Sunday, August 29, 2010

Plenty of Plants and August Date Night

After a summer of indulgence, we have been focusing on fruits and veggies.

 Grapes, blueberries, cherries, Greek yogurt, and a bit of granola

Mixed organic greens, edamame, red onions, cucumbers, mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil in a simple vinaigrette (olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper)  


While we are focusing on fruits and veggies, we still enjoyed a glass of wine, some cheese, sundried tomatoes, and olives on date night. We didn’t finish all the cheese and olives however, as we had enjoyed a big salad at home prior to going out. The focus of date night was spending time with each other, enjoying a bit of great wine, a few bites of delicious cheese, and a few good olives. When we picked up the toddler we felt light and satisfied, not stuffed and uncomfortable. It was perfect. Now we just have to remember that feeling (and not get tempted and overindulge in the future…).

Question: What was the best thing you ate over the weekend? I LOVED the brie we had on date night. But I only had a tiny bit as I can’t handle rich cheese very well…

Be Well,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Great Food, A Bit Too Much Indulging, and Lots of Changes

We had a great summer and are very thankful for it. We got away a few times, had a much lighter teaching schedule, got to hang out with each other, and ate lots of great food. Probably a bit too much good food as hubby’s pants are REALLY tight. Okay, mine are a bit tight, too… :-)

Here are a few of the things we have been eating. A lot of the food shown was actually hubby’s food (no, I’m not defensive…). But, okay, I’ll admit it, I made sure to “taste” it all… :-)

August Food 03 August Food 05 August Food 06 August Food 04
August Food 02 August Food 01
August Food 07 

After all the indulging, it’s time to “cut back” a bit. Here is my plan:
  • Make veggies and/or fruits the focus of EVERY meal
  • Don’t drink your calories – they add up so quickly
  • Eat at home – that’s where you are truly in control
  • Be focused when exercising (don’t just go through the motions)
  • Move throughout the day as much as possible (take the stairs, park further away, etc. – the little things really add up)
And there have been changes in our house. Last week, I dropped the teenager off at college. I can’t believe I have a child in college… It truly seems like yesterday that he was just a little toddler. I’m excited for him but also a bit worried… I’m sure he’ll have a great time (I just hope he’ll be able to balance studying and having fun…). AND, we got Cable T.V. back, after having been without it for over a year. I signed up for the cheapest option, which has a great introductory rate for the first six months. I’ve never had on demand t.v. and am a bit like a kid in a candy store right now… Yes, overindulging in t.v. isn’t good… I’m working on it!

Questions: What were the highlights of your summer? What do you do when you have overindulged a bit? Any tips? What are your favorite t.v. shows? Not that I should watch any more… :-)

Be Well,

Friday, August 13, 2010

Nature Beats Any Gym

For a while now, one of my exercise goals has been to hike more again. I love to hike. It’s my favorite form of exercise. Not only is it a great cardiovascular workout, but I also get to enjoy nature and nothing beats a gorgeous view at the top. To me, exercising outdoors feels like that’s the way I’m supposed to exercise. While my gym is great, it feels “unnatural” at times…

Since the toddler’s arrival, I haven’t hiked much. It just takes too much time to drive to a trail, hike for a few hours, and get back home. Plus, on hot days hikes are only possible if you start very, very early so that you finish before the heat of the day. Lately, I have however made a point to hike more (it was one of my goals for the year after all…).

Earlier in the week, we took the toddler on his first "real" hike. The hike was a little less than two miles and quite steep at times. The toddler had a great time but wasn’t that happy on some of the uphill parts… To make it more fun for the toddler, we allowed plenty of time for exploring… :-)
 Hike 05
  Hike 02
  Hike 03
  Hike 01
Hike 04

Questions: What’s your favorite form of exercise? Do you get to do it as much as you would like to? If not, why not? Are there any workouts you should incorporate into your routine to “balance out” your workouts? I would like to swim more. In fact, it was one of my other goals… Unfortunately, I haven’t swum nearly as much as I wanted to this summer…

Be well,

Friday, August 6, 2010

How To Make a CSA Work for You

In December of last year, we joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). It’s probably not the most common time of year to join a CSA, but we are very fortunate in California and get some locally grown vegetables year round.

Here is what we got this week:

When we joined the CSA, we were shopping at local Farmers’ Markets several times per week, and we were quite happy with the produce we bought there. However, we didn’t always get organic fruits and veggies, so joining an organic CSA made a lot of sense.

Here is what I’ve learned about how to make our CSA work for us:
  • Assess all fruits and veggies for ripeness as soon as you open the box. Start eating the ripe fruits and veggies right then and there… :)
  • Organic herbs and lettuce do not keep very long. Eat them the day you get them if possible.
  • Put herbs you can’t use right away in a glass of water in the fridge.
  • Write down how you’ll use each item in the box. It’s too easy to “lose” fruits and veggies in the fridge.
  • Oftentimes, you are able to check online what will be in your CSA box. This is a great way to plan ahead. We actually have this option, but I never do this as I like to be surprised… It’s like getting lots of presents whenever I open the box…
  • The price you pay is fair, but not every box may seem “worth it.” However, when you average several boxes out, it’s well worth it. In other words, sometimes you may get a box and think, “I could have bought this for way less elsewhere than what I’m paying for the box.” However, oftentimes the next box includes fruits and veggies that would cost you a lot more at the Farmers’ Market. Never forget that you are supporting local farmers who are doing an outstanding job in providing you with quality produce!
  • We can choose how often we want to get a box. We are getting a box every other week, which works great for us as we enjoy shopping at different Farmers’ Markets so much. There are also different options in terms of “mostly fruit” or “mostly veggies.” Plus, when I signed up, I could eliminate fruits and/or veggies I never wanted to receive. Honestly, I didn’t mark anything as I truly don’t dislike any fruits or veggies. Plus, getting new (to me) veggies is a lot of fun.
Questions: Do you belong to a CSA? If so, how do you like it? If not, have you ever considered joining a CSA? What are you eating this weekend?
Be well.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Strange But Yummy Pasta

We have been eating a lot of salads lately. And fruit. So today for lunch I decided to make a more substantial dish. I have been thinking about a pasta dish I used to make frequently when the teenager was just a toddler. It’s super quick and very tasty, but the ingredients may surprise you a  bit (and yes, it’s a bit fattier than my usual dishes…):

  • Bacon
  • Green onions
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fresh “Asian” pasta (bought in a non-Asian grocery store)
  1. Cut the bacon into small pieces and sauté until brown and drain the fat.
  2. Once the bacon is browned, add the green onions and cook for about 2 minutes. I try to cook the green onions just a bit so that they still add "freshness" to the dish.
  3. Then add the cottage cheese to the pan and turn off the heat. Let the pan rest for about 5 minutes. The cottage cheese will slowly melt and create a nice, creamy sauce.
  4. Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.
  5. Season with pepper and salt if desired. Usually, I don’t need to add any salt as the bacon and cottage cheese contain plenty of salt. 
  6. Garnish with a some fresh green onions. 

Questions: What did you have for lunch today? What “strange” dish do you like to cook and eat? 

Be well,