Thursday, June 19, 2008

Taking charge of your own health

Last week, my friend Nicole shared how she and her family resolved not to eat out for a month and how it has changed their lifestyle for the better. They now eat foods that are less processed and her husband lost the taste for a food that he used to eat every day.

I have heard this kind of story several times. One of the earliest changes in my life was when my mother resolved we would eat salad every dinner time and she made us eat it. Not much later, I missed eating the salad if I were over a friend's house. Ultimately, it sparked my interest on the connection between food and health.

I am always encouraged when I hear of people taking charge of their health, not by dieting or doing some gimmick, but by daring to do things differently. Dieting as we know it is all about deprivation, but a lifestyle change is the realization that our old habits and lifestyle is what is depriving us. Our quality of life has changed so that we see what we were really missing before.

What lifestyle changes have you made (or are in the process of making) to improve your health?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A deeper appreciation...

My oldest son has his first loose tooth. It just happened that the day before I was reading to him about milk teeth. Then the next day he tries to open a plastic wrapping with his teeth, my husband tells him not to do so because he could break his teeth, then all of a sudden he looks up in dread. His tooth was loose. He didn't want it to fall out and I think he wasn't sure if it was broken or that another would grow in its place. He was quite distressed.

We don't do the imaginary stuff to make our kids behave or feel better about things (such as Santa, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy). But given how distressed he was I became very appreciative of the Tooth Fairy concept. Instead, he talked to Grandma on the phone and I pulled out my toothless pictures so that he could see that Mommy got all her teeth back and so will he. He's a lot more accepting about the idea now.

I remember when my first tooth came out. I was eating an apple, walking along the school grounds at lunch, when I bit it, and the tooth came out. I don't remember any blood. I remember being excited that it came out.

The bottom line is that my little boy is growing up. This little boy who changed my life when I saw him for the first time, wondering why I even thought of waiting for him. Sure, we have already had some tough times. Our personalities clash quite a bit, but we are both learning how to live with one another and we are enjoying one another's company. Soon he's going to lose his first tooth. He's not that little baby anymore. Maybe this whole incident made me appreciate the tooth fairy but, come to think of it, it made me appreciate my son all the more.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


This father's day was special because only a few months ago, we weren't sure if my father-in-law would still be alive. Thankfully we have been blessed with more time to enjoy his company. I am equally thankful for the legacy he has passed on to his sons. One of the first things that caught my attention when I first met my husband was how highly he spoke of his father. (My pastor often would say that one important thing to look for in a spouse is how he/she treats his/her parents.) Last December I prayed that my children will know him from their own experiences, not just our memories.

We started the day with a big brunch, then simply relaxed and enjoyed one another's company, appreciating the relationship we have with one another and with our Heavenly Father.

As I said last year to my husband, father, and father-in-law:

You are irreplaceable.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hey now, hey now, don't dream, it's over...

In keeping with the 80s music theme for my last post's title, I just had to remind myself that this is not a dream. The heatwave is over. It's comfortable here again and I can use my stove if I wish

I discovered that I wasn't the only one suffering, but Jaime at Cheap Healthy Good is a much better trooper about it than I. She offered some advice here that I will try next time (probably not the cottage cheese, though).

Last day to vote on the food costs survey!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The heat is on... (and my stove is off)

So I survived the winter in Northeast Ohio, but it turns out that the summer will be a bigger challenge.

Most homes here (including ours) do not have air conditioning and for the past few days, our minimum kitchen temperature is about 85 degrees (farenheight). Needless to say, baking pizza in a 500 degree oven is out of the question, and cooking anything else is not appealing to me right now.

So I have to make a meal plan that uses the grill, crockpot and microwave more (or no cooking at all). I feel like I'm starting all over. Any suggestions???

(By the way, don't forget the poll on food costs)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Poll: How much do you spend on food?

On a monthly basis, the USDA calculates the cost of food at four levels. The most recent calculations are for April 2008.

This is how much they estimate a family of 4 with two preschool kids would spend to provide a nutritious diet:
Thrifty Plan: $115.80/wk or $501.60/mo
Low-Cost Plan: $146.70/wk or $635.50/mo
Moderate-Cost plan: $179.90/wk or $779.60/mo
Liberal Plan: $222.70/wk or $964.80/mo

How do you compare?

If you have some extra time, see how much it would be for your household, then come back and submit your answer on my poll.
You can find estimates for other months here.

The results are in.

Here's the breakdown in percentages (granted my sample size is very small, only 23 responses)
Thrifty: 39%
Low: 43%
Moderate: 4% (1 response)
Liberal: 8% (2 responses)
Don't track: 4% (1 response)