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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Busy Busy May

What is the deal with May? Everyone seems so busy, myself included. Way busier than usual. A lot of it has to do with school activities for the kids and the beautiful weather getting us out more. Today is the Hubby's birthday! I'm going to make the Carrot Cake from the Make it Paleo book. He is Vegan, but is mostly grain-free, sugar-free too. I was going to completely skip making a cake, but decided he was worth the effort ;-) This weekend the whole family is going indoor sky-diving for his gift. w00t!

In the midst of busyness I wanted to share some of what I have been eating. Ever since vacation (which I am still dreaming of) I may sneak in a grain food item here or there. Like last night, I made the kids Chicken Tacos and I just had their regular taco shells instead of making up the flax seed tacos I usually make. They are allowed on the Belly Fat Cure and I just did not have the energy or time to make anything else. But I'm 99.5% Grain-Free Paleo/Fast Track.

#1 biggest change for me lately is that I am getting my vegetables and fruit from a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). It is delivered to a nearby location once a week with whatever is ripe. It is all organic and from local (within 300 miles) farms. I'm not sure how this is going to work since after the first week, I still have tons of it left! The Hubby has said he wants us to have all organic now, and while I totally see his point (after years of disagreeing) I realized how difficult is to find the foods we need that week that are organic. I'd come home and say "We had to have apples for the kids lunch box, but the market did not have any organic, so I got these" and he would say "Next get something else instead". So this left me really frustrated and determined to find something that would work for our family... I'm still looking. My CSA is Freshness Farms and includes eggs and fresh made bread.

I made Bacon Wrapped Chicken and it was wonderful, the kids loved it too, even they initially they acted like they would not. They actually just picked it up and eat it with their fingers. I splurged for nitrate free bacon and LOVED this meal. I made Cheesy Broiled Cauliflower to go with it. My friend Anne turned me onto this dish, and its is really nice. Fresh or frozen cauliflower chopped up, grated sharp cheese and seasoning under the broiler until its browned and bubbly.

I also get my meat from a local CSA that is up in Sonoma, Marin Farms. The Vegan Hubby said "If you're going to eat all that meat, make sure it's the good meat". Okay. It's great stuff, comes fresh once a month with whatever was ready for slaughter. It could be beef, lamb or goat - but after WAY too much goat, I asked to remove goat from my order. I gave it a try, it was fine actually but didn't really fit into a regular meal plan for us....  One of the first things I noticed about this meat was that it smelled like, well, raw meat and, well, blood. My store bought meat smells like ammonia and sterile by comparison. At first it grossed me out, but then I realized Hey! This is fresh meat and SHOULD smell like it! I'm completely sold on the meat CSA, we've been doing it for many months now.

These are my meatballs, made without breading. Just meat, egg and spices mixed, rolled into balls and baked in the oven. They are so good and I love to serve them with Zucchini Noodles and Alfredo Sauce. One of my very favorite meals! The kids get regular noodles with meal.

I hope everyone is doing well and still working on their weight loss goals! Summer is right around the corner and makes for a great goal to fit into new clothing. Remember the secret to losing your weight is to eat EVERY MEAL, EVERY DAY like it counts. Don't give into cheating urges, make something allowed and yummy instead. The urge to cheat will pass....

Local Harvest lists CSA's all over the country, even in places you would not expect, in case this got your curious. This is not a sponsored post (I've never done a sponsored post) just my personal love of CSA's kind of took over here!


  1. CSAs are great! We used to belong to one many years ago. It does take a little getting used to meal planning around the CSA bounty. Our CSA would provide recipes to go with that weeks produce. It was nice to be given ideas for how to use some of the produce, especially items that were new to us.

  2. I hope you all have a great time on his birthday :-)

  3. I can't imagine being a Vegan, I would definitely starve to death. I still have troubles getting veggies in.
    It sounds like all of your choices are very healthy ones. Congrats! Just think how happy your will be in your older age when you are healthy and fit:)

  4. Wow!! I always appreciate when you post recipes. We have similar tastes and I am so excited to try every single one of the recipes above. I made the zucchini lasanga that you posted some time back and we loved it so much that we have made it several times since.

    We belonged to a CSA for many years and one thing that I really enjoyed was that included in the box of veggies, were a few recipes for the veggies that were in the box that week (this really got us to enjoy beets and brussel sprouts)! It was kind of weird but the owners of the CSA that we belonged to sold the land and moved and the new owners didn't want to continue the CSA. We are fortunate to have others in our area if we decide to join again, but we also have several farmer's markets nearby so we have been buying mostly at those. In fact, our little town is starting a farmer's market this summer so we are really excited about that!

  5. I've surfed the net more than three hours today, and your blog was the coolest of all. Thanks a lot, it is really useful to me

  6. After I posted this I picked up my 2nd CSA bag and it was HUGE! Stuffed with Fennel, beets, carrots, cilantro, spinach, kale, strawberries, romaine and eggs. There was more even! I think I have to make a bag for a neighbor and bring it over, it is too much for our little family!

  7. The meatball and zucchini dish looks awesome! Will post a full recipe? Thanks!

  8. I could use some help

  9. I could use some help. After losing 15 pounds in a month on the BFC I hit a wall and I've lost nothing for almost 6 weeks. Since I still have about 40 pounds to go, I figured that the weight would continue to fall off. I log my food everyday on MFP and I stay within my 15 grams of sugar with no cheating. I've kept my wine to about three nights a week.

    Amber, I looked back on your 2009 posts and it looked like you really ramped up your fiber so I cranked my fiber up to 40 grams a day and PUT ON 1.6 pounds! I'm beyond frustrated and I could use some help from anyone out there.

    I will be 50 next year and the only thing that I can think of is that I really probably need to start strength training to boost my metabolism. I've been eating the kinds of foods that you show pictures of above and I've kept my portion sizes normal so I have no explanation for the lack of weight loss.

    I love your blog and use it as my bible. I love your sister's posts and wish her all the success in the world with her journey! She already looks very different.



  10. I've never thought of joining a CSA, didn't really know about them. I think it might be more than we could use as well. I might start going to our local farmers market on Saturday mornings though. Good post!

  11. That's so funny - I was just reading our local paper this morning and a young couple (son of a well known local farming family) is setting up a CSA. Article didn't say it was organic though and I know his parents farm is not organic. I've seen some other information on organic ones as well - I'll check them out for sure. I definitely want to find a local source for eggs and grass fed beef.

    Amber, I'm glad I read this post before I made meatballs last night (with grass fed beef). You are right - smells different than were used to. What do they do to that beef at the store??

    Is your husband convinced about humans not eating meat? I followed "Fit for Life" when I was in grade 12 (anyone else remember that book?). I was pretty healthy back then ... sigh. They didn't advocate being strictly vegan but they were vegans themselves (Harvey and Marilyn Diamond). Long story but I keep trying to tell my mom what the latest science says about how we should be eating (which is somewhat contradictory to what the Diamonds instructed). She keeps saying, "but Fit for Life" ... blah blah. So I decided to track down the Diamonds and see what was up with them (I knew they divorced several years ago). Anyway, funny thing, they both eat meat now. In fact, Marilyn went on in some detail on her FB page about how 20 years of eating vegan made her sick and she almost died. She now seems to be preaching the eating style that many others are (animal protein, lots of raw veggies, little fruit and no sugar). I sent them to my mom ... lol. These are some recent posts from her FB page (just as an FYI):

    “I needed this time because I was in the throes of going up and back and mostly back to raw and vegan. And, unbeknownst to me, I was in serious muscle wasting. In one year, in 2004 to 2005, I became unable to pick up my toddler grandson. I had a heart condition that caused anxiety attacks, because my heart muscle too was wasting. There is a lot of condemnation energy out there, and I think we ought to allow those who don't fare well and were pioneers and longer on these diets than most people, to speak out and warn others that it may not be sustainable on the biochemical level of the bodies requirements to ignore essential food groups interminably. I learned, and I'm strong enough now to speak my truth. But, I think sometimes my tone is too pushy, so I'll take the reactions to heart and try to be more empathetic with those who are not ready or may never be ready to do what I have had to do to survive. Luckily, I'm now stronger than ever. And I have the ability to enjoy my life free of the depression caused by nearly 25 years in a nutrient deficient diet. It wasn't even okay when I was young, but I just believed that what I was feeling was "life."

    “Acute, accelerated muscle wasting, thinned out my heart muscle, which caused debilitating anxiety, often thought I was having a heart attack...overall weakness, loss of the muscle covering my voice box, depression, low thyroid, loss of sex drive, the inability to cope. I didn't see that I had much future, and I'm just scratching the surface here.”

  12. HI Amber. I hear you about the busyness. I am craving some time to think, blog, read and write. I am taking a work break now to catch up on some blogs. I love the meal suggestions. Hope all is well with you and your family. Sending love and hugs!

  13. I love the CSA idea! I am getting my second box tomorrow of an organic fruit/veggie delivery service. They have included some items from Mexico, which is NOT local from here, so I may need to look into an alternative because I thought it was local. :(

  14. I think we need a CSA here. I don't know of anywhere locally that I can buy that many organic products.