It Has Been Open Less Than A Week And….

It’s finally open and I have been there twice in less than a week…..Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in Ashwaubenon,WI had it’s grand opening last Wednesday and I was there!!!!

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A friend of mine joined me for the first visit here and to say it was packed with people would be putting it mildly. Our area (Ashwaubenon is minutes from our home and is where the store is located) has no organic healthy grocery at all. So for those of us that have always wished and hoped for a Whole Foods or a Trader’s Joe’s, this may be as good as it gets and in my opinion it’s pretty nice.

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I have never once braved the crowds and went to any grand opening of anything but this one was different. Upon arriving I knew it would be busy but wow, our area clearly needed a grocery store like this. I did not get to enjoy looking around as much as I would have liked but what I did see made me very happy. I found a few new items that my husband can enjoy since going to an artificial sweetener free diet.

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And I also found a kombucha flavor he has been searching for…win for him.

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I’ve already made another visit since this grand opening night and crowds are much more manageable. I love the meat/seafood, bakery, and fresh veggies/fruits selection. I have also found some other amazing items that we have all fell in love with. In my opinion, it’s a great addition to the Green Bay area.

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Talking about my husband being artificial sweetener free…..he is doing wonderful. He is feeling great and has surprisingly lost his big sweet tooth. He still enjoys candy here and there but before this he loved candy and could not live without it. He has also since lost his taste for coffee….go figure. How odd is that? Cooking is getting easier and I have been working on getting creative so everything he eats does not have to be so basic. Like one evening we had Korean BBQ pork sandwiches, zucchini, and corn on the cob.

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And another evening we had homemade BBQ chicken pizza. The only difficult thing about this meal was finding a store crust without artificial sweetener. Our normal grocery store had only one out of at least 10 different brands so we tried it. He loved it….win for me!

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This weeks menu has two new meals on it for us to try. Slowly but surely I am finding meals he enjoys and that are easy to prepare now that we have revamped our pantry. I am just so happy to see him happy again and not always so miserable with stomach aches.

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Food Can Be Your Medicine Or Your Poison…..You Choose

This is a reader request update:

The statement that food can be your medicine or your poison has become so true in our home. As I wrote about in the past few weeks(here and here) you can only imagine how hard it has been revamping everything we eat to not contain artificial sweetener and make my husband ill.

Take a look through my pantry and you will see cans, bottles, and packages marked with a big NO on the item…meaning it contains some kind of artificial sweetener he cannot eat. There are very few items left in my home but making this mistake will cause him illness for at least a day or two afterwards. I am slowly but surely getting rid of the items or using them up in meals he is not home to eat…since making two separate meals is not something I care to do for us as a family. I look at it as….we are all getting a bit healthier and not consuming something that was made in a lab or a test tube or where ever they come up with this poison.

Now, I know there are a few of you that have contacted me either through comments or through email wanting to know specifics of what foods all contain artificial sweetener. And some have even asked what a days worth of food looks like for my husband. First, I cannot answer the question of what foods all contain this. There are literally so many its impossible to list them all. You will just have to do what we did….make a list and read the labels. Second, I did document what my husband eats in two days for all of you. Although, I seriously don’t know how this will help anyone since we all have different likes and dislikes but it’s what many of you asked for so here is a glance into two days of food for my husband. Everything is artificial sweetener free.

DAY 1:

Breakfast: bagel with whipped cream cheese and fresh fruit (for this meal we needed to change our originally used cream cheese and the bagels we normally bought)

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Lunch: homemade chicken salad on toast with lettuce, broccoli with ranch dipping cup(bottled ranch has sweetener, dipping cups do not…figure that one out???)

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Snack: peanut butter and apples

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Dinner: stuffed zucchini boats with spices, ground turkey, mushrooms, garlic, onions, and organic canned tomatoes. Milk(not shown)

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Day 2:

Breakfast: two hard boiled eggs and a banana

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Snack: plain coconut water smoothie with blended strawberries and vanilla yogurt(yogurt is a big sweetened item…watch the label closely)

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Lunch: BLT pasta salad(recipe here)

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Dinner: sauteed shrimp on a hoagie roll (sweetener free), with homemade seven layer salad. Milk

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Since this all took place, I also make our meals when we go on an outing. Here is a great example of a recent meal while kayaking. We each had a homemade chicken salad hoagie, cheese chunks, fresh strawberries/kiwi, two hard boiled eggs. Lara bars were for extra snacks if we ended up staying too long and got hungry on the ride home.

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You may wonder why always homemade chicken salad for our sandwiches. Let me tell you, I for one, do not eat lunch meat since our first trip ever to Zion National Park and our guides told us how long it will last in our backpacks with out refrigeration in the dessert heat. I swore right then and there to never eat lunch meat again! This is just one of the many things I learned on that trip from two of the best guides. Anyhow, almost, if not all, lunch meat I find in the grocery store contains sweetener…so it’s easier for me just to whip up a quick batch of chicken salad for our sandwiches.

For snacks he has come to like pretzels, some ice creams are ok, and some crackers which he loves. We also found some chocolate candy that he is enjoying and recently were surprised to come across some of his favorite types of candy made in an organic variety. Which, as I told you in the past, just because it says organic don’t always mean it does not contain artificial sweetener(crazy I know) so he did not get his hopes to high until we read the label and all was good. He then bought one of every variety and was thrilled to have his precious candy again. What a sweet tooth he has….let me tell you.

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Drinks are also a big thing we needed to change in our house. He is a peach tea lover and the original peach tea we bought had all artificial sweetener in it. So now we buy a different brand and all is good again. He has also tried organic Gatorade for our hot and very active days…he says its different but good. I have since ordered an artificial sweetener free electrolyte drink mix that has not arrived yet for him to try. Hopefully it tastes ok since it’s much cheaper than the organic Gatorade.

So this is what a normal two days now looks like for my husband. A fairly healthy diet with no artificial sugar what so ever in any of these items. The hardest part was ridding our house of what we already had. Now it’s just a matter of remembering to read labels on anything new. Holidays may be tough when they come around but for the most part we are the hosts so I prepare most of the food anyhow.  For now it’s one day at a time and each day he feels better and better.

I am pretty proud of him for sticking to this since he has never really been a label reader. Although, he says he can easily cheat and eat something if he wants but nothing is worth going back to the way he used to feel. So as of today he has not looked back even once.

 

 

 

Checking Things Off The List

I am a list maker. You can find lists in every pocket of every jacket I have. Maybe it’s age, but if it’s not written down, I will not remember it. And I must say, I actually feel like my list got a whole lot shorter this weekend.

It started with Saturday morning, after ordering my new glasses a week ago, I finally had time to go pick them up. Thankfully, my husband was with me because it took me most of the day to get used to my new prescription. Which meant he ended up being my chauffeur for the rest of my “to do” list.

Next, we made a trip to Costco. We had stopped in quickly one night during the week to fill out membership information but really did not have time to shop. This time we had time to wander and look around. I normally stick to my list pretty well but with my other half along that is sometimes quite hard to do. We found everything I needed and then some.

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I love that they have so many items that are organic, customer service was great (especially for a Saturday) and the produce section is spectacular. I bought the largest pineapple I have ever seen.

After we finished shopping it was time for some fun. The sun was shining and we had seen an area trail that looked clear enough to walk on when we were on the highway traveling earlier that morning. We headed to the trail head and needless to say did not make it far. We were only a few yards into the trail when we rounded a corner and found it flooded over with the river that is usually a trickle.

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With disappointment written all over my face, my husband said we could try another trail nearby. We did, and it was somewhat clear in sections, but this trail being right next to the river was extremely cold and windy. I was shivering so hard that we both knew this was not going to last long, so we headed home. It just wasn’t meant to be today:(

Then it was time to finally try out the new roof rack we had purchased a few weeks ago. We had been waiting on one part that had to be ordered and it arrived this week. So my husband assembled all the parts while I was working on my “to do” list. When he was ready, we took it outside and prayed it all went together like the salesman said it would. I could tell my husband was very happy with the design while he was assembling it inside, because I heard him making comments to himself. This is usually a good sign. Having two engineering minds in my house is either really good or really bad. In this case it was good. It fit on the car with ease, my SUP fit on the rack with ease and the kayak was also a good fit. Of course we had to try every kayak we have to make sure they all fit and for once a salesman was right.

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We took it for a ride and everything on top was happy, which made me very happy. We got some pretty strange looks from people passing by and our neighbors had to think we were losing our minds, but we did not care. Sadly, we arrived back, took it all back off the rack and replaced all our toys in their proper places in the garage. Just a few more weeks until we can get wet.

Which brings us to dinner time. This is why you do not take your husband shopping with you. This is one of the things I DID NOT have on my list that he just had to have the moment he saw them while at Costco.

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He loves dungeness crab so he talked me into trying one. I think they are quite scary looking and he knows I hate crab legs because they are hard to break. He offered to grill them, help clean them and break my shells if they were difficult. How could I turn down all that assistance? SOLD, we bought two. He did all what he said and I must admit, they were delicious. I also threw together a quick kale and quinoa salad to accompany this sea creature. For a quick throw together salad, it was very tasty. Even my husband liked it and I was a little worried he would not.

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List completed:) I went to bed with a clear mind. Sunday I wished him a fun day ice fishing for probably the last time this winter and my plans are to catch up on reading, get in a HIIT workout and enjoy curry chicken with my son for dinner. (Hubby is not big curry fan, so we take advantage of when he is not home for dinner.)

Hope you all had a good weekend.