The New Switch Witch Tradition

IMG_3983I LOVE Halloween!  I really do!  But I have a child who is sensitive to dyes.  As in after her daddy let her have a few dye filled candies yesterday and I let her have the treats (orange cupcake, cheese balls) that her dance class provided, today she had a screaming meltdown which lasted over an hour.  The whole time in Michael’s, 30 minutes in the parking lot trying to calm her down enough to get her in the car seat, all the way home and 20 minutes at home.  I thought a guy in the parking lot was calling the cops on me because she was screaming so bad as I tried to put her in the car seat. It was awful.  So no more.  I can’t take it. Absolutely no red dye tomorrow.

What is a Halloween loving momma to do for her Halloween loving daughter?  Enter the new Switch Witch tradition.  I went to a couple of the dollar stores and got a cauldron and a handful of toys, hair bows and games.  Before bed I will have her place her trick or treat bag on the kitchen table in the witch’s cauldron.  In the morning all the candy (I’ll let her keep a few pieces of chocolate) will be replaced with the prizes.

I think it will be a fun way to keep the candy out of her hands.  There are several ways to take care of the candy.  Several dentist offices do have programs where you can exchange the candy for dental supplies and/or cash.  I’m sending mine to a friend who is currently deployed.

Full Disclosure:  I didn’t come up this idea on my own.  I read about it somewhere and thought it was a great idea.  A big thank you to the genius behind it.

Putting Action Behind the Ribbon – Teal Ovarian Cancer Version

Let’s be honest here for one second.  We all know Cancer Sucks!!  Am I right?  Of course, I am.  It’s a curse.  People like to spend their time pimping out the ribbons and the colors for us to “raise awareness.”  Is there a person in the U.S. above the age of 14 who does not know cancer exists?   If so, I want to live in their idyllic world.  I’m not against the ribbons and the colors.  If you have lost someone or watched someone suffer, it feels good to do something in honor of their memory or their struggle.  I get it and have the ribbon paraphernalia to prove it.  I’ve lost close family members and watched others suffer from cancer; my grandma, several aunts, uncle and my sister to name a few.  I’m not some cold-hearted wench against people trying to make a difference.  I was extremely close with my Great Aunt Katherine when she went to the hospital for her cancer when I was 12.  I remember vividly every single time I walked in and out of her hospital room as she slipped further and further away from us and writhed with pain.  It was my first cancer experience.  It was painful to watch.  Cancer Sucks.ovarian-cancer-ribbon-magnet

The problem I have is with it stopping at ribbons and colors.  That is not enough.  Raising money for some organization which may or may not be giving the money towards finding a cure is great if it makes you feel like you are doing something.  I’m not knocking those actions.  I am calling for people to do more.  If we really want to do something about ovarian cancer, we have to step it up.  I’ve made a list of suggestions:

First Step: Early Detection

Get regular (as in yearly) exams with your gynecologist.  The American College of Obstretrics and Gynocology guidelines suggest women over 30 who have had 3 consecutive negative (as in clear) PAPs only need one every 3 years, however, regular bimanual pelvic exams and clinical breast exams can detect serious issues.  If it has been more than a year since your last exam, call today and make an appointment.  Now is fine.  I’ll be here when you get back.  In fact, make the appointment, tweet/instagram/Facebook about it challenging ALL the women in your life to do the same.  The next best thing beyond prevention is early detection.

10390550_794585033905184_1453109993065814459_n Second Step: Prevention

I realize we can never be sure what does or doesn’t prevent cancer.  Sometimes it is genetics and there is not much we can do about genetics.  The only aspect of genetics we can deal with is to test for the BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation.  A woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits the harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2.  We have heard about the cases where some women after discovering they have the gene had their breast removed and/or a hysterectomy.  This is a drastic decision and one I’m positive they didn’t come to lightly.   With my family history, I have considered the test which is expensive for me but have not yet gone down that road.  While I still weigh this heavy decision, I do feel there are habits we can adopt which will help with prevention.  The catch-22 with this topic is we can’t prove you prevented cancer just because you don’t get cancer.  You might have been a person who wouldn’t  have gotten it anyway but I like to err on the side of caution.  I would rather not get cancer and will do what I can now.

Heath and Eating Habits

I recommend yogurt if you can for the good bacteria it introduces but other fermented foods such as Kombuchi is wonderful for your health.  Fruit and garlic are good for your bodies Ph balance and bacteria health.

Kegels.  Your body will weaken as you age.  Happy Happy Joy Joy.  Doing kegels lessens your chances of urinary accidents and improves your sex life.

Having an active sex life helps lower your chances.  If you are not in a relationship or otherwise active, there are other ways to reach the same result.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary with any part of your private area, discuss it with your doctor.  You will never regret over worrying but you will regret if it  turns out to be something and your chances would have improved with a quicker diagnosis.

Feminine Care

Women, we need to refocus our attentions on our feminine care.  The vulva (outside part of the vagina usually called the vagina but the vagina is the inside tube part of your organ)  may be washed with no-frills soap and thoroughly rinsed with hot water.  The vagina should never be washed with soap.  It needs to maintain a certain Ph level to promote healthy bateria and deter unhealthy bacteria.  It goes without saying don’t be douche.  Seriously they are never a good thing.  It totally screws with your Ph level.  HealthyHooHoo has a line of feminine freshness products free of harsh chemicals, fragrances and parabens.

Please consider getting a menstrual cup and/or using cloth panty liners.   My pads are Pink Lemonade.  Another great place for pads and The DivaCup is Lunapads.  Many friends recommend the Luna Cup or a menstrual cup like the SckoonCup.  The Word of Nerd has a fantastic post on Cloth Pads.

If you do use tampons, change them frequently.  If you use pads, only use them as long as you have to and change them frequently.  I must tell you to read this article at Naturally Savvy by Andrea Donsky before choosing this option.  She explains the toxin issue so much better than I ever could.

Cotton underwear is best.  Your privates need air.  Let your vulva breathe.  At the very least, consider going commando at night to give your privates time to air out.

imagesThird Step: Now we talk Awareness

Before you give, know the organization.   I like Charity Navigator.  You can see exactly how an organization divides up its money, how much is spent on programs, fundraising and paying their head honcho.  I know some people can get hung up on a CEO getting paid $300,000 but if the organization brings in over $300 million it is really a drop in the bucket and I am more concerned about where the bulk of the money is going.  Information is power.  What is important to one person is less important to another.  Know your organization and give where you feel most comfortable.

The ribbon color for ovarian cancer is teal.  Wear it proudly if you feel called but please when asked share more.  Talk about early detection and prevention.  Do not partake in buying teal items from businesses where no money is going to a legit organization or even worse businesses such as conventional tampon and pads makers whose products they are unwilling to share what is in them and are unwilling to prove they are not toxic or harmful to vaginas across the country.

Full Disclosure:  I have not been asked by any of the companies, blogs or links I have provided to write this article. In fact, there are many more products you can find and I hope you do search for the right and SAFEST products for you.   I receive no kick back from this article.  I am simply an average Jane who feels passionate about this topic.  I don’t have a medical degree.  I’m not a scientist.  I search for information and share it.  I suggest you do your own research.  Let this be a jumping off point to learning more about being proactive in your health.

Toddler Lunch Planning

Baby Bug starts school next week and I have been scouring the net for lunch ideas.  My child is weird and doesn’t care for sandwiches on regular bread, peanut butter or mac n cheese.  We avoid dyes and GMO laden foods.  As you can guess meal planning is one of my least favorite past times ever. However, her school does not provide food so it is completely up to me.   As I looked at all the options it dawned on me part of my problem was everything is presented in a full lunch.  I need a mix and match idea list so I created one.  My plan is to provide her lunch with one item from each list.  My categories are Main Entree, Vegetable/Fruit and Fun Factor.

 

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Main Entree Ideas: (I will start with the ones I know she likes but at dinner time practice the ones I think she will like before I send them to school.)

Tortellini Salad (Pasta and Peas tossed in Pesto)

Rolled Turkey with Cheese

Rice Balls (Cook short-grain rice and roll in small cooked vegetables)

Turkey, Lettuce and Tzatziki Sauce rolled into a wrap

Soba Noodle Salad

Tuna Fish on Pita

Rice with Polish Sausage or Ground Meat

Grilled Chicken Pita

Egg Salad in a wrap

Meatballs

Applegate’s Little Smokies

Lentil Soup

Salmon Patties

I’m most excited to try this Honey-Glazed bacon wrapped chicken strips from Paleo Cupboard.

 

Vegetables

Vegetables/Fruits: (If her main entree includes vegetables, I’ll add fruit otherwise it will be vegetables.)

Cucumber, Broccoli, Peach, Apple, Orange, Grapes, Melon, Pineapple, Green Beans, Blueberries, Strawberries, Carrots

Fruit kabobs

Roasted cherry tomatoes and mozzarella tossed in vinaigrette

Small Salad with dressing (My daughter LOVES salad!)

Frog Princesses and Princes Cupcakes

Fun Factor:

Raisins

Vegetable Chips

Air Popped Popcorn

Cheese Stick

Crackers

Apple Sauce

Natural Gummy Bears

Mini Muffins

What are some of your favorite lunch ideas?

Organic Apples: Which One is Awesome Sauce?

A to Z April Blogging Challenge!  Today’s letter is A.

We love apples in our house!  As a kid I got the joy of walking through a Washington State Red Delicious grove and buying fresh apples straight from the trees.  Food is always best the closer you are to where it grew.  Don’t you think?  I was a devout Red Delicious fan for many years.  One time there were no Red Delicious at the store and I was forced to step outside my apple comfort zone.  I discovered I enjoyed several varieties of apples.  The apple is on the Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen conventional fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of pesticides found in them.   I do believe the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables with or without pesticides is better than not eating any fruits and vegetables, however, I’m working hard on providing the best possible foods I can to my daughter.  I have chosen to start by working my way down the Dirty Dozen list and replace my favorites with organic options.  This has led me on a quest to decide once and for all which apple is my favorite apple.

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Did you know apples are a part of the rose family?   So are pears, peaches, plums and cherries!

I went to the local store and bought up one apple of all the kinds they currently have on sale.  There were 4 different varieties.  Then I got to munching.

From L to R: Organic Red Delicious, Organic Fuji, Organic Granny Smith and Organic Gala.

applesMy thoughts:

Red Delicious – I love this simple apple.  A soft bite of sweet which melts in your mouth.  Great for toddlers since it is a softer bite and for hot summer days when you need a juicy sweet refreshment.  Yep.  Still love this apple.  It was Baby Bug’s favorite for the taste test.  My mini me!

Fuji – The one to win the place for my new favorite.  It is a hardier bite than the Red Delicious.  It is as sweet but brings a little tangy to the party.  The second bite provided even more flavor.  Overall it simply had more substance per bite and I would feel more fulfilled and entertained gastronomically at the end of a Fuji.

Granny Smith – Tart Tart Baby!  A great apple for cooking with since it is usually cooked with sugar which helps tame the tartness.

Gala – This apple fell between the Fuji and Granny Smith in tartness.  I think it would be a great cooking apple if you can’t get Granny Smith.  It is too tart for more me to enjoy alone but it is a hardier bite than the Red Delicious.

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I learned the best way to preserve your apples longer is to pile them in a bowl and cover them with a damp paper towel or regular damp towel in the crisper drawer if possible.   Apples stay fresh longer if they are kept cool.  I had no idea and have been keeping them on my counter for years.  We eat them so fast probably doesn’t even matter for us.

Don’t worry!  All those apples didn’t go to waste.  I looked around at a few recipes and came up with my own version of a mixed apple crumble.  The fun aspect of this recipe is depending on what apples you use it will come out a little different every time.  In the past I have only used a hardier apple like the Green Apple for apple pie or apple crisp.  I was pleasantly surprised how yummy this crumble turned out.  There were some pears winking at me when I bought my apples and I couldn’t resist picking some up to add in the mix.  I’m crazy like that.

Junebug’s Mixed Apple and Pear Crumble

4-6 Apples (depending on size) Peeled, cored and cut in chunks.

2 Ripe Pears Peeled, cored and cut in chunks.

3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons of Sugar

1 teaspoon of Nutmeg

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

2 Tablespoons of Butter

2 Tablespoons of Cornstarch

Crumble

2 1/2 Cups of Crushed Graham Crackers

1/2 Cup of Butter

1/2 Cup of Sugar

4 oz. of Pecans

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 9 X 13 glass pan.

2.  Toss the chunks of apple and pear with the lemon juice, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, butter and cornstarch.   Pour mixture into the dish.

3.  Combine graham crackers, butter, pecans and sugar and spoon over the apple pear mixture.

4.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly.

5.  Can be served warm or cool.  Delish with ice cream or whipped cream.

I didn’t get a picture of the finish product because my husband ate it too fast.  I’ll have to make another.

Is My Stress Making Me Fat?

Last week I started the Fit4Mom L.E.A.N. Mommy program.  It is an 8-week nutrition and weight loss course.  L.E.A.N. stands for Learning Eating Awareness and Nutrition.  It isn’t a diet but a course designed to specifically work with the emotional/mental aspect of weight loss and nutrition.  L.E.A.N. Mommy

Our first week had a great discussion on stress and what stress does to our body.  When  you experience stress your body dumps hormones (mainly adrenaline and cortisol) into your bloodstream.  Ideally you would be prepared to fight or take flight.  In our modern world, these two options are typically not valid.  Instead we take a fake it until we make it attitude and try to stamp down our feelings.  We can do nothing about the released hormones.  The best situation would be to use exercise as a way for your body to work through its feelings so to speak.  Again not always possible in our world.  For instance, last week Baby Bug was sick again with a very quick high fever.  She kept hovering between 101 and spiking quickly up to 105.4.  Since she has had a seizure before from a fast rising fever, I am a complete wreck when she gets this sick.  I have to constantly hold her and check her temperature.  It is rounds of bath treatments, breathing treatments, medicine, occasional sleep and lots of cuddling.  I do not have the option to go for a run or any other exercise while caring for her.

What happens to the body when we are constantly stressed and have no outlet for the hormones?  We can develop long-term chronic conditions including but not limited to:

  • High blood pressure
  • frequent illness as a result of lowered immune system
  • digestive disorders
  • weight gain, especially in the stomach area
  • depression
  • tension in the head and neck, and back aches

Hmmmm…I suffer from all but the first two.  I think I can sufficiently deduce I suffer from long-term issues from my stress.  I do feel constantly stressed.  I have for so long I don’t remember what it feels like to not be stressed.  The L.E.A.N. Mommy Program appears to really focus on helping to deal with stress.  The first technique we are taught is how to meditate.  Mediation is a technique I could use when I can’t exercise while stressed.  I’ve tried doing mantras, saying prayers and since I’m Catholic I have done the Rosary all to some form of success.   I’m looking forward to learning more about how to handle my stress.  Tonight is our second weigh-in and I’m ready to find out if I’ve had some loss yet.

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Off to drink my enormous amount of daily water.

Do you think you have issues dealing with stress?  Have you come up with some great techniques for dealing with it especially in situations when you can’t use exercise?

Red Lentil Soup

I love to cook for my family and friends.  It gives me that lovely warm feeling when they tell me how good the food is even if I think they are just being nice because it could be so much better.  However, I know they really like it when they ask for the recipe.  That is the problem.  I’m a renegade cook.  I’ll start with a recipe and then go off roading in the ingredient backroads.  I’ve often given out a recipe and said, “But I didn’t use this, added this and that, then I ….”  Recently I was asked for my Red Lentil Soup recipe.  I looked up the recipe I originally used when I started making this soup years ago.  It is the awesome Sara Snow’s Lentil Soup recipe.  I love her recipes!  However, I discovered I have strayed so far from the original recipe it is practically a whole new recipe.  So I’m going to try to write up my version.  Try mine.  Try hers.  Enjoy both.  It can easily be vegan or not.  I prefer vegan but don’t let that turn you away.  Everyone who tried it and found it was vegan was very pleased.

Red Lentil Soup

The world’s most unappealing food picture of the best lentil soup.

Junebug’s Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients –

  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 3-4 Garlic Bulbs
  • 1 Quart of Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • 1 Quart of Water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil
  • 2-4 Strips of Kombu (sea vegetable)
  • 4 Carrots
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 1 28oz. can diced or stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Cups of Red Lentils (rinsed)

 

I use this recipe mostly as a way to clean out my fridge so this is more of a guideline.  Since we eat lots of fresh vegetables I find by the end of the week I have several veg I need to use up before it goes bad.  I throw it all in.  When I made it yesterday I had a bell pepper.  In it went!  I had lots of carrots, therefore, I added more than 4 carrots.  If I don’t have tomatoes on hand then I skip them.  See!  This is why it is hard for me to share my recipes.  They are constantly evolving and are rarely the same.  Once I made the world’s most awesome cookies.  After many and many patches of subpar cookies attempting to recreate that awesome cookie, I discovered the difference was as simple as I had used the last of my Mexican vanilla on the first batch.  Mexican vanilla is VERY different from what is passed as vanilla in America but that is a post for another day.

Directions:

In a large stock pot add your coconut oil, chopped onion, diced garlic and if you add bell pepper add it now.  Sauté these ingredients for 3-5 minutes on medium heat until the onion is slightly translucent.

Peeling Garlic

Did you know the easiest way in the world to peel garlic?  Set it on the board.  Lay your knife down flat and smack on top of the knife smashing the garlic bulb.  The garlic wrap will peel right off.  When I discovered this little trick I actually did a jig!!

Garlic

Add all the other ingredients except for the lentils.

This is Kombu.  I love it!  You throw a few strips into your soup and usually by the time the soup is ready it has dissolved leaving your soup flavored nicely with sea salt.  You will notice I do not have salt on the ingredients list.  With Kombu, you don’t even miss it.  It is edible but if it doesn’t dissolve and you don’t want to eat it just take it out when you remove the bay leaves before serving.  It is usually found in the Asian food area at the store.

Kombu

Bring the pot to boil, cover, reduce temperature to low and let simmer.  If you are eating it within 30 minutes, add the lentils with all the other ingredients.  If you are letting the pot simmer for several hours while you wait for your guests or husband to come home, add the lentils 30 minutes before you plan to serve the soup.

Vegan vs Non-Vegan

The only difference in this soup making it Vegan or not is in the stock.

BouillonMy favorite is Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian stock.  It is so yummy.  I keep a jar at all times and I keep a box of bouillon cubes on hand in case I run out of the jar while cooking.  On occasion I will have homemade bone broth and I will use it which, of course, makes it non-vegan.  All are good!  It is what you like best or what you have on hand.

I will add I love butternut squash.  I use it in many recipes which ask for white potatoes.  Try butternut squash in place of potatoes the next time you make Beef Stew and you will love me forever!  It adds a nice nutty flavor while still giving you the same texture of potatoes.

Bon Appétit!

Are you a Kitchen Renegade or do you color within the recipe lines?

Whole Foods Market Savannah Sneak Preview

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I snared myself an exclusive ticket (really not all that exclusive – I just followed a link from their Facebook page) to preview the new Savannah Whole Foods Market.  I’m a fan of Whole Foods and have been looking forward to this store opening for a long time.  Here are a few highlights from my quick tour.

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Our awesome tour guide, Christine, from the Buckhead store up in Atlanta made sure to point out the store’s commitment to procuring local suppliers.  Besides the food suppliers, there was a selection of local health care products and and art work.  It won’t replace my shopping at the Farmer’s Market but gives me good options when I need something during the week.

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We tasted one of their cakes.  Dang it was good!  We, also, tasted peanut butter on a cracker and a salsa(I didn’t taste the salsa because I saw cilantro in it).

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I located the restrooms.  This is important.  I always need to know where the restrooms are when I enter a place.  Kind of like a spy needs an escape plan.

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A really cool feature I can’t wait to come back and try is in the Health and Beauty Wholebody section.  Notice in the middle of my picture is a white dome monitor looking contraption next to the laptop?  Supposedly you put your face in there and it will scan it.  A list of everything wrong with you will pop out as if you were having lunch with your mother.  It is not sponsored or developed by a single company.  It might tell you your face is dry and list products which might help you fix your dry face problem.  Some people are going to hate it.  I am going to love it.   I’m a glutton for punishment.

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Opening Day is Tuesday, August 13th.  There are going to be tons of specials.  One of them is this Low Country Boil in a bucket.  It is usually $49 and will be 1/2 price on Tuesday only.  Worth the trip and braving the crowd.

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Now, I am a proponent of NON-GMO food and GMO labeling.  I understand the controversy which mostly is dealing with second generation GMO contamination.  However,  I would still prefer to shop at a store where I am likely to find the best NON-GMO products whether they will label it or not.  I can do my own research until those in charge realize how important this issue is to our health.  We have to support the positive steps when we can.   On that note, Whole Foods does boast a great Gluten Free section.  This is a huge positive in my book along with the local products and the desire to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

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My favorite part?  Bulk foods!!!   See those red lentils on the top right?  Yep!  My favorite.  Pretty red lentils.

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Overall, I recommend checking it out.  Even if you still end up continuing to do the bulk of your shopping via other stores, the Farmer’s market or your co-op box, you will find something you didn’t even realize you needed before you walked in the door at Whole Foods Market.  Nearby businesses are going to include PetSmart, Zoes Kitchen and Chipotle.

Genetic Roulette

When you gamble do you dive in head first risking it all and hope Lady Luck is on your side?  Or do you examine the whole situation to ascertain your potential risk before setting yourself up in the best conditions to be successful?  I’ve been relying on Lady Luck when it comes to my health but that Lady has packed her bags and moved out.  She has been replaced by a representative who used to work for a bio-tech firm.

This week I had the opportunity to watch a documentary called Genetic Roulette directed and produced by Jeffrey Smith, the Founder of The Institute of Responsible Technology and narrated by Lisa Oz (wife of Dr. Oz).  It has won two awards since it was released in late 2012: Top Transformational Film of 2012 by AwareGuide Viewers Choice and the Movie of the Year for 2012 by Solari Report.  The documentary tackles the scientific issue of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and attempts to give the average citizen a full understanding of the dangers we face when we eat GMOs and if we don’t start to demand our government and bio-tech firms to listen to the evidence of these dangers.  The movie makes you ask the question, “Is it worth the risk?”

I can’t possibly cover everything in the movie.  I can’t even attempt to convince you to join me in the fight against GMOs.  After I finished the movie and I was all worked up while telling my husband about GMOs, it didn’t go well.  My husband is an engineer and is very analytical.  I’m an actress and I am very emotion based.  Sure I like to see the evidence, which I feel Genetic Roulette presented well, but I don’t remember the facts and figures.  My husband wants facts and figures.  We ended our conversation with me saying, “Dude, just watch the movie for yourself.”  I say it to you now – Watch the movie for yourself!  You can watch the movie here. (It is here free for today only – Saturday, June 15th.)  I would like to share a few of my emotional take aways from my viewing of the film.

Garden

The garden this year on my Aunt’s farm.

The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) is supposed to be there to protect US citizens from harm.  A GMO has had its DNA altered.  When GMOs were first presented to the FDA for approval in 1992, the FDA insisted there was no information showing greater concerns with people eating these new organisms.  By 1998, multiple secret documents were found to prove the opposite to be true.  Multiple scientists in 1992 had said each plant needed to be evaluated case by case since they were all different organisms and studied to document the results of them on people.  What happened?  The FDA says it is the bio-tech companies responsibility to insure their products are save for people.  The bio-tech companies say it is the FDA’s reasonability to ensure the food is safe.  Basically NO ONE is watching out for the safety of the American people’s food source when it comes to GMOs!  This fact alone should be enough for the American people to be outraged and demanding changes.

I was shocked to find out there are only 9 GMO crops but they and their derivatives make up about 70% of the items found in a grocery store.  Wow!  70%!  No wonder these bio-tech companies have big wallets to pay the government to turn a blind eye.

When I look at the way the world has changed in my 40 years it makes me think we should be much healthier.  Why are infant mortality rates actually rising?  What about the rising of IBS, Allergies, Auto Immune Diseases, Cancer?  With all we know, shouldn’t it be improving?  Then you look at one of the biggest factors to change in the last 40 years and it is our food.  GMO food is not a natural food.  Proper long term testing has not been done.  We are the long term testing plan.  I think we are seeing the results and they are not good.  I suffer from IBS, allergies, insulin resistance and the most heart-breaking unexplainable infertility.  Did you know the infant mortality and infertility rates of pigs skyrocket when the pigs are being feed GMO crops?  When they are switched to NonGMO crops their infant mortality and infertility rates decrease?  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.

Please, don’t take my word!  Go watch the movie for yourself!  Tell me what you think.  Read about GMOs.  Look into the number of politicians from both parties in bio-tech firm’s pockets and how they used it to get themselves free reign of the GMO food market and the American citizens dinner table with the Monsanto Protection Act.  I am a Kansas farm girl from a long line of Irish farmers going back to the old country.  I love farms, farming and farmers.  It saddens me to see so many farms dying off or being killed off by the aggressive tactics of bio-tech companies.  Read about farmers fighting back.    It is time we explored the evidence and started talking about GMOs.

Watering Plants

 

My daughter watering our tomato plants.

I’m not going to be diving in risking it all on my health anymore.  I’m going to get Lady Luck and take her to the farmer’s market to score some local NonGMO food.  Do I know all there is about GMOs?  No.  Do I have all the evidence?  No.  Is it possible I am wrong?  Yes.  Is it worth the risk of my health?  No.  Is it worth risking my daughter’s health?  No.

Monday Musings

First of all, Parenthood for Me is having a giveaway in celebration of 400 followers.  Good ahead and hop over.  I will wait right here.

Someone Fran has been on to me to respond about the cyst.  Honestly I haven’t made any comment with exciting new news because I am currently living in denial.  Ok that is not completely true. 
1.  I have been doing mind-body mediation with Hildegard the Cyst Busting Fairy.  Lately I’ve been joining her by flying down with her into my lungs.  We step out of the lung door and start stalking towards my ovary.  The wind blowing her blue curls around and ruffling her apron.  I’m decked out in doc martins, leather and a bad a** pink mohawk.  (cue a** kickin’ music) We are so working our butts off to take this cyst down.  I’ve decided not to worry about the logistics of me being a mini me going down inside of myself.  It’s magic people – go with it. 
2.  I went with my bf on my birthday last month to a naturalist/homeopathic type person.  She just set across the table from me saying things while my bf wrote them down in a great notebook she had bought me.  Basically she pointed out all these areas she felt had problems.  She gave me a detailed list of things to do for the next 80 days.  She said she can’t guarantee it but she feels that within 6 weeks of following this program the cyst would be gone.  I’m on day 31 of the program and in cd 104.  I know the cyst is there because I can still feel it hurting.  Hubby and I made a deal.  I would follow the program for 6 weeks and no matter what at that point I would go back to my doctor to see what is going on.  If it is still there and/or has gotten larger I will let her make an appointment to take with the oncologist.  I just feel like it is counterproductive to IF to have my ovary removed.  I know you can get pregnant with one but what if something goes wrong with it too?  Then it is definitely over.  What do you think?  Any of you with one ovary out there?
Here is the program and tell me what you think.
Day 1 – Spread 3 tbsp of hummus on my stomach and leave for 30 minutes.  Hubby about busted a gut over this one.  I did it.  It didn’t feel that weird.
Day 5 – Start taking Chinese Herbs – Liver Balance TCM 5 times a day for 23 days.
Day 10 – Soak in a bath of bentonite for 40 minutes to detox.  This has been my 2nd favorite so far.  I was so relaxed afterwards I could barely crawl to the bed.
Day 12 – Start taking Syntol 2 times a day for 3 weeks
Day 20 – Eat 3 chocolate chips 5 times a day for 14 weeks!!!!  This is my favorite so far.  Chocolate every day are you freakin’ kidding me!  Love it!
Day 30 – Start Probiotics Bifidophilus 8 pills for 3 days a week for 12 months.
Day 40 – Soak my left hand in a baggie of 7 cups of regular brewed coffee for 20 minutes.  This is for a week from today.  Looking forward to seeing how that feels.  Of course, the coffee can be cooled.
Day 50 – Go further to the left about 3 spaces from where I currently lay in the gym to do my yoga.  Apparently the electrical karma in the area I currently workout in is not good for me.
Day 60 – Eat 7 cups of ice cream within 22 hours.  I’m allergic to ice cream but she said it would be ok.  I might be sick for a couple of days.
Day 70 – Soak my left foot in 5 quarts of raw goat milk for 20 minutes.
Day 80 – Return to be retested.

I’ve been a bit lazy this weekend and did not cook anything so I’m feeling a little bad that I can’t really participate in Menu Monday.  However, I love Aarti (currently on Next Food Network Star) and I saw a recipe on her blog for quinoa.  I love quinoa.  So here is a link to her blog, aartipaarti,  with the recipe.  She is so freakin cute.  Feel free to hop over to Marlaz’s blog via the button below and check out some recipes. 

Menu Monday

Menu Monday – Veggie Skillet

Menu Monday

We are working our way through a vegatable cookbook so most of my recipes are meatfree.  Although it would not hurt anything to throw in meat if you like.  This week Hubby cooked up Veggie Skillet while I was sweating away for 80 minutes with 50+ people in yoga class.  I was wondering how many people would be going to yoga at noon on a Sunday.  A ton!!  There was not room for one more person.  I stopped counting at 50.  Sure felt good.  This is what I came home to:
Veggie Skillet

It was very yummy!!  As you can tell I was so hungry I didn’t even remember to take a picture until after I was served and since I wasn’t even there I could not take pictures of each step.  The recipe appears very simple. 

3 cups frozen diced hash browns with onions and peppers
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 cups bottled meatless(or not – your choice) spaghetti sauce with mushrooms(or not – your choice)
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)

1.  In a large skillet cook potatoes in hot oil over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or nearly tender, stirring occasionally.
2.  Stir spaghetti sauce, pease and carrots, and corn into potatoes in the skillet.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and let stand about 1 minutes or until cheese starts to melt. 

4 servings at about 406 calories per serving

We chose this recipe because we already had most of the ingredients on hand.  If I had made it I would have used a smidgen of olive oil instead of regular oil to bring down the calories or butter which would not bring down the calories but might be a tad healthier and probably picked a lighter cheese which is where the other bulk of calories came from but I was only the eater.  I’m currently looking at recipes for this weekend since Hubby turns 40 this weekend.  I want to make him a semi healthy dessert and meal.