Breastfeeding is one of the healthiest things a new mom can do for her baby. It is also one of the greatest bonding experiences ever. I remember my babies looking up into my eyes as if to say thank you. I knew from the day I found out I was expecting a baby that if at all possible I would breastfeed. Due to an infection it was not easy with my first son. I was only able to breastfeed him for about 3 months. Breastfeeding for only three months still brought great health benefits. The first milk that is produced is considered to be the healthiest of all. The first milk is called colostrum. This milk protects a baby from infection. Having this first milk also helps the babies gut to develop properly. Research shows that even a small amount of nutrition other than breast milk will alter a babies gut. If not for the La Leche League I would not have made it three months. La Leche League is a support group consisting of mothers that are breastfeeding or have breastfed their babies. When my second son came along things went smoother and I was able to feed him for the first year of his life. The health difference I have noticed between the two is that my oldest son has allergies. My second son seems to not have any allergies at all. http://www.llli.org/
When it comes to food options your local grocery store has thousands to choose from. The majority of these foods are not healthy foods. They may taste great but offer very little if any health benefits. Choosing from the top 20 healthiest foods will help keep a healthy weight, fight disease and build muscle. See the list below with some benefits on select foods.
On the fourth Thursday of November Americans observe Thanksgiving, a day that has been set aside for us to Thank God for all his blessings through the year. It is a time to also celebrate family and to reminisce with each other about the past year. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in early autumn 1621. The pilgrims did not call their harvest feast, Thanksgiving. They did pray to God but did not consider it a religious holiday. The first religious day of Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1623.
As a child I remember Thanksgiving being a day of feasting, being thankful, watching parades and being with family.
I remember only 20 years ago all the shops, malls, restaurants, even grocery stores were closed on Thanksgiving. This gave employees the opportunity to spend the day with their family. I like to think they were also closed out of respect for the holiday. The last few years this has slowly changed. Many families are no longer together talking, sharing, laughing, watching children play and praying together on Thanksgiving. Instead many are out trying to catch the sales shopping for clothes, gifts and items for their house. Now restaurants are open for dinning out. Families are missing out on the big turkey being carved at the table, all the homemade foods and desserts. The thing sadder than missing the home cooked meal is the family missing sitting around the table together talking, laughing, praying, while children are playing and just being together for the day. Times have changed.
I have been cooking in a kitchen since I was probably 10 years old. When I reached Jr High School level I really got interested in cookbooks. I enjoyed finding a recipe and trying it. I remember the first recipe I tried from a book was Eggs Benedict. This was breakfast for my parents, brothers and sisters. Since we did not have English Muffins I improvised and used plain toast. Some of the surprisingly best meals are made with substitutions. I have always enjoyed cooking especially when everything is neat and in order. I have to admit most of my meals are made without recipes. Most of them are made from memories of being in the kitchen with my mom, my mother-in-law, with aunts and friends. Of course I do have some favorite recipes passed to me from friends and family and sometimes from a cookbook.
It seems you can not pick up a health magazine or read an article concerning health online without GMOs being talked about in some way. They are never talked about in a favorable light. I have yet to read anything that says GMOs are healthy and we should eat freely of the products containing them. I read today of yet another health problem that is on the rise. Gluten sensitivity cases are rising at an alarming rate and now affects 40% of all U.S. citizens. This condition has been linked to GMOs in our food. Gluten sensitivity is something that needs to be taken seriously. It can cause major intestinal problems. Problems that include diarrhea, painful gas, bloating and constipation so severe that it disrupts a persons daily routine. Headaches, depression, weight loss or weight gain and aching joints are a few other symptoms that can be excessive and severe. Children and infants are not excluded from this painful condition. As well as the other symptoms they also may experience a slow growth pattern. Keep in mind GMOs are allowed in infant formula.
Eight more days to prepare my Thanksgiving dinner. I have my sweet potato casseroles ready and in the freezer awaiting topping on Thanksgiving morning. I did under estimate the sweet potatoes I needed for three casseroles. I will make one more if time permits. If not I will make the one I had planned for Christmas closer to that holiday.
Next in line was going to be the strawberry salad. However, I have decided to change that to a Cranberry Fruit Mold instead. I remembered how much my mother-in-law liked the cranberry one. I will make the Strawberry Salad for Christmas and will share the recipe with you then.
I would like to invite you to follow me over the next few days as I prepare my Thanksgiving meals. I will be sharing memories, recipes and tips on preparing my Thanksgiving meal. I will be preparing meals for two different settings this Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law always begun in September preparing for the holiday meals. I do not begin that early. I usually wait until the day before. This year I have decided to begin a little bit earlier, twelve days earlier to be exact. I am going to work on some part of my meal each day. Today I am going to make sweet potato casseroles. Since this dish freezes very well, I am going to go on and make three, two for Thanksgiving meals and one for Christmas. I am going to use a recipe from a lady (Ms Vernice) who has passed on but left cooking tips and recipes in the hands of many.
Well here we are in November and the beginning of the holiday season is upon us. Halloween came with all of the tempting candy showing up in the stores. I actually was able to resist the temptation of buying any delicious chocolate candy. Thanksgiving is fast approaching. This holiday will bring the tempting pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is one my favorite desserts. I hope I will be able to resist eating this dessert in access. I do really enjoy the holidays and having the family together.
Fall not only brings forth bright colors in the leaves, but also brings forth bright colored fruits. Bright, tasty and healthy fruits that I for one neglect. Eating foods during their peak season allows the nutritional values to be at their highest peak. Five fruits that peak in the fall are apples, cranberries, kumquats, persimmons, and starfruit.
1. I have never eaten a STARFRUIT. Starfruit is a bright yellow, waxy and a fall fruit. It is shaped like a 5 point star. The whole fruit is edible including the seed. This fruit is not a native of America. However, it is being grown in Florida. This cute little fruit is full of nutrients and health benefits. Helping lower cholesterol and helping fight infections such as staph and e-coli are health benefits this fruit offers. There are actually two varieties; one sweet and one tart. Both of these varieties have vitamin C, potassium and are high in fiber. I plan on trying starfruit before its peak season passes.
I have a real weakness for the sweet taste of sugar. I could sit down and eat a whole bag of chocolate candy. This love of sweets is one of the main reasons I have had weight issues for the last few years. I am now on a weigh down plan. There are times I think I could sit down and eat a 100 lb piece of cake or pie. However, I have been and am determined to limit my sweets. I eat cookies made with xylitol occasionally. Xylitol is an all natural sweetener. I am determined to keep aspartame out of my diet and my body. I have heard for years how dangerous aspartame was to my health. I have been told so many times to use it in moderation and it would be safe. I was always afraid of aspartame, probably due to the fact that every time I did consume even a small amount in a drink or a cookie I would be sick in just a few minutes. It would give me headaches, nausea and diarrhea. Anything that makes you feel so bad could not be good for you. Short study after short study has been done on the danger of aspartame. How many reports have to say something causes cancer before it is believed?