Friday, August 26, 2011

A Simple Healthy Lifestyle: Perspective of Meat Eating Meal Planner

This week my wonderful husband has been posting about the steps he took to a simple healthy lifestyle. In the past three years, he has dropped 60 pounds, become a competitive cyclist, and a vegetarian. I have done none of those things. =) And at first, I wasn't terribly excited about his new endeavor. After all, I was the meal planner and one who would have to figure out how to feed my new faux-vegetarian as well as the meat eating rest of us. I thought I'd share what this transition has looked like for me and the kids.

First of all, I'm not a vegetarian. While  99% of our meals are meat free, I often choose meat at restaurants and am happy to eat meat when we are visiting friends and family. Secondly, this was a very gradual change for us. I do have two uber-picky kids.

In the beginning (Yeah, tempted to throw in a little Genesis here, but you can go to for that) I started by making two meat free meals per week. And even then, I usually made a grilled chicken breast for the kids on the side. I also found meals where the meat was easy to add in or remove. Tacos are a great example of this. We would have ground beef as usual, but also a boat load of sauteed veggies on the side so Terry could just have a veggie taco.

Step two:  having three to four meatless meals a week. Still had the option of a grilled chicken breast on the side. Over time, the need for this has lessened as the girls become more accustomed to the flavors in vegetarian dishes. There are several that they even look forward to!

This is when being a fish eater, which I am not, would be sooo handy. If you are, eat a lot of fish!

Now, the only time I plan a meal that includes meat is when Terry is out of town (poppy seed chicken is still a favorite for the kids) or we are hosting people for dinner. But the vegetarian option is always there.

I am happy to answer any questions you have. Also, if you aren't on, check it out. I follow several vegetarians for meal ideas and I'm happy to share my recipes with you!

*I will try and post again soon about the health benefits to me for following my husband's lead.**

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Birthday Wish

In a few short weeks I will turn 40 years old. God willing, and I live to 80, that means I'm starting the second half of my life. *GULP*

In honor of this occasion, which in reality is important to very few people, I have a wish.

Whirled Peas.

HAHAHAHA. I'm kidding.

No, really, I do. My wonderful husband asked me a few nights ago what my expectations were for my birthday. Most likely this question came because he not yet received my yearly email with a list and links of items that would bring me great joy. I always have a "list of things I will get as soon as I have some extra cash". An ice cream maker perhaps? Or a new bag? (Scratch that last one. I always get a new bag. I have my priorities.) But this year, no list.

Sure lots of things that would be fun, but also meaningless. I thought about what I could do with the money people actually spend on me at my birthday. A lot, I bet. And frankly, I have what I need.  God knows what I need and is so generous.  And I don't think God gives us life (emotional, spiritual and beyond) so that we will feel guilty; it's so we will feel generous!

Here is my proposal: give for my birthday. Not to me but to any organization you like that helps people. And if you want one that I like (hellllooooo, it is my birthday) here are a few options:

Give Locally:  The Tapestry Project

The Tapestry Project is an organization that is revitalizing a deteriorating neighborhood through renovation, restoration, and connecting people in need to the resources that will equip them to thrive as a community. The vision is to create model for urban development and community transformation for women, children and families in crisis all across Oklahoma City.

Give to help a national cause: Taylor's Gift 

Thousands of people are waiting on life-saving organs.

Our Regift Life mission-pillar is dedicated help the US reach its national goal of 100 million designated donors.
We strive to bring urgency and show necessity of organ donation, to separate myth from reality, and to share information about how you can become a hero by becoming a donor. Thousands of people are waiting on life-saving organs.

We strive to bring urgency and show necessity of organ donation, to separate myth from reality, and to share information about how you can become a hero by becoming a donor.

Give to help an international cause: Touch A Life

The poverty suffered by people in Vietnam was nothing like Pam or Randy had experienced before, and as they walked the streets of cities like Saigon and Danang, they began to pay attention, and eventually get to know, some of the children forced to live and beg on the streets. After returning home, Pam began to read about the problem of street children in Vietnam, commonly known as doi moi, or “dust of the earth:” about the beatings and fear they were forced to endure, their hunger and malnutrition, and, worst of all, their chances of being picked up by child traffickers and forced to work in hard labor conditions or sexual bondage.
Hoping to do their part to save at least a few children from this fate—and a future in slavery—Pam and Randy decided to partner with volunteers in Vietnam and use Jantsen’s gift to rent a house in Saigon, hire houseparents and bring in fifteen children who would be given a permanent home, an education, medical care, and a chance to be part of a family. A few months later, they rented another house, brought home fifteen more kids, and Touch a Life was born. Today, the foundation supports 211 children in eleven group homes throughout can read their whole story here. Get a tissue.

I do have a wish, that people would give generously, that lives would be changed, and that God will be glorified in the midst of it all. 

Acts 1:8 ...and you will be my witnesses telling people about me everywhere--in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."