CSAs, Personal Trainer, A Juicy Trend

CSAs Will Grow on You

It’s the time of year when people post about their CSA pickups on Facebook and I wonder if I should “like” it or be brave enough to ask what it is.

More and more of my Facebook friends (and real ones, I suppose) have bought shares with a local CSA. I wanted to understand why they were suddenly posting kale recipes, so I decided to learn more about this healthy club of consumers.

The term CSA stands for community-supported agriculture and Delawareans have a number of CSAs from which to choose.

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CSA 101: Farmers offer a certain number of “shares” to the public. A share could consist of vegetables, fruit, eggs and other farm products. Consumers can buy a half or full share and in return receive a package of seasonal goods every week throughout the season.

CSA Benefits: I spoke with a friend in Hockessin who is a mother of two and owns a half share at a local CSA. I asked her why she chooses to buy produce for her family this way.

“I like the fact that the produce is local, organic and varied so I get to try fruits and vegetables that I would not ordinarily try or even know about,” she says. “But most of all, I really like that I am able to support the local farmers.”

Other CSA advantages for farmers include relationship building with their local consumers who eat the food they grow, while also accomplishing their business goals such as marketing and cash flow before the days in the fields begin.

When I asked my friend about what she did with those produce items that she did not necessarily feel would become a staple in her kitchen, she clued me into the great underground CSA network of consumers who trade amongst themselves.

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“If I get too much of something, like tomatoes, I know exactly which friend of mine will love to have more tomatoes. It’s the same with kale. I have a kale friend!”

Suddenly, I was determined to either have a kale friend or be one.

Now that the season has begun, it may not be as easy to find a CSA that has not filled up all its shares, so consider this a helpful reminder for the fall when consumers can purchase their shares and be set for the following farming season.

For anyone interested in learning more about a local CSA, check out some of these farms:

  • Bayberry Farms, Middletown
  • Coverdale Farm, Greenville
  • Fifer Orchards, Camden-Wyoming
  • Highland Orchards, Wilmington

Hockessin Athletic Club. Photo by John M. Lewis Photography Going Strong

As a former runner who now has multiple sclerosis, I am concerned about staying in shape while having limited mobility. I can often be found around the house singing, “I’ve got the moves like Babar.”

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So I made an investment and met with a personal trainer at the Hockessin Athletic Club in Hockessin. It was eye-opening. There is so much more I can be doing with what I have. It was very inspiring.

I have this amazing trainer, Katrina Clayton, and together we look like a before and after picture. When she asked me my goals, I just told her to go look in the mirror. But the truth is, I just want to feel stronger and more in control of my limited limbs and Katrina really understood that.

She told me the one thing I didn’t want to hear—she told me I needed to have patience with the process. Patience? Who has time for patience? If I pay extra, can she give me some?

I was sweating it out one day when I asked Katrina what the one thing is that all of her clients ask about. She told me her top two.

trainer, Katrina Clayton

1. Everyone comes in talking nostalgically about what they “used” to look like. Sentences often begin with “When I was 20,” even though the client was over 40.

I kept thinking about how I have been doing the same thing, but instead of saying younger, I was saying, “when I was not living with MS.”
Everyone has some sort of “before”— an era where they felt they were in more control of their physical fitness, metabolism, etc. For some it could have been high school track days or one great summer full of Zumba classes, but apparently a lot of us reference these times longingly when listing fitness goals.

2. Patience. I guess it goes hand in hand with the nostalgia. We all want to see quick results. In a universe full of texting, email and Internet shopping, we have become accustomed to the immediate gratification lifestyle.

New clients always ask Katrina when they will begin to see results, how soon they will feel differently, etc. These are not easy questions to answer, but it was comforting to hear so many of us have our own time lines to reconsider and that it was not just me.

I had forgotten how slowly I had built up to being the runner that I became years ago and I needed to tap into the patience I had back then, plus more so for coping with my disabilities. I no longer wonder when I will get to see my own “after” picture in this process. I just better look like Katrina. Is that too much to ask?


All Juiced Up

You know, you mention something in a blog about smoothies and all the juicers feel abandoned. I refuse to let that happen any longer. The tricky thing is, I have actually never juiced before. By the way, when did “juice” become a verb? I missed that memo entirely. Anyway, I wanted to learn more about the benefits of juicing and how it relates to wellness—both for me and for you, my loyal readers. Hi, Mom!

I have been hearing about it for a couple of years now—it used to be considered a California thing, with chains such as Jamba Juice, but now the trend has set up camp in Delaware homes, and I was wondering why. I went to some Web sites to learn more and I noted three things.

1. The juices are green. Did I mention they are green? And not the mint green of legendary Shamrock Shakes. They are green. I asked myself, “Do you want to drink a salad?” and then I told myself to keep an open mind and continue reading.

2. One needs equipment. And one needs to clean this equipment thoroughly and often.

3. There really are health benefits to this thing. It’s not like the Thighmaster. Juicing your vegetables allows your body to absorb the vitamins and nutrients of the fruits and vegetables while giving your digestive system a break. Juicing allows us to increase and expand our produce intake considerably.

So there is only so much reading about drinking that one can do before thirst sets in, and I headed out to Main Squeeze Juice Bar and Café in Newark. Since it was my first juice, the owner of Main Squeeze, Alexa Kryzanowski, recommended that those new to juicing begin with the sweeter options, such as carrot and orange, and work their way up toward the ones with names such as “The Mean Green.”
My juice had greens such as kale and spinach, but also some apple to add sweetness to the flavor. I am happy to report I thought it was delicious.
This place is a great find for those who want to try it all out before attempting the prep work in their own kitchen. There were so many juices to choose from, I feel like I now have a game plan. I am determined to become a juicer who will pay someone else to actually juice for them. Even if the juice is really, really green.


Health Events

Saturday, June 23

Name Inaugural Habitat in Motion 5K
Location Bellevue State Park, 800 Carr Road, Wilmington
Time 9:35 a.m. (registration opens at 8:30 a.m.)
More info. Donna Fierro dfierro@habitatncc.org, or 652-0365 ext. 113

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