How do you like your juice?

I never really gave my morning juice much thought until I bought a juicer and started experimenting.  I downloaded a couple of ebooks for my kindle and have browsed through the recipes at SparkRecipes.com.  That gave me a lot of ideas about what to try.  My first attempt was…well…not something I’ll be trying again any time soon (or ever).

Green juice

Green juice

 

I used a couple of apples, 2 carrots, 1 stalk of celery, and a couple handfuls of spinach…yeah, not all that tasty.  I think the celery did it for me…I know it’s supposed to be good for you, but…uh…not really doing a lot for my taste buds.

Yesterday I juiced a couple of apples, two carrots, and 12 cherries…much better!  Tonight I juiced some oranges…for, you know, orange juice!!  My favorite so far…surprise, surprise!  I also juiced an apple and 12 cherries…tasty and such a pretty color…sorry, no picture of that…maybe later.

One thing I’ve quickly realized is that I’m going to have to figure out something to do with the pulp…I feel so wasteful just throwing it away.  I’ve read that some people use it in smoothies or soup…might be worth a try, you think?

If you have some suggestions for combinations that would make a tasty juice (or if you have any ideas about what to do with the pulp), let me know.

The long and winding road to fitness, day 103

Acorn-squash

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Whew…wild day at work!!  Another fun-filled, non-stop day.  Busy, busy,busy (and that’s not a bad thing).  I’m sure tomorrow will be more of the same, lots to do.

I ate fairly well today, but didn’t eat enough veggies.  Did get in plenty of fruit, so that’s at least one good thing.  I bought an acorn squash and some sweet potatoes…I love both of those, just need to cook them.  Not going to happen tonight though.

I did walk for 25 minutes in addition to all of the walking I did at work.  So at least I didn’t go three days without exercising.  It’s awfully easy to just not start again once you miss a couple of days even when you know how much better you feel when you do exercise.  What’s that all about?

Lots of new neighbors moving in this weekend.  You never know if that’s a good thing or not.  Are they going to be playing loud music all night when I have to get up at 4:30 or 5 almost every morning?  Are they going to be having drunken friends over?  Are they going to be crazy and have violent fights?  Are they going to be messy and leave trash all over the place?  Are their kids going to be troublesome?  On the other hand, they could be sweet and helpful.  They could be interested in making their patio and porch look cozy and inviting.  They could work a lot and not have a lot of company.  Their kids could be well-mannered and well-behaved (mmm…yeah, that doesn’t happen often).  We could find out we have a lot in common and become life-long friends…you just never know what you’re going to get when someone new moves in, do you?

Are you friendly with your neighbors?  Do you know one another just to say “hi” to or are you in and out of each other’s homes, visiting, laughing, sharing?

Quinoa corn cakes

I had completely forgotten how truly tasty this meal is until I was browsing recipes at SparkRecipes.com.  When I came across this one I knew this was what I was going to prepare for my lunch for work for the first part of the work week.  Because this recipe is so basic I already had everything I needed on hand.

Quinoa, whole wheat flour, an egg, skim milk, onion, frozen corn, salt, pepper, and water…how much more basic can you get?  Here’s the link to the recipe…

http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1207271

Okay, this doesn’t look like much before you cook it…

But look at this with a little fresh salsa on the side…yum!  Tasty, filling and about 200 calories for lunch…can’t beat that!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 55

I did a little cooking today…had some adventures with zucchini…found a way to make fried zucchini (and probably other veggies would work as well, mushrooms, eggplant, green tomatoes)in the oven with no oil…yea me!!

I walked for about half an hour this morning…unfortunately that’s all the exercise I managed to get in.  I’m a little disappointed with the amount of exercise I’ve put in while I’ve been on vacation. I really meant to do a lot more than I’ve done.   It’s  been nice walking at sunrise every day, the sky has been gorgeous.

Today I didn’t  get much done around the house.  There are so many things I want to do, but I couldn’t seem to get motivated to do any of them.  I’m not even really sure where the day went…oh well, is that so terrible when you’re on vacation?  I fooled around on the computer (how do you like my new background color?  the very pale grey/green rather than the bright green?  I’m playing around with the look of my blog…let me know what you think, what suggestions you have for me…).  I read for a while…and snuggled with Spooky while I was reading…she loves that.

My eating today was decent…had that oven fried zucchini for lunch along with a slice of zucchini bread.  Dinner was a couple of pieces of focaccia and a glass of milk.  I also had oj and half a banana today, peanut butter on frozen waffles with skim milk for breakfast.  As far as calories are concerned, I did fine.  But I know I could have eaten more fruit and veggies.  Tomorrow is grocery shopping day (very early in the morning) so I’ll come back with some fresh produce…that should help me take in a few more servings each day.

I may not come home with all of that, but I want to have a little variety for when I go back to work.  How does vegetarian taco salad sound?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 52

The Horton Family in 1973: Back Row: Edward Ma...

Image via Wikipedia

My first day of vacation was pleasant.  I had to run across town to go pick up my contacts and decided to head into Target while I was in the neighborhood.  I picked up a few things that were on sale, then came back home.  I didn’t do a lot at home today.  I figured I’d give myself one day of doing whatever, then tackle some chores tomorrow.  I don’t really like doing house work, but I sure do like having a clean house.  Since I can’t afford a maid and the little house cleaning fairies have left town, I guess I’ll just have to do my own cleaning.  It’ll be worth it once I’m finished.  Don’t you find that you are able to relax more when your house is clean and organized?

I did do two cardio workouts today…walked for 35 minutes this morning and danced for 20 minutes this afternoon.  I did a little core work…only four different exercises today…I kind of forgot about it while I was watching Days of Our Lives (what?  has Maggie died?  say it ain’t so), so hurried and did a little just a few minutes ago.  Tomorrow is supposed to be much cooler so I’m thinking I’ll go out for a nice long walk complete with pictures…you can never have too many pictures, although I do need to organize mine somehow…what do you all do with your digital photos to organize them so you don’t have to search for that one particular picture? I’m at a loss on this one.

I baked a homemade pizza today…lots of mushrooms, onion and turkey bacon…I know I just posted a blog about bacon not that long ago and how I’m not a huge fan of it…but I had to use this up because it was getting close to the use by date…guess I could have stuck it in the freezer so that I could find it next year…anyhow, the pizza was decent…not my best by any stretch of the imagination, but still pretty good. 

I also made up a batch of frozen banana pops…yum…I don’t know how I ever lived without these things…I can do without ice cream if I have these available.  I had some of the chocolate/peanut butter mixture left over and didn’t want to throw it out…what to do? what to do?  Oh wait, I have dried cherries in the pantry…no, no, took those to work…what do I have?  Hmm…dried apples?  No…dried pineapple…I don’t think so…dried plums (or prunes before the marketing whiz kids decided to come up with something more appealing to the masses)?  Hmm…how would that taste?  Tried it…not bad…the prunes are small ones so I ended up with about a dozen of them…Figure that could be a good candy substitute when I get a craving.  What do you think?

I’ve got to do something with zucchini tomorrow…I’ve got several I need to pick and, who knows, by tomorrow morning they may be the size of a baseball bat…so, do I make zucchini lasagna?  I already have enough pizza to last me for the next three days, so don’t really need another Italian style entree…zucchini bread or muffins?  That’s definitely an option…if I make muffins, I can put most of them in the freezer and take them to work for a snack when I go back next week.  Maybe grill some zucchini and other veggies?  I’d have to run to the grocery store tomorrow to buy more mushrooms since I used all of them on today’s pizza.  I could always shred the zucchini and put it in the freezer…decisions, decisions…what would you do?

So, all in all, a good first day of vacation…what did you do today?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 43

I felt much more rested today and was able to get a lot more done over the course of the day.  I went out a little after 6 am for a walk…it was still terribly hot and humid, came home just a bit sweaty.  But it was much nicer at 6 am than it was this afternoon.  Whew…I hate to say this, but I’m ready for fall.  Fall has always been my favorite time of the year in Indiana and I’m sure this year will be no different.  I like those crisp mornings and the vivid blue skies, the humidity drops to a much more humane level, and you can sleep with the windows open.  It’ll be here before we know it.

I walked for 30 minutes today and worked in the garden for another 30 minutes.  That was the total of my exercise for the day.  I’ve skipped strength training for a few days, time to get back with it.  My eating was really good.  I’ve had a little less than 1500 calories for the day.  I got a lot of cooking in for food to take to work (tomorrow’s lunch is grilled veggies on whole wheat focaccia…which I made myself).  I also canned some pickles and peppers…the kind of canning where you store the jars in the fridge rather than in the pantry.  I put both of those on my veggie sandwiches…yum…better than Subway.

My next day off I’m going to have to do something with zucchini.  I think I’ll make some zucchini bread (a healthier recipe) and then just shred the rest and put it in the freezer for later.  I’ve only got one zucchini plant, but one is more than enough this year.  Maybe I’ll whip up that zucchini crust pizza I mentioned the other day.   We’ll see…

So, did you do any cooking this weekend?  What are your plans for the week?

My little garden in mid July

As with most gardens, there are some hits and some misses.  Some things in my garden are performing wonderfully.  I’ve got plenty of cucumbers…

Only one pepper plant has actually produced any peppers so far, although the jalapeno plant is now blooming, my fault, I transplanted it late.

The zucchini plant has taken over…

See how huge the plant is relative to the terra-cotta bird bath?  This thing is gigantic. I have plenty of zucchini even with picking them small.

The sunflowers are still blooming although the little gold finches are eating all the seeds.

Now the black-eyed Susans are blooming…

Unfortunately, the tomatoes have been hit with blight again this year…darn it, darn it, darn it! I’m hoping the ones that have come up on their own will manage to avoid it, they did fine last year even though the others all succumbed to the dreaded blight.   In the mean time, thank goodness for the farmers market.

The long and winding road to fitness, day 16

A Fourth of July fireworks display at the Wash...

Image via Wikipedia

I hope everyone had a great holiday today.  I had to work, but it wasn’t bad.  We only had a few people working (it was a short day, closed at 6 instead of 9), but everyone had fun and got a lot of work done at the same time…nice.

I had a really good eating day, ended up eating 9 servings of fruits and veggies, more veggies than fruit (unusual for me) with my grilled veggies for dinner.

I had Patty pan squash, baby zucchini, mushrooms, sweet potato fries and a peach.  It was so delicious!!  I just may have the same thing tomorrow.

I ended the day with 1717 calories and 30 minutes of cardio (bike and walking) along with upper body strength training, 8 exercises, 2 sets of each.  One good thing about working on a holiday, I can usually manage to get in my exercise and eat fairly well whereas I’d likely eat a lot of higher calorie foods if I celebrated with friends or family.  See, there is always something positive about most situations.

So, how did everyone else do today?  Did you do anything exciting today?

Farmers Market in early July

I finally made it to our local farmers market this morning.  I have every other weekend off work and it seems like it’s always either raining or I’ve got other plans.  But today I got up early, gathered my totes, put on comfortable shoes and made my way down town.  I got there just a few minutes after it opened (operating hours are Saturdays, 8 am until 1 pm) while the crowd was still navigable.  Believe me, with this particular farmers market, that’s the only way to do it.  On occasion, I’ve gone at around 11 am and could hardly see the vendors’ booths through the mass of humanity.  By going early, I was able to find my favorite vendors (there are several organic farmers who sell their produce and plants at the market, one of my favorites is a farm that is owned by a woman…one of these days I’ll remember to take a picture of her at her booth, but that didn’t happen today.  It’s nice to be able to talk with the farmers who actually do the work to bring us all the fresh fruit and veggies.  I like to hobby garden, but to do it on a large enough scale to earn money is a huge undertaking, not to mention, a lot of hard work!  I have total respect for these people and thankfully,  I get to enjoy the fruit of their labors.  In addition to the produce, you can find honey, eggs, meat, freshly ground flour and cornmeal, all kinds of live plants, cut flowers, coffee, prepared food and lots of live entertainment.  It’s really a social event for a lot of people here in my home town.

I came away with several baby zucchini, some juicy peaches (I ate one as soon as I got home), some red leaf lettuce, a Patty pan squash, a yellow tomato, and a red tomato.  I think I’m going to grill the zucchini and the Patty pan squash, brushing them with olive oil first.  The red tomato will likely go into a nice fresh salsa, one of my favorite summer foods.  The lettuce?  Well, salad for work with tomato, cucumbers and peppers.  And the peaches, really, do I have to explain?  I will eat them out of hand…although I have read various blogs about grilling peaches and watermelon…should I give it a whirl?

By the time I got home, it was beginning to get hot (we’re under a heat advisory today) and the humidity was making it a little difficult for me to breathe.  I went out to look at my own little garden where I have several cucumbers ready to pick.  And I noticed one of my Amish paste tomatoes is turning…ahh…to be able to walk out of my kitchen door and pick my own produce right before I eat it, it doesn’t get any better than that!!  But the convenience and ambience of the farmers market comes in a close second!

Container garden gone wild

Wow…all of the rain we’ve had this year has caused an explosion in my container garden…well, okay, not exactly an explosion (thankfully), but the plants continue to grow like crazy…over running the small patio outside my kitchen.  When I heard the mowers early this morning, I knew I was going to have to do something because the cucumbers were growing out into the grass and the mowing crew would just run over them.

So, lacking the supplies on hand to grow them vertically (make a note now for next year, Patti), what could I do with them to get them out of the way and to have them take up a little less room on the patio?

I put one of the pots on the top shelf of a plant stand altho it looks like this will only be a temporary fix…I think the plant will continue to grow so much that I’d have trouble getting in and out the back door.

I set the other pot in front of the Adirondack chair that I won’t be sitting in this summer.  I kind of originally used it to give a little extra support to the tomato plant, but the plant quickly took over.  I’ve just come to the conclusion that the chair will simply be a background for the art that is my garden this year!

Hard to believe I’m going to all that trouble for this…only another gardener would understand…

I picked another pepper today that I’m going to use in black bean salsa later today.

The zucchini plant continues to grow.  Hard to believe, when I first planted zucchini, many years ago, I planted an entire row…funny how many things you can do with zucchini when it’s got you buried in the kitchen…and really, there’s only so much you can palm off onto friends and family!  I actually found a cookbook devoted to zucchini…some very interesting recipes (many that I’ve never tried…and likely will never try).

And one of the sunflowers that the birds planted for me is getting ready to bloom…enjoy little birdies, maybe you’ll eat a little less of the expensive bird seed I buy for you…or not!

Don’t you just love how gardening is never the same year to year?  I just hope this year is a better year for my tomatoes than last year was…oh well, if not, there’s always the farmers market!

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