Live Create Believe

Just another awesome site!

Healthy Meals Do Not Have to Be Fancy, Nor Do Your Dishes

20130827_122703

 

One of the major complaints when it comes to feeding a family healthy food is that it’s too expensive and too complicated. If you create a menu plan and stick with it, looking for sales and buying in bulk when needed, you can cut the costs dramatically. I can feed a family of 2 on $50 or less a week and that’s mostly organic food. Create a menu plan, shop sales, price shop at the local stores, farmers markets and bulk stores, and keep foods simple.

We like rice as a base for a lot of meals. I know the paleo folks don’t think we should eat any grains, but for our family I disagree. Healthy grains are a good way to help keep food costs down and to keep meals filling. Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, cous cous, and so many others are examples of healthy grains. When you shop for them, compare prices between the packaged variety and the bulk variety. Sometimes ones is much cheaper than the other. We like to stock up on organic oats when they are on sale because I can use them in so many things.

In the meal above, which was made for lunch today, I simply cooked one cup of organic brown rice for the main part of our meal. I added some grass fed organic butter to it, not a lot but enough to add some flavor and the goodness of grass fed butter, and a little bit of Bolivian Rose salt. I am trying out new varieties of natural salt, not the iodized and processed stuff you see in most stores. Look for sea salt – it is a lot better for you and contains so many wonderful minerals. On top of the rice are cooked squash, corn and peas, all of which are organic. I added a little bit more salt on top of them and the meal was done. Simple, delicious and filling!

On the same level, your dishes do not need to be super expensive or fancy either. I believe in paying more when it comes to quality – if needed. I am not going to pay $100 for a set of dishes. They get eaten off of, chipped and broken. I do not see that as a good use of that much money. I look for nice dishes that are durable and low cost. The awesome bowls I got in the picture were only $1 each! I love them because they are wide and the sides are lower, so they hold more food and it’s easier to stir food in them.

In the past I purchased pretty drinking glasses that were clear with gold around the rim – very fancy looking! However, the glass was super thin and almost all of them broke. With the set we have now I looked for drinking glasses with thicker glass but that still looked nice. When shopping for dishes those are the kind of things to look for and consider. The important thing is to find good quality that looks nice without going broke over it. Thrift stores, discount stores and dollar stores are good places to look for dishes that will save your wallet.

Good company, presentation and the heart put into the meal are the things that truly matter. Good food will be good in any dish. My bowls are not fancy by any means but I adore them! I love how little they cost and how great they work for our meals. They are a great solution that I will be happy with for a long time. Make sure when you purchase dishes that you will be happy with the purchase in the future and that you won’t end up regretting what you spent.

Advertisements
Leave a comment »

Are Explicit TV Ads For Primetime Shows Appropriate During Morning Shows?

wordpress graphic explicit tv ads

Today I got on Facebook and saw this post: Morning Sex? (warning: graphic image). What an eye catching title! This was shared by a blog that I enjoy so I decided to take a look. What a hornets next this post stirred up! The woman writing it has two children, one of which was up with her in the morning when she was watching morning shows on ABC. During a commercial an image of a naked man on top of a woman comes on the screen – at 8am! And in front of her child.

She was disturbed by the fact that such explicit previews and ads are being shown early in the morning, and with good reason in my opinion. Plenty of folks commented on it telling her she was overreacting, or spewing out judgements, many of which weren’t even close to applying. As with any semi-controversial opinion, there will always be people who agree and people who disagree. That is just par for the course.

One of the comments that caught my eye was, “It is no coincidence that the decline in American morality directly parallels the upswing in broadcast television. Most homes in 1955 did not have a TV set. When they started to get them we also saw the beginning of the decline in morality. Freedom of the press was intended to apply to the news media, not the entertainment industry. Unfortunately our Supreme Court has lost sight of the intent, and (along with other issues) has placed itself in Congress’ shoes and become a legislative body. Until we straighten out our government, things like this will continue to plague us.”

We’ve all seen the decline in morality on TV and in movies. What used to be rated R is now allowed in PG-13. Sometimes it feels like what was rated adult is now allowed in R! It is a very concerning issue for those of us who care what we watch and are exposed to. It is an extremely concerning issue for those  of us who care what our children watch and are exposed to! TV channels are glorifying extramarital affairs on an hourly basis. And now they are boasting shows where women are the ones having the affairs and seeking them out. People are sleeping with people just for the heck of it, or to hurt, bribe, control and manipulate others. The characters portrayed have no respect for themselves or others. And they have no respect for sex.

So where is the line drawn? Is it even a line at all? Or is it just a big squiggle that moves where people manipulate it as they see fit?? And the more important question is where do we draw our  own personal lines? And what do we do about it once we set it? How do we stick with personal decisions when the TV stations are pushing the line whenever they can?

Some answers would be to go with TV altogether. I know this is not for many people, but there are those who swear by living TV free. If you think this is something you can pull off – go for it! Take a month and do not use your TV at all. If it is a struggle you might want to look for other options. If your TV just collects dust the entire month you can decide if you want to go without it for good. Another idea if you can’t go TV free completely is to not use it to watch cable, satellite or broadcast but just use it for DVDs. This solution puts you completely in control of what you see on the screen. You pick out the movies your family will watch and that is the limit. A similar solution is to use a streaming program like Netflix or Amazon Prime on your TV. Again, you are in the drivers seat so you decide what you see.

Another possibility is to limit the channels you have programmed to ones you feel comfortable with. You can choose what channels you want to allow in your home. This won’t prevent you from manually pressing in the buttons for other channels, but it is a way to help limit what you see. Another possible option is to buy a device that skips commercials for you. I’m not sure how many there are or how much they cost, but it’s worth looking  into if you want to keep watching TV but want to avoid any possible explicit commercials that might pop up.

For our family, we haven’t come to a decision yet. Right now we are using Netflix, Amazon Prime streaming, Redbox and PBS. I am now questioning if the few shows I enjoy watching are worth watching anymore. All the people in them are sleeping around. They change partners like I change shoes. So is the plot in between all the sleeping around worth it?? I honestly don’t know. I am a big fan of detective shows and the few I watch are pretty tame compared to some. I love a good mystery and a good fictional crime. I don’t love the promiscuity. What to do, what to do?

I don’t have an answer yet. At least with DVDs and streaming we keep the programs on pretty tame. All my shows are watched after my daughter is in bed to avoid exposing her to any junk that she is way too young to see. And we do lots of reading, lots and lots of it! Both my daughter and I love to read so it’s been wonderful to have that to do in our free time. It will take a lot of thought to decide what route we take. More and more our culture is exposing kids to things they should not be exposed to earlier and earlier. All I want is to give my little girl a normal, healthy childhood. A childhood of being just a child.  In the end, that is my only goal no matter what we decide.

Leave a comment »

Homemade Fruit Popsicles

20130725_130650

A while ago we picked up this set of plastic popsicle molds. They were only $1 so I figured we’d give it a go and if it didn’t work I wouldn’t be out much money. During the summer it’s very nice to enjoy a delicious cold popsicle, yet the ingredients in a lot of the store brands leave a lot to be desired. When you make your own at least you know EXACTLY what went in them. I decided to make ours a milk berry mix. You can make yours however you want! You just need molds, a blender and your ingredients. Well and of course, a freezer!

20130725_130753

These are our molds when starting off. They come with tops that have sticks, but you can use popsicle sticks as well since they reach farther down.

20130725_130434

In our blender I poured in coconut milk, almond milk, blueberries and strawberries. You want it to be wet enough to pour into the molds. You can add sweetener if you like but I didn’t want ours too sweet. Blend as much or as little as you please. If you blend less you will get a chunkier popsicle. You also blend your mix and then add some diced fruit to it after to get fruit chunks in your popsicle. The great thing about homemade items is that you can customize them to what you want and like!

20130725_130849

This was our mix after blending. Yummy, frothy, purple goodness! 🙂

20130725_131008

Pour your mix into your molds. Our are pretty small but they are a good size for kids. And smaller ones tend to leave less mess since they can be eaten more quickly. With big popsicles my daughter always ends up with it melting faster than she can eat it.

20130725_131033

Finished product! I froze ours overnight to make sure they were frozen all the way through. I did learn that taking them out can be complicated. The best solution I found was to run the molds under warm water before trying to remove them. Doing so loosened them up enough to get them out but didn’t melt them. Without doing this I could not take them out at all.

They came out very tasty and my kiddo loved them! 🙂

Leave a comment »