Show Off Friday 163

Aug 27, 2015 by

My #1 Secret to a Clean & Tidy Home
This is brilliant!

secret to tidy home

Six Month Meal Plan
I really like this concept! It will be a great way to add some variety to my cooking. A Modern Homestead

printable meal plans

Taco Stuffed Zucchini
Here is another wonderful recipe! Everyday Made Fresh

Stuffed Zucchini recipe

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Make Healthy Eating and Exercise a Family Affair

Aug 24, 2015 by

family meal

Have you ever noticed that it’s much easier to stick to a diet or exercise plan if you have someone in the trenches with you? Have you ever been the person eating carrot sticks and celery while watching someone else eats fat-drenched carbs with sugar on top? Why not make healthy eating and exercise a family affair?

Ditch the Junk Food

Starting with food, which is often the most difficult part of the willpower bandwagon, if the whole family is working on eating healthy foods, you can just keep those sinful temptations out of the house. Consider avoiding the junk food aisle all together and purchasing healthy alternatives for snacks.

Whole grain crackers, pretzels, yogurt, string cheese, nuts, apples, carrots, celery, kale, berries, bananas and other fruits are healthy alternatives that often cost less in the long run and are chock-full of vitamins, dietary fiber and low in calories and fat. Experts recommend placing the healthy alternatives at eye-level in the cupboards or refrigerator so that the healthy items are the first thing a person sees when they look for a snack.

Look for Healthy Alternatives to Family Favorites

If your whole family is working on healthy eating, you can look for healthy alternatives to your favorite dishes. Enjoy baking? Often substituting pumpkin or applesauce for the butter or oil can work well in muffin, cake or brownie recipes. It replaces the fat, adds flavor and vitamins and is an easy swap.

What about using cooking spray instead of full-force oil in your cooking? Adding more green leafy items, more vegetables and fruits to your meals can make a big difference as well. Does your family enjoy spaghetti dinners? Consider swapping the heavy pasta for lighter alternatives – spaghetti squash is a vitamin-rich alternative. Eight minutes in the microwave, top with your favorite marinara sauce and you’d hardly know the difference. Yet the difference between them is huge — 31 calories in spaghetti squash versus 158 in spaghetti per serving.

Family Fitness

Why head out to the gym on your own if you can bring the whole family? Often a gym will offer a substantial discount for a whole family membership, and many gyms even provide childcare and play rooms for smaller children. Older children will enjoy shooting baskets, running around the track, and your pre-teens and teens will enjoy learning to use the weight machines and free weights.

Exercise doesn’t have to stop at the gym. Gearing up for a 5K? Why not register the spouse and kids as well? They’re likely to be there to cheer you on anyway, but if you’re all in it together you can prep for it together and eat healthy in preparation together.

Maybe you’re not a runner. Family walks after dinner are a nice way to wind down and hear about each other’s day. Weekend hikes, skiing, biking or paddling trips are excellent ways to commune with nature and create memories your kids will have with them forever.

The best thing about involving the whole family in healthy eating and exercise? Making healthy choices now will make all of you healthier in the long run and will help to establish wonderful fitness and eating habits in your children that they will continue throughout their lives. Studies show that children that are active do better in school, have more confidence and even do better on some tests. With the multitude of benefits for everyone, why not get everyone involved?

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How to Help Your Kids Get Five-a-Day

Aug 17, 2015 by

kids and veggies

It can be challenging for grown-ups to get their five servings of fruits and vegetables a day; the challenge may increase when it comes to your kids. For adults, a serving consists of approximately half a cup; for children, you can sometimes get away with a bit less. For dried fruits and vegetables, the amount is around 1-2 tablespoons, since the nutrients are more concentrated in the absence of water.

Here are some tips for how you can help your kids get the recommended five-a-day.

One a Week

Instead of implementing five-a-day right away, why not work up to it? The first week, add a serving a fruits or veggies to one meal (salad with dinner, for example). Then add a serving to another meal the next week (carrot sticks with lunch). Next, try fruits or veggies for a snack (grapes or raisins). As you choose these fruits and veggies to add to your meals and snacks, rotate them around and add variety.

At Every Meal

As mentioned above, adding a fruit and vegetable serving to each meal can go a long way toward getting your kids’ five-a-day. Add a piece of fruit to their lunch, sliced cucumber with dinner, and broccoli with dinner. That’s three already!


If your kids don’t really fancy raw fruits and vegetables, they may like frozen ones. Some children will eat frozen green beans, green pepper strips, and peas even though they won’t touch those things in their fresh or cooked state. Frozen fruits have a dessert-like quality that appeals to kids, and many fruits can be purchased frozen or you can freeze them yourself.

Frozen bananas, for instance, do best when frozen at home; they tend to brown after a week or so, so you don’t see those in your grocer’s freezer. Frozen berries, grapes, pineapple, melon, and so forth can be great to munch on between meals as a snack or after meals as a dessert. Frozen berries are good on yogurt, too.

Another idea on frozen fruit – consider pureeing fruits and freezing them in popsicle molds for a treat. Unsweetened juice can be enjoyed this way, too, and it still counts toward your kids’ servings of fruit.


Dried fruits also have a special sweetness that appeals to kids. Raisins, apricots, and pineapples are favorites, but there are lots of dried fruits out there to try. Add a handful to your kids’ cereal, or serve them as a snack or with meals.

Fun Food

It’s funny how children may eat something they don’t normally like as long as it’s cute, fun, or otherwise intriguing. Making faces, flowers, and other shapes out of foods may really appeal to your little ones. You can even purchase plates with a blank face, ready to be decorated with healthy food!


Milkshake-like smoothies are a kid pleaser that can pack a nutritional punch if done correctly. You can sneak several servings of fruits and even veggies into one smoothie. Berries and bananas; bananas and peanut butter; raw apple, apple juice and steamed kale; raw sweet potatoes, orange juice and pineapple…the combinations are almost endless!

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Show Off Friday 162

Aug 13, 2015 by

15 Most Charming Owl Crafts
I think owls are one of the cutest! There are so many great projects in this post! The Krafty Owl

cute owl craft ideas

10 Gift Ideas for your Brother-in-law + TIP
Men’s gifts are so hard to shop for! Go here for some great ideas. Sandra’s Ark

men gift ideas

Colorful Sauerkraut Salad
I am a huge sauerkraut fan! Someday soon I will share how I make my own and how many health benefits it has. G+ GrandParents Plus

delicious sauerkraut

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Healthy Menu Ideas for Kids

Aug 11, 2015 by

healthy childrens menu

It’s that time of day again – dinner. And for many parents, breakfast, lunch, and dinner can all pose problems as they try to prepare and serve healthy foods their kids will eat. To make this tricky situation easier, it helps to put together a weekly menu – but what dishes to include? Here are some ideas for healthy menu items – and some recipes – for kids to help you get started on your weekly lists.

Day 1

– Breakfast: Whole wheat breakfast burritos; banana. Fill the burritos with healthy fillings, like scrambled eggs and cheese, black beans and cheese, rice and beans, miscellaneous leftover cooked vegetables and scrambled eggs, etc.

– Lunch: Veggie burger on a whole grain bun with lettuce and tomato; low-fat cottage cheese, grapes.

– Dinner: Baked turkey breast; green beans; corn on the cob (salt only – no butter. Try it!); mixed fruit (peaches, grapes, strawberries and bananas perhaps).

Green beans can be fresh or frozen; some kids like them raw with dip like carrots. If you steam them, toss them with a flavorful dressing (envelopes of dry dressing mix work well sprinkled on steamed veggies).

Day 2

– Breakfast: Fresh orange, peeled and segmented; hard-boiled egg; whole wheat toast.

– Lunch: Veggie burger on a whole grain bun with lettuce and tomato; low-fat cottage cheese, grapes.

– Dinner: Mini meatloaves (see recipe below); green pepper strips and dip; whole wheat rolls or bread dipped in olive oil; fresh melon cubes.

Day 3

– Breakfast: Sliced fresh melon (from the night before!); cheese omelet.

– Lunch: Whole wheat pita stuffed with chicken, egg, or tuna salad; grapes; celery stuffed with cream cheese or peanut butter.

– Dinner: Baked fish (try tilapia baked in a shallow dish with the juice of 1 lemon for every 4 fillets; sprinkle with salt and paprika, dot with butter, and bake at 425 degrees F for 12 minutes); fruit mix (try kiwis, blueberries, strawberries, and bananas); brown rice cooked in chicken stock and flavored how your kids like it.

Homemade Fish Sticks

Parents often want to know how they can make a healthy version of fish sticks. Here’s a recipe.

Ingredients for 3 servings:
– 2 fish fillets, such as tilapia
– 1 egg white
– 2 teaspoons soy sauce
– 1 tablespoon milk
– 1/2 cup plain yogurt
– Whole egg
– Bread crumbs
– Flour

Whisk together the egg white, soy sauce, and milk. Cut fish into strips and mix with the soy sauce mixture. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F and beat 1 egg in a shallow dish; whisk in yogurt. In another shallow dish, place flour; place bread crumbs in a third shallow dish. Dredge marinated fish strips in flour, then dip in yogurt/egg mixture, then coat with bread crumbs. Lay strips on parchment paper-covered cookie sheet, and bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Mini Meatloaves

These are made in a muffin tin.

Ingredients for 6 servings:
– 1 beaten egg
– 3/4 cup milk
– 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
– 2/3 cup ketchup
– 1/4 cup packed brown sugar or evaporated cane juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil muffin tins with a healthful oil, such as safflower, or spray with cooking spray. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; mix in meat. Divide this mixture into six portions and form into rough ball shapes. Place each ball into the muffin tin. Combine ketchup and sugar and spread this mixture over each ball. Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.

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Show Off Friday 161

Aug 6, 2015 by

Pool Steps Made from Pallets with Noodle Storage
This is so clever! Scrapality

diy pool steps

DIY: Mickey Mouse Coin Pouch
Here is a perfect little project! A Disney Mom

disney coin purse

Fajita Style Chicken Kabobs
These look delicious! Every Day Made Fresh

chicken kabobs fajita style

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Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention

Aug 4, 2015 by

Osteoporosis is basically the breaking down and weakening of your bone tissue. Both men and women of any race are susceptible. With osteoporosis, your bones become brittle and more at risk for breakage and fractures. This can lead to painful surgery such as a knee replacement or hip replacement.

Bone is actually a living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced just like any other living tissue such as your skin. Osteoporosis can happen when the creation of new bone is not keeping up with the break down of old bone.

1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over 50 will fracture a bone because of osteoporosis. These are truly alarming statistics!

A healthier diet and lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Don’t smoke -Smoking can increase the rate of bone loss.

Avoid excess alcohol -Having more than 2 drinks with alcohol per day can decrease your rate of bone formation.

Adequate calcium in your diet -Both adult men and women need 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day and this requirement increases to 1,200 milligrams for women over the age of 50.

If you decide to take calcium supplements, be careful not to overdo it because too much calcium may be a factor in heart problems and kidney stones.

calcium source

Here comes the sun! Get enough vitamin D and magnesium -Vitamin D and magnesium help your body absorb calcium. You can get vitamin D from sunlight, but if this is not possible you can take a vitamin D supplement and 1,000 IU per day would be a reasonable dose. Low magnesium also appears to be a risk factor for osteoporosis. Researchers believe that 600 mg of magnesium per day is a good starting dose to help correct deficiencies.

Exercise -Here’s another great reason to get active! Exercise, especially strength training and weight-bearing exercises can help increase the strength of your bones. Weight bearing exercises would be exercises like running, walking, jumping rope, etc.

An important word about knee replacement surgery

Another reason prevention is so important is that knee and hip replacement surgery can be harmful. There have been issues with a knee implant called the Zimmer Persona. A piece of the device called the Trabecular Metal Tibial Plate has been recalled due to complications that have led to serious problems like inflammation, pain, and even loss of mobility. This is very important for anyone considering a knee replacement or anyone who has this device already. You can obtain more information at the American Recall Center.


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