Category: Opinion


Listen up b*tches

photo (13)Okay, I got your attention. I don’t really think you’re all b*tches…. But, I am about at my selfishness, non-sense, unaware of the world around you, entitled attitude limit for the year. I think I might lose my mind. This is like a diary entry I am sharing with the world because these thoughts have been consuming candysbrain for a long time now.

Have you noticed how the world seems to be spiraling out of control? The planet is dying, the people on the planet are starving or killing themselves or eachother, no one seems to give a shit about any of it, and we just keep buying the latest crap. One of the most hilarious headlines I’ve seen recently (I believe it was The Onion) was talking about some new cell phone that came in different designs/colors, etc. and they joked about ‘which color best represents my desperate need for attention?’. Nailed it.

“This sparkly pink cover will really pop in my next selfie!”

The point of this post is simply to say that we should focus a little less on ourselves and a little more on the rest of the world. A little less instagraming our dinner and a little more feeding the hungry. A little less talking and a little more listening and learning and reading. A little less sharing of opinions and a little more sharing of resources. Living in a society takes sacrifices; it always has. Sometimes you have a little more and so you give a little more. But it’s not about what you give or how much you give, it’s that you have the awareness to know that there are people out there besides yourself that could use a break. You know that you are not fundamentally better than they are. You know that some day you might need a hand and hope that someone will be there for you. You know that you are not kind to others because it gets you into heaven, but because it makes you feel good in your heart and soul to help another human being (or animal for that matter).

There is so much misdirected anger at the strangest things. People are angry because they have to press ONE button for English. One GD button! Talk about first world problems. People are angry at poor people. People are angry because a tiny portion of their income goes to making sure poor kids get at least 1 meal a day and the most basic health care.

This matters. Anger and hate and violence are contagious and I fear it is spreading through our world. Anger turns to hate which turns to violence and the tiniest little thing matters. But, the good news is- so is love and giving and sharing and compassion. The best way to ‘fight’ the hate in the world is to love more and bigger than ever before.

When is the last time you truly did something for someone else? Not your family. Not for your kids. But for a stranger, or a neighbor, or a charity? This is not asked to shame you. This is asked to hopefully inspire you. This is asked to be a wake-up call for those that need it.

I have been thinking about my own selfishness lately. Once you learn to recognize the behavior it is very easy to notice it, even when others don’t. I think we are all a little selfish and I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. I just know how lucky I am and have always been. I have never really had to ‘want’ for anything that I needed. So, how do I remain a happy modern women who appreciates nice things, and yet consistently think of others and help those that need help. I think it’s about finding the balance between giving so much you lose your identity and it’s to your own detriment vs. thinking only of yourself and being a detriment to society.

I feel like I need to do something big. Start a revolution or something. I don’t know what that looks like and who knows if anything I say will ever make a difference, but I want to try. Stay tuned because it’s coming.

In the meantime, I am curious…. What do you do to give back to your community? How do you teach this next ‘entitled’ generation what is really important? What types of conversations do you have with your kids so they know what kind of need is really out there? My daughter is too young, but my son is five. I want to start now so that he accepts this giving/caring/sacrificing as a part of his life. Any/all comments welcome.

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On my page yesterday I posted: “Apparently if I wanted to understand the internet today, I should have watched the VMA’s last night.” I swear every other FB post or yahoo article or tweet or even the Huffington Post was all ‘miley’ all the time. I couldn’t get away from it. I haven’t watched the VMA’s in years, probably not since MTV was actually showing videos. And, no, this doesn’t make me old, this makes me someone who values their time. But, my friend Megan commented on my post saying “I will raise my daughter to be the opposite of Miley Cyrus” and that got me thinking. Thanks for the inspiration MEG.

How do we make sure our daughters don’t end up like Miley?
How do we avoid them dry humping a foam finger in front of the whole world? (And, apparently dressed like a teddy bear???? I’m still piecing all of this together.)

The answer came to me almost immediately after the question. If we want to make sure our daughters don’t end up like Miley, we need to stop giving 2-shits about Miley! We need to stop concerning ourselves with her. And, I don’t mean to pick on Miley. For all I care you can throw them all in together: Kim Kardashian, Brittney Spears, Amanda Bynes, etc. They are all the same. And, by the same I mean moderately talented, over exposed, unimpressive in accomplishment, and lousy role-models for our girls. I don’t want to be mean…no talent ass-clowns…. They might be nice in real life. They might be decent human beings. But they are certainly not who I want my daughter to look up to. In fact, I don’t want my daughter to concern herself with them at all.

How do we make this happen?

Stop watching TMZ. Stop reading fricking US magazine. Stop watching reality television that is detrimental to society. Stop getting pleasure from gossip and train wrecks and celebrity non-sense. Stop promoting the idea that someone who is famous is any more special than you. Stop making stupid people famous for doing nothing.

Don’t waste time deciding whether Kanye and Kim’s baby name is stupid (of course it is).

Don’t waste your breathe on whether or not Lindsay Lohan has gained weight since rehab (that’s what happens when you eat food instead of heroin).

‘Celebrity’ is a business and we are throwing our money at it. What a waste of our time and money and attention. You like celebrities? You like Hollywood? Great! Eva Longoria, Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Ellen Degeneres are doing great things for a lot of people. Follow their stories.

But that is only part 1. There is a whole other side to making sure your daughter doesn’t buy into the cluster-f*@! that we call celebrity news. So what is the second part?

Set a good example. Simple right?

-Turn off the TV and read a book. And, actually read a good book. One that is well written, one that stimulates your mind, one that is written by a woman. It doesn’t all have to be 19th century classics of course, and it all doesn’t need to be women, but it can’t all be Twilight and 50 shades.

-Don’t judge her on her appearance- even if she IS gorgeous. It’s nice to be told you’re pretty, but it’s amazing to hear you’re smart and you’re strong and you’re healthy and you’re funny and you’re talented.

-Don’t judge yourself on your appearance. Don’t you dare call yourself fat or old or ugly in front of your daughter. Don’t you dare put yourself down while you are out shopping with her. Don’t you dare wish you were thinner, taller, younger…. She will pick up on that in a heart beat no matter what you are saying to her about her own appearance.

-Give her positive role models. This is tough because right now our society doesn’t value and recognize women for their accomplishments. But you can. Expose her to women scientists, judges, politicians, writers, artists, and business women. Expose her to women that are happy, and kind, and generous, and loving, and funny.

-Teach her that to be ‘valued’ she doesn’t need to bring down another woman’s ‘value’. Building yourself up by tearing down others will destroy your soul. The best leaders, the best role models, the best human beings, create win-win solutions for everyone.

-Preach kindness as the most important thing. Period. Beauty doesn’t bring peace. Brains don’t bring peace. Money doesn’t bring peace. Kindness does.

Our ‘society’ won’t change until we do. And, we NEED to change for our daughters (and sons of course).

If we stop buying, they will have to find something else to sell.

***Sharing=Love***

Party with a Purpose

me and foodAlmost a year ago I had an idea to throw a party and the theme would be that we would some-how give back during the party. In other words, my friends and I would get together and a choose a charity or a cause and support it while we ate, drank, and got merry. Well, it is funny how quickly 1 month turns into 12 months without following thru….

Friday night my delightful sister-in-law hosted a girls night in at her house. She provided food and too many drinks. The only catch was that everyone who came was asked to bring some non-perishable food items for the Northern Illinois Food Bank. The boxes and bags piled up quickly! No one broke their bank, and we still managed to collect a decent amount of food to be donated. It was just how I imagined it.

food drive

We all get together with our friends, we all go to parties, we all host parties- why not turn them into a party with a purpose? One of the things I hope I never forget is that I am blessed. I grew up and had a lot of advantages. We were by no-means rich, but I lived in the suburbs and went to a great school and was far-removed from any danger or real risk. I always knew I would go to college, get a job, get married, buy a house, etc. It is EASY to take all of this for granted. So many people are just trying to make it thru high school. So many kids are going to school hungry. So many people are out of work. So many people need a little bit of help.

There are lot of ways you can do your own party-with-a-purpose:

-Have a food drive like I mentioned above
-Have a birthday party but instead of bringing gifts for you, everyone brings a book to donate to a school in need
-Have a party and instead of bringing a dish to pass or a bottle of wine, everyone brings a donation for a charity (save a pet, food banks, cancer society, etc.)
-Have a girls night in and everyone brings 2 pairs of shoes to donate to the women’s shelter
-Have a block party where everyone in the neighborhood comes with an item to donate to the homeless shelters (they always need socks, underwear, tooth paste, deodorant, feminine products, etc.)
-Have a party where you play a bunch of games and do raffles where half of the money goes to a charity (50/50 raffle, bean-bag tourney, flippy-cup, poker, etc.)

Be creative. There are literally hundreds of ways to get involved!

***Did you know that summer is the time of the year when the hunger problem is the worst? Normally, low-income children can get a meal or two at school thru the various programs available. In the summer, when kids don’t have that opportunity, they are often hungry. It is very sad and very scary. Regardless of your politics, kids should not suffer. There are a ton of great organizations that help feed our most vulnerable. Do a little research in your area and see how you can help. Cereal and Peanut Butter are very hot-commodities that they always need.

Here are a few organizations worth donating to:

http://www.bbbs.org (matches at-risk youth with mentors, graduates 100% of participants, A+ rated, award winning charity)
http://www.solvehungertoday.org (feeds northern Illinois, has great ‘buying power’ and can provide 6 meals for every dollar donated)
http://www.hfa.org (promotes humane farming, very important to me)
http://www.projectchinelas.com (donates shoes to kids in the Philippines, a friend from high school started this organization)

There are so many out there, and so much good to be done. Be kind.

DOMA Decision

equalityI mean this with the most amount of respect possible for those of you who disagree with the supreme court’s ruling today….

Just because it is not what you choose to do, doesn’t make it wrong.

Just because it is not what your god wants, doesn’t make it law.

Just because it is the way it has always been, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t change.

Go love someone!

will dinnerThis blog has been in my brain for a while now and I am finally putting my thoughts down and together. It all started a couple months ago when my family was going to go out for dinner. It was not a fancy restaurant, but it wasn’t a chuck-e-cheese either. My 4.5 year old son and my 1.5 year old daughter were coming with us and three other adults. I don’t know about you but there is always a little anxiety about how they are going to behave. Right before we left, my husband said, “Should we bring the Kindle for Will?” I was surprised by my reaction but I said, “NO. Absolutely not! We are not going to be that family that doesn’t talk to each other because we are all staring at a screen!”

I said I was surprised by my reaction because I never really thought about it before that moment. Of course we have all seen that group of people out: no one is talking, everyone has their cell phone or tablet or game boy (or whatever kids use these days). But I had never thought about what I was going to do as a parent to prevent that with my own children. The more this idea sat in my brain, the more I felt compelled to write about it.

So, I will ask the question again: Do your kids now HOW to be bored? Do your kids know how to BEHAVE when they are bored? Dinner at a restaurant with a bunch of grown ups is not fun for most kids. They have to sit still, use inside voices, have polite conversation, eat different tasting food, etc. This is dreadful for the average 4 year old. Is it easier to give them a tablet and have them play angry birds for an hour? Of course it is! Does that teach them anything? Absolutely not.

ellie box

As a parent I believe it is our job to make sure our kids are capable of entertaining themselves, speaking clearly to other grown ups, sitting for five minutes without some kind of electronic entertainment. If every time they are on a road trip they can watch movies in the back of mommy’s seat they will never play the alphabet game with their sister. If every time they are sitting in a waiting room they are playing with a cell phone they will never play I Spy with mom. If every time they are bored at home they play on the computer they will never go on a treasure hunt in the back yard or play pirates with their brother. If every 5 mins. mommy has an activity planned they will never learn to have fun with only a box. If every time they are at a restaurant they have a tablet to stick their nose in they will never learn the importance of small talk and table manners and the joy of sharing a meal with the people that they love.

will treasure

I am grateful that my grandma used to tell me to sit up straight, and say ‘yes’ not ‘yeah’, and to put my napkin in my lap. I LOVE that my husband takes off his hat when he sits down at the dinner table. I love that my family still all gets together to share meals. And, I love that when we do, we don’t watch TV.

Kids are naturally resilient and creative and have amazing imaginations. As parents we don’t need to do much other than occasionally say NO. Say no to the TV. Say no to the computer. Say no to the constant requests for ‘mommy’s full attention’. It is okay to tell your kids to ‘just go play’. It is not mommy’s job to constantly think of things for your kids to do. Every day doesn’t have to be planned and structured with mom as the entertainment. They will naturally figure out what to do. Sure they might fight you a little. It might be frustrating at first, but worth the trouble! Besides, they have their whole adult life of no creativity or pretending to look forward to!

Let’s all take a pledge: I hereby promise to have at least 5 dinners per week without any electronic entertainment! I will unplug (at least partly) on the weekends, and encourage free play (for kids and parents!). I will teach my kids that even though they are bored, they still HAVE TO BEHAVE. I will be firm with my children when they misbehave in public (or at home).

I will teach my kids that ‘mommy will not have that shit!’

militarySo, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to say about Memorial Day and was coming up short. I also have been trying to focus and honor my feelings lately. I noticed that when I thought about Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, or just soldiers in general- I get a sick feeling in my tummy. It is an uncomfortable and almost queasy feeling deep in the pit of my stomach. Because the feeling is unpleasant, I don’t want to stay ‘in that space’. I want to move on and think of something else. Well, that kind of thinking will not lead to growth, so I stayed….

What I realized is that feeling is sadness, fear, and guilt all piled on top of eachother and wrestling in my tummy.

Sadness because I cannot imagine the loneliness and isolation of a lot of the families. I cannot imagine missing the birth of a child or the countless milestones that happen while you are away. I cannot imagine being the spouse at home, trying to hold it all together. I can’t imagine sacrificing years of your life for the greater good. I cannot imagine coming back to find that everyone else just kept living their life while you were gone.

Fear because I cannot imagine how I afraid I would be if I were in their shoes. Whether I were the soldier in the middle of hell, or the spouse at home, fear would run my life. I cannot help picturing what I would be like as a military wife. I think I would be crippled by my fear of losing my husband every damn day. It makes me cry right now just imagining that scenario.

And lastly guilt. Guilt because I didn’t do. Guilt because I wouldn’t do it. Guilt because I have the freedom to say that I wouldn’t do it. And, probably most importantly, guilt because I don’t do enough now. I don’t do enough to reach out and support our military. I don’t do enough to thank our military. I don’t spend enough time in this uncomfortable space honoring our military.

Here are 4 websites that you can check out:

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org
http://www.militaryfamily.org
http://www.soldiersbestfriend.org
http://www.supportourtroops.org

Please use the comments section to provide other links that people can check out. Also, please share what you personally do to support our military and their families. Thanks!

me and dishHi everyone! Again, I apologize for the delay. I have had a broken computer AGAIN! I am not sure why our computer sucks so much, but luckily we have smart friends that are easily bribed (you know who you are). Here are some random thoughts and announcements and a recipe.

1. Attention everyone! I have reached my goal weight! I have officially lost 15 pounds since going wheat free/paleo-ish and want to shout it from the roof tops! I will probably be posting on the weight topic soon. Today is about food.

2. I cannot tell you how many people have read what I have written and responded with: RECIPES PLEASE!!!! If you know me well, you know that I am incapable of sharing recipes because I have never once in my life actually followed a recipe! This is why I am a good cook and a horrible baker! Ask my sister-in-law… Here are some ‘approximate’ instructions.

3. I will continue to share recipes so please stay tuned. On the other hand, these meal ideas are meant to be served as-is! Yes, this sausage dish would be delish on bread or served over potatoes, but that defeats the purpose. I promise you- if you cut out anything ‘white’ or that ‘can be white’, you will feel better. (i.e. rice, pasta, bread). Fat is not bad unless combined with the bad carbs. Good fat is good! Your heart and brain NEED fat. (the fat on your thighs is un-related)

4. I have had a bunch of people concerned about fruits and nuts. To be clear: people ALMOST NEVER get fat on fruits and nuts! They are getting fat on everything else. Should we eat more veggies than fruit? Absolutely! Should we avoid bingeing on nuts? Of course! I have been eating more fruit and fats/nuts than ever before (in my whole life) and have been losing weight. I swear, cut the crap (i.e. processed foods, junk, fast food, soda, etc) and you won’t have to analyze another part of your diet—ever!

Tonight I made one of my husband’s favorites: sausage with peppers and onions. As I mentioned above, this dish is delish with rolls or potatoes, but you really don’t need them. I have heard from many-a-woman that they ‘would love to cook this way but my husband/kids would hate it!’ Well, some parts suck for everyone. Husbands and 5 years olds seem to be the most obnoxious! But, if you make GOOD food with lots of FLAVOR- your husband won’t mind! Your 5 year old is still going to complain. In fact, they are going to complain about anything except chicken nuggets and hot dogs. Get used to it! Expect tears! Know that you are molding a future ‘foodie’.

This is my ‘mise en place’: pronounced ‘miz on plas’. In our American words it means our ‘set up’. I am a crazy busy working mom who is trying to keep it together at the end of my rope with this ‘healthy-gluten-free-paleo-cooking’. The more prep (or mise en place’) you do ahead of time, the less time you will spend in the kitchen.

mise en place

***Candy’s brain tip: If you struggle with technique when it comes to recipe ideas….watch the food network! If you only watch one show, watch either- bobby flay, secrets of a restaurant chef, or the barefoot contessa. Ignore the bread/biscuit/pasta recipes. If/when you are at a goal weight you can play with these recipes too.

Here is what I made tonight:

1 lb. Mild Italian Sausage
2 Grn. Bell Peppers, 1 orange
1 large yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)
3 basil leaves
salt, pepper, Italian herb seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (optional but great for spice!), parmesan, and olive oil

Brown the sausage first: hot pan, little olive oil, approx. 2 mins per side.
Remove sausage and add sliced onion and peppers, seasonings/red pepper. Saute for approx. 6 mins or until soft.
Add minced garlic. Saute for 2 mins. Don’t let garlic burn. Add diced tomatoes and chopped basil.
Bring to boil and then add sausage back to pan. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins. covered.
Add parmesan right before serving.

Please enjoy! Please tell me what you think! Please don’t make fun of the cheesy picture of me and my dish!!!! I love answering cooking or chef questions so please ask me!

willI am lucky enough to work for a company that is committed to continuous improvement. They are trying to create an environment of constant learning, evolving, and growing. Today I spent 3+ hours talking about feelings in room of about 150 people. Of course going into a meeting like this there is some apprehension and, if you’re like me, excitement. I realize that I could spend every day of my life in the pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment and still never know all there is to know. That is why I get all jacked up before these meetings and try to soak it all up like a sponge. Thru the training you learn how to be a better manager, sure. But, the best part is that I learn to be a better mom and better wife and better ME. It is thru these trainings that I have accepted the fact that I am in control of what shows up in my life. It is thru these trainings that I have accepted that I DO have enough time. It is thru these trainings that I have accepted that every experience is a learning experience.

Anyway, back to feelings…..

My son Will is a basket (case) full of emotions. He cries constantly! (Picture Anchor Man “I’m in a glass case of emotion!!) At least a few times a day he has to take off his adorable glasses and wipe his big brown eyes. I’m telling the truth when I say that one time he literally started crying because the chocolate milk at the restaurant was delicious. Well, after 5 years of this, my husband and I have begun to see this as a ‘problem’. We, in our grown up minds, have labeled “good” reasons to cry (i.e. fell and scraped my knee) and “bad” reasons to cry (i.e. I don’t want chicken for dinner). We have even been asking Will, “Now Will…. is that a good reason to cry?” Part of this correction is because in our minds he needs to learn the difference between something serious and not. Part of it is because we are sick of it. Then, there is a small part of me that worries about what will happen if he is 12 and still cries every time something doesn’t go his way.

Notice the highlighted words: our, we, me. This has nothing to do with me! This is about Will and his feelings. He is sad and therefore he cries. Simple as that. He doesn’t over think it. He doesn’t analyze it. He has a feeling and he feels it. He is not hurting himself or others. He is simply releasing that emotion. Who am I to say what is or isn’t a good reason to be sad? What do I expect him to say, “Well Mom, when Ellie took my toy it made me sad because I feel like ever since she was born she gets everything she wants and I have nothing of my own anymore and I guess that makes me feel vulnerable. Thanks for listening, glad I got that off my chest.” No, he is going to cry.

And the scariest part is, he is probably more enlightened than we are. I have 31 years of ‘society’ telling me what is an acceptable way to show my emotions and what is not. I am a girl so I try really hard not to cry at work because that would make me look ‘weak’. If someone hurts my feelings I pretend that I’m tough and I make a joke because I don’t want to be ‘too sensitive’. But you know what happens? That sadness, hurt, anger, etc. just comes out later and usually in a situation that doesn’t deserve it. We’ve all been there: your boss was a jerk and you go home and yell at your husband. Not Will. He gets in a fight with one of the neighbor boys, he cries for about 25 seconds, and then he’s over it. He gets up and moves on. He can go from tears to tag with smiles in under a minute! He doesn’t over think it. He doesn’t analyze it. He has a feeling and he feels it.

I think as parents we could learn from our kids at least as much as they can learn from us. Why do we take our kids mood/behavior/words/feelings so personally? Is it because we are grown ups and we feel the need to give meaning to everything? When Will is whiny, or he’s having a rough time, it’s not about me! It’s not about him trying to ruin my day (even though it seems like it sometimes). He is not concerned with how his behavior is affecting my ‘vision for the day’. He is simply feeling his feelings. We (parents) are in control of how much this behavior affects us. We can control how we react to their behavior. We have so much influence on our children. Are we teaching them that sadness is bad? That fear is bad? How is this going to affect them as adults?

I’m not sure where to go from here, but just being a little bit more aware of this truth makes me feel better. Somehow, I am less fearful. I think it is still important to teach the lessons but not try to control how those feelings show up for him. Real life example: Will starts crying because he doesn’t want chicken and veggies for dinner. I’ll take his glasses, encourage him to breathe, and let him cry. I will also explain that even though he is sad and even though this is not what he wants for dinner, this IS what we are having because it is healthy and mommy worked very hard at preparing it. He can keep crying if he wants, it is not “bad” and he’s not in “trouble”, but it is also not going to change the outcome of what I am serving for dinner.

And, for myself, I am going to take it easy on judging myself. I won’t label my feelings as weak, or bad, or selfish, etc. I will try not to over think it. I will try not to over analyze it. I will just have a feeling and feel it.

Recently a friend had a big event coming up and wanted to really focus for 3 weeks on slimming down and eating perfect. She asked me if I would come up with a meal plan for her to take the guess work out of it. For her, I really focused on cutting out salt and dairy because this was a short term strict ‘diet’. For the average person, eating this way is already cutting out SO MUCH salt/sugar/bad fat, that you don’t really need to focus on limiting more. I eat a lot of fat now: avocados, meat, nuts, oils, etc. If you have high blood pressure or really have a lot of weight to lose, you might want to limit the salt and dairy too.

My intention with this post is to give you ideas for real life, something that you could maintain moving forward. This is NOT a short term plan to lose weight. This is a life time plan to improve your health, have more energy, have fewer digestive problems, and yes….lose a little bit of weight. (If you are not a cooker and need more specifics, just ask. I love talking about this shit! I will help you.)

Breakfast:

Eggs- limit salt and dairy. A little cheese is okay, but make the cheese count! Good quality, full flavor!

Spinach, tomato, peppers, mushrooms, lean meats, etc. (You can pre-make these either in quiche form or in a muffin pan, and heat up when ready. I like to do a quiche with peppers, onions, broccoli, and spinach, with smoked gouda. My husband likes omelets with sundried tomatoes, feta, mushrooms, and spinach. My kids like scrambled eggs with ‘flat turkey’ (aka lunch meat) and spinach.)

Smoothies- Use plain full fat yogurt, milk, fruits, and veggies. Here are a couple I like.

Yogurt, milk, banana, almond butter, spinach, chocolate syrup (yes, I know, but I like it), and ice

Yogurt, milk, banana, apple (skin on), almonds (5-7, raw, no salt), cinnamon, spinach, and ice

Yogurt, milk, banana, raspberries, spinach, and ice

Chicken/apple sausage (Applegate farms, I love these!)- eat with a handful of berries

Apple with Almond butter, and hard boiled egg

Lunches and Dinners:

Turkey Burgers with lettuce, tomato, avocado, sprouts, etc. No Ketchup! No mayo! (Sear on each side and finish in oven since turkey burgers get so dry). I also like to chop up a granny smith apple really finely (skin on) and mix it in with the meat to keep it juicy and add fiber.

Chicken or Tuna salad over greens (no additional dressing besides the mayo and lemon juice in the chicken/tuna)

Turkey/cheese/bell pepper roll ups (3 slices turkey, 1 slice of cheese divided in 3, and 3 strips of a bell pepper in the middle), with an apple or berries, and some nuts (pistachios, almonds)

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup. I buy the low-sodium one in the health food aisle in the rectangle carton. I then add a bunch of shredded chicken, a can of diced tomatoes (use fresh in season, no salt added if from can), red pepper flakes for heat, and avocado (add when serving).

Chicken Breast with homemade quac (avocado, red onion, cilantro, and tomato-not salsa unless its fresh- and lemon juice)

Chicken/apple sausage again with either 1. Raw carrots/broc/celery with yogurt based ranch, 2. Celery and almond butter, 3. Pistachios and fruit

Pork tenderloin and veggies

Chicken and veggies

Burgers over portabello, tomato, avocado, sprouts, carmelized onions, spinach, butter lettuce, and/or anything fresh that you like.

Stuffed peppers: ground turkey, onion, cheese, spinach, pablano pepper, diced tomatoes

Skirt steak sliced over big salad, hard boiled egg, veggies, avocado, olive oil and lemon juice dressing (or oil and vinegar)

Chicken pesto over greens or with roasted veggies (Roasted veggies= broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and kale= so yummy!)

Steak with chimichurri (You can google recipes for chimichurri, its very simple. If you’re not familiar it is usually a sauce made with olive oil, garlic, and a bunch of fresh herbs/spices).

Chicken legs with chimichurri (I don’t love chicken legs but my husband does. Any chicken cut is great for this. The bone-in cuts will be juicier, but cook slower).

I didn’t separate lunch and dinner b/c there can be so much overlap. This diet should be combined with lots of exercise and water.

Also, I’d like to be clear on one thing… No soda! Not even diet. Soda is always bad. It causes cravings, and is filled with chemicals. If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times: Besides water, coffee, and a little bit of milk…if it doesn’t get you drunk, don’t drink it. J

I’m turning into a crazy person. I see it happening, I recognize the signs, I know that people are going to get sick of me, and yet I can’t help it. I can’t stop talking about food! I am reading another book about food and it is re-enforcing everything I have been saying. The book is called, “Salt, Sugar, Fat: how the food giants hooked us” by Michael Moss. I definitely recommend it! I’m only about 15% of the way thru it but I can see where it is going.

Basically, what I have been trying to get across to everyone is that processed food is bad. (I know, I’m like the first person to say this!) Well, at least 98% of it is bad for us. The problem is people know donuts are bad and oreos are bad and fritos are bad, but we give a pass to other foods. It doesn’t matter if it says “heart healthy” or a “good source of fiber”, etc. It’s bad! When is the last time you looked at the ingredient list on that ‘healthy whole grain’ bread you buy? Go ahead….I’ll wait. The bread has literally been engineered to have the exact amount of sugar to stimulate your appetite and the precise amount of salt and fat to give it the right ‘mouth feel’. This ain’t your grandma’s bread. Her bread used to go bad after 2 days. Her bread didn’t have high fructose corn syrup as the second ingredient. I know I pick on bread an awful lot. Are there worse things in the world than whole wheat bread? Of course! But, whole wheat bread disguises itself as a health food. (don’t even get me started on soy!)

But let’s back up a little. There was a need: The American people were getting busier and the food companies had the solution. We wanted fast, convenient food that tasted great. Food companies had the solution. They are a business. Businesses need to make money. The more we ate and the cheaper they made the food, the bigger the profit. Simple right? So, they use the cheapest ingredients that they can: chemicals, salt, sugar, and fat.

So, the American public started eating a LOT of this food. “Real food is too expensive and it takes too long”. Well not only do these foods not meet our nutritional needs but they change our relationship with food all together. Now we expect sweet, salty, and perfect texture- often from the same product. We actually crave more food and eat more calories as a result.

Okay, so now we are all fat and someone has to do something about this! God forbid we stop eating the crap, so we put pressure on the food companies. To appease the public they come out with low-fat cookies, and 9-grain bread, and lower sodium soups, etc. This takes super chemists because they also need the food to taste good. So more chemicals. On top of that, no one is getting enough fiber and vitamins. Simple, everyone needs a multi-vitamin and Fiber One Brownies! They are now meeting our new needs that their foods created!

brownies

All the blame does not fall with ‘big food’. We keep buying the crap. Sure, is there a little evil empire thing going on, but we cannot be surprised that they care more about profit than the health or your kid. Every single day we vote with our dollars. You can buy Fiber One Brownies (that’s the picture shown) or you can have one of the other things with 5 gr. of fiber. Like: 1/2 cup of berries, 1/2 cup of broccoli, 1/2 cup brussel’s sprouts, 1 large apple, 1/2 cup kale or spinach, or 1/2 an avocado. You’ll be pooping like a pro in no-time!

Here are some things that you and/or your kids might eat that are not as healthy as you may think: wheat bread (all bread), granola bars, low-fat cookies, go-gurt, lunchables, Subway, Panera, margarine, cheerios, raisin bran, low-fat cheese, oatmeal, whole grain bagels, diet soda (all soda), etc. I could go on and on. Read labels. And not just fat and calories! Ingredients!

I will help anyone that wants it. I can tell you what to buy or how to cook or what to throw in the trash. All you have to do is ask. I promise you will be healthier, and happier, with less digestive problems, and lose weight. No gimicks. Just eating real food. Who else has changed their lives by making the switch?