Trading Up my Saturdays

When I was in my early twenties, Saturday morning often meant a groggy morning after a long night out with friends. Even if I didn’t drink very much, I still stayed up too late and didn’t get enough sleep. Nowadays, I still don’t get as much sleep as I want, but I love that my Saturday mornings are now so peaceful and start earlier.

(note: most photos on this post taken with my iPhone, since I kept forgetting my DSLR at home! Whoops!)

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Gone are hours wasted in front of the TV “waking up”. Instead, I wake up eagerly looking forward to our weekly trip to the farmer’s market.

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Sometimes I’m so excited, I even dress up a little.

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Our Saturday morning farmers market habit has grown with us. At first just hubby and I went. Then, we started taking Bailey. Now, I’m even making friends with some of the people at the market and look forward to a casual conversation with them every week.

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And another tasty tradition is enjoying the eats at the market. Roots food truck always has something yummy ready for breakfast. On Saturday, we enjoyed an egg sammie with pickled cabbage and an egg/potato hash. Yum!

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I found something new this week – locally grown rice! I didn’t know any markets around carried the stuff, but here it is. I got some of the brown after chatting with the lady working the booth (I think she’s the owner?).

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From the same vendor, I purchased one life-saving strawberries and mint “lollies”, made with strawberries from the creator’s garden! So cool, right? Mostly, I wanted the treat for the coolness factor since it was a hot-hot day!

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I returned home with quite the stash: cabbage, kale, blueberries, brown rice, and 25 year balsamic vinegar. This is the nicest bottle of balsamic we’ve ever purchased, so I’m really looking forward to enjoying the higher quality…and therefore better flavor. Perhaps it’s time to make more focaccia?

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After dropping Bailey off, we headed out to run more errands.

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We stopped at Zoe’s Kitchen for lunch. I was really impressed with their menu and tasteful vegetarian selections. Although I’m not vegetarian, it tells me that they’re really thinking about the quality and content of their meals, which I appreciate.

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Although it was hot outside, we ate al fresco to enjoy the fresh air.

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I got 2 (maybe 3?!) vegetable servings with lunch between the cabbage slaw on my grilled chicken pita and the roasted veggies. Again…impressive, right? ;) This is a great spot for Project Veg-Up participants needing eats on the go!

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Hubby got the chicken kabob plate.

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I noticed this Fine Cooking magazine while I was out running errands. Look familiar? ;)

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And as the day came to a close, we had a few more fun activities in store. We saw the Hangover 2 (funny, but not as funny as the first)…

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…and then a late outing to Barnes and Noble. I just can’t spend too much time here browsing books and magazines and finding new reading material to take home. I got 3 magazines, and I’m hoping to try out some yummy new recipes this summer with them!

Just like my Saturday mornings, the evenings are a lot different from those spent in my early twenties, too. If I wasn’t working in a restaurant, I was probably staying out too late with friends. And while those were fun days, and I’m glad I had them, I’m also glad to be enjoying more low-key times nowadays. I like to think of it as trading up my Saturdays.

How have your weekends changed over the years?

PVU: Fruit and Vegetable Serving Sizes

As my beach vacay was coming to a close and we headed home, I was really looking forward to two things specifically:

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Hubby and Bailey!

The comfort of my own bed wasn’t too shabby either. ;)

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I got a couple surprise extras, though, thanks to sweet hubby – flowers!

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And a local doughnut! Actually, it’s a “honey bun”, but it’s pretty much a doughnut. What a sweet “welcome home”!

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Hubby also whipped up a fantastic grilled dinner – grass-fed filet, asparagus, and potatoes. I can’t get enough of those grilled potatoes, for realz! They are so tasty! I’m currently brainstorming ways to create a grilled potato salad. Doesn’t that sound drool-worthy?

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Fruit and Vegetable Servings Sizes

As I mentioned for Project Veg-Up (my challenge for you to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day in June), you make the rules. If you want to measure your servings, go ahead. If you’re like me and prefer to eye-ball and estimate, that works, too. And if you just want to say “I ate some broccoli – there’s 1 serving”, that’s cool, too. Your game – your rules. ;)

However, if you’re going to estimate or even guess-timate your serving sizes, it may be good for you to know what actual serving sizes are. In fact, you may wish to measure out a couple servings till you get a handle on what the sizes truly are (up to you, though!).

For all things food and health related, I turn to my favorite RD – Ellie Krieger. If you haven’t seen her book, Small Changes, Big Results, you should totally check it out. The book has a wealth of knowledge, including tips, recipes and perhaps one of my favorite things – a factoid-filled appendix. Take a look at the book next time you’re at the book store.

In the interest of keeping things easy, what you basically need to know is that you should shoot for the following for one serving (according to the USDA):

  • Vegetables: 1/2 cup of vegetables or 1 cup of raw leafy greens (Ellie says eat as many as you want)
  • Fruits: 1/2 cup of fruit or about 1 medium-sized fruit (Ellie says limit this to no more than 4 servings per day)

Ellie compares these portions to a baseball, saying that 1 medium fruit is the size of a baseball and 1/2 cup of fruits/vegetables is 1/2 of a baseball. She also considers fruit and vegetable juices as servings, but I’m shooting to get mine from full versions. Additionally, she actually has different suggestions in her book for serving sizes for some particular fruits, like 1 cup or chopped canteloupe = 1 fruit serving. Click here for a snippet of her book with more info on her take on serving sizes, how you almost can’t eat too many servings of vegetables, as well as why you shouldn’t eat more than 4 fruit servings.

Check out this site (click) for some other useful fruit/vegetable portion ideas. My favorites, that I most commonly consume, are:

  • 10 baby carrots
  • 1 banana (however Ellie says 1/2 a banana is a fruit serving, though I’m guessing it depends on the size of the fruit)
  • 5 broccoli florets
  • 1 apple

If you’re searching for additional information on serving sizes, you may notice that they vary a bit. Just go with whatever works best for you and follow whichever sources you trust most. :)

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It’s not too late to join in on the challenge! Click here to read more about Project Veg-Up and join in on the fun.

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What do you think? Do you measure your fruit and vegetable servings or do you estimate them? Do you have any tips or tricks on measuring or estimating fruit/vegetable serving sizes?

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