Thursday, March 21, 2013

What You Need to Know About Fifth Grade

I had my students complete a "Top Ten" list of things the fourth graders needed to know about 5th grade. I was not prepared to laugh as hard as I did when I read their lists. Enjoy this list of my favorites!

1. For Teacher Appreciation Week, Mrs. Prather likes chocolate!
2. Be ready to spell words that don’t make sense. (Ex. pseudonym)
3. Don’t whine if you lose a fun game.
4. Mrs. Prather may look nice, but if you talk or forget something, watch out! She’s coming!
5. I sure hope you listen because she does not answer the same question twice!
6. Never roll your eyes or say, “What?!”
7. Never question what she says.
8. Mrs. Prather will make you laugh. She says, “Holy cow!” all the time!
9. Don’t use slang words like ‘cause.
10. Don’t fix your hair during class!
11. Be good to your enrichment teachers…they tell her everything!
12. Be good because Mrs. Prather is always planning a sneaky surprise!
13. Mrs. Prather is a kind teacher, but do not underestimate her.

You learn alot about yourself when you look through the eyes of a child...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Prathers Go Low Sodium

Nicky has high blood pressure. I always sort of knew he did, but it was never really on my radar when it came to my cooking....that is until I was standing next to him when he took a blood pressure test at Sam's two weeks ago. The screen did something along the lines of flashing red and beeping that he was in danger of heart disease! This was the wake-up call I needed.

I started researching causes of high blood pressure, and discovered that the three biggies are diet, exercise, and genetics. We can control two of those, and you know what they say...two out of three ain't bad!

Exercise: Check! Since his eye-opening blood pressure test, Nicky has only missed 4 days at the gym. As his teammate, I've also been waking up at 4:30 A.M. (that's MORNING!) to go to the gym, as well.

Diet: We're getting there! I've been on the hunt for low-sodium recipes that are quick and easy. For those of you that don't know, salt is a major culprit when it comes to HBP. The average person should only consume about 2300 mg of salt per day, which is only 1 teaspoon. A person with high blood pressure should only have about 1500 mg per day. The average American currently consumes about 3400 mg per day! Are you as shocked as I was?! And here's the kicker - salt is SO hard to avoid! It seems like everything has it...even milk! I realize many of you may know this already, but I am not one to read nutrition labels. That is until now.

So before I set out on my weekly grocery shopping adventure this Sunday, I scoured the internet and found some great, low sodium recipes that seemed quick, easy, and edible. Then, because I am now officially a Label Reader, my shopping trip took THREE HOURS. There were moments when I thought to myself, "Maybe Nicky could just eat fruit and steamed vegetables for every meal because this 'low sodium' junk is HARD!" Then I caught my head - my carnivorous husband needs more than fruit and veggies!

Anyway, these are the meals I planned for this week:
1. Pineapple-chicken teriyaki with brown rice and steamed brocolli
2. Chili-maple glazed pork medallions with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans
3. Chicken and shrimp fajitas with homemade fajita seasoning
4. Turkey burgers stuffed with mozarella and roasted red peppers with sweet potato fries

I am proud to say that every meal has been great! I decided to share the links to the recipes here in case any of you would like to see how awesome a low-sodium diet could be!

Pineapple-chicken teriyaki

Chili-maple glazed pork medallions

Homemade fajita seasoning

Stuffed turkey burgers

A little lagniappe...
I think I've discovered the secret to brown rice...2:1 water to rice ratio in the rice cooker will give you the best brown rice ever. Nicky is a rice expert and he could not stop raving about it.

I like to cube and boil my sweet potatoes for about 20 minutes, drain them, then add cinnamon and honey and mash with a fork. Yum!

OK, this first blog in a year has been long enough. Enjoy!