One Last Push

Readers,

I am pleased to announce that this silly family of five will finally be getting our own digs.  A place of our own.

home.

After lots of searching, looking at rental homes, contacting way too many Craigslist advertisers, and lots of prayer, we finally found a place for us.

There hasn’t been much going on here besides packing, and since Baby Brother has been simultaneously teething and going through a bit of a growth spurt, he has been strapped to me for most of the process.

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Thankfully, he can take his naps back there, despite my packing frenzy.

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Once we are moved in this weekend I’ll be sharing a bit about our new place and the fun things (GARDENING!!) that we will be able to do there.

Unsung Heroes of Nutrition: Eggs

Eggs have long been a topic of discussion when it comes to nutrition and health. To display one man’s frustration with the topic, check out this short clip:

In all seriousness, eggs have gotten a bad rap for a long time, and I am so pleased to tell you that they are indeed an excellently healthy food, especially for those on a budget.
Before I continue to talk about eggs, I want to stress that not all eggs are laid equally. For those of you accustomed to buying the regular dozen eggs at a grocery store, you are missing out on truly delicious and nutritious eggs. Farm-raised eggs (preferably bought from a farm itself) have yolks that are almost orange in color, with much harder shells than grocery store eggs; their nutritional value is much greater than grocery store eggs as well. Buying farm-raised eggs, either from the farm or at a farmer’s market, is definitely more expensive. It can cost two or three times as much for a dozen farm-raised organic eggs as it does for the eggs at the grocery store. This difference, though, is completely worth the extra $2-$4/dozen of eggs. Your body and your taste buds will thank you.
Eggs

Food Type: In it’s own category, really. Eggs are eggs. They aren’t dairy; they aren’t meat. They are awesome.
Calories per egg (large): 71
Best Served: On a plate. Enough said.
Why They are So Good for You:
Eggs are one of the cheapest high-quality proteins available. The typical large egg contains 6 grams of “complete” protein. Eggs contain all B vitamins, which help our bodies to function in so many ways. Some B vitamins help to regulate hormone levels, others help in cell production, while others aid in the production of hemoglobin. Choline, a member of the group of B vitamins, is found in the largest quantity per caloric intake in eggs; choline is crucial in the communication between the nervous system (brain) and the muscular system of your body.

Eggs are not just for the breakfast table. They are delicious hard-boiled, cooked over-easy, in an omelet or frittata, or scrambled with cheese. I will be pinning some delicious egg recipes on the Pinterest board this evening.
And I’ll probably be eating eggs for breakfast in the morning. Join me!

 

 

Unsung Heroes of Nutrition: Blackstrap Molasses

 

Let me start out this post by saying that I think molasses is one of those foods that you are either taught to love or you are taught it is weird and gross.  It is often used to make cookies or other desserts, but yet it is remembered as a substance an entire city got stuck in (Boston in 1919).  It was once, though, a staple of the American diet and other diets around the world.

A byproduct of the production of sugar from sugarcane, blackstrap molasses contains the majority of the nutrition from the sugarcane plant, while the product of the sugar refining process, sugar itself, contains very little nutritive value.  Sugarcane plants have very deep, strong roots that drain and deplete the soil around them heavily.  The soil’s vitamins and minerals are stored and used by the sugarcane plant, and when this plant is processed (boiled) three times to produce refined sugar, the blackstrap molasses that is produced in the process contains all of those great nutrients and micronutrients from the soil.

I first learned about blackstrap molasses when I was pregnant with our first daughter.  I was taking a birthing class with a local doula, and she set aside time to talk to us about nutrition that would support a healthy pregnancy and healthy breastfeeding relationship.  One of the nutrients she talked about was iron.  I will talk later about what our bodies use iron for, but let’s suffice to say that a pregnant/breastfeeding mom needs to have enough iron to support her baby.  Blackstrap molasses, she told us, was one of the best natural sources of iron there is.  She was right!  Just one tablespoon of the stuff has 26.6% of your daily iron needs!

Blackstrap Molasses

Food Type:  sweetener

Calories per Tbsp:  47

Best Served:  in baked goods, in oatmeal, or in warm milk

Why It’s So Good for You:

As I mentioned above, one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses has 4.78 mg of iron, more than a quarter of what your body requires daily.  Iron is crucial to the production of hemoglobin in the body, a major component of red blood cells.

Black strap molasses also has almost a quarter of your daily needs for calcium, which is not only important for bone health and strength but also for muscular health.  Calcium ions are necessary for the electrical impulses and movement of muscle fibers.

Manganese is a micronutrient, not often discussed, but it is crucial for cellular absorption of minerals, and blackstrap molasses contains almost 20% of the amount of manganese a body would need in a day.

Finally, potassium, that nutrient we all eat bananas for, is also found in blackstrap molasses.

I have pinned some great, non-cookie molasses recipes to the Pinterest board.  I will share, though, that lately I have been just having a spoonful or two of molasses at breakfast.  I’ve grown accustomed to the taste, and I treat it as a medicine.  If that doesn’t work for you, try any of these recipes, or, as I started out with, use your favorite bread recipe and replace half of the sweetener with blackstrap molasses.

Unsung Heroes of Nutrition

This week starts a new series at Domesticated Physicist:  The Unsung Heroes of Nutrition.

I am really excited about this series because so many people, including moms of little ones, are concerned with the nutritional value of what we eat.  It can be confusing sometimes, trying to choose the healthiest foods for our families, especially while staying within a budget.  There are lots of resources out now that explain the health benefits of some very exotic and/or expensive foods.  For those that can afford to set aside a large food budget, that’s wonderful.  What about those of us who try to keep a smaller food budget?  How can we feel good about the food we put on the table for our families?

Our family eats as much real food as possible, limiting our packaged foods to snacks on the go or the occasional bowl of cereal.  We try to limit sugar in our house, but we aren’t afraid to eat it in a treat.  (Sometimes brownies are therapeutic.)  We eat meats of almost any kind (yes, even some game if it tastes good), and we stick to full fat versions of dairy products.  The guidelines in this series will reflect our families eating choices, though I hope that people with varying dietary restrictions or preferences can glean something from it.

I’m going to open this series with perhaps one of the cheapest, and most overlooked, health food you can buy and eat:

Onions

Image result for onions

Food Type:  vegetable (bulb)

Calories Per Ounce:  11

Best Served:  Red onions – raw on salads or sandwiches

White or yellow onions – sauteed in dishes or breaded and

baked/fried

Why It is So Good for You:

Onions are members of the Allium family, like garlic, and like garlic, onions can really benefit your cardiovascular health.  Specifically, onions contain sulfur compounds that help to prevent unwanted blood clotting and lower cholesterol.

Onions also help to increase bone density, which is great news for women.  There is some evidence that post-menopausal women can decrease their risk of bone breakage by frequently consuming onions.  Similarly, consumption of onions has been shown to directly benefit connective tissues like tendons and ligaments.

In addition to helping bones retain density and helping to repair connective tissues, the consumption of onions has been shown to help with inflammation, specifically in those with arthritis.  Onions literally help to keep us moving, especially as we grow older.

The antibacterial properties of onions are also great reasons to include them in your diet.  They have been shown to be effective against multiple strains of Streptococcus bacteria, which can cause disease and tooth decay.  It is possible that regular (daily) consumption of some onion can help to boost one’s immune system and prevent some communicable illnesses.

 

I love to use onions in almost every recipe I make.  The different varieties can lend themselves to milder dishes or to stronger flavors.  I’ll dice onions and sautee them with eggs or include onions in all of my stir fries.  Check out my Pinterest board for some tasty recipes that really feature onions!

 

 

 

 

 

DP Academy, Dry Run

Today, dear readers, the kids and I went on our first official homeschool field trip.

Although we are not starting any formal lessons until the Bitsy girl turns the big “5”, we do some preschool-type learning activities.  Both girls have varying interests, and both my husband and I have helped them learn about animals, music, art, the outdoors, etc.  We do crafts, we draw, we paint, and we do headstands sometimes.

You know, pretty standard preschool activities that a lot of stay-at-home moms do anyway.

But today.

Oh today.

I ventured into the “big city”, Madison, with three children in tow.  (Note:  Baby Brother did not make it into any of these photos because he spent the day in the Moby, mostly asleep.

First we went to the Overture Center to see Daniel Tiger live.  We don’t watch many cartoons in our house, but Daniel Tiger is one I feel I can fully endorse.  He was created out of the old Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood show, and the themes are almost always great life lessons for preschoolers:

“If you’re feeling frustrated, take a step back and ask for help.”  (I need this one sometimes.)

“If you have to go potty, stop, and go right away.”

“Clean up, pick up, put away.  Clean up everyday.” (My husband might need this one sometimes.  And I do, too!)

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This was the girls’ first time in a big theater that did not exclusively play moves.  They loved the experience, and they really enjoyed the show!20160307_122016

Afterwards, I intended to drive past the capitol building so we could just look at it.  Since the weather was so nice, the girls asked if we could go into the “capitol castle”, as they called it.  So we did!

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These little legs climbed ALL of the staircases in this building.  Phew.

(Also, please take note of Squishy Bean’s lovely leggings, socks, and shoe combo.)

Of course, two out of the three of these kids fell asleep on the way home.  We had quite a fun afternoon.

And, if I do say so myself, a very successful first field trip for our homeschool…

…I didn’t lose any kids!

😉