Real. Good. Fud.

and other joys in life

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Amazing post from my lovely sister. “Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”

Hand in Hand

As we impatiently wait for our adoption to move forward, I am filled with questions and doubts.  There are so many orphans, why must we wait?  What kind of medical needs would we be okay with?  Are we with the right agency?  What’s the oldest age we feel would fit into our family?  Is this ever going to actually happen?  What if we’re blessed with another pregnancy, how does that affect things?  How do we know if a calling towards a certain child is a calling from God or just our impatient emotions?  These questions tumble through my mind endlessly, tossing and turning and leaving me with only more questions.

Last week we had a special guest speaker at our church.  Carl Medearis is an expert on Muslim and middle East relations.  A US native, he moved his family (including his 17 and 4 month old daughters) to Lebanon.  For…

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Any fellow elementary school Earth Club members out there?

Remember that phrase, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”?

Note the order of the ‘r’ words.  Perhaps they are in this order for a reason.

In our modern day, being “green” has become quite the fad.  It’s trendy, and lots of people are making lots of money from labeling things as ‘green’, ‘recycled’, ‘recyclable’, etc.  This is a great thing, as everything from compost bins, low and no-VOC ‘non-toxic’ paint, to organic foods is pretty easily attainable.  And I love that most public buildings have recycling bins!

However, sometimes we get so excited about our organic cotton sheets and bottle made from recycled plastic, that we forget the ‘reduce, reuse’ part of the popular saying.


This is first, and quite an important, step in being ‘green’.  If we reduce our consumption, there is no need to continue with the other steps.  Reducing consumption reduces production of new goods; therefore conserving resources as well as reducing the energy of production.  Reducing consumption also reduces waste.  Even the waste that is recyclable requires energy to process it.

So think about your consumption habits.  Do you really need to use paper towels very often?  I always have them on hand for really nasty business, like puppy poop and chicken blood J.  However perhaps reusing (I’m getting ahead of myself here) old rags could do just as good, if not a better job.  Or how about napkins; why not use fabric napkins?  Cloth diapers, buying in bulk to reduce packaging, bringing your own coffee mug to the coffee shop, the list goes on and on.


We obviously cannot reduce our consumption to nothing.  So, the next step is reusing.  Reuse old rags and even clothes to clean.  Shop at a thrift store.  Use old jars to store leftovers or food that you buy in bulk.  Wash that salsa jar and store some rice in it!


I don’t think this one needs explanation.  It’s really easy to do in today’s society; many communities even have curb-side now!


Keeping the three ‘r’s in mind are really pretty simple, and become habit with time.  However, these simple steps can have a huge impact on our environment!  So next time you plan to purchase some bottles of water, why not reduce your consumption and reuse a Polar Bottle or Nalgene instead?  Take a few days and note what things you really could do without, take a shorter shower, and make sure to use your recycling bin more than the trash can.  And don’t forget, the less you consume and more you reuse, the more money you’ll save!

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Delicious Juices

First things first; my cleanse is going quite well.  I finished week 1 in one piece; I’m feeling ‘clean’, have more energy, and haven’t felt bloated!  I’ve had a headache or two, but this is supposedly normal; and they’ve not been bad at all.  The only major negative I am experiencing is muscle soreness.  As mentioned earlier, I am continuing to exercise as normal.  Due to the minimal protein I am consuming, I guess my muscles are unable to recover as quickly as normal.  Therefore- I am looking forward to adding seafood, soy and beans/lentils into my diet today!

One of the best things so far has been trying out new recipes.  Here are a few of the items on my week 1 menu: butternut squash soup, tomato soup, various salads including slaws including avocado, bell pepper and arugula, roasted cauliflower and peppers, and sweet potato chips.

I’ll share more details on the best ones later.  In the meantime, I’d like to share some juicing recipes!

I got my juicer for my birthday in February, and have had fun experimenting ever since!  I started out with mostly fruits and a little veg.  Slowly, I’ve added more veggies and less fruit.  Typically, I just put whatever produce I have around and see what the outcome is.

The best results have come from some combination of carrots, apples, pineapple, grapes and oranges.  These all taste nice, and yield a relatively large amount of juice.  I was really excited about juicing greens- but they don’t yield as much juice.  Lettuce and kale seem to do alright; spinach and arugula not so much.  However, I do still use these in addition to other produce.

Okay, now for some recipes.  These are some I’ve tried and enjoyed.


2 grapefruits, peeled

5 carrots

1 inch of ginger

Green Machine

6 leaves romaine

4 leaves kale

½ pineapple

1 mango

Fresh parsley

Fresh ginger


1 small beet

5 carrots

1 apple

¼ cup fresh mint

(Okay, this one wasn’t great, but I think I could modify it to taste better.)

My goal for this week is to listen to my body.  I plan to stop eating when my body tells me it’s satisfied, instead of stuffing it full.  Be watching for some great vegetarian recipes to come!

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Sweet Potato Tuna Melt

Here’s one of my favorite, go-to quick dinners… Sweet Potato Tuna Melts.  No, I’m not crazy; these little guys are delicious!  My hubbie isn’t a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but even he adores these!  The idea came from The Chew.

Trim the edges off of your sweet potatoes and cut in half length-wise.  Cover and cook in the microwave for about 5 minutes, or until soft (not mushy).

Mix up the topping… you will want about 1 can of tuna per potato.  Here’s the amount for one potato; it should be simple math to multiply by however many you desire!  A spoonful of mayonnaise (I use the EVOO kind), 1 can of tuna; minced garlic (1/2-1 clove); onions (red, green, white, yellow); pepper; a squirt of lemon juice; seasonings (I use some combination of parsley, terragon, basil, and thyme).

Once the potatoes are cooked through, just place on a baking sheet and top with the topping.  Then, sprinkle with a bit of cheese and place under a broiler until lightly browned (no more than 5-7 minutes).

And there you have it.  An easy, healthy, hearty dinner.  The sweet potatoes give some nice texture, and of course sweetness.  The tuna gives some saltiness and meatiness.  The cheese and mayonnaise are creamy.  It doesn’t get much better than this if you ask me!

Do you have any favorite go-to dinners?  Anything ‘unusual’ or interesting?

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New Year Part 2

      I previously established my belief that everyone should have a goal to try new foods this year!  But what other goals do you have for 2012?  Here are my food-related ambitions for the New Year.

      Try new foods.  My sister got me a cookbook for Christmas from Kansas City’s refugee outreach.  It contains recipes from all over the world.  Specifically, I’d like to try a new cuisine from a different country at least once a month.  I’m also going to venture into the world of super foods and herbs more.  I tried the burdock root.  Next is spirulina.  This actually comes in powder or capsule form, so it’s not exactly trying something new.  I plan to add it to my juices/smoothies.  Our local health-food store, Mama Jean’s, gets all kinds of ‘adventurous’ produce, such as burdock root!  Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up something you’ve never tried before. When you get home, research the new food and how it can be eaten or cooked.  Look at it as an adventure!

      Something else I want to try is using more fresh herbs.  I’ve used some basics in the past; basil, thyme, dill.  But, I always find they go bad before used up.  I heard a tip to put chopped fresh herbs in ice cube trays and freeze.  Hopefully that will help.  I also want an herb garden at home.  This way, I won’t have to buy a whole bunch, but can just pick what I need for the day!

      Eat more raw food.  I am going to try to eat at least one raw dish each meal.  Often this will be fruit for breakfast, for lunch this will be a salad or at least raw peppers, carrots, etc.  I will then have a smoothie or juice with vegetables and fruits before, after or with dinner. 

      Make homemade pasta.

      How do you plan to better your health and eating habits this year?  If you need motivation, I encourage you to watch the documentaries I reviewed, or any similar.  Do you want to eat less meat, using beans and other protein sources more?  Maybe incorporate whole grains in your diet, replacing refined ‘grains’; white flour, pasta, depleted cereals.  Eat less sugar?  Think about all the foods that contain hidden sugar; salad dressing, pasta sauce, cereal, granola bars.  How about eating more fresh foods, especially fruits and vegetables; avoiding processed foods.  Perhaps you just want to be more conscious of what goes into your body.  This would include reading labels; not just the calories and fat, but especially looking at the ingredients.  I’d love to hear from you regarding your plans to make your body smile this year!  I can share some tips that may help you achieve these goals, and perhaps you could do the same for mine! 

Here’s to a happy New Year!!

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Introduction to Real. Good. Fud.

I’ve decided to enter the 21st century.  I just ordered my first smart phone.  I learned, by starting this blog, what a ‘widget’ is.  So why start a blog?  To be quite honest, my number one reason is personal.  I think of interesting things, read or hear of neat information or an idea for a recipe… but in graduate school, most of my working memory is being used.  So, this blog will be a virtual extension to my working memory.  I can put ideas and results of recipes on here, so I can look back later and remember.  Like a scrapbook.  And, I need something to give my brain a break when sitting in front of a computer doing homework and research all day.

Reason number two is the hope that I can inspire someone.  If anyone actually cares to read this blog, maybe they will be inspired to make better decisions when eating.  Maybe instead of eating a chicken nugget, or some other “food-like substance” (as Michael Pollan calls it), they will try something new, something containing real food, that tastes good.  Maybe they will even learn something new.  I am no food expert, and most of what I practice is really simple, common sense.  But, it is one of those things that sometimes just has to be pointed out.  I’ve always had a weird thing about Twitter and the like, because I really don’t care about what Johnny is doing every second of the day, and I don’t expect anyone to care what I do either.  So, here is my own personal blog… if anyone is interested and wants to, it’s here to read.  If not, that’s perfectly fine tooJ

A brief introduction to what I plan to blog about…

Food.  Food that is real, and tastes good.  I love to learn about where our food comes from. Ever seen Food, Inc.?  I love to learn about health in general, including nutrition.  I love to cook, read recipes and cooking magazines and watch The Food Network and Cooking Channel.  And most of all, I love to eat good food!  More on the food topic in my next post.  This will be the main topic of this blog, although I will most likely not refrain from discussing:

Max and Daisy.  These are my two children, that they call miniature schnauzers.

Tyler.  My husband, marriage is great.

Books.  I love to read- of course about food. But also, about health in general.  A favorite author of mine is Oliver Sacks, a neurologist who works with some interesting cases.  His special interest is speech and language.

Anything else that interests me.  I love to learn, and will have to share my newfound knowledge with anyone who wants to read about it.

If you find yourself reading this blog, I would love feedback! What you liked, what you didn’t like, what I could do different or what you’d like to read about! This is an e-diary of sorts, but I want it to be here for you, the reader as well. Feel free to share with your friends and family alike, and let’s have fun discussing food and other joys of life!