Foodie Friday: September Menu

My family has officially survived the start of the new school year and the county fair! I am looking forward to getting revved up for college football and all that entails! Without further ado, I present the September Dinner Menu:

September 2018 menu

In the past, my family has been involved in tailgate parties before OSU football games, but as far as I know, we are sitting this season out for the tailgates. I have no idea what our dinners will look like on game nights, and my Type-A heart is trying really hard to go with the flow šŸ™‚

Check out my September 2018 Menu board on Pinterest for any recipes you want to try!

You can print the menu here:Ā September 2018

County Fairs

Image may contain: food

Tonight we start taking entries for our 2018 County Free Fair. This is my 11th year as the superintendent of indoor exhibits. For 11 years I have seen the county fair (not just in my county, but across the state) shrink in size. There are fewer people doing quality handicrafts, gardening, and food preservation who are willing to make the trek to the county fairgrounds and enter their projects. This got me thinking about the amount of history that has happened through county fairs.

County fairs in America date back to the 19th century in northern United States. They were created to promote modern farming practices. 4-H was incorporated into county fairs in the 20th century and county fairs paved the way for state fairs. Today some of the largest state fairs are in Texas, Minnesota, New York, and Oklahoma (Tulsa State Fair). There is also a very large state fair in Iowa and a joint state fair in New England, which includes six states.

Although putting on a county fair is so much work (like you would not believe the man-hours that go into even a small county fair) there are a few things that I love about county fairs: I absolutely love looking at the quilts. There is so much talent and pure love that goes into hand-crafting a quilt. From pattern and fabric selection, to cutting pieces of fabric to precise specificationsĀ  and measurements, toĀ  piecing it all together and then putting the top, batting, and backing all together in an intricate design… when it is done well, it can be a work of art worthy of the fanciest European galleries/museums. I also love seeing the kids with their animal projects. These kids have worked all year raising an animal– feeding, grooming, and working with that animal to get it ready to show at the fair. These kids should be truly proud of the hard work they put in.

If you’ve never been to your county fair, I encourage you to check it out! If you’ve been but never entered, there are lots of options for you. Some of the most popular indoor competitions at our Lincoln County Fair are houseplants/floral arrangements, photography, quilting, clothing construction, art, and baking. We also have a pretty healthy competition in horticulture and food preservation.

We’d love you see you at the fair!

QuickTip Tuesday: Learn Something New

Learning a new skill is good for your psychological state, and also healthy for the brain. Learning begets learning. The more you learn, the easier it is to learn and new skills can be connected in new ways! Try learning something new this fall! Some things you could try are:

  • a new musical instrument
  • a new language
  • a new sport

Or something more practical like:

  • how to cook
  • how to sew
  • how to build things with wood

Diabetes Myths

Last week I started doing a class called Live Well, Eat Well, Be Active With Diabetes (LEAD) with a group of ladies who have Type 2 Diabetes. My older sister has Type 1, and diabetes has always interested me. I’ve been exposed to diabetes in a number of ways: family history, extension work teaching LEAD, I have a Master’s degree in nutrition, and I did a 1200 hour dietetic internship to be a Registered Dietitian. During my internship, I was blessed to spend 2 weeks at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center. I wanted to share some truth about diabetes and dispel some myths around diabetes today- and there are many people who hold these myths as pure fact.

There are 3 main types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational. In Type 1, the pancreas has completely lost the ability to make insulin. Insulin is needed to move glucose from the blood stream into the body cells for use as energy. People with Type 1 must give themselves insulin in a shot or through an insulin pump. In Type 2, the body’s cells have stopped recognizing the insulin (insulin resistance) and even though insulin is present, the glucose still cannot enter the cell for use as energy. People with Type 2 may be advised by a doctor to manage their disease with diet and exercise, oral medication, insulin, or a combination. Gestational diabetes is when the insulin resistance happens during pregnancy, and was caused by the stress of being pregnant. Women with gestational diabetes should be monitored by a doctor and should speak with a registered dietitian because uncontrolled diabetes in pregnancy can lead to unwanted complications in pregnancy, fetal development and child birth.

Myth #1: Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar

The truth is, diabetes is a genetic disease. Eating sugar does not cause it. Eating too much sugar can complicate things for those who have diabetes, but eating sugar will not cause a person to develop diabetes.

Myth #2: Diabetes is caused by being overweight

Diabetes is a genetic disease. Being overweight definitely is a risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes, but is not a sole cause. Lifestyle choices and controllable risk factors, such as being overweight can possibly bring the disease about at an earlier age, but cannot cause diabetes on its own. That genetic component must be there… and keeping a healthy weight is not a fail-safe to prevent diabetes either. Your weight status cannot cause or prevent diabetes if your genetics say you’ll have it. However, your weight status and other lifestyle factors can make the disease easier or more difficult to manage.

Myth #3: People with Diabetes can never eat sweets

People with diabetes can eat sweets, and like everyone else, they should use moderation. The difference is, someone who is insulin dependent will need to make sure they know exactly how many carbohydrates they got in their sweet treat so they can dose themselves accurately with insulin.

Myth #4: Diabetes isn’t a serious disease

While people with diabetes can do pretty much anything anyone else can do, diabetes can be a life threatening condition.Ā  If diabetes is not well-manged, a person could become extremely ill and/or even die. More people die each year from diabetes than from breast cancer and AIDS combined. Diabetes also puts a person at a much higher risk for heart attack.

Myth #5: If a person with diabetes has high blood glucose levels, they aren’t taking care of themselves

While it is extremely important for people with diabetes to monitor and control blood glucose levels, it isn’t always easy. There are things out of our control that can affect blood glucose levels. Illness such as viruses, colds, the flu can wreak havoc on blood glucose levels. Also stress, sleep patterns, and exercise can raise and lower blood glucose levels.

If you have any questions about diabetes management, ask a dietitian or Certified Diabetes Educator (which I am not) or check out

Back to School Meal Planning

If you’ve read my blog more than once, you know I love meal planning. I personally plan my dinners for a month at a time. I grocery shop once a week. I do not have storage in my house for food for a full month. I share my monthly meal plans with the intention of my readers using them. I do not expect anyone to print out my monthly menu and use it exactly as I have it written (although I wouldn’t be mad if you did), but I envision people printing it out or reading through it for inspiration forĀ  their own meal plans. I realize that there are few people out there who meal plan as consistently as I do. I have not even convinced my twin sister to meal plan… BUT I want to convince you. Let me tell you what will happen when you start meal planning.

  • You will never again stand in front of an open refrigerator wondering what you will/should/could cook for dinner tonight.
  • You will save time at the grocery store.
  • Your family (assuming they can read) will never again have to ask you what’s for dinner because they can simply look at your written meal plan.
  • You could save money on groceries because you aren’t wandering around the store trying to decide what to cook for dinner that week.
    • Side bar — I have read that the average shopper will spend $1.70 every extra MINUTE they are in the grocery store!
  • If you plan your meals right, you will start to eat healthier. If you planĀ to serve a side salad and vegetable with every meal, and you buy the salads and veggies, you are far more likely to actually eat them then if you hadn’t planned or purchased them.

And back to school season is the perfect time to get started! Why is the perfect time? Because it’s now!

I also found this youtube video with some meal planning tips from another meal planning mom. I hope you like it!