Thursday, February 25, 2010

5:00 Fridays

You know I like it hot.

And there's only one thing I like dirty.

My martinis.

I'm one stoked mama when I can have it hot and dirty.

You sweating yet? This is starting to get bit frisky.

I've proclaimed my love for Dirty Sue before. Dirty Sue has made a dirty martini snob out of me (like I needed more to be snobbish about). I don't dare order one at a bar anymore, what, with the barkeep's hands digging around the brine in the tray of olives that's set right out there for public consumption and all. No thanks.

I've decided to take a whirl at my own concoction to make my martinis the way my life's unfolding these days:

Hot and Dirty

3 ounces of Rain Organic Vodka
1/2 ounce Dirty Sue
splash of olive juice from Trader Joe's Jalapeno Stuffed Olives
2 Jalapeno stuffed olives (or 3, if you tend to be a bit piggish like me)

Fill your shaker with ice. Add liquid ingredients. Hum a little KC and the Sunshine Band and shake shake shake. Strain into a martini glass (I'm digging these.) and drop in a couple of those bad boy olives. Sip. And say ahhhhh.

Oh, and sadly, the only thing that's really hot are my flashes. As for the dirty, if you have two boys and a dog, you know what I'm talkin' about.
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Sit mens sana in corpore sano

The Spartans believed in a healthy mind in a healthy body. Shouldn't we embrace that basic tenet as Americans?

Mushy brain in a mushy body is more like it.
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Michelle Obama's Let's Move Initiative and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Have Me Fired Up

Tater tots, while funny in Napoleon Dynamite, are not the stuff of healthy lunches.

Green beans with no crunch and the slightly tinny taste of a can. I'll pass.

Cole slaw bathing in mayonnaise. Not the best way to dress the otherwise healthy cabbage.

Hot dogs full of nitrites, sodium, and um, meat parts perched in a bleached white bun. Gag.

Ketchup and french fries deemed vegetable servings. You've got to be kidding me.

Fruit cocktail in which the cherry is more the color of a mustang convertible than what grew on George Washington's tree. Gotta be FD&C Red #3 Erythrosine.

Chocolate milk. Strawberry milk. Soda vending machines. Looks like the Wiggles need to teach all youngsters to Gulp Gulp drink some water.

Such are the "healthy" options deemed appropriate for school lunches. The very institution that enriches our children's minds poisons their bellies. No matter how gifted the student, he'd be hard pressed to properly pronounce the ingredients and additives that comprise his lunch.

Propylene glycol.
Sodium nitrite.
High fructose corn syrup.
Monosodium glutamate.
Potassium bromate.
Butylated hydroxyanisole.
Butylated hydroxytoluene.

Sounds more like the chemistry lab than the school cafeteria. What a ghastly disservice to our kids. Some of those kids only get a "nutritious" meal at school. Some of those kids don't have produce drawers stocked with snap peas for munching and bowls of washed fruit within reach. While we're pumping our students' brains with reading, fractions, history, and the arts, shouldn't we add a healthy dollop of nutrition and activity? How many school districts do you know of that have reduced or all together axed their PE programs?

We as a nation of partisan bureaucratic greed mongers, choose to fail our children. This is not a byproduct of government snafus; this is a conscious choice. It's no cliche that children are indeed our future. Our future is starting to look bleak.

We see childhood obesity rise while test scores plummet. We sit back and nod our heads to news that for the first time a generation's life expectancy will be shorter than that before it. We cross our arms and ignore the rapidly rising rates of childhood diabetes. We are incredulous that children have high cholesterol. We wonder why health care costs soar to jaw dropping peaks.

Corn subsidies and continued policies that put the value of a buck over the value of a child are why we see such a drastic increase in childhood obesity. Look around, people. What you see ain't pretty. Chunky babies are cute; portly preteens not so much. While their bodies fail them their self-esteem gnaws away at their core. Eating disorders ensue. Yo yo dieting perpetuates health concerns. Broken self-esteem leads to grave insecurity and depression.

In the case of my childhood friend, poor eating literally lead her to the grave. Dead of anorexia at age 16. She battled weight her whole life, having been poked fun of as the chubby kid one too many times.

I was fortunate to participate in a conference call with Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture. He shared his personal tale of childhood obesity and the indelible mark it left on his psyche. He shared his vision of keeping our children safe and well. We talked about Michelle Obama's initiative Let's Move and how she, as a shining paragon of health, can help shape our nation's food policies and school programs. Fingers crossed!

The goals of Let's Move are simple:
  • Give parents the support they need.
  • Provide healthier food in our schools.
  • Help kids be more physically active.
  • Make healthy food affordable.

Do I hear an AMEN?!

And while I find packing lunches the most tedious task in my nightly routine, it's the most important one. I might fail my sons in multiple ways, but through their bellies ain't one of 'em.

For more of my food rants and raves, check out:
Foodie Mama
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