Farmer’s Market!

**cross posted to Funny Eater**

Once you start eating paleo/primal and you consider what you put into your body, not only do you eat differently, but you shop differently for food. Case in point, we’ve gone to the Farmer’s Market every week since we started. It’s the highlight of my week and the food is well worth the effort.

The food just tastes better. We usually have to do a midweek run to a grocery store or farm market store, but that is never the same. The produce just doesn’t taste as good. Different foods have lots of different flavors.

I remember as a kid we had a vegetable garden and while I would eat the vegetables that came out of that garden (even the tomatoes!), I really didn’t like vegetables otherwise. Why? Food from the grocery store doesn’t really have a taste and the taste that it does have is kind of yucky. I always think that carrots taste like dish soap. Gross!

So, we’re heading to the Farmer’s Market in a bit. Just thought I’d let you know. (Don’t think the pictures are going to go up very fast though, because right now I’m in deep trouble for procrastinating on my regular life. I’ll have them for you, but not until later.)

Have a great day! (And stay cool to those folks suffering from excessive summer heat today.)

Thoughts on Paleo/Primal Eating and Living

This whole paleo/primal thing has really got me thinking about a lot of things.  I like it.  I haven’t had new and fun things to really think about in a novel way in a while.  I blame it on school.  (Don’t even get me started on my thoughts on education.)

I saw a post over at Mark’s Daily Apple that was some reader’s list of things that changed for the better in his life since going primal.  (Sorry, I don’t have the specific link for the post…I tend to read things and muse about them and then don’t have links to them later.)  It really got me thinking about the things that have changed in the two short weeks since I’ve started eating paleo/primal.

I’ve started to sleep a little better.  It’s by no means sleeping as well as I want, but I’ll take any improvement.  I’m hoping that I can be a sleeping champ sometime soon.

The dishes tend to get done right after eating.  I’m not sure why, but the dishes would sit for a while before I could pick myself up to do them.  Now, they get done right away.  Even if there is a big wok involved.  My mom even commented on this.  We have a theory that it might be due to a lack of food coma after eating.

I eat more consciously.  What I mean is that I think more about where my food comes from and how it tastes.  We’ve been buying from an organic farmer at the farmer’s market and the produce is not only fresh but so tasty.  We tried some produce from some other farmers that grow produce conventionally and it’s really just not as tasty.  Plus, our organic farmer usually has a novel item or two, which makes it more fun.  I have gotten to know what escarole is and what a sunburst squash is.  Yum!

I also eat more consciously in another way.  I eat at the table and I just eat.  I don’t do other things while I’m eating.  I actually sit and taste the food and I don’t find myself bored while I’m eating.  My family had a bad habit of eating in front of the TV that developed over the last couple of years.  We would just eat mindlessly in front of the TV.  I don’t know why we started eating at the table, but somehow TV just lost our interest.  I’m pretty sure that now that we have completely cancelled TV service, we won’t have the problem of eating in front of the TV again even if we want to.

The changes have come on sort of subtly without me noticing until I actually stop and think about things.  That’s nice that the changes have happened without too much effort.  I like to think of it as the downstream effect of making one positive change in your life.  Making even one change is powerful, but this particular change has come with some subtle and nice effects on the side.  I’m interested to see how things shape up down the line.

I’m hoping that eventually my whole family will eat this way…at least most of the time.  What really got me interested in eating this way was the possibility that it would balance out my mom’s health.  She’s in remission for an autoimmune issue and I’d like to keep it that way.  I’m hoping to prevent any development of an autoimmune issue since I’m now at risk and also hoping to see my seasonal allergies disappear.  My allergies have gotten to a point where I’m taking three medicines just to keep it under control enough for me to function and that’s really just not cool.

So far I only have my mom on this bandwagon.  I’m hoping that she’ll continue to eat like this after I go back to my regularly scheduled life, but I’m not sure that she will.  I think that the biggest issue is coming up with protein for each meal.  We were never huge meat eaters so after a meal that involves beef or pork or any sort of serious meat like that, we have to find something else to eat.  Honestly, in the last two weeks I’ve probably eaten more animal protein than I’ve eaten in the last 5 years.

My dad even commented on the meat eating.  I’d like to see him eat this way, but because he is on the go almost constantly, I think it’s harder to do.  I’m not sure that he’s convinced about this way of eating, so while he eats the way we eat when we all eat together at home, I’m pretty sure he’s eating what he wants when he’s not eating with us.  I think he’ll eventually come around.  He’s definitely thinking about it.  He mentioned that he noticed that he doesn’t see a huge drop in energy levels when he’s hungry, he’s just simply ready to eat again.  I hope that’s the start of him moving closer to eating this way.

I’m not sure about my siblings.  They have busy lives and they don’t always have a choice about what they eat, but I’m still hopeful.

So, those are my thoughts for now.  I’m slowly developing some patience with this whole evolution.  I am one of those people that wants to see effects NOW, but it’s actually been more meditative to realize some of the more subtle effects.

Now, time for bed.  I was going to sleep about an hour ago because I was completely wiped today for some unknown reason, but this took a while to write.

Sweet dreams!

Farmer’s Market Fun

So, Thursdays are farmer’s market days.  We have yet to try out the other markets in the area.  The Thursday market is probably one of the closest and pretty much in the vicinity of the parks that we usually head to in the mornings for walks and runs and the like, so we’ve been going there pretty regularly for three weeks now.

Time for the photo show of what we got.

First up, we have all the produce we got from the organic farmer at the market.  It’s a certified organic farm, which doesn’t really do much for me.  I learned from a farmer friend in the past that actually asking about the farmer’s farming practices is a lot more helpful than a bunch of labels.  Nonetheless, I feel better about organic, but in reality, sometimes the differences are negligible depending on what produce we’re talking about.

Back to our photo tour here.  Most of the photos show the vegetables in the process of being rinsed.

So, numero uno is kale.  I can’t remember whether we got the Siberian kale or the Laciano kale.  Either way, this is kale.

Kale

Then we have beet greens off the top of our beets (we’ll see those a little later on).

Beet Greens

Next up, escarole.  A totally new veggie for me, but this is the second time we bought it.  Nice and fresh, we get it as a whole head of escarole.  Break it up and saute it and it tastes great.

Escarole

Our favorite…beets!  These are freshly washed and waiting for some olive oil so they can get roasted.  I totally fell in love with roasted beets when my cousin left me some to eat while I apartment-sat for her.  They are easy to make and the color is so pretty.

Beets

Check out these pretty squash.  This is a new vegeA sunny yellow color, these are called sunburst squash or pattypan squash, or scallop squash.  Personally, I think sunburst squash is the nicest and most apt name.  Aren’t they beautiful?  Plus, they taste wonderful.  Especially with the spring onions we bought and sauteed them with.  (Oh yeah, I forgot to get a picture of the spring onions…buy them…they are so tasty and better than even sweet onions.)  Definitely, getting more than two of these next time.

Yellow Sunburst Squash

Lastly, a small gift from our cheerful organic farmer.  A small bunch of lemon thyme.  He gifted this to us to try with our sunburst squash.  I’ll tell you right now that the lemon thyme adds a nice fragrance and flavor to the squash and spring onions.  Plus, the thyme is pretty to boot.

Lemon Thyme

Lastly, from a local orchard, we have gooseberries.  These were very tart.  I’m hoping for some sweeter ones next time.

Gooseberries

So that’s our weekly farmer’s market round up.

Stay tuned for more Farmer’s Market finds.  The plan is to try out a couple of different markets this weekend, but I make no promises.