7 Pro Tips for shopping the Farmer's Market

Have you ever wandered around a Farmer’s Market, curious but not really sure how the whole thing works? Or, worse, not even gone because it felt too intimidating.

Here’s 7 tips to get you shopping at the outdoor markets like a pro!

  1. Don’t buy the first things you see. Unless it is the last 15 minutes of a market, there is plenty to choose from. Walk around and see how has the best looking and variety of produce. Sometimes I initially bought a lot of squash from one vendor, then found out 4 stalls down someone had perfect green beans - but I didn’t buy them because I didn’t want to go to the trouble of freezing the squash. (And it is not cool to try to “return” food …)

  2. Bring bags. The vendors usually have bags, but bringing your own makes it nicer for you. Some vendors charge for bags, too.

  3. Bring a little cash. Most vendors take credit cards, especially higher ticket items like meat. But some are cash only.

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4. Always ask vendors for advice. They love to share. (If they don’t, move on. The next one will.) Recipes, when a piece of fruit will be ripe, and how food is grown are perfect questions. Many vendors are not certified organic because of the cost involved, but they grow organically.

5. If you are going to be out for over an hour in the hot sun, bring an ice chest for frozen meats and fish.

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6. Wear comfortable shoes. Ladies, if you are going after work and are in heels, bring out that pair of walking shoes you keep in the car. (You do keep a pair of walking shoes in the car for impromptu walks, right?)

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7. Last, if you can plan a few minutes to enjoy the music or watch kids play games, most markets have some type of outdoor entertainment.

Shopping outside can be such a pleasure and when you know what you are doing, it is easy.

How to Believe You can Reach Your Goals

You have some goals you want to reach.

  • Complete a 5K?

  • Feel more confident when you walk into that meeting?

  • Be able to lift your kids (without hurting your back)?

  • Be around for your kids when they have your grandkids?

  • Lose 20 pounds?

To reach those goals you have to change your habits.

And to change your habits you have to believe you can, right?

This past week I learned a powerful technique to changing your beliefs and I want to share it with you:

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Belief Stacking!

Whatever habit you are wanting to upgrade, write what you need to believe concerning it.

For example -

GOAL: Complete a 5K

HABIT: Run/walk 4 days each week according to training plan

BELIEF: Exercise is important to my life and I am able to stick with the training plan

BELIEF STACK: Write out 50 reasons that belief is true. Yes. 50.

The first 10 or so will be easy to write out…

  1. “I have followed a walking program before.”

  2. “My kids want to walk with me a couple of nights/week.”

  3. “I like how I sleep better when I exercise.”

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But the power comes when you have to dig deep to get all the way to 50 reasons. And sometimes you have to turn an excuse into a reason.

“My work is so busy that I don’t have time” becomes “I come up with creative solutions while I run, so I actually work faster.”

What goal and habit are you working on? Try Belief Stacking and let me know your results!

A new twist on Mindful Eating

When you hear Mindful Eating what do you picture? A group of monks contemplating the grains of rice in front of them? Of course, it is not the other extreme of driving, yelling (in love) at your kids in the back seat to quit fighting, while eating the burger you picked up in the drive-thru.

Mindful Eating is not about having candlelight at every meal - but it is about the emotional environment you create.

Let’s go back to your high school biology class.  (I know: moan, groan.)  Remember the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems?  Only one of these systems can be dominant at a time.  When you are agitated, excited, upset, in crisis, angry, or stressed the sympathetic nervous system is kicking into gear.  This means that the parasympathetic system is not able to function well.  You may recall that the parasympathetic system controls your digestive system.

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Uh, oh.  We have a situation.  The exciting movie you are watching with dinner, the argument you just had with your teenager, the mulling over what your co-worker did, the worrying about whether someone accepts you, or the report that is due at work tomorrow each keep you from digesting your food well. Even just looking at the picture above probably tenses your stomach.

Living in peace and joy is important anytime, but especially at mealtime!  God wants you to be healthy.  He knows that for you to digest your food well, which allows you to absorb the nutrients to “renew your youth,” you need to be joyful and peaceful when you eat.

This also includes allowing God to be the emotional lift that you need.  Many of us (especially those of us who were chronic dieters) have trained ourselves to dull (or distract) negative emotions through eating.  When you are angry or sad or bored, before you open the pantry out of habit, tell God what you are feeling.  Ask Him to show you how to process your emotions.  God will give you strength to tolerate the discomfort until it naturally passes, which it often does.  He will give you wisdom to change the thoughts causing the emotions.  He will show you answers to stressful situations.  God will heal your heartache.

Makeover Your Pantry This Weekend Part Two

Now that you have the staples and spices you need to stock your pantry and you have the boxes/bins to organize them (Part One), it is time to invest part of a weekend cleaning out and organizing.

Why? It is so much easier to cook when you can get to everything you need quickly, without having to reach over other stuff or have things knock over.

So here’s your final step:

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  • Clean out everything that is expired or that you know you will never use.

  • Then group items into your bins, leave a little space for new foods you may purchase, and LABEL so everyone knows where to put food.

When my husband saw this transforming, he said two things -

“This makes it look appealing to cook.” (So, I get more help in the kitchen.)

“Now I know where to put something back.” (Which means I don’t have to look for things later.)



Makeover Your Pantry This Weekend Part One

This seems to be the time of year for deep-organizing house projects. It is too cold or rainy to be outside, or even open the windows, so everyone is cleaning out closets and junk drawers. I challenge you to makeover your pantry this weekend - it is one adventure that will help you eat healthier the rest of the year.

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To really deep-organize your pantry for healthy meals, I teach a simple six step process. You’ll need parts of two weekends, so I’ll walk you through this in a two-part series.

This weekend focus on Steps One - Five. Next weekend is Step Six.

Step One: Review your menus for a Powerful Plate. Do you have enough combinations of vegetable, protein, fats, and complex carbohydrates? What ingredients do you need to stock up on?

Step Two: Purchase the foods you need for a Powerful Plate and order any specialty items so they will arrive by next weekend.

Step Three: Look through the food in your pantry. Begin to organize it in your mind. What goes with what? For example, “protein powder” for me could go with protein snacks (since I use it as a shake) or with breakfast/oatmeal (since I use protein powder in my oatmeal every morning).

Step Four: Take measurements. Both of the shelf space and of any items that you are going to group and crate together. For example, if you usually keep 20 cans of fruit, vegetables, and tomato sauce in stock, measure how wide a bin you will need to store them.

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Step Five: Decide on the supplies you need and then go shop. Shelf liner? Plastic bins? Wood crates? Glass jars? Shelving unit pull-out for a deep pantry?

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Step Six - next weekend is clean out and organize.

Eliminating the hassle of expired ingredients - or simply not having healthy options on hand - will make these two weekends worth your effort. Turn on some music, get the family involved … whatever it takes to make it fun and make it happen.

3-in-1 Recipe for Cauliflower-Haters

I admit. I never thought I’d like immersion blenders (after a bad experience years ago). Now? It’s fun seeing what can be pureed.

This recipe has topped my list, because once it is made we eat it as soup, pasta sauce, or as a chicken sauce. Spicy - but not too spicy. Rich - but fresh and light. If you prefer chilled soups, this is probably not going to be a favorite. But who wants chilled soup in January, anyway?


A Powerful Plate

Want more power in your life?  Start with two essentials:  sleep and what you put on your plate.  On your plate, it is not as much specific foods for energy, as it is categories of food in certain ratios.

Let me know what your favorites are for your Powerful Plate!

Ribbon Cutting Video...a New Phase for ViREO Life

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Thank you for allowing me (and my colleagues) to share in your journey.  Keep letting me know how we can help.

If you missed being there, here's the video of the Ribbon Cutting!  So excited to have these resources ready for you.