Posts Tagged ‘food’

Crowds gather around the produce.

So Supportive Partner Woman (eater of big ole salads!) and I managed to make it to Root’s Market today. The place was hopping, pretty much as expected. There’s a certain beauty of the Root’s complex. Interspersed among the various produce stands outside are people selling all manner of goods, some of which are probably hot. It seems this kind of market is pretty well-established in central Pennsylvania. Discounting the real farmer’s markets and roadside produce stands, you have Root’s, the Green Dragon and Saturday’s Market. Of the big three, SPW (peruser of markets!) and I prefer Root’s. It seems to be more focused on the local fresh produce and dairy, and it’s physically the closest to us. Green Dragon, located in Ephrata, is not as nice as it used to be. There’s a lot more vendors coming in from out of the area to hawk whatever it is they are selling. Saturday’s is our least favorite. Again, it’s not as neat as I remember it being way back in the early 90’s. Lots of people selling junky stuff and not enough fresh, local fare. That’s important to me… if I can, I prefer to support the local economy.

Most baked good stands have an amazing variety of tasty offerings.

So, Root’s. We managed to find yellow zucchini, cucumbers, eggs, celery, tomatoes and passed up a tempting variety of cheeses, meats and baked goods. Oh, and we passed on the (likely) counterfeit sports jerseys too. There are a few pointers I can share, though. First off, bring a bag or two. Most stands will gladly provide you with plastic grocery bags. They are fine, but after an hour of walking around with 37 bags, you start longing for nice, wide canvas handles. We usually take an insulated grocery bag along with a cold pack, depending on what we buy. If it’s a quick run, like today, we’ll leave that bag in the car and load the groceries in it rather than lug the bag around.

Sugar free chocolate selections

Sugar free candy options

One thing I was very pleased to see, though, was a stand offering a large selection of sugar-free candies and chocolates. Given the obesity epidemic and the instances of diabetes in the US these days, it’s nice to know that even in an area known for such offerings as sticky buns and shoo-fly pie, the availability of sugar-free items is becoming prevalent.

In short, Root’s is a great place to obtain nearly any food you desire, many times for less than what you would pay at a grocery store. For example, the local Weis Markets likes to advertise green bell peppers at 10/$10.00. I got lovely peppers at a Root’s stand at 3/$1.00. That’s a 66% discount.  In addition, most of the food is locally grown on family farms, rather than mass-produced and shipped in. These markets are great places to find apples in the fall, peaches in the spring/summer and delicious meats and cheeses all year round. If you live in a place like Lancaster, surrounded by farms, why buy stuff shipped in from some other state, incurring the shipping costs, the chemical treatment and the fact that it’s often picked too early.

The bad news for the day is that I didn’t make it to the gym. I had a bit of a headache early and just needed to relax. I did manage to at least get my squats in, so the day wasn’t a total loss and I will take a lunchtime walk as well. I think we all have days like this and despite our best efforts, we just don’t get the work in. As a lot of people will say, “Keep moving forward.”

In a future post, I hope to discuss our first ever visit to Lancaster Central Market, as well as a return visit to Hoover’s Farm Market outside of Lititz, PA. Hoover’s has a nice selection of produce, as well as a great pumpkin selection in the fall and is home to crazy-huge potatoes. I also want to talk about the proliferation of Mennonite delis and markets, all of which seem  to thrive in the Lancaster area.

Hope you all have a great night!

Ode to the Wheel of Death

Posted: June 30, 2012 in Weight loss
Tags: , ,

Good morning!

I never really thought I’d be able to do this, but this post marks my 30th post for the month of June. Uhm, yay me? Seriously, though… I just wanted to thank all you who read my musings on a semi-regular basis. Writing this has allowed me to really keep focused on the goal and helps alleviate boredom which would normally make me eat. As long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing (and I’ll still keep writing even if you stop reading). So, on to the meat of today’s post.

I’ve found that perhaps my biggest challenge on the weight loss journey has been to eat well while at work. We are surrounded by any number of  food joints within an easy drive ranging from the ubiquitous McFood, Long John Silvers,  Rude Wendy’s, a Pizza Hut, two Subways, Waffle House, and a host of local joints. For those feeling a little more adventurous, there’s an Old Country Slurp n’ Munch, and if you’re feeling more creative, there’s even a supermarket in the shopping complex next door.

The Wheel of Death in all its glory

If you work on the day shift, there’s a cafeteria upstairs, referred to by us locals as “Chez Ptomaine“, or you can take your chances on the Wheel of Death. The Wheel of Death is a staple in many break rooms around the world. It usually contains an array of refrigerated “food” including sandwiches, fatty hamburgers, unhealthy fried junk and overpriced grocery items. Take, for example, a tub of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee pasta. It goes for $1.00 at the nearby grocery. In the Wheel of Death, you’ll pay $2.75. So, you get to pay a 175% markup to stuff your food hole with preservatives and other chemical swill. The other choices aren’t much better. The Wheel of Death also has a reputation for going belly up with alarming frequency, which makes me question the safety of the prepared food stored within.

My two best friends at work.

This leads me to the conclusion that the only way to eat healthy at work is to bring your own. To that end I’ve made a couple of investments. On the left side of the picture, you’ll see a red insulated bag. It’s not huge but allows me enough space to pack a well-balanced meal and adding an ice pack to the penthouse compartment also helps to keep my meal cold. On the right side of the picture is a recent find. It’s a water jug holding around 64 oz. of fluid. The bariatric team has recommended that I try to consume at least 64 oz. of fluid every day and this makes it easy to keep tabs on what I’m drinking. The container comes with its own insulated carrier, so if I load it up with ice, my water stays cold all shift. On that note, if I’m not feeling like water, there are any number of zero calorie drink mixes I can add to jazz up the water. Two of my favorites have been the 4C Totally Light Half & Half, which is half lemonade/half iced tea and the other is not actually a zero calorie mix, that being Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Lemonade. It’s still not too bad at five calories. Either one can really enhance the water or disguise the nasty chlorine taste found in some tap water.

Meal planning and portion control are not that hard if you’re willing to invest the time to work on them. It also helps if you don’t mind leftovers. The real key with leftovers is to use them or freeze them before they go bad. You don’t want that… it might be dangerous to your other condiments.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Greetings from the land of the slimmer!

I had an appointment this morning with the exercise physiologist and dietitian at the bariatric center. First thing, I got weighed. It was a cool 368 lbs. That’s a vast improvement over my last visit to the clinic for group where the number was 380. So, 12 pounds in about three weeks. Much better. The funny thing is that before you can have surgery, they ask that you lose 10 pounds. Guess I took care of that.

The first part of my appointment was with the exercise guy. I found Ryan to be very upbeat and encouraging. He was impressed by my walking regimen and wants me to keep it up. He also set up some appointments for me in their fitness center. It’s not big, but they only have six people at a time in there. They have shower facilities and most importantly, Ryan and/or Cory are there to show you how to exercise and lift weights safely and correctly. I start with a one hour session on Thursday and I’m really looking forward to it. Apparently, one of the risks with bariatric surgery is the  loss of muscle mass. As such, they want to build it up so you don’t lose all of what you have.

Cedar plank roasted Copper River salmon with mushroom risotto and steamed broccoli

Following my appointment with Ryan, I met Cory, the other physiologist. Then it was off to meet the dietitian, Shauna. She also seemed to be very supportive and was pleased with some of the dietary progress I’ve made. She was pleased to hear that both The Management and myself like to cook, and she was really pleased with last night’s dinner. We were at Wegman’s on Friday and I managed to pick up some Copper River salmon. I roasted it on a cedar plank with a sheen of olive oil, fresh ground pepper and sea salt on top. To go along with it, I made a mushroom risotto and steamed broccoli. The Management approved.

Today’s route.

So, I also added a new track to my walking playlist. I think my hair band loving friends will like it. Many might remember an 80’s hair band called Warrant. They were in the news in the past couple of years thanks to the death of lead singer Jani Lane. So, this weekend, XM 80s on 8 was playing a countdown from 1989 and Warrant’s little known track, Down Boys came on. It was very catchy and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. It sets a pretty good pace and I’m kind of scared to check my feet, because I might have overdone it a little. I did manage to walk about half of the Red Rose Commons perimeter. This gets me a little closer to my goal.

The one constant today is that everyone assures me I’m on the right track. It’s not easy, but when I saw 36_ instead of 37_, well, that’s a nice motivator. I’d love to have a 35_ next time. We shall see.

Good evening!

Hope that you are all enjoying the holiday weekend. Please make sure to celebrate responsibly.

The Management and I ventured to the wooly hinterlands of New Cumberland for a meet up/picnic with our Disney friends. We had a lovely time filled with lots of laughs, stories and yummy food that I managed not to go overboard on. Cindy, our gracious hostess, made some awesome sliders that included andouille sausage, beef and pecans of all things. There was a tasty buffalo chicken dip, mac & cheese, and much other goodness. I did a batch of my famous chocolate chip cookies that did not last long, and The Management and I brought along the frozen concoction maker, a selection of booze, and ingredients for various margaritas. One of these ingredients was a reduced sugar sweet and sour mix. Instead of 25g of sugar, this only has 1g. That’s pretty sweet (no pun intended) in my book. In this case, fresh pineapple and mangos. The first one we tried was avocado. The Management thought it looked like wheat grass. I was thinking more of a nuclear specimen, but maybe that’s just me. A little later in the day, one of the kids wanted a strawberry virgin margarita. Threw a bunch of strawberries in the jug along with orange and lime juices and it turned out to be pretty darn good. After the kids were done, the turned it into an adult margarita that got really decent reviews. I plan on making that part of the repertoire.

You may be asking what I was doing with all these drinks, because as a diabetic, alcohol isn’t my friend. That’s a good point. I’ve long since passed the point where I have to imbibe. I had a sip of the strawberry and of the pineapple. The nice thing is that our friends understand my condition and respect it so that there’s no pressure to drink. I’m not a total abstainer, but I know when to say when and these folks respect that. The downside is that it’s been over a year since I last had a beer. Temptation was kind of removed as we didn’t have any Sam Adams Black Lager in the beer fridge. Had there been, the previous statement probably would’ve been null and void.

So, getting back to our Disney crew… we all met through something called Magic Meets, founded by Fred Block. Most of us were volunteers who started helping out in hopes of meeting people in the fan community. At least that’s why The Management and I joined the ranks. We never dreamed it would pay off like it has, not just in the quantity of people we have met, but also the quality. Besides getting to know Fred and his family, we’ve met people who live locally and formed a strong bond with, even though we’re very different. Magic Meets is currently on hiatus, but through the friendships we’ve made, we’ve been able to keep the spirit alive.

Since we were on the West Shore, it would’ve been a horrible oversight to not pay a visit to Wegman’s. I swear I hear a choir of angels every time I walk though the door. Nothing groundbreaking except for a nice brisket that The Management is planning on turning into a shredded masterpiece. I can almost taste it! We also picked up a few other items. Not a major trip, but any trip there is worth mentioning. There is a rumor that they might be coming to Cow Country. That would make my socks roll up and down if it pans out. Keep your fingers crossed!

I have to go back to work tomorrow, but I’m headed to another facility for the week. I’ll be doing User Acceptance testing on a new version of our page management and design software. It’s always fun when you get paid to try and break the software. The week after that, I have my appointment with the psychologist and my first group session in the bariatric program. I’m looking forward to them both, but I’m strangely nervous as well. We will see what happens!

Until next time, have a great holiday and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.