Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Medical Myths

I found some of these medical myths below helpful. They were found in this arcticle in today's USA TODAY. picture from here.

Sugar makes kids hyper. Parents insist this one is true, even though 12 studies have shown no effect between children's behavior and the sugar in their foods.

You can prevent colds with vitamin C, echinacea or zinc. All colds eventually go away on their own after a few days, so people can be tempted to credit their recovery to something they did to find relief. But 16 studies show that echinacea is no better than a sugar pill. Thirty studies including a total of 11,000 people found vitamin C had no effect. Three of four well-done studies of zinc found no effect. But using zinc nasal gel can destroy the sense of smell for years.

Adding cereal to a baby's diet will help him sleep longer. Parents and pediatricians alike are perpetuating that myth, perhaps because sleep-deprived parents are willing to believe anything that might help them and their infants get more sleep. But studies dating to 1974 show that babies who are fed cereal get no more sleep than other babies.

Iron in baby formula causes constipation. Studies actually have found no difference in baby's bowel movements, whether infants received iron-fortified food or not. But babies who get iron-fortified formula are less likely to be anemic.

Teething causes a fever. Studies show that teething babies are no more likely to run a fever than others.

Going out in cold or wet weather makes you sick. Colds and flus are seasonal and tend to strike during the winter. But even when scientists put cold viruses directly into people's noses, people who were chilled were no more likely to become ill than those who were warm and comfortable.

You should wait an hour after eating before you go swimming. Scientists have labeled that advice "questionable" since 1961. Exercising after eating a big meal may make people feel uncomfortable, but it won't cause life-threatening cramps.

You can catch poison ivy from someone who has it. The oil in poison ivy, urushiol, is what causes the itchy rash — whether the oil comes directly from the plant or from clothing or gardening tools on which the oil lands. But the rash itself isn't contagious, as long as a person has since washed off the oil.

You need to stay awake if you have a concussion. Most people with concussions will not fall into comas if they go to sleep. If a doctor says the concussion needs no treatment, there's no reason not to sleep.

Never wake a sleepwalker. No sleepwalker has ever died as a result of being woken up.

You can determine the gender of your baby by timing when you have sex. Some people try to conceive a boy by having sex in the middle of a woman's menstrual cycle, hoping that the more mobile sperm carrying a Y chromosome are more likely to penetrate the cervical mucus, which is thicker at this time of the month. But an analysis of six studies found there were no more boys conceived at this time of the month than girls.

Birth control pills don't work as well if you're on antibiotics. A review by the American Academy of Family Physicians found common antibiotics have no effect on the pill.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekly Menus

picture from Kaboose.com

I feel that I am not alone in the "what's for dinner?" boat. When my friends from my playgroup get together, I find us constantly asking each other "what are you making for dinner tonight?" There are some great cooks in our group so I like to hear what they are making and discover new ways to put different foods together. Plus, they all like to cook healthy things, which is helpful for me to become more creative with my recipes. I would love to have up to a month's worth of recipes that are healthy, inexpensive, and not too difficult to make. When I can plan a weekly menu, I find that my groceries are cheaper and I don't have to make frequent revisits to the grocery store for things to make for dinner that night. What is most difficult for me is that the only meat we eat is chicken or turkey, which limits our menu options. So, here are a few websites that I have found that are helping me come up with new ideas.

Menu Planning Resources post on Simple Mom (gives examples of a weekly menu and resource links)
Menu Plan Monday by Organized Junkie (every Monday links for posts of weekly menus and many with recipe links)

Healthy Recipe sites
Whole Foods Recipes
Cooking Light recipes

My question to you is do you have ideas for a weekly menu or even a favorite menu for one night that you could share? Is there a website that you frequently visit for recipe ideas or do you have a favorite cookbook?

Chattanooga Aquarium

This past weekend our friend Francis Mbuvi was visiting from Kenya. We worked with him for 6 months at Made in the Streets when we lived in Nairobi, Kenya. In our effort to find something fun and different for him to see, we found ourselves traveling to Chatanooga on Saturday to the aquarium.
I had to take a pictures of these sting rays below because I had never seen any like these AND also because my friend Melanie recently got stung by one (not these pictured) while walking in the ocean.

There were "petting" areas where you could touch (using only 2 fingers) whatever was in the tank. I caught a picture of Francis touching a sting ray.

David and Asher watched from a distance.

This was Asher's favorite part of the aquarium. The Penguins! He wanted to touch the fake ones and didn't want to leave the reals ones once he saw them. He kept trying to walk like a penguin and would shake his head like they did when they would climb out of the water. I must admit it was one of my favorite parts becuase you could see them swim under the water and then emerge onto land.

I have many other pictures but they just didn't turn out great. It's hard to capture a good picture in a dark aquarium with lots of glass. I would recommend the aquarium to those who are wondering. Also, if you have a zoo membership, you get a discount.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Summer Food

In the summer, I find myself being more creative with my cooking. We belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture) and enjoy the benefits of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables so I have to figure out what to do with my 1/4 bushel every week. One of my favorite meals this week was turkey burgers with sweet potato fries and roasted kohlrabi and radishes. We also have enjoyed a variety of lettuces, which surprisingly Asher has eaten. With strawberry season upon us, I came across an easy recipe for strawberry shortcake as seen in the picture above. Picture and recipe are from the Joy of Baking.

Sweet Potato Fries
-Peel and cut sweet potato into equal size sticks.
-Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
-Spread evenly (and not touching) on a cookie sheet lined with foil.
-Roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping over at 10 minutes. After 20 minutes, increase temp to 425 degrees, flipping every 5 minutes for a total of 10-20 minutes. Watch closely at end to prevent burning.

Roasted Kohlrabi and Radishes
-Peel kohlrabi and dice into cubes.
-Slice radishes evenly.
-Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
-Roast in oven at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, turning occassionally.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Firefighter in the house

Asher has been pretending to be a firefighter for many weeks now. I'm not even sure what sparked his interest. It seemed like every day he would ask for David's toboggan cap and a pair of "mits" (mittens) to put on and from there he would transform into a fireman. Well, those days have come to and end thanks to David's mom finding a consigned firefighter's helmet. Here is the sweet boy waiting so paitently for David to size it to his head.

Looks like a good fit!

The helmet hardly leaves his head. He wanted to sleep with it on the first night he had it but David convinced him to lay it beside him in bed. Now he frequently wears it while eating. At least we are always prepared if the fire bell should go off.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

We had a busy but fun mother's day weekend. My only disappointment was that the mother's day presents that I had ordered for our mothers arrived on Monday (a day too late). Oh well, at least I did have a small present to give to my mom and David's. Below is one of the cards that I made for each of them and the pictures were magnets that I had made through Shutterfly.

We went to Pie in the Sky with my mom and stepdad, Bruce, on Saturday evening. It wasn't our first choice but had trouble with other places requiring reservations. Asher was excited that we were having pizza. Sunday morning turned out to be beautiful weather so I'm glad we got this shot below with my mom and the boys.

Sunday evening we went out to eat with David's family. Below is a picture of the moms with the kids. It's Angie (David's sister-in-law)with Meadow and Elijah (and baby girl to arrive any day now), Kay (David's mom) and me with Asher and Jonas. We ate at Carrabas. It was delicious and worth the 45 minute wait even with call ahead seating. :)

I had to include this picture below of Asher helping Bruce with the drill (don't worry there was plenty of adult supervision and all he did was push the button). It was nice to have my family in town to help us finish some more unpacking and settling.

This last picture is of our downstairs guestroom/toyroom/bookroom. My mom made these for me and we hung them up this weekend. I really like the way the turned out although the colors are difficult to see in this picture.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Minister Announcement

This was quite a Sunday at our church. There has been a search for a new pulpit minister for quite awhile. We are so excited that David Rubio (one of our best friends and our church's current youth minister) is going to be one of the ministers. We also look forward to getting to know Josh Graves and have been very impressed by his credentials and his interview visit. Below is the video they showed today to give the big announcement.

Peace and Justice Ministry

Many of you know that a few of my friends from church and I have been trying for a year now to get this new ministry started at our church. We had our first meeting last Sunday and were pleasantly surprised by the turnout. We can't wait to see where God will lead us with this minsitry. Here is our video that introduced the ministry.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Playgroup lunch

Our playgroup meets every Monday and we each take turns hosting. I hosted this past Monday and was having a hard time coming up with a lunch menu. Thanks to my dear friend, Melanie, I was able to serve these two great dishes below. (Oh, and thanks to Mel's friend, Naphtali, for the orzo recipe.)

Roasted Veggie Orzo Salad
1 lb. orzo pasta
vegetable or chicken stock
2 lemons, juiced
olive oil
fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, roasted
1 pkg. feta cheese
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 egglplants, chopped
2 yellow peppers, chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
2 red onions, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
-Roast pince nuts at 400 degrees for 1 minute.
-Place the chopped eggplant, yellow/red peppers, red onion and garlic on two rimmed cookie sheets. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping periodicallly.
-Cook orzo pasta in vegetable or chicken stock according to box directions. Drain and stir to prevent sticking.
-Combine orzo and roasted veggies and let cool.
-For dressing, combine 1/3 cup olive oil, juice of 2 lemons, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over orzo and veggies.
-Top salad with scallions, roasted pine nuts, feta, and fresh basil. Serve.

Mini Fruit Pizzas
1 pkg(24 count)sugar cookies break and bake
cream cheese frosting
fruit of choice (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi)
Bake cookies according to package. Cool, then frost each cookie. Cut fruit into small pieces. Arrange several types of fruit on each cookie.