That Harvest Bag Life

I’ve mentioned here in the blog about my delivery of vegetables and fruits that I receive weekly from a local farm and how much I’ve enjoyed my bounty which I have dubbed The Harvest Bag (that’s not actually what the farm place calls them, but it sounds like it should be called that, right?)

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But I have learned something…there is something a bit dark that you’re not told when you order your first delivery…and it’s this: The Harvest Bag is a commitment. The Harvest Bag is a LIFESTYLE. The Harvest Bag requires attention, otherwise its contents will wither and die, not unlike those tiny digital animal keychains from the 90s (Tamagotchi, anyone?). I hate to admit that some of the produce from my first 2 bags ended up in the trash because I just didn’t understand that I needed to take care of things right away (or at least within the first couple of  days). What can I say? I was unschooled in the ways of vegetation and did not know what I did not know.

BUT when I got my bag last Friday, I was prepared with a plan. After work that evening, almost as soon as I walked in the door, I started taking care of business. I washed, I salad-spun, I chopped, I diced, I roasted, I steamed…I did everything humanly possible that I could to ensure that my produce would not go unused this week, and that it would not suffer the same fate as its Sister Bags had in the weeks before. All told, I spent about 3 hours of my Friday night tending to my little Tamagotchi vegetables. Such triumph! Such a dopamine rush! This morning I thanked my Friday Night Self for taking the time to prepare it all  – making my lunch salad was a breeze because the ingredients were already prepped and chopped and ready to go. It also makes throwing a balanced dinner together a snap.

And now that I know what I need to do, I’m confident that it won’t take me as long to prep the next bag’s contents on Friday night. Although it might help if I were to buy a bigger salad spinner.

 

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Friday Free-for-all: LocalFarmOK

Earlier in the week I mentioned that I finally have access to a local farm harvest delivery service (localfarmok.com) – I received my first delivery last Friday and I am in love.

 

Here’s what I got for $26:

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Celery, lettuce, broccoli, portobello mushrooms, potatoes, blueberries, pears, mandarin oranges, and also not shown are 3 cucumbers that I gave to my boss because cucumbers are the devil’s vegetable. I felt like that was quite a bit of produce for the money and can I just say that the taste of this produce…THE TASTE…I swoon over how good it all tasted. It was all so delicious.

How I felt all week:

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And this is a sample of what I made with all my delicious farm fresh goodies:

The first one is an egg scramble with peppers and onions with a sprinkle of cheese topped with avocado on top of a portobello mushroom. The second is a sheet pan dinner with turkey smoked sausage, broccoli, onions, and red & baby potatoes. I’ve also been eating salads all week with the lettuce. I think I’ve used up everything except the celery, which I keep forgetting to wash and chop. Maybe I’ll do that tonight.

I signed up for every other week delivery, but I’m thinking I might go ahead and sign up for the weekly delivery because I used up everything quicker than I thought I would. When you’re as health conscious as I am, you need to have a steady flow of produce coming your way. There can never be too much kale.

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I don’t think he believes me. 

 

 

 

 

I’m rouxined

I used to hate cooking. It was ONE MORE THING on my to-do list of a lot of other mom-things. It was just not an enjoyable task, wich is surprising, given how much I love to eat. And when I was trying to diet cooking was even worse because then I had to cook TWO dinners: one disappointing meal for myself and a tasty one for my family.

But then when I finally decided that I would liberate myself from the diet du jour, guess what?! I actually started to enjoy cooking. When I could cook whatever sounded good to me, that’s when cooking became fun.

What I love about cooking is learning how to make things from scratch that I would normally buy in a can. I’ve learned that the basis for a lot of these is starting with a roux.

If you don’t know, a roux is just oil or butter mixed with flour. From there you add your liquid of choice and voila – you have a delicous sauce and just saved yourself a chunk of change.

For example, not long ago I was making a casserole and needed a can of cream of chicken soup but I didn’t have one in my pantry. I Googled “diy cream of chicken soup” and found a recipe. Some butter and flour cooked until bubbly then I added some chicken broth and stirred until thick. Ta Da! Cream of chicken soup that was delicious and free of unpronounceable ingredients. And so quick and easy – I couldn’t believe how simple it was and it didn’t take much time at all – a few minutes at most.

I also found a dangerous homemade nacho cheese sauce recipe that starts with a roux. I say dangerous because this stuff is so easy and delicious…it might become a problem if I let it. A cup of milk is added to the roux then a couple of handfuls of grated cheddar cheese is melted into the mix. Add a pinch of salt and chili powder…BOOM. Nacho cheese to fulfill all of your cheese dip dreams. So easy & delicious! And again, free of unrecognizable ingredients. I’ll be more than happy to never buy Velveeta again in my life.

As someone who has lived off of processed/convenience foods her whole life (Why so chubby Jill? It’s a mystery!) cooking from scratch is a novelty. I can’t believe I have relied on canned soups and sauces for so long when it’s almost just as easy to whip them up from ingredients in my own kitchen. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks! 🙂

 

 

 

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Food reactions, by golly!

Ugh. Instead of going down the road of “I’m a failure” every time I mess up with food, I’m trying to learn from it. Here are some things I have learned about myself over the last few months:

  • 2 glazed donuts = I feel okay. Eating 3 (or more) donuts makes me feel like I’m gonna hurl.
  • Eating flour tortillas make me want to take a nap. Carb coma anyone?
  • I can’t get enough cereal. Any kind of cereal. One bowl is never enough, so it’s better if I just don’t eat it at all. (Hi I’m Jill and I’m a cereal junkie.)
  • Egg noodles are addictive and I don’t want to stop eating them. They make me feel sluggish and bloated.
  • I am at this point powerless against commercial birthday cakes. Buttercream icing makes me want to do bad things in a food porn kinda way.
  • PopTarts and milk at 10 o’clock at night are never a good idea. Waking up with a stomach ache is no way to start the day.

So basically what I’m learning is that simple carbs are not my friend. Duh. I never said I was the brightest bulb in the lamp.

I guess I’m the type that can read all the nutritional information in the world, but until I experience it myself first hand, I’m not going to believe it. At the beginning of this week for about 3 days most of my meals consisted of a lean protein and vegetables or fruit and nuts. I had tons of energy and felt almost…euphoric? I was nearly giddy – it was weird. As the week progressed and got busier, I opted for the old standby meals which are basically meat, starch, and a starchy vegetable. By last night I was so tired and had a stomach ache and just felt miserable – I don’t want to keep feeling that way.

Looking at my body as if it’s a big science experiment instead of judging myself for not being perfect is probably much healthier in the long run. It’s amazing what you can learn when you take away the judgement and self-flagellating thoughts, and instead observe how your body reacts to certain foods.

I may be 41 years old, but I’m still learning. I don’t know how long it will take me to get this figured out enough that I can be consistent enough to lose all the excess weight, but by golly I’m going to keep trying. (Yes. Yes I did just say “by golly”. Apparently I’m channeling my grandpa today.) 

Happy Weekend folks!! 🙂

The Trifecta, it eludes me.

Well here it is Friday again (finally!) and so that means weigh in day.

184.

Oh….kay. It’s not a gain, which is good, but like last week, I’m not surprised that there wasn’t a big loss. I did all right with my food – not fantastic, but okay. I think the problem this week was in the form of not enough water and not enough exercise.  I worked out Monday by walking around the city lake, and then I had Zumba on Tuesday. Wednesday I had planned on using the elliptical once I got home from work, but I never got around to it (it’s SO hard for me to work out in the evenings if I don’t do it right when I get home), then on Thursday I wanted to walk around the city lake again (I even brought clothes with me to change into after work) but we had some pretty big storms rolling through yesterday afternoon, so I nixed that idea, and like Wednesday, didn’t make it to the elliptical. I set my alarm to get up early this morning to work out, but I did something wrong because my alarm never did come on. It’s a good thing I woke up when I did or I would have been late for work.  I brought my work out clothes with me so I could walk around the lake again, but it’s cloudy and cold and the wind is blowing hard today, and it’s usually twice as windy at the lake. So I don’t know what I’m going to do.

I’ve been packing an extra afternoon meal to take with me to work, so that I’m not ravenous when I get home and eat the refrigerator. It’s working out great so far. My after-work noshing has decreased considerably. Debby, you were right – I think I haven’t been eating enough during the day, and having this extra meal seems to be balancing things out.  🙂

Now, I just have to work on drinking enough water, and getting into a consistent exercise routine…why does it seem like it’s so hard to complete the weight loss trifecta?  If food is good, then water and workouts aren’t so great. If water is being guzzled regularly, then food and workouts are hard to manage. If I’m working out like a boss, then water and food are suffering. What’s up with that? Anyone else have that problem?

I’m realizing that losing weight isn’t going to be as easy as it was even just a couple of years ago. I’m going to have to fight hard for every pound I lose. Dang it.  Oh well, Eye of the Tiger, baby! Eye of the Tiger.

Hoo are you? Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo

Hey y’all!  How was your weekend?

Well, I don’t think we are quite ready for the Bass Pro circuit just yet, but Shawn and I did alright in the couples tourney on Saturday. We got 5th place out of 56 boats and won $400!  Not a bad way to spend a Saturday. The weather was GORGEOUS. Just absolutely perfect.  Well, starting out it was pretty cold – it was 40 degrees when we put the boat in, and let me tell you, 40 degrees on the water is a lot different than 40 degrees snug and warm in my bed. It warmed up nicely though – I think it made it up to 80 degrees that afternoon. No lie, I had a little bag that I took with me and in this bag I had gloves and earmuffs along with flip flops and shorts! It was a really good day.  When we first got out on the water it was still dark, but as it started to get light I noticed the silhouette of an owl sitting at the very tip top of a tree. It would have made the coolest picture if a professional had been there with a fancy camera, but all I had was my crappy camera phone, so I didn’t even attempt a photo. It was an amazing sight though.

It was almost exactly like this. Isn't it pretty?

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Debby said she thought that being in a boat all would lead to lots of snacking, but really the opposite is true, at least in a tournament setting. I had packed a small container of yogurt with honey and some string cheese for my breakfast, then I had a sandwich, some beef jerky, and a Kit Kat that afternoon and that was it while we were on the boat. It’s not easy to cast a reel and eat at the same time! And we fished hard the whole day, so there wasn’t much downtime at all. It was nice just to spend the day with my husband in such a relaxing setting. I highly recommend it.  🙂

After we got home, I realized how tired I was (we got up at 4:30 that morning – ugh) and that’s when the pandora’s box of all things processed opened up and flew into my gullet. I ate way more than I needed, but the momentum was going and it was so hard to stop. Eventually I did stop and finally made myself go take a nap. Sunday wasn’t much better on the food front – I was still tired and sort of in that I-have-so-much-to-do-but-I’m-bored kind of mood. I hate that. So hard to shake that feeling.

I didn’t sleep well last night at all. I felt like I just couldn’t get into a deep sleep, so when the alarm screamed at me this morning, I shut it up real quick and turned over and went back to sleep. Skipped my planned workout, which always makes me mad later. Oh well, there’s always a chance to do better tomorrow.

My food has been pretty good today, and I decided that one thing I used to do all the time that really helps me is to make a menu of dinners for the week. Since I always pack my lunch, I k now what I’m going to be eating during the day, but if I don’t plan the dinners too, I end up cooking whatever’s easiest and easy doesn’t always translate into healthy. I think it’s better for me to be able to look at a whole day’s worth of food because I can put it all into a tracker and “predict” where I’m going to end up for the day, calorie-wise. I used to do this quite a bit, and I remember that it seemed to help, so I’m going to try it again this week. I hope it really does help. I need all the help I can get.  🙂

 

 

Feeling a little beachy

Hey gang!

So I decided that enough is enough and I need to change the way I eat. I go for the lazy option too often and I need to experiment a little. So for my first experiment, I’m going old skool and bustin’ out the South Beach Diet book. I’ve done SB before and had success with it – it helped me lose 30 pounds and I felt great (disclaimer -I was also taking an appetite suppressant and working out daily), so I figured I would try it again. I may very well be the only person on the planet doing SBD right now, but oh well. I’m trying to find something that I can live with for the rest of my life, because let’s face it, my way hasn’t been working. Contrary to what a lot of folks believe, SBD is NOT a low carb diet. The first 2 weeks are low carb, yes, but after Phase 1 you get to add in some good healthy carbs and you build from there. Phase 1 is going to be the toughest for me because I’m a carb lovin gal the likes of which you’ve never seen before!

Here’s a rundown of how the first few days have gone:

Day 1 – Oh man, this is so easy! Why did I wait so long to do this? Phase 1 is going to be a piece of (sugar free) cake!

Day 2 – Note to self – woman cannot live on vegetables alone. Protein is your friend!!! Make sure you have enough with your salad at lunchtime or you will be STARVING CRANKY WENCH by dinner time.

Day 3 – Oh jeez what am I doing? I can’t handle this. I think I’m going through junk food withdrawal. Any why did I promise the kids we could go to CherryBerry? I feel anxious and I’m pretty sure I’ve way more pistachios than I should have. This sucks. Sucks Sucks Sucks!!!

Day 4 – Started the day with a minor indiscretion, but I’m not beating myself up for it. I’m just going to continue on as if nothing happened. I feel better today and the cravings have been easier to deal with. I also started my Lady Time today, so that could have been what was wrong with me yesterday.

Day 5 – Do you smell jet fuel? Because today I crashed and burned in a most spectacular way.  I won’t discuss the carnage, but I think it was the result of not eating breakfast until way late, plus I’ve been eating the same foods for the last 5 days and when the easy option presented itself, I went for it like a 12 year old girl goes for Justin Bieber. I’ve got new foods now, though, so hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Day 6 – Much better today. Feeling pretty good. I think I’m getting the handle of this.

Day 7 – I’m sick of Phase1!! Phase 1 sucks!! I want some carbs dammit!!!

 

So I’m halfway through Phase 1, and it cannot end soon enough. I’m so ready to start Phase 2 and start adding some stuff back in. There’s only so much you ( I ) can do with salad and meat. I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost – not much I’m afraid. But really the point of doing this is to see if this (not Phase 1) is something I can do for most of the rest of my life. The plan is to give it a solid month and then see if I feel like it’s working or if I think I need to try something else.

So far I have learned that I love love love roasted vegetables! I love it when the broccoli gets cripsy and when the zuccini gets smoky. Mmmm so yummy! So if for no other reason than that, I consider this a success.

We’ll see how week 2 goes though – it’s going to be a challenge because week one has felt like it has been 28 days long. Learning how to eat differently is going to be harder than I thought!