The Fruits of my Neighbor

One of the things I love about California is how lush and fertile it is. Even though we are surrounded by desert, you really can grow almost anything here. It has a lot to do with the mild temperature (no frost or extreme heat to worry about most of the time), and also our ability to irrigate. The hubby and I love to take long leisurely walks around our neighborhood, and we love to discover the fruit trees that our neighbors all have in their yards. We have a mature orange tree and a young lime tree that producer fruit, and soon we will have guavas, avocados, figs, and strawberries to enjoy once they all grow a little older and wiser. So today I’m sharing with you the fruits and other edible plants that can be found around my neighborhood. Try not to drool to much.

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Orange

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Kumquat

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Rosemary

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Nasturtium

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Quince

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Blackberry

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Loquat

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Lemon

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Pea

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Peach

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Prickly Pear

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Fig

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Avocado

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Grape

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Grapefruit

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Hibiscus

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Apple

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Sunflower

Also, check out our herb garden.

What sorts of surprises have you found in your neighborhood?

*All photos were taken by my dear, supportive husband.

**This post was inspired by a friend’s recent discovery of loquats in her own neighborhood. You know who you are. Thanks!  😉

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Paleo Challenge Update: Week Four

Well, April is almost over, and so will be the month of my self imposed paleo challenge. Only a few more days! Although I have to admit, I don’t mind this new way of eating. I doubt I’ll stray much from it once the challenge is over!

Favorite Meal

Sausages! Need I say more? Yum! My hubby put together a delicious meal of Italian sausages with peppers, onions, and mushrooms all cooked together in a cast iron skillet and seasoned with basil, salt, and pepper. I didn’t miss the sausage bun at all!

DSCN0445I also really enjoyed this breakfast! We’ve gotten in to a routine in the mornings where I first make coffee and then bacon and eggs for us to have together before the hubby heads off to work. But one morning, he beat me to it and whipped up some baked frittata-like scrambled eggs with basil, a side of bacon, and berries to fill the corners. This was my favorite breakfast all week!

DSCN0625Favorite Snack

Of course, my go-to prosciutto plus fruit snack wins again, but this time with berries! (This was my late-night snack after class on Wednesday night.)

DSCN0651We also made chicken liver pate, and in a search for something to spread it on found this simple recipe for paleo crackers and adapted it a bit. (We used garlic olive oil, and skipped the rosemary to avoid an extra trip to the grocery store.) They were delicious, a little bit addictive, and very munchable even on their own.

DSCN0644Something Learned

I learned that fruit is perfect for satisfying a sweets craving. Really what you’re craving most of the time is sugar, and fruit has plenty of that! It’s just the all natural kind. It makes me realize that I can rely more on fruit for sugar and less on things like cookies. So in the future when I do have a cookie or three, it will be a more enjoyable special treat!

How I Feel

Honestly, my body has really normalized to this way of eating! I continue to have clearer skin, more predictable and less dramatic hunger over the course of the day, and my energy level remains even. All good things! It definitely motivates me to be more paleo than I was once the challenge is over (even if there are occasions to fall away from it every now and then… like ice cream on a hot day). But more on my plans for the future in my final paleo update next week!

Have you been trying this along with me? How do you feel?