What's the deal with airplane peanuts??

Any Seinfeld fans out there??

So that really has nothing to do with my post- as you probably know, I am allergic to those nuts. But... my question is--- what's the deal with Greek Yogurt??

Anyone know?

I haven't tried it. I'm interested. I want to know what it's about. I know there's more protein. I'm going to do some research on it! Let me know- share with me what you think!


McDonald's... seriously

Last night we had McDonald's for dinner for the first time in a long long time! I mean years. We don't eat Mcky-D's (how to spell??) often because we prefer to eat home cooked meals from fresh foods, but last night was different. We were part of a scavenger hunt with some teenagers & our assigned "hideout" was a local McDonald's. So we took the opportunity to spend time with these kids we enjoy & see what McDonald's is up to.

I like to know about fast food places and where they're at because I feel that is how I can share a lot of valuable information with patients/clients. See, I don't eat McDonald's or fast food but my patients and clients DO. Therefore, if I go on and on about how it is bad for you then I lose their trust, respect, and can do them no good. So I find out what they like to eat, we look at menus and figure out the BETTER CHOICES.

There were several things I was excited about at McD's last night.

1. They posted a nutrition label on the fries.
This may be old news that is just new to me but I thought this was great! It's all right there in front you for your information!

These are my sad attempts of picture-taking from my cell phone. I'm working on getting a smartphone :)

2. Promoting Vitamin D to kids!
I was shocked to see a window sticker that was promoting milk with a kids meal by emphasizing the importance of vitamin D. "Vitamin D-licious" anyone??

3. Allergy Awareness!
You know I LOVE this one! I love that you can look on McDonald's website to find every single ingredient with allergy notation! I love that I got chicken strips, which I knew were safe for me because I looked online at the ingredients ahead of time, and then I got sauce to dip them in that had the ingredients listed on the packaging. Safe! I LOVE it!

Want nutrition facts from McDonald's?? Find it here.

*I am not sponsored or in any way paid by McDonald's. Just as my first visit there in years I was very intrigued by the nutrition aspects and wanted to share.


Juice juice what's the harm?

*I have to warn you before I start that juice has been on my mind. We got a juicer when we got married and just got it out of the box yesterday. (I'm sorry to my sister-in-law if you are reading this.) So I've been thinking a lot about juice- buying it, making it, the value of it vs. eating the fruit. So that's where this post comes from.

Everyone drinks it. Right... ? It's fruit. It's natural. It's a great thing to give kids to quiet them down.

These are all statements that I've heard from people about juice, and my friends who've worked for WIC have heard some crazy juice statements!

Truth is there is natural juice with no sugar added that is a great supplement to a child's diet. But there are also many juice cocktail drinks with 3%, 5%, 10% juice in them, and it's up to you as a parent, a consumer, whoever, to read the labels on the bottles and make sure you are giving your child real juice. The 100% juice has sugar in it- of course, because it's made from fruit and fruit has sugar. So juice, even the 100% fruit juice, is something that should be accounted for in the diet. It has calories, it has sugar, and it's not the same as eating fruit. When we eat fruit we get other great things such as the FIBER that we can't get in fruit juice. So if you or your child eat fruit then cut back on the juice. It's always better to get our fruit intake in the natural form of whole fruit, and this can be fresh, canned, or frozen! With canned just look for the fruit that is packaged in natural juices rather than syrup because that adds a lot more sugar.

Look for more information on fruits and tips to get them in on the MyPyramid site.


A New Direction... A Focus

Yesterday I was at the DC Metro Area Dietetic Association's Annual Meeting. It was my first time attending, and it was a great day full of fun, nutrition, food, and lots and lots of information. This years theme was "Growing Good Nutrition". As I sat through the first 2 sessions in the morning I had every intention to write a wrap-up post highlighting all of the great things I heard, but then I got off track when a former Biggest Loser participant showed up! I know, right?? I am a big fan of the Biggest Loser (it's my guilty pleasure), and I know it can be rather controversial and maybe some time I will discuss my views on the nutrition aspect of it but I will tell you here in just a few sentences why it is that I love the show.

So of course I had my picture taken with him!

This is Bernie Salazar from BL Season 5, and he was the at home winner!! On the left is one of my fellow interns CV, and there I am on the right having a wicked bad hair day.

So part of my excitement comes from meeting a BL contestant but really, as happens most days, what I started thinking about as an important nutrition topic totally shifted when I met this guy. He repeatedly stated that he is just so thankful that he has his life back and that he can live, run, be active, be healthy, and find who he truly is without his previous identity of hiding behind his weight. He is active, active, active, I tell ya! And he is just one example. One example of many who come to learn how great life can be when they are active, healthy, and appreciate good, nutritious food.

This is why I enjoy watching BL. I LOVE to see the change. I love to watch when people are at their breaking point (we can all understand. we've all been there just with our issue). I love to watch as they are skeptical, to accepting, to truly finding joy in their new, healthy lifestyle. It's not just about the weight loss. Yes, with the weight loss they are able to do so many more things than they could before, and they are improving their health, but to me, what I love to see if the transformation of the mindset to a HEALTHY LIFE. Rather than thinking about nutritious foods being gross they see them in a new light, learn how to prepare them properly, and enjoy them! Their mindset shifts from "only bad foods taste good" and that is so exciting for me to see! And again I am reminded in a new light of why I have a passion and love to share my passion with others.

While on this topic, I have been thinking a lot about my blog and the direction that I am trying to go. As I find more and more wonderful food and nutrition blogs, I have realized I want to be in this realm of the blog-world. So, while I have mostly been talking about food and some nutrition issues, I am going to focus on it more from her on. Of course, nutrition is a HUGE field so that gives me lots of freedom! :) Like still talking about my garden! So while I do love sharing about all of our crazy home projects, I am going to reign that in (unless it relates to nutrition ;) ) So I hope you will enjoy reading and find interesting, accurate, and useful nutrition-related information, musings, and the like.

Thanks for reading! I appreciate it!



My first one

I'm nervous because tonight I am finalizing my first professional poster that I have done all on my own. Well, of course I had wonderful people share pictures and logos with me and I am greatly indebted to them! Thank you thank you! But I've only been a part of the team and this one is all me, and it makes me nervous!

So, I'm going to go work on my poster to perfection ... well :/ at least until I tire of it and cannot look at it any more.

It's about food allergies, so of course I'm excited!


Spring Cleaning = A New Look!

I was tiring of my old background, so it's time for a change! I like this one much better!

I am also doing spring cleaning around the house (slowly but surely) which makes me eager to make things look fresh and new!

Look at all of the BEAUTIFUL fresh and new outside our home: (warning: there are A LOT of pictures!)

How the compost bin was built

Going back a step or two I wanted to share the details of building our compost bin.

It was so easy. Of course, I didn't build it :) My husband did ALL the work, so of course it was easy for me!

When we moved into our house there was a lot of STUFF left behind. Lots of trash, lots of really old stuff, but some things that were treasures. I have been able to salvage a few pieces of furniture, which has been great. But also, they left behind a lot of wood. Tommy gathered up the scrap and leftover wood & built our compost 100% out of it.

We had seen some bins like this one and wanted one.

But they're like $200+ at Costco, so we like our free version.

Tommy working hard putting it together. Of course, he really enjoyed it.

This is definitely me taking a picture from inside the house while he was out there working.

The almost-finished product. He stapled the plastic onto the top piece so we don't have to keep the wood pieces on there for hold it on. Classy, we are.

And the inside. Lots of grass clippings and I just dumped a scrumptious pile of coffee grounds, potato peels, strawberry tops. Yum...

Pictures: 1st picture is from http://compostbin.blogspot.com/2009/04/99-costco-compost-tumbler.html
the rest are mine.


Composting... What's it about?

I mentioned yesterday that I would share today about our germinating seeds for the garden. Well, today was super rainy so I couldn't get out and take any pictures. So, we will have to talk about that another, sunny day.

I thought instead I would share more about our composting adventure. We're new to this and trying to learn all we can.

How cute is this little guy??
(found at: http://momgoinggreen.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/greener-future-fridays-composting-101/)

This article has a great explanation of landfills & reinforces why we're composting. While I wish I could say that we are super environmentally conscious people, we are not. We started our compost for other reasons but this article helps us to remember how important it is.

This chart is a great and simple example of what we put in:

(Also found at: http://momgoinggreen.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/greener-future-fridays-composting-101/)

Composting is fun! What a great way to teach kids many lessons too!

Have you tried composting with kids?? If yes, what do they think?


Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes (AKA our Garden)

Can you tell which part of the garden I'm most excited about? :)

We are actually growing many things but I LOVE tomatoes. We've started our garden. We are SO excited for this because we eat so much produce and it couldn't be more fun to grow our own! We are hoping that we will get a decent yield this year, but we're not too expectant of it since it's our first year.

We're lucky in that we have very rich soil. The previous owners of our house had a garden for 20+ years, but it's been about 5 years since they planted anything. The result: rich, rested soil for our excited garden planting souls! :)

The first step to beginning our garden was clearing out all of the old branches and limbs that fell during our incredibly stormy winter. This took about 2 weekends of my husband working constantly!

The branch clearing process. We have preserved forest land at the end of our street, so our neighbor generously let us borrow his awesome wagon to haul branches down there.

Mostly, I love this picture because I think he looks like the kid from Dennis the Menace who is always pulling that wagon. He didn't agree. :)

I don't have any pictures of the tilling process but after he tilled up the land he fenced it off from the dogs. We are going with the taller temporary fencing this year. Maybe next year we'll get something pretty.

Designated rows for each veggie. Placed stakes so we could remember.

Carrots, carrots, lots of carrots!

There she is in all her glory. I'm sure I'll be out there with my magnifying glass (although I don't own one) looking for signs of growth! We're so excited!

Tomorrow I will share about our germinating veggies. It's fun too but I can't wait to get them in the ground!



Cheering Up

What cheers you up after a long day??

This helps do it for me.


We're Composters

We did it!

We took the plunge and are now officially composters. I mean, I don't know what makes it official. But I'd say the fact that I'm carrying "garbage" out back every day and dumping it in a pile of other decomposing material makes it pretty official. The husband built our composting box from wood we had lying around and I have some "during" pictures of that I will post.

This is what our box looks like

More details on what we're learning to come!


Just for Fun

Seriously, these guys are having so much fun, right?? The 2 on the right are mine. So precious.

I've Got Herbs

My herbs...

The short process

(sorry cilantro's sideways)

I love having herbs. This will save us money, is fun, and I love it!

Happy Tuesday


I'm Baaaaacck

I'm sorry for my absence. Life has been crazy lately. My husband was out of town for 2 weeks leaving me to go through my staff relief and first week of peds alone. No big deal there, but add taking care of a house (a blooming one at that!) and 2 puppies and I was swamped! We had a scare early in the week with my grandmother. She went to the hospital, and we weren't sure how long she'd make it. I was preparing to pack up and head down South to see her one last time, but then she made a turn. Looks like she will be put on hospice now, so I am still trying to figure out a time to go spend some quality time with her. We have also had some other health issues going on in my family, and it has been overwhelming as I cannot be with them for the first time in my life.

Anyway, all that to say I have been too overwhelmed and preoccupied to blog. But I am picking up the pace!

Very exciting things happening at our house. I planted herbs!! I'm SOOO excited! I will show you my cute little pots tomorrow. They are going to make such a difference and if I can keep them growing we will be enjoying fresh herbs all summer long!

Also.... we are officially beginning our COMPOST! That's right- we're composters now! The husband built us a box yesterday and we are beginning our mix today. I have plenty of pictures from this process too, so stick around. It will be a fun, spring-filled week here at the BPS!

PS- Got any tips for me on composting? We're newbies!