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Posts Tagged ‘diet’

Mother Connie

 

I have to say that entering the fray in Babble’s Top 100 Food Mom Bloggers started out simply as a way of honoring my friend Mother Connie.  It has since become more about honoring her AND getting people aware of the impact she is making in the lives of the people who visit her Food Stamps Cooking Club Blog.  You see, Connie has always been about helping people be healthy (she teaches ways to eat healthier while on a tight budget) but she also truly loves connecting with people and encouraging them.

Her blog is one of community.  The people who visit there aren’t simply people who get their groceries from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-food stamps)…even though that is the name of the blog.  It is also written for, and contributed to by, people who receive WIC  (Women, Infants, and Children), Angel Food Ministries, Commodities, Farmer’s Market coupons or groceries from local food pantries.  Connie encourages people to participate with their cooking tips, shopping or marketing tips, health information and to ask questions that she or her readers may have an answer to.

All of this is done with the intention of helping people to stretch their food dollars and to shop, prepare and serve the healthiest meals that they can to their families.  Connie not only accomplishes this…she has been an inspiration to many.  For all of those reasons…I ask you to go here to Babble’s Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers and nominate her.  All you have to do is find her on page 1 or 2 and click on the “like” button to vote for her.   Thanks a lot.  Oh, and go visit her blog…and leave her a comment; she loves comments…tell her Write Where You Are sent you!

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I had the honor today of interviewing Connie Baum the inspiration behind the website Food
Stamps Cooking Club
about why her website is growing in numbers and with such a sense of community.  The site was created to teach people how to stretch their food dollars to purchase foods that are filling and nutritious.  To hear the interview click here:  Write Where You Are

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       It appears that since this season of Dancing With The Stars has begun that dancing pro Cheryl Burke has been getting criticized for gaining some weight.  Today on several television programs Cheryl voiced her shock and discomfort with viewers who felt that they had a right to criticize her appearance.  Some of the questions she faced even went so far as to ask if she was several months pregnant.  Other comments were just plain rude and were meant to make her feel bad about her appearance. Her skills were not being questioned…just her appearance.

        Cheryl took off the summer to work on getting her dance studio opened.  While she was off from her normal schedule…she says that she gained about 5 pounds.  Some of the comments that Cheryl heard were very hurtful to her.  She said that the comments online and in tabloids were very in her face and she could not avoid hearing about them.  She said it caused her heartache and made her cry.  When she is on DWTS she is dancing approximately 7 hours a day.  Going without that regular schedule is what caused her to gain the extra pounds.

        Even though Cheryl said that she is comfortable in her own skin and has always been curvy since she hit puberty…those hurtful comments definately affected her.   She said, even with the weight gain..she is still able to fit into her size 4 costumes for the show. 

        I think it is unfortunate that people would feel it necessary to write in to her or about her weight gain.  I think as a society we are becoming conditioned by constant exposure to multi-media venues viewing celebrities and models who are setting a poor example of what is a healthy weight for their bone structure or frame.

         Americans are on a national trend heading towards obesity and that needs to be curbed.  However, we need to educate people not attack them.  Cheryl, as a size 4, is by no means hugely overweight.  As she stated on the television interviews…now that she is back regularily training in her dance routines…she is loosing the weight gain naturally.  She has no intention of going on some radical, unhealthy diet that will appease her critics.  I applaude her for that.  She has a healthy self-esteem and it comes across.

         Shorter stature women, who have the physical characteristic of being short- waisted, tend to show any amount of weight gain quite quickly.  I think, that combined with the television cameras ability to add 10 lbs to a person’s appearance and skimpy costumes that expose many of a womans trouble spots to the camera lense has put an unfair spotlight on Cheryl.  She is a beautiful woman who is talented and active. 

        Those who are quick to judge her, by the weight gain, should take care how they voice their opinion.  None of us would be too willing to trade places with her and be the person who is being judged.  There are few of us who would wish someone we care about to be judged by this same harsh standard.  What kind of an impact does it have on our young people to pick at someone’s appearance because they have gained a minimal amount of weight?  We have far too many people who struggle around the world with their body image; and because of that, they often develop eating disorders such as bulimia/anorexia.  This is a very serious blackmark on our culture.  Do you think it is fair for people to publically chastize Cheryl for her weight gain?  Has someone else’s opinion of you negatively impacted your self-esteem?

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        Oprah has been doing an “experiment”…she has been following a vegan diet for 21 days to increase her spiritual awareness of food.  The experiment was induced by author Kathy Feston of the book, Quantam Wellness.  The diet puts into practice the removal of alcohol, animal products, gluten, and sugar and caffeine from a person’s daily meals and snacks.  (more…)

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        I don’t know who this is for…but, i felt compelled to write it today.  If you are struggling to accomplish a goal…and are climbing your way to the top; and, you think you are almost there, as you breech the clear white peak of the hill, expecting the celebration of your victory, only to find another hill; that adversity can cause you to stop, dead in your tracks… to give up. 

         Don’t do it; find another way to make it happen.  What did I say and why did I say that?  Don’t take the time to wallow in your disappointments…it is a waste of time and energy.  You will only succeed in making yourself more miserable.  Instead, pick yourself up off of the rocky ground where you threw yourself in a dramatic heap and consider whether it is better to backtrack down that slippery slope; or, better to climb the next hill and fully expect to find your victory.

        If the goal that you are trying to achieve is a positive one…give it another shot…dig in with courage; and, focus your determination on meeting that goal.  If you discover  upon some healthy self-reflection that your goal is rooted in negativity…give it some thought …maybe you can redirect the goal into a positive direction.

        Sometimes, we give up just short of accomplishing our goals, only to find out that what looked like a mountain range of barriers, was simply, just another set of small hills.  There are times when you just need to look at the issue again from a different perspective.

          Take a deep breath, surround yourself with positive, encouraging people, get some balance in your diet and your lifestyle; go to sleep and wake up to a new day and a new mind set…begin anew…notice the pastel sunrise; feel the crisp morning air as you take the first step of the day. 

           This time around, find ways to enjoy the beauty of the journey along the way.  You will be surprised how much easier your struggles become when you find beauty and gratitude in your climb to the top of the hill. 

           You can do it; whatever you set your mind up to do.  If you set your mind on giving up… and failure is your goal, that is easily accomplished too.  Hang in there just a little while longer; you will be glad that you did…the reward for all of your hard work is waiting to greet you!

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      I am going to attempt to describe for you a temptation that is beyond my control.  Ok…i know i am not supposed to crave this thing…but, what can i say…i have such a wonderful imagination that i can actually see, smell, and actually, almost taste it.  What is this creation of temptation…why, it is cheesecake of course!

        Now, although cheesecake made from a box mixture is good (darn good most of the time); it is nothing compared to the costly, made from scratch with real, fat provoking ingredients.

        When you make cheesecake…you can do the right thing health-wise and use healthier ingredients such as fat free cream cheese and the yolk free eggs; but, really and truly…if you are going to cross the line and have cheesecake anyway…don’t you want to go all of the way and truly indulge in the full out sinfully good dessert?  I know I do.

       Real cheesecake made with the full fat cream cheese is a rich textured dessert.  It is heavy and creamy with just a touch of a tangy taste.  It is sweet; and slowly, melts in your mouth if you take the time to truly savor it’s richness.  I have to admit…there are degrees of goodness when you enjoy the temptation of such a fine dessert.

       I am diplomatic of course…i love them all.  Whether it be a lemon twist, plain cheesecake; or, covering the tartness of that, with a full out sweet fruit glaze such as strawberry or blueberry you can’t go wrong.  However, if you really want to feel guilty; i suggest something more exotic.

         I personally, think you should commit totally to your decision to cross the line of healthy eating and, just go for the gusto.  Choose a decadent chocolate cheesecake on a dark chocolate oreo base. Maybe add some fresh strawberries or cherries.  Add a couple of shaved, chocolate candy curls for decoration purposes only (who are we fooling?).  

        Drizzle some topping, the kind meant for those choosing to wallow in syrupy goodness, such as caramel or a rich, chocolate fudge syrup to form a pool around the base of the wedge of cheesecake; it makes it look like Martha Stewart is serving it.   Don’t cheat yourself and slice a skinny wedge…you KNOW you will just go back and have seconds if you DO; don’t ya?  🙂   That would make you look a little greedy…plus, this way…there is more than enough to leave a small portion on your plate; giving the illusion that you just couldn’t POSSIBLY eat it all….you know like the skinny model type women do when they go out to eat together!  🙂  It’ll be our little secret, LOL

        At this point, you have gone three quarters of the way into your decision to depart from a sensible diet.  If you are going to feel guilty anyway…why not take it to the limit?  Dig out the whipped cream and some cashews or peanuts  (if you want to claim a healthier nut additon…choose almonds or walnuts) and sprinkle them on top of your creation.  Congratulations…you have created a temptation worth diving into!  You might just be willing to give up a meal for this creation, don’t ya think?

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