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Eating Slowly

Posted by Granny1952 Friday, June 26, 2009 1 comments

Most of us can finish a meal in 15 minutes. That is hardly enough time for the signals from the stomach to get to the brain which let us know we are full and should stop eating.

Remember when we were told to take time chewing and make your meal last 30 minutes? Somehow, in our fast food world, we have changed that to eat for 30 minutes; doing that we can consume twice as many calories as we need.

Tips on how to eat slowly:
1. Set your fork/spoon down between each bite.
2. Chew your food slowly and completely before swallowing.
3. Sit at a dinner table; be conscious of what you are eating.
4. Don’t eat at your desk while working
5. Don’t read a book or watch TV while eating
6. Drink water with your meals, try taking a sip of water between bites
7. Eat your courses one at a time.

Try for your next dinner, using a smaller plate and fill it with the following principle: ½ fruit and veggies, ¼ low fat proteins, ¼ carbs i.e. whole grains. Half way through your plate of food, think about the taste. By being aware of what you are eating, you will enjoy the meal and the flavors of your food, plus you will eat more slowly.

How Does Your Garden Grow

Posted by Granny1952 Monday, June 22, 2009 0 comments

To have a garden is a wonderful experience. There is nothing better than a tomato fresh off the vine. But as all good things, there is work involved.

First you need to prepare your garden spot. Till the ground, weed it, add nutrients if needed.

Second, choose your plants. What will you and your family eat the most? There is such a wide variety of plants to choose from depending on your region, knowing which one will grow the best is usually on the package.

After you plant, there is the care of the garden. Watering and of course, the weeding. Keeping all the plants healthy from bugs, mites etc…. can be a chore.

Several ways to help cut down on the work is:
 Use landscaping tarp – you can lay it down first and then poke holes for the plants or If you have already planted – lay it down in between the rows.
 Use Cardboard – flatten the cardboard down in between the rows. This will also provide some mulch as the cardboard gets wet; some of it can be worked into the ground at the end of the season.
 Watering – if you have to pay for water, use soaker hoses, or water in the late evening. By watering in the late evening, there is less evaporation and the plants won’t get burnt from the sun.
 Buy or make cages for your tomato plants. Help them stay sturdy and upright. And your beans will need poles to grow up onto; your squash may need room for the vines to stretch out lengthwise.
 Buy ladybugs for your backyard. They will help your plants stay healthy.
 Don’t scare away the bees. They are needed for pollination of your plants. If you get a lot of bees, then plant as far away from the house as possible.
 Make raised garden beds for items like strawberries.

Then the fun part begins, checking the produce to see if it is ripe enough to pick off the vine. Plus you can trading produce with friends, maybe you have extra tomatoes and they have extra cucumbers. If you like to make jam, or can or freeze your fruit and vegetables then you can enjoy them throughout the winter months as well. There are many canning books at the library to assist you in getting the most out of your harvest.

Replacements Meals

Posted by Granny1952 Thursday, June 18, 2009 0 comments

What is a ‘replacement’ meal? Fast food is a ‘replacement’ meal for a good homemade meal. Most fast foods do not contain many nutrients or good fats we need to stay healthy.

A fast homemade meal can be healthy as well as not time consuming. For example, a protein shake can be good tasting, nutritious and as fast as your blender will make it. The taste of your smoothie will depend on the quality of your protein powder.

To make a BANANA CREAM PIE SMOOTHIE: 1 serving high quality Vanilla Protein Powder, 8 ounces Skim or Soy Milk, ½ Banana, ¼ tsp Almond Extract, ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract, 1 Tbsp Instant Banana Pudding Mix and 1 cup of Ice. Place all in your blender and blend until smooth. This will make about 16 ounces of a very nutrition tasty and filling smoothie.

If you a chocolate lover make a SNICKERS ON THE ROCKS: 1 serving high quality Chocolate Protein Powder, 8 ounces Skim or Soy Milk, 1 tsp Cocoa, 1 tsp Peanut Butter, and 1 cup of Ice. Place all in your blender and blend until smooth. This will also make about 16 ounces of a great tasting nutritious smoothie.

Add strawberries, frozen cherries, just about any favorite fruit. Match the fruit up with instant pudding to make a thicker pie like smoothie. Our family has come up with about 200 recipes and yes, we have 2 blenders going almost every morning. They also make a good afternoon snack. Use your imagination and start your own fast food tradition.

1. Park at end of grocery parking lot instead of the closest parking spot
2. Hide the remote to the TV, manually turn your Channels or adjust the volume
3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
4. Walk in place when watching television or listening to music
5. Walk down the hallway at work instead of sending an email
6. Vacuum your floors
7. Have dinner served as a buffet, keep it in the kitchen; walk back into the kitchen to replenish your plate (this will also make you choose if you want a second helping)
8. If you smoke, keep your pack of cigarettes in your coat pocket hanging in the coat closet (also will make your smoking a conscious act)
9. Take the kids for a walk, better yet, make it a family outing
10. Use a walking video or go to and check out the variety of free workout videos to use. Also has videos available.
Our bodies are made to move. Walking is easy on your joints, helps with muscle, weight loss, and your general health. Walking has been known to help with some forms of depression. Make a challenge with your self – see how many days this week you can get in your 10,000 steps.

Best Friends

Posted by Granny1952 Sunday, June 14, 2009 1 comments

Best friends are special people in our lives. They usually know everything about you. My best friend can finish my sentence for me, she knows me that well. We have helped each other through marriage, divorce, illness, raising our kids, death. No one knows me like her. No one can talk to me like she can. I can take her constructive criticism, because I know without a doubt, it is with love.

Our friendship started when we were babies. Our parents were close friends. We maintained our friendship even when she moved away with her family. We spent summers together; wrote letters to each other. In those days, telephoning each other was not an option.

As adults, we were each other’s rocks. Her strengths were my weaknesses. My strengths were her weaknesses. When we were young, we protected each other. Double dates were the norm. Together we sized up our dates.

My daughters called her “aunt” and her children called me “aunt”. They still do. Then her youngest daughter married one of my cousins. It was like making the title of “aunt” official. Yes, I realize it really made us cousins by marriage but family is not always by blood.

Did we fight? Of course. Did we get over it and continue our friendship? Of course. Did we always agree? No! But we stuck by each other through thick and thin.

I have had many close friends and acquaintances in my life. Some I have known for most of my life, or at least, a long time. But, there is something special about having a best friend who knows me better than I know myself. I hope everyone has a best friend in their life as fine as my best friend.

Table Manners

Posted by Granny1952 Thursday, June 11, 2009 0 comments

As I was growing up, table manners were very important in our household. Etiquette was taught in the schools as well as at home. Everyone thought they were essential; they were evidence of good upbringing.

We were told to wash our hands, keep our elbows off the table, chew your food well, don’t talk with food in your mouth. My Mom also had a rule about wearing shirts to the table. Even when it was hot outside and my brothers came in from playing outside, clean shirts were put on as they washed their hands.

Chewing our food well turns out to be good for the health. The more you chew your food, the easier it is for your digestive system. Also it helps your weight, because as you chew the food well, the brain has a chance to tell you when you are full.

Does being casual mean we sacrifice the manners? Set a nice table, put on a tablecloth, everyone sitting around the table. Sit up straight, pass everything to the left, and enjoy a family meal. Showing class does not cost anything and gives a lot to your self esteem.

June Weddings

Posted by Granny1952 Wednesday, June 10, 2009 0 comments

Many a bride looks forward to being a June Bride. The months of preparation must begin almost a year ahead of the big day. Many details must be dealt with. After the big proposal, the place to have the wedding is chosen. Once the location has been secured, then flowers are ordered, invitation selected, food menu planned, guest list created, so much to do.

Many think that a white gown is a symbol of virginity, purity. But the original symbolism of white had to do with joy, not abstinence. In Japan, white is for mourning and the brides wore it to show that with their marriage they are “dead to their parents”. During the American Revolution, red was popular – it stood for rebellion.

There are many traditions associated with weddings. Including catching the bridal bouquet, catch it and you are to be the next one getting married. Girls used to jump and hope they would be the one to catch the array of flowers. Then the vehicle that the newlyweds leave in is decorated. The fun of decorating with shaving cream, balloon stuffed inside, and bungee cords hooked to each of the doors. The newlyweds try to sneak away, but alas the tin cans give them away and the chase begins. Everyone jumps in their cars to follow, honking the horns and letting everyone know that the bride and groom are on their way to begin the life they have dreamed of, a new beginning with a promise of things to come.


Posted by Granny1952 2 comments

The Indians believed that there were demons inside each kernel that made it pop. In reality it is water that makes it explode into a white puff of edible food. Each kernel is about 14 percent water. When it gets heated to 400 degrees F, the water turns to steam and the grain turns to popcorn. Kernels that don’t pop have been called “spinsters”.

What is a good movie without a container of popcorn? But watch out, a medium tub of theater style could be 900 calories! A tub of the air popped kind can be much less.

The most popular type of popcorn kernels in the USA is yellow and white. You can “pop” it in an air popper, in a skillet with oil, microwave, with our without butter; little or a lot of salt. Remember Cracker Jacks? Caramel covered popcorn and peanuts with a little hidden toy at the bottom. During the holidays the stores have decorative tins filled with popcorn: cheese, butter and caramel.

Many family gatherings have turned into games with a bowl of popcorn. Bowls of popcorn sit on the table for the kids to snack on after school. Popcorn balls are made for Halloween.

Not only can popcorn be a healthy snack, it can be tasty, make you feel full and satisfy that urge …. So go put in a movie, curl up and enjoy yourself with a bowl of your favorite popcorn.

Football Season

Posted by Granny1952 Sunday, June 7, 2009 3 comments

The football season is almost upon us again. Before we know it, the pre season games will be starting. Injury lists are watched. On-line stats are examined. Team schedules are look over. Fantasy football teams are created. Bets are placed.

Sunday mornings, rushing home after service is over to see the 4th quarter. Thank goodness there is more than one game on for the day. The stores stock up on chips, pretzel, pop and beer. Finger food is a priority on the grocery list.

Friends, they come over if they are a football fan. If not, they soon learn Sundays are not a good time to visit. There is a sign on the wall that says “This marriage is interrupted for the football season”. Don’t jump to the conclusion that it is the husband who is watching the game! When the favorite team comes out onto the field dressed in green and blue, the blood gets pumping, the kids disappear, and the husband sighs, another day as a football widower. Then he remembers tomorrow is Monday – more football!

Our Home

Posted by Granny1952 1 comments

Our home is a home. Not just a house. We have 4 generations with the age span of 77years to 10 years old.

It all started a couple of years ago. I am raising 3 grandchildren. My daughter was going to college, plus working so her daughter was often with us as well, so that made 4 grandchildren. Then my daughter and I decided to make a home together. I put my house up for sale and started looking for another home that would be large enough for the 6 of us.

The house sold in record time. My Mom said come, stay with me while your Dad is in the Philippines; give yourself more time to find the house you want. Ten days after we all temporarily moved in, my Mom past away in her sleep.

The days that followed to get my Dad home and the funeral that took place were crazy. Then my Dad said he did not want to live alone and ask all 6 of us to make it a permanent stay. Plans to put an addition followed. That in itself is a story. The paperwork just to get permits etc… finally a year later, the addition was finished.

So now, almost 3 years later, we have settled into a routine. The children have benefited by the presence of always having an adult around. Dad has great grandchildren around to help him through his grief. We had each other to lean on to come to terms with our loss. And the children grew; the oldest one just graduating high school.

Most days are great. Of course, there are also rough days. Getting private time can be a challenge. Mealtimes can be hectic. Mornings are busy with everyone getting ready for work, school. Our grocery cart has raised a few eyebrows. Buy a dozen of eggs? I don’t think so…we buy in the crate of 5 dozen!

Would I change it? Not on your life. Hugs, Love, Laughter, Yelling, Crying, and more Love are elements constantly going on in these walls. There is never a dull moment at our home.


Posted by Granny1952 Wednesday, June 3, 2009 0 comments

The knowledge contained in books is unlimited. Finding a book to read for pleasure is a given. There are mysteries, comedy, tragedy, horror, romance, sci-fi and many more types of books to choose from.

Having a library card is such a privilege and in most areas, Free. Getting lost looking through the many authors can be a wonderful adventure. Today libraries offer much more than hardcover books. Computers are available for research papers, checking your email, creating and printing your documents. Then there are the movies that can be checked out.

There is something for everyone. Take your family, sit and read while the children find a book or go to story hour. Relax and get wrapped up in a saga of how the west was won with a western. If the library does not have a specific book you are looking for, see if it can be obtained from another library. You can even order a book over the internet from the comfort of your own home.

By taking your family to the library, you also set a good example. They see you looking for a book, sitting and enjoying what is between the covers. It is such a pleasure to curl up with a book, read it out loud to your children. Give them the world of The Five Little Peppers and how they grew or Heidi. Passing on the love of reading is special. Sometimes the best thing in life is truly free.


Posted by Granny1952 0 comments

The average American does not drink enough water a day to keep the body hydrated. Approximately 75% of people in the USA have mild, chronic dehydration. Of those, 37% have such weak thirst mechanism that they often mistake hunger for thirst.

Our bodies are made up of 60-70% water. Most of our brain is water. It is necessary for digestion, absorption of food, muscle tone, supplies oxygen and nutrients to the cells. It also helps eliminate body waste and acts as a natural temperature control, and helps maintain a healthy weight. The rule of thumb is the more salt you eat, the more water you need.

Water also helps reduce risk of colon and bladder cancer and it may help with the reduction of breast cancer, and coronary heart disease. Fatigue is often triggered by dehydration.

How much water does a person need a day? Take your weight, divide it in half and that is how many ounces a day an average person needs. If you work out, you need to replace the sweat with water. For every 30 minutes of workout, drink 16 ounces of water. It is best to drink at least 2 cups of water several hours before and another cup 10-20 minutes just before you start your exercise.

Watch for signs of dehydration. Muscle cramps, feeling light headed or faint, fuzzy memory, difficulty in focusing, and nausea are a few symptoms. Try a glass of water and see if the symptoms improve, but don’t guzzle a glass all at once.

If you are having trouble drinking water, look for ways to help. Add a drink that has no caffeine, has the essential electrolytes and no sugar or sugar substitutes. Also, try herbal teas. Add a slice of lemon to your water. Have a glass of water around you all the time and just take a few sips now and again. Take a water bottle with you when you are in the car.

Bottom line, water is as important as eating right and exercising. Plain, pure water is one of the cheapest methods of helping your mental and physical health.

To Color Your Hair or Go Natural

Posted by Granny1952 Tuesday, June 2, 2009 0 comments

What do you notice first about someone when your first meet them? Hair? Eyes? Smile?. The hair is one of the easiest feature we can change easily, and relatively inexpensive.

Is it vanity or self care to color out the gray or silver? Maybe your job position is the reason for the decision. Your spouse may be a big influence. Or it could be sibling rivalry. Perhaps it is just that everyone in your family does it and you follow tradition without even thinking about the “why”.

No matter what the reason, it may make a person feel better about them self. Boost their confidence. The mirror is easier to look into. Your energy level increases. The colored hair creates the illusion that time has not marched on. You look and feel younger.

The other side of the coin is that once you start coloring the hair, you have to keep it up or you get the “gray roots”. Every 6 - 8 weeks the hair dye must be administered.

But if a person never starts covering up the gray or silver in their hair, no such routine has to be kept up. A person accepts their natural age process. The confidence comes from a different source. Instead of coloring the hair, a new haircut is done.

No matter what decision we make, to color or not to color, we like to look nice. Feel good about ourselves. New hairdo, new hair color, whatever it is, we like to impress those we meet for the first time.


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