Awesome Moms Walking the Walk

1 Minute Rant About the Information Industry

1 Minute Rant About the Information Industry

Last week my mother cut out an article from the New York Times touting how a gluten-free diet is dangerous to your health. It frightened her because I eat gluten-free. And, for goodness sakes, it was the New York Times, so it had to be true.

I had to explain to her (again) that a gluten-free diet is NOT a grain-free diet, nor is it a fiber-free diet. I eat plenty of grains, as well as seeds and nuts, fresh vegetables, fish and fowl. When I explained it to her (again), she understood, but the vague sense of alarm remained with her. After all, I don’t carry the same clout as the New York Times.

It’s not an age thing, because one of my sisters reacts the same way. She thinks I’m gluten-free because it’s fashionable, that the discomfort below my navel was stress-related, not food related (she’s a therapist).

Could that be part of it? Of course it could. However, if it was just a coincidence, a creation of my mind, that my chronic GI tract issues disappeared after clearing gluten out of my diet, I DON’T CARE. My symptoms cleared up. Period. I’m not going to get tested for it and risk ruining the illusion.

Anyway, the last I heard, in order to get tested for Celiac Disease, you have to have gluten in your diet for a period of time. Ouch. When I checked my calendar, I couldn’t find a chunk of time I wanted to spend living like a hermit and devoting myself to the bathroom.

Plus, I already know that when I do cheat, my symptoms last for a couple of days.

There is another upside of being gluten-free – all processed foods are suspicious if their ingredients include something like “Natural Flavors.” That means no flavored chips, cookies, pies, cakes, puddings, cereals, breads, crackers, gravy, bagels, candy… which has been great for my waistline!

I have to admit, the newspaper, and all other media, do their job very well. These types of mis-informative articles are design to scare people into returning to their former status quo (i.e., consuming bread-like products) by interchanging the concepts of “gluten-free” and “grain-free.”

The article definitely alarms the population in general, and my family specifically, so why do it? Who cares if some of us don’t consume gluten? Certainly the wheat industry cares, but I try to avoid GMO (genetically modified organisms) anyway, so gluten-free or not, I’m not eating wheat anyway.

However, in a couple of months, I’m travelling to Europe where GMOs have been banned and extra gluten is not added to the foods the way it is in the USA.

Am I going to eat bread when I get there? You bet I am!

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FOLLOW UP PS. I went to Europe and had croissants, toffee bread pudding, bread, etc., and with no side effects. It was glorious. I was worried about losing the weight I gained, but once I returned home, the pounds melted off because I couldn’t eat that way anymore. I love my life!

Awesome Moms Tell Your Tweens + Teens

10 Ways to Nurture the Mother

This year, I’d like to suggest an outside the box twist on the traditional Valentine’s Day. Normally, February 14th celebrates that special love between a man and a woman. But for the nearly 12 million widowed women in the USA, Valentine’s Day can represent a day of loss. It can also be painful reminder that they are alone for the more than 53 million women raising families by themselves.

Let’s nurture the women who nurtured us, the women who are raising our next generation. Let’s take them out for Valentine’s Day, or spend the evening with them.

Here’s 10 ways to turn the day that ignores those without a significant other into a celebration of appreciation. Enjoy some quality one-to-one time, or gather a posse of your constituents, and celebrate in style.

  1. Host a British High Tea, or a Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony.
  2. Visit a uniquely themed restaurant. The Victor Café in Philadelphia is staffed by opera singers who burst into song all evening. The Medieval Manor in Boston provides a romp through the Dark Ages with a six-meal course. The Vienna Restaurant and Historic Inn in Southbridge, MA is an entirely Bavarian setting. The Crop Bistro & Bar is a converted bank vault in Cleveland. Find something in your area by researching “themed restaurants.”
  3. Take a creative one-night class that produces something. (Pottery. Painting. Line dancing.)
  4. Have a Spa Night that begins with exercise (yoga or tai chi), moves on to Mani’s and Pedi’s, and concludes with a massage.
  5. Cook together, at home, or through a cooking class (check out Sur La Table). Prepare a meal for yourselves, or a big pot of stew for the local shelter.
  6. Redecorate. Paint walls. Shop for knick knacks and throw pillows. Move furniture. Rearrange wall hangings. Plan it ahead of time, or start early and make it a daylong event.
  7. Gather everyone you know who plays an instrument and have a jam session.
  8. Binge home movies and browse photo albums. Bring a recoding device because trips down memory lane produce new stories that you won’t want to forget.
  9. Get tickets for an event: a play, the movies, a performance, a concert, the ballet, a game, a lecture, etc. Have a meal first, enjoy the event, and have coffee after to discuss what you saw.
  10. Set up an indoor garden in containers. Design the space, purchase what you need, and plant next season’s meal. If you are in a mild climate, keep your mini gardens outside, but you can easily grow veggies inside. The best part is you can use anything for a container. I saw marigolds planted in an old boot once.

You can see from these ideas that Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to nurture your relationship with your own mother. Something unusual and fun will create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you have any other suggestions, share them in the comments so we can all benefit from your wisdom.

Life Is Funny Tell Your Tweens + Teens

Ten Jokes For The Road

Ten Jokes For The Road

When I was a teacher, there were two ways to end the class:

  • Teach until the bell rang, and have the kids scramble to get to their next class in 3 minutes; or
  • Stop a minute early and let them get ready to leave.

I was known to do both, depending on what I was teaching. But, on the days when we had a minute to spare, my students were charged with making me laugh. A good joke, especially a science joke, was their ticket out of my room before the bell. (That was actually frowned upon, but the kids never went too far because they were listening to the others jokes.)

But there were rules. (Of course there were rules. We were in school.) No profanity. Nothing derogatory, sexist, racists, blond-ist, etc. Here’s a few I jotted down in case I ever needed them.

Warning: I have a tenth grade sense of humor, which I am proud of. (So do you, if you laugh at any of these keepers.)

1. Q: Why do hummingbirds hum?
A: Because they don’t know the words.

2. Q: What’s red and bad for your teeth?
A: A brick.

3. A mom texts, “Hi! Son, what does IDK, LY, & TTYL mean?” He texts back, “I Don’t Know, Love You, & Talk To You Later.” The mom texts him, “It’s ok, don’t worry about it. I’ll ask your sister. Love you, too.”

4. Q: Can a kangaroo jump higher than the Empire State Building?
A: Of course. The Empire State Building can’t jump.

5. I was wondering why the ball kept getting bigger and bigger, and then it hit me.

6. If you ever get cold, just stand in the corner of a room for a while. They’re normally around 90 degrees.

7. A bank robber pulls out gun points it at the teller, and says, “Give me all the money or you’re geography!”
The puzzled teller replies, “Did you mean to say ‘or you’re history?'”
The robber says, “Don’t change the subject!”

8. Teacher: “What is the chemical formula for water?”
Student: “HIJKLMNO.”
Teacher: “What are you talking about?”
Student: “Yesterday you said it’s H to O!”

9. A man went to his lawyer and told him, “My neighbor owes me $500 and he won’t pay up. What should I do?”
“Do you have any proof he owes you the money?” asked the lawyer.
“Nope,” replied the man.
“OK, then write him a letter asking him for the $5,000 he owed you,” said the lawyer.
“But it’s only $500,” replied the man. “Precisely. That’s what he will reply and then you’ll have your proof!”

10. A drunk walks into a bar with jumper cables around his neck. The bartender says, “You can stay, but don’t try to start anything.”

I would adore it if you would take the time to share your favorite joke here so I can add to my collection.