Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Movie Review: Food Inc.

This past weekend we watched a slue of "Where does your food really come from and what's really in it" movies (yes I just made that genre up). Here is the first of a few movie reviews I will writing about each:

Premise: "In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults." [from]

Most Shocking: The most appalling part was when the film showed Chicken farming. Of all the farmers asked, only one would show her coops for the film (another agreed but after being chastised by Perdue, reneged on his offer). The inside was disgusting. Chickens were crowded, could only walk a few steps before collapsing due to their 1/2 time double size development, and dozens of chickens died everyday. Most appalling was that the farmer who showed her chickens still had opened sided coops and lost her contract after the film was made partly due to not upgrading to the dark, tunnel-ventilated coops. Also, chicken farmers are an average of $500,000 in debt and are paid an average of $18,000/year.

Most Interesting: One organic farmer featured in the film, Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, Stauton, VA, is actually just South of our home. When I went to a local store that sells local products they actually had some chicken from his farm! I bought some, although pricey at $3.99/lb, and I'll let you know how that turns out when we try it! The farm has an open policy for self-guided tours and I'm looking forward to making a trip there.

Favorite: Stonyfield was featured and I was excited to know that even though they have been bought out by a larger parent company, they have still retained management under the original owner.

Least Favorite: There was a cow, (a "lame" cow, which means too weak to move) that was pushed into a truck for slaughtering with a forklift which almost completely ran over the cow.

Lesson Learned: I'm a little more convicted about organics. I won't go vegetarian because I like eggs, dairy, and meat and God has allowed us to eat them, but I am very seriously considering going completely organic on meat. The change may be slow as it is expensive though.

Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts? Share in the comments section.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Freezer Cooking Day

So this is my first official, impromptu freezer cooking day. We had bad ice last night which gave us a snow day today so no school!

My friend Laura is coming over to make bagels but i decided to make it into a freezer cooking adventure since the bagels take a long time in between steps.

Here's my plan:
Bagels (as done by smitten kitchen)
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Pancakes (x2)
Taco "meat" (I got a good deal on boca ground "meat" yesterday at Target)
Pizza Dough in the bread machine
Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
Banana Bread

So far Laura made the pancakes, while the dough was in the machine for the bagels. Then I made the taco meat and vacuum sealed it. Then we sealed up the pancakes and portioned our bagels for the 1st rise.

Then my husband left (but on the way out slipped on the ice down our stairs and dislocated his shoulder again :-( Shortly after this our friends Kayla and Matt got to our house. They started the movie UP while we finished the bagel process. Then I dumped the pizza dough ingredients in the machine. As I did I realized that we were out of yeast so the cinnamon rolls weren't going to happen (I guess this happens on impromptu freezer days!)

So we finished the bagels and everyone tried some. I was about to use the defrosted chicken to make the casserole when we all decided to take a little over an hour field trip to Charlottesville tonight to go to Mellow Mushroom Pizza! So my day has come to and end...


we have another snow day tomorrow so who knows what else we will get done!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Be My Valentine Marriage Challenge: Week 4:

I am linking up with Courtney's challenge again! Valentine's Day is one Monday and it is week 4 of the 25 day praise plan challenge

"Week 4 February 9th
- Women love romance, chocolate and flowers on Valentines Day. Do you know what your husband wants? Ask him! Let me make a suggestion as to what a majority of men want even if they aren't willing to say it: a great tasting, looking, smelling home cooked meal and home cooked dessert, you pursuing him for a night of passion (remember you are married - HAVE fun! God created passion for us married folk! lol!) or a letter expressing all the things you admire about him. One of these things he would surely enjoy. Which of the three does your husband need from you right now?

"Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun--all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun."-Ecclesiastes 9:9

We are doing a sermon series on Ecclesiastes at church right now. This may seem downtrodden, "everything is meaningless," but in the end of ecclesiastes, the preacher concludes that APART FROM GOD, everything is meaningless. So rejoice in God, and enjoy life with your husband, who you respect

Now my husband is unusually thoughtful and pretty romantic. Last year (when we were dating) included a home made meal, chocolate covered strawberries, a homemade pinata written all over with surprise fillings and notes. Very romantic, I think. It didn't cost a lot, because we didn't have a lot, he was doing part-time work and I was in school.

It's not about what, but the thought. If your husband puts a lot of thought into a card, then appreciate it, appreciate anything he does, even if he just remembers.... REMEMBER your life is NOT a chick flick.

Here are some tips for ENJOYING Valentine's Day:

1) It is better to give than to receive
Focus on what you can do for your husband to show him you respect him, you care for him, and actually like to hang out with him. Write him a respect note, clean his car, rent a "guy" movie and get his favorite movie snacks. If you can't afford to go out to a restaurant, recreate your favorite restaurant dishes: there are tons of copycat recipes online, once I made panera at home for a movie night with my hubby, I made paninis on the george foreman, soup, and fancy salads.

2) Don't compare
Don't keep up with the Jones's. Someone else's husband may be romantic, but he may lack in other areas your husband excels in. NO ONE is perfect! ALSO, don't compare your husband to his past efforts. My husband does not need to be held to the standard of last year. Appreciate, don't compare

3) Remember his interests
NO matter what happens, remember that DEEP DOWN, your husband does not mean to harm you, or hurt your feelings. You are a TEAM! (this is something I need to be reminded of often when my feelings are hurt) Life is too short to be mad! If it is an issue that needs addressing, do so at a proper time, with a collected mind and heart, with respect for your husband.

4) Choose to Love
Every day can be a struggle, or it can be a joy. True joy comes from the Lord. Happiness is fleeting. Remember that Love is a Choice. God chose to love us, and we are COMMANDED to love others. (And why wouldn't we, after seeing God's love for us, and the sacrifice that Jesus made) Sometimes it is hard to choose to love first, to give in. Love is not some baby with a full head of hair and a sack full of arrows shooting whoever he wants and making them "fall in love" Choose to love your husband and intimacy and romance will blossom.

As for me, this is our first Valentine's day as a married couple... I think that's all I need to say ;-)

Link up if you're joining the challenge! And make sure you visit Courtney's site for more lovely ladies.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Be My Valentine Marriage Challenge: Week 3: Pursuing Your Husband

"Week 3 Challenge: Pursue intimacy and place the intimate needs of your spouse above your own. Give him a foot or back massage, shower together, be creative!"

"Now for the matters you wrote about: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman." But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 NIV

The devil would like nothing more around Valentine's day, or any day for that matter, than to get between you and your husband. The bible warns us to watch out for sexual immorality because it has a way of sneaking in when we neglect, refuse, or don't develop intimacy with our husbands.

The reality is that marriages are broken, just as our Christ's relationship to the church is broken by sin. But, just we can choose salvation through grace in Christ, God can improve intimacy in a marriage that has also been broken by sin.

The bible tells us sex is good, it tells us to give freely our bodies to each other because they belong to the other. We shouldn't withhold relations from our spouse. How many of us have cited fasting as our only reason to not want to engage? I think more often the excuse is that we are tired, we are hurt, we want the other person to do something before they are worthy. Most are selfish reasons, and most are sinful.

But what about hurt, what about dysfunction. Many couples want to pursue intimacy but can't seem to because of sin, because of abuse, because of physical barriers, and emotional barriers. If that's you today, if you or your husband have trouble with intimacy, I urge you to seek help. Often times couples do not want to admit there is a problem. There are books and trained counselors to help.

Going through an issue like this takes patience from both partners and a lot of prayer and petition. God wants you to have a great intimate relationship with your spouse, and it is possible!

Some great books on God's purpose for sex in marriage and books on intimacy difficulties include:

Intended For Pleasure by Ed Wheat

Sacred Sex by Tim Gardner

Undefiled by Harry Schaumburg

Fireproof by Eric Wilson (or the movie, this is a story about redemption from sexual sin in a marriage) The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick is the workbook used in the movie.

Link up if you're joining the challenge! And make sure you visit Courtney's site for more lovely ladies.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Be My Valentine Marriage Challenge: Week 2: Creative Praise

This week's challenge is: be a little more creative with your praise.

I didn't go super crazy this week for the challenge, on Saturday, I got up earlier than my husband. Which is pretty easy if he's not awake yet. I got up and started my cleaning so i would be mostly done by the time he woke up and could spend the day with him.

Then I started breakfast, nothing too crazy just french toast (his favorite) with sausage and cinnamon apples (later I found out he doesn't like the texture of cooked apples... LOL oh to be a newlywed!)

As it cooked, I grabbed a piece of scrapbook paper and wrote him a handwritten note thanking him for all he did that week (he is between jobs and home while I'm at work), praised him for being a godly husband, and for loving me and placed it at his seat. I rearranged our table setting so the candles and place settings faced us and made it more intimate.

And nothing is a better alarm clock for a man in his 20's than the smell of breakfast. Just as I finished cooking he wandered out to the kitchen. I know he really appreciated it and he thanked me, although he did let me know he didn't like the texture of cooked apples (I was trying to get rid of the apples before they went bad and not have a breakfast consisting totally of protein and carbs... but hey I tried!)

Just a little way to make breakfast a little more special.

I always washed the dishes, or at least tried and got halfway through, even though it's "his job"

here are some other ideas for showing your husband love and respect in a big way...

1) Clean (and detail if you're skilled at that) his car, of course be careful, but he will really love it

2) Buy him a small new tool (maybe his hammer looks a little bent out of shape) with a cute note (such as a screwdriver that says "thanks for loving your screwy of a wife" or any other creative puns you can think of!)

3) Write him a message in the bath tub with soap "you+me+tonight"

4) Make him his favorite whatever sandwich, breakfast, dessert, anything

5) Challenge him to a tournament (my husband is super competitive-- wii, rummy, a race, etc)

6) Just sit with him This may sound strange but sometimes while all we can think about it all the things to d around the house, all our husbands want us to do is just sit beside them while they do something (watch tv, change the oil, shovel the driveway-be the hot chocolate holder!)

Link up if you're joining the challenge! And make sure you visit Courtney's site for more lovely ladies.