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St. Matthews Farmer’s Market

After my race on Saturday, I hopped back in my car and headed straight for the St. Matthews Farmer’s Market.

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I’d been wanting to go to one since they began a few weeks ago and I finally made it!

This one is pretty small, so I did a quick lap to get a feel for the place and see if there was anything I needed to go back for.

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This place caught my eye!

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Shelbyville, KY is a mere 30 minute drive from my house, plus Harmony Fields Farm grows all their stuff ORGANIC! It doesn’t get much better than local AND organic.

This week, they had strawberries, which I was told were picked on Friday, and sugar snap peas, plus some leafy greens.

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This is what I got! 🙂

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This cost me $9 but there is more in those containers than it looks like. Plus to know I’m supporting a very local farm that grows organic produce, not ingesting nasty pesticides, and the taste…totally worth it.  

I also found the Cake Flour booth. They are a local bakery that is kind enough to feature some vegan baked goods, like this vegan oatmeal spice cookie I picked up!

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It was delicious! I kind of wish I hadn’t eaten it already, ha ha. I will just have to go back next time!

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I’m hoping to check out some other Farmer’s Markets as the summer goes on but the St. Matthews Farmer’s Market was a good place to start.

Do you shop at Farmer’s Markets in your area?

Kale chips

I have seen various kale chips on other food blogs for years now and never got up the nerve to try them myself, even though they always looked and sounded delicious.

I have ordered cooked kale at a few restaurants in the past, but have only actually tried using kale at home once, when I made an ill-fated green smoothie with it (I found it to be too bitter). Since then, I have been hesistant to use raw kale for anything.

But when I found this bunch of organic kale at Whole Foods for $2.49, I knew it was time to break some new ground.

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This bunch came from Lady Moon Farms, which is located in Pennsylvania and ships out from a few places along the East Coast. While it’s not exactly local, it’s at least on my side of the U.S. and I appreciate their commitment to organic farming and the information on organic vegetables which they provide on their website.

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I tore a few leaves of the kale into bite-sized pieces and layed it on a cooking sheet. Then I sprayed it with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. Then it went into the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

I decided to keep it simple for my first attempt!

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I also cooked an organic sweet potato in the microwave for about 5 minutes.

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Then topped the potato with some leftover pinto beans, which I cooked in my new barbecue sauce!

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Then I rounded out the meal with the last slice of homemade whole wheat bread from my in-laws spread with some Smart Balance Light.

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The kale chips were so crunchy! I overcooked a few of them, so I think next time I will cut back the cooking time. But I was amazed at how tasty they were. What a great way to get in some healthy greens! I can’t wait to make these again.

I also adored the taste of the Annie’s barbecue sauce. They had a few different flavors to choose from but the Smokey Maple was the most appealing to me so I decided to try it first.

What a deliciously healthy, mostly organic, veggie-filled dinner!

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What is one vegetable you are too afraid to try?

Guest post: Food mantras

I am currently on my way to a conference out of state and not sure how much time I will have to blog so instead of worrying about it, I thought I would take the opportunity to introduce you to some of my favorite bloggers!

So without further ado, please welcome Kim 🙂

A few weeks ago I thought about my food mantras.  I just now looked up the definition – and it came to watchword: a word or motto that embodies a principle or guide to action of an individual or group. 

Sounds good to me – so here we go! 

I am single and have $75 budgeted to spend on food and eating out in a given week. 

I will soon be living in a place that has tons of great restaurants, a farmer’s market year round and open every day, a Harris Teeter ½ mile from my apartment, a Whole Foods, and a Trader Joes all within a 10 minute drive.  Gotta love that!

So now that you know my background, here are my personal food mantras:

1. EAT LESS.

We have all been told to lose weight you need to eat less.  I’m not just talking about eating less – I want to take it one step further.  I want to eat smaller, healthier portions.  I can eat a whole pound of asparagus and pound of carrots, whole things of broccoli and cauliflower if you let me. 

But, even though all those vegetables are good for me, it does nothing to work on self-discipline and portion control.  Eating on small plates, using smaller Tupperware to bring lunch in to work, using measuring cups and small bowls for things like oatmeal and morning cereal.  I mean, who of us can’t eat 3 bowls of any of our favorite cereal? (Sarah’s note: I definitely can!)

2. EAT BETTER.

I have now almost completely cut out all processed foods from my diet. But, potato chips (even good ones) still make it into the grocery cart; some frozen dinners make it in there as well. I want to make all my salad dressings (which I currently do), granola bars, meals, snacks, etc.

Maybe I’ll start buying mostly organic, but I don’t know that yet – especially the few times I eat meat, organic meat is so expensive! I don’t think I want to go to a CO-OP of CSA because of the NC State Farmers Market that will be so close to me in a month.

I am also excited to learn more about canning so I can do something with all these fresh fruits and vegetables.  For me, eating better is about balance. I love dairy – cheese, milk, and yogurt – that is all processed. 

For bread, I use Arthur’s sandwich thins, which are also processed.  I would definitely make my own bread before I made/bought my fresh/raw dairy, but it’s about balance.  Even the wheat flour for my homemade bread has been processed – and I don’t have the money to buy my own wheat mill. 
3. SHOP MORE.

I have learned a lot in the process of cleaning out my fridge/freezer to prepare for a move in 2 weeks.  There is so much that will be going to waste – even from freezer burn or simply running out of time.  I need to have less stocked up and buy fresher ingredients.

So, I want to go weekend farmers market shopping and then supplement that with a trip to Trader Joes, Harris Teeter or Super Wal-Mart to get the random things I need.  I want to plan my menu by what’s on sale and what I want for those few days then start the process over again. 

That means my meals will be more seasonal and definitely fresher!  (And less processed!)
4. SPEND LESS.

Am I really thinking this through? How can all these mantras work? I have figured out that if I do the first three things (Eat Less, Eat Better, Shop More), than I will actually accomplish this last one.

I will waste less food, buy less because I’ll be eating less, and be pickier about what I buy.  And in turn my food will taste great, I’ll stay on my budget because I won’t be wasting as much or buying what will go bad before I can eat it, and I’ll eat less of fabulous food.

I’ve learned this: better quality food tastes better so you are less likely to eat a TON of it because you are satisfied with just a sweet delectable bite!

Thank you, Kim for sharing those amazing tips! For more, check out Kim’s food blog, My State of Food.

Day 18: Coffee, oats, exercise?

Good morning friends!

I got lots of rest last night but for some reason I am very unmotivated to exercise. I think it’s a combination of the cold weather and just the need to relax on the weekends. I work out Monday-Friday most weeks so why not?

I think I may just wait until later and use housecleaning as a workout. Maybe work in a set of squats or something here and there? 😉

Breakfast this morning was a simple bowl of oats with banana and peanut butter. Plus coffee with rice milk.

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I did shake things up a little bit today by cooking the oats on the stove instead of the microwave. It had been a while!

I’m working on cup of coffee number two and dreading taking the dog outside. It is 32 degrees right now, there is frost on the car windows and our apartment is hovering at 62 degrees. But really, even for a cold-natured person it’s not too bad.

It appears that so far you all agree with me that pumpkin is a vegetable, yay!

I have something to admit to you guys…I rarely buy organic food. It’s just more expensive and while I thoroughly wash any produce that I do buy, I know sometimes it is still better to go with the organic selections. So I hope to make that a goal of mine here soon.

Read 10 organic foods that are worth the money from Real Simple magazine (one I need to pick up more often).

Do you buy organic? Why or why not?

Happy Sunday! I better get ready for church now 🙂