Breakfast Sandwiches – Mediterranean Style!


Simple meze of feta cheese and olives: charact...

 

Today is the last day of summer vacation for the boys.  We are about to head off on a family day out….not sure where..we like to just go and see where we end up ūüôā    To set us up for the adventure,  I made a delicious breakfast for the family.

My boys are beginning to appreciate stacking and building food, burger-style.  Peanut tends to add more variety than does Button, but adapting the presentation of the food, a la family style, helps encourage them to experiment.  Scouring the fridge for ingredients my boys might eat, I pulled together the following hearty and protein-packed breakfast. Continue reading

Food Labels – What they Don’t Show!


I am constantly learning more about making good choices with food and reading food labels. As my regular readers know, I have been exploring labels for organic foods and looking carefully at what is in the food I buy for my family. I discovered an App for my iPhone that has blown me away…or rather the information I have discovered has!
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Salmon with Honey and Sesame Seeds



I got in the mood for some salmon tonight. I am not a big fish eater, despite knowing how wonderful it is, being packed with those wonderful Omega 3’s and all! Anyway, tonight became salmon night and I decided to create my own sauce to spruce it up. I never know what is going to happen when I do this…what an adventure!
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Delicious Dish Tuesday: Chicken Soup


Before the cold weather leaves us, I wanted to share my recipe for chicken soup. As with most of my recipes, I make most of it up as I go, depending on the ingredients I have in the fridge. This combination has proven to be extremely popular…I have been asked to share with friends and I cold live off it all week. I have never had the chance to freeze it, which makes me think my culinary dabblings are working on this one! Continue reading

Broccoli with Oomph!


My kids actually eat broccoli, but they like it plain and boring. ¬†I like food with a bit more to it so I am trying out this recipe I found on Mrs. Green’s website. ¬†It will serve 4 and takes no longer than 15 minutes. ¬†Perfect for my working mom lifestyle! ¬†As a bonus, broccoli is packed with vitamins:

Nutrients in Broccoli
1.00 cup, raw (91.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value
vitamin C 135.2%, vitamin K 115.5%, folate 14.3%, vitamin A 11.3%, manganese 9.5%, dietary fiber 9.4%, tryptophan 9.3%. potassium 8.2%, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 8%, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 6.4%, molybdenum 6%, phosphorus6%, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) 5.2%, protein 5.1%, magnesium 4.7% calcium 4.2%, vitamin B1 (thiamin) 4%, iron3.6%, vitamin E 3.5%, selenium 3.2%, vitamin B3 (niacin) 2.8%
Calories (30)1%
Studies show that broccoli may help in the pre...

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Broccoli with Orange Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
Directions: 
Sauté garlic in butter for 1 minute. Add orange juice and pepper and boil for 2 minutes. Steam broccoli until crisp tender and serve with sauce.
I may amend the directions and saut√© the broccoli also. ¬†I prefer it’s texture and flavor, although steamed is the healthiest way to cook it.

A Better Me: Vitamins


A Better Me:  Vitamins and Supplements 

Apparently, I needs to look more closely at my diet and the things I put into my body. Read here if you want the background on this project of mine. ¬† If I look at what I give my boys, I can see how lax I am when I compare what I give them to what I give myself! ¬†I am rebuilding a young child recovering from chemo…hence the large range of supplements…but my doctor advised me¬†that my other son would benefit just as much, so now he gets them all too.

My boys have most of their boiled food cooked with seaweed. ¬†This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Niacin, and a very good source of Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese.¬†Seaweed is very high in Sodium, so I don’t add any salt to my cooking.
Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2766/2#ixzz1iGsEX7IK

The boys also take Omega 3, Vitamin D, and Calcium. ¬†This is due to my son having brittle bones from the chemo but both boys benefit as my eldest son actually showed low vitamin D at his last physical. ¬†Peanut has also been on multivitamins, Button could not take them as Folic Acid interferes with one of the chemo meds, but now he’s back on them having kicked cancer’s butt! ¬† Overkill! ¬†I hear you say? ¬†Nah…my kids are fussy and I know they don’t always get the vitamins through their food, no matter how much I spend on the best organic stuff. ¬†Besides, I am rebuilding Button…he’ll be bionic soon ūüôā

Here are the vitamins and supplements I have discovered I am in need of:

B vitamins

Vitamin B helps the brain to make enzymes which speed up chemical reactions in our body. ¬†When we are stressed, we produce less of these enzymes and this can impair cognitive ability. Aha! ¬†That explains a lot! ¬† I have often read about how vitamin B can reduce stress so ¬†I’ll be taking lots from now on.

Nature’s Providers: Dairy, meat and fish. jacket potatoes, walnuts, avocados

Products: B6 – Special K, Ovaltine with milk, canned tuna,

B12 – Bovril, sardines in oil, parmesan cheese, cornflakes with milk,

Magnesium

Magnesium tackles stress by regulating the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Gimme some of that!   It is a natural tranquilizer (not the put you to sleep kind) and has a calming effect Рsign me up!

Where to find it:  whole grain foods, bran, dried fruit, mushrooms, nuts.  Supplement are easily available.

It is better to avoid dairy products or calcium-rich foods when taking magnesium-rich foods. ¬†Plan meals accordingly or, if like me, that might be too much when getting started, take a supplement until you get the hang if it all. ¬†The food source is the best, ¬†but a supplement is a good alternative, especially if it relieves you of some stress ūüėČ

 

Omega 3

I also take Omega 3 supplements for my heart (I have a slight murmur) but they are also very good for the joints. ¬†Apparently these rather large capsules also help with brain function….hmmm…not seeing that happen yet! ¬†It also fights inflammation. ¬†If, like me, you suffer from sinus issues, this might help. ¬†It is also very good for the skin, eyes and overall wellbeing. ¬†Imagine your body is a Ferrari and in need of some high quality oil!!! ¬† Corny…sorry!

Natures’s Providers: ¬†Fish!!!! Duh! ¬† I prefer tuna, cod and mackerel, but will force some salmon into me if I have to.

 

Calcium and Vitamin D

Next comes the calcium…I’m on the wrong side of 21..ahem…and it is time to boost those bones with a good dose of calcium to keep them strong…or get them feeling strong again! ¬†To help the calcium along during the bleak winter months, I am also going to be taking vitamin D. ¬†This mood lifter ūüôā is just like the foundations of your house in terms of supporting the work the calcium has to do for your body.

Natures’s Providers: ¬†calcium: ¬†milk, yoghurt, cheese, leafy green vegetables, oranges, tofu, peanuts, peas, black beans, baked beans, sesame seeds, corn tortillas, almonds

Vitamin D: Pure Cod liver oil,  (Note: most refined cod liver oils today have the vitamin D removed! To be sure, check your label), salmon,  Mackerel, tuna, fortified milk, fortified margarine,  cereals, liver, beef, swiss cheese

And so I begin my daily dosing and cooking to get these essential nutrients into my exhausted body. ¬†I’m too tired to even contemplate all of this, let alone cook it all. ¬†Hang on…I already do it for Peanut and Button…must remember my new mantra…Healthy Mom, Happy Family! ¬†

A Better Me


Many people start the New Year with a plan to get fit, lose weight, stop (fill in your own word). ¬†I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, mainly because I believe that once made,¬†¬†they are easily¬†broken, and then one feels like crap for being a failure! ¬†Ever the pessimist am I!

However, the past two and a half years have led me to devote ALL of me to my family and some! ¬†Read here to see why (but come straight back as this is not a sob story post). ¬†I need to remember that all the good things I do for my family, all the advice I give myself about keeping them healthy, needs to apply to ME too! ¬†Can you believe I actually don’t eat all the great organic foods my kids eat? ¬†Instead I down a quick bowl of cereal (ceramic of course), while feeling like I need to sleep for a year.

Well, that needs to change. ¬†I have reached the point that I cannot stand being so exhausted all the time. ¬†I have the will to do all sorts of things, my darn body just won’t let me!!!

So I am starting A Better Me. My own plan for myself….for me…just me….moi!

I will always hold true to my belief that a healthy mom leads to a happy family, I just forgot to do it…duh! ¬†So I am changing my ways. ¬†Hard to do when all I want to do is sleep…literally! ¬†(If you didn’t click on here, now is a good time so you don’t think I’m just plain nuts.) ¬†There are ways to approach this change which may be¬†successful, or not!. ¬†So I am going to map out small steps to achieve my goal: ¬†A Better Me

1. Find a way to drag my butt out to a class of some kind…one that I will enjoy and keep doing.

2. Resume home-cooked meals at night rather than ordering in, cereal or quick-cook pizza

3. Actually take the vitamins I have in the cupboard!

4. Begin a schedule for keeping on top of the housework – one that is realistic and includes help from the whole family

5. Drink more water – five ¬†8oz glasses. ¬†(And while I’m at it, water the plants that I KNOW are improving the air quality in my house)

6. GO TO BED AT A REASONABLE TIME EVERY NIGHT!!! (New Year’s Eve will be an exception)

Okay, so I have six manageable steps for me. ¬†I will add more as I master these. ¬†Some will take practice…making¬†a habit out of them rather than a chore. ¬†Some I do already for my boys, so I just need to add me into the mix!

What are you doing to become¬†a Better Me? ¬†Let me know. ¬†Also feel free to add some suggestions to help me achieve my goal… I’m gonna need some help.

New Uses


So I am trying to find new uses for things once their original use is over. ¬†This glass Pellegrino bottle has pride of place next to my stovetop (not too close) as I fill it with wine that has lost it’s flavor (you know… you open a bottle and then don’t get round to finishing it in time). ¬†Well this bottle is now my cooing wine! ¬†Yup! ¬†I have to make sure no-one ‘accidentally ‘ mistakes it for something to drink – yuck!
I enjoy wine in my bolognese sauce, over roast lamb, in meat gravy, and often throw it in as I experiment with a pasta dish. Delicious!