Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Healthy Cooking

It’s not only WHAT you eat, but HOW you prepare and cook it!

So if you didn't see my Nutrition post, check that out! Lots of important info from a holistic nutritionist and Mary Anne from Healthy Cooking.  I made an appointment with her and we had our free dinner with her this past weekend and wanted to update on how that went.  Mary Anne came over and cooked for my family and taught us a lot!  I really don't think I was even able to process everything I was learning!  But here's the bulk of it.

First of all, I have never enjoyed veggies, they are often bitter and I hate the mushiness when they are cooked.  I also don't enjoy cooking because I feel like it takes a lot of time and energy and never know what to make and rarely make more than 3 things if that.  It's such a chore.

Mary Anne came over, set up, prepped and cooked us a gourmet dinner in front of our eyes while educating us all in 30 minutes in her 316.  Prep takes a total of about 5 minutes, then you can walk away for 30 minutes do what you need to do, and come back to a perfectly cooked, healthy, delectable meal...faster than taking the kids through the drive thru! 
She made cooked carrots (diced with peel on), shredded cabbage (core included), frozen peas and corn (regular old walmart brand), she made a salad with a head of shredded cabbage, red cabbage, a raddish, carrot, a granny smith apple and lemon juice, she made diabetic friendly, low glycemic mashed potatoes in this special way which she showed us how to remove the starch, and healthy fried chicken, no skin, no fat and no oil!  She also made a healthy chocolate cake and baked it in her 316 on the stove in 15 minutes.

I got scared when I saw her making the healthy chocolate cake, she shredded a red potato, carrot, celery and some cabbage (core included) and then added 2 eggs and half a cake mix and I thought "Oh no this is gonna be nasty!"  I also was eying the cole slaw salad and was afraid to try it.  Anyways, everything was amazing, and tasted so garden fresh!  The way she cooks retains 80% more nutrients than conventional cooking, so you get fuller on less food and it tastes better.  All the veggies tasted so sweet and all the food needed no seasoning, butter, salt...nothing.  The cabbage was good and didn't stink up the kitchen.  And that cole slaw salad I was not looking forward to eating?  It was my favorite!  it was so yummy it was like candy!  I felt so full and good after eating the food (totally full and satisfied on small portions).  And that vegetable chocolate cake?  OMG it was the best chocolate cake ever, you would never know there was anything healthy about it!  It was moist and delicious!  We gobbled it up!  I made a homemade chocolate cake with my daughter 2 days before and it sucked in comparison to this cake made with veggies and half a cake mix.  When our daughter ate her slice of cake, we joked that she was getting more veggies in her dessert than she normally gets all day!  It was way easier than making purees for the sneaky chef / deceptively delicious methods of hiding vegetables in other food.

One of the keys to this cooking method, the only one utilized by the Cancer Project cooking school, is to not cook over 200 degrees because it kills and breaks down important nutrients and minerals.  Boiling your veggies = 212 degrees, steaming = 232 degrees, and microwave = 400 degrees.  By cooking their method, you lock in over 93% of the nutrients....MORE THAN DOUBLE all the others!) Also, you cut out 95% of bad grease, fats and oils.  The 316 also has a semi-vacuum which cuts cooking time in half.  Hmm...normally to speed up cooking I add more oil and high heat...So this was the total opposite and was way better.  Asside from retaining all those nutrients we normally aren't getting unless you eat raw, cooking with 316 will eliminate toxic metals from your food. 

You have to really see and taste the difference which I can't portray in a blog. So if you live in the Dallas area, let me know if you would like to be cooked for and learn all these amazing important health and time saving tips and techniques and enjoy a delicious free dinner like we did!  Mary Anne is one of the sweetest people I've ever met and is great at explaining things.  It will change your life, If you're like us, we never thought about how the way we prepare our food is such a HUGE factor in our health.  Mary Anne is a Saladmaster 316 dealer so you can purchase any of the products she uses if you want to, but there's no pressure or obligation, her passion is teaching people to be healthier and make their families healthier.  When we had dinner with her, she didn't even give us a brochure until we asked to see it as she was leaving, so really, when I say there's no pressure to buy anything, it's true.  Find out how yummy and easy a big, colorful healthy meal can be and how you can make simple changes in your eating and food prep habits to make a positive impact on your families health!  You can learn to have delicious healthy meals, frozen to table in 30 minutes

I'm still excited about the dinner we had and the time we spent learning from Mary Anne.  I can't get over that I....ME......didn't just eat the food to be polite, I LOVED every last bite of EVERYTHING!  I never knew vegetables could taste SO wonderful, even just regular old frozen walmart brand!  It literally tasted organic garden fresh, the best veggies I've ever had.  She said they get that a lot, people who hate vegetables and refuse to eat them, realize how much they love them.

Email me or comment if you would like to experience this awesome free dinner too!  If you're not in the DFW area, and are interested in a free dinner demo, let me know and I'll ask Mary Anne to put you in contact with someone in your area.

Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food - Hippocrates


Monday, September 27, 2010

Homeschool Preschool

Here are our homeschool preschool materials we are currently using, mostly from our local library.  I'm pretty much addicted with the library because it's so easy, the seem to have everything I can think of and it's free.  I go online, search their database, place holds and pick up!  LOVE IT!  We make library runs at least twice a week.

Help Me Be Good Series Box Set
Help me be good series by Joy Berry is fabulous!  I grew up with these books (the older versions, it's been updated) and am enjoying sharing them with my daughter as she learns about good behavior through titles like Help Me Be Good About Whining, Help Me Be Good About Fighting, Let's Talk About Feeling Angry Let's Talk About Being Patient etc.    They are just really well done and my daughter really enjoys learning about how different behaviors can have certain consequences, like being selfish makes other's feel left out and not want to be around you....or being messy can make people feel unhappy and can also be dangerous.  The books illustrate the behavior, such as being greedy or disobedient, and the consequences of such behavior, and then teaches how to not be that way by showing examples of how to be generous or obedient instead and the good consequences that come from that.

My "e" Book
Our next favorite series we are using is My "a" book (My first steps to reading series) by Jane Belk Moncure.  These books are really great for teaching phonics to your preschooler and my daughter gives them the stamp of approval!

We've also been renting some of the Animated Bible Stories by Nest Entertainment.
The Animated Stories From The New Testament - He is Risen

We have been practicing phonics in preparation for learning to read through activities like the sound game, as outlined in the book Mommy Teach me to Read.
Mommy, Teach Me to Read: A Complete and Easy-to-Use Home Reading Program

and just received our sandpaper lettersTactile Letters Kit from amazon today to practice phonics and reading skills.

Montessori Lower and Capital Case Sandpaper Letters w/ Boxes

And we have been working on our Counting Apple Tree Book, my daughter loves this, I found it on this  website with preschool lesson plans.  Each day she colors a new page and we glue on more apples for learning numbers and counting.  Since it's the same picture each day, I try to switch up the art medium....crayons, markers, watercolor, watercolor crayon resist...and just switch it up a bit.

Then we do art lessons and I teach her how to draw using the Monart Method. 
Drawing with ChildrenThese week we mastered spiders, dragon flies, butterflies, lady bugs and other simple insects.  I try to never draw on the same paper as her, I also show her step by step how to draw something on a separate sheet of paper as she follows along.  But sometimes we'll make collaborative artwork.  Other times, I'll just put out the paints, watercolor or tempura, or whatever other art materials we have and let her do her own thing.  The other day we had fun making up a song as illustrated it with the painting, and kept changing the painting as we sang out our story.  She loves that...the final product was just a big sheet of paper covered in muddy looking paint, but the process was a really fun experience and my daughter keeps talking about it and singing parts of the song we were making up. 

Another great book is Discovering Great Artists: Hands-On Art for Children in the Styles of the Great Masters (Bright Ideas for Learning).  I've used some ideas from this book for art projects to add to my preschool lesson plans to bring in some fun art history and creations.

It's all been pretty casual, our preschool lessons are not overly formal and most of the time my daughter would never think of it as work as she has loved everything we do throughout the day from our preschool lesson plans, it's more just like a variety of activities we do in spurts throughout the day. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kick my Butt - Giveaway!

So the end of last week I was feeling like amping up my gym routine a bit and take the Body Combat class instead of my usual interval workout on the elliptical while flipping channels.  (I couldn't even walk during my pregnancy due to pubis symphisis seperation so) by the time I had the baby I was completely out of shape, and although I've made some strides in gaining back some of my endurance (and ability to WALK like a normal person) I still have a lot of toning and muscle building to do (and maybe a secret fantasy of looking like a Call on Me Girl from Eric Prydz music video).  So anyways, I was a little nervous of doing 60 minutes of intense BODY COMBAT, but told myself I would take it easy and listen to my body so I didn't overdo it...(which can be hard in class settings because with all the mirrors and other people, you want to push yourself and keep up with those around you).  My plan was foiled, the instructor came around and learned all of our names before class started.  So I started out doing pretty good but anytime I started to slow down a bit or not give it my all....he would call me out on the head set in front of the whole class "Candace, Don't STOP!"  "Candace Keep GOING!"  "Candace, You're SLOWING DOWN!!!"  or whatever it was, I actually couldn't really understand him because he had a really thick accent.....well, that was a bit embarrassing but worked, I freaking killed myself the past 3 days I've been recovering...seriously, I'm not just being a wimp!  (I pinky swear!)  But anyways, I'm probably going back this week...maybe I'm crazy...but maybe I need someone to embarrass my into kicking my own butt once a week to switch up my workout routine.

BUT.....for those of you who would prefer not to be embarrassed into kicking your own butt and  prefer to do it in the privacy of your own home....I have a surprise for you!


The lucky winner of this giveaway will get a brand spanking new, still in shrink wrap DVD of 
Power Half Hour Thigh Trimmer with Tony Horton 
(you know the guy from the P90X infomercials).
P90X Extreme Home Fitness Workout Program - 13 DVDs, Nutrition Guide, Exercise Planner
Tony Horton's Thigh Trimmer is an all-out assault on your legs using the exclusive Power Shaping technique-burn the fat off while you tone the underlying muscle-the ultimate 30 minute thigh solution. 

To enter this "kick butt" giveaway, leave a comment! (and your email address if it's not on your public profile)

For additional entries, leave a seperate comment after doing each of the following

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Snow White Tutu

Snow White Tutu

My daughter loves princess dresses and tutus, and I've had fun making her some tutus in the past like this rose petal tutu.  However, she is particularly obsessed with Snow White Dresses.  She often makes me go on youtube or do goggle image searches of snow white dresses.  So, we were at Hobby Lobby the other day for nothing in particular when I saw a bin with spools of tulle on sale and they had these snow white colors!  Suddenly I remembered one of the images that came up on a previous "snow white dresses" image search, it was a snow white tutu.  So today we got to work, J was me assistant as she help unroll the spools of tulle and was my model.  This is the best tutu we've made yet, she actually screamed when she saw herself in the mirror!  We put it on over top of another tutu dance outfit so the little tutu attached the the leotard makes the snow white tutu more poofy.  Fun day!  I sewed a ribbon around the waist to keep the tulle pieces from twisting around because I have that problem with the boutique style tutu I made before.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Family Outing to Natural Science Museum

It's always fun to get out on family outings!  We recently went to a Natural Science Museum where J got to dig for Dinosaurs like a paleontologist, view robotic ice age animals, view native butterflies in a butterfly exhibit (she was sad none of them landed in her hands) and other animals like kagaroos, madagascar lemurs, and some other neat animals as well as hike along various nature trails in the preserve. 


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Making Pizza with Dad

So J was recently watching Caillou and in the episode, he had a playdate with some friends and they made pizza's.  Ever since she has been asking to make pizza.  So finally, this weekend, Daddy made her wish come true.  He's kind of the pizza expert around here, being from the East Coast and all (kind of obsessed with pizza actually as you might find many East Coasters removed from their home are!)  Anyways, my husband uses Jeff Verasano's famous pizza recipe for making our pizza. 
J had so much fun narrating what she was doing as she added the sauce, spread it around. added the cheese.  And her favorite part was eating it all up!  She's been a big momma's girl lately so this was great, Dad really earned some brownie points with her!