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Support Our Troops

I was sharing with my husband my frustration of the constant trips to the grocery store.  As school has resumed, I find myself returning to a grocery store every four days.  Honestly, four days is the LONGEST that I can go without a trip for groceries.

We are constantly out of something.  Right now it is milk.

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Yesterday it was bread.

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And we are running low on fresh fruits and vegetables — it was slim pickings for packed lunches this morning.

But, really, how could that be.  I was just there.  Went in for bread and spent $40 and I’m still out of food.

It is a constant battle.

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My husband is retired Army.  He spent 20 years as a supply officer in the Army National Guard.  He has shared with me that he always enjoyed his position because is was never just an exercise.  Infantry – they are exercising or practicing what they would do in combat.  But supply – Food, Fuel and Ammunition – his responsibilities were never practice.  The soldiers weren’t pretending to eat or drive vehicles.  And they might be using blanks, but they still needed rounds of ammunition for their exercises.

So today, when I was venting my frustration, he shared a more detailed story.  When he was deployed to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, they were on a 3-day ration cycle.  Every three days, he sent soldiers to the main supply warehouse to get 3 days worth of rations.  He recalled losing track of what day or date it was during his deployment.  Time was measured by ‘day of rations’ — today is Day 3 of rations.

And I guess that is how I feel.  You may remember my post from summer when I only knew what day it was because we were eating waffles – and we eat waffles on Wednesdays.  So, it must be Wednesday. I guess yesterday at our household was Day 4 of Rations.  Today I return to the grocery to gather rations for the next four days for my troops.

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What Have I Learned: I’m a supply officer – I feed the troops!

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Dinner at the BallPark

It’s that time of year again – Opening Day.  

And, not to discriminate – it is also track season, soccer season, lacrosse season, long-course swim and kickball season around here.  Any others…..

But, opening day – that resonates with most of us.  Games (and meets) right now are cold and windy.  They are also smack dab in the middle of the dinner hour through the week and usually through the lunch hour on the weekend.  

What are your family friendly, healthy options?  Well, there is the soft pretzel with or without cheese, a hot dog, maybe a slice of frozen pizza popped in a microwave, the walking taco, popcorn, candy, nachos with or without jalapenos.  Here we go again – the summer version of the concession stand.  

I urge you to plan ahead.  

Plan first at the grocery store.  

Then, pack a lunch sack full of the following:  clementines, apples, grapes, bananas, carrot sticks, cheese sticks, a jar of peanut butter, a loaf of bread and a knife.  Some granola bars, cereal bars and maybe a package or two of salty crackers are good too.   And don’t forget a good old fashioned cooler and cups for water.  

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I guarantee you’ll feed way more than your own crew with that jar of peanut butter.  (Be aware of peanut allergies – of course).  Even if you take all of this to every game, you will save:

A) money B) you and your kids’ waistlines and C) yourself from fights due to your kids’ sugar-induced blood sugar 

Here’s what I’ve learned:

plan ahead and don’t tell the concession stand manager that I’m writing this blog! 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Wasted

I’m not one to waste – I try not to waste time (mine or others), I try not to waste experiences (I watch kids games rather than video tape them) and I try not to waste money (consuming for the sake of consumption).

But perhaps the place I try to be least wasteful is with food.  I think this is ingrained in my psyche.  My grandmother owned a grocery store (The West End Grocery in Raymond, IL) and used every morsel she had.  I remember her telling me the story about how people RAVED about her ham salad at the deli.  Her secret was that she used all the bits of the leftover meats to grind for ham salad – not just the ham.  

Maybe you followed The Great Purge earlier this year.  On my personal Facebook page, I shared my exercise at the beginning of the calendar year.  I was going to use all the pantry items and frozen items on hand until they were gone; the only food I could buy was perishables.  I went almost 30 meals (seven weeks) without buying any dry food items.  I was amazed at the accumulation of food items here within my own home.

But, today was trash day.  So, it was also clean out the fridge day.  It almost physical PAINS me to throw food in the trash.  And today was a bad day for food waste.  You may remember my post about coloring Easter Eggs.  We dyed four dozen eggs – today I threw out 1 and 1/2 dozen.  ACK!  And, we cut out and decorated Easter cookies both here and at my parents’ house.  And today a large portion of those went in the trash.  Also, a few fish fillets that were leftovers from dinner a couple of nights ago.  And, a few slices of a few different types of bread that were growing some green stuff.

Last week I went on a field trip with my son’s third grade class.  His class had conducted a service project at his school – collecting rice and pasta for donation to a local not-for-profit.  We were able to visit the business and learn what they do.  And what they do – it’s amazing! 

Second Helpings describes itself as follows:

“we are transforming lives through the power of food. We rescue prepared and perishable food, prepare it into nutritious meals and distribute those meals to over 60 social services organizations that feed hungry people. We also use rescued food to train disadvantaged adults for careers in the culinary field, helping to eliminate hunger at its source.

In 2012, we collected our 16 millionth pound of food and delivered our 6 millionth meal to our partner agencies. Over 480 adults have graduated from our Culinary Job Training Program.”

Here is what I learned:  Let’s Rescue Food, not Waste It

 

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Fruits and Veggies

You can’t read much anymore – from a fashion magazine to the local newspaper – without seeing something about eating more fruits and veggies.  These articles all give good suggestions, but I think that they miss the two most important points:

1) you almost HAVE to eat at home more to incorporate more fruits and veggies – really, how often do you see a side of broccoli as a choice on a restaurant menu (especially fast food)

2) you have to start at the grocery store; you can’t wait until mealtime to think about adding an additional fruit or veggie to a meal – it’s too late – you don’t have enough around

I offer two easy suggestions here:

1) start counting the number of different kinds of fruits and veggies that you put in your cart during a weekly grocery trip;  when I first started this trick, I typically had seven to nine.  Usually they were 1- bananas 2- apples 3- strawberries 4- orange juice 5- broccoli 6- frozen corn and a couple more here or there based on the season.

Now, I typically have 18-20.  I’m convinced it’s just because I’m paying more attention.  Today it was 1- apples 2- strawberries 3- orange juice 4- cranberry juice 5- dried cranberries 6- tomatoes 7- grape tomatoes 8- grapes 9- pineapple 10- watermelon 11- frozen corn 12- frozen green beans 13- cucumber 14- romaine lettuce 15- spinach 16- colored peppers 17- peaches 18- broccoli 19- red onions 20-peaches 21-lemons

2) replace a starch on your plate with a fruit or vegetable, usually in the form of a salad;  my hubby and kids are huge exercisers, but me – not so much; i have found that if I take out the rice or potato or pasta and replace it with a small salad right on my plate, I’m adding typically two servings of vegetables

What have I learned?  COUNT your fruits and veggies, BUT do it as you shop not as you eat

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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