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All posts for the month August, 2018

Review: The Beyond Burger

Published August 24, 2018 by lynn k scott

It’s been about a month now; give or take.  I have been on a primarily vegan diet to treat my colon cancer.  I juice a lot, follow a gluten-free (did that before cancer) and now a vegetarian, if not vegan diet.

veggies

I would say that about 95% of my food intake is vegan.  I never thought I could give  up cheese.  Surprisingly, it hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be.  Since changing my diet, I have had goat cheese 4 times and feta cheese twice.  Not too shabby.  I occasionally will have either fish or shellfish.

I have also given up dairy and eggs, in addition to red meat, chicken and pork.  I will occasionally do honey; but limit natural sugar.  I rarely have any refined sugar these days.  My daughter always wanted a rabbit to join the family.  She will just have to accept me as a surrogate bunny.

Onto the review…

I saw a blog post about “The Beyond Burger” about a month ago about this alternative meat.  As soon as I read about it, I knew I had to try it as soon as it was available.

Earlier this week, when I was doing the weekly grocery shopping, I happened to stumble upon it.  It was nestled in the meat department, right about the ground beef.  I picked up a package to try, picked up pre-made burgers for the family (rarely do that) and was EXCITED to try it for dinner.

Last night, I cooked up their burgers in one pan and made my “burger” in cast iron pan.  They had a perfect sear to them.  The “burgers” are primarily made of pea protein and beets.  I have had pea protein milk before.  It’s a great dairy-free alternative.  However, it tends to be a bit more expensive then, say, almond or cashew milk.

I wish I had taken pics of the “burgers” before I added the avocados.  I opted to forgo the vegan cheddar cheese.  I didn’t put them on a bun, as I didn’t have gluten-free ones available and didn’t feel like going the lettuce wrap route.

While the “burger” didn’t taste like read meat, it “bleeds” while cooking because of the beets in it.  They are also a bit smaller than what I would call a traditional burger size.

A bonus for me is they have 30% of the recommended daily volume of protein.  I am continually anemic from my cancer.  To say, I love this plant-based option, wouldn’t be an understatement.  My husband and daughter thought I was nuts when I was so happy about my dinner.  You can read more about the nutritional content here.

wow

I topped the “burgers” with avocado and dipped each bite in a bit of mustard.  I love mustard and I use it whenever I can.  I really enjoyed the taste.  I cooked it with just a bit of salt and pepper.  Nothing complicated.  I made vegan mashed potatoes.  The family wanted fries, which I made them in the air fryer for them, but I wanted mashed potatoes.

I don’t often buy pre-made meals for myself.  However, this is one option I will definitely do.  It makes prepping dinner a bit easier on my busy nights.

If your family does a meatless Monday or you’re trying to cut back on red meat, I would invite you to give this option a try.  I think this is now one of my new favorite foods.

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Phone Safety

Published August 20, 2018 by lynn k scott

This post is extremely difficult to write, but I feel it’s important to share.

My tween was caught speaking to someone on her phone (a rarity).  When questioned who she was speaking with, she lied.  I let it go for a day and then I took her phone and went through it.

My checking her phone is nothing new.  However, this time, I found out she had downloaded Snapchat.  She is not allowed to download apps without permission.  While I had her phone, she received a message.  I will not go into details, however, the message was obviously from an adult and was extremely inappropriate.

I probably should have saved the information, but I deleted everything off her phone.  I went through her call log, but there wasn’t much there.  I had a breakdown.  My trust in my daughter was shattered.  What’s more is her safety had been threatened and she didn’t even know it.

After I composed myself, I had called a friend so she could be my sounding board but also to ask for some help.  I am truly blessed to have people in my life that I can trust my daughter with.  Her family is going to help me by allowing my daughter to hang out at their house during the work-week.  It’s more about her being in a safe environment; which gives me peace of mind.

Later, my daughter and I had a long discussion.  We had “the talk” years ago.  However, this conversation was more about how her actions put her at risk.  What a predator was, how they act, how they draw kids in and what happens if they were to actually able to get a hold of her.

We have had discussions about not posting any personal information or pictures.  How to not give out personal information to people in the mall.  How not go to with girls who may approach her at the mall (should I not be with her).

Our discussion included the dangers and how human trafficking is a real thing.   My world was shattered.  You think you are keeping your kids safe and to find out, a predator, violated that realm of safety.

She kept calling herself stupid.  She was crying an apologizing.  At no time, did I yell.  I explained, she broke established rules and this is what resulted.  We don’t make rules just to have rules, but to protect her.  She wasn’t stupid, just young.  We are trying to protect her, but there are people who would harm her and cause her pain.

Her phone is no longer in per possession and I don’t know when/if she will have it returned.  For now, it’s at least a month; maybe more.  She has been given the house phone to use.  She is not allowed to use the internet without an adult present.  She rarely uses the computer alone, but I added that restriction; just in case.

No matter how overbearing your kids think you are.  If they complain you are invading their privacy, DO IT ANYWAY!  No one is immune to these predators.  Our children’s safety is paramount.

…Said Every Parent

Published August 14, 2018 by lynn k scott

It’s hard to believe, but I am NOT a Disney fan.  I have been to Disney World twice, when I was a teenager.

That being said, I don’t like crowds; only gets worse as I get older.  I don’t like paying for overpriced trinkets when they are an eighth of the price elsewhere.

I could have made this video.  John Crist did stellar job in summing it all up.  I almost fell off my chair laughing at the homeschool kid bit.  This is truly accurate!  If you are a parent and never felt like any of these scenarios, I consider you a saint.

Enjoy!

 

Say What You Mean

Published August 14, 2018 by lynn k scott

I was just having a discussion in another group.  A friend had added me and I knew better than to stay.  I am simply too upfront with people and in today’s age, they don’t know how to deal with that.

The discussion was about driving THREE hours to go apple picking, pumpkin patches , getting baked goods and/or picking up a Christmas tree.

One person said she didn’t have time to bake pies, so she made this trek every year.  I basically responded she could make the pie dough, process fresh pumpkins into puree and make three pies in the time it took to make the drive.

She responded, it’s a tradition, they stop for dinner, get their tree, etc.

Hmmmm…that’s not what she originally said.  She said she didn’t have time to bake is why she went.  Not the same thing.  What is so hard about saying what you actually mean?  This is a pet peeve of mine (obviously, if I’m blogging about it).

Not to mention, there’s only one road in and one road out, that moves about 5-10 miles per hour.  It’s full of tourists who have no idea where they are going; making traffic worse.

There are vendors everywhere (good thing for a tourist trap).  This aids in gumming up the traffic, as people aren’t sure which vendor they would like to stop at.  I grew up in a tourist town.  While it’s cute to take kids apple picking or let them go to a huge pumpkin patch (which we have locally too), it jacks the prices for people who have no idea that apple cider can be purchased for a much lower price elsewhere.

Family time can be done anywhere.  Don’t defend a position after you change the parameters of said position.  I did what I should have originally done; left the discussion and the group.

I need a tattoo that says, “does not play well with others”.  Maybe a license plate frame too.

Gluten-free, Vegan Pizza

Published August 13, 2018 by lynn k scott

Yesterday, I ventured into new culinary territory.  My lil-miss was at a pool party, so my husband and I chose to get some pizza.  We went to Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria.  Being from NY, I am picky about my pizza.  Hands down, Vincinis Pizza is the best pizza in Solano County.

While I LOVE pizza at Vincinis, their gluten-free crust lacks a bit.  Amici’s has the best gluten-free crust in the area.  They also offer vegan cheese.  There is a pretty steep price-tag for a gluten-free pizza.  There is no extra charge for substituting the Daiya vegan cheese.

The menu only showcases one true vegan pizza but several gluten-free options.  I wish the vegan pizza had say an option to pick three toppings, with a gluten-free crust, for “X” amount.  We ended up paying $32 just for my pizza.  I’m sorry, but not every vegan or plant-based diet is in love with spinach.  It NEVER belongs on a pizza!  That’s my opinion of course, but salads are salads and pizza has no lettuce-like toppings.

The gluten-free crust is crispy, foldable and has good flavor.  The pizza sauce is also vegan.  The vegan cheese was creamier and melted well.  I admit, I was apprehensive about ordering this pizza.

My first bite reinforced I can primarily consume vegan dishes, even while eating out.  I didn’t miss “real” pizza at all.  I will definitely return for another vegan pizza.  However, strictly due to the price, the visits will be farther between because I can’t justify that cost for pizza on a regular basis.

It does prompt me to work on a homemade vegan crust.  This plant-based, vegan and sometimes raw diet is still new to me.  It makes it easier when I do eat out, to find restaurants who cater to dietary needs.  Yes, I could just have gluten-free, but the vegan(ish) lifestyle is geared toward my cancer recovery.  It’s not always easy to stick to the acceptable food, but when I do, I can feel a positive difference.  I also can’t complain about a 10-pound weight loss (in just three weeks).

In the infamous words of Andrew Zimmer, “If it looks good; eat it.”

Home Education vs Homeschooling

Published August 8, 2018 by lynn k scott

I will preface this particular post with a disclaimer.  This post is non-judgmental on how any family chooses to educate their child(ren).  You must do what is right for your family.

That being said, I have changed my category name from Homeschooling to Home Education.  One might think they are the same thing, but they really aren’t.  With public education promoting K12 online education or public charters, using a certified teachers to monitor students and mandating academic testing, this truly is not home education.  It’s homeschooling or public school at home.

OH

Some public charter schools will give stipends to parents to use their charter school aka public education.  Those charters are still receiving government funding and in essence, bribing parents, to use their program instead of a traditional brick and mortar school.

I choose to home educate and all posts on this topic, where my daughter’s education is concerned, will state “home education” in order to provide a distinction.

First, we follow a Christ-based curriculum.  I purchase all the books with my own funds (while still paying property taxes to the public school).  I want my daughter brought up in the Word of God not in the ways of the world.  I want her faith paramount, followed by a solid education.  Not all who home educate do so for faith-based reasons, but many do.  This is not allowed in public schools.  So if you can’t use a Christian curriculum, you are not home educating.

There is also more than just book learning.  It’s learning life skills.  It’s learning effective communication.  It’s non-common core.  It’s taking a break instead of pushing through a lesson, when it’s obvious the child needs it.  There’s regrouping.  The education is based on what is best for the student; not the school district.  I won’t even go into “unschooling” (follows no set curriculum; all child-led).

There is no bullying.  There aren’t any threats of violence; gun shots.  There isn’t forced socialization among cohorts.  There is the ability to learn from a diverse group of people of all ages.  Not sure about you, but I don’t want my child, who is still impressionable and learning to receive knowledge from cohorts who are in the same boat.  Thirty 12-year olds do not have the same knowledge as a 20, 30, 45, or even 70-year old person can impart on my daughter.

Home educated children surpass their public school counterparts on testing, studying ability and working independently.  Colleges, the military and trades all accept home educated children for these vary reasons.  We are teaching education; not teaching to test.

Again, educating your child is a personal and family decision.  I am strictly pointing out that using a public education is not the same as educating your child outside the rigid confines of the government.  Homeschooling used to mean this.  However, the public school system is trying to corner another educational avenue.  Those who truly educate at home want to impress that our children are not part of the public educational process; hence the need for distinction.

apples and pears

Back to Home Education

Published August 7, 2018 by lynn k scott

It’s officially less than a week a way:  Back to Educating at Home.

My tween is definitely not looking forward to next week.  Back to a pseudo-routine, new lessons, homework, crafts, physical exercise, learning a new language, formal course (or formal for us) on watercolor and painting.

Throw in weekend field trips, some type of volunteer work or give-back opportunities, learning meal prep, more life skills and it can be a bit overwhelming; esp. while I work a full-time job.

Yet, my working and our home education evenings and weekends with assignments completed during the day, work for us.  Maybe with my daughter choosing to learn Spanish, I’ll improve my skills as well.  There is a small mountain of books for me to go through to prepare her lessons and get myself situated as well.

It is a lot of work home educate (not using a charter).  It’s a lot of work to have a full time job and run a household.  Regardless of how busy it keeps me, this is a special time with my daughter.  We may have mini arguments and attitude about assignment completion, yet, she will remember these days when she has moved onto college and when she starts her own family.

I love the option of not having my daughter receive a cookie-cutter education.  More than that, I love she is receiving a Christian education, with Christian texts, and is able to have Bible as one of her core subjects.

Often times, I will have our pastor look at her text books, esp. when I am really excited to use them.  Ok, that’s where my inner nerd surfaces.  I love books.  I hope my daughter eventually reaches my level of excitement.  She does enjoy going to the bookstore.  I just love reading and if it’s history-based, even better.

One of her projects this year will be to interview various people about their jobs.  While she’s still in junior high, it’s not too early for her to think about what she may want to do as a part-time job in her teens or find something she’s passionate about.  First hand accounts, from people in specific industries, is more valuable than what you can read about a particular job (imo).  It also teaches interviewing and note-taking skills and how to effectively communicate.  This project will span over several years.  I look forward to comparing her first interviews to her last ones and seeing her growth.

I hope you will join us on this year’s educational journey.

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