Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our Top 5 Lifestyle Changes-Do You Know What You're Eating-Week 2

A few weeks ago we started a new series about the hidden dangers in your food.  If you missed the post, here's the link.  After researching some of my family's favorite foods and condiments, here are our top 5 lifestyle changes in an effort to eat healthier.



  • Use Real Butter
    • Margarine is high in trans fatty acids*
    • Margarine increases total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol)*
    • We've decided to take it back to the basics.  Real butter instead of margarine.  I love the taste of Land O' Lakes sweet cream salted butter.  Leave the butter on your counter for easier spreading on toast and bagels. (Thanks Roslyn for that idea)

  • Organic snacks
    • When possible, we attempt to purchase organic snacks to keep our diets as wholesome as possible.
    • Cascadian Farms chocolate chip granola bars is one of our favorites for lunches or a pre-workout snack.
    • Pirate's Booty is another brand of healthy snacks that we enjoy!
  • Organic milk
    • For a milk to be labeled organic it means the following:
      • No pesticides in the cow's feed
      • Cows not treated with antibiotics
      • Cows have access to pasture
      • No growth hormones used to increase milk production
  • Less eating out
    • Dining out is expensive and fattening.  It's very difficult to control the food items used in various dishes.  We try and limit our eating out to once a week.

    Chicken strips in beaten eggs & then rolled in bread crumbs.

  • Homemade chicken nuggets/strips
    • This was one of the biggest changes in our diet.  Frozen chicken nuggets were my best friend.  Let's be honest, they are convenient and tasty.  My entire prospective changed when my sister introduced me to the movie, "Food, Inc."  Even though my mother told me for years to make my own chicken nuggets/strips, I didn't listen to her advice until I watched the trailer for the movie.  (Here is a clip of the movie being featured on ABC news when it first aired Food, Inc. )  If you decide to make your own nuggets, here's some quick tips:
      • Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips
      • Season
      • Dip in beaten eggs
      • Roll in bread crumbs
      • Cook in oven on 450 degrees until golden brown (approx. 10 - 15 minutes) or fry in a pan (using canola or olive oil)
      • **Use the same tips to make homemade fish sticks** (cod or haddock work best)
If you've recently made changes in your diet, let us know about it.  Leave us a comment below or visit us on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter @doubleportionin. (Posted by Renee)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby Crane Lesson


Just hatched baby sand crane


I absolutely love seeing sand cranes saunter around our neighborhood with such a commanding presence.  I've already blogged about them once in the past year.  Here's the link if you missed it.  A recent sighting of a momma crane and her baby reminded me of the familiar phrase, "don't despise humble beginnings."


When the baby crane is first born after an incubation period of only 29-32 days, it weighs only a few pounds.  Although it can walk on the day of it's birth, it won't take it's first flight for 67-75 days.  Over time the baby will grow by eating food provided by the parents and reach heights in excess of four feet.  Some cranes can get as tall as five feet high!



"Twin" cranes about 12 days old



During the crane's maturing process, it will stumble, need the help of it's parents, and face challenges.  Most importantly however, regardless of it's small stature at birth, it will increase in size and stroll around with grace and beauty.


As you prepare for the weekend, remember that where you are right now, is not where you will end up.  Embrace your time of development and maturing because the BEST is yet to come!  (Posted by Renee)


Job 8:7 (NIV)

"Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. "

Sunday, April 22, 2012

CELEBRATIONS!

Renee and TyJuan celebrating with the family!
 Who doesn't love to party?  This past weekend was filled with celebrations.  My youngest son (Joshua) is now 7 years old.  Thankfully, my kids are the only ones getting older in my house.  I usually stress out trying to find a place to have his party, who to invite, what food to eat, etc.  This year I asked Joshua, "What do you want for your birthday?"  He quickly replied, "I want my family to come see me."

How precious!  He wasn't concerned about balloons, gifts (although he REALLY wanted an electric scooter) or a list of kids to invite.  He just wanted his family to celebrate with him.

Dinner at Brimstone Restaurant!
My mom and sister eagerly agreed when I told them about the birthday boy's request.  Our weekend was filled with fun, laughter, surprises and tons of food.  My mommy heart is so thankful for these precious moments because the years slip by so quickly.

As you start a new week:  What can YOU celebrate

It can be an anniversary, birthday or upcoming graduation.  Or it could simply be a celebration of life, health and happiness.  There is nothing like ice cream to celebrate straight A's on a report card or choosing not to procrastinate on a project.  Whatever it is find, a way to think positive and then celebrate! (Posted by Roslyn) 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Caution: Work In Progress

There are not many places you can go in South Florida without running into road blocks or construction areas.  It seems that every major highway from I-595 to I-75 is undergoing a major renovation.  These construction zones cause headaches during rush hour.  Traffic barely moves and you are rushing to reach your destination.

The positive: Construction signals growth and expansion.  

The headache I have in traffic today will soon lead to open lanes on a newly expanded highway.  We must learn to have patience not only in traffic but also with ourselves.  We will face road blocks.  We will start a diet, exercise routine or try to have a "no swear" mouth.  In a few minutes or days we might fail and get frustrated.  We have tempers, get angry, splurge on our diet, etc.  But just like those construction zones, we will soon grow into something stress free and beautiful.

This weekend reflect on the growth you've made already.  Don't worry about the little "mishaps" that still need to be worked on.  Choose to be grateful for the beautiful masterpiece God created in YOU.

Happy Friday! (Posted by Roslyn)

"And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished..." (Philippians 1:6 NLT)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lunch Worries

I must admit that I loathe taking time in the evenings to prepare lunch for the next day.  What if my kids don't go to school for one reason or another?  Not sure what the scenario might be, but what if?  That would mean that the time I spent on fixing lunches could've been used in another way.

I just might be the only one who feels this way.  I'm sure that moms and dads all over the world pack lunches in the evenings to ensure a hassle free morning the next day.  I'm just not one of them.  It's all I can do to get through one day.  The thought of trying to figure it all out for the next one is sometimes more than I care to think about.  My husband on the other hand is completely different.  On the days that he takes the kids to school, he prepares the lunches the night before and even finds time to iron their clothes.

The other night I started thinking about the lunches I would prepare in the morning when I thought about the children of Israel from the Bible.  History tells us that after 400 years of slavery, Moses successfully convinced Pharaoh to let them go.  It's believed that nearly a million men, women, and children left Egypt headed toward the Promiseland.


The Gathering of the Manna by James Tissot
God promised to feed the Israelites with manna.  In the Book of Exodus, manna is described as being a fine flake, like the frost on the ground.  It is believed that the manna was collected daily, ground and pounded into cakes.

Each day manna would fall and only the amount that was needed for that day was gathered.  Most days, they didn't have to worry about collecting enough to "pack for lunch" the next day.  If they tried to store the substance, it would get wormy and smelly.  Except on the sixth day of the week so that they could rest on the seventh day.


Exodus 16:4-5 shares the following:

"God said to Moses, "I'm going to rain bread down from the skies for you. The people will go out and gather each day's ration. I'm going to test them to see if they'll live according to my teaching or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they have gathered, it will turn out to be twice as much as their daily ration."

Here's the lesson-God is our daily bread!  He will supply our needs, moment by moment.

You may find yourself worrying about something that might happen in a few days or even next month. 

Stop it!

Allow God to reveal His will for your life minute by minute.  Open yourselves to receive His instruction for today.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Matthew 6:34 (MSG)

 "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."  (Posted by Renee)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Want Candy!

My boys love candy.  As a mom, you try to keep it from them but it is impossible.  No matter where they go they are rewarded with candy.  Home, church, doctor's office or school; if they have a good day the common reward is candy.

When my son was 4 years old he looked at me with his big brown eyes and said, "God is BETTER than candy."  I found the statement to be so funny but a profound truth.  His young mind could grasp the idea that God was BETTER than any sweet treat he'd ever received.

So what about you?  What has God been BETTER than to you?

Send us a tweet, comment on FB and let us know.  Enjoy your weekend! (Posted by Roslyn)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Did It Fall On Deaf Ears?

Roslyn-Easter 2011
The Superbowl Sunday of Christianity (Easter) is over and we resume our normal routine.  It is the biggest and holiest holiday for so many people.  Churches plan for months the activities that will take place on Easter Sunday.  Ministry workers and volunteers spend the week before Easter planting Spring flowers, decorating, stuffing eggs, cleaning and a host of other tasks to get ready for the huge amount of visitors.

The crowds of parishioners on Easter is huge.  Unfortunately, some people won't come back to church until Mother's day or Christmas so their is a lot at stake.  Sunrise service, kids Easter programs and beach baptisms are just a few of the ways we commemorate the special day.  Ministers try to craft a message that will appeal and hopefully not offend those that are coming to church for the first time.  Easter services are held outside at a rodeo, under a tent, a football stadium or some even go to the expense to rent the local arena to accommodate the large crowds.

Women spent Saturday getting their hair and nails done.  Little girls and boys are stuffed into cute Spring sun dresses and ties.  They associate the holiday with a new outfit and shiny shoes.  There is a wonderful energy as you walk into church.  Christians are celebrating the empty tomb and our "Risen" Savior.

But, did the message fall on deaf ears?  Do YOU remember the Easter message you heard yesterday?  

What scripture did the Pastor use during the message?  

As we recover from the holiday, I pray God's inspirational word of yesterday is planted deep within your heart.  Don't allow the obstacles or trials of this week to extinguish the flame that brightly burned in your soul just a few hours ago.  The Resurrected Savior is the same God today that is able to redeem, heal, restore, strengthen and love you.  Keep Him close and He will hover over you.  (Posted by Roslyn)

It is the same with my word.  I send it out, and it ALWAYS produces fruit.  It will ACCOMPLISH all I want it to, and it will PROSPER everywhere I send it.  (Isaiah 55:11 NLT)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Our Gift To You!

Today we recognize Good Friday which symbolizes Jesus Christ's agonizing death on the cross.  He gave up His life for the entire world.  Whether or not you recognize and rejoice in His passionate sacrifice for us, He still died on your behalf.  Regardless of your past mistakes or present faults, Christ wants you to be a part of His family.

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
He desires that ALL might be saved. All means ALL and that includes you!
John 3:16-17 (NLT)

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him."

You may have never walked into a church or been offered a relationship with Christ.  Well, today is your day!  We extend His love, grace, and mercy to you as a wonderful and precious gift that God gave us over 2,000 years ago. 

Did you know that salvation is only a two step process?  The scripture below shares the steps that are necessary for salvation.  It begins with a confession of your wrong doing and your dependence on God to forgive your sins.  It culminates with a belief in His death and resurrection.

Romans 10:9 (NLT)

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Jesus Christ is our gift to you today! 

You don't have to understand everything about the Bible before accepting Christ in your life.  As you grow in your relationship with Him, He will reveal the hidden treasures of His word.  Think about it, if you waited to figure out everything about marriage or having children before making the plunge, you may never do it.  The same is true for your Christian journey.  Receive Him in faith and He will guide you the rest of the way.

Recite these words with me:

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.”

If you decided to repent of your sins and receive Christ today, welcome to God's family!

Here are your next steps:   

  • Get baptized as commanded by Christ.
  • Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
  • Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions and support you.
  • Find a local church where you can worship God.
Happy Resurrection Day! (Posted by Renee)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Do You Know What You're Eating? Week One

1 cup of cheerios shown in photo
(equivalent of 6 cookies)
During a recent drive home from school, my daughter asked me, "Mom, did you know that a bowl (1/2 cup) of Honey Nut Cheerios has as much sugar as three Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies?"  I had no idea there was that much sugar in a bowl of cheerios.  Since I don't wake up every morning and cook breakfast, out of convenience, cereal normally wins out on most mornings as the food of choice.

I choose not to eat cereal because I only like the cereals that are full of sugar.  That is why I thought for sure cheerios were a good alternative to some of the other cereals.  As soon as it registered what my daughter shared, I researched a little deeper to find out if this was really true. 

She brought home the issue of "Time for Kids" magazine where she read the information about sugar and common breakfast cereals.  They highlighted the Top 5 cereals with the most sugar according to Environmental Working Group.  Hopefully your favorite isn't on the list:

  1. Kellogg's Honey Smacks
  2. Post Golden Crisp
  3. Kellogg's Froot Loops Marshmallow
  4. Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch's Oops! All Berries
  5. Quaker Oats Original Cap'n Crunch
Kellogg's Honey Smacks tops the list with nearly 56% of the cereal's weight being sugar!  Can you believe that?

  Over half of the cereal is sugar. 

Throughout the past couple of years, I've really tried to read labels and be mindful of what I place in front of my family as a meal.  There are so many "quick" options in the grocery store, but are they really good for you? 

If you've never seen the movie, "Food Inc.", I encourage you to watch it.  It is a documentary that highlights where our food comes from. Here is a clip of the movie being featured on ABC news when it first aired Food, Inc. clipIf you're anything like me, you are probably in shock with some of the movie's highlights. 

During the next few weeks we will share some of our shocking food realizations and some of the changes we've made in our own homes.  Our goal with this post is to inspire you to be aware of the hidden dangers in what you eat.  As we spring into a new season, let's be mindful of what we consume on a daily basis.  Leave us a comment and let us know about a hidden food danger you discovered. (Posted by Renee)

Make sure to visit us on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter @doubleportionin