Southern Exposure Recap #Southern Exposure

Last Saturday I had the most amazing opportunity! I was invited to attend the Southeast Produce Council's annual expo, #SouthernExposure held in Orlando, Florida. The Southeast Produce Council is an organization dedicated to supporting farmers and to promote fresh fruits and veggies from the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

organization dedicated to support farmers and to the promotion of fresh fruits and vegetables in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. - See more at: http://www.adrianasbestrecipes.com/2014/03/03/southern-exposure-recap/#sthash.pS1YMIwH.dpuf
organization dedicated to support farmers and to the promotion of fresh fruits and vegetables in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. - See more at: http://www.adrianasbestrecipes.com/2014/03/03/southern-exposure-recap/#sthash.pS1YMIwH.dpuf

 

organization dedicated to support farmers and to the promotion of fresh fruits and vegetables in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. - See more at: http://www.adrianasbestrecipes.com/2014/03/03/southern-exposure-recap/#sthash.pS1YMIwH.dpuf
organization dedicated to support farmers and to the promotion of fresh fruits and vegetables in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. - See more at: http://www.adrianasbestrecipes.com/2014/03/03/southern-exposure-recap/#sthash.pS1YMIwH.dpuf
organization dedicated to support farmers and to the promotion of fresh fruits and vegetables in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. - See more at: http://www.adrianasbestrecipes.com/2014/03/03/southern-exposure-recap/#sthash.pS1YMIwH.dpuf
organization dedicated to support farmers and to the promotion of fresh fruits and vegetables in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. - See more at: http://www.adrianasbestrecipes.com/2014/03/03/southern-exposure-recap/#sthash.pS1YMIwH.dpuf
organization dedicated to support farmers and to the promotion of fresh fruits and vegetables in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. - See more at: http://www.adrianasbestrecipes.com/2014/03/03/southern-exposure-recap/#sthash.pS1YMIwH.dpuf

They had a circus theme complete with clowns, circus type food (cotton candy, hot dogs, hot pretzels, snow cones) a "claw" game where everyone that played was guaranteed to win a stuffed toy.

But that's not the reason I went to the expo. I went to check out the produce!

Since totally changing my families eating habits over 5 years ago, fresh produce has become my best friend. I kid you not when I say that I was like a kid in a candy store. I just could not believe my eyes. Aisles upon aisles of some of the most amazing, beautiful, tantalizing produce I have ever seen!

It was such an amazing experience for me that I'm not even sure where to begin!

We heard that there was an additional expo area in addition to the main conference room, so we decided to head out there first. Immediately upon walking into the tent, we were welcomed by Litehouse Instantly Fresh Herbs. I spent quite a bit of time talking with the men who were running that exhibit and they allowed me to open and smell a few of the different instant fresh herbs they had brought with them. My family loves Cilantro, so I was thrilled when the nice man told me I could go ahead and keep the cilantro!

What I love about these instant fresh herbs is that all you have to do is just add water to them to and they instantly rehydrate! 1 tsp of Litehouse=1 tsp of fresh cilantro.

And I don't know about you, but even though my family loves cilantro, I'm still throwing some out more often than I would like. Litehouse just solved that problem for me!

Another product they had that I absolutely loved was the OPA Greek dressing. I tried the feta and dill one because it was gluten/grain free. I used a carrot in place of a cracker to taste the dressing and WOW. It blew my taste buds away! I'll be checking this product out in the store for sure!

I also LOVED the exhibit set up by Frieda's. Frieda's is unusual and exotic fruits and vegetables that you can find in your supermarket produce departments. Food like Kiwifruit, Elephant Garlic, Pine Nuts, Sunchokes®, Purple Potatoes or Habanero Chiles. The #TampaTrio LOVE Kiwi fruit!! So thank you Frieda's for making sure that it's stocked in my local Publix!

Frieda's had set up an amazing display of purple produce!! Unfortunately my phone was completely dead by this time, but you can check out their Pinterest page for all the purple produce!

Another favorite was Dippin' Stix!!

My kids are already HUGE fan of the apples that you can dip in caramel or peanut butter, but they are adding several new combinations to their lineup!

Check out what's coming soon to a supermarket near you!

The folks at Dippin' Stix were kind enough to provide me with dozens of samples of their products. This was really awesome for our family. Why? Because our house is going through a major remodel and I currently have NO kitchen, but I do have a fridge. This week for breakfast, and snack time the kids were able to go to the fridge and just grab a Dippin' Stix and go. No mess, no fuss, no crying. Ronin LOVED the pickles and bacon ranch dip!

And lastly...my TOP pick for the expo was Country Fresh Mushrooms. They had set up a very impressive display of mushrooms. We eat a lot of mushrooms in our house, but some of these were new to me! They were also gracious enough to provide me with every type of mushroom you can imagine. My husband made a make-shift counter for me and I cut them up and sauteed them with butter and lots of garlic.

The most unusual mushroom I had was the Pom Pom Mushroom. The kids thought it was cute and they all wanted to feel it.

I also want to give a HUGE shout-out to Produce For Kids.  From their website: "Produce for Kids® is dedicated to educating families on the benefits of healthy eating, providing simple meal solutions and raising money for children’s non-profit organizations. In the 11 years since its inception, Produce for Kids, through its produce and grocery retail partners, has donated more than $4.6 million to children’s hospitals and charities nationwide."

That's an organization that I can get behind!!

Have you ever attended a fresh food expo? What did you think?

 

Weekly Workouts February 23-March 1

I am so busy my head is spinning.

As you probably know if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or are a "real life" friend, my life is INSANE right now as we are totally remodeling our kitchen and 2 bathrooms.

But I still made it to CrossFit!

Here's how my week played out!

Sunday-Rest day. I spent the day packing and moving household items in preparation for the contractors!

Total Steps: 13,820

 

Monday-Crossfit

CrossFit Open Workout 11.2
Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 15 minutes of:
9 Deadlifts (155/100)
12 Push-ups
15 Box jumps (24/20)

I completed a total of 237 reps AND RX'd the weight and box height. Pretty dang proud of myself!

Calories: 627

Total Steps: 11,978. Not sure why this is so low. The only thing I can think of is that I didn't take Matthew for as many walks because I had strange men working in my house.

 

Tuesday-ACTIVE recovery. I spent the day ripping out all the flooring in my kitchen. I should have worn my  heart rate monitor because that was a killer workout!

Total Steps: 19,385

 

Wednesday-CrossFit

Every minute on the minute for 16 minutes:

Even minutes: 40 second sprint on the Air Dyne

Odd minutes: 5 hanging power snatches

Calories: 383

Total Steps: 14,371

 

Thursday-CrossFit

5X5 HEAVY close grip bench press

12 minute AMRAP

5 power cleans

7 shoulder to overhead

9 front squats

11 hanging knee raises (should have been jump rope, but I was still babying my foot.)

Calories: 325

Total Steps: 12,380

 

Friday-CrossFit

It was the FIRST day of the CrossFit Open!
It was a 10 minute AMRAP of 30 double unders and 15 snatches. In order to get a score you MUST do the workout EXACTLY as prescribed. The RX weight for the snatches was 55 pounds. I had that no problem. But double unders. UGH!! I thought I had them, man I thought I did, and so did my judge. I was on #26 of round one when Coach Jen came up and said something to the effect of "Jenny, sorry babe but those aren't double unders. You're just making the rope go faster but it's not going under your feet twice." SMH.  I somehow managed to pull out another 4, and got through one round of the snatches, and then started on round #2. It was not pretty. Not pretty at all. I got 3 in about 5 minutes. Undecided And since we were unsure of exactly how many of those 26 from the first round were "real" double unders, I submitted my score to CrossFit HQ as 3. Oh well. It is what it is. And boy do I have a funny/embarrassing story to share in another post! Tongue Out

Calories: 325

Total Steps: 12,676

 

Saturday: I spent the day at the Southern Exchange Produce Expo. It was an amazing experience. I loved it!

Total Steps: 14,331

 

Total Steps for the Week: 98,941 This is my LOWEST step count to date. It's all because of my remodel. I haven't been able to do my 2 mile post-WOD walk either. Sad face!

 

How was your week in workouts??

If you can read, you can cook

Growing up in the 1970's and '80's my family ate a lot of salad. I do remember my mom eating beets, and we also had a pretty big backyard garden with peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and more. My parent's made pickles. We went apple picking. It was pretty neat. Unfortunately when I became a young adult and had more control over my diet, the produce turned into Little Debbie Swiss Cake rolls, pizza, and lots and lots of fast food.

I don't really remember spending any time with my mom or dad in the kitchen. I never was taught how to cook. That is no one's fault. But what I was taught was how to read.

It took me over 40 years, but I've learned that if you can read, you can cook. During my journey to lose over 200 pounds, I had to totally change not only my diet, but my "I can't cook" attitude.

My husband has always been an amazing cook. Our kitchen was always stocked with fresh herbs, and lots of spices. I never used them. Instead I buried my head in the pizza, and most of the time those fresh foods spoiled.

And then I changed. One of the first commitments I made to myself and my family was that the boxed processed, and fast food HAD TO STOP!

But then what? I didn't know how or what to feed my family. For the first 4 YEARS of this journey, our diet, while extremely clean and healthy, was BORING! James would often come home from work and "doctor up" whatever I had attempted to make. I didn't get upset, instead I asked him for help, and tips! But it was hard for me to understand what he was saying. He just KNOWS how cook. He doesn't need a recipe. He can just look at foods, and spices, and whip something together that is outstanding. But he never measures ingredients, so I could never write down one of his recipes and attempt to recreate it.

So we continued on with a pretty bland diet of grilled chicken/fish with steamed veggies on the side. Again, this went on for years.

Then last year I joined a produce co-op, Carlita's Bowl http://www.carlitasbowl.org/ and suddenly I had so many unique and interesting fruits and vegetables that I was forced out of my bland comfort zone.

Just check out some of what I received over the past few months. Eggplant and squash? What in the world was I going to do with that?

So I did what I do best. Read & Research. But then I realized that I don't like to cook with my tablet propped up, nor do I like to print recipes up because it wastes paper. And then a thought came to me! COOKBOOKS!! Genius! And suddenly a whole new world opened for me.

Prior to joining Carlita's Bowl, I would have NEVER bought, let alone attempt to cook, spaghetti squash. And beets? Those funky things my mom used to eat when I was a kid, they scared me. Turns out that beets and spaghetti squash are foods that I LOVE!

I started to get more adventurous in the kitchen. I started playing around with herbs and spices. And my husband and kids took notice. Our palates expanded, and I began running out of room in my kitchen. Coconut flour, almond flour, many different types of oils, heck I even made my own mayonnaise.

James made the decision to upgrade our kitchen. He started off by bringing another fridge into the kitchen. Previously I would often "forget" that we had a fridge in the garage and food would go bad before I could cook it. But with both fridges in the same room, it was impossible. My cooking started to get even better.

And now we are here.....

A full kitchen remodel. Super exciting! I am going to have larger prep areas, a new oven, and a new microwave. It's been a trying week having contractors in and out of the house, and washing dishes in the bathtub, but I am PROUD to say that we have only been out to eat ONCE and that was only because James wanted to give me a break from the bathtub dish washing.

While this whole remodel has been taxing, it hasn't stopped me in the kitchen.

James set up some wooden boards that I am using as a countertop. Thankfully.

Yesterday I attended the Southern Produce Exchange Council National Expo and came home with all of this!  

I received so MANY mushrooms! Before my cooking skills took off, this would have totally intimidated me. But no longer.

One of the best things I read in my cookbooks was to set your prep area and lay out all the ingredients out first. Don't want to be surprised 1/2 way through cooking a recipe.

I'll share the recipe in a bit, but this is a HUGE breakthrough for me. NO RECIPE! It came all from my head.

Proof that if you can read, you can cook.

What's your favorite cookbook?