Saturday, April 30, 2011

This Mom Works From Home!

I know I have been absent! I have been working from home to try and bring my business to the next level! Which I did{deep curtsy}.

I promise a product review this next week!  I want to show you all that going green can mean saving money and cleaning just as effectively as chemically saturated cleaners...who knew right?  I honestly thought "going green" was an annoying slogan that only weirdos participated in....now I am one of them!!! I can't help it!  It is just better, safer and healthier.  And did I mention cheaper?

Alright I am done for the night but, I promise I will keep up this week! I just wanted to post so y'all{my family is living in Texas, so I give a shout out once in a while} don't think I forgot about ya!

Have a healthy day tomorrow!

Good Night......zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Banning The Brown Bag


Photo Credit


What if your child came home from school and told you that he or she is no longer allowed to bring a lunch from home?! Not only that,but you had to pay for a school lunch everyday or your child  will go hungry! Sounds ridiculous right? I mean, who has the right to tell us what to feed our children!! Sheesh! Well, guess what? A elementary school Prinicpal in Chicago, Illinois did just that! Can you believe it?  True story! I couldn't believe it either so I tracked down the story and THERE IT WAS! In the Chicago Tribune...plain as the nose on my dog's face. 


Here is the scoop:"At [this] public school, Little Village Academy on Chicago's West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria. Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.
'Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,' Carmona said. 'It's about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It's milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception.' Carmona said she created the policy six years ago after watching students bring "bottles of soda and flaming hot chips" on field trips for their lunch(Who eats healthy on a field trip anyway?Come on lady, it's a basic kiddom rule!). Although she would not name any other schools that employ such practices, she said it was fairly common. A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman said she could not say how many schools prohibit packed lunches and that decision is left to the judgment of the principals."

Do you know what this means?  More money in the pocket of the School District! And if your child doesn't qualify for a free lunch, you will be forking over twice, if not more money for your child's "healthier lunch" each day OR they go hungry....end of discussion. I personally would like to see what kind of "healthier choices" they have at this school. Because I don't consider a few tomatoes and carrots sprinkled on a wad of ice burg lettuce with a mound of ranch dressing very healthy.  I'd rather give my child a PB&J sandwich for crying out loud!

"At Little Village, most students must take the meals served in the cafeteria or go hungry or both. During a recent visit to the school, dozens of students took the lunch but threw most of it in the garbage uneaten. Though CPS has improved the nutritional quality of its meals this year, it also has seen a drop-off in meal participation among students, many of whom say the food tastes bad."

Do you know what that means? Kids don't eat during school, or sneak in some candy or the like, wait all day to get home and snarf everything in site! And if they weren't making unhealthy choices to begin with, do you really think they will eat a head of broccoli just because some principal banned lunch-ables? I think not!  School is a GREAT place to learn new things but, it has to start with the parents FIRST!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Whose The Chicken Now?

My Sister-in-law(self-reliance guru, click here to see her FABulous blog) turned me on to this site called organic authority. And as I was researching around, I found an article about McDonald's chicken nuggets. I know I know we all love them and we all hate them at the same time. We all know they are deeply fried, highly unhealthy and fake. But oh so CONVENIENT! And as a Mom of two, I! LOVE!! CONVENIENT!!!
However, when I read this article, YIKES! I can't believe I ate that! Want to know what I found? Here is the list of the ingredients(taken from McDonald's website) from the famous chicken mcnuggets....bummer:(

White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning [yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid], sodium phosphate, natural flavor (botanical source). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, bleached wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, dextrose, corn starch. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil(HO LOOK OUT! This is trans fat!)with TBHQ(From what I read on organic authority "[TBHQ] is a chemical preservative and a form of butane (AKA lighter fluid). One gram of TBHQ can cause 'nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse,' according to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives. Five grams of TBHQ can kill you." Ok, that's it I am starting a petition to rid the world of these funny lookin' chickens.) and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent( From what I read from organic authority this is made of silicone that is also used in Silly Putty and cosmetics. SERIOUSLY? I can't even IMAGINE what that would do to my 
insides!)


Convinced yet?  Well, I am for sure....
So, what do we do instead? How do you tell your kids they are never allowed to eat a Happy Meal again?(at least without the chicken nuggets).  I can only imagine what kind of water work display would take place. And I can't stand the idea that I would be the cause of that for you. So, here I come to rescue the day! A RECIPE! I honestly have never tried this but it sure looks YUMMY!  Have you ever heard of The Sneaky Chef? This lady has developed recipes to "hide" healthy stuff that kids don't want to eat.  Now, I do have to warn you that you have to look at the ingredients in the recipes because although some great veggies are added to the recipe, there still contains too much sugar, fat and salt in some of them.  Just because fries start out as vegitables doesn't make them healthy! So, I have an alternative recipe for chicken nuggets! YAY! If you make extra, just freeze 'em! Great for school lunches! You can also check out the nutritional value in these recipes too!


Here it is!  Drum Roll Please.......

Honey BBQ Chicken Nuggets
Nutrition Highlights: Protein Boost, Antioxidants 

Makes: 4 servings 

There's something about chicken nuggets that make them one of the most popular kid foods in America! Missy uses it to her sneaky advantage. She substitutes "oven-frying" for deep-frying, and upgrades the breading so it becomes a nutritious food instead of just a layer of simple carbs to hold the frying fat. The dipping sauce can also add delicious covert nutrition--especially when you add spinach and blueberries to it. 

- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour 
- 2 large egg whites (about 6 tablespoons liquid egg whites)
- 1/2 cup Purple or Orange Puree 
(see Make-Ahead Recipe #1, p. 257 or #2, p. 258), divided
- 1/2 cup store-bought BBQ sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons honey, divided
- 1/2 cup ground flax or wheat germ
- 1 cup crushed whole-grain cereal flakes (from about 2 cups of cereal)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small nuggets 
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Place flour in a shallow dish or on a plate. In another shallow bowl, beat egg whites with 1/4 cup of the Purple or Orange Puree, 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce, and 1 tablespoon of the honey and place next to the flour. In a third shallow dish or on a paper plate, combine the ground flax and crushed cereal. Place remaining puree, BBQ sauce, and honey in a clean bowl and set aside to use as dipping sauce. 

Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, shaking off excess, then dip in the egg mixture, followed by the cereal mixture. Press the breading evenly onto both sides of the chicken. Put on wax or parchment paper and store in the refrigerator for cooking tomorrow or proceed to cook immediately. 

Pan-fry method: (Higher fat and longer time standing at stove, but crispier) 

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add several nuggets of chicken at a time, pan-frying on one side until the crumbs look golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Watch for burning, and turn down heat if necessary. With tongs, turn the pieces over and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low until cooked through, about another 10 minutes. Blot cooked nuggets on paper towels to remove excess oil. 

Oven-bake method: (not as brown and crisp, but lower fat and less time standing at stove) 

> Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Place breaded nuggets on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn chicken nuggets over once with tongs, then return to oven for another 10 to 12 minutes until cooked through.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste. Serve with honey BBQ dipping sauce



Great stuff ya?  Hope you enjoy! Have a Healthy Day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stress Relief Games

So, in lieu of last week which was the WORST week of Dental School for us so far! It was stress galore! If you want a reminder or a peak of how it all went down go here and here.(Disclaimer: I have never seen this movie and never will, so I am not suggesting you go rent it by ANY means. I just thought the clips were funny).

Since then I have deflated(thanks to Dr. Phil), and thought  I  would give some info on stress relief and management  Now there are the common ones like meditation, yoga, breath deeper and slower, eat chocolate(what? It works for me!), exercise, get a massage(MY FAVORITE!)  and many other great ideas! But today, I decided to be a little more unconventional. Have you ever heard of online stress relief games?  I am NOT a video game person, ya I have played some Mario in my day but, that is about as far as it goes. No Resident Evil for me or ANYONE in MY house!  Neither do I believe in wasting time on computers(blogging is not a waste of time, whoever said that, you in the 4th row!) Nor do I endorse online gaming! It can be addicting, but so can chocolate...you get my drift.

Movin' on...

Here are a few you can try, better yet play them with your kids!  They are simple and fun.

My All Time Favorite! Line Rider: This one is so much fun! You use your mouse to create a sledding course for a sledder. It is set up so simple but, my family has spent hours on this game.  Making the guy do loop-di-loops and crashing. You can also see demonstrations on what some professionals have done...pretty crazy!

My Other Favorite one so far: Starlight. This one is a virtual "Night Under the Stars." You just move the cursor until a shape appears in the sky!  Cool huh?! It's working on perceptual ability:)  I liked this because it was simple and cute. Nice and relaxing, you don't have to think! Your 3 year old, heck my 1 year old could do it!
(I apologize for all the ads, it must be how they make this site free)

Second Favortie: Waterfalls. This one is controlling a virtual stream of water.  Water is always nice to relax to. Why do you think everyone refers to beaches when they think of their dream vacation? This one you are just trying to keep a circle filled with water by using your cursor to control the stream.  Again, it's not rocket science but, pretty relaxing.

Third  favorite :Block Drop: This one I don't think is a stress reliever.  Although the colors in the backgrounds are restful.  It is a little more of a challenge than just moving a mouse. But, pretty fun!

Lastly: There are other ones you can check out, plus I am sure if you google "stress relief games" you may find better ones!  Like there is an ant squishing game, which sounds better than it is, and others.

That is all for now! I wish you a stress free night:0

Note: Reading blogs is another GREAT stress reliever.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What Does Plowing and Self Reliance Have To Do With Each Other?

Hey Everyone! I just wanted to tell you to check out my Sister-in-Law's blog! It's an inspiration to us all on becoming more self reliant! We can all learn a thing or two from her and her great ideas!plowinhope.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Top 5 Things To Help Eliminate The Silent Killers In Our Homes

Can you guess what I am about to blog about today?? If you guessed Toxic Chemicals....you are right!!! And not just in our cosmetics or cleaners. If you haven't guessed already I am pretty obsessed with learning about and ridding my home of toxic chemicals. Can't imagine why?  Let me tell you a story, when I was younger growing up I could care LESS about germs, toxins, diseases, anything related but what kid does? I was the kid who swallowed a battery(gave my mother a heart attack!) and didn't change her clothes or take a shower during a week long Girl's Camp! I thought my mother was a nut for making us wash our hands after we left the public restrooms( I already washed my hands!) Or she would wipe down the grocery store cart handles when we went shopping.  How embarrassing! However, now that I have Giggles and Big Eyes to worry about, I think I am worse than her in some ways!


Now, I know it seems everything these days causes some kind of disease or cancer or even a sneeze but if we listen and try to follow EVERYTHING the "specialists" suggest we would end up going crazy.  Let's be honest, what harm does a little exposure make? Right? WRONG!
We all know that it's the silent, steady and consistent exposure that can be a real killer. Just because someone smokes a cigarette once does that give them lung cancer?  Or just because I eat a piece of pizza for dinner and ice cream for dessert just once a week, does that make me obese?  Of course not!  But, creating these bad habits can lead that way if we consistently choose them.  OR the reverse is true, and that is what I have been trying to say since I started this post...I am sure long winded...


All right, here they are:


 Top 5 Things To Help Eliminate The Silent Killers In Our Homes
(Not necessarily in this order)


1. Buy or Check Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors(remember, they plug in close to the floor NOT the ceiling, and don't run your car with the garage door closed)


2.Use Kid-Safe Natural Cleaners: Almost all possible poisonings (93%) happen at home, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, and 51% of them involve children under the age of 6. Click Here and Here for further info, it's shocking!( I can show you where to get the BEST kid-safe cleaners, laundry soap, other household items and cosmetics! Click Here and contact me...you will be sooooo glad you did! I promise! I use them!)


3. Store All Vitamins, Medications and Cosmetics Out of Reach of Children. (Click Here and Here for more info...YIKES! Cosmetics? I honestly didn't think too much about that. I let my daughter play in my makeup bag to keep her busy while I put my face on...whoops!)


4. Get Your Water Tested.(Click HereHere  and Here for more Info...Who da Thought? I LOVE water and I probably drink way more than recommended but isn't that a good thing? Apparently not if you don't drink good water)


5. Improve Air Quality In Your Home( Click Here, Here and especially Here ....seriously? Ok, I REALLY don"t have the money to go and buy some fancy smanshy air purifier. Besides, I believe in the mucky baby theory! However, these websites sure make me wonder though...)


There you have it!  Please add to this list in the comments section if  you have any you can think of!  Thanks! Have a Healthy Day:)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Starting a Movement to Become Better, More Educated Label Readers!

Ok so remember last post and how I talked about the harmful ingredients that were listed from the website Natures Knockout? Well, I found a store that carries makeup that doesn't have ANY of the harmful ingredients in them! YAY!  Just go here and I will get you the info!  I also LOVE this store because it has LIQUID foundation that doesn't have any harmful stuff in it( I have dry skin so mineral make-up doesn't work for me, believe me I have tried!...womp womp).  This line was created by Nicole Miller a fashion designer! People like Angelina Jolie, Eva Longoria and Halle Berry wear her stuff.

Just Sayin'...

Movin' on,  let's talk about the price; these cosmetics are very affordable but, in no way cheap. Or are they? Consider for a moment the health problems in the World. Heart disease and diabetes are a couple of the  number one killers among Americans(I really don't think I need to go into that right now or this may be the longest post you have ever read!) and many other countries.  Why? because of what we put in and on our bodies! What we put on the surface of our skin gets absorbed by our bodies and goes through our blood stream and our organs, true story!(Do some research if you don't believe me! I just think the facts are overwhelming!)
  But, I digress!! I think paying a little extra for a few basics WILL in the long run pay off. With this I mean, perhaps in the long run, fewer major medical bills! And I think anyone would be excited about that!  I AM!

Now, I know that not EVERYTHING we do, eat and put in and on our bodies will be absolutely perfect. In fact, I know we live in an imperfect world so how can we expect ourselves to be? Especially if we are products of our environments?( I think we are heavily influenced by them but, it doesn't have to determine our destiny)
I advocate having moderation in all things!  And  let's start a movement to become  more educated, better LABEL READERS!
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