Trader Joe’s Weekend

Last weekend I visited a Trader Joe’s for the first time. We were in the Rochester area, visiting the kiddos, and wanted to pick up a few things for lunch the next day so my daughter-in-law suggested TJ’s.

000Trader Joes

I was surprised when I stepped into the store space. I had no idea that the interior of the store was going to look so different from the stores in our area, and the place was packed out.

While inside TJ’s, I felt a few folks were moving down the aisles a little faster than was safe.  It was seriously very busy, and this at about 4:00pm in the afternoon.  I felt a little overwhelmed while I was in the store, but I think my husband was seriously overwhelmed. He wanted to get out of there as quickly as he could.

My hubs doesn’t trust big city folk.

I felt like I found a few good buys at TJ’s, and if I were to shop there on a regular basis (I won’t, we live in the boondocks), I would make Trader Joe’s a part of my regular buying  routine.  The chicken was a bit pricey the day we were there, and I could not, no matter how many trips I made up and down the aisles, find seasoned bread crumbs for the recipe we wanted to try, but no matter.  We left there and headed over to Wegman’s, where I finally got my coffee and the rest of the items we needed for the next day’s lunch.  My daughter-in-law already had Saturday’s dinner in the crock pot; a combo of chicken, spices, and some kind of tasty rice.  We paired that with the red bell peppers and pears I had brought from home, and some carrots she already had, to make a yummy, nutritious, and I-would-definitely-eat-that-again meal that we thankfully consumed after a long day of shopping, walking, lingering, and waiting for each other at various commercial outlets.

I was a little worried about my trip to Rochester this weekend, because I’m still sore after the fall I took a week ago Sunday.  The practice of sitting cross-legged on the floor at my son’s house carried with it some pain.  My tailbone and my neck still hurt. I think I’m going to contact my doctor and see about having an MRI.  Maybe its just soreness and swelling, but I want to be proactive with this injury.

I felt like the food went just okay on the weekend. I’m at a plateau again, which really sucks, so I’m trying to figure out why I’m unwilling to do what it takes to get the weight moving down again.  I’ve had a few people comment on my weight lately. Just yesterday, I ran into a gal I had not seen for a while and she said, “Wow, you’re skinny.  You’ve lost a lot of weight, haven’t you?”  I’m thankful for these occurrences when I am stuck on a plateau for this long, but believe me, what I am right now could in no way be described as skinny.  Still, when I went to have my hair done tonight I was amazed at how average sized I looked in the bathroom mirror at the salon.  Must be the bike riding is firming things up, even though the scales says no weight has been lost.  I know I have to get things moving again, regardless, so I’m planning on doing some journaling to see if I can figure out where to go from here and cannot wait for spring to finally arrive.  It was 26 degrees in NE PA today.  Burrr.






Hammondsport, NY–one more pitch for the Coolest Small Town in America, circa 2012

Keuka Lake at Hammondsport, NY is beautiful this time of year. In a few weeks, it will be even more spectacular looking.  Fall is about to burst out in the NYS region, and when it does, watch out.  The hills will be blazing with autumn colors: red, yellow, orange, brown and a bit of green splashed here and there.  The Hammondsport area puts on quite a show in the fall, so if you can get there, get there over the next few weeks.

This morning I wanted to share a few pics of the town of Hammondsport that I took while I was there last Saturday.  I think you will agree, these pictures are a tease for your travel plans.  Add to the fact that the Hammondsport area has some excellent wineries and lots of water sports activities, and you can understand why this town was named “Coolest Small Town in America” in 2012.  The lake area is only enhanced by the fact that the town itself is nestled down in a valley surrounded by rolling hills.  What a recipe for serenity!

Near the lake you will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise.  Small business is alive and thriving in this community, so there are loads of opportunities to walk, bike ride, water ski, sail, or kayak.  There are also tons of small diners and antique shops lining the streets and surrounding the town square.  And did I mention the wines.  I don’t imbibe, but I know others do and they say the selections offered are tasty, indeed.

Check out the things to do in Hammondsport, here (besides kayaking, which I recommend).

Okay, okay, I’ve sung the praises of Hammondsport long enough for today.  Now, for the pictures…


Because its fall, there were pumpkins and deeply colored flowers everywhere.


This mum was tri-colored and huge.  I’d never seen anything so impressive on the streets of small town USA.


We thought about bike riding, if kayaking wasn’t on the agenda for the day.  I think it would have been fun to give it a try. Maybe next time. I’m just not sure about the hills around town.  Them hills might make for a good work out.  By the way, for those who care, I’m told I burned between 850-1000 calories during my two-hour workout on the lake.  Not bad, for an activity that was thoroughly enjoyable!


I snapped this shot of the church as we were heading up from the lake front.  It sits behind the town square and is perfectly placed to be seen at any angle as you approach the center of town.  I believe faith is a powerful thing, so I naturally wanted to get a picture of her majestic steeple.  And look at that sky–gorgeous!

DSC_0359 This gazebo sits in the center of the town square.  It had some interesting detailing near the rafters, and seemed like the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon concert of the impromptu type.


I should have shot lots more pictures while in Hammondsport, but seriously, there was just too much to do.  Maybe next time I can grab a few more shots to share.  It really is a beautiful place, as you can tell.


More pumpkins and mums.



And of course, a last shot of the lake.  Isn’t that gorgeous.  Photo not mine, but a great picture, nonetheless.

If you have a chance to visit Hammondsport, NY this fall, take it.  You won’t be disappointed.  The area has a lot to offer, and the people were so friendly.

We really enjoyed our time there, and will definitely go again.


No Junk July–Bye, Bye Sugar


No Junk July is underway at my house.  What does this mean?  It means that at my house we are being careful with food during July.  We are eating lots and lots of vegetables, raw when possible, without butter or sauces. Frozen veggies are on the menu, but canned veggies are almost non-existent, except for black beans and refried beans, which I do not cook from scratch, not nearly enough time for that.

We are eating some fruit, but not as much as in past months.

We are eating less bread.

We are eating more raw foods.

We are avoiding fast food like the plague.

Let me say that I have no urge to eat the kind of fare that is seen in today’s post, and that fact alone is amazing for me, because like a lot of Americans, my plate at family reunions and picnics in the past used to be loaded down and monotone in color, with varying shades of beige predominantly featured.  No more.  I eat the rainbow whenever possible and I love it!

I had a baked sweet potato with cinnamon on it the other night and thought I was in heaven.  You cannot appreciate the flavor of that vegetable until you have let go of processed sugar. Yum, nature’s candy!

White sugar has gone on hiatus at my house during the month of July.  I rarely use white sugar for anything these days anyway, but during July it will not be used at my house at all.  I have happened onto a cookie recipe that has no refined sugars or flours in it, and I like it for a breakfast food once or twice a week.  It has a weird texture to it–kinda like Play Doh, although it tastes good–and for that reason I have not been able to sell it hard to my family or friends.  The little rounds of chewiness pack a punch re: fiber and fruit-y-ness. Each cookie is about 41 calories, and convenient as all get-out.  They are something I can grab and go in the morning, or pop in my mouth before supper when blood sugar levels dip.  That doesn’t happen often, but when it does, they even things out well, without huge spikes.  No sugar and no processed flour, only oats, fruit, and nuts.  Yum!

During No Junk July we are drinking lots of water.  Coffee has been put on the back burner, although I will admit having an iced coffee or two each week during July.  We are limiting artificial sugars and going without whenever possible.  Is it ever necessary to eat that stuff?  Some days I’m not as strong as others, that is my only excuse.

One of the things I like about No Junk July is that it is an initiative I have adapted for myself to help me stay focused on good eating on a daily basis.  I have not started No Junk July so that I can hate myself more for making bad food choices.

I have not started No Junk July so that I can whip myself for failing to make good food choices.

I have not started No Junk July so that I can envision myself as more disciplined, or determined, or deliberate than others who are using food to get healthy.

I did not start No Junk July so that I could point a bony finger at others (as if I might ever have bony fingers), and act as if I know all the answers and can tell them what they ought to do to get healthy and eat better.  I do not.

No Junk July is about me being smarter with food. Period.

I am just one lil gal trying to change the way she eats and in the meantime get healthy.  I believe I have the power to do that, and one more tool for recovering my health is No Junk July.  I’m feeling good about this project, and the scales say I’m down 2 lbs.  We’ve seen loses before, though, so I’m cautious about calling a loss where none exists.

I am excited about No Junk July, and learning as much as I can about what I, personally, need to do to reclaim my health.

What are  you doing for yourself this summer, to keep you on track with food?