Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just Joined a Locavore Challenge...

My friend Jenny invited me to take a locavore challenge in which she is team captain.  I had some time today and check it out. There a different levels that you can  join in,  to support, and become part of the local eating challenge. When you register you can choose from 3 levels,  Bite Size, Feast Size, or Meal Size. I jumped right in with the meal size challenge. It means doing three challenges from three different areas, here's what the areas are and the challenges I chose:

Cook Grow Eat:

  • Can Or Preserve Summer Foods (done)
  • Shop at a local Farm stand (done and continue to do)
  • Compost kitchen Scraps (done)
  • Grown and Herb Garden (I have an indoor kit I really need to get going)
Join The Movement:
  • Like the NOFA-NY Facebook Page  (done)
  • Blog about the experience (part done)
  • Read a Locavore Book (In Progress)
  • Attend a Locavore event
Take Action:
  • Join Millions against Monsanto (done)
  • Ask your representative to support local Farming
  • Volunteer at a local Farm or community Garden
So there you go. I didn't need anything else to do, but I have already completed some of these actions and intend to do them all before September 30, 2011. If you would like to join the movement you can register here.

Anyone else doing this challenge?

Friday, July 29, 2011

The fruits of Our Labor!

Well aside from the ONE tomato we ate last week, Here is the start of the tomatoes. I had a few with my lunch. They were delicious!  The plants look like a jungle and there is going to be more tomatoes than we know what to do with! Yeah for a healthy harvest!!!

How are your gardens doing?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Some things never change....

That would be mostly the age on my scale, mainly because I don't know remember how to adjust it. It still says I am 39 years old. I only feel 25, however I am really turning 43 today.

I woke up to more birthday wishes in my email box, on Facebook and Ukulele Underground than I think I have received in my entire 43 years of my existence! Wow.. Well I can say this, I have been touched and molded by all the people that have come into my life. I know that many of you I haven't seen for years, some of you may see too much of me, and some I only someday hope to meet in person. To all of you. Thank you for being a part of my life!

This year has been full of more challenges than I care to share publicly.  Today I woke up and put in my last pair of new contacts in my stash- hopeful to start this next year with clear eyes and a positive outlook! It's not what we have (or don't have like my lack of air conditioning on this hot day, anyone know a good repairman?) it's who we are, today I strive to be better... So I am going to nourish myself with good food (Thanks Denise for the box of Mangoes) and great people!

Be Great Today!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fantastic Weekend memories...

This weekend I was privileged and blessed to meet a half sister that I only found out about a few years ago! Without going into detail (and honestly it's not that important) It felt so great from the get go, after so much time emailing and more recently talking on the phone it was amazing to meet face to face and have her and her boy friend at our house!

It was so nice to chat and catch up on what seems like a lifetime we missed, however, there were lots of stories, emotions and a definite connection as sisters! We shared lots of good food too! that's when I knew without a doubt we are related!
I took them to the farmers market (Say cheese) and We enjoyed the booths and came home with bags of fresh veggies, natural peanut butters, cheeses etc. Not to mention I found out that one of my favorite shops on Jay was closing, Carol good luck and we can not thank you enough for the incredible moment that you shared with us in your shop. We have been truly blessed by stopping by your shop! Wish you the best and thank you so much for talking to us, I have been touched deeply by you!

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love pickles. So we had to stop by and check out the pickle stand at the market. Delicious and definitely have to go back for more.. her's Alissa and Ariana posing happily at the pickle booth.
After the farmers market we went home, then for a walk around town, we showed Alissa the park near where we live and got out for some fresh air. Just the girls this time. We spent more time chatting and talking and walking. Fun and great memories for sure!

It was fun to get Alissa and Rob into the kitchen with me. We whipped up an absolutely fantastic meal together which was great fun and delicious! I learned some great cooking tips and ideas from Rob too. Love that!

 Here's Rob entertaining the kids with magic card tricks. I am not sure if he had more fun (with a new audience) or if the kids enjoyed it more! Sure was fun!
The kids say that you can come back and play games and do magic tricks anytime!

Before they left this am. We took out Ariana's deck of Yoga Pretzels and had some fun doing some stretching and trying out some partner yoga moves! I enjoyed trying out some new moves and laughing a lot with everyone. As you can see from the next photo, we tried some more challenging moves too.

Fun stuff..

Here we are together. We are missing Zach as he is gone right now at camp. He is doing a Counselor in Training program for Boy Scouts and he did get to meet Alissa and Rob the first night, he was up and out early by the second morning.
Sure hope that there will be more fun weekend visits like this one!
Thanks so much Alissa for coming and making the step to have us as part of our lives. Sisters are a true blessing. Next time I hope Denise will be around, its the only thing that could make it more fun!

It was a great weekend I wont forget for a long time!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

4 Hour Body update...

Well I completed the 4 weeks that I committed to the 4 hour body. Truth be told, I wasn't going to do the extreme stuff ice packs and supplements etc.. that he talks about in his book. In all, more than anything I missed fresh fruit especially this time of the year and I am no longer willing to live without it and crave it all week.
So I am going to back to my whole foods diet. What I did learn is that I can do without as much cheese and dairy as I normally eat and that I don't need the carbs.  I also discovered that I love beans even more than I think and they really don't give you gas, they have a bad reputation for it!

So what's up? Just going back to my whole foods diet! That's it! Yummy and the summer fruit is so amazing this time of year!

I just made  three batches of Jam in the past few days with fresh picked strawberries and rhubarb! I love it. Going to give some of it away as gifts!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

4 hour body self experiment...

Well gang, I have been missing from my blog for a long time. Dealing with stuff with family, school, and life, busy as ever. I am writing so much for school some days the thought of writing anything else makes me want to scream. This I have to share and get your opinions for sure.

As some of you readers know starting from 2004 I lost a lot of weight, about 120 lbs. Since our big move to NY the weight has started to creep up.. Frustrating especially when you know what to do! I am after all working on a master's degree in nutrition. Well I read a few blog posts on the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferriss and decided to give it a whirl and see what all the excitement was about. I am still most hesitant about fad diets and all the hype that goes along with them however I just had to try this one out for myself!
The rules are pretty simple.

1. No dairy
2. No grains- What no pasta, no brown rice, no nothing.
3. No Fruit- bigger shocker how in the world would I survive a day without fruit. I am a total fruit a holic!!!
4. No soy products! I am vegetarian where will I get my protein from!
5. Eat at least 20 grams of protein each meal, including 1/2 of beans a legumes each meal.
6. take one day off each week (preferably after 5 days) I pick Saturday.

Seems pretty simple right? Well day one starts. I am so lucky because my husband and my workout partner decides to jump on the bandwagon with me. Then what happens, I head out for my run with my friend and take a pretty awful fall, injuring my hand and knee (doing better but still recovering) So day one gets postponed until Monday.

When Monday am hits sore and barely walking, I get up and decide eggs is going to be the breakfast of the 4 hour body (4HB) So here it is scrambled eggs with BEANS, on a bed of spinach topped with a little salsa. GAG! really I was gagging. The first week of breakfast I missed my banana Oat cakes and or green smoothies. Lunch and dinner more beans, salad greens and veggies. I am VERY full, but missed my pasta and  fruit boy did I miss my fruit.

The first week was REALLY hard! Today is the last day of week two! It is getting easier to stick to plan. The foods are repetitive and taste great. The best part is that I am eating whole foods. The worst part, I miss fruit. The reason why I tried this is pretty simple. An experiment of sorts, with the book, checking out the hype, wanting to kick start some weight loss but mostly something I have been learning in school too many carbs (even the healthy whole grain ones) in the diet lead to insulin imbalance, which leads to weight gain, regardless of calories intake. Too much sugar (yes even fruit sugars) lead to weight gain.

So all week I was looking forward to binge day (yesterday was my second). I went shopping on Friday and bought watermelon and strawberries. Not exactly what you would call a binge food but it is truly what I wanted. I couldn't wait to eat my oatcake. I had no bananas so I ran out early in the am to get them. It was heavenly. In the afternoon I made a carrot cake with my daughter, I wanted to make pizza for dinner but ran out of time since we were going out to the drive in movies. I ate a sandwich instead. I hadn't had bread in weeks. Lunch was some leftover pasta that I had made for the kids, I missed this recipe. Guess what? I didn't taste all that good! HUH? My favorite pasta didn't taste good! How could that happen it's all cheesy and everything! Weird, I must be changing. Something inside has shifted!

Funny thing, when I woke up this morning, I felt like crap. I stayed up too late, ate junk (in my standards, although it is healthy eating for most Americans, sad but true). Could it be true I woke up this am, READY and WANTING to eat beans and eggs for breakfast! Then I checked my email. My friend on the plan with me wrote that she had the 4 hour hangover! I laughed hysterically when I saw the title of her email! It's so true. That is exactly how I feel. I imagine that on some level my body chemistry is changing. Binge week will be very different next week! Or will it?

I have committed to myself (and my friend) 4 weeks on this program. Where it is fadish and I am sure in the long run I am not going to eat exactly like this forever, I feel a true change and that is the important part of it all. There is a long lasting positive result. Health! I look forward to what the next two weeks bring and then I am going to alter the plan. I have swayed a little bit from the plan and added small amounts of organic tofu to my diet and a serving or two of quinoa (a high protein whole grain) otherwise pretty much following to the letter. The good news is, it is working. I am down about 5lbs and my husband is down somewhere around 7-8 lbs.

I am already looking into modifying this plan for life long changes. Adding small amounts of grain, less eggs and a little fruit. My goal yes to lose weight, but to get myself off of so much pasta (even whole grain which is what I eat) and eating more raw, and whole foods. Which I see when I do I feel better. There are quick results. That I can tell you I notice more when I indulge in a binge day.

About a month before starting 4 hour body - the experiment, I started something new with my kids, being that they complain all the time that I never have 'treats' in the house. We started making a true dessert once a week. With a few rules, They have to help and it has to be made from scratch. If they don't help we don't make it. I feel better giving them home made treats than buying pre packaged crap. Once a week is OK to me.. yesterday was carrot cake... it was good.

I hope to keep you up to date on this experiment and how it is going anyone else try 4 hour body, what are you thoughts on it?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Something Crafty(knitted) and Just for fun!!

 Just for fun and a break from schoolwork and such, I knitted up this cute little hedgehog. I won a kit to knit it years ago in WA state when my favorite yarn shop Sweet Stitch went out of business. I miss that shop and don't even live anywhere near it anymore. So I pulled out this kit and knitted away, I actually changed the color to a more purplish color from a hot pink that was in the kit. Above this is a photo of him all knitted and ready for felting. I did my felting in the dryer! I loved it so much better than felting in the washing machine. I stuffed him with some plastic so the front and back didn't felt together, it was faster and less messy. I got a bowl will hot water and a small amount of laundry soap and soaked him, zipped him in a pillow case and put him in the dryer. I checked it about every 10 minutes, half way I soaked him again and put him back in the dryer! I loved this process! If haven't felted this way, I recommend it!
 Here he is all finished and sewn up. I think he is just adorable!! Too cute. I ordered some safety eyes from etsy for him.
Just another angle, He's fluffy and puffy. He needs a name! Any ideas???

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter Food Doldrums!

I seem to be in a real 'pickle' lately. I want fresh tasty produce, alas there really isn't much of that here in NY right now. Unless miles and piles of snow is considered produce. Well it was produced by something right?

Not really what I had in mind. I feel stagnant at best with my eating, I am grateful for my frozen blueberries as they go in my smoothies as often as I can stand the cold! I find I am eating the same things over and over again, lots of pasta (whole grain) but still probably way more than I know I should be eating, because it's quick and easy and tastes so good in so many ways.

I have been so busy with my family and schoolwork that I have neglected the search I used to do for delicious new meals. My youngest son has  become SO incredibly picky, I find myself saying nah, it's just not worth the upset at the dinner table. So here I find myself in a slump... Which would be why you haven't seen to many posts lately, this has been dragging on for awhile now.

I find myself already dreaming of spring, and seed packets and making another go at the vegetable garden. Perhaps I will become re-energized for cooking and preparing foods. I so need it for my mental clarity!

Until the spring hits, I guess I will have to strap on the snowshoes and head out for the crisp (cold) fresh air in hopes for some good meal inspiration!

How about you all what do you do when you get into food slumps?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So what's on my Agenda now?

It's been a long year, this 2010 and I am glad that it is over!! I can't say that 2011 has started off very exciting, but I wiped the slate clean and figure I am just starting over.
I always have goals so I don't really like to say I made resolutions, but I guess I did!
Here they are:

First I registered for The Warrior Dash, I have spent the last few years exercising, will little goals except to not gain any of the weight back that I had lost. Well I can't say that it was a very successful goal. So I decided that I need to TRAIN and not just exercise. So I have designed an exercise program for myself to increase cardiovascular endurance, upper body strength and increase my all around fitness level. More weight training, and added interval training with plyo thrown in. So far, I am enjoying it and shedding a few pounds to boot.

Next, I am learning to play ukulele. I am having fun with it. I have never played and instrument, so this year I want to get competent at it and just have a good time. I am going to start a 10 week course in February. Yeah!

Another goal I have is to knit myself a sweater. I have made a few baby sweaters and lots of cool stuff that doesn't need to necessarily 'fit' so this year I am going to knit myself a sweater. I believe it is going to be this one.   I am really looking forward to getting this started soon.

I continue my schooling, and I am making progress. Slow and steady for sure. I have 5 more classes left before I start writing my thesis! I am nervous and excited because I want to do it, but really NEED to get my topic situated so in all my reading and work, I can start to put together research materials. This may be the most grueling part of my year! It's hard to believe that I have made it as far as I have!

I am also working on some fitness certifications. This is going VERY  slow. As you can see, I keep very busy.   I am making progress and moving forward though. YEAH!

I continue to do volunteer work for the Navy and the school PTA. I enjoy it however it keeps me busy for sure! The family is good, the kids are always busy which means that Mom's taxi is always running out of gas! ( pun intended) I can't complain, I manage to make time for everything! I still cook and do crafty things when I can as well.

Sure hope that all of you are starting out this new year with some great, have you given up on new years resolutions already? I hope not, and if so just make some new ones and keep moving!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Exercise DVD Review!!

Another great DVD to add to your collection! Jillian brings it on with her usual vengeance. Jillian uses a series of good old fashioned exercises (burpees, squat thrusts, planks) to raise your heart rate along with strengthening your core, you also get down on the ground for some good old fashioned abdominal work as well. Don't expect to just do a crunch or two, Jillian gets your whole body involved! I have done level one 2 times now and definitely got some great calorie burn out of the 35 minutes!
I love this video for its pure exercise experience, it is not difficult to do the maneuvers, but don't get me wrong, most will be challenged by this workout! Jillian explains each exercise well and goes slow enough the first round that most anyone can understand how to do these moves. She has two gals with her, one doing a more modified move and one doing the more advanced, she gets close up and personal with each, to show the importance of great form and modification.
I picked this video up for $6.99 at BJ's club and I have to say, it could possibly be the BEST 7 bucks I have ever spent on a video. Definitely the best bang for the buck or save yourself the trip and order it here.