Crystal

Crystal
Alabama Angel

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Day

Today was a day. My new roommate Betty's baby boy Mikey (3 months) woke me up with screams this morn. He doesn't usually do that. As much as I needed to sleep, I went & got him. Heck I was up anyway by then. I don't sleep well & once I am awake, I can't go back to sleep.

I got up, got ready, went to my first job & worked. Had help today from Birmingham. Thanks Jan! Left in time to go through the drive thru, run home, eat a couple bites in the driveway. Got inside & had to clean up. It was a mess. Went to my second job (first day). By the time I left at 5, I was tuckered.

Came home, gathered laundry, sorted, started. Gathered stay dishes that found their way through the house, gathered lots and lots of trash. What do I collect? Trash.

Once I sat down for a minute I realized that I didn't want to get back up. I finished up the lunch plate I didn't eat for lunch (didn't do breakfast either). Now I have retired to my room for a little bit of solitude. The dog fed & watered, the ice trays emptied & refilled. I am done for tonight. Rod & his friend are hanging out. My roommate & her baby are unpacking some stuff they brought in today.

Tomorrow I have more work to do, just different work. I am trying to wrap my head around being organized enough to do these two jobs, homeschool, do everything necessary here. But you will be amazed at what you can do when it is a priority.

I am very blessed to have my jobs -- and thankful.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday Night

It is almost Saturday morning, but as I sit up here in bed, I know that I had a fun & fun-filled day, and only because I *told* myself I was going to. I chose. I chose to have a good day. I had a choice. I made the choice. I made it

Today was another Red Shirt Friday. If you don't know about Red Shirt Fridays, please visit www.redshirtfridays.org for more information. It is to support the troops (aka: My favorite Soldier/Hero, my wonderful husband who I am grateful for). I wore my Red T-shirt with our beautiful flag on it, and what hangs in front of it but his dog tags along with his wedding band. That way I feel like I carry a little bit of him with me wherever I go.

So, I had a lot to do today as I had stated before. I got a lot done, still got to hang out with two of my besties, but I feel rotten. I forgot about the Sundae Friday until it was too late. I mismanaged my time. I missed out on seeing a friend from church who recently joined & I had wanted to see her bad. I also missed out on seeing a bunch of my old friends that I so dearly love. In case you haven't heard, I have THE VERY BEST and MOST AMAZING friends. I am so blessed. I mean in a way that is hard to explain. When I look around me at all I have to be thankful for, it is just a very humbling thing.

While out running errands today, I got some potentially wonderful news. Yes, another blessing of course. I will tell more as time goes on. Let's just say, I have been waiting on this one and even though I have to work for it, it is like this particular blessing was hand picked just for me.

I can't remember the last time I was in such an *almost perfect" place in my adult life. My childhood was a complete dream. My adult life has been a struggle. Some of the struggles have been my own doings, of course. I was once young, I don't always make the right decisions, I am human, I am deeply flawed, I am a sinner. But some of the things that have fallen into my path were not any of my own fault. Maybe my way of dealing with them, using them as stumbling blocks instead of stepping stones is my fault. But anyway, back to the here and now. Here and now, my life is a blessing. I would only change having my husband home. That would make everything exactly perfect. I can't imagine a more perfect life at all.

I got to chat with my husband earlier (not too long ago) when he should have been sleeping. I think we got so close in the nine (+/-) months we had together this last time that neither of us are sleeping well since we got used to falling asleep touching each other. But getting to chat with him tonight was wonderful. He sent me a little smiley face kiss on chat & it made my night. I know, I know, simple mind, simple pleasure. But really, it takes so little from him to make me smile. We are always connected, but sometimes you just feel closer to each other than at other times, especially when everything is over the computer. But tonight, when he sent me the smiley face, it was ever so nice. It was almost like I could touch him, like I could feel his skin. It's a connection that is deep, no superficiality, and it isn't a physical thing. I almost felt his presence. Maybe it is wishful thinking. Maybe in the back of my mind I was trying to transport him here.

I also got other good news in the last 24 hrs. More news I can't share with you just yet. Well, not the details. I will say this. I have a countdown going now.

My life is a little crazy right now, but it is the good kind of crazy. The kind where everyone is healthy, fed, and loved.

Friday, August 27, 2010

T.G.I.F

Thankful for much, but to day si Friday and it is a good early morning for me. i haven't been sleeping late, or sleeping much at all really.

Today we have a Sundae Friday planned for the homeschoolers. No, I did not misspell Sundae. We are talking ice cream. Yummy. Let's hope it isn't so hot that we melt or the ice cream either. I wish my son would be able to be there, but he will have to work.

Today is errand running day. I am going to treat it like a Monday. Isn't that going to be fun? haha I am going to accomplish as much as I can. I don't have too mcuh to do anyway. I usually get more accomplished on a Monday than any other day of the week, but today I still have a few things that need to be taken care of.


Rodd comes in from work tired. He has completed a 3 month apprenticeship where he worked 5 hrs/day 3 days/week, but he has never worked an 8 hr shift days in a row before. I haven't had to tell him to go to sleep for sure.

I woke up to really good news. I hope the day just keeps getting better. I know it will. It is a Friday. It HAS to be good.

I may go to the free movie here on post tonight. it is Nightmareon Elm Street. Not really my kind of movie, but I will go anyway. rod has Improv class tonight right after work, so when he gets in he will be tired for sure.

One thing that got put into storage in GA that should've came with me: The Step Stool. Why I didn't think of it when we were packing I dunno. I don't need to go anywhere without one. Seriously. At 5 ft tall, I need to carry a portable one in a backpack every where I go. I could use it daily from when I have to go to a public restroom & the only open stall is the handicap one with the extra tall potty, to work having to reach the signs that are just out of reach for me even with 3 inch heels on.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday, August 26

Today was my first "hands on" training with Hallmark. I think I am really going to like this job. I met some great people to work with & can't wait to really get my system set up & get going! It feels great to be employed again.

Rod started work this week also, but you will have to ask him about that since that is his news to tell. He is a great worker though. I am so proud of him.

Speaking of which, this morning, as I was driving to Hueytown for training, I had the radio on 88.1 WAY-FM (my fav). They were asking about the best person you know. I immediately thought of my son, his giving spirit, his willingness to help, his compassion, his fight for the underdog. Then I wondered just how many people could say that about their teenager. Still pondering that. So many teens, all you hear is bad stuff. I also am pondering if all the "bad stuff" teens do is because that is all they hear about is bad teens. Are teens really encouraged as individual persons? I am not talking academically. Are we really bringing out these values in them?

I am thinking if the job I am still hoping for comes through then I will be plenty busy with those two & homeschooling this year. I am trying to keep myself busy and it is definitely worth it.

It has definitely helped to be surrounded with the richness of my family & friends. They have been a huge support thus far & I have needed them this go round more than ever.

About my hubby: There isn't much to update. He is doing well. he seems to be in such great spirits for the most part! that helps me a lot to know he is in a good mood. He has been very sweet (I'm teling you like it's a secret) lately & it makes me smile to think about. I can't wait until he gets to come home at least for a visit. It is going to be great! He is getting to see first hand, history in the making. Since he is who he is, I know he is absorbing minute details even. Maybe I can convince him to write it all down for our future ancestors one day! I would love to have something like that from my ancestors.

It has been an exciting week. My friend Betty & her baby boy have gotten moved in & almost all the way unpacked. I have had sleepless nights, but I think I will be able to sleep tonight for sure! Let us pray!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday Aug 24

Today is my brother Scott's birthday! Scott is 41. Happy Birthday Scott! Also, today is my nephew Jame's birthday. He is 24. Happy Birthday Jame!

Since I have nothing to cook today, I will tell you what I cooked yesterday since it is "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday"

My thought was to use what I had here at the house, so this is another "cabinet" recipe, not something I had tried before.

Turkey Meatloaf

(since ground turkey has almost no flavor, you can use whatever to spice it the way you want it)

Ground Turkey
Rosemary
Stuffing mix (I had a little leftover dried in the bottom of a bag)
Eggs
2 slices stale bread that I toasted (broken up)
1 honey wheat English Muffin (toasted & broken up)
some cheap canned spaghetti sauce

I mixed all of that, sprayed a pan, stuck it in the oven @ 350 for about an hour, poured the rest of the cheap spaghetti sauce on top & it was really good. Don't ask for amounts of stuff because I just did it till it was a good consistency

I had a bag of instant potatoes that I did a serving according to directions, added in sour cream, extra butter, a lil salt & pepper, and some shredded cheddar cheese. After I got through, they were nice!

Love Dare- Day 2

Today's Love Dare is to not say anything negative about my honey & to do a good deed. I can do this. I really can. These are the easy parts, right?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Love Dare Day 1

I thought about waiting until tomorrow. Fresh new day, fresh new week, right? But why put off until tomorrow what I can start today. So I am posting Monday's Dare Today. I am sure some of these will be harder than others.

This is going to be a little more difficult seeing as how my husband and I are geographically separated, but I am going to find a way.

Monday's DARE

Day 1



The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose to not say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One, Two, Skip A Few

So I am still trying to get better about my daily postings, or lack thereof.

Yesterday I finally got out of the house. I have noticed that I stay in the house, inside a lot. Not good. At least I have enough mind left to realize it.

So yesterday I had a our first Prom Planning Meeting of the year. Yes, for those of you that do not know this, Homeschoolers DO have Prom, at least here we do. When I mentioned it when we were at Ft Stewart I was looked at like I had suddenly drown an arm out of my forehead.

I am so excited about the Homeschool Prom this year. It is going to be a blast!

So my highlights this week besides the Prom Meeting were giving my doggie a bath, getting laundry beat down, and having a house full of teenagers all week, mostly.

I get to go see a few of my army wife friends tomorrow while they have some coffee. So there. Summation.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thirsty Thursday

Yes, I know I skipped Wednesday. Today my thirst was quenched with some Hazelnut coffee with sugar & Creme Brulee creamer, over ice. Mmmm! A great way to wake up!

I woke this morning to a chat message from my husband. It had came in while I was asleep. He knew I would be. Waking up to that sweet sweet message has made my day go so well. He knew he would be unavailable all day, so he left me the chat message. I was surprise, touched, and delighted by his thoughtfulness. Of course, he never ceases to amaze me! So I can't help but smile all day today. I still have the message upso that I can look at it & remind myself all day.

I am still looking for volunteers to come mow the back yard since we haven't purchased a mower. :)

Tonight I think I am going to try out Adult Drama class where my son takes Drama & Improv. I need an outlet, you know. Plus, I am a character!

I got to babysit a beautiful little girl for a little bit this morning. She let out a man sized burp though & it surprised me. What a laugh!

Tomorrow is my first Prom Planning meeting. I am excited. I can't believe we are starting prom planning this early. I have no idea why it is going to be started this early. I guess since we started the school year.

I am really loving living in Huntsville for now. Having all of my Army Wife and Homeschool Mom friends rally around me & keep me fairly busy has kept my mind busy so I don't sit at home continually & just miss my husband.

My hubby is doing well in Iraq for those of you who are wondering. He seems to be in great spirits. Anyone who wants to send a care package can send to:


PRUITT, RALPH
A Co, 703rd BSB
4/3 AAB
APO, AE 09333

A list of items that are always in need

Unscented baby wipes
Foot Powder
Baby Powder
Mens Deodorant (unscented or no strong scent due to bugs)
Men's Bodywash (no strong scents, same reason as above)
Razor blades
Liquid bandage
cheap black click writing pens (ones without caps)
saline nose spray
saline eye drops
travel sized tooth paste (the very small tubes)
Individually wrapped snacks (chex mix, jerky, protein bars, trail mix, skittles)
*******NO CHOCOLATE
Letters
Cards
Drawings or letters or cards from your kids

Ok, that is all I can think of right now.

I wish that postage to send boxes to soldiers was free, but it isn't. The best way is to get a one rate box.

For some reason, I can't get myself together to go out this week. I think I will jsut stay inside.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Ok, Ok, so I know I said I wasn't going to post a recipe today, but I have to re-post this! I want to try this next.

Homemade Protein Bars

1 mashed banana
1 1/2 cups dry oatmeal
2 Tablespoons flax seed, ground
2-4 scoops protein powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup water
1 large chocolate bar (I used organic dark chocolate) or 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients but chocolate together well (mixture will be somewhat sticky). Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil and spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Melt chocolate on the stove or in the microwave. Drizzle or spread over the mixture in the pan.

Place the pan in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Cut into 10 -12 bars and wrap in plastic wrap and/or foil and store in the freezer.

Thaw slightly before serving.

1/1oth of this recipe = approximately 260 calories and 11 to 13 grams of protein (depending upon how much protein powder you use, per Calorie Count.)

Tuesday Temptations

Instead of a recipe, I will tell you some of my favorite new things

www.tastefullysimple.com

Try their almond pound cake & their beer bread! Those are two things you will NOT want your kitchen to be without!

Also, Dove Chocolate, like you get in the stores, now has an at home line. You are going to love it! My picks: Chocolatini Mix, Chai Mix, and the Smoothie mixes (you can use the smoothie mix to make a cheeseball & it is divine!

www.dove-chocolate-discoveries.com

Actually all the sauces on tastefully simple are so great! And I have not had a bad anythign chocolate & you know if it is from Dove how great it is, OH and the chocolate mousse. Mmm!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not So Manic Monday

So todays Manic Monday where I am all happy happy joy joy wasn't like that at all. I didn't sleep Sunday night. I ached & hurt. This morn I had to cancel a meeting I had planned. Too much pain. What a way to start off a week! No more wild weekends out with my Mother, right?

So over the weekend I wound up having a pretty bad Friday night. Saturday was decent & picked up my Mom who spent the night with us. We went to Improv show. It was wonderful. I got to see friends that I haven't seen in a while. It was really nice.

Sunday my Mom & I go out to go shopping. I fall in the parkinglot on some oil I think it is. At the time it hurt, but I thought I was ok. Now, oh brother. I am in pain.

So today I woke up feeling really bad & That is when I cancelled a meeting, I got more done today than I thought I would but felt wawful. I still have lots I need to do. And it wasn't the Manic Monday that I usually have where I get lots done. It was a-typical. I did get to have lunch with my Dad today though and that was awesome!

And Rod's first drama class of the year was tonight! I am glad to get that back started.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Awards & Such

My friend, ex-neighbor, and best baker I know gave me this award on her blog:

Sand Mountain Girl- (can I just tell you her husband has only been in a couple of years and he has already been to Korea without her and is now deployed again)


I can't tell you how happy she made me. I woke up & found it & it has just made my day already. I think of my friend Pam often. We lived on the same road & our houses almost backed up to each other. I try to forget those who do me wrong and I never forget those who are true friends. Pam let me borrow a vehicle more times than I can tell you about. When you are just starting out (again in our case-- re-enlistment) and you are starting out with big kids, things don't alwasy go as planned. Pam baked a lot & would offer bread & things to me. Listen, I don't know if you have ever had a neighbor like this, but homemade bread? Just let me say, it went over well at the house. She is a true blue geniune person. I miss her dearly, especially now that I live back here on the same road. I go by her old house & there is an old VW Bug in her driveway & it looks so out of place to me. Their truck & van should be there. There should be sidewalk chalk on the sidewalk. And since I am as set in my ways as an old man, 10 years from now I will still think of that as Pam's house.

Wow! My day just keeps getting better & better. I didn't sleep a lot. I got a message from my husband at 2 this morn & it thrilled me to hear from him, so going back to sleep was NOT an option. I got up & tried to find him online. It took an hour so he mustve done something else. I am unsure. But then we chatted for about an hour & a half (not long enough in my opinion when I had to go over 24 hrs without hearing from him). I was as excited as someone who just won a new house. So then when he had to go, I still couldn't sleep because I am not someone who jsut drifts back off to sleep. No way. But then my good friend does this. It is definitely a wonderful day!

AND . . . . I am going to get my hair done today. I might even get to have lunch with a friend if we time it right! I love being back! Now, if my DH were just here, things would be almost perfect! That is scary to say after what all we go through. Almost perfect makes you afraid the other shoe is going to drop, ya know. But he & I deserve some happiness so we are goign to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy while we can and when & if, we just gather closer together & weather out the storm. Some of our "storms" we can now look back & laugh at. Some are still too close, too painful. Some we will never laugh at. But we are so strong together. And we have already made ti through so much. It is amazing how many things you can pack into a little over 4 3/4 yrs.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Manic Monday

You know me, I hit the ground running this morning. I think of Mondays as the brand new start to a clean fresh week tha ti haven't screwed up yet. It is a new beginning

So, i wake up, get ready. A friend picks me up. She brought me Starbucks. It jsut didn't get much better than that. Starting your day not only with Starbucks, but with Starbucks brought to you from a friend? That is suh-weet!

So we go to the interview. I now have a phone interview in another week or so. And I am not even sure after what they said to my friend that they are a company I would want to work for. I question their policies already. But when you need a job, there are certain risks you take, right?

We then go & pick up our mutual friend & I get to have lunch with them & ones husband & child also. It was great. We had great food, great service, and great conversation.

We then went shopping for a few minutes where I bought nothing of course because we are broke since I bought so much furniture. But it was still fun to hang out with my friends.

We then took a friend home so she could get her daughter off the bus. Me & the other friend went to get the oil changed in her car. We talked & laughed as we sat in the car waiting.

We came back to my house, picked up a few things, went to Verizon & got a few things done and then we went to tell housing that she is moving in with me here. So even though I am back to having a roommate per se, it is going to be different & good I think. I am excited about it. While I was there I got a lead on a job. That too I am excited about! Yay! Wish me luck as I am really excited about this one.

We came back home & set up some stuff in my friends new room. My son & his friend (he calls himself my other son) came home & helped unload my friends car & put together a few things. Now my friend is on her way back home for now. My kids (my son & my other son) are out running an errand for me.

I got to talk to my hubby today also. It was so good to hear from him I just DRINK IT UP when he calls. He thrills me to no end when I get a message from him. It isn't always good news and he isn't always in a good mood, but still.

So it was a full day as I am just now getting back in. But I got a lot accomplished. Just another Manic Monday! Oh, I gotta go start some laundry & some late supper! hehe

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Worry-Free Wednesday

Worry-Free Wednesday is where I list (you can do this literally or mentally) everything I woory about & I turn it over to God. I don't worry about it any more. Because worrying is the opposite of having faith & we are instructed to have faith.

1. I am not going to worry about money. Instead, I am going to learn to be a better steward of the funds we have.

2. I am not going to worry about what other people think of me, because what He thinks is all that matters.

3. I am not going to worry about being alone or being left. I will never be alone because God is always with me.

4. I am not going to worry about the future, because God already knows it & has it in his hands.

5. I am not going to worry about my past because I have asked for forgiveness and received it in Christ's name, and I have an eternal future with my Saviour.

6. I am not going to worry about the people who are talking against me, rather I will pray for them and make a special effort to be helpful & kind & show the kind of generosity that Jesus did.

7. I will not worry what kind of parent others think I am, because I know that God is within my child and that try as I might, I will fail at times, but God will NEVER fail him.

8. I will not worry about all that I still don't have at my age. Instead, I will be thankful for all I do have & praise His name for all the blessings that are handed down just for me each day.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fat Loss Tip of the Day

Avoid buttery, fattening croissant bread - eat any other kind of bread to save 9 grams of fat or more.



Have a Fat Loss Tip? I want to hear it!

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday



Olive Tapenade

Olive tapenade is delicious, easy to make and can be used as a dip, sandwich spread or topping for fish and poultry. Make a batch to keep in the refrigerator for enhancing your meals throughout the week.

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
8 oz kalamata olives, pitted and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS capers, rinsed and drained
2 TBS minced fresh Italian parsley
2 tsp minced lemon peel
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 minced anchovy filled (optional)


Directions:

In a small bowl, combine olives, garlic, capers, parsley, anchovy, lemon peel, and black pepper.
Add extra virgin olive oil and mix thorougly.
Makes 1/2 cup
Healthy Cooking Tips:

The olives, capers, garlic and parsley may be minced at the same time in a food processor.

Olives

Olives are harvested in September but available year round to make a zesty addition to salads, meat and poultry dishes and, of course, pizza.

Olives cannot be eaten right off of the tree; they require special processing to reduce their intrinsic bitterness. These processing methods vary with the olive variety, region where they are cultivated and the desired taste, texture and color. Some olives are picked green and unripe, while others are allowed to fully ripen on the tree to a black color. Yet, not all of the black olives available begin with a black color. Some processing methods expose unripe greens olives to the air, and the subsequent oxidation turns them a dark color. In addition to the original color of the olive, the color is affected by fermentation and/or curing in oil, water, brine or salt.

Pixie

I was given a baby gate to use to keep the dog where she needed to be. When I got the bed I thought she wouldn't be able to get on it because it is high. The first night, she didn't know she was able to get up there I think. The second night I was asleep & she cam in & jumped on the bed & scared me. I didn't get up in the middle of the night or anything, but then I put the gate up coming down the hallway so she couldn't get to the bedrooms last night. I swear she is like a cat! She is spiteful! She let me know REALLY quick like that she wasn't digging the gate by my waking up this morning to her pooping RIGHT IN FRONT OF IT THREE TIMES last night. In other words, (her words of course, because I speak Pixie Dog)"You can put the gate up, but don't expect there to be no consequences to your actions!" So first thing this morning i was scrubbing poop fromt he carpet. Nice! This from a dog that has been housetrained for three years! She will definitely let you know when something doesn't set well with her. She doesn't need words to get her point across. That is ok though. Today -- She gets a bath! And yes, she is in my room now. I caved. I have been trying to keep her out because my DH doesn't like her in our bedroom & I thought if she wasn't in here while he was gone it would be easier on her to adjust when he comes home. But now, I am going to let him do all the getting her adjusted when he gets back. This is too hard. She is not only in our bedroom, but up on our bed, curled up under the covers into a little sweet furball. If she wasn't so darn cute, she would be in trouble!

First Day

Today is Rodd's first day at work. He just left to go to Taco Bell. I was good. I didn't cry. I didn't follow him out the door. I didn't take a pic of him getting in his Jeep. I told him to have a good day & to call em & tell me how it was going if he got a break.

Last night, he came in from Point Mallard all sunburned, did all his chores, laid his clothes out for work this morning (complete with threading his belt through the beltloops). He was excited. If only we all got that excited about going to work.

I can't believe he is old enough to go to work. Wow! I will of course be adding pics when he comes in all tired from working a few hours today. haha! Until then, I am a nervous Mama.

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Creme Brulee

8 egg yolks
3/4 c. white sugar
1 quart heavy whipping cream
2 T. Pure Vanilla
Brown sugar for dusting

Preheat over to 325. Separate eggs. Beat egg yolks only & sugar until encorporated. Add heavy whipping cream & mix. Add vanilla & stir.

Pour mixture into 8 ramekins. Place ramekins into casserole dish. Add water into the casserole dish until it comes about 1/2 way up the sides of teh ramekins. Place in the middle of the oven for approx 1 hour or until set.

Remove ramekins from water & allow to cool completely. Can refrigerate AFTER COMPLETELY COOLED until ready to eat. When you are ready to serve, dust tops with brown sugar & use kitchen torch to melt brown sugar into candy coating on tops of ramekins. If y ou do not have a kitchen torch, set oven to broil or high broil if you have high & low. move oven rack to top. Put ramekins (one at a time) under the broiler to melt brown sugar. Serve alone or with fresh fruit garnish. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 3

It is barely Tuesday already. 0041. This time 4 weeks ago, my husband and I were on post getting him ready to go to Iraq. We spent many hours doing this. It was the last time I saw him. Four weeks. Yes, I have gone longer. I am ready for him to come home. How can I miss him worse this time than last? Not sure of the answer except it is what it is.

He is doing well. I think this deployment is going very well for the both of us. We love having internet access to each other.

At 830 this morning my son will be working at his first job. Where did the time go? Where is my little preemie? Where is the little boy that said funny things in funny little ways? Where is that little smile that shows all of those sharp little baby teeth? Where is the smooth little face without stubble? I don't have a baby anymore. My son is a man. That sounds SO weird. And of course, flipping to the other side of the coin where it is all about me, I am not old enough to have a son with a job. Pics will follow today I assure you. Pics of him getting into his Jeep to his first day of work. Pics of him in his uniform that I take when I go make a surprise visit on his first day. Pics of him punching out if they will let me come to where the clock is.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Plan to Eat - Meal Planner and Grocery List Organizer

Plan to Eat - Meal Planner and Grocery List Organizer: "Weekly recipe and shopping planner. Create and share your recipes. Add them to your weekly planner. Go shopping with your categorized shopping list automatically created from your meal plan."

Anyone tried this? I would be interested in reviews. I am thinking of it. Tell me whatcha think.

Getting To Know Me

1. If you were to win an award today, what would it be for? Today's Award would be for Best Attitude on a Monday Morning. Now, I am glad you didn't ask me about yesterdays award, Yikes!

2. What is your shoe style? I wear flip flops until my toes freeze. Now, they are cute little yellow box camo with a gemstone covered heart on them. So they look feminine.

3 Does your car reflect your personality? No. My vehicle is just good strong sturdy reliable transportation. It isn't who I am, it doesn't define me. We have a Silver Jeep Grand Cherokee.

4. If you could take over someones body for a day..whose would you choose? Define "take over". hehe! Tomorrow my hubby will have been gone for 4 weeks, so I would love to take over his body right now. As far as my being in someone else's body, I would like to have my pre-baby body back, but it doesn't exist anymore. I might as well have said the body of a zombie.

5. Love or be loved? I love easily. I have a big need to feel loved. I have to go with be loved.

6. If you were on death row, what last meal would you choose? My first reaction was to say something light so that when I poop my pants from nerves & fright it wouldn't be as big of a mess, but then I thought, if I am on death row, I am not going to be the one to clean it up, so I would have Homemade Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Green Beans, Collard Greens, Boiled Cabbage, really good Fried Chicken like Mamaw used to make or Cubed Steak & Gravy. Hey, if I am dying, I am not going to worry about the fat content & all the gravy. I'm just saying is all.

7. Have you been on vacation this Summer, if so where? not really. Sort of. My husband and I went to NC for Mother's Day Weekend. THAT was a great time!

8. What is your favorite food related guilty pleasure? I try not to do guilt. If I am going to feel guilty, I might as well not eat it. But I would have to say cokes and chocolate.

Please reply to post and comment with your answers! I would love to hear from you & know you are out there reading & enjoying!

Grateful Monday

Grateful Monday

This is where I list at least 5 things that I am grateful for to start my week off right and try to keep those things in mind as I set off through the week!

1. My new-to-me bedroom suite

2. Internet -- It may seem like something that doesn't belong on this list, but it is the only means of communication I have with my husband who is in Iraq, so it is dear to me.

3. My Soldier/Hero/Husband. I miss him!

4. My Son/Best Friend. If you have met him, enough said!

5. My family who continually rallies around me in support.

6. My friends that have kept me afloat & understand me & the situations that I go through as an Army Wife!

So more than 5, more than enough to be greateful for this week alone! Feel free to post a comment & let me know what you are grateful for this week.

Grateful Monday

Grateful Monday

Jigzone Puzzle of the Day--I love these!

Click to Mix and Solve

Monday's Cryptoquote

This is from www.threadbender.com

QA CUJ KPGO NJQDS YPESDOE QH SKO PQI, CUJI

MUIF

HOOV HUS NO DUES; SKPS QE MKOIO SKOC EKUJDV

NO.

HUM WJS SKO AUJHVPSQUHE JHVOI SKOB.

- KOHIC VPGQV SKUIOPJ

I will post the solultion tomorrow. I love these things!

Fat Loss Tip Of The Day

Fat Loss Tip of the Day

No matter who you are or what your body type, we are all trying to eat healthier, or we need to. In that mindset, here is the Fat Loss Tip of the Day:

For a great low-fat, low-sugar snack, try no-butter, low-salt popcorn. Two cups
only has 60 calories!

let me know what you do to cut fat in your own diet!

Recipe Of The Week: 5-minute Green Beans


5-Minute Green Beans

Green beans are a rich source of vitamin K, C, and A, as well as health-promoting carotenoid phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. And one cup contains only 44 calories— great reasons to enjoy this easy-to-prepare recipe as part of your Healthiest Way of Eating.

Prep and Cook Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:
1 lb green beans
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
3 TBS extra vigin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Optional:
3 TBS goat cheese
2 TBS sliced almonds
4-5 drops tamari soy sauce
1 TBS sliced sun dried tomatoes
2 TBS roasted red bell peppers
1 TBS chopped basil


Directions:

Chop garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out its health promoting properties.
Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with 2 inches of watger.
While steam is building up in steamer, cut ends off green beans.
steam for 5 minutes. A fork should pierce through them easily when they are done.
Transfer to a bowl. For more flavor, toss green beans with the remaiing ingredients while they are sill hot.
Serves 2

Healthy Cooking Tips:

To mellow the flavor of the garlic, add garlic to green beans for the last 2 minutes of steaming.


If you try this recipe, let me know what you think by posting a comment on my blog!

Food of the Week: Green Beans



Commonly referred to as string beans, the string that once was their trademark can seldom be found in modern varieties. Although these bright green and crunchy beans are available at your local market throughout the year, they are in season from summer through early fall when they are at their best and the least expensive.

Green beans are picked while still immature and the inner bean is just beginning to form. They are one of only a few varieties of beans that are eaten fresh. Although green beans vary in size they average about four inches in length. They are usually deep emerald green in color and come to a slight point at either end. They contain tiny seeds within their thin pods.

Weekend Report

Friday night I went to my friend Kristy's house & ate dinner. It was so nice to have dinner with her & her sweet family. Spaghetti was great but the company was even better. My son was, of course, out with his friends, so I would have been eating dinner alone otherwise, which isn't good for a Waiting Spouse. I never thought that I would understand "Empty Nest Syndrome" but I do. I think it happens to a lot of women especially, who have their children young.
Kristy and I then ran errands, got some things she needed for her yard sale.

Saturday was a most busy day! I got up & called a lady I was supposed to purchase a second hand, gently used Queen Sized Mattress, Box Springs & Frame from since she ahd said the earlier the better. I called at 10 til 8. I left a message. Grabbed a card table to take over to the yard sale. Went to the Yard Sale & hung out for a while. Called again about the mattress on my way over. Called again when I left. No answer. So, not wanting to spend mroe time sleeping on the floor, my son & I set out on a hunt for a bed. I went to a couple of places, but no luck finding something that was within budget since I just purchased a washer & dryer.

Came home, Rodd's friends came over & they were hanging out. I hopped on craigslist & found a complete bedroom set, called about it, went to see it, loved it. THoguht I couldn't afford it, I made an offer & the guy accepted it. I went about trying to find someone with a truck then. Thanks to my neighbors who drove over & helped and I called my son & his friend to help also. Two truck loads later, and viola! I have a bedroom suite. It is a King Sized (bigger than this room can really accomodate, but I love it) sleigh bed with a slatted head & foot board, a 6 drawer dresser with mirror and two night stands. I am so happy. Things that make someone my age happy, new to me bedroom furniture! haha! I was so excited that I had trouble sleeping even as tired as I was.

We spent the rest of the day getting the bed set up, had to make a trip to Home Depot since some of the screws got lost in the move of the bed. Also had to go by Dollar General & Targer to exchanage all of the Queen Sized stuff I had purchased when I thought I was getting a Queen for King sized stuff for the bed. I got brown teeshirt sheets. They feel good & were the cheapest sheets available. And soemthing I learned, they don't make the cheap foam toppers at Dollar General for a King Sized bed. Since I don't want it pieced together, I wait till next payday. Which is probably a good thing, because Target has some really nice memory foam ones that I would love to have!

Sunday I felt horrible (probably all the excitement from the day before) and I didn't even leave the house. I cooked fish. That was the highlight of the day. Chatted with my hubby online when we could. Horrible internet connection in Iraq sometimes and Sunday was one of those times.

Manic Monday

Good early Monday Morning to all of my friends & family who read & keep up with the blog I haven't been keeping up with. It is 532 and i have been up for over an hour already. I am sitting up in bed sneezing & feeling generally not myself. Monday mornings are usually such a chipper time for me when I feel the fresh start to a new week arriving.

Plans For The Week

Monday - As always I need to get the hosue back in order, so that is on the top of my to do list today. I have to fill up the tanks on both of the gas hogs, get groceries probably also.

Since it is the first of the month, I am going ot chance a/c filters in the house.

Wash the Dog - oh, I will do it. I don't like it, and neither does she. But it will be done!

My Dad is bringing my outdoor table & 6 chairs for my back patio, so I will be sweeping the back patio off really early before the sun comes up.

Since my son spent the night at a friends house, all the Monday Morning stuff, where I have a lot of steam & am wanting to get everythign done, will be me and me alone. Hey, did he plan it this way? Hmmm, ponder.

I also have to call housing for a few minor things around the house (leaking faucet sprayer in kitchen sink, tub stopped up in hall bath)

Tuesday - Rodd starts work. I can't tel you how I feel about this right now because I am still numb. I am not letting the fact that I am old enough to have a child that is starting to work sink in, because it IS all about me, you know. (haha!)

I also have a conference call this day. I have a part time job with Hallmark (the card store) as a Territory Assistant. I am going to go around to drugs stores & handle card displays there. I think it is going to be a lot of fun & I am looking forward to it!

This is when my husband will have been gone 4 weeks.

Wednesday - My plan is to survive till this day & get to church. I really have missed my church. I think things will look brighter from then on. I can't wait to plug back in there. I have been so busy & caught up in hte move that I haven't had a chance to go on Wednesdays. Every time there has been something come up. So this is the Wednesday I get back!

Thursday - I hope by this point in the week I am feeling better. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel. I am sure by this point my house will be a wreck again. I will have computer courses to take with Hallmark. Today is Organization & Trash Removal Day. Since trash runs on Friday, Thursday I will be going through stacks of papers, magazines, stuff that came in the mail that I haven't done anything with, cleaning out the cars (I hate that).

The bug man cometh. This is the day pest control comes out & sprays for me. YAY! I love on post housing here! They take care of everything & are so good to do so in such a prompt & friendly manner. This is NOT the case, I have found, at most installations. They spoil you here!

Also, since Friday is trash day, Thursday night is "Dumpster Diving" night as I call it. We don't actually dive into dumpsters here. Everyone's trask is by the road. But we drive around & see if anyone is throwing out any furniture since we came here bare bones since we are only going to be here a year before my honey is back & we are on the move again.

Friday - Whew! I will have made it if I make it to Friday. I will have a feeling of Victory & NOTHING will get me down then! YAY! I hope to finish up any computer classes for Hallmark I have left over, apply for more jobs, work in the house a little, mark another day off my calendar until my dear husband returns. I want to try to take a few snapshot pics, but I can't count on doing that today. We wills ee what the weekend has in store.

Saturday - maybe I will find something to do, but probably hanging out with the dog while my teenager is out having fun! maybe enjoy the quiet!

Sunday - Church. It will set me for the week. Right my path, keep me on track & focused on my loving God that forgives sins, depts, is an all-powerful God, THE Supreme being, part of the Holy Trinity, my Savior.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Picture Tuesday


Uploading pics of Our First Deployment. The pics were taken between midnight Tuesday July 6- 6 AM. For those of us who are military that's 0600. haha!

It has taken me a week before I could really even glance at the pics. I downloaded them to the computer, but didn't look at them. I have to do this in spurts as I can. I can't let in too much at a time or I think I might have a breakdown. My husband doesn't understand.

I really did get a few excellent pics of my husband. He always sticks his tongue out in pics, so for me to get a couple without him doing that is a really big deal.

Since I am still on my husbands laptop, I am not able to crop, adjust, change, alter, the pics in shutterfly like I would like to. But I can still post them.

Food Question of the Week

If I am going to cook with oil, which is the best to use, and why are certain ones problematic?

Oils that are best to use for high heat cooking include those with higher smoke points. These would include high-oleic safflower oil (smoke point: 450ºF/232ºC), high-oleic sunflower oil (smoke point: 450ºF/232ºC), avocado oil (smoke point: 520ºF/271ºC), or refined coconut oil (smoke point: 450ºF/232ºC). Also, you may consider ghee, which has a smoke point of 400˚-500˚F (204˚-260˚C).

As you'll note, the only oil we include on our website is extra virgin olive oil. At the heart of the Mediterranean diet, extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and polyphenol antioxidants and has found to be heart healthy. Yet, we don't like to cook with extra virgin olive oil (the highest we'll cook with it is up to 250˚F121˚C, which is fine for making sauces or heating up a dish but not high enough for sautéing).

The reason we don't like to heat extra virgin olive oil to higher temperatures is because it has a lower smoke point than the other oils mentioned. All vegetable oils are susceptible to heat damage-much more so than the whole foods from which they were pressed or extracted. But in the case of extra virgin olive oil, the susceptibility is especially great, notably in the destruction of its polyphenolic phytonutrients. Extra virgin olive oil has such a great flavor let alone an amazingly rich nutrient profile that we want to preserve so we don't like to cook with it but rather enjoy it as a salad dressing or drizzled on foods after they have been cooked.

Recipe of the Week: Healthy Sauteed Red Bell Peppers

Healthy Sauteed Red Bell Peppers

While we think of oranges as a rich source of vitamin C, one cup of red bell peppers provides 291% of the Daily Value (DV) for this important nutrient well as 105% DV for vitamin A! So enjoy this quick-and-easy recipe for great taste and great nutritional value.

Prep and Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 lb red bell peppers, sliced
2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
5 TBS low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Optional: goat or feta cheese


Directions:

Chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to enhance its health-promoting properties.
Heat broth in a medium-size stainless steel skillet. When it begins to steam, add bell pepper slices. Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Uncover and cook for an additional 7 minutes.
Place peppers into a bowl and toss with garlic and extra virgin olive oil.
If desired, top with crumbled goat or feta cheese.
Serves 2

Introduction to Recipe Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify recipes that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Recipe Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the recipes that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which Healthy Sauteed Red Bell Peppers is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the recipe doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this recipe's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance back up to see the ingredients used in the recipe and the number of serving sizes provided by the recipe. Our nutrient ratings are based on a single serving. For example, if a recipe makes 4 servings, you would be receiving the nutrient amounts listed in the chart by eating 1/4th of the combined ingredients found in the recipe. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this recipe and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.
Healthy Sauteed Red Bell Peppers
1.00 serving
250.80 grams
243.44 calories
Nutrient Amount %DV Nutrient
Density World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin C 431.86 mg 719.8 53.2 excellent
vitamin A 7101.11 IU 142.0 10.5 excellent
vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.70 mg 35.0 2.6 good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

Food Of The Week: Bell Peppers!

Bell Peppers


A wonderful combination of tangy taste and crunchy texture, bell peppers are the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world with their beautifully shaped glossy exterior that comes in a wide array of vivid colors ranging from green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown to black. Although peppers are available throughout the year, they are most abundant and tasty during the months of August and September.

Sweet peppers are plump, bell-shaped vegetables featuring either three or four lobes. They usually range in size from 2 to 5 inches in diameter, and 2 to 6 inches in length. Inside the thick flesh is an inner cavity with edible bitter seeds and a white spongy core. Bell peppers are not 'hot'. They contain a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin, the compound responsible for the 'hotness' found in other peppers.



This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Bell peppers provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System.


Colorful Protection Against Free Radicals

Want to color your life healthy? Brightly colored bell peppers, whether green, red, orange or yellow, are rich sources of some of the best nutrients available. To start, peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C and vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), two very powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants work together to effectively neutralize free radicals, which can travel through the body causing huge amounts of damage to cells. Free radicals are major players in the build up of cholesterol in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease, the nerve and blood vessel damage seen in diabetes, the cloudy lenses of cataracts, the joint pain and damage seen in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and the wheezing and airway tightening of asthma. By providing these two potent free radical destroyers, bell peppers may help prevent or reduce some of the symptoms of these conditions by shutting down the source of the problem.

Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

For atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, peppers also contain vitamin B6 and folic acid. These two B vitamins are very important for reducing high levels of homocysteine, a substance produced during the methylation cycle (an essential biochemical process in virtually every cell in the body). High homocysteine levels have been shown to cause damage to blood vessels and are associated with a greatly increased risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition to providing the vitamins that convert homocysteine into other beneficial molecules, bell peppers also provide fiber that can help lower high cholesterol levels, another risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

Promote Optimal Health

Red peppers are one of the few foods that contain lycopene, a carotenoid whose consumption has been inversely correlated with prostate cancer and cancers of the cervix, bladder and pancreas. Recent studies suggest that individuals whose diets are low in lycopene-rich foods are at greater risk for developing these types of cancers.

For people worried about colon cancer, the fiber found in peppers can help to reduce the amount of contact that colon cells have with cancer-causing toxins found in certain foods or produced by certain gut bacteria. In addition, consumption of vitamin C, beta-carotene, and folic acid, all found in bell peppers, is associated with a significantly reduced risk of colon cancer.

Consuming foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoid found in highest amounts in red bell peppers, pumpkin, corn, papaya, tangerines, oranges and peaches, may significantly lower one's risk of developing lung cancer. A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention reviewed dietary and lifestyle data collected from over 60,000 adults in Shanghai, China and found that those eating the most crytpoxanthin-rich foods showed a 27% reduction in lung cancer risk. When current smokers were evaluated, those who were also in the group consuming the most cryptoxanthin-rich foods were found to have a 37% lower risk of lung cancer compared to smokers who ate the least of these health-protective foods.
Promote Lung Health

If you or someone you love is a smoker, or if you are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke, then making vitamin A-rich foods, such as bell peppers, part of your healthy way of eating may save your life, suggests research conducted at Kansas State University.

While studying the relationship between vitamin A, lung inflammation, and emphysema, Richard Baybutt, associate professor of nutrition at Kansas State, made a surprising discovery: a common carcinogen in cigarette smoke, benzo(a)pyrene, induces vitamin A deficiency.

Baybutt's earlier research had shown that laboratory animals fed a vitamin A-deficient diet developed emphysema. His latest animal studies indicate that not only does the benzo(a)pyrene in cigarette smoke cause vitamin A deficiency, but that a diet rich in vitamin A can help counter this effect, thus greatly reducing emphysema.

Baybutt believes vitamin A's protective effects may help explain why some smokers do not develop emphysema. "There are a lot of people who live to be 90 years old and are smokers," he said. "Why? Probably because of their diet…The implications are that those who start smoking at an early age are more likely to become vitamin A deficient and develop complications associated with cancer and emphysema. And if they have a poor diet, forget it." If you or someone you love smokes, or if your work necessitates exposure to second hand smoke, protect yourself by making sure that at least one of the World's Healthiest Foods that are rich in vitamin A, such as bell peppers, is a daily part of your healthy way of eating.

Seeing Red May Mean Better Eyesight

Bell peppers appear to have a protective effect against cataracts, possibly due to their vitamin C and beta-carotene content. Italian researchers compared the diets of hospital patients who had cataracts removed with patients who had not undergone the operation. Certain vegetables, including sweet peppers, reduced the cataract operation risk. The red variety of bell peppers also supply the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been found to protect against macular degeneration, the main cause of blindness in the elderly.

Protection against Rheumatoid Arthritis

While one study suggests that high doses of supplemental vitamin C makes osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative arthritis that occurs with aging, worse in laboratory animals, another indicates that vitamin C-rich foods, such as bell and chili peppers, provide humans with protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints.

The findings, presented in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases were drawn from a study of more than 20,000 subjects who kept diet diaries and were arthritis-free when the study began, and focused on subjects who developed inflammatory polyarthritis and subjects who remained arthritis-free during the follow-up period. Subjects who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C-rich foods were more than three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed the highest amounts.

Description

Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers, are like the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world since they are beautifully shaped, glossy in appearance and come in a variety of vivid colors such as green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown and black. Despite their varied palette, all are the same plant, known scientifically as Capsicum annuum, and are members of the nighstshade family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant.

Sweet peppers are plump, bell shaped vegetables that usually feature either three or four lobes. There are also other varieties that have a more tapered shape and no distinguishing lobes. Sweet peppers usually range in size from two to five inches in diameter and two to six inches in length. Inside the thick flesh is an inner cavity with edible bitter seeds and a white spongy core.

Bell peppers have a delightful, slightly watery crunch. Green and purple peppers have a slightly bitter flavor, while the red, orange and yellows are sweeter and almost fruity. Pimento and paprika are both prepared from red bell peppers.

History

Like their relatives, the chili peppers, bell peppers originated in South America with seeds of a wild variety dating back to 5000 BC. Like many other foods native to this region, sweet peppers were carried throughout the world by the Spanish and Portuguese explorers who traveled through this continent.

Due to the fact that bell peppers are very adaptable plants, being able to be grown in tropical and temperature climates, as well as very versatile foods, their cultivation and adoption into varying cuisines spread rapidly throughout many parts of the world. They have become a staple in central Europe where they are dried for paprika, a necessity for the flavor of Louisiana Creole dishes, and an integral ingredient in both Mexican and Portuguese cuisines. Currently, the main producers of sweet peppers are China, Turkey, Spain, Romania, Nigeria and Mexico.

How to Select and Store

Choose peppers that have deep vivid colors, taut skin, and that are free of soft spots, blemishes and darkened areas. Their stems should be green and fresh looking. Peppers should be heavy for their size and firm enough so that they will gently yield to slight pressure. Avoid those that have signs of decay including injuries to the skin or water-soaked areas. The shape of the pepper does not generally affect the quality, although it may result in excessive waste or not be suitable to certain recipe preparations. Peppers are available throughout the year but are usually in greater abundance during the summer months.

Unwashed sweet peppers stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator will keep for up to one week. Sweet peppers can be frozen without first being blanched. It is better to freeze them whole since there will be less exposure to air which can degrade both their nutrient content and flavor.

How to Enjoy

For some of our favorite recipes, click Recipes.

Tips for Preparing Bell Peppers:

Before coring and/or cutting the pepper, wash it under running water. If the pepper has been waxed, you should also scrub it well.

Use a paring knife to cut around the stem and then gently remove it. Peppers can be cut into various shapes and sizes. To easily chop, dice or cut the peppers into strips, first cut the pepper in half lengthwise, clean out the core and seeds, and then, after placing the skin side down on the cutting surface, cut into the desired size and shape. Peppers can also be cut horizontally into rings or left whole for stuffed peppers after carefully removing the seeds from the inner cavity.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Add finely chopped bell peppers to tuna or chicken salad.

Steam cored peppers for five minutes, stuff them with your favorite rice salad or grain pilaf, and bake in a 350©F oven until they are hot.

Healthy sauté chopped peppers, celery and onions, then combine with tofu, chicken or seafood to make a simple Louisiana Creole dish.

Purée roasted and peeled peppers with healthy sautéed onions and zucchini to make a deliciously refreshing soup that can be served hot or cold.

Bell peppers are one of the best vegetables to serve in a crudité platter since not only do they add a brilliant splash of color, but their texture is also the perfect crunchy complement for dips.

Individual Concerns

Bell Pepper and Pesticide Residues

Virtually all municipal drinking water in the United States contains pesticide residues, and with the exception of organic foods, so do the majority of foods in the U.S. food supply. Even though pesticides are present in food at very small trace levels, their negative impact on health is well documented. The liver's ability to process other toxins, the cells' ability to produce energy, and the nerves' ability to send messages can all be compromised by pesticide exposure. According to the Environmental Working Group's 2010 report "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides," bell peppers are among the 12 foods on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found. Therefore, individuals wanting to avoid pesticide-associated health risks may want to avoid consumption of bell peppers unless they are grown organically.

Bell Pepper Belongs to the Nightshade Family

Bell pepper is one of the vegetables in the nightshade (Solanaceae) family, which includes eggplant, tomatoes and white potatoes. Anecdotal case histories link improvement in arthritis symptoms with removal of these foods; ; however, no case-controlled scientific studies confirm these observations. For more on nightshades, please see our article "What are nightshades and in which foods are they found?"
Nutritional Profile

One cup of raw, chopped red peppers provides over 100% of the DV for vitamin C and vitamin A. Red peppers are also an excellent source of vitamin B6. Green peppers are a very good source of fiber, folate, and vitamin K as well as the minerals molybdenum and manganese. In addition to beta-carotene, red peppers contain the beneficial phytonutrients lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Bell peppers.

In-Depth Nutritional Profile

In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Bell peppers is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.
Bell peppers, red, raw, slices
1.00 cup
92.00 grams
24.84 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%) Nutrient
Density World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin C 174.80 mg 291.3 211.1 excellent
vitamin A 5244.00 IU 104.9 76.0 excellent
vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.23 mg 11.5 8.3 excellent
dietary fiber 1.84 g 7.4 5.3 very good
molybdenum 4.60 mcg 6.1 4.4 very good
vitamin K 4.51 mcg 5.6 4.1 very good
manganese 0.11 mg 5.5 4.0 very good
folate 20.24 mcg 5.1 3.7 very good
potassium 162.84 mg 4.7 3.4 good
vitamin B1 (thiamin) 0.06 mg 4.0 2.9 good
vitamin E 0.63 mg 3.1 2.3 good
tryptophan 0.01 g 3.1 2.3 good
copper 0.06 mg 3.0 2.2 good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 5


Day 5? Really? It's only day 5? It feels like he has been gone forever. I know I am just having a bad day. I know there will be more of them to come in the coming year. I know that I can't tell him. I know I must be happy, keep his spirits up. But I am having a hard day. We didn't cry when we parted for his deployment. We parted with smile & well wishes for the next time we see each other. I didn't cry when he got on the bus that I knew would take him away. I knew he might see & that is not what he needed. Once he left, I knew that sleep or no sleep, I had to not only leave post, but leave town. I knew that if I went back to our bed to try to sleep, I would lose it. Since then, I have driven over 1500 miles, kept myself SO busy in order to not think about it.

I had intended to write each day. Blog about our first deployment. Yes, we had an unaccompanied tour last year, but this is our first deployment and I assure you any military wife who has been through a deployment will be QUICK to let you know if you haven't been through a deployment. Whatever! I couldn't sit down & think about it & write. Then today happened. Nothing really happened. Actually, nothing at all happened. I have isolated myself, stayed in my room most of the time, sitting on the bed. I haven't left the house, gotten out of my pj's, or cared to do either of those.

I tried. I got up this morning & wanted to get out of bed, but somehow just didn't seem like I could. It took me great effort to finally get out of the room. I made it to the kitchen, made a fried egg sandwich for me & for my Mother. I sat down there, ate & tried to act sociable. I found myself slowly migrating back upstairs to be alone after I put dishes in to wash & put in laundry.

I panicked when after taking the laundry down I couldn't find my yellow ribbon pin I had taken off my clothes. I haven't worn clothes without it since it was given to me the night/morning (midnight-ish) when we got to company for him to leave. I had my dog tags with his wedding band that I have kept with me since he left, I had my worry stone that he had given me to try to keep my hands busy (so I won't bite my fingernails. He hates it & never misses a chance to let me know it). But I felt like I might just have a meltdown if I didn't find the yellow ribbon pin. Such a little thing, but not really.

When my parents got back to the house tonight, I heard them coming in & came upstairs because I just didn't even feel like I am good company. I don't feel I can entertain anyone or hold a conversation. I thought I would blog.

I had put my SD card into the computer a few days ago & put the pics on the puter, but I hadn't looked at them, or anything. When I started to blog, I wanted to add a pic of my hubby the morning he left. When I saw the pics as I was looking through them for one to put with this post, I lost it. I finally cried. I can't explain why then except I saw his face.

He has been so great so far to keep in touch. We have chatted online everyday. I know where he is, what he's doing, who he's with, what he has had to eat, that his feet are blistered from the sweat from the unbearable heat. We have talked. I know when he finally got to sleep, when he couldn't sleep, what the PX there is out of. I should be happy, right? I mean I know there are military wives out there right now that haven't heard from their husbands. But I sit here feeling sorry for myself because I don't have his shoulder to lay my head on tonight. I can't touch his skin & know the way his skin feels so different from my own. I can't watch him sleep like I did when he was here (I would have never understood anyone doing that until I started doing it. And now the tears keep coming without stop. If it were simply a release, wouldn't it feel good? But it doesn't. Truly, it doesn't. I want to weep aloud, scream, wail, lay down and pound my fists on the ground. And if I had the energy to get off the bed, I might.

I know today is almost over. I know tomorrow is a new day and I will wake up & today will be gone. I know I can make tomorrow better. But I can't do anything about right now. I can't make myself stop wishing he was right here. Why day 5? I don't know. Is this normal? That I don't know either. I wonder why I am having a harder time now than I was when he left for Korea. Maybe, because I now know just exactly how long a year can be.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Getting To Know You

Here are 8 Questions

I ask, you can comment & answer. Also, my answers are down below.

1. Have you ever snooped around someone else's house?

2. Can guys and girls be friends?

3. Can you curl your tongue?

4. Have you ever stolen anything?

5. Would you rather talk on the phone or text?

6. Independence Day plans?

7. What do you do to relax?

8. Do you do anything to honor those that have died fighting for our freedom?
_________________________________________________________________________________


Here are my answers:

1. Have you ever snooped around someone else's house? only if I was babysitting & the kids were looking for something they lost, etc.

2. Can guys and girls be friends? of course! Everyone has friends & not all of them have to be the same as you. that is how yoru life experiences get enriched. You have a wide variety of friends.

3. Can you curl your tongue? Of course I can! I have MANY talents! hehe

4. Have you ever stolen anything? no! I don't recommend doing anything that would weigh on your heart & mind.

5. Would you rather talk on the phone or text? It depends on the circumstance. If it is business & there are #'s to relay, text is a very handy tool. If someone is sick, you need to call.

6. Independence Day plans? I plan on spending the day with my hubby.

7. What do you do to relax? Get a glass of tea & a book

8. Do you do anything to honor those that have died fighting for our freedom? My husband is a soldier, several Uncles are former soldiers & both Grandfathers. While none of my immediate family was lost fighting for our freedom, I feel that I sacrifice on a daily basis to continue the work those who died fighting for our freedom stood for.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I got my idea from a couple other blogs for Thankful Thursday, but it is my own twist of course.

It is almost July. Here are some things I am thinkful for:

1. Oscillating fans! It is SO hot in Coastal SE Georgia. I mean HOT that even being raised in AL I didn't know about.

2. Being able to spend this one last holiday weekend with my husband.

3. July 4th! Independence Day! And that I get to spend it with my favorite Soldier, my husband.

4. All of the Soldiers past & present that make it possible for me to be here & write this.

5. My Anniversary! It is in July! Unfortunately, my husband and I won't be able to celebrate it together (He will be in Iraq by then). We didn't get to celebrate together last year either (He was in South Korea). And the year before, he was in VA. We survive it though. And like I said, he is here now.

6. All the red, white & blue that I see. It makes me proud to know I am surrounded by those who don't take our freedom for granted.

7. My family. If you've met them, enough said.

8. My kids. I have the best!

If you have kids, please read

This was taken from Momlogic also. I love it!


On mom on why she thinks anyone who says they love their kids 24/7 is full of it.


Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2008/06/why_i_hate_my_kids.php#ixzz0sRZZdP6x

Momlogic's Momstrosity: OK, before you freak out over the headline: "How can you say you hate your kids?? I just LOVE being a mommy!!" Sorry, but you're probably the same woman who said it was "love at first sight" when you laid eyes on your newborn in the delivery room. Come on. How can you fall in love with a shriveled, crying, poop machine?

If you want to delude yourself, that's fine--maybe you've seen one too many Johnson & Johnson baby lotion commercials. The truth is, having kids is a huge pain in the ass, but most moms are too brainwashed to admit it.



Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2008/06/why_i_hate_my_kids.php#ixzz0sRZeCzCi

Anyway, that said, here are 10 reasons why I hate my kid:

1. My car consistently reeks of rancid milk. So much for that new car smell.

2. Because of my kid, I'll never, ever, ever, get my flat stomach back. I know my kid's to blame 'cause she was the last one in there.

3. In order to strap my toddler into his car seat, I have to use every ounce of my physical strength as if I'm subduing a psychotic mental patient. And I have the bites and scratches to prove it.

4. Because changing urine-soaked sheets and comforters when they've wet the bed isn't my idea of a good time. Just once I'd like to hear the sound of my washing machine NOT running.

5. When she spit rejected semi-masticated food into my hands.

6. When my toddler, mid-tantrum, drops to the sidewalk like dead-weight when I'm in a hurry. A walk generally turns into a drag.

7. Trying to pretend I give a sh*t about Dora the Explorer.

8. If it weren't for my kid, I would never have to set foot in that demonic mouse palace known as Chuck E. Cheese.

9. My once beautiful couch, walls, and drapes are covered in peanut butter and fluorescent Play-Doh.

10. I used to really like to have sex--that's how I managed to pop out a kid in the first place. Now I'm so tired, I'd rather stick a fork in my eye.


Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2008/06/why_i_hate_my_kids.php#ixzz0sRZoNEy0

Perfect Mom's, Please Read~

This was taken from momlogic.


And many, many more. So for you perfect mothers, I have compiled my list of 10 Things I Hate About You. Yes, you.

1) You never show up at the park without your colorful compartmentalized snack trays loaded up with finger foods from each of the five food groups. Watching you doling them out to your kids, I wonder if you think you're hosting a cocktail party for midgets.

2) Your car is covered in bumper stickers announcing each and every achievement of your gifted child. Why stop there? Affix a sticker to tell the world your kid's potty trained: Proud parent of a kid who can wipe his own ass!

3) Your diaper bag matches your outfit, which matches your manicured nails, which matches your burp cloths. And when your baby does spit up (I'm sure it rarely happens, oh, perfect one) I half expect it to be in the same color scheme as your Bugaboo.

4) Because, hyper-organized freak that you are, you put your kids on the waiting list for preschool before you even conceived. Now, I'm unable to find an opening within a 150-mile radius of my home and must commute to a different time zone to find a decent school.

5) Waiting in line at Target, you feel it necessary to bestow me with your unsolicited childrearing advice. Hey, if you're so knowledgeable about parenting, write a book. I won't buy it, but when it's for sale on Amazon I'll be sure to give you a much-deserved one star review.

6) Must you really blather on that your children have never even seen a television, let alone watch one? What do you do with your kids at night--flip through a picture book version of War and Peace?

7) Every year, must you inflict us all with your annual holiday "brag letter?" This year, cut to the chase and give it a new title: "Why I Think My Family is Better Than Yours."

8) I don't know how you got your pre-baby body back, but I'm thinking it involved a knife and a hefty credit card bill. How much is vaginal rejuvenation these days anyway?

9) Because regular sleepaway camp isn't good enough for your kid. You've got to send them to Tennis Camp, Astronaut Camp or Throw Your Money Away Camp.

10) Finally, if you've ever said anything resembling this statement "Since I've had kids, I love having sex more than ever," then come on over to my house and have sex with my husband. I'm beat



Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2008/07/post_11.php/r:t#ixzz0sRXiQGJ8

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Folding a Fitted Sheet

You have to knwo how uncoordinated that I am to know that when I attempt to fold a fitted sheet, I should have wadded it up. So I asked around & a friend sent me this:



This is really cool! Now off ot learn how to fold towels & other things! Maybe it will make laundry fun. Ok, I know. But one can dream, right?

Army News

Army News

Now, isn't that a misnomer? To those of us that are Army or Army Spouses or military at all, we all know that no news, bad news, changing news, it's all news & none of it is accurate for more than a minute. Are we, as spouses ever up to date? No. Because as soon as information is given to your soldier, by the time they relay that message to you, the information has changed, yet again. It is definitely something to get used to.

As most of you know, my DH will soon be deploying. This is our first deployment, although he has spent about 3 1/2 years in So. Korea on unaccompanied tours. Things that are different: Since this is a deployment, we will get R & R. That is time within the year where my soldier gets to come home for about 10 days. Yay! On an unaccompanied tour, if your soldier wants to come home, he has to ask for leave, get it approved, pay for the flight to & from out of his own pocket, etc.

Since this is my first deployment, and my husbands, we are both learning a lot. Rumors fly, different rumors, daily.

Family & friends haven't been as bad as I thought they would be about asking questions that we can't answer or don't have the answer to. Seems like with our unaccompanied tour I had more friends & family asking questions, calling, etc. I am not sure why that is. Probably just my own experience.

I have caught myself hermitting up in the house with my DH, maybe trying to shut out the world until he leaves, so I haven't been as good about getting news out to everyone. And of course, with a deployment, there is news you can't share. And, as I stated before, the every changing news.

The best advise I got for Army was when I was a total "army virgin" and knew nothing. It was this: "Don't count on anything in the Army, until it is past tense." It is so true.

Fat Loss Tip of the Day!

FAT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY:Include more fiber to feel full. Eat lentils, dry beans, peas, vegetables, fruits, brown rice, and whole grains

Stay close to a potty if you do this! hehe.

Wednesday Hump Day

Update:

My DH & I are spending our last few days together before he deploys. We are attempting to enjoy every minute we have together. It isn't easy as I am moving back to AL as soon as he leaves. Nothing like a pending deployment, pending move, and job hunting to lick the red off your candy.

We really aren't going anywhere or doing anything except our normal average everyday routine. he goes to work. I do laundry, dishes, cook, clean. He comes home, we eat & hang out. We haven't planned any wild trips last minute or anything. I think the calmness of our "old folks" lifestyle is a comfort to us.

If you are reading this, please pray for us as we face another year apart. I am very thankful that this time at least we will have R & R. For those of you who aren't military, R & R is 10 days of leave during the year where they will send my DH home & we get to have a visit. You can request certain days, but NOTHING is promised. They may not give him the dates he requested at all. We shall see. I will be sure to let everyone know as soon as I know.

As for the move, I thought moving back onto Redstone was the answer. I have prayed about this. An opportunity that my DH & I both feel is a blessing has entered our lives & we are praying it works out. More details on that as it unfolds. Please keep our housing situation in your thoughts & prayers, that we make the best decision, walk in faith.

One more thing to keep us in your thoughts & prayers about: When we get back to AL, Rod will be seeking part time employment, his first "real" job. He has completed an internship through the hired! program on post here in GA. So he has worked. He has also acquired volunteer hours over the years of homeschool. Pray that us allowing this is the right thing. And I will be actively seeking employment as well. Please pray that the job opportunity that allows me to contribute financially to my family as well as offering enough time to go back to college arrives with such clarity that I know it is the right decision.

Yesterday afternoon my DH & I had to go back on post for an appointment for my DH. We are riding along & right before the gate comes into view, I start crying. For those of you who know me, you know how "not like me" that is. There was no apparent reason. I had to dry my eyes because the gate came into view. No time to break down. Not a good time to break down anyway. I try to put my DH leaving, another year apart, in the back of my head. Then it creeps up on me at the weirdest times. Nothing happened. I just knew that in a few days, in mere hours, in no time at all, he wouldn't be in the other seat for me to look over & see. I have to believe that things are the way they are supposed to be, not necessarily the way I want them to be.

I am feeling a little unsettled thinking I don't have housing situated, I don't have a job as of today, I will be moving, my husband will be leaving and all of this within almost no time. We went through similar when he went to South Korea last year, but for some reason I feel more out of sorts than last time. Maybe because I now know how much I really will miss him and how long a year can really be. that is why I am so thankful for R & R. I can count down the days.

Wednesday's Cryptoquote

I love Cryptoquotes! Let me know if you like them!

DUDOMNGD XFELD AOEKNRDG AGBMYEFEHNMXF XLR

AYBGNMXF QDLDZNWG. YEVDKDO, NZ BEC XFGE XREAW

X GWOXWDHB WYXW DLHXHDG BECO SNLR VYNFD BEC

DUDOMNGD, BEC MXL HDW X VYEFD YEGW EZ

AGBMYEFEHNMXF QDLDZNWG ZXNOFB TCNMPFB.

- IXSDG ONAAD



Yesterday's Cryptoquote Answer:

You can't have everything. Where would you put it? - Steven Wright

Daily Jigsaw Puzzle



I love Doggies! This is so cute!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fat Loss Tip of the Day

When grilling bacon or sausage, allow the fat to drain away by placing it on a wire rack during cooking.


I sure like the idea of eating bacon & sausage! hehe

Picture Tuesday











Picture 1: The day Rod got out of the hospital. He wanted Chinese food, so we all went to Kim San's. He hadn't had solid food for days, so he had a craving. Happy Memorial Day!

Picture 2: Happy Birthday to my DH! He is now 43! This was his Super Hero Cake. He has a Captain America fetish! I had to send the kids to get the cake done because by this time I had caught whatever Rod had.


Picture 3: Me & my friend Christy at her & her DH's 10 year Anniversary.

Picture 4: My friend Alyssa picking up a potato ball & eating it like it is a carmel apple on a stick. This was her first time at a German Restaurant.


Picture 5: Happy Father's Day! This is the Captain America Shield I made for my DH for Father's Day. That is a story unto itself! hehe!

Picture 6: Canned food drive, Rod doing a skit with drama

Picture 7: A pic Rod sent me from his phone of him & Kitty

Picture 8: My little Sierra in the creek

Daily Cryptoquote

QTO SGM'W NGAY YAYZQWNBMH. FNYZY FTOER QTO VOW BW? - LWYAYM FZBHNW

Daily Jigsaw Puzzle

This was taken from Jigzone.com.

I love their jigsaw puzzles!

Artic

Recipe of the Week

This information came from The World's Healthiest Foods

www.whfoods.org

Steamed Mexican Corn on the Cob

The red chili powder will add a spicy twist to the summer favorite of corn on the cob!

Prep and Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
4 ears fresh corn on the cob
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp red chili powder
4 tsp lime juice
salt, black pepper, and cumin powder to taste


Directions:

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a steamer with a tight fitting lid. Do not salt water.
Remove husks and corn silk from corn cobs. Place the corn in the steamer basket, cover, and steam for 5 minutes.
While corn is steaming, mix together olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
Remove corn from steamer, brush with oil mixture, and serve hot.
Serves 4



Nutritional Profile



Introduction to Recipe Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify recipes that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Recipe Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the recipes that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which Steamed Mexican Corn on the Cob is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the recipe doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this recipe's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance back up to see the ingredients used in the recipe and the number of serving sizes provided by the recipe. Our nutrient ratings are based on a single serving. For example, if a recipe makes 4 servings, you would be receiving the nutrient amounts listed in the chart by eating 1/4th of the combined ingredients found in the recipe. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this recipe and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.
Steamed Mexican Corn on the Cob
1.00 serving
98.25 grams
144.32 calories
Nutrient Amount %DV Nutrient
Density World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin A 689.49 IU 13.8 1.7 good
vitamin B1 (thiamin) 0.18 mg 12.0 1.5 good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

Food Of the Week: Corn

This information comes from The World's Healthiest Foods www.whfoods.org

What vegetable is more synonymous with the coming of summer than freshly picked corn on the cob? Although corn is now available in markets year-round, it is the locally grown varieties that you can purchase during the summer months that not only tastes the best but are usually the least expensive.

Corn grows in "ears," each of which is covered in rows of kernels that are then protected by the silk-like threads called "corn silk" and encased in a husk. Corn is known scientifically as Zea mays. This moniker reflects its traditional name, maize, by which it was known to the Native Americans as well as many other cultures throughout the world.

Go enjoy some corn!



Health Benefits
Description
History
How to Select and Store
How to Enjoy
Safety
Nutritional Profile
References
Health Benefits

Hot, fresh corn-on-the-cob is an almost essential part of any summertime party. Fortunately, it is also worthy part of any healthful menu. Our food ranking system qualified corn as a good source of many nutrients including thiamin (vitamin B1), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese.

Corn for Cardiovascular Health

Corn's contribution to heart health lies not just in its fiber, but in the significant amounts of folate that corn supplies.

Folate, which you may know about as a B-vitamin needed to prevent birth defects, also helps to lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is an intermediate product in an important metabolic process called the methylation cycle. Homocysteine can directly damage blood vessels, so elevated blood levels of this dangerous molecule are an independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease, and are found in between 20-40% of patients with heart disease. It has been estimated that consumption of 100% of the daily value (DV) of folate would, by itself, reduce the number of heart attacks suffered by Americans each year by 10%. Folate-rich diets are also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. A cup of corn supplies 19.0% of the DV for folate

Supports Lung Health

Consuming foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoid found in highest amounts in corn, pumpkin, papaya, red bell peppers, tangerines, oranges and peaches, may significantly lower one's risk of developing lung cancer. A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention reviewed dietary and lifestyle data collected from over 63,000 adults in Shanghai, China, who were followed for 8 years. Those eating the most crytpoxanthin-rich foods showed a 27% reduction in lung cancer risk. When current smokers were evaluated, those who were also in the group consuming the most cryptoxanthin-rich foods were found to have a 37% lower risk of lung cancer compared to smokers who ate the least of these health-protective foods.

Maintain Your Memory with Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

Corn is a good source of thiamin, providing about one-quarter (24.0%) of the daily value for this nutrient in a single cup. Thiamin is an integral participant in enzymatic reactions central to energy production and is also critical for brain cell/cognitive function. This is because thiamin is needed for the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for memory, whose lack has been found to be a significant contributing factor in age-related impairment in mental function (senility) and Alzheimer's disease. In fact, Alzheimer's disease is clinically characterized by a decrease in acetylcholine levels. Don't forget to make corn a staple in your healthy diet.

Support for Energy Production, Even Under Stress

In addition to its thiamin, corn is a good source of pantothenic acid. This B vitamin is necessary for carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism. Pantothenic acid is an especially valuable B-vitamin when you're under stress since it supports the function of the adrenal glands. A cup of corn supplies 14.4% of the daily value for pantothenic acid.

Health-Promoting Activity Equal to or Even Higher than that of Vegetables and Fruits

Research reported at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) International Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer, by Rui Hai Liu, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues at Cornell University shows that whole grains, such as corn, contain many powerful phytonutrients whose activity has gone unrecognized because research methods have overlooked them.

Despite the fact that for years researchers have been measuring the antioxidant power of a wide array of phytonutrients, they have typically measured only the "free" forms of these substances, which dissolve quickly and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. They have not looked at the "bound" forms, which are attached to the walls of plant cells and must be released by intestinal bacteria during digestion before they can be absorbed.

Phenolics, powerful antioxidants that work in multiple ways to prevent disease, are one major class of phytonutrients that have been widely studied. Included in this broad category are such compounds as quercetin, curcumin, ellagic acid, catechins, and many others that appear frequently in the health news.

When Dr. Liu and his colleagues measured the relative amounts of phenolics, and whether they were present in bound or free form, in common fruits and vegetables like apples, red grapes, broccoli and spinach, they found that phenolics in the "free" form averaged 76% of the total number of phenolics in these foods. In whole grains, however, "free" phenolics accounted for less than 1% of the total, while the remaining 99% were in "bound" form.

In his presentation, Dr. Liu explained that because researchers have examined whole grains with the same process used to measure antioxidants in vegetables and fruits-looking for their content of "free" phenolics"-the amount and activity of antioxidants in whole grains has been vastly underestimated.

Despite the differences in fruits', vegetables' and whole grains' content of "free" and "bound" phenolics, the total antioxidant activity in all three types of whole foods is similar, according to Dr. Liu's research. His team measured the antioxidant activity of various foods, assigning each a rating based on a formula (micromoles of vitamin C equivalent per gram). Broccoli and spinach measured 80 and 81, respectively; apple and banana measured 98 and 65; and of the whole grains tested, corn measured 181, whole wheat 77, oats 75, and brown rice 56.

Dr. Liu's findings may help explain why studies have shown that populations eating diets high in fiber-rich whole grains consistently have lower risk for colon cancer, yet short-term clinical trials that have focused on fiber alone in lowering colon cancer risk, often to the point of giving subjects isolated fiber supplements, yield inconsistent results. The explanation is most likely that these studies have not taken into account the interactive effects of all the nutrients in whole grains-not just their fiber, but also their many phytonutrients. As far as whole grains are concerned, Dr. Liu believes that the key to their powerful cancer-fighting potential is precisely their wholeness. A grain of whole wheat consists of three parts-its endosperm (starch), bran and germ. When wheat-or any whole grain-is refined, its bran and germ are removed. Although these two parts make up only 15-17% of the grain's weight, they contain 83% of its phenolics. Dr. Liu says his recent findings on the antioxidant content of whole grains reinforce the message that a variety of foods should be eaten good health. "Different plant foods have different phytochemicals," he said. "These substances go to different organs, tissues and cells, where they perform different functions. What your body needs to ward off disease is this synergistic effect - this teamwork - that is produced by eating a wide variety of plant foods, including whole grains."

Description

Corn is an icon of American culture. Not only does it represent Native American traditions and serve as a symbol of both summertime BBQ fun and a night out at the movies, but corn, in the form of corn syrup, is also an added ingredient in many other foods that we consume in our daily diets.

Although we often associate corn with the color yellow, it actually comes in host of different varieties featuring an array of different colors, such as red, pink, black, and blue. Corn grows in "ears," each of which is covered in rows of kernels that are then protected by the silk-like threads called "corn silk" and encased in a husk.

Corn is known scientifically as Zea mays. This moniker reflect its traditional name, maize, by which it is known throughout many areas of the world.

History

An important food plant that is native to America, corn is thought to have originated in either Mexico or Central America. It has been a staple food in native civilizations since primitive times with some of the earliest traces of meal made from corn dating back about 7,000 years.

Corn has played and still continues to play a vital role in Native American cultures. It has been greatly honored for its ability to provide not only sustenance as food but shelter, fuel, decoration and more. Because of the vital role that corn played in the livelihood of many native cultures, it has been one of the important icons represented in the mythological traditions of the Mayan, Aztec and Incan civilizations.

Traditional dishes made with corn often included a small amount of lime-not the fruit, but calcium oxide, the mineral complex that can be made by burning limestone. Limestone is a sedimentary rock that is composed of calcium carbonate and occurs naturally across the United States. This lime added to a cornmeal was generally obtained from the fire ash because a small amount of lime is produced simply from the burning of wood into ash. The reason for this process was simple: people seemed healthier when the pot ash was added. Now we know why. The niacin (vitamin B3) in corn is not readily available for absorption into the body, and lime helps free this B vitamin, making it available for absorption.

When Christopher Columbus and other explorers came to the New World, they found corn growing throughout the Americas, from Chile to Canada. It was consumed both as a vegetable and as a grain in the form of cornmeal seasoned and eaten as an accompaniment to vegetables, fish or meat. The corn that was prized was not just limited to the yellow and white kernel varieties that we know, but many other more popular varieties that featured kernels of red, blue, pink and black and were not only solidly colored, but spotted or striped.

Corn was brought back to Europe by Spanish and Portuguese explorers who later introduced it throughout the world. However, many of the European explorers coming over to North America ignored Native American traditions-including the pot ash tradition-and later fell victim to the vitmamin B3 deficiency disease called pellagra. Today, the largest commercial producers of corn include the United States, China, Brazil, Mexico and the Russian Federation.

How to Select and Store

Since heat rapidly converts the sugar in corn to starch, it is very important to choose corn that is displayed in a cool place. If shopping for corn in the supermarket, make sure it is refrigerated. If purchasing corn at a farmer's market or roadside stand, make sure that if the corn is not refrigerated, it has at least been kept in the shade, out of direct sunlight.

Look for corn whose husks are fresh and green and not dried out. They should envelope the ear and not fit too loosely around it. To examine the kernels, pull back part of the husk. The kernels should be plump and tightly arranged in rows. You can test for the juiciness of the corn by taking your fingernail and pressing on a kernel. Corn that is fresh will exude a white milky substance.

To enjoy corn's maximum flavor, purchase it on the day you are going to cook it since corn has a tendency to lose its flavor relatively rapidly. Store corn in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Do not remove its husk since this will protect its flavor. To enjoy its optimal sweetness, corn should be eaten as soon as possible.

Fresh corn freezes well if placed in heavy-duty freezer bags. To prepare whole ears for freezing, blanch them first for seven to eleven minutes depending upon their size (larger ears take a longer time to blanch than smaller ones). If you just want to freeze the kernels, first blanch the ears for about five minutes and then cut the kernels off the cob at about three-quarters of their depths. Whole corn on the cob will keep for up to one year, while the kernels can be frozen for two to three months.

If you're watching your weight or your blood sugar levels, choose blue corn chips and tortillas. Corn comes in a rainbow of colors, including violet, blue, and black. Darker varieties contain greater quantities of antioxidant pigments called anthocyanins. Blue corn tortillas contain about 20% more protein and 8% less starch giving them a lower glycemic index than the more common version made with white corn; plus blue corn tortillas have a softer texture and sweeter flavor than those made with white corn, reports Dr. Luis Bello-Perez in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Hernández-Uribe JP, Agama-Acevedo E, et al. J Sci Food Agric Epub 2007 July.

How to Enjoy

For some of our favorite recipes, click Recipes.

Tips for Preparing Corn:

Corn can be cooked either with or without its husk in a variety of different ways. If using the wet heat methods of boiling or steaming, make sure not to add salt or overcook as the corn will tend to become hard and lose its flavor. Or, they can be broiled in the husk. If broiling, first soak the corn in the husk ahead.

When purchasing corn tortillas, purchase those that include lime (the mineral complex calcium oxide, not the fruit juice) in their ingredient list. The addition of lime to the corn meal helps make the niacin (vitamin B3) in the tortilla more available for absorption.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Eat corn on the cob either just as is or seasoned with a little organic butter, olive oil or flaxseed oil, salt and pepper, nutritional yeast or any other herbs or spices you enjoy.

Healthy sauté cooked corn with green chilis and onions. Served hot, this makes a wonderful side dish.

Enjoy a cold salad with an ancient Incan influence by combining cooked corn kernels, quinoa, tomatoes, green peppers and red kidney beans.

Use polenta (a type of cornmeal) as a pizza crust for a healthy pizza.

Add corn kernels and diced tomatoes to guacamole to give it extra zing.

Adding corn to soup, whether it chili or chowder, enhances the soup's hardiness, let alone its nutritional profile.

Safety

Corn and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

A large percentage of the conventionally grown corn in the United States come from genetically modified (GM) seeds. If you are looking your exposure to GM foods, choose organically grown corn, since the current USDA organic regulations prohibit the use of GM seeds for growing foods to be labeled as organically grown. A wide assortment of processed food contain corn-based ingredients (such as high-fructose corn syrup and corn starch); look for the organic version of these items in your foods and/or look for foods that note that they do not contain any genetically modified ingredients (sometimes this is noted on the packaged as "GMO-free"). For more on this subject, see this Q+A.

Nutritional Profile

Introduction to Food Rating System Chart

The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good or good source. Next to the nutrient name you will find the following information: the amount of the nutrient that is included in the noted serving of this food; the %Daily Value (DV) that that amount represents (similar to other information presented in the website, this DV is calculated for 25-50 year old healthy woman); the nutrient density rating; and, the food's World's Healthiest Foods Rating. Underneath the chart is a table that summarizes how the ratings were devised. Read detailed information on our Food and Recipe Rating System.
Corn, yellow, cooked
1.00 cup
164.00 grams
177.12 calories
Nutrient Amount DV
(%) Nutrient
Density World's Healthiest
Foods Rating
vitamin B1 (thiamin) 0.36 mg 24.0 2.4 good
folate 76.10 mcg 19.0 1.9 good
dietary fiber 4.60 g 18.4 1.9 good
vitamin C 10.16 mg 16.9 1.7 good
phosphorus 168.92 mg 16.9 1.7 good
manganese 0.32 mg 16.0 1.6 good
vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) 1.44 mg 14.4 1.5 good
World's Healthiest
Foods Rating Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%