Monthly Archives: July 2011

Healthy tips from a consumer just like you.

I’m so excited to have a guest blogger this week.  One of my dearest friends, Cindy Sorenson. Cindy’s passion of cooking and experimenting in the kitchen lead her to earn her Bachelors Degree from Bastyr University in Nutrition/Dietetics. She has been teaching and volunteering with the PCC Cooks program for the past four years. Since becoming registered as a dietitian she has been working at Bayview Retirement Community as the staff dietitian. She also is beginning her second year serving on the Greater Seattle Dietetic Association (GSDA) board as the Public Relations Co-chair. For more information, please visit Cindy’s website.

Healthy tips from a consumer just like you.
By: Cindy Sorensen, R.D.

1. Don’t Trust Labels
Labels have a lot of “claims”. Remember to be smart and read ingredient
lists and nutrition facts!

2. Learn what adds flavor without adding calories, fat or sodium
My trick is adding lemon juice or vinegar to almost anything I cook.
Scientifically it enhances the salty/savory flavor of the food! Also, don’t be
shy adding spices and herbs to anything.

3. Sweeten Food items yourself
Go ahead, buy the yogurt that you love, just buy the plain version and
add your own fruit and a little honey. Or buy plain popcorn and drizzle
it with honey to satisfy your sweet tooth.

4. Roast Vegetables
When you roast vegetables you cook them at high temp in oven (at least
400), it allow the natural sugars to caramelize and the veggie tastes
delicious without having to add much to it!

5. Buy Frozen, not Canned
Canned vegetables and fruit have high levels of sodium and sweeteners to
preserve them.  Frozen produce usually do not have added preservatives
and have a higher nutritional value.

6. Avoid frozen or pre-made dinners
Even though those healthy choice dinners are low in fat, be careful of higher
sodium and/or sugar levels.

7. Limit Juices and blended beverages
The smoothies and blended coffees often have a lot of sugar and calories.
Most have ice cream or frozen yogurt added to them!  Whenever you
can, eat fruit instead of drinking the juice.

8. Increase fiber in diet
Whenever possible eat food in its most whole form. You will get the most
nutrition and feel more satisfied! Also, switching to whole grains will
add some fiber, among other things!

9. Drink more water
Optimally, you should drink 8 glasses per day. But, to be most effective
bring a water bottle with you EVERYWHERE and refill and refill!! We
need water to function! We don’t have reserves.

10.  Eat Slowly
Honestly, it’s easier said than done! But if you simply chew thoroughly
more nutrition is absorbed! Also, try to wait 20 minutes after eating
before getting dessert or another snack. If you still are hungry have a
glass of water… and if your still hungry try sharing a dessert!

Setting goals is the easy part.

I love a good goal.  I’m all about goals.  In fact, I used to make goal posters and jot down when a goal had been achieved.  Setting goals can be fun and, most of the time, coming up with a goal is the easy part.  Reaching a goal is where it starts to get tricky.

Everyone has heard the expression, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  That’s kind of how I feel when I set a goal.  But when reality sets in and it’s time to start or reach that goal, it can be a little overwhelming. I’ve learned on the “road to hell” that setting a goal should be simple and fairly easy to achieve. Something like, oh I don’t know, blogging everyday for 25 days may be a bit extreme.  Like I said before, a goal should be something that you can see through, from beginning to end.

I was asked in a job interview this week to give an example of a goal that I set for myself and was able to complete.  Sadly, in my 36 years of life, I could only think of one example.  The goals I tend to set for myself seem to be a somewhat overwhelming.  Too good to be true, even.

Let this be a lesson to me.  A goal worth setting should be a goal worth completing.  If I think, even for a moment, that it might be too big, it probably is.  It should be something that can be achieved a day, a week, or a month at a time.  Set your eyes on the prize, just make sure it’s something you can see.

I don’t like debates, but this baby has me fired up!

In fact, I really hate debating.  Political, family, whatever.  I will probably end up deleting this post after a while because I’m sure there will be plenty of people who disagree with me.  But something came up today that has really put a fire under me.  It’s the new to America Breastfeeding Baby.

Bebe Gloton, meaning "gluttonous baby," makes sucking noises as it feeds.

The point of this doll is to show little girls that breastfeeding is natural.  I’m totally OK with breastfeeding, by the way.  Breastfeeding is natural.  It’s why we women are made the way we are.  I breastfed all 4 of my children, each a little longer than the previous.  I have nothing against breastfeeding or letting kids realize that there is nothing wrong with it if that’s the road they choose to go down.

Here’s one of my problems:  what if a little boy wants a doll like this for himself?  I don’t have a problem with boys playing with dolls.  When we had our third child, we gave dolls to both of our older kids, and he still has it.  But a doll like this creates huge issues for boys.  Why?

Because there is nothing natural about a boy wanting to breastfeed.  Boys don’t have breasts.  Boys don’t have milk ducts.  They were not created to breastfeed babies.  By letting little boy plays with a doll like this and think that it is totally “natural,” parents can create huge gender confusion issues and mess up their sons.  It’s just wrong.

Doll play is fun.  When I was a little girl I used to love dolls that went potty or burped or chewed their food.  Those are all things that real babies do.  In fact, I probably wouldn’t have such issue with this doll if it came with a bottle.  Because not all babies are breastfed.  And that’s something the doll makers seem to forget.

It can be traumatizing on a new mom when she knows that’s how she wants to take care of her newborn but can’t.  Someone very close to me went through severe depression because she wasn’t able to breastfeed.  A doll like this can easily have negative effects on a mommy-to-be if she learns early on that this is the only way to raise a baby–and then is unable to herself.

In my opinion, this toy takes the fun out of role-playing and brings up adult issues.  For boys and girls.  Breastfeeding is a choice.  I have met many moms that have chosen not to breastfeed.  Some by choice.  Some by physical limitations.  But a doll like this gives the idea that you must–are required–to breastfeed.

Let’s not make our daughter’s (or sons) future choices for them.  Let’s just agree that dolls are for fun and not bring our adult issues into the mix.

Quinley Jean

One of my best friends just had her baby!  I’m so excited that I could just scream!  Of course I won’t do that because that would be really scary to a newborn.  But it has brought up so many emotions that I felt when my kiddos were newborns.

For example, the smell.  I wish someone could come up with a way to bottle that newborn baby smell.  I’m not sure what it is, but it is like a drug to me.  And what about those sounds?  Lip smacking and grunting sounds so cute when it comes out of a precious little one day old.

But it also makes me think of the days when my babies were more than the world to me.  When I thought they could do no wrong.  When just looking at them made me cry with joy.  And why does time make those things fade?

Well, it doesn’t fade.  It just changes.  Looking back at how I treated my kids when they were newborns makes me appreciate them more now.  I used to imagine who they would be in 1, 5, 10 years down the road.  Now I love them more for who they have become.  For the young adults that they will be.  I used to think that I couldn’t love them more than the first time I saw them.  Now I know that I love them more as each day passes.

Liz, I know you do and will feel the same love for Quin!  You were born to be a mommy and I’m so thankful that Quinley Jean is in our lives!  I can’t wait to see the girl that she becomes and the mom that you have been for a long time.  Love you both!

Me and Liz on a girl's weekend to LA in 2008. August was in my tummy. So glad my friends can share in a mommy's love!

Winnie the Pooh

2 months ago I had the privilege of being chosen by Disney as one of 16 women of influence from around the country to preview the new Winnie the Pooh movie.  When I received the email in mid-May, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be wined and dined by Disney? We were put up in a 4-star hotel, fed catered meals, driven around in limos, and met with Disney animators and legends.  It was definitely an experience that will live in my mind forever.  But one of the best parts of my 3-day adventure was getting to preview the new Winnie the Pooh movie.

I have never been a huge Winnie the Pooh fan, so when news came out that a new “Pooh” movie was being released, my first thought was, “Great, another Disney ‘remake.'”  Luckily, I was thoroughly put in my place when I saw Pooh and his friends come to life on the big screen.  This is not another Disney remake.  It’s a whole new story with JUST the original Pooh characters.  It is unlike the original movie in that it is fast-paced, funny, witty, and with more “grown-up” humor than the first.  In fact when the movie ended, I was surprised and a little disappointed that it seemed over so quickly.

With music done by Zooey Deschanel, this new Winnie the Pooh adventure is one that you and your kiddos will not want to miss!  Go see it and give me your thoughts!  I would LOVE to hear them!

In the world of technology, I am dumb.

I really have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to pretty much any kind of technology.  Computers, ipods, cell phones.  You name it, I need a tutorial.  This becomes more and more apparent to me as my 10 and 12 year olds continue to surpass my knowledge in the technological world.

Everything in our house is run on our computer or some other kind of electronic system.  99% of our phone calls are made from our cell phones.  We stream TV on our Xbox.  We watch movies on our apple TV.  Luckily my husband is quite savvy when it comes to technology, otherwise I would probably still be using my VHS and cordless phone.

I tried to make a simple monthly calendar last week on my mac.  Macs are supposed to be for people like me.  Easy and basic.  The calendar is still sitting on my dashboard thingy waiting to be made because I couldn’t figure out, to save my life, how to insert a picture.  Laugh if you must.  I am aware that I am incapable.

In high school I took a typing class.  I mastered the type writer.  I could type faster than anyone in my class.  This last school year, my 6th grader mastered how to do power point presentations and spread sheets.  Things are not as simple as they were 2 decades ago.  Or maybe they are.

Maybe I just need to get on the techno-bandwagon and try to do something more than email and facebook.  Or maybe I can just keep things how they are and let my 2 year old update my blog for me once a year.  Because I’m pretty sure he’ll learn faster than me.

Honor your father and mother. And your brother and sister.

I’m sure our family is like most families.  Our kids get along great at times and not so great at other times.  Sometimes it feels like the not so great out-weighs the great.  Especially during the summer when we’re all together all the time.  So what does a parent do to maintain peace in the house?

Autumn, Audrey, and Austen all snuggled up in 2008 right after August was born.

Last year my children’s pastor husband came up with a great idea.  We call it the honor chart.  They each earn points during the day for either being honorable or dishonorable.  The goal is not for them to treat each other with “normalcy,” but with honor.  There are a number of ways that they can earn honor marks.  Offering to do someone’s chore.  Offering to help one of the younger kids with something.  Doing something cheerfully and right away when they are asked by an adult.  If they get 5 honor marks in a day then they earn something the next day.  My favorite was when my 10-year-old, Austen, wanted to use his honor marks by snuggling with my for 30 minutes before bed.  But it usually has something to do with extra X-box time or an extra TV show (they only get a 1/2 hour of each).

On the flip side, they can also earn dishonor marks.  This happens, obviously, if they are dishonorable to each other.  Arguing, yelling, short tempers.  If they earn 5 dishonor marks in a day, then they lose something the next day.

The goal is for them to earn 5 honor marks each day for a week for an ultimate prize.  So far only one of them has earned this all summer.  Austen chose to use his honor week by going to Shnoo yogurt with his dad.  Of course, Duane didn’t mind either.

Here’s what we’ve found by using an honor chart:  they will go above and beyond being nice and decent to each other.  They are happy to show honor to one another and to us.  We originally started doing this for the older 3 kids (5 1/2, 10 1/2, and 12), but August (2 1/2) has joined the honor bandwagon, too!  If he is helpful with his brother and sisters he gets an honor mark.  But the best thing about that is watching him react when he finds out he earned one.  Jumping, clapping, and cheering are among his rituals for behaving more than kindly to his siblings.

I guess the big idea is that we want our children to be more than nice to each other, to their friends, and to us.  Treat each other with honor and your rewards are more than Shnoo.  More than game time.  The rewards are peace and harmony in the house all based on biblical teachings.  Good habits are starting to be realized which brings joy to this mommy’s heart.  And that is the best reward for me!