need to shop and you don’t end up wasting things,” says Shelley Young, who teaches farmers market cooking classes in Chicago.

4. Bring a cloth bag that has plenty of room and can hang over your shoulder. For frozen meat or delicate greens, consider an insulated bag.

5. Be an early bird. Get to the market early if you want the best pick of the market.  “They will often run out of things later in the day,” said Rebecca Reis Miller, leader of Slow Food Orlando.

6. It ain’t cheap. “This is not a place to go for bargains necessarily,” Young said. “But I think it’s worth it for the quality and the freshness.”

7. Scope the place out. If you have time, walk the market once through before you purchase so you can get an overview of the offerings. “I usually get a snack as soon as I arrive and then walk the whole market because I don’t want to shop on an empty stomach, and I want to know exactly what’s available that week,” Lycan said.

8. Talk to the farmers. Don’t be afraid to ask the farmers or even chefs you see at the market for recipes and tips on preparation. “I get asked that all the time,” said Lycan, who tours the market in his chef jacket. “And I am happy to talk to people about what they can do with the produce.”

9. Bring cash, “especially ones and $5 bills,” Lycan said. “The farmers really appreciate that.” Although a few vendors can take credit cards, you will be limiting your options.

10. A pricey secret. Some farmers charge different prices at different farmers markets. It’s true. See if your favorite farmer at an upscale market also sells in a less fancy part of town. Chances are the prices drop there.

11. Buy local. Some markets sell non-local produce. If this is a concern, ask. “Some areas have laws about this but others don’t, so just ask if it’s grown locally,” Reis-Miller said.

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One of the things I love buying at the farmers market, besides the fresh produce, are beautiful bunches of flowers.  Remember when I used to post Fresh Flower Fridays on my life blog every Friday?  Whatever happened to that?  I’m actually not sure why I stopped posting them, except that things started getting busy once school was back in, and the last thing I wanted to do on Friday afternoon after a long week of work was to stop by the store to buy flowers.  So my “be good to myself”  tradition stopped.  I’ve decided that beginning June 12 (my last day of school!), I’m going to revive that weekly post, only I’m going to post it here, and I’m going to call it Friday Farmers Market Finds.  Look for it next week!

What are your favorite tips when shopping at the farmers market?  What are your favorite items to buy?

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