Dear Holly: You Picked a Fresh Strawberry from the Garden and Instantly Ate It!

4 years old.

Dear Holly,

You have been interested in the strawberry plant that Nonna started growing this year. You knew that once the green strawberries turned red, they would be ready to eat.

I just happened to with you as you walked by and said, “Nonna, look, it’s a red strawberry!”

After wiping the dirt off of it with her shirt, she handed it to you to eat.

I didn’t believe that you would actually even try it. I was wrong…

Three quick bites later, the strawberry was gone. That is the freshest fruit you have ever eaten!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: That Sauce That Doesn’t Make My Mouth Hurt

3 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

As you are now approaching your 4th birthday, your eating habits are transitioning into “real meals”, as opposed to just a series of fruit pouches and different versions of mac and cheese.

You pretty much daily eat baby carrots and chicken. Last week, you requested to me, “Daddy, I want that sauce that doesn’t make my mouth hurt.”

Through a little bit of deductive reasoning, I figured out you were asking for Ranch dressing to dip your carrots and chicken in.

To a 3 year-old, that’s the best way to request Ranch dressing; to disassociate it from Daddy’s hot sauce you see me eating with every meal.

Granted, you’ve never had any of my hot sauce, but you want to make sure you don’t!

Love,

Daddy

Benefits of Juicing Fresh Fruit For Your Family

It’s a good idea to try a new smoothie and juice recipes involving your whole family while enjoying tons of health benefits. While there are commercially available fresh juices, you can save more by making homemade juices, plus having the assurance of a freshly prepared and chemically-free fruit juices for you and your family.

Check out the benefits of juicing fresh fruits by reading below:

Save Money While Drinking Healthy

You can make 1.5 liters of healthy orange-carrot-apple juice for less than $10, which is good for the whole family. The average price of a single juice bottle available for sale by local vendors is around $7.99, so making your healthy juice will considerably save you much money and still have something left for the next serving.

Here’s how to make a healthy orange-carrot-apple juice:

  • Prepare the following ingredients: 5 pounds bag of apples, 3 pounds bag of oranges, and 10 pounds bag or carrots.
  • Use a high-quality juicer, like one from https://www.goodnature.com/, to help you make a fresh orange-carrot-apple juice.
  • You can add about a cup of water to the orange-carrot-apple juice to make the consistency a little bit thinner.
  • Serve the healthy orange-carrot-apple juice chilled or by adding ice. 

Easy Way to Let Your Child Consume Fruits and Veggies

Are your children selective when eating fruits and vegetables? Well, with juicing and a little creativity in preparation, you’ll be surprised how kids love drinking juice made from fresh fruits, vegetables, and even spices, including tomatoes, beets, ginger, celery, cucumber, kale, and spinach. Indeed, fresh juices are perfect, most especially during summer.

Because it’s a difficult task for parents to feed children with cuts of fruits and veggies, nutritionists advise parents to be creative. One way is to introduce juicing, which is an excellent alternative to serving whole fruits and vegetables.

Here are some tips when preparing fresh juices to kids:

  • Give toddlers apple or orange juice and meet their daily requirements of vitamin C. Children who drink healthy fresh juice can get more potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 than those who don’t.
  • Serve juices with their favorite snacks, like baked potatoes or sandwiches.
  • Always follow up with water after drinking juices to clear the throat from fruit fibers and satisfy thirst and satiety.

Easy Way to Prepare Nutritious Drink for the Family

You’ll be happy to see your little ones guzzle apple, blackberry, beet, and carrot juice. Just make sure that you choose the right juice extractor.

Here are the following best features and benefits of a juice extractor or juicer:

  • Enough power to easily juice carrots, cucumbers, beets, and bulky vegetables by choosing a juicer with a powerful motor.
  • Simple to use and clean up juicer with a cleaning tool, sweeping the strainer in a single easy motion.
  • Eliminate pre-cutting by buying one with a large chute.
  • Create foam-free juice by shopping a juice extractor with a froth separator.
  • One great feature is a speed toggle switch for maximum juice yield.
  • It’s a good idea to choose one with a large pulp bin, which is perfect for continuous juicing.
  • A good juicer produces a large number of fresh juices in a short time, with a chute and motor that could manage loads of fruits and veggies. 

Provide and Meet Your Daily Nutrient Needs

Parents should take the utmost care when feeding children, providing all the necessary nutrients for a healthy body and mind. However, kids are fussy eaters and don’t like to eat fruits and vegetables, which are a rich source of vitamins and minerals.

Here are the health benefits of juicing to the family:

  • Juices are an excellent source of energy required for the proper development of the body.
  • Carrot juice provides vitamin A, orange juice contains vitamin c, and the juice of leafy vegetables provides B-vitamins and roughage, making a perfect drink for growing children.
  • Juicing helps hydrate the body while providing essential nutrients.
  • Help your family develop healthy eating habits with juicing instead of consuming soda or soft drinks, which are very high in sugar and may lead to diabetes.
  • Provide expecting mothers or pregnant women the needed amount of folate, iron, and vitamins obtained from fruits and vegetables for a healthy pregnancy. 

Conclusion

Juicing is delicious, healthy, and fun. Also, it’s a cost-effective way to let your children consume fresh fruits and veggies without forcing them to do so. You can experiment with different fruits and vegetables or check online tutorials from the best chefs or seasoned juicers out there.

Guest Blog Post by My Mother, Gina Metallo Shell: “Our Trip to Tybee Island and Savannah for Our 42nd Wedding Anniversary and Meeting Paula Deen””

It has been a goal of ours to visit Savannah, GA for over 20 years. I have been constantly encouraged to see the pre-Civil War structures each time friends and family returned from a trip there.
We discovered that 20 minutes was all it would take to connect from Tybee Island to Savannah. This would be the best of both worlds; touring Savannah and enjoying Tybee Island Beach. I always wanted to visit Tybee Island after our friend Holly Haney spent her Honeymoon there. She was so in love with Tybee Island that she named her son Tybee!

Planning “Vacay 2019” would be shared between Savannah and Tybee. Savannah Beach Raquett Club provided the perfect location for us. It is on the North side, secluded and quiet side of Tybee.

There are few places to eat close to there. It is perfect for us as we enjoy eggs and toast or overnight oats for breakfast on our balcony. Lighthouse Pizza provided great calzones with a quick walk two blocks down.

I have always loved Paula Deen and her restaurant was my favorite! Paula Deen’s Creek House is a quick 10 mile drive with plenty of parking places, friendly staff and delicious food! (I am still thinking about the Smoked Salmon Salad!) I had read the signs posted about Paula Deen’s book-signing for her new book, Paul Deen Cuts the Fat, scheduled for June 28th at 5 pm.

What were the chances that I would get to meet my most favorite southern cook who I have adored for two decades? We returned for another wonderful meal and waited to meet Sweet Paula, her husband Michael, and son Jamie. It was the icing on my cupcake!
We enjoyed the beautiful beach where the Bay and Atlantic Ocean meet, walking on the beach, collecting seashells and watching the dolphins.

This is the first time that I have ever seen so many whole seashells. There were plenty for everyone, especially since this beach is not crowded. We decided to Segway our way through Historic Savannah.

We used Adventure Tours in Motion Segway Tours and booked a 90 minute tour to view as much as possible. Chelsea was an amazing guide offering historical and fun facts. I enjoyed seeing the beautiful city and trees laced with Spanish Moss.

Do not let fear prevent you from stepping on a Segway like I almost did. I am ready to get back on and tour some more!

Our maps and brochures are ready to be filed so we can pick back up in a few years. There is no doubt about it that we will make every attempt to return. We loved Savannah and Tybee Island and they loved us back.

I will close by providing some helpful reminders that will make our journey smoother.

Walking and bicycling are highly encouraged with parking being limited. We plan to throw our bicycles in the back of our camper truck next time so we will be ready to ride. I currently do not own a bicycle so I hope to pick the skill back up quickly. I will soon find out if it is true about not forgetting how to ride a bike. At least for now I can navigate the Segway until I pick the cycling skills back up.
With parking being limited, I will need to remember to leave yourself plenty of time to find a parking place. When you find a place to park, you may need to walk a few blocks and need quarters and dollars for the parking.

My good New Balance Tennis Shoes were packed for walking and the Segway Tour. Somehow in all the excitement, I must have missed the memo on stretching your calf muscles before getting on the Segway. Our guide encouraged us to stretch our muscles every time we made a stop. It made it more comfortable for us and the other 60-ish couple we rode with.
Let’s pack the bikes, stretch the muscles, pack a couple rolls of quarters and dollar bills for parking.

Oh… If your parking meters runs out before you return from cruising the city on Segway, your windshield may be decorated with a parking ticket. Or, you may get lucky with a kind-hearted Parking Meter Attendant who just leaves you a Warning Ticket.

-Gina Metallo Shell (Nick’s mom)

More Than 1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know How to Cook: Americans Spend More on Eating Out Than Buying Groceries

The art of cooking has fallen by the wayside in the age of convenience. As parents, we’re supposed to be teaching our kids how to take care of themselves once they fly the nest. Unfortunately many of us have lifestyles that are too busy for cooking on a daily basis; so we hit the drive thru on the way home or we order takeout or we go sit in a restaurant- because who wants to do all those dishes anyway?

On the surface this isn’t a completely terrible thing – our kids still have food to eat, and it is totally possible to make healthy choices at a restaurant. It’s a budget-buster – go ahead and tally up how much money you spend on restaurants each month. You’ll be shocked.

The biggest problem here is that we aren’t always taking the time to teach our kids how to cook, and as a result, more than a quarter of American adults don’t know how to cook at all. Everyone needs to know the basics of cooking, even if you aren’t planning to become a television chef – it’s a matter of survival.

Learn more about the apps and tech out there to help you learn to cook – and cook safely – from the infographic below.

This infographic brought to you by KitchenByte

The Jewish Deli Has Become a Staple of American Restaurants: Biali, Blintz, Borscht, Challah, Knish, Kreplach, Latke, Lox, Rugelach, Matzo Ball Soup

There are lots of interesting foods in the world, and some of them—you might not realize—have shared cultural legacies. Let’s look at something that’s become a staple of American restaurants, the Jewish deli. Do you know what the foods and drinks that you’ll find on a menu here is, and do you know what you’re eating (or missing out on)?

For starters, it’s helpful to know just how long the Jewish deli has been around in America—over 100 years and nearing 150; the first one opened officially in 1888. While most people could just find meat there to start with, over the years (and century) that evolved to include sandwiches and other cultural staples.

Now you’ll find breads and soups and desserts, among other delicacies. Many of them might be familiar to you, such as challah. Others? It’s worth learning about and eating, too. This graphic helps to explain them.

This graphic has been provided courtesy of ZeroCater.com.

 

Jewish Deli Delicacies Decoded Infographic

6 Months After Quitting My 7 Years as a Vegetarian and 5.5 Years as a Vegan: How Do I Eat Now? High Protein Kosher, Similar to Paleo

Even though I only publicly admitted it recently, it was actually 6 months ago that I decided to retire from my dedicated plant-based stage of life, which coincided with most of my 8 year-old son’s life.

After I made the announcement, one of my nieces was shocked, reaching out to me, saying, “I’m pretty sure you have been a vegan for most of the time I’ve known you, ha ha. So you eat cheese pizza now?”

My answer: Well, I could… but I don’t… not really.

(To find a funny t-shirt like this one for the lowest price on Amazon, click here.)

Here’s what I do eat now:

Certain kosher meats, but only if they are baked or broiled, never fried or processed (like in a “nugget” form).

Wild caught fish: mainly salmon, cod, mahi mahi, and even anchovies; but not tuna, which instantly causes my dyshodrotic eczema to return. And definitely never shellfish: shrimp, scallops, lobster, etc. (They are not kosher.)

Chicken, without the skin.

Turkey, but I don’t really like it.

Beef, but never with dairy, like cheese; which is part of keeping kosher.

Eggs, whey powder, and cheese, but not milk.

(To check out the whey isolate protein powder I consume on a daily basis, click here to find the best deal on Amazon.)

I see no reason to drink milk from an animal; not only because it contains more sugar than most people realize, but I attribute milk as the reason my sinuses and allergies used to be so horrible.

Vegetables, but not cooked in heavy oils.

Fruit, with no limitations.

Grains and potatoes, but only on occasion:

I am intentionally strictly avoiding flour (like wheat pasta or wheat pizza dough), hydrogenated oils, and processed sugar.

So would I eat a cheese pizza? I have; several times.

But I realized that it goes against what I am trying to accomplish; which is to have a permanent, healthy and balanced diet which will allow me to comfortably fit back into my size 32 pants again.

I have learned to appreciate grilled chicken pesto pizza on gluten-free, cauliflower crust.

Could I eat a cheeseburger? No, because it’s combining beef with dairy; which isn’t kosher.

Could I eat a hamburger? I could, but I’m not in a hurry to, since that would involve a lot of bread.

I think that ultimately, new identity as an ex-vegan consists of a dietary regiment that is still as disciplined as being a vegan, though it’s a lot less restricting.

(To check out the high protein, whey-based bars I eat on a daily basis, click here to find the best deal on Amazon.)

In the past 6 months, I have loss and kept off 5 pounds since I stopped being a vegan. And because I have been faithfully working out using Darebee.com, it is my belief that the reason I am not continuing to lose more weight right now is that the muscle I am building weights more than the fat.

I’m thinking that within another 6 months, I’ll have more confirmation and clarity for Operation: Comfortably Fit in My Size 32 Pants Again.

If not, I’ll keep being open-minded until I figure it out.