Sunday, May 20, 2012

First CSA Pick Up of 2012!

I love it when we pick up lovely, fresh, organic produce Sunday mornings.  There really aren’t many things in life that I enjoy more.  While I don’t like getting up at 6am to be at the market by 6:45am I do love chatting with the farmers and bringing home produce.  I know what you are thinking and I agree with you. I am not right.  LOL

This morning we picked up three bunches of kale (woo hoo), a head of red leaf lettuce (for lettuce cups), asparagus, 2 pounds of crimini mushrooms, a quart of strawberries, big beef tomatoes, carrots and….a tray of wheat grass to juice.  Pam (one of the owners of Calvert Farms) has figured out the secrets to growing wheat grass and I am thrilled. We are now on the list for a tray of “grass” every week. 

Breakfast part one was a bowl of Asian savory oats. I cooked the oats in mushroom stock, added “vegan oyster sauce which is mushroom based), garlic, onions, ginger and kale. The oats were finished with sesame seeds and ginger granules.  The picture above is from a prior bowl of Asian oats. However if you have seen one bowl of Asian oats you have seen them all. ;-)  Please remember that the act of thinly slicing the kale combines the myrosinase and glucosinolates making the kale more nutritious.  This is why I chop, shred or blend my cruciferous vegetables before I cook them. If you heat them before you disrupt the cell walls (by chopping, shredding or blending) they are less nutritious.  For more nutrition information on cruciferous vegetables check out this post.

As a breakfast chaser we had chocolate cherry kale smoothies.  These are made with kale, walnuts, frozen banana, frozen cherries, cinnamon, cocoa powder, stevia and a little water.  This is one of Dan’s favorite smoothies so he had most of the batch I made I had just a taste, maybe ¼ cup.  It is a very tasty smoothie but is a little on the sweet side for my taste.  By contrast my husband never met a sweet that he didn’t like.
Before we left the house I whipped up another batch of curried almond salad to take the boat for lunch.  However we got too busy and didn’t have it for lunch. Not to worry this salad actually gets better the longer it sits so I know Dan will enjoy it tomorrow for lunch, as will I.

Since we were up and moving early we arrived at the marina by 9am which was very nice.   I thought Dan was very funny this morning when he said, “so this is what the marina looks like in the morning” LOL.  He followed this up with I think I will sit in the cockpit of a few minutes and enjoy the morning before we go to the store.  We really aren’t morning people as I have told you many times.

After we unloaded all the stuff we had to tote to the boat we decided to walk to the grocery store for Cheerios (the ducks were getting low).  While we were there I picked up a watermelon and a three pack of shelf stable single serving organic soymilk boxes for my “just in case pantry”. 

However I also did a brief grocery store tour to see what was available at an average grocery store (Shoppers Food Warehouse) and was very surprised by a few things. They had a nice selection of organic produce as well as organic tofu. Additionally they had almost all the Bob’s Red Mill products, which I happen to love. There was a nice assortment of dried beans, the Eden Foods line as well as almond, rice and oat milk.  I was pleasantly surprised by how many items the store carried.  If your store doesn’t carry these types of items I would suggest that you go to customer service and ask for them.  This is what I did when Wegman’s was first open and they got them right in. The same thing was true of our local Giant and Whole Foods. I suspect other people did this at the Shoppers near the boat. Stores want to sell you stuff and keep you as happy customers. Never be afraid to ask for something that you want if they don’t have it.

When we left the grocery store we walked over the Starbucks where I treated myself to a large iced coffee with a splash of organic soymilk.  When you don’t drink coffee regularly it is really a treat to have it.  Also I couldn’t help but notice how sweet the coffee was with just soymilk.  I can definitely tell I have given up sugar.  ;-)

I justified my coffee consumption by telling myself that I can have an occasional treat otherwise this lifestyle would feel more like deprivation than something I do to stay healthy. Also I know that when you walk or run a mile you burn approximately 100 calories (depending on how big you are) so I can afford the splash of soymilk in my coffee since I know it was less than a cup (which is about 100 calories depending on the brand and how much sugar they have added).

Once we walked back to the marina we talked for a while and figured out what we were going to do today.  Dan ended up running to the boat store, hardware store and Costco. While he was away I cleaned the cushions outside which live outside in the cockpit.  If you leave cushions secured in place for years the bottom of them will become stained with mildew which has to be dealt with.   I bet you thought boat ownership was all fun and games … NOT.  ;-)

Lunch for us was beet, beet green, apple and lemon juice.  Neither of us was very hungry after our big breakfast so we decided to have something light and quick.

Later in the day Eric stopped by and then Lauren came down with her brother Brian who is in town from Alaska.   Lauren was so sweet, as always. She brought O’s for the grand-duck, raspberries for us and peanut butter dog biscuits for Bri.  There was a lot a bottle of sparkling white wine which we cracked into a little later.  We had a nice later afternoon and early evening on the boat with “the kids”.  The five of us hung out talking until early evening.  It is great to meet Lauren’s brother.   I think it is important to have friends of different ages to help give you a wider perspective on life.

While Eric, Lauren and Brian walked Bri, Dan and I juiced the wheat grass for later.  It really is nice to have the juicer on the boat. I am far more likely to juice at the marina than I am at home, probably because I am here more.  ;-)

It wasn’t until 8pm that Dan and I realized that we had not had dinner. I made us a quick Buddha bowl of sorts (this is my name for anything vegan in a bowl). This one contained hummus topped with pine nuts, broccoli and tomatoes (because they are more nutritious together) and a couple of grape leaves stuffed with veggies and rice.  Dan and I eat this combination often because it is quick, nutritious and we both like it a lot.
Isn’t this a nice view? This is a shot of the Morgan Stanley building across the water from the back of our boat. When we sit in the cockpit we look right at the building. Isn’t it great the way the light reflects off the building?  I took a couple of shots to show the building at various stages of the sunset.

It was definitely a great Sunday and a nice weekend overall.  Dan and I don’t really do anything out of the ordinary most days.  However we both enjoy spending time together, hanging out with friends and spending time outside preferably moving around.  One thing that cancer teaches you is that life is short and to enjoy it while you have it.  As we often say any day that you wake up is a good one. Make the most of it.

Happy thoughts:

  • It was another good day for us and as usual there are many things to be thankful for. 
  •  The farmers’ market was a lot of fun today.  I loved seeing the farmers and talking which doesn’t surprise many of you I am sure.  It is so comforting to me to know the people who grow a lot of our food and to know they are as concerned with its healthfulness as we are.  It is also nice to get hugs and talk to people.
  •  As Dan and I were talking to the store to buy Cheerios for the ducks we were talking about how nice it is to do that.  We have noticed that most people at our marina drive to the store for some reason. We are both happy that we enjoy the physical activity of walking to take care of our errands.  Who said that?  LOL
  • I thoroughly enjoyed my iced coffee today which was a treat.  Who would have thought something as simple as an iced coffee with soymilk could turn into an indulgence?  I feel like we have turned a corner in terms of health when we can order these occasionally rather than feeling like we need to have one every day.
  • The weather was beautiful in Baltimore again today.  It is very nice of Mother Nature to give us an entire weekend of nice weather. She can do that each weekend and not hurt my feelings.
  • We had a great time chatting with Eric, Lauren and Brian this afternoon. Our boat neighbor Rubin is back from Boston which is also nice.  We are very fortunate to have a nice group of people in our lives.
  • Dan picked up the parts required to mount the grill on the back rail for me sometime soon. With summer veggies starting to come in I am looking forward to grilled veggies and tofu.  Why should omnivores have all the fun grilling?  I have almost finalized a grilled BBQ mushroom recipe that I hope to be making on the boat soon.  The marinate contains balsamic vinegar, vegan Worcestershire, liquid smoke and traditional BBQ sauce ingredients.  I think the same marinate will be good on other veggies so I would like to try that out soon.  It sounds good doesn’t it?

Signing out:

As usual it is much later than it should be and we are still awake and not even close to turning in.  It is no wonder that we aren’t good in the mornings.  ;-)

Monday I have a lot of things to take care of which will take up a big chunk of my day. I plan to find time to blog.  *fingers crossed*  Tuesday I have quite a few coaching phone calls which will take up most of my day.  With a little luck my schedule will be a little more open on Wednesday.  I hope your next couple of days are a little lighter than mine. I will talk with you again soon, hopefully tomorrow.


  1. I love talking to the farmers at the farmers market! I am looking forward to reconnecting with my favorite farmers again this year :-)

    I am glad you enjoyed your coffee! Did you see this recent article?
    Maybe you shouldn't feel so bad about your coffee treat... ;-)


    1. Hey Courtney,

      It is great to know the people who grow your food isn't it? I can't believe how many years I bought things from strangers and never gave a thought to who grew my food. Now I worry when I buy things for the grocery store. My how things have changed!

      I did not see that article in the NYT so I really appreciate the link. However I am wondering if the reason coffee drinkers live longer is because it is a decent source of antioxidants and most Americans get so few otherwise. I seem to think I read once that coffee was the largest source of antioxidants in the American diet. Do you remember that article from a few years ago?

      talk with you later,

  2. Yay! You're back! I was MIA last week due to work, so I didn't see your return, but I'm glad to read your updates again.

    If you still want folks to check out your site, I would be happy to proofread and such. I write and edit for a living. :)

    1. Hey there Brigid,

      It is nice to hear from you too! How are things in Cali? :-) I hope life is going well.

      I was actually flooded with offers to review the site. People were extremely generous with their time and now I am busy working through those comments. However the first review went so well I was planning on doing a second review. Can I put you down for that round? I would love your input.

      thanks for your kind words and for your generous offer,

  3. Double-check with your Starbucks about the soy milk they use. The Starbucks here in RI use sweetened soymilk. Maybe that's why yours tasted so sweet, too?

    1. tsweeney,

      I would be surprised if the soymilk were unsweetened, most commercial brands are sweetened. The Eden Foods is fairly low in sugar 7g per cup. However, coffee at Starbucks is an occasional indulgence for us, not something we do weekly or even monthly. We have had two cups so far this year for example. I am not worried about a little sugar in our coffee a few times per year since we don’t consume any other sugar. I think you have to have an occasional treat or living like we do becomes unpalatable if you know what I mean. Also I think it is good for people to know that while nutrition is important to us we don’t eat perfectly. While perfection would be nice I am not sure it is possible for everyone.


  4. Sounds like a nice day with good food. I plan to try savory oatmeal soon... it is actually on the menu for next week. I'll let you know how I like it. :) Starbuck's coffee is a treat for me too. Treats are nice. Take care! :)

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    I am now a new follower!
    Have a great day :)


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