Friday, August 22, 2008

Where are the Digestion Police?

I admit it. There is something that drives me crazy when I see it. And it makes me wish there was a special task force just for Digestion Abusers. I guess that's where I come in: Officer Kristen.

First, let's define digestion and why it's important to your health. Digestion is the process by which food is rendered usable by your body and capable of being absorbed for use in carrying on the various vital processes of your body.

. . . This is important because if your body can't digest something you swallow, your body treats it as an attacking, toxic invader and goes into stress mode to get rid of it. If you commit this crime often enough, you'll end up sick and diseased. Not a pretty picture, is it?

But the good news is that God designed our bodies beautifully and wonderfully, and there is hope when we follow a few simple guidelines for what we put into our mouths and when.

Never, Never, Never. . .

serve raw fruit with a cooked meal!

Ok, my pet peeve is out in the open. Now, if you'll let me preach just a little more.

Raw fruits and veggies break down quicker than anything cooked, so when you eat a bowl of mixed fruit, say, with a plate of meat-sauced pasta, the meat sits in your gut for about 7 days and the fruit is done in about thirty minutes. So what, you ask?

Well, the fruit just sits there because it can't move on through your system properly and becomes essentially toxic. That defeats the whole purpose of eating the fresh fruit in the first place!

So, practice this general rule of thumb and all will go much better with your gut:

Eat fruits with fruits and vegetables with vegetables. If you serve a raw food with a cooked meal, go veggie.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I'm Entering My First Blog Giveaway!

Yea! I'm entering my first blog giveaway and I feel like a little girl again! How fun!

If I enter my favorite healthy recipe here,
I will be entered for a chance to win
a wonderful cookbook and
vintage apron to go with it!

I recently discovered Brandi's wonderful blog called Mountain Morning Homeschool and decided right away to enter to win the Martha's Family Cookery Book that she is giving away. The vintage apron will come from her own collection.

Brandi says that Martha has "filled this cookbook with wholesome foods, mostly cooked from scratch (but not hard or too time-consuming!), and lots of fruits and vegetables, while 'eliminating white sugar, bleached flours, preservatives, artificial colors and nitrites'!"

Sounds like a winner to me!

Here's my recipe entry that many of you have told me you love:

Berry-Licious Breakfast Bread
1-3/4 c flour
2/3 cup organic sugar
1-1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tbs butter, softened
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup washed berries of choice
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a glass measuring cup, soften butter in the microwave (do not melt it). To the cup, add the oj concentrate and enough boiling water to make 3/4 cup of liquid. Stir liquids into big bowl with a large serving fork (easier to clean than a wisk). Add berries last, stirring carefully so as not to crush them and make them "bleed" into your batter. Pour into oiled bread pan and bake for about 30 minutes to one hour. Let cool before slicing.

You can link to the original recipe post HERE. Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Quickest, Easiest Way to Get More Vitamins in Your Kids

One of the quickest, easiest ways to boost the health of your family starts at your dinner table.

At each meal serve at least one raw fruit or vegetable. It's that easy!

Serve fruits and veggies that your kids like. Some of the sure-fire winners around our house are:

* baby carrots
* sliced tomatoes (especially from someone's garden)
* organic broccoli tops (soooo much tastier than non-organic)
* chunky slices of crisp cucumber
* bananas
* pears
* kiwi, sliced thin
* fresh strawberries

Do your kids not like raw fruits and veggies? Do not despair. How many of us like the things that are GOOD for us the first time around? Be persistent and don't be pushy. Just keep offering it at the table with each meal and eventually, they try it.

When we first started this, I made a "temporary" rule that they had to put at least one raw thing on their plate at each meal. It might be one baby carrot, but it was a start. Now, even my pickiest eaters like their veggies!

Serving one raw fruit or veggie at each meal not only boosts kids' immune systems and pumps their bodies full of natural vitamins, but it also trains them to build healthy habits right from home, starting at the dinner table.

Monday, August 4, 2008

My Peaceful Place

I discovered something today. . .

that I can have a peaceful place in the midst of noise and chaos. I loved escaping to this wonderful place this morning. You may want to try it.

Have you ever had a hectic morning? I did today.

I was trying so hard to be calm and happy and kind this morning. And it was going pretty well actually. . . and then we started our first day of school.

This homeschool routine of ours should not be hectic, except that I have a toddler and an infant who like to be in the center of things, and boisterous at that. So, to help calm things down, I decided that I was going to start "blanket time" with Luke while the big kids worked on their writing. He was beside himself excited!

We were going to build with Legos on the blanket for fifteen minutes, so off we went to find a blanket and pull the Lego tub out of the playroom and set up shop near the kitchen table. {I wanted to be close by to help the others if they had any questions.}

Well, here comes Chase! He immediately stands in the middle of us and begins to claim all of Luke's Lego animals which caused great concern and stress, of course. In the midst of this commotion, Ashton finishes his work (it took us a while to get our blanket) and asks to join us. Within seconds, he's making very loud noises with the Legos and flying them all around. Then Amberlyn was stumped with a question about her lesson. I call her to me so I can look over it with her without leaving the blanket. Ten minutes later, I realize our blanket time got lost in the fray and commotion of what everyone else needed.

{Thankfully, I'm a quick student. Tomorrow, Chase gets playpen time with his own toys while Luke and I have blanket time--alone.}

Our minister said yesterday, busyness brings strife and your best requires rest (I was taking notes, David!). This really struck home with me.

Busyness brings strife--my best requires rest. . . boy, that's true!

I knew that I didn't want to snap at my kids or get angry, so as I was in the middle of grading Joshua's lesson-- and after the fifteenth chaotic interruption when I could feel my blood beginning to boil-- I just bowed my head slightly and closed my eyes and focused for a minute on the Lord's peace.

I meditated on His wonderful goodness and breathed deeply of His calm for just a minute or so, but it was more than enough to center me again and restore my peace.

Try it sometime. You may just rediscover your peaceful place, too.