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Home > Archive: August, 2011

Archive for August, 2011

Relaxing and productive weekend

August 23rd, 2011 at 06:33 pm

I spent most of my weekend at home relaxing, cleaning, organizing and catching up on SA blogs. Itís amazing how inspiring they can be! I was away on vacation at the shore in NJ during the second week of August and was tired from re-entering real life last week, so having a lot of downtime felt good. Iíve been exhausted lately and Iím not sure why. I may have been fighting an illness of some sort. A cold sore broke out on my lip and thatís usually a sign that something is going on.

I prepared a lot of food on Sunday to eat this week. My goal is to pack my breakfast and lunch for work and to eat a healthy dinner each day, so as not to spend money eating takeout. I cooked the following:

1.25 cups quinoa
ľ cup steel cut oats
Ĺ cup chickpeas
Ĺ cup lentils
4 hard-boiled eggs
my fave cherry tomato/feta cheese/sage dish

On Sunday, I picked a little over 2 pounds of blueberries ($6.50 and Ĺ hour of my time Ė they were selling for $4.99 a pint at the local store!) and raided my friendís garden again. I got green beans, red kale, 2 cukes, 2 zucchinis, leeks, basil, dill, flat-leaf parsley, a big carrot, snap peas and one small tomato (all free!).

Breakfasts will be oats with sunflower seeds, walnuts, flax seeds and currants (all of which I already have in my fridge), plus a serving of blueberries.
Lunches will be a salad w/lettuce, cucumber, carrot, snap peas, green beans, red cabbage, quinoa, parsley, basil, chickpeas, a smidge of goat cheese, and a hard-boiled egg.
Dinners will be either the tomato/feta/sage mixture over quinoa or lentils and chickpeas over quinoa plus steamed zucchini and kale.
Snacks will be watermelon, peaches, blueberries and feta cheese.

Lest I appear to be a perfect eater, I will confess to a habit of bingeing on junk food. If I could dive into a vat of chocolate milk and swim around in it forever, I would! I tend to waste money on comfort food I donít want to be eating and not planning what other more satisfying things I could be putting the money towards. I would like to be able to add a piece of chocolate or cookie to my lunch, but I havenít figured out a way to keep a bag of cookies or fun-size candy in the house without consuming the entire thing at once! I sometimes go thru periods of buying a Snickers bar each day at 3:00 p.m., but thatís .97/day that Iíd rather not be spending. Maybe Iíll keep a fun-size bag of Snickers in the freezer and take one out each morning to pack with my lunch. I donít enjoy frozen candy bars, so maybe that would keeping me from eating one in the moment when Iím home, but one would be thawed and ready to eat by lunchtime.

Another goal this week is to exercise at least three days. Yesterday I walked/ran for an hour after work, which was great because my original goal was 30 minutes. Today, I hope to do the same Ė at least 30 minutes of walking/running with additional time if Iím up for it.

Iím supposed to visit a friend on Cape Cod this weekend, but Irene may upset that plan. I might push the trip to Labor Day weekend, driving there on Thursday afternoon and leaving early Monday in an attempt to avoid some of the holiday traffic. That option is looking better and better since I am really tired this week, I have a lot of work projects to tackle, and my Cape friend will be adopting a new golden retriever puppy just before Labor Day weekend. How can I resist that?

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Food this week

August 2nd, 2011 at 04:16 pm

In an effort to get back in shape, shed some weight and save money, Iíve been eating really well the last few weeks and have been consistently taking my lunch to work after a period of consistently NOT taking my lunch to work!

Last Thursday, I bought the following at the local food co-op:

Ĺ local, organic cooked chicken - 5.79 (Iím so happy that I can buy Ĺ a chickenÖI canít use up a whole one in time unless Iím having dinner guests)
4 peaches - 1.53 (on sale .99/pound, conventional) Ė absolutely scrumptious!
1 bunch local, organic scallions - 1.49
1.84 lbs organic Yukon gold and red potatoes - 2.53 (no local yet)
Bulk organic walnuts - 2.70 (on sale)
Bulk small container kalamata olives - 1.76 (on sale)
1 large container plain non-fat organic yogurt - 3.49
Bulk organic cornmeal - .64
Bulk organic wheat bran - .08
Bulk baking powder - .03
Tortilla strips - 1.50 (on sale Ė these are for some yummy tomatillo salsa I have in my freezer)
Total - $22.21 (after 2% member discount of .46 Smile )

On Saturday I went blueberry picking with a friend and got over five pounds of plump, delicious no-spray berries for $15.50. I froze ĺ of them and will take the rest on vacation with me at the end of this week. I also picked about five pounds of blueberries a week ago, but never got around to freezing them. I gave some to a couple of different friends, have been eating them at breakfast, and used some in a cornbread. I love how long blueberries last, unlike strawberries, which seem to mold 23 minutes after I get them home Smile.

Then I visited another friend and went ďshoppingĒ in her amazing garden! I picked yellow and green beans, red kale, cukes, beets, zucchini, snap peas, baby leeks, basil, dill, flat-leaf parsley, mesclun mix and a turnip.

On Sunday I made a delicious blueberry cornbread using the yogurt, bran, baking powder, cornmeal and older berries (in addition to baking soda, eggs and maple syrup I had on hand). I cut up and boiled the potatoes, then mixed them with fresh dill, chopped scallions, olive oil and salt. I also cooked one cup each of dried chickpeas and steel-cut oats from my pantry.

All of this will feed me up until Thursday afternoon when I leave for vacation and maybe provide some snacks for the six-hour car ride.

Breakfasts this week are steel cut oats topped with walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and blueberries. Lunches are salads using the garden ingredients, chickpeas, shredded chicken and a few olives; some of the potato salad plus a big slice of the cornbread for a mid-afternoon snack (in place of my habitual candy barÖ). Dinners are lots of steamed veggies, oats and chicken (last night I had the leg, tonight Iíll shred some of the breast meat over the oats and veggies and top with olive oil, chopped scallions, salt and pepper).

I also bought a Snickers bar on Saturday evening, which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Time Flies!

August 1st, 2011 at 03:04 pm

Goodness, how do I begin to write again after a very long hiatus? I started this blog in 2007, submitted a few entries, apparently became distracted by other things, and now suddenly four years have flown by. Wow. I'm not sure why I stopped writing Ė I canít remember back that far!

Anyway, I recently realized that Iíve become very unconscious with my finances and I want to get back on track. Then I remembered about Savings Advice! So, Iíve been catching up on the other blogs on this site and have decided to dust mine off and try again. Iím so inspired by everyoneís stories, trials, tribulations, triumphs and insights. Iím glad to be back!