Foodie Friday: May Menu

Whew! April is typically my busiest month of the year and April 2017 was no different. I almost didn’t even get this menu written on time, but I finished it up about 2 minutes ago. I am getting hungry just looking at it! I changed up my day themes again. The movie night dinner themes from April’s menu didn’t quite work out like I had hoped, so I changed Fridays to Grill Night. Sundays are also largely grilled dinners, but made with a little extra meat to be turned into something different on Wednesdays. I am also bringing back Salad Mondays because I missed them!!

Let me know how you are using the menus. I will keep doing them no matter what, because I enjoy doing it and they are helpful to me. BUT I want to hear from you!!

Check out any recipes on my May 2017 Pinterest Board.

May 2017 Menu

And here’s a PDF:

May 2017 Menu

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QuickTip Tuesday: Veggies for Breakfast

We all know that vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, but very few Americans actually get the recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. One place we could probably all improve is breakfast. Want to get more veggies in? Have some at breakfast? I know it sounds weird, but asparagus goes great with scrambled eggs! So do tomatoes…. and spinach! Try it. You might like it!

Foodie Friday: Recipe Reports

I love, love doing the monthly menus. I want you to know that. But sometimes I put things on the menu that I haven’t tried before. I search different food blogs for new ideas and I will put at least two new ideas on each month. Sometimes the dishes turn out great, other times they don’t. In the month of April I have already tried two brand-new-to-me recipes and had one that was surprisingly delicious and one that we could hardly get choked down. Here they are:

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers -- Topped with crunchy veggies and a tangy yogurt sauce, these high-protein turkey burger patties will fill you up on good stuff without weighing you down. // lunches // dinners // nutrition // healthy recipes // sun-dried tomatoes // feta cheese // beachbody blog: The Mediterranean turkey burgers were phenomenal, y’all! I cannot even tell you how much flavor there was in the turkey patty. And I served them with roasted beets. Again, delicious. I had only ever had canned beets, and honestly? I could take ’em or leave ’em. When I sliced the beets about 1/4 inch thick, brushed them with olive oil, seasoned with sat & pepper and roasted at 400 for about 40 minutes (turning halfway) they were so good. They tasted more like a potato than a weird, red vegetable that kids won’t touch. My two-year-old even like them!

Mediterranean-inspired whole food ingredients come together to make colorful vegan Greek Power Bowls bursting with nutrients to fuel your body and mind. (gluten-free & dairy-free) AD RiceMonthwithMinute @minutericeUS: This was seriously the worst thing I’ve eaten in quite a while. I was actually shocked at how much I didn’t like it. It’s basically a salad, and I like all the separate components… separately. Something got lost in translation. I consider myself to be a very good cook, but I won’t rule out an error on my part. Even so, I wont’ be trying this again!

What recipes have you really loved? What have you really hated? Please share any “Pinterest Fails” you have! Any big wins??

The Diet Culture

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As a dietetic intern, I am interested in nutrition and diets, and I am  interested in food in general. Yesterday I listened to a podcast of a registered dietitian interviewing a dietetic intern from another state about her experiences with an eating disorder and the diet culture we have in this country. What I noticed was that we tend to like to put things into neat little slogans or catch phrases, even the professionals. We hear things like “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” and “lose weight, feel great” from companies and organizations trying to sell us on a particular product or philosophy about eating. I also hear “food as fuel” or “food as medicine” a lot. It is very ingrained in our culture. But as health professionals or nutrition experts we do the same thing. “Every food fits!” “Everything in moderation!” But these little snippets of a message are potentially just as damaging as the ones that promote being “skinny” above all.

The truth is there is no one perfect way of eating, but there are plenty of wrong ways. But if you really think about it, that’s pretty complicated. The little healthy slogans, by themselves, can be misleading and don’t really show the big picture.  I do believe that all foods can fit into a healthy diet, but I don’t want that to be the only message someone gets from me as an “expert.” Do they really get that it’s okay to have cookies, but it’s really important to get plenty of fruits and vegetables? Do they get the message that  while a bacon cheeseburger is not a sin, but it’s not a good thing to eat one every week? It’s hard to say what messages someone walks away with when all they heard was a cute little slogan that could be put into a meme on Instagram.

The message we really should be sending is that nutrition is complicated. Health is important but it cannot be achieved by following a specific set of instructions. We need variety in our diet and that means eating different types of meats or non-meat protein, different kinds of vegetables and fruits in all the colors available, getting whole grains and dairy in there too. We also need some balance. That means not eating all of one food group and nothing in another food group, but it also means not obsessing over whether our diet is “healthy” enough and it includes enjoying treats now and then. We also need to get the message out that we don’t absolutely have to count calories! We should be listening to our body’s hunger cues, eating and really enjoying our food and then listening when our body tells us we’re satisfied, but not stuffed the point that our pants are too tight. There is no food group that is off-limits (unless there is an allergy involved) and there is no food group that reigns supreme, either!

Good nutrition cannot be summed up by a catchphrase. We have some guidelines that are a good place to start, but there is no one perfect way of eating. Strive for variety and balance. Pay attention to your body. And above all, enjoy your food!

QuickTip Tuesday: Easter Baskets

easter basketsIt is so easy to go overboard for kids’ Easter baskets, but do they really need all that? I feel like we just got rid of the last of the Christmas candy and we still have Valentine’s candy in my house! I am not excited about buying a bunch of Easter candy too. Here is my formula for a fun, yet low-key Easter basket:

  • Pajamas- one new set of springtime pajamas each
  • Bunnies- one small chocolate bunny each
  • Toys- one small toy each (my kids are getting swim goggles to use this summer)
  • Flip-flops- one pair of cheap, fun flip-flops each
  • Accessories- one accessory each (like a hairbow, frilly socks, nail polish… whatever they like)

Don’t make yourself crazy or bust your budget trying to put together a Pinterest worthy Easter basket. Keep it simple. The kids will love it!

  • Bonus tip: skip the Easter grass. It’s just going to make a big mess before it goes in the trash.

Co-parenting With Technology

co parenting apps

Co-Parenting with Technology

Parenting in separate households can often be a difficult task, furthermore trying to stay connected and on the same page may seem impossible at times.  Technology however can help co-parents and their children maintain easy contact and communication.  Besides phone calls, emails, and texting, there are many apps that have been created to help co-parents keep positive appropriate communication.

Useful Co-Parenting Apps  
Co-Parenting apps are useful because they can prevent unwanted contact and serve as a buffer limiting communication to only necessary exchanges which can help prevent conflict.  Additionally, staying organized and informed can also help minimize conflict between co-parents, while allowing children to have regular contact with both parents. Co-parenting apps can be used to help families communicate in many different ways.  Some are designed for sharing calendars, pictures and medical records, while others can assist in creative ways like mapping equal distances for pick up and drop of your child.   The apps below are just a few examples and range anywhere from free to a monthly fee.  There are likely other great apps out there too that provide many of the same qualities.

  • 2Houses– Provides a joint calendar for both co-parents to edit and update scheduled events.   Parents can also update medical records, keep track of child related expenses and upload photos to a shared album.
  • Wizard– This app allows co-parents to communicate positively by a shared schedule, co-parenting tools, and features resource links to counseling and legal services.
  • Kidganizer– Promotes positive communication for co-parents who do not always communicate well face to face.  It features custody and expenses management.
  • Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents– This app focuses on the needs of the parents. It points out the difficulty of co-parenting while providing tips. The app also provides facts as well as informational videos. Each day the app sends the co-parents an inspirational quote, word of wisdom or tip of the day. This app also allows co-parents to ask questions that they have and receive support.
  • Cozi– This is another shared calendar app for co-parents but it links to many calendars. This app also allows access to a joined website for easier access. This also allows children to view and access the calendar and be part of the scheduling.
  • Life360– This app allows co-parents to view the location of their children which can help create peace of mind. The app also allows the children to view the locations of their parents.

Social Media Accounts
Use caution when posting on social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.  While these services can be a useful way to share photos and activities that involve your children, it can also allow your co-parent to see into your personal life which could raise emotions and increase conflict between co-parents.  Also be careful not vent rage or frustration relating to your co-parent on social media.  Though it may momentarily give you some satisfaction to vent, keep in mind how many people read your posts and may tell others about it – your relatives, mutual friends, or possibly even your own children or those close to your children.   If in doubt, have a second person read your posting before you post anything questionable.  Remember private matters should always remain private.
Need More Help?

Lincoln County Extension Service offers the Co-Parenting for Resilience class on the first Tuesday of every month. There is a registration fee of $30 that is due with some paperwork by the Friday before class. Call 405-258-0560 for more information.

QuickTip Tuesday: Spring Cleaning

It is officially time to start airing out the house from winter. Over the cold months it seems like the air in the house gets stale. If you haven’t already started your spring cleaning, here’s a tip: Choose one room at a time. Working over a couple weeks, clear out any items that you no longer love. Donate them or store them away. Dust all of your surfaces with your favorite dusting spray, vacuum and open the windows! Even if you can only have them open for an hour or two in the morning, let some of that stale winter air get blown outside and get some fresh air into the house!