Exploring our New Home: Farmers Market + Vino

Posted on by Susan Posted in Fun, Life, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

And by home, I mean the city we currently call our home.

I cannot believe, we’ve been in San Diego for almost 5 months already.

What can I say, I’m still not convinced. I’m just not sure if the whole California she-bang is right for me. I loved living in Vancouver and exploring the outdoors of the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t mind the cooler temps in the winter or even the rain.

Regardless, we’re in Southern California right now for the foreseeable future, so I might as well try and get used to it, right? ;)

Last weekend’s exploring led us to the Rancho Bernardo WineryRancho Bernardo is a suburban part of the city of San Diego.

It’s funny, because our zip code is a San Diego one, but we’re pretty far north of the actual urban core (more than 20 mi./30 km) The distances are pretty big and the city is spread out on a huge area, especially compared to Vancouver, which is beautifully wedged in between the Pacific Ocean (or the Georgia Straight?) to the West, mountains to the North and East, and the US border to the South.

Anyway, our little guy and I decided to check out the farmer’s market at the winery last week. The weather was scorching hot, like it’s been all summer so far, and the farm stands were set up in a dusty parking lot at the winery entrance.

I was happy to see the Hummus guy, who sells a really delicious, thick and fluffy pita – similar to what I’ve had in Greece many years ago. There were also crafts vendors, a little coffee shop, and even a hair salon on site.

It looked like a nice little heritage village museum, with historic buildings and all sorts of wine-making equipment on display.

Little man loved running around and exploring the grounds. “Look, a wagon!”

I ended up with a little bit of farm fresh fruit and veggies, but the market was not comparable to Vancouver’s Trout Lake Farmers Market, to be honest.

Baby summer squash were a gift from the vendor to our son to try, and the little guy also picked out two yellow roma tomatoes, while I grabbed a bunch of cilantro (I’m obsessed lately!)

Also – mix and match stone fruit: :

We picked 3 delicious yellow peaches, 1 nectarine and a saturn peach. It’s peach season!

All in all, if you’re in San Diego and looking for a nice place for your Friday morning stroll, come well before noon and check out the winery and farmers market. There is a wine tasting room and a restaurant on site, which I’m hoping to try out eventually.

I wouldn’t mind some vino now, would you? :)

What are your plans for the weekend?

Are you going to the farmers market regularly? We are, but we’re now actually on the wait list to join a CSA, which I can’t wait to try out!

Have a great weekend!

PS: I love hearing from you: Feel free to leave a comment for any questions or feedback you might have! If you like what you’ve just read, I’d love it if you follow me on Bloglovin and Twitter!

 

What I Ate Wednesday + Sugar-Free Week Recap

Posted on by Susan Posted in Challenge, Eats | 2 Comments

Well, I survived #SugarFreeWeek!

Now that it’s over, I have to admit that it was easier than I originally thought it would be. I was tracking my eats and read the labels of everything processed (crackers, yogurt, etc.). If it contained sugar it was a no. If it was sweetened naturally, I ate a little bit of it. And by eating this way for a week, it reminded me that this was my actual diet! This is how I normally eat. It was no problem at all, to ditch the junk and eat fresh food, made from scratch, mostly veggies, fruit, grain and lean protein. I just needed a little kick in the you-know-what to snap out of my sweet treats habit, that I slowly developed over a few weeks.

For example, I made myself this super filling breakfast smoothie this morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked rolled oats (leftover)
  • 1 oz chilled coffee
  • a tsp of peanut butter (Whole Foods 365 brand only has one ingredient: organic dry roasted peanuts)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • cocoa powder
  • cinnamon
  • a few vegan chocolate chips

Give it a quick blend and you’re good to go.

The chocolate chips were sweetened with organic cane juice, so I was OK with it especially since I only added 7 or 8 chips in total.

This was an amazing combo that I will keep in in my breakfast rotation, especially since I’m extreeeeeeemely slow in the mornings lately. Prep the night before, add milk and the frozen ‘nana in the morn and you’re good to go!

Other breakfasts included eggs, toast & fruit, or yogurt, kamut puffs and banana.

Lunch is always a tricky one for me, because the little guy is usually snacking pretty frequently, so I end up filling up on his snacks as well, such as grapes, bell peppers, cucumbers, crackers, hummus, cheese, raisins or Lärabars. So when lunchtime rolls around, I’m either starving, because my son wouldnt share, or I’d be full, because he didn’t eat his snacks.

I still make it a point to make our lunch (for habit purposes), and that could be anything from a PB&J, to grilled cheese, or more hummus and veg. When we’re out and about, we might pick up something from a salad bar, or yesterday little dude and I shared a Chipotle burrito bowl (see above).

Treats:

We got Starbucks on the weekend and my mind went blank about the whole no sugar thing.  The other sweet treat was whole wheat crepes, with a bit of whipped cream, fresh strawberries and homemade blueberry sauce.

Dinners are always simple.

Yesterday, for example, I was so happy to see chicken enchiladas in the freezer, after spending 3 hours chasing the little guy around the park and playground. I had no desire to spend time in the kitchen, and since I had done my prep work the week before, this worked out perfectly!

What did I think of going sugar-free for a week?

My diet is by no means perfect, and it might not ever be in someone else’s eyes. For others, my foods may look super healthy, I don’t know. Remember, my goal was not to cut out all sweets or treats. My goal was to eat more at home, from-scratch meals, made with real food. Yes, we did eat out a couple of times, but I stuck mostly to fish tacos and salad. Oh, and then there was Umami Burger in Costa Mesa on the weekend… Oh well.

I just needed to give my body a little space and time to wean myself off the added sweeteners and processed junk, to get back to my normal eating habits and I’m happy to report it worked!

Jenn over at Peas and Crayons is hosting What I Ate Wednesday, so make sure to check out some other fabulous bloggers’ eats.

Did you ever ditch sugar for an extended period of time? How did it affect you?

What are your fun eats of the week?

 

Sugar-Free Day 1-3

Posted on by Susan Posted in Eats | 2 Comments

Happy Friday!

If you read my last post, you know that I’m cutting out all added refined white sugar for 1 whole week. I see it as my personal little sugar detox.

I still eat sugar in the form of fresh and dried fruits, and I’m not ditching carbs altogether. I just need to refocus from highly processed and sweetened to more fresh whole foods and meals cooked from scratch.  We have a mini road trip planned for Sunday, and I will pack us snacks for the car, but hopefully I won’t be too tempted to go crazy.

Here are some of my eats from days 1 – 3 without refined and added sugar.

Day 1: 

  • Breakfast: Eggs, toast, fruit, coffee. My bread is Trader Joe’s sprouted grain bread and it’s sweetened with dates and raisins – win for me!
  • Lunch: Cedarlane frozen (well, I heated it up, obviously) bean and cheddar burrito.
  • Snack: Organic Hummus (Costco find), bell peppers, Cambozola cheese and crackers (I found out they had sugar in them, so I stopped after 2), Green Smoothie
  • Dinner: We went on a little drive around town to Old Navy, to pick up a plain toddler shirt for a little project I’m working on, and it was to late to start cooking, so we went to Islands Burgers and I rolled with the grilled Mahi Mahi tacos.

Day 2: Breakfast was toast with cream cheese and banana with coffee, Lunch: Chicken Tikka Masala at UTC mall shared with the little guy, iced Starbucks Latte, Dinner: Spinach,  bell peppers, tomato, pasta, mushrooms and parmesan. Call it a warm pasta salad if you want. :)

Day 3: Breakfast: Banana (I slept in this morning) and coffee, Snack: smoothie, Lunch: turkey, cheese + tomato sandwich and hummus with pita from the farmers market. PM snack and Dinner are still unknowns as of now. :)

What has helped a lot is the fact that I actually spend some time to prepare chopped veggies and fruit ahead of time.

Cheat/Treat: I may or may not have eaten a couple of squares of chocolate. I don’t see this as a fail or disappointment, since it’s sweetened with organic cane sugar. Not ideal, but I couldn’t resist and at least didn’t eat the whole bar at once. I even have some left! :D

Well, I’m off to dream of ice cream entertain my toddler!

Have a great weekend and if you’re following along with #SugarFreeWeek, feel free to say hi on Twitter!