Posts Tagged ‘health & nutrition’

Menu Plan Monday: You too can be SUPERWOMAN

February 1, 2010 4 comments

Make it Fast, Cook it Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking

So is anybody tired of me blogging about my crock pot yet?

Sorry peeps… but you probably better learn to love it, and that I’m going to plug Stephanie O’Dea, her blog and her book (on the right) every chance I get!

My daughter plays volleyball, and I am the team mom. My responsibilities are largely to coordinate the feeding of a team of twelve pre-teen girls throughout an eight-hour tournament. Now, anybody who has tried to feed ONE child a healthy meal on the go knows what challenge that is… imagine feeding twelve that come from different religious and cultural backgrounds and have a variety of palates.

I’m really proud of the fact that I actually seem pretty good at this… and not just in my own mind! I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from coaches (mine and the jealous ones at the next table) and parents, but most importantly, from the girls themselves. By the end of the season last year, I would practically get mobbed at the curb when I pulled up… I didn’t have to carry much in! Saturday morning when I was getting set up to serve the girls a mini breakfast before their first game, one of my daughter’s teammates looked at me and said in an awed voice,

OHHHH… you’re THE mom…

A girl who was on Halle’s team last year asked her who she thought it was, if not a parent. The first girl said, THE mom with the food.

The day I was serving it up at the first volleyball tournament of the season, a good friend of mine signed her son up for little league & told me she might be needing some of my super powers. So partly for her, and partly related to a rant on parents and youth sports, I’m sharing how I feed a team of 12 girls. Read more…


Study Weighs Risks of Vaccine for Cervical Cancer

August 19, 2009 1 comment

“There are not a huge number of side effects here, that’s fairly certain,” said the editorial writer, Dr. Charlotte Haug, an infectious disease expert from Norway, about the vaccine. “But you are giving this to perfectly healthy young girls, so even a rare thing may be too much of a risk.

“I wouldn’t accept much risk of side effects at all in an 11-year-old girl, because if she gets screened when she’s older, she’ll never get cervical cancer,” Dr. Haug said in an interview. “You don’t have to die from cervical cancer if you have access to health care.”

She’s kidding, right? Oh, yeah… Norway HAS a universal health care system

Study Weighs Risks of Vaccine for Cervical Cancer
Published: August 18, 2009

The new vaccine designed to protect girls and young women from cervical cancer has a safety record that appears to be in line with that of other vaccines, a government report has found. Some serious complications occurred, including at least 20 deaths and two cases of Lou Gehrig’s disease, but they were not necessarily caused by the vaccine, the study said.

Eat This, Not That!

August 18, 2009 1 comment

Eat This, Not That – The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution From Men’s Health

Did you know?

  • Moms with young children on average spend more money on fast food every year than on music, movies, books and video games—combined?
  • Taking your child for a Baskin Robbins Heath Shake—even if you order the medium size—will load her up with 1,420 calories, 67 grams of fat, and 162 grams of sugar? (That’s like feeding her more than six Heath bars in one sitting!)
  • The French Toast Sticks at Burger King packs a walloping 680 calories and half a day’s worth of saturated fat? (Order an Egg & Cheese Croissan’Wich and save 380 calories!)

Your family’s go-to restaurant may be one of the worst in America! (How healthy is your favorite eatery? Consult our exclusive Restaurant Report Card and find out!)

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Twinkies, and other snack cakes

March 25, 2007 Leave a comment

So you learn something new every day.

I have reached that point, 3/4ths of the way into the school year, that I am just tired of being hit up for money.

I’m tired of school pictures.

I’m tired of class pictures.

I’m tired of yearbooks (Christ, I was in high school before I had a yearbook.)

I’m tired of fundraisers.

I’m not interested in hitting up my friends and colleagues to buy shit that is substandard in quality and certain to break within weeks.

And thanks, but no, I’m not interested in fighting childhood obesty* and going door to door to asking for pledges for Tyler to participate in Jump for Heart.

I very crossly informed him the other morning, “My children are all healthy weights. Let the parents that send their kids to school with twinkies pay for childhood obesity.”

This dissolved Tyler into giggles.

“Mom, we’re not allowed to have that stuff at school.”

This is what the world has come to… junk food has actually been BANNED at my children’s elementary school.  No Little Debbie, no Doritos, no Fruit Roll-Ups, no Cracker Jacks, etc.

And I’m really OK with this, because the Safeway Delivery Man carries very little of that stuff through my front door anyway.  I send carrot sticks, pickles, cucumbers, avacado, sliced bell peppers, grapes, apple and orange wedges, pretzels, granola, etc.

But despite the fact that, when away from my children’s ever watching eyes, I am a junk food fiend, I’m never ceased to be surprised that I am clearly part of such a tiny population of parents who are conscientious about what their children eat.  I’m amazed that other parents are sending crap food to school in such quantity and with such regularity that it’s actually been banned in an elementary school handbook.

Tyler brought up Jump for Heart again.  I guess he thought that the dollar was some kind of admission fee and assumed I’d believed the same, and wanted to clarify with me that it was not for him to jump, to to help fight obesity.

I responded, with less ‘tude this time, that my children have healthy diets and that the parents who choose to feed their kids Twinkies and Doritos can pay to fight obesity… I already paid at the grocery store.

Again, my son almost fell over laughing.

My son tells me how funny I am, and I am compelled to ask what is so funny. My son tells me that I’m the only grown up who has ever said that word to him.  This is when I was learned, or should I say, had my memory refreshed, that the name of just about any snack cake has an alternate meaning for the ten year old boy. 

Granted, I remember weeners and ding dongs… but I never remembered the 10yo boy’s genitalia being referred to as a twinkie.

Live and learn, I guess.

*I realize that childhood obesity is a serious issue – no disrespect intended to anyone who may be battling weight issues, whether their own, or their children’s.

Menu Planning with Daija

March 14, 2007 Leave a comment

Are you cooking chicken or meatballs?


Chocolate chip cookies goes with chicken.



Huh. I was thinking that macaroni & cheese and salad goes with chicken.

Ohhhh, yes… macaroni cheese and salad goes with chicken… I was going to talk about that.


October 17, 2005 Leave a comment

I just ran to toys r us to buy this:

click for review


I’m hoping (God, I am hoping) it will be an easy way for Tyler to burn off
some energy in the mornings. I’m going to get him up earlier, and once he’s
ready for school, let him jump and flip until it’s time to catch the bus!

Tyler’s Dr. Appt

January 3, 2005 Leave a comment

Today we met with Dr. Shoptaugh and discussed Tyler’s sudden drop in appetite and what is probably rather minor bouts with being unable to fall asleep, as well as my big concern: He is beginning to express obessive or paranoid thoughts that no one likes him, that everyone picks on him, etc. He and I have talked it through, and I’ve also spoken with his teacher and the staff at his after school program, in addition to doing a little observation on my own. Tyler is far from ostracized, and no one else has noticed any kind of major conflict. When I talk through a situation, it often boils down to the fact that he had a relatively minor conflict with ONE individual, but to hear him tell it, his whole class ganged up on him. He also suddenly became fixated on a scary story he’d heard at his after school program in October, and came to me several nights because he was afraid to be in his room. He has never in his life been afraid of the dark, and although we reasoned out several times that ‘RedRum’ was just a spooky story, this lasted close to a week. Since Tyler is at a higher risk for depression and other mood disorders, I took that pretty seriously, especially when his dad reported no insomnia, fears, or problems with appetite over Tyler’s (unmedicated) winter break.

Some good news first: Since July, Tyler has gained 1.5 pounds, which is a good gain in that time frame. Not huge, but substantial and he wasn’t at a flatline or losing as I’d feared. Dr. Shoptaugh thinks that the eating/sleeping problems are definitely related to the Adderrall and scaled his Rx back from 20mg to 15mg. I talked to her about the (very preliminary) research I’d done on dopamine/norepinepherine balance/imbalance and coupling stimulent meds with a non stimulant, like Strattera. She was familiar with the practice, but said it was very, very new practice that still had kinks to be worked out (like everything else LOL). She said that out of 30 patients, she hasn’t had one stay on strattera. She’s also not sure that his obsessive thoughts/fears are definitely related to medication. She wants us to take Tyler to a behavioralist. She does want to work with us as far as balancing out these chemicals, she’s just not sure strattera is going to be the solution, and that she wants to work in conjunction with someone who specializes in this area. I was once again so impressed with her as a medical professional; I wasn’t sure she would be comfortable with the med combo since I know she’s not a strattera advocate. I was really prepared to have my inquiry squashed and find myself back to trolling the listings for a psychiatrist. So even though she wasn’t comfortable making that Rx, I definitely didn’t feel like I was on my own.

Unfortunately, there are only two “behavioralists” ; Dr. Melmed of the Melmed Center (which I’ve heard of, they offer classes for parents, teachers, and kids in addition to counseling), or Dr. Kessler of the Arizona Child Study Center. Thankfully, Dr. Kessler is an in-network providor for my insurance. I’ve done a little reading and he’s got a REALLY impressive bio, with special interests both in ADHD and nutrition. Now, I’m not sure if we’ll actually see him, or someone in his practice… but I am so much more comfortable getting this referral than taking whatever random person my EAP would provide. I called this afternoon and it’ll be a four-five month wait; Dr. Shoptaugh had said to expect three. So the school year may be close to over before he’s seen by them. I have to fill out a packet about an inch thick before they’ll even schedule the appointment, but I went and pickthed it up this afternoon and I’m already about half done.

Since I knew it would be a while trying to make do in the meantime, I gave his teacher a heads up and also spoke with the principal at his school. When we had the 504 meeting last year, the only accomodations we had written in were for testing, because he was doing so well. I noted a concern at the time if we ever reached a point Tyler can’t take meds, we would have to revisit. His principal thanked me for letting her know what was going on and said she’d touch base with the school social worker about classroom accomodations. So I may be having another 504 meeting before too much longer. His teacher is a nice lady, but I don’t really have a rapport of any kind with her and while I believe she’s passionate about gifted education, I don’t really get the impression she’s incredibly in tune with Tyler. I don’t think she’d be nearly as proactive in addressing his special needs as his 2nd grade teacher was, especially since she’ll be going on maternity leave soon. Which is another worry; there are going to be a lot of changes in the classroom… she’ll go on maternity leave sometime in February and then return just a few weeks before school lets out. I wonder how Tyler will handle those transitions, how a sub will handle Tyler, etc. I guess only time will tell.

I also made an appointment for myself with a therapist for next Tuesday.

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