Tuesday, June 29, 2010

There is no good title for this post. Really.

I have thought about this post for the last two weeks. And I still couldn't come up with a decent title. So, there it is.

This is my last post on Health Begins With Mom. At least for my foreseeable future. I have really enjoyed writing this blog, and I hope that you have been inspired by it... Inspired to be the voice of support, the source of joyful energy in your home. I hope I have encouraged you to embrace your nurturing role as mom... and to do your very best in keeping your loved ones healthy... to give it your all... and to give yourself grace when you can't do it all.

It's not that blogging is time-consuming. It is possible for me to order my day so that I have thirty minutes to an hour of computer time while my children "rest."

It is that blogging is thought-consuming. I find that I'm frequently thinking of the next post, of a series I am working on, of recipes I'd like to share, of photos that I need to snap while I'm cooking. I am privileged to have had the extra thinking time to blog over the last year and a half. But now, I need to direct those extra thoughts elsewhere.

I am not going to close up Health Begins With Mom though.

First, I would like all of these posts to still benefit others. So I am keeping all of this information (and these recipes) available for you and for those who will stumble upon this blog in time to come.

Second, I would like the option to come back to blogging at Health Begins With Mom if things work out that way in the future. It would be great to just pick up where I left off. Interestingly, this is my 300th post. So, I would pick up at 301...

I am still continuing as an Independent Shaklee Distributor and as a woman eager to serve other women -- so please continue to email me. I would love to hear your story. And I will still do my best to answer your questions.

For your health,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Announcing the Winner, a Reading List, and a Video

"Thank you" to each of you who participated in my recent Ultima Replenisher giveaway! The winner, by random selection, is ..... pinecone304. I will be sending you an email with prize details. If for some reason, you don't receive the email, contact me at ae @ healthbeginswithmom.com (without the spaces).

And we're off... our family is headed to the beach. I debated republishing some of my favorite posts while I'm away. I'm really still debating. But I think instead of reposting, I'll just make a list of suggested reading... I don't really know why these posts jumped out to me, but here they are:

Also, here is a great video on getting rid of unhealthy toxins in our homes. Hope you enjoy it!

Have a great week!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Salmon Cakes

So we've been eating a lot of Mexican food lately. (My husband pointed this out to me earlier this week.) You see, we have been entertaining a lot of company. And I always fix the same thing when we have people over for a meal. Yep, you read that right. I prepare the same meal every time -- lunch or supper. I like to keep things doable. My husband and I do not want to look back on our lives with young children and see that we neglected hospitality... so we keep things simple and doable.

I plan a big Taco Salad, buffet-style, for nights we have company. That way, each person can select what they want and leave what they don't want aside. Everyone seems to manage a full plate! I always cook a few pounds of beef and season it with my homemade blend of seasonings. I want there to be plenty for everyone. But we always tend to have some leftovers too.

That's where the "lot of Mexican food" comes in. The day after company, we often have tacos or quesidillas with the leftover meat. And when there is a double amount of leftover meat, we make taco pizza (use salsa for the sauce, then the taco meat, then cheddar cheese). So if we have company twice in one week and we have leftovers a few times for each... that's a week of Mexican meals.

All that is to say, we felt very refreshed by this meal the other night:

Baked Salmon Cakes with Rice and Garden Salad

I'm sure you know how to make rice and a green salad...  but here is how I made these tasty, fresh salmon patties: 

  • 1/2 red onion

  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 - 6 oz. cans boneless, skinless salmon (I wrote about safe seafood here.)

  • 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs

  • 2 Tbsp. plain yogurt or kefir

  • 2 farm fresh eggs

  • 1 tsp. organic zested lemon peel

  • 1 Tbsp. brown mustard

  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 1/2 bunch of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Saute' the onions and peppers until soft in a large skillet. Take off the heat and mix in the rest of the ingredients. Form into 12 patties. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes (until nicely browned) in a 400 degree oven.

For your health, 

This is the last day to enter my current giveaway. Click here for entry details.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Saving Money? Is it Possible?

It seems that the number one health question I am asked these days goes something like "How can I feed my family healthy food without breaking the bank?!?"

When I started Health Begins With Mom a year and a half ago, the number one question was "How can I boost my child's immune system against all the crazy pathogens out there?!?"

But now, for sure, I hear moms asking about frugality.

A while ago I shared my hints for eating healthy on a budget. (Check out my first list of hints here, then read my series on "The Affordability of Eating Healthy" under this label.) Using these strategies, I keep a good budget. But with my growing family, and their growing appetites, I am always on the lookout for new ways to save money -- without compromising our food choices.

For a while now, I have been frequently reading Money Saving Mom and Southern Savers. When I see coupons or deals that fit with my health goals, I take advantage of them. But is there any more I could save with couponing if I put more time into it? That is the question, dear reader. And I intend to find out.

I have a friend that leads couponing workshops. While I am admittedly a bit skeptical, I am planning on attending one of her workshops with an open mind. Maybe there is something I am missing. And we always need to be learning... so, here's to an open mind!

If I learn any strategies that would help you out -- without bringing home junk -- I will be very pleased to share them.

What about you? Do you have any frugal hints for healthy-moms-on-a-budget? Please share!

PS Don't forget to enter my current giveaway for Ultima Replenisher, all-natural electrolyte beverages. Click this link to enter.

Friday, June 4, 2010

In Which Amy Ellen Shares Where We've Been and What We've Been Drinking, plus a giveaway!

So, did you have a good Mother's Day? Can you believe it has been that long since I posted last? I can hardly even remember my Mother's Day. I don't want to say that we've been busy... everyone is busy. Really, it's just that life is full. There isn't one big thing claiming all our attention; we are just seven people living very full lives. So, where have we been?

  • There was the annual Strawberry Picking.
  • There was the day-long Church Picnic.
  • There was the trip to the zoo, in incredible Atlanta heat.
  • There have been plenty of weeds to pull, and other assorted yard jobs, in the incredible GA heat.
  • There have been a few trips to the pool.
  • And there have been various social engagements, parties and gatherings... most involving outdoor activities in the incredible heat and humidity.
  • (And, of course, there is a great deal to do indoors as well, but that doesn't really fit in with what I'm going to say next.)
Earlier in the Spring, the kind people at Ultima Replenisher contacted me to see if I was interested in some of their Sports Beverages for review and giveaway. My first question was: "What's in them?" After I was satisfied with their natural ingredient list, I said: "Sure, I'll give them a try!" Little did I know how much we would benefit from them...

Because we get really thirsty working and playing under the hot, hot sun!
The line of Ultima beverages claims to be "the only 100% natural, non-GMO, gluten free, sugar free, dye free electrolyte beverage on the market." Electrolytes for Health Conscious People. They are sweetened with stevia, which, in my opinion, is a pretty good natural sweetener when used in moderation

I was given Kids! Ultima Replenisher, which is a pediatric electrolyte formula, as well as a sampling of the flavors available for adults: Orange, Grape, Lemonade and Wild Raspberry.

The children love their Raspberry flavor. It keeps them going (or maybe anything would since they're kids and all, but at least I don't have to worry about dehydration as they keep going).

My husband also enjoys it while doing his extra sweaty jobs in the yard. It keeps him going (or maybe he is so determined that he would keep going anyway, but at least he doesn't get that infamous after-yard-work-dehydration-headache). Replenishing lost electrolytes is good. Especially when you can do that without sugar or other artificial ingredients.

There is plenty of heat left this summer... Would you like to win some Kids! Ultima Replenisher and a sampling of the regular Ultima flavors as well? Enter to win by leaving a comment on this post telling me about your favorite summertime outdoor activity. I will randomly select a winner on Friday, June 11th at noon EST, right before we take the last of our Ultima on a much-anticipated beach trip.

Since there is little to no routine in my summer-life, I'll be posting sporadically... but more often than in the past few weeks. Happy Summer,