Friday, June 11, 2010

Song of the Week- Southern Girl

Amos Lee......I discovered Amos Lee a couple years ago and was drawn to his music! His music is just beautiful! I think his music is my favorite to listen to while cleaning or driving or just having some alone time. His lyrical depth is outstanding for a young artist and I feel like I can relate to it all. His sound is kind of a mix of folk, soul, a little country, and acoustic. It is very unique and I love it! Check him out!
I picked his song Southern Girl as a dedication to most of the women in my mom, aunts, grandma, and cousins. They are all from Memphis and really truly are all Southern Girls! I love them all dearly and they all mean the world to me. I hope they enjoy this song! I love you girls!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Menus and King Corn

Before I post my menu for the week, I want to discuss a film I watched and a subject I am passionate about......fighting the food industry and educating myself and others about what we are eating!

Last night my husband and I watched the documentary film, King Corn.  Go rent it, Netflix it, download it today!  This documentary follows two college friends Ian and Curtis as they decide to grow an acre of corn to find out where their food really comes from.  They find out, that with the help of government assistance, genetically modified seeds, and nitrogen fertilizers, our country's most subsidized crop is the cheapest and dangerous foods.  Ian and Curtis follow their corn into the food system and find out many different problems with how we eat and how we farm.

Corn is everywhere....candy bars, magazines, sodas, margarine, batteries, and even body lotion.  It is no longer farmed to eat from the cob, it is raised to be processed and turned into anything and everything.  One of the worst productions that come from corn is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  HFCS is a sweetener that has been derived from corn and is used in many packaged and processed foods.  With more sweeteners available that have more high-calories, with little to none nutritional value, Americans are becoming overweight.  With this obesity epidemic, we are seeing more and more diet related diseases then ever before.  Our life span is shorter than it ever has been. 

Here are a few statistics I found interesting when I was watching the movie and researching this subject:
  • Over the past three decades, consumption of high fructose corn syrup has increased 1,000 percent.
  • The prevalence of obesity has quadrupled over the last 25 years among children between 6 and 11 years old.   It's doubled over the last 25 years in adolescences ages 12 to 19.5 years old.  
  • Between 1985 and 2000, the real price of fruits and vegetables increased by 40%, while prices  for soft drinks decreased by 24%.
  • At last count in 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that Americans eat 79 pounds of corn sweetener per year.
What can you do to nudge our food system in the right direction?
  • Buy local.  Start asking where your food comes from.  Buy at your local Farmers Markets.  Once the demand starts going up of fresher and more healthful food, it will be easier and cheaper to buy. 
  • Read your food labels and educate yourself on what is in your foods.
  • Educate yourself and your friends on what is going on in the food industries
  • If you eat meat....try grass-fed beef.  
  • Don't eat anything made from corn for a week.  Then try a month.  
My husband and I are really good at checking our labels and staying away from corn products but we are going to cut it out completely for a week and then try a month (then maybe longer).   I will keep you posted on how it goes for us.  Well....thanks for reading my lecture and go check out King Corn.

For all you Oregonians out there....come check out the new Tualatin Farmer's Market every Friday this summer starting June 25th (4-8pm) at the Tualatin Commons.  I am going to be volunteering my time to help with different areas of the market most of the Fridays.  See you there!

 Here is my menu for the week:

MONDAY-  Green Pizza made from homemade pizza dough with a fresh garden salad (I added olives to the pizza)

TUESDAY-  Veggie Fajitas and Spanish Rice (Husband's night to cook, while I work late.)

WEDNESDAY-  Tortellini Primavera

THURSDAY- Poached Salmon with a Piccata Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and CousCous- Having friends over for a special dinner! 

FRIDAY-  Broccoli, zucchini, olives in a garlic wine sauce over whole wheat pasta

SATURDAY-  Photographing a wedding ceremony @ the coast.  We will eat in Manzanita or Cannon Beach

SUNDAY-  Farm Day/BBQ- Salmon burgers, veggie kabobs, and pasta salad

 My Green Pizza from Monday evening!

For more menu planning inspirations, visit I'm an Organized Junkie.

Happy cooking & eating,

“For the first time in American history, our generation was at risk of having a shorter lifespan than our parents. And it was because of what we ate.” -Curtis Ellis

Friday, June 4, 2010

Song of the Week - Just Breathe

I am obsessed with music! I blame it fully on my father. Since I was a baby, he would play all kinds of awesome loud music for me and we would dance in the living room! My mom always tells me stories of him keeping me up late just to listen to music. Thanks, dad! I'm glad he did because I love music and the music knowledge I gained from it.

I have listened to Pearl Jam since I was in 8th grade....which was 17 years ago when I was 13. Wow....that made me feel old when I did the math! Since the first time a friend let me borrow Pearl Jam's TAPE (yes..I said tape), I have loved them. Pearl Jam really truly symbolizes the beginning of my teenage years and my love for alternative/punk music. I was starting to feel rebellious and not really going for what was mainstream. Although, Pearl Jam did become mainstream to a point, they strove not to be the typical grunge band. I appreciated that and the beautiful music and lyrics they make.

I picked the song Just Breathe by Pearl Jam to share with you all today. I researched this song to see if I could find out what Eddie Vedder's meaning was behind his lyrics. Although I couldn't find an actual meaning for this song, I did read what other people's interpretations were. I read it was about love, death, God, and finding yourself. Like any piece of great art, what matters is how you interpret it and how it makes you feel. My personal interpretations is that it is a simple beautiful love song. Whatever that love might be...a lover, a child, a friend, God, or life. And with that love, hold it close to you and let it help you just breathe.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Menus and Potties

Hi friends!  I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday weekend.  Our weekend was very nice, while we spent a lot of time together as a family and with some very good friends and did a little bit of work with photo shoots.  I love weekends like this last one....just surrounded with people you care for!

The best part of the week was the huge jump that Ayden made in his potty learning.  We have been introducing the potty to him since right before he turned two.  We didn't want to be too pushy with this or force anything on him.  I fully believe that a child should take his own path and as parents we are there to help and guide along the way, not force anything or be pushy.  As one of my past education teachers once said, "we need to be guides on the side."  And that is exactly what I want to be.  I want Ayden to take his own path and to be his own person.  So with that belief, we introduced the potty to him and let him discover it.  We took certain steps to allow him to discover what the potty was all about.  We bought a small potty chair and a potty seat (it sits on the big toilet).  We put the small potty chair in whatever room he is playing in and remind him that it is there.  We make sure that we put him in cloth diapers as much as possible so that he can actually experience his own body functions.  Disposable diapers are harmful to his body and dramatically slow down his natural interest in using the toilet.  We also started letting him wear "big boy" underwear.  This has been very messy but very helpful.  So all of these things combined has really helped him find his way through his potty learning.

I think this week it just clicked for Ayden.  He was ready to use the potty and was loving it.  He started actually taking off his diaper and telling me he had to go potty.  Then he walks straight to the potty chair and goes all by himself.  It is AWESOME!  I feel so proud of him!  Yes....we are still using diapers at night time....just in case!  And we still have accidents but we made it through a huge milestone.  My son learned how to use the potty and I couldn't be more happier! 

Well enough about potties, let's talk about food.  Ha!  Here is another weekly menu in our household, full of organic, local, and sustainable food!

MONDAY-  BBQ teriyaki shrimp and pineapple kebabs, grilled zucchini, and rice

TUESDAY-  Tuna Noodle Casserole (My husband's night to cook.  I will eat a salad at work.)

WEDNESDAY-  Vegetable & Polenta Bake

THURSDAY-  Vegan Chili and Cornbread...Celebrating my husband's best-friend's birthday. (I will add turnips from the Farmer's market and mustard green from our garden to the chili)  The recipe for the chili and the cornbread will be on my next post. 

FRIDAY-  Warm Salmon Salad with crispy potatoes (the recipe calls for canned salmon, I will use fresh baked salmon.)

SATURDAY-  Broccoli, olives, spinach in a olive oil garlic sauce served over whole wheat angel hair pasta.

SUNDAY-  Farm Day!  Veggie Sandwiches and Veggie Pasta Salad

For more meal planning inspirations, please visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Happy cooking & eating,

"When the student is ready, the master appears."  ~Buddhist Proverb