Really? Pizza is a Vegie?

November 19, 2011 at 9:16 am | Posted in Diet / Nutrition | Leave a comment
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I am dumb-founded, disgusted, and totally confused. It’s incredible to me that frozen pizza has been “declared” a vegetable by the US congress.

Being in my profession, working young female athletes, and being in the community of athletic, health minded people (both in person and on line) I completely forget there are millions of people who actually choose frozen pizza for a meal because they believe it is healthy. Where do they get this idea? Of course I have served and eaten frozen pizza, but never with the idea that it is healthy. Sometimes it is easier than other foods, sometimes I need to feed a bunch of kids who I know are processed food oriented, and sometimes I heat one up because I think it will taste good. But none of these reasons have anything to do with frozen pizza being healthy and I know that frozen pizza simply is not a vegetable.

I am disgusted on many levels. First, that we have congress people who can be bought for any reason at any cost. Congress declaring pizza as a vegetable is clearly a breach of their job to work for the people. There is no way that any congress person can truly believe that cheese or pepperoni pizza is a vegetable, frozen or not. Second, I am disgusted that schools are willing to allow frozen pizza for lunches, especially for subsidized lunches. Where is the education? Are we only concerned with some minimal academic education? Do they think if they feed our youth with food that creates fat kids addicted to foods that create fat adults they are fully educating our children?

Third, and to me most important, I am disgusted with parents. We as parents have the ability, right, and responsibility to teach our children anything and everything from morals and values, to academic interests, to basic hygiene, to healthy living. Teaching our children to live a healthy life style is the most important thing we can do as parents. By giving them the skills and resources to be healthy we give our children the freedom to live a life of freedom. Statistically, healthy children always score higher on any kind of test given- from I.Q. to physical to creative. Of course we all know the exception: the kid, who against all odds, is amazing. But why do we take the chance, and encourage and provide our kids with foods we know cause ill health?

As parents we really must take a stand. We can be the ones who force schools to give our children real food, with vegetables being actually vegetables. We can become educated about foods and true healthy eating. And pass this on to our children. There is no excuse for anyone to not know about healthy eating, or to implement it. Studies also show that eating unprocessed, low sugar, low salt foods can be done for less money than cheap processed foods.

I’m confused. Since this is common knowledge why don’t people know this? Why are people, you included, holding tight to the idea that your processed foods are healthy and cheaper? I mean can’t you see all those fat kids waddling around? Are people so lazy they can’t deal with being the provider for their family and have to succumb to the whining and controlling of their kids? Who are becoming huge by being bombarded from the media and force-fed addictive foods simply to make some huge food corporations hugely profitable?

Don’t you get it? The corporations are now addicting us, and our kids, to foods that create unhealthy people. They used to addict us to tobacco and alcohol. But they aren’t allowed to do that anymore, so they have turned to addicting us to food. They know it will be nearly impossible to forbid the mass media to advertise about food.

So what can you do? First, educate yourself. Find out what is being done to you and your family from the foods you eat. Second, start to gradually shift from those addictive ill-health causing foods to sustaining health-causing foods. Third, tell one elected official to protect our nations greatest treasure of all, protect our children.

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How is Food is the beginning of Thankfulness?

November 26, 2008 at 7:40 am | Posted in attitudes, Families, parents, Self Esteem, spirituality, Wonderful Wednesday | Leave a comment
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It’s Wonderful Wednesday.  And this is such a special day because, as you know, it is the day before Thanksgiving.

 

I have been having you focus on one thing to be thankful for this week.  To really get involved with why that particular thing is worth being thankful for.  How this thing is connected to your whole life.  Not just fulfilling the basic need you have been taught to think about, but how this thing is a true part of your ability to live with passion, purpose, and integrity.

 

Mine has been food.  Of course food is necessary to live.  No one can live without food forever. Even Mahatma Gandhi had to eat after three weeks.  But we in our lives are not suffering from horrible cultural norms, devastating political outbursts, or even true financial disasters, and although there are natural disasters, we have a very strong support system to help our citizens get back on their feet.

 

So how is food connected to more than my ability to stay alive?  How does food connect to every aspect of my life?  Food is a huge process.  It is a daily task.  Food is a way for my family and friends to be together.  I still have at least two meals a day together as a family.  At the time of preparation there is usually one child who is miserable about something.  That child comes to me in the kitchen and whines, complains, shouts, cries, or stands around with the silent treatment.  The kicking has pretty much stopped.

 

And while I prepare the meal, I can help that child learn and understand how to cope with such atrocities as a sister taking back her favorite shirt, being pushed over out of spite, or just being grumpy for no reason.  I am sure that without meal prep I would still have children who needed support and guidance, but it is during meal prep that some of my most nurturing moments occur.

 

The meals themselves are filled with conversations.  You can imagine with the age spread of aged 8 to 16 at home full time, and having guests regularly. Over the 24 years I have been a parent those conversations have changed, mutated, and developed.  Some themes continue, others come and go.  Many of my fondest memories are when we have been eating.  Memories are a vital part of my spiritual well-being.  When I am stressed, down, overwhelmed I can find a memory to bring me back into perspective. 

 

And there is the clean up time.  This is the never-ending scourge of my life.  There are always dirty dishes, counters, tabletops… I can go about the clean up process with anger and bitterness that I am still stuck with doing it or must nag and constantly remind my kids to do their part.  But I can get past that.  I can see that all this mess is a product of abundance.  And this abundance is not just the quantity of food and dishes we have, but the abundance of living we have.  My family does everything with real gusto.  It comes from our souls and spirits., and the food mess is daily evidence of this.

 

The process of getting Thanksgiving dinner on our table began on Monday.  We made our menu. Yesterday we went shopping.  Today we do prep for many dishes and help my mom with her pies. (She will make four from scratch- crust and all and her 80th b-day is tomorrow.)

 

Now you really know how I have taken food and looked to its roots as to why I am thankful for it.  It is not only my nourishment for my body; it is the nourishment for my values and morals.  Food is more than a simple grab it and eat it thing for me.  It is a process that brings my most sacred and special feelings and emotions out in the open. 

 

Being thankful, living with true integrity to your values and morals is a process.  It cannot be done in one quick instance.  It takes your heart and soul, your actions, and your mind set.

If you haven’t set this process in motion, start now.  Let yourself grow with your thankfulness.  Be the most thankful person you can be, but start with only one thing to be thankful for.

Be thankful with Passion, Purpose, and Integrity,

Grace

Creative Crayon Club: Parties and Gatherings for Teens

May 23, 2008 at 8:45 pm | Posted in 1, attitudes, children, Creative Crayon Club, dads, Families, Family Time, Fun Activities, GEM Parenting Secrets, How To, moms, Mothers, parents, peer pressure, relationships, Safety, Self Esteem, siblings, teenagers, teens, Tweens, Welcome | Leave a comment
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 Creative Crayon Club

 

 

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This week we will give you some party ideas to have one of those fun safe parties every teen craves 

1. Costume Party

What you need: 

  • A great theme 
  • An appropriate space for the guests Invitations 
  • Music  Supplies for the theme 
  • Lots of Food 

What you do:

Think of a great theme for a costume party with your teen.  Make sure it is something hip and cool so that the teenagers can be creative and still dress appropriately.  A great idea is to be pop stars and then have a fun goofy singing contest during the party (try to get a mic set up).  Make a list and have your teen pass out invitations.  Make a supply list and go with your teen to buy everything.  Make sure to have plenty of food, some cool decorations, and everything everything goes along with the theme!  Activities are good too! 

2. Outdoor Bar-B-Que

What you need: 

  • A nice outdoor space, preferably with water and/or a big field 
  • A grill, table, and some food- make sure to have hamburgers, turkey burgers and veggie burgers, as well as chips and salsa, veggies and dip, etc. to cater to a wide variety of tastes, because teenagers are constantly changing and expressing themselves through outlets such
    as their food choices. 
  • Supplies for activities such as: music, a canoe (if you are near water), soccer ball, foosball equipment, a kickball, frisbee, volleyball, and hammocks are always nice. 

What you do: 

Choose the time and place for the party and pass out invitations.    Think of some activities that the teenagers can do during the party.  Teenagers are constantly on the go, so as many physical activities as possible! Teens love pool parties, so if you have access to one, use it… if you are by a body of water, go swimming and have a canoe or kayak on hand.  Teens love physical challenges like setting up a tight rope, relay races, or tetherball, also have an array of sports options for them to choose between such as soccer, kickball, foosball, frisbee, football, basketball (if you have a hoop), and even break out the old trampoline!

Make sure to have plenty of BBQ food – burgers, snacks, ice tea and lemonade, fruits, veggies, and don’t forget the cookies and ice cream!  Feel free to be creative in you dishes… 

3. Scavenger Hunt/ Murder Mystery 

What you need: 

  • A Murder Mystery Game or Scavenger Hunt: Usually these are bought all planned out, but if you are feeling extracreative you can do it yourself! 
  • Very cool/classy invitations for your teen to pass out. 
  • Costumes and props are essential. 
  • Music is always good. 

What you do: 

Spend some quality time with your teen planning the party.  These types of things have to be planned very precisely, so this becomes one of the most fun parts of the process.    Pass out the invites and set up for the party (make the list and go shopping together).  Make sure to get some decorations to go along with the theme, and feel free to dress up too!  Give yourself a role as the uninvolved overseer of the building the mystery takes place, or the overseer of the scavenger hunt ‘just making sure they are getting along ok’ so you can be involved in the party without being involved in the actual game. 

Have fun!  and of course … no teen party is complete without a dance-off and/or limbo contest and a lot of food!!!

These party ideas came directly from my eldest daughter.  They are parties we either had or she attended.  And I want to let you know-  She balked at the idea of these parties, her friends loved them.  And by giving her the respect to have a real party, not just a stand around and be stupid party, her self esteem soared.  People still talk about the great parties she had.  So go for fun, be cool, give respect and get respect back. 

Grace E Mauzy, MA
Parent Coach
Helping parents instill high self esteem in their children

http://www.GEMParenting.com
Making families stronger through high self esteem

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