See your nutritional health in a daily bar graph with SuperTracker

ChooseMyPlate.gov's SuperTracker Website allows users to input their food and activity information to create nutritional and exercise goals. it provides users with a comprehensive report on their nutrition and links to information regarding the individual's daily habits

The SuperTracker at ChooseMyPlate provides comprehensive reports on a user’s nutritional needs and successes.

No, calorie counting is not my thing.

I just posted about it. But while researching for that post, I found the SuperTracker at ChooseMyPlate.gov and the curiosity was too much.

All of a sudden I have a profile and I’m entering my breakfast information.

But it’s amazing! And soooooooo much more than a calorie counter.

I set any 5 goals from 5 categories: weight managment, physical activity, calories, food groups and nutrients. Daily, I get to watch a graph display my progress on each goal, and when I succeed at one, I get an email.

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We need both mothers and fathers.

young girl swings from her parents' arms, but the father character has been painted over in white so that only the mother and daughter are visible while the father figure is vacant in the photo

(photo compliments of dailymail.co.uk)

Of the people I know, I can tell you who has been raised without a father, or a mother, or in a home victim to divorce, without having ever asked the person.

The people in the above categories exhibit similar behaviors and conduct their lives similarly.

We frequently hear about women with “daddy problems” who grow up without father figures. These women seek male attention in all of the wrong ways and participate in risky behavior. People say, Oh haha! Her daddy didn’t hug her enough as a child! But any person missing either a mother figure or father figure is starved of essential information in life, and have problems maintaining healthy relationships forever.

I recently read, “Like Father, Like Son, and, Yes, Like Daughter” by Molly B. Koch in Baltimore’s Child. It’s a good read about the importance of father figures.

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Twelve hobbies and crafts that will lighten your family budget

(photo compliments of blog.phaseonelandscapes.com)

Need a hobby? Need to revisit an old craft or skill? The following tips are ways crafts or hobbies can save you and your family money.

  1. Paint for a new look. Jennifer gets tired of furniture easily, but instead of rushing out to buy new, she reaches for a paint can. A fresh color, and the world looks bright and shiny again. But old wooden chairs at garage sales, give them a quick coat of new color, and change the way your dining room looks. You’ll spend far less than if you headed for the mall furniture store.
  2. Decorate with blooming plants. Instead of treating yourself to cut flowers on your dinner table (unless you can cut them for free in your own garden) buy a flowering indoor plant. It is less expensive to buy one pretty plant than a series of bouquets. Continue reading

Garden: the easiest way your family can save money, eat healthier, help the environment

basket of fresh garden vegetables like carrots, lettuce, cabbage in a basket sitting in a garden

(photo compliments of wayetlighting.wordpress.com)

If you have a yard, start a garden. The financial benefits of gardening are extensive, the health benefits are obvious, and the environmental benefits are substantial. You don’t need a huge garden, and your family can help out and bond through the care of it.

Here’s a list of ways to maximize the benefits of gardening in your life:

  1. Make your own fertilizer. Get in the habit of composting your vegetable and garden scraps. You will do something nice for the planet, put less into the waste stream, and get free fertilizer for your garden in the process! You can find information on building your own compost bin at www.bluegrassgardens.com.
  2. Plant a money garden. With an eye towards increased interest in vegetable gardening, the Burpee Seed Company has developed a “Money Garden” seed packet. Six different kinds of vegetables are included for $10. The company says the plants will produce $650 dollars worth of produce. Continue reading

Nineteen tips for how to save money by cooking up these simple, natural, healthy, quick recipes for the family

round loaf of fresh bread on a wooden cutting board, a bread knife laying to the left

(photo compliments of artisanbreadinfive.com)

Alright, while reading 573 Ways to Save Money by Peter Sander and Jennifer Sander, I found a few super simple recipes I really liked. They use a few real ingredients, and are cheaper than their pre-made or packaged counterparts at the supermarket with mystery chemicals and preservatives. Save money, cook with healthier ingredients and get creative in the kitchen? This is great.

  1. Make your own smoothies. Get out of the habit of expensive fruit juice smoothies and get into the habit of making them yourself at home. Bananas, berries, ice, yogurt, juice, and a blender are all you need. Visit www.smoothieweb.com for a great selection of smoothie recipes.
  2. Stuff baked potatoes. An inexpensive and filling way to feed a family is with stuffed baked potatoes. Bake them, scoop out the insides, and mash with a bit of milk, butter, and sour cream, then add in chopped and spiced meat or cheese or vegetables.
  3. Simple pasta is the best. This inexpensive pasta meal is perfect–plain pasta, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Add salad or a loaf of bread you’ve made yourself, and you have a budget gourmet meal. Continue reading

Television: the new parent for our children.

Bar graph illustrating the increase in the number of televisions per household from 1975 to 2010. In 1970, almost all households had one television. In 2010, a strong majority of households have 3 or more televisions.

(photo compliments of marketingprofs.com)

While lounging on the beach at Ocean City, MD, a woman vacationing with her family mentioned she had been on the beach every day while her husband and two sons spent the time inside the water-front hotel room on the boardwalk (a premium location) playing video games and sleeping.

Anyone else find that odd?

You pay for a room for a week in a city with dozens upon dozens of awesome outdoor activities, and the family stays inside, absorbed in screens?

On a similar note, does anyone find it the slightest bit odd that living/family rooms are designed around the television?

What happened?

Make 8 of your own natural cleaning products to save money and get green

three generic, plain household cleaner bottles, arm & hammer baking soda box, bunch of lemons with one sliced open, Heinz vinegar bottle

(photo compliments of inhabitat.com)

The following advice will help me:

  • save money?
  • use natural products in my home?
  • eliminate toxins from my life?
  • be green and environmentally conscious?
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