Fed Up with Diet By Advertising

I found this article on My Sisters Pantry blog. It is a pretty great blog, but I just love this article. The blog is offering great tips and information about cutting the sugar in your diet. Do you ever look at labels? Check out the label on that ‘healthy’ yogurt next time and see how much sugar is in there. My family is sensitive to sugar. Too much sugar is not good for anyone and food companies hide it everywhere! Watch the video for the #FedUp campaign, get informed and get crackin. Lucy, we (me) gots some work to do!

my sister's pantry

Sugar – looks pretty innocent, doesn’t it?

In honor of the release of Fed Up, a documentary about the power of sugar in our food supply, I’ve decided to take another look at my own (and my children’s sugar intake), and to remind myself WHY I would still be concerned about it.

This documentary, and most of what I’ve read about sugar and processed food in the last 10 year,s leads me to the conclusion that I cannot trust food manufacturers with my health. (See Salt, Sugar, Fat for more about that.) And it seems to me that there is often an inverse relationship between the amount of packaging and readiness and the healthfulness of the actual item. There are, of course, exceptions in the “natural foods” category. I can purchase prepared foods with less sugar, fewer chemicals, but these items ARE exceptions.

I don’t particularly want to build a…

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TIP: Always get fresh french fries

From the Keep Calm o matic website: click for page

From the Keep Calm o matic website: click for page

Ever swing through a fast food restaurant like MacDonalds, because its convenient and you are in a hurry? Well the only thing more distressing is when you reach into the bag for the first fry and you realize your fries are not hot, not that fresh and very disappointing.

Here is how to never have that happen again:

  1. Walk into the restaurant. Being there in person makes it easier to confirm they will comply with the next step.
  2. Ask for fries without salt.

What is the first thing they do when they plop fries into the that stainless steel bin? They salt them. If you ask for fries without salt, they can’t use those fries.

Sometimes this requires them to make another batch so here are some ground rules:

  1. Be nice. Smile and say ‘Please’. Its amazing what happens when you are nice to someone.
  2. Be prepared to wait if they do have to fry you some fries. Hey, that is what you asked for, right? Just be okay with a slight delay.

Voila! You have fresh, hot, wonderful fries!

Random Act of Kindness

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Yesterday was Mothers Day. Because my husband is a long haul trucker and home about 3 days a month, I figured it would be a day like any other. Boy was I right!

Started about 6:10am with Sean running in and saying ‘Mommy, Archie is trying to hurt me.’ My 7year olds haven’t learned how to sleep in yet. Let’s get this party started, with pancakes that I made. They were quite tasty. But then it started to slide, my contentment with the day.

I cook on Sunday for the rest of the week. I made 4 main dishes, completed 2 loads of laundry, swept the kitchen floor and mowed the yard. All while trying and mostly succeeding in keeping my kids from killing one another.

Here is where the Random Act of Kindness comes in: my neighbor saw me mowing the grass. She thought to herself, ‘A mother of 3 little boys mowing the grass on Mother’s Day? She needs flowers!’ And she brought me flowers. Those flowers made my day. They were unexpected, they were appreciated and they gave me hope that while this motherhood gig is hard work, we shall overcome! Thanks neighbor!

Mothers Day

Pic courtesy of Funchap.com – click for more good stuff!

Some people think Mothers Day is a Hallmark holiday. I say it is a necessary thing to honor the woman who gave me life and who refrained from taking it away during those tumultuous teenage years. Heck, as a mom myself, I have realized there is a reason God makes babies cute and snugly, and little boys covered in dirt and mud adorable. It’s to keep us from going crazy when they track huge clumps of dirt through the house, or when they refuse to plunge the toilet they clogged up or… the list goes on.

Honor your mother and the mother of your children. Your partner may not be your mother, but it is always nice to be appreciated for doing a hard job well. Here is a hint: ask her how she wants to celebrate. Some people like surprises, and if you know your partner well, then go for it. A few things I have noticed over the years:

  • Mothers of young children typically like to be pampered. They rarely get the chance because they are so busy taking care of everyone else. Find that guilty pleasure and make sure it happens. Reach out to a good girlfriend and arrange for them to do something together, if that is her thing (mani/pedi, movie, whatever floats her boat.) Personally, I want a nap and a nice dinner I don’t have to cook or clean up after.
  • Mothers of older children, especially mothers who work outside the home (Ages 10 +) typically want to spend time with their kids. We don’t get enough time to really enjoy our kids. Between chores, cooking and errands, a nice time to really connect with our kids is priceless. Plan a family game night or a hike or go geo caching. It doesn’t have to be high dollar, just high value.

Finally, to all those mothers out there. Speak up. Be heard. If you want to do something special for your holiday, ask for it. Too often we don’t ask for what we really want/need. Make it affordable and make it enjoyable. Then, commit to doing the same for your partner when his day rolls around. It isn’t all about us, we are a team. You both are doing a great job of raising those kids. Acknowledge the hard job we all have and give credit for the amazing humans we are going unleash upon the world.

 

Private or Public Schools – My story

I love my boys. They are bright, inquisitive and quite the handful. I knew they were smart, they did take after me a little bit. But, I am a HUGE supporter of education. In my opinion education is the great equalizer. It offers people so many opportunities to become great. Education doesn’t always mean reading books, education for me is learning anything. Learning can be done in a classroom or through the school of hard knocks too.

Boys are more likely to be identified as ‘troubled’ or ADHD, when they may not actually have that challenge. In a prior post, I wrote how I thought the typical education system pendulum has swung so far to favor girls, the system is leaving out boys. In our mad dash effort to equalize education across the sexes, we have left boys behind. This is one of the main reasons we chose to put my twins in private school.

ArchieClassMy boys are active, no doubt about it. They drive me nuts half the time with the level of energy I just WISH I had. They are smart and have such a unique way of looking at things. I want to treasure that uniqueness, people who come up with ground breaking ideas are rarely the crowd followers are they? Personally, as someone who has had personal experiences with understanding and learning things a bit differently from my peers, I knew they would thrive in a smaller environment. I also knew I couldn’t quit my job to stay at home and home school. Bless you parents who are able to, but I lose my patience with adults too easily to have the patience to teach my kids. It was better for all involved if I sought out the professionals.

It is a sacrifice to put the kids in a private school. Don’t think it’s all roses and butterflies my friends. There is payment for one thing. Good gracious, what I could do with that money! Retire in comfort most likely. But again, I have said and firmly believe education is best way to give my kids a leg up. Finding a school and program that inspires them to learn, apply what they learn and question what they see is invaluable. There is also a bit of a social inequality I feel. I have never seen so many medical professionals in one room outside a hospital than when attending a school function. When a kid in my sons classroom says “See mom, I wrote about our dinner at the country club.” and I think, “Well, I showered before I showed up after running 2 miles.” just shows a different social background. This is good for my kids too, gives them experience in all sorts of things and teaches them people can come from different places and still get together.

Ultimately the reason we chose the private school option was the curriculum. The public schools just couldn’t keep up. When I saw what was required for Kindergartners to begin school, I was shocked. My kids knew this stuff at 3 years old. Know your primary colors, count to 10, know the letters of the alphabet, I could go on. Makes me wonder why public schools don’t start teaching highly capable kids from kindergarten on.

Bored boys with lots of energy are not good classmates. My bored boys who are not challenged will cease to push forward, preferring instead to float along with whatever happens. Know your child and know your options. There may be scholarships available and other ways the school lets you fundraise. Don’t put your child somewhere just because you have no other option. Make sure the fit is right, give them the best start!