Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Resources

As I've mentioned it's tough work being a clean eater. I have to constantly look up recipes, modify recipes, cook the recipes, look up places to obtain local food, vegetables, produce, dairy and meat, look up restaurants that serve local food. It's tough in the beginning, especially when I'm not sure where to go. There's no easy one stop for all on the island. As I progress, I'm going to add resources to the list on the side of my page. For now, here's a list of my resources and how I selected that particular one.

First, let me start with produce. Now one would think, living on an island, it should be relatively easy to obtain local organic fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. It's not. I've had to go to Whole Foods. Why Whole Foods and not another supermarket, well honestly, Whole Foods has a bigger selection, plus it allows me to know where my food came from. The farms out east are not open during the winter and neither are the local ones. Next thing was, am I am willing to drive out east every other weekend to pick up produce. No I'm not. Why? That's a lot of gas. Plus everyone is driving out east, it's not going to be fun. So what I did was, I found two farms. One is local, Organic Today Farm which is in Islip NY. Not too much of a selection at times but it's local and organic. It's also open on a daily basis. I also signed up for a CSA from Garden of Eve Farm which is located in Riverhead. It starts June 9th and I pick up a local box in Sayville every other week. Why I picked this farm was due to it having multiple drop offs for CSA and you get a variety of fruit and vegetables. Plus it had different options for different people. The CSA will go from June to November. If Chris and I like it, we will also sign up for the winter CSA which is once a month. There's honestly not too many farms in the middle of Suffolk County on Long Island. I tried a few of the weekend farmer's markets around here and wasn't thrilled. They didn't meet the criteria of organic, choices and frequency. Both these farms were able to meet the criteria plus I was able to talk to the farmers which made me ecstatic.

Next was my produce. I used to get my produce from Whole Foods. However, there really isn't much of a selection that fits my criteria, grass fed, free range, hormone free, etc. I'm limited very often. Plus it's expensive! Needless to say, I haven't really eaten meat much since September. Mike from Organic Today in Islip has recently started selling local meat which is grass fed, hormone free, etc. Perfect. You can order by Wed and have it by Sat. He doesn't have too much of a selection but it's a lot cheaper then the supermarket. I'm excited. I'll probably order meat within a few weeks. I also found a farm upstate that delivers meat. You can check out www.eatwild.com for a local place by you. I chose Fox Hill Farm grass fed beef. I have yet to order from there yet but I will be. (The problem is you can't just say hm. I want this and then order it. It does take a few days). I can't wait to check out these farms with their meats. Both are a lot cheaper then finding it in the supermarket. I have yet to find a fisher's market that I like on the island. Any suggestions?

Next is dairy, cheese and whatnot. I found a farm that is called Udder Milk Creamery. They deliver to Long Island and have milk, cheese, etc. That's also on my list of places to try. I'll let you know after I try it.

Pantry goods. I have discovered Amazon is a lot cheaper then Whole Foods. It's also easy to find products that I use on a regular basis there. Unlike Stop and Shop or King Kullen. The only difficulty is now when I need food, I need to make a list and then order it at all once instead of going to the store and saying..hmm. what do I need? It should save more money in the long run.

Next is WHERE TO GO EAT! As many of you know, I recently had a birthday. I didn't want to go someplace that I was going to have to ask a hundred questions or that I knew the food wasn't prime. I did some research on www.eatwellguide.org (also great because it allows you to find a restaurant ANYWHERE and a caterer!!) I found several places on Long Island. One that I actually close for my birthday was 5th Season restaurant in Port Jeff. It's across from the water. The food changes every 12 weeks due to seasonal produce available. We went there for my birthday and OMG delicious. I have pictures on my phone. As soon as I can figure out how to upload those on here, I'll put up pictures.

I've mentioned cookbooks and reading material previously. I'll post them up on the side so no one has to go scan my previous posts. If I'm missing anything, please let me know. I'll also keep you updated as I go!




“Not only were you riding down this mountain but the mountain is chasing after you and you need to figure out how to escape the mountain but also use it.”
On Big Wave Surfing

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Recap on eating habits and exercise



Ok so obviously no one is perfect. I haven't been 100% perfect. I find it difficult mostly when I'm out. I spend a lot of time at my parents house. I often either a. forget to bring my own food or b. just enjoy their food. My mom has been trying to eat better as well so its not like I'm eating junk food. I have continued to educate myself and improve habits here and there. Eating this way, living this life style requires a lot of creativity, time and energy. All of which I've had none recently.

I've gotten sick numerous times over the past several months. It's not fun when you as the chef in the house are sick too. No desire to cook or anything. Having a sprained ankle means minimal exercise. I've had a ton of stomach problems recently too. I am contributing this to not being diligent about my diet. I've found that when I'm not strict, I have stomach problems. I become constipated. I get migraines. It's NOT fun. I don't want to resort back to my old habits. After all isn't that what got me here in the first place? It's already the end of May and I haven't surfed yet. :( This makes me sad.) However I can honestly say I'm not in shape nor is my health up to it yet. I will get out there this summer though.

I have drastically changed the habits for when I'm not feeling well. GINGER GINGER GINGER. Did I mention ginger? Run to the nearest store and make sure you have pure ginger and ginger tea in the house. I have found that when I'm not feeling too hot, I cut up some ginger, put boiling hot water over it, let it steep and drink. It makes me feel better beyond belief. I have ginger tea as well. It has helped with sore throats and upset tummy. I'm not so quick to pop a pill or run to the doctor. I will rest, have fluids and have tons of ginger. There is research out there that states that ginger is good for all of these things.

I have done some research and I will be doing some juicing. What this means is I will be juicing my vegetables once in awhile. This will provide a detox for the chemicals in my body among other benefits. I've recently started following Vani on www.foodbabe.com She discusses the benefits of juicing among many other topics on her blog. I hope to be juicing by the end of the summer and be able to tell you what benefits I have gotten.

I also REALLY want to start canning and preserving my fruits and vegetables. Spring and summer is here which means all the yummy food is now in season. In order to have this continue for the winter, that means I need to start now. I'm doing some research and looking into how to do both. Once my CSA starts and I pick my recipes, I will be going forward with this. I hope to update my blog with this information as well. Lisa from www.100daysofrealfood.com recently attended a canning class and indicated that it was really easy. I'm hoping I feel the same way. I'll have to let you know!

I also would like to be doing yoga on a daily basis. A yoga studio just opened up right down the block from my job. http://bearfootyogacenter.com/home/ I would love to check it out besides trying to do yoga on a daily basis at home. However A. I'm not going to try it until I get into a routine at home and B. I'm not going to do it until I have money to pay for classes. :( I also want to start running. (check out my previous post on shin splints). I REALLY want to be able to run a 5K. I should be able to do it at the age of 28 years old right? The reason for this is A. yoga stretches and will help me with my tight muscles. B. Running will help me with cardio which will help at the beach.




Anyway, that's the update with me. How is everyone else doing with their journey to clean eating and healthy lifestyle?? What changes have you done recently??




“Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.”
Bodhi

articles!






Over the past several months, there have been a slew of articles that I've been reading. Some I've posted on my facebook page and others I've just shared with my boyfriend. I wanted to share some of the following articles with you so you can continue to learn about our foods along with me



1.

I'm glad I stopped eating Kashi back in September. I had also stopped eating Cascadian Farms. Goes to show just how much the food industry is in charge and not us.




2.






The yellow goo at the top is margarine.
The yellow goo at the left is "reduced fat margarine"
The stuff with the ants all over it is butter.




If the ants don't want to eat it, why should we??? DISGUSTING!!!




3. Are the foods we are eating killing us? - This article discusses just how much has changed in the foods, the hidden ingredients and the addictions




4. Does eating organic food turn you into a jerk? - This article was recently posted on my news feed today. It discusses how some people ask multiple questions while out to eat. While yes I understand there are a lot of allergies and what not out there so you do need to be careful with what you consume. However if you are going out and looking for specifically local and organic, do your research before you go. It's not that difficult.




5. Why Americans aren't eating their vegetables - I just posted this on my facebook the other day. Number 3 rang true for me. While normally I go to Whole Foods, my local farm or my CSA, once in awhile I'll run into King Kullen or Stop and Shop. The choices of fruits and vegetables are minimal. They also have little in stock as well.




6. are you eating glued meat? - EW! It's amazing what restaurants and vendors will do to cut costs.




7. Supermarkets and Pink Slime! - While I'm on the subject of meat, EW!!! The good news is after this happened, some restaurants promised to take it out. The bad news was the government allowed the school to buy the pink slime at a reduced price for school! Personal meat grinder anyone?




8. Why its important to watch what you eat when you are pregnant - I knew this but its insane how many studies are coming out proving this. Note to family: When I become pregnant, I will become a crazy fanatic about what I eat!




9. Sugar Sugar Sugar Sugar is everywhere. It's crazy where its hidden and the different names it has!




10. Toxins Sugar should be labeled as a toxin and a drug. So many people consume so much of it, its not even funny.




11. Food dye and health concerns - As if mothers do not have enough to worry about. Studies showing that food dye (which is artificial) is linked to health concerns now.







If none of these articles gross you out or make you think twice, I don't know what will. Thanks for reading some of the information that I've put together for you.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Homemade chicken soup



Between the past two weeks, I have been sick. Chicken Soup was called for. It made me feel better. This recipe is a combination of my mother's chicken soup and 100daysofrealfood.com chicken soup. I had leftover slow cooked chicken in the fridge so it was easy to pull out. The only thing I did not really like about the first time making this was the type of pasta I used. I was in a rush. Also, there really isn't too much of a selection of 100% whole wheat pasta in most stores. I'd used a different one next time I make it.




Homemade Chicken Soup


9 cups chicken stock/broth
1 bag of whole wheat pasta - the really really tiny ones if possible
10 carrots, peeled and chopped
5 celery stalks, washed and chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
Salt & pepper, to taste


Directions
Bring chicken stock to a boil
Add dry whole-grain noodles to stock and set the timer according to pasta package directions.
When there are 5 minutes left in the cooking time throw in the chopped carrots and celery. Keep the stock boiling.
When there is about 1 minute left add the cooked chicken to the stock so it can heat up thoroughly.
Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed.

Homemade dish soap



Some of you may know, I am planning on converting all my cleaning products to homemade cleaning products. Why you may ask? Well if I'm not willing to put chemicals in my body, why should I inhale them? Why should I surround myself with chemicals especially since I try so hard to avoid putting them in my body. Between following certain blogs and pinterest, it wasn't quite hard to find a recipe. The question was, was it hard to find the products, was it difficult to make, and was it worth it. I discovered it was a lot cheaper to make my own soap then to replace it multiple times from the supermarket. I also discovered that it was fairly easy to make.

I recently made this homemade dish soap from a recipe I found on www.frugalsustainable.com



Recipe as followed:
Homemade Liquid Dish Soap 


Ingredients: 
1 ½ cups hot water
1 tablespoon shredded bar soap (i.e. castile bar soap, ivory, or a homemade simple soap)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Super Washing Soda

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and then pour in 1 1/2 cup of very hot water. Be sure to whisk/stir this mixture until all ingredients are thoroughly blended (and the bar soap is melted).
2. Allow mixture to cool completely on the counter for approximately 8 hours. Stir occasionally.
3. Store in any dish soap dispensing bottle and use as you would the commercial brands.
*I did find that it did smell a bit at first. You really have to rinse the dishes off in order not to keep the smell on the dishes. You can also add lemon to the soap so it does not smell. The longer the soap sits there, the less it smells.

From website note: You may choose to naturally increase the anti-bacterial qualities of the soap by adding 1/4 tsp. of lemon, sweet orange, lemongrass, lavender or eucalyptus essential oils




“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.”
Mother Teresa

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Breakfast



What do you eat for breakfast?? I posted up a granola recipe several months back. I also posted up waffles. I do also make whole wheat blue berry pancakes. (I'm thinking of starting a tab that indicates my recipes and easy access) I wanted to share with you these three quick recipes for breakfast.




My mom made the following all the time, this with potatoes as well. I was craving it. You could eat this at anytime in the day. It also goes good on Italian bread too. (Yes I'm trying to find a recipe to make that whole wheat!)



Egg Frittata with Asparagus
.

4-6 Eggs

Asparagus

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive oil




1. Heat up pan with olive oil over med high heat

2. Chop up asparagus and place in plan

3. After asparagus have soften, place eggs (mixed in a bowl) in pan.

4. Wait until eggs have browned on the bottom and flip.

5. When eggs are done cooking, take off the pan and eat.







*don't mind the mess in the picture. I didn't flip so well!






Eggs with kale and red peppers

Large handful of kale

1 red pepper chopped up

4 eggs

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste




1. Heat up olive oil in pan over med-high heat

2. Toss kale in pan, wait to wilt then toss in red pepper

3. Mix in eggs

4. Scramble all together until cooked thoroughly.

5. Take off the pan and eat.






Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
1 banana

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon fresh ground peanut butter

splash of vanilla extract






1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Eat when done.


Shin Splints



OW! Shin splints hurt. Badly. They also make it impossible to be mobile. As my ankle healed, I wanted to run. Plus the weather outside was getting nicer. I'm home during the day and should take advantage of this. However, I couldn't even get around the block without being in pain. I would end up hobbling home. Even if I walked and slowed down my pace! They still came, both legs, I could predict it. I would try to do 1 mile to 2-2 and half miles. "No way!" my shins screamed. In the past, I gladly used this as an excuse to say, "I'm simply not a runner", despite always wanting to at least complete a 5k. It was disheartening. This time around, I was determined to not make this the case again. I needed to change my mindset and my routine. Something had to give and this time, I wasn't going to stop running.

So, what did I do? I went to the one person in my life that have been running her whole lives. My sister, Jackie, who has been running since she was about 12. If she wasn't a vet, she would have been a personal trainer. Jackie has run 5K, 10K and half marathons. I do believe she is working her way up to a marathon. 

Jackie's response was, several types different stretches specifically for the shins, take an anti inflammatory after running, ice after each run, alternate days and get new sneakers. (Keep in mind, she also went to a sports doctor for her knees to help with her running).

Off i went armed with my new information. The only thing I hadn't done yet was get new sneakers. Needless to say, everything did NOT work . Maybe I should have gotten the sneakers first. I finally retrieved my old sneakers from my moms house and holy mackerel! what a difference. I could walk, I could run, no PAIN!!!!!! Being that I just got the shoes back a few days ago, I haven't really developed a routine. I'm excited. I will however be continuing what Jackie  told me.

Off I go to run. I'll update you in a month or so to let you know how this all works out for me.

can't wait until summer!!
"My life is like a stroll on the beach...as near to the edge as I can go."
Thoreau