First CSA Share Vegetables Pickup

My first CSA share produce pickup! It was exciting! We got a whole mess of good good veggies.

Here’s what we got (click photo for larger version)

first CSA share pickup

(clockwise from left)

  1. Tatsoi (back left) – similar to bok choy
  2. Romaine Lettuce – I have never seen such a huge head of lettuce. It was gorgeous
  3. Green Leaf Lettuce
  4. Radishes (far right) – I haven’t been a fan of radishes in the past, but these were mild and so delicious. I chopped them up and added them to our salad.
  5. Zucchini
  6. Kousa Squash (similar to zucchini)
  7. Green Peas (mixture of snap peas, more) – I couldn’t stop munching on the snap peas while making dinner. I was addicted!
  8. Garlic Scapes – this will be a cool new veggie for us
  9. Beets – looking forward to the yummy beet greens. Beets are one of my all time fave veggie.

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CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Starts this Week

Our local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) starts this week! So excited! It’ll be my year with a CSA and I am so looking forward to eating all the yummy veggies!

What is a CSA? Basically, during the “off season” a farmer offers a specific number of produce “shares” for the following season. The consumer purchases a share and the fee is paid before the season starts. In essence you are prepaying for your produce ahead of time, hoping that all goes well and it’s a good farming season! Once the farming season starts, every week, the consumer picks up their “share” of fresh produce.

It’s a simple way to support local farmers and let them know you care about local fresh food! It’s also a great way to find new vegetables that you perhaps have never eaten or even heard of!

To find a CSA in your area, check the Local Harvest web site. There are also listings for local “farmers markets” which is another wonderful way to show support for local farmers and eat locally grown fresh vegetables and fruit. Some farmer’s markets also offer meat, poultry, dairy and eggs, which is really fun!

This week, we’re expected to receive

  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Kousa Squash
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Bok Choy

I’m really excited because I have never heard of garlic scapes, but they sound really really cool. Also, I have never been a big fan of radishes, so this will also be a good opportunity to expand outside the veggie box!

Found some interesting recipes:

  1. Roasted Radishes
  2. Garlic Scapes Pesto – also has a cute video about how scary garlic scapes look!

Choosy Mothers DON’T Choose Jif

Do these ingredients look like something a “choosy” mom would choose for her family!?


I think a better slogan would be Mom’s who don’t read labels choose Jif!

Sugar? Hydrogenated oils? Mono and diglycerides? Yuck. Soy and rapeseed oils are two the worst oils to consume non-organically, because chances are, they were created from Genetically Modified plants. Plus, the way these oils are processed is unhealthy.

jif peanut butter nutritional facts

Peanut butter (or any natural nut butter) can certainly be a part of a healthy clean-eating lifestyle, as long a you choose a natural, organic (if possible) peanut butter without added sugar. It’s even better to find one without added salt.

I have purchased Teddie brand organic and non organic. I love the chunky!

I also find the organic store brands are more economical. Nature’s Promise from Stop & Shop, Nature’s Place from Hannaford, and 365 brand from Whole Foods are three that I have purchased.

Be choosy and choose the RIGHT peanut butter, or almond butter, or cashew butter. There’s so many wonderful butters to choose!

154.4 pounds – Weight Maintenance Mode

Well, I’m officially in “Maintenance” mode. I suppose I’ve been in maintenance for a few days, actually a few weeks, but my body has officially let me know that I am done losing weight, and I am at a healthy weight (154-155lbs) that I can maintain long term.

So, I changed my goals at MyFitnessPal:

Total Daily Calories: 1800 (actual 1870, but I’m leaving a 70 calorie deficit just in case)
Carbs / Day (45%) 203 g
Protein / Day (35%) 158 g
Fat / Day (20%) 40 g

Here’s a screen shot of all Nutritional Goals:

myfitnesspal weight management goals

I’ve been driving myself crazy since last weekend. Just feeling so hungry, especially at night, but feeling like I can’t eat because I don’t have enough calories left. I’d sometimes end up going over my allotted 1700 calories by a few because I needed more food…but now, officially allowing the extra 100 calories should help psychologically I think.

I think the last few days have been the hardest part of these past ten months. Throughout my whole weight loss journey, I rarely was hungry, except for a few scattered PMSing days. I’ve found “eating clean” was very easy for me. And I’ve been enjoying working out as well, but I think my body needs more fuel. I don’t know what changed, if anything, but somehow what I am eating wasn’t enough. So, 1800 calories should be a good starting point. I will have to take it day by day and see if I need to also eat my “exercise calories” as well.

I will continue to monitor my weight every day or two, just to make sure I am not gaining. So far, most days I am 154.4 pounds, and my body seems to be happy with that number.

Weekend Hunger Pains

Driving north for the first RV/camping trip of the season, I’m feeling vulnerable. Feeling like I could fall backward into my old ways of eating eating eating.

I don’t want to gain but there’s a part of me that’s feeling like who cares? Just eat. Reward yourself, you’re on vacation!

My confidence appears to be fading. I am trying to hold on. If I can get through this weekend then I will feel so much better!

UPDATE #1: ate dinner at Wendy’s. Think I’m doing better! I might have just been hungry!

UPDATE #2 MONDAY May 24, 2010: Well I got through the weekend. I don’t know why, but I was hungry most of the time. Could it be that we were more active? We burned a lot of calories biking and walking. I don’t know what came over me. It was like a psychological curtain was lowered, and I was famished. It started with the drive up north and continued through the whole weekend until driving home. Once home, it’s like the curtain went back up, and I was normal.

Thankfully, I didn’t eat anything regretful. Lots of fruits and whole foods.

We ate dinner at a restaurant on Saturday night, and I ordered broiled haddock (no butter), rice, zucchini w/ stewed tomatoes and also a wonderful salad. I dipped my fork in the dressing instead of pouring it on top. It was delicious. My only downfall was that I ate about 4 slices of their homemade whole grain bread, but it was soo good.

I am wondering if I should weigh myself this AM.

Eat This and Live – Book Review

“Imagine yourself standing at a crossroads. In the middle is a road sign with two arrows pointing in opposite directions. If you follow one arrow, you can eat this and die. But if you follow the other, you can eat this and live….”

Finally got my copy of the book “Eat This And Live” by Don Colbert from the library. It was suggested to me by one of my FB friends, and I was on the waiting list for months.

Bottomline: this book is NOT recommended. Let’s start with the positive.

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Recipe: Mexican Bowl with Brown Rice, Chicken, Beef, Peppers, Onions, Tomato Salsa, and Cheese

I just loved the Burrito in a Bowl at Chipotle Mexican Grill, so I was eager to try cooking something similar at home. This recipe isn’t really the same as Chipotle Grill’s version, but it’s healthy and I thought it tasted delicious. Enjoy!

Serves 4


  • 1 cup Brown Rice (all I had was short grain, but long grain would work better)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro (I used dried, but if using fresh, you will need more, and you won’t want to add until rice is cooked.)
  • 1 lime – zest and juice (approx 1Tbsp juice)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 medium Onions (I found wonderful “spring” onions at Whole Foods)
  • 1 medium sized sweet Pepper (green, red, yellow, or orange)
  • Half Chicken breast – about 7 ounces
  • 2 1/4 cups of Frozen corn (3 servings)
  • 1/4 pound deli sliced Roast Beef
  • 1 jar Tomato Salsa (I used Muir Glen mild)
  • 4 oz cheese (1 oz for each person – I had Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar, but Monterey Jack would be great too)

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Chipotle Mexican Grill for Dinner

Oh yummy, I have been dying to try the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant ever since I saw them on the Food Inc DVD. Fresh, delicious “food with integrity” – it all sounded very exciting.

DH went to a Chipotle for lunch with his boss, and brought home a menu. He raved about the food, and he isn’t even a big Mexican fan. So tonight, we decided we were in the area, so we visited the Chipotle in Nashua, NH

It was very fast, fresh, and delicious. It’s a great feeling to know you are eating a healthy dinner. I ordered the Burrito in a Bowl, with chicken, black beans, lime rice, loaded it with tomato salsa, corn salsa (spicy yum), and romaine lettuce.

I also ordered a side order of guacamole. I have never had guacamole before, and have been dying to try it. Well, actually, I think I had it years ago at Chili’s and didn’t like it. I also tried a tiny little bit at Whole Foods yesterday. It was out as a sample with some chips, but I couldn’t get a good taste of it. Anyway, I figured this would be a great opportunity to try it, since it seemed like it was fresh and well made. So, I ate my first real portion of guacamole, and I LOVED IT! oh it was so tasty! I am definitely going to make some of this myself for sure!

Oh and I still have a good portion of my dinner leftover for lunch tomorrow! Yum!

Overall, thumbs up for Chipotle Mexican Grill, except that the tables were dirty. I don’t think anyone was cleaning them. But despite that, we will definitely return, but not sure we’ll visit to the Nashua NH location.

One last pet peeve is that their mobile web site is pretty skimpy, compared to their fancy smancy Flash-based web site that cannot be accessed with an iPhone. I would like to have access to the Nutritional Data pdf, so I can see my calorie intake before I order.

The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps – Book Review

When I first heard about the book, The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle, I assumed from the title, that it was mainly about food swaps. Use olive oil instead of butter, or instead of eating a fatty donut, try whole wheat toast. Similar to the “Eat This, Not That” book series.

But once I started reading, I realized it was so much more.

The book starts with summaries and Simple Swaps from various Biggest Loser contestants. I found this section of the book the most inspiring. My favorite was Jen Eisenbarth from season 3.

Swap someone else’s voice for your own. We’re told what’s acceptable and what’s not by others. But listen to your voice. Figure out what works for you.

What an inspirational quote! It set the tone for the whole book for me.

I haven’t read all of the prior Biggest Loser books, but it’s good to see better food recommendations in this book as compared to the ones I have read. They even recommend grass fed beef and free range chicken, but alas don’t mention any better pork, eggs and dairy, but I guess that goes without saying. It’s definitely a clean eating lifestyle that’s promoted.

It’s definitely a bright, very easy to read book with lots of color and photos.

Most recipes include a color photo of the finished dish, and of course, the nutritional data is included.

What I didn’t like is that exact amounts for some ingredients were lacking. Such as 2 slices of cheese or one breast of chicken. Yes, one could assume that it’s 1 oz cheese or one pound of raw chicken, but it be so easier to see it in the recipe, just to keep it straight. Calories can differ drastically when you aren’t using exact measurements!

Recipes that sounded intriguing.

Tangy turkey wrap pg 92
Asian Wild Rice Saute pg 110
Buttermilk Cornbread pg 111
Nutty Waldorf Salad pg 133
Mini Apple Gingerbread Cupcakes pg 152

There are lots of good tips, for instance, if a food contains more than 9 grams protein it’s considered high protein. I didn’t realize that! I love Jillian’s tip on page 173. Use a deck of cards for your workout content!

Same as prior books, they suggest unrealistic (and unhealthy) calorie goals. “Present weight x 7” – for my weight of 161, that calculates to 1127, way below the suggested minimum of 1200 calories and extremely below my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) of 1454 calories just to stay alive! I wish they would stop suggesting such unrealistic calorie consumption! That’s not something that a person can live with for life!

The other complaint is that they promote processed soy meat-free products, like soy hotdogs, sausage, pastrami. And they sort of suggest using artificial sweeteners in a roundabout way, but they did highlight healthier sugar substitutions like agave and stevia.

Overall I thought The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle would be very helpful for someone needing good weight loss information and inspiration. It’s a way of life not a diet! But as I said previously, the calorie goal suggestions should be completely ignored!

I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks; I like putting my own spin on a recipe rather than exactly following it. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.

Of Course Pizza Can Be Healthy

Even though I consider myself a healthy clean eater, we all need comforting cheat foods.

For example, I like pizza. So, instead of getting a take out thick crust pizza from a nearby restaurant, I make pizza at home. I can satisfy my pizza craving once in awhile, and still try to stay within my daily calorie intake.

Initially, I bought a good quality frozen pizza from the grocery store, like Newman’s Own 4 Cheese or Kashi Mediterranean. Half a pizza is about 450 calories.

Then one week, I purchased a Rustic Crust thin pizza shell, loaded it with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, spinach, & cheese and baked it myself. Still low in calories -approximately 500. It’s easy to create, and so much better tasting than frozen.

homemade pizza with onions, garlic, spinach, & cheese

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