Thursday, September 29, 2011

Refrigerator Redesign

by Leanne Ely, C.N.C

Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to ask each of you, if you would, kindly open your refrigerator door.

So how's it looking? A little messy? Maybe it's so full of food you can't even see the shelves anymore? If it's really bad, does it have a peculiar odor? And what kind of food do you have stored in there? A beautiful array of produce? Or a bunch of stuff you wouldn't want to tell your favorite Dinner Diva? :-)
Everything in life demands order; even in something as small as a refrigerator. Maintaining order reinforces a sense of peace instead of a stressed frenzy that comes hand in hand with disorder. And along with an orderly fridge comes what you keep in your refrigerator and where you keep it. This will affect, believe it or not, your choices. The what and where of food in your fridge can actually benefit a healthier diet if you take control of location and the actual food being stored. pointed at a study practiced by Cornell University, which was that if you fill your top shelf with fruits and veggies and other nutritionally benefiting foods, you're more liking to snack and eat those initially, instead of grabbing some easy snacky not so good for you food. According to this article, placement is king and not just in regard to your choices.

Some refrigerated foods can affect others and not for the good. For example any raw meats, you really need to keep them on the bottom. If they leak there's a greater chance for salmonella or E. coli to sneak into your other food. See why placement is so critical?

I wrote an article about storing leftovers that can go hand in hand with what I have to say in this article. One of my points that coincide with that article is that you have to be aware of what is in your refrigerator. Know what leftovers you have, and pair leftovers accordingly. Maybe you still have leftover meat from the day before and you now have leftover veggies from today's meal, mix and match and make the two of them a meal for the next day. Be mindful of your space, be mindful of your leftovers, and be mindful of what you need versus what you want.

If you can ensure some basic organization in what you buy, where you're placing it, and what is already in there in conjunction to what you need - you'll save time and money and even manage a healthier constitution. I would like to encourage you to take five extra minutes out of each week to quickly wipe down the surfaces of your refrigerator with a disinfectant cloth or wipe. If you are what you eat, don't you want to eat something being stored in a clean place so you don't get sick?

Avoid leftovers completely with our Cook Once Eat Twice menus!
Copyright (C) 2011 Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall is the Time to Commit to Family Dinner

Fall is the Time to Commit to Family Dinner

by Grace R. Freedman, Ph.D.

The nip of fall is in the air, school is well underway, the kids' extracurricular activities are gearing up, and maybe new projects are getting started at work. Whew! This time of year can be the busiest season, often crammed with new schedules, new transitions and new commitments. Without a clear plan, family dinner may be the first thing to go or the last thing you want to add to a crammed schedule. As you re-think routines and priorities this fall, don't forget that family dinner can actually help you smooth out the day-to-day chaos. Family dinner can be there to provide structure and sanity, and to give you and your kids a good foundation all year.

We often hear about the long-term benefits of family dinner. It's true that family dinner is one of the only things that has been consistently shown to have a positive effect on multiple health and social issues, such as obesity, underage alcohol and drug abuse, social disconnectedness, low school performance, and unhealthy relationships to food. Nonetheless, for busy parents, it can be hard to think about health and social benefits that are far down the road when you are just trying to get through the day. What can family dinner do for you and your kids TODAY?

Here are just a few things:

Family dinner gives you a way to "touch-base" daily with kids of any age. Don't underestimate the importance of nightly check-ins at the dinner table to hear new stories and get wind of any new problems. Whether your child is just starting kindergarten or already in high school, he or she will appreciate knowing you can always talk at dinnertime.

Family dinner saves money. Cooked meals at home can be cheaper, healthier and even faster than take-out or delivery (One study reports that Americans spend on average $4.50 per person eating at home compared to spending $8.50 a person eating out.)

Family dinner makes healthy eating easier for everyone. Family-style meals have been shown to help everyone in the family maintain their weight and consume more fruits and vegetables, when served. Also, a CDC study reported that people were better able to lose weight and keep it off by planning weekly meals rather than "winging it" at every meal.

Family dinner gives you time to be a family. Back-to-school is often a time when we notice and marvel how fast our kids are growing up; the years honestly can speed by. Now is the time to begin your family dinner tradition, or re-commit to it, so you can really learn from one another and enjoy each other's company.

Start the school year out right by planning to make family dinner a part of your new routines. At the Blog for Family Dinner project, we hope to help with inspiration, advice and recipes as we post stories about family dinner throughout the #B4FD month from September 26 to October 24, 2011.

Grace R. Freedman, Ph.D. is the Founder and Executive Director, which provides research, education, and support for family meals. She is co-founder of the Blog For Family Dinner Project.

Copyright (C) 2011 Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jesus Could Come TODAY . . .

was Reilly's response to seeing this sunrise today.

He said that the little clouds might be angels just waiting for the trumpet to sound. . .
He has been talking a lot about the Lord's return lately.
I love the tender heart that kids have.
He wants the Lord to return and he is concerned about the people he knows who don't know Jesus.

Or it could be that he has a Language test today.

Either way, my little man is precious!

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

College Football

It's that time of year. College football time. We are headed, with some Southeastern students, to Durham to go see Duke *ahem* play Stanford.

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