Fitness SOS: Purge the Vacation Splurge!!

Healthy eating takes a back seat during vacation, so when we arrived home from a third consecutive vacation, my body was screaming for balanced nutrition.

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Since we are lucky to live in this garden state, I decided to take advantage of our location and begin my rounds of my favorite local farm stands for some fresh grown healthy produce to purge my vacation splurge.

My first stop was a place on Kings Highway where Clarksboro becomes Mickleton.  Here at Sorbello’s, I always hope to visit with owner ‘Junior’ Sorbello, who is usually sure to treat me to some interesting conversation along with a great selection of fresh produce. Here I selected a nice big cantaloupe, some big fat zucchini and eggplant perfect for grilling, and some white peaches.

My next stop was at Grasso Girl’s located on East Wolfert Station Road just outside East Greenwich and into Mullica Hill, where I got my avocados, tomatoes, blueberries and corn.

My next stop brought me to a place very close by Grasso’s but since I prefer fresh local grown, I moved right along to my fourth stop, Rosie’s, on Route 322 in Harrison Township. Along with a lot of fresh produce selections, Rosie’s offers some fresh baked and canned goods made from much of the same fresh stuff sold there. Here I bought some green beans, plums, nectarines, red bliss and sweet potatoes, and cherries.

For additional quaintness, I noticed a cute little container at the counter while checking out labeled ‘guacamole in a box’. It consisted of two avocados, a couple of plum tomatoes, a lime and a jalapeno pepper….all the ingredients for the perfect fresh guacamole. Now that’s clever AND healthy.

My final stop was Joan’s located on the border of Woolwich and East Greenwich Township on Kings Highway where I decided to pick up a canary melon that I’d seen earlier.

Now for the purge day one, I made a three bean salad with the fresh green beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, black olives and onion in a spicy vinegar dressing. With two ears of cooked corn, I removed the kernels and mixed them with my own grape tomatoes and a basil vinaigrette dressing. We ate these salads with some fresh steamed crabs. The melons were a terrifically sweet finish.

Day two purge included the fat zucchini and eggplant sliced and grilled. I sautéed my own hot peppers with some onions. Both accompanied some chicken strips shish-kabobs. Using my own cucumbers, I was able to pickle and store them for upcoming months.

Red peppers are just coming out and with those, I roast them, peel and place the fresh roasted peppers into zip lock freezer bags for future use…they’re awesome.  And ok…with the rest of the zucchini, I made about six loaves of zucchini nut bread to freeze and store for the winter holidays.

With the peaches that are now abundant, my daughter makes great smoothies, but I’ll also make peach cake (same recipe as jewish apple cake) and store those in the freezer for the holidays as well…….after which I’ll have to purge all over again.

The purge continued strong for a full week, and along with ramped up activity, returning to a healthy diet and active fitness routine fell right into place. Vacation does not have to ruin and undo progress. Just take advantage of the season, stay motivated, and your improved feeling of physical well being will propel you onward.

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