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  • New Favorite Kitchen Appliance: NutriBullet Blender

    One of the books I’ve been reading off and on is How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields. He talks about the three buckets of life, the first being the Vitality Bucket. One of his suggestions is to have a daily green smoothie, and he recommends the site Simple Green Smoothies.

    CFO Favorites: NutriBullet Blender

    I’ve actually known about SGS for several years, and regularly used their formula to make smoothies in my Vitamix. My favorite combination is spinach, water, a banana, and whatever fruit I have in the freezer. Reading How to Live a Good Life made me decide to commit to a daily green smoothie.

    The thing about my Vitamix, though, is that it’s huge – the jar holds 64 ounces, or 8 cups! And it was difficult to blend up smaller portions in that large jar. Vitamix does make smaller containers, but they’re all rather expensive.

    So I got a NutriBullet, which came with 3 cups and 2 blades – all for less than the cost of one Vitamix jar. It’s been great, because it’s so easy to blend up one or two servings at a time. I have a green smoothie almost every day now, because of the ease and convenience (which are great strategies for creating a new habit, according to Gretchen Rubin, who literally wrote the book on happiness and habits).

    The NutriBullet does a fantastic job of making a smooth smoothie – I follow the SGS technique of blending the greens with liquid first, and I never get lumps. The only thing it doesn’t blend perfectly is berry seeds, so I avoid strawberries and raspberries when I use it because I really dislike the grittiness. (This isn’t a problem with the Vitamix.) I’ve been adding chia seeds to my smoothies lately, and those get blended up completely. (I do soak them first, which undoubtedly helps.)

    I love my NutriBullet so much that the next time I visit my parents, I’m going to order one for the their place and teach them how to make a daily green smoothie!

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    Double Check Medications Against the Prescription

    Double Check Your Prescriptions - chieffamilyofficer.com

    I had a rather scary experience at Target today:

    I was picking up a prescription for one of the boys, who is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. The prescription was for Auvi-Q, which is similar to an Epipen but gives verbal instructions to walk you through the process. Fortunately, we’ve never actually needed to administer any injections, but I’d feel like a top candidate for the worst mother award if I didn’t have the medication available.

    The pharmacist checked the medication before handing it to me and paused.

    “How much does your son weigh?” she asked me.

    I told her.

    “Um, he needs the junior and this is for adults.”

    She asked me to wait, then returned a few minutes later with the original prescription. It indeed said “Jr.” but when it was inputted into their computer system, that part was left off. The most disturbing part is that I’ve picked up this same prescription three times before and no other pharmacist caught the error, even though the adult Auvi-Q box is orange and the kid version is blue, and they double check the medication before handing it over by confirming the patient’s birthdate.

    Of course, I feel like I failed to some degree as a mother. I should have checked the package when it was first given to me. Nowhere on the orange Auvi-Q package or actual device does it say “junior.”

    So I’m passing this lesson along: Always check the medication that you are handed by the pharmacist. Make sure that it is what was actually prescribed.

    Since you have to hand over the prescription slip, you may want to take a photo of it so you can compare the label for what you receive to what was prescribed. Or, you can check with the pharmacist by asking if the medication and its dosage are appropriate for the condition and patient it’s been prescribed for.

    I’m just so grateful that we’ve never needed to administer an injection for an allergic reaction, and I pray that we never will. But you can bet I’ll make sure that we have the correct medication on hand at all times.

    Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by posterize.

    Food Recalls

    food recalls - chieffamilyofficer.com

    Food manufacturers and distributors initiate food recalls if there is reason to believe that a food may cause consumers to become ill, such as when it’s discovered that food contains an unsafe organism, packaging has been mislabeled, or an allergen has not been disclosed.

    Just today, Kirkland Signature sliced fruit and Dole bagged salads have been recalled. The recalls are limited in quantity and variety, but if you purchased any of the included items, you would definitely want to know about the recall so you can avoid consuming those foods.

    For consumers with food allergies, recalls can be of particular importance since a frequent cause of recalls is the failure to disclose or misidentification of an allergen like peanuts or milk.

    To stay up to date on recent recalls, you can visit the Food Safety web site, or better yet, sign up for email updates to have recall notifications delivered to your inbox.

    Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Supertrooper.

    2014 Focus: Get Healthy {Not Through Deprivation and Self-Loathing}

    Get Healthy in 2014 with chieffamilyofficer.com

    This year, I’m focusing on getting healthy, and I have as much work to do mentally as I do physically. You can read the posts in this series in reverse chronological order here.

    I still haven’t finished reading Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth, but I’ve got the gist and it was well-articulated in this interview with Cheryl Richardson {FYI, I downloaded it as a podcast from iTunes}.

    My main takeaway is this: Diets don’t work because hating ourselves and depriving ourselves can’t possibly lead to the happiness we’re seeking. And I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that a woman who’s dieting thinks she will be much happier when she’s done dieting and has lost the weight.

    The process of how we eat is just as important as the outcome.

    This goes hand in hand with an Internet Business Mastery podcast I listened to, where one of the topics they talked about was learning to enjoy the process rather than focusing on the outcome, or buying into the arrival fallacy – the notion that you’ll be happy when you {fill in the blank}.

    So now when I’m on the treadmill, I’m thinking about how good it feels to get my heart rate up, to be moving, rather than counting the minutes until I can get off. I try not to think about losing weight, but rather about nourishing my body with tasty, healthy food – taking care of my own health as much I take care of my children’s health.

    It’s obviously an ongoing process . . . but one that already feels transformative.

    I’m not sure if I’m making sense to anyone else, though!

    2014 Focus: Get Healthy – Reprogramming the Lies

    Get Healthy in 2014 with chieffamilyofficer.com

    This year, I’m focusing on getting healthy, and I have as much work to do mentally as I do physically. You can read the posts in this series in reverse chronological order here.

    I’m still slowly reading my way through Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth, and every chapter gives me a lot of food for thought.

    One is the realization that what made me an emotional eater at the age of 8 or 9 is not the same thing that made me equate weight with my sense of self-worth. Somewhere along the line – I don’t know exactly when, but probably around 11 or 12 – I somehow decided that being thin meant . . . well, all the good things like being pretty, successful, happy, deserving.

    Intellectually, of course, it doesn’t make sense to base one’s sense of self-worth upon one’s weight. But we’re human, not Vulcan, and we’re not ruled by logic. I didn’t fall so far down the well of despair as to think that I was completely worthless. But I have always had the sense that life would be so much better – if not perfect – if only I lost weight and became thin.

    None of this is totally new to me, although I never actually separated my evolution as an emotional eater with my self-sabotaging perfectionism.

    What’s changed is putting these realizations together with a recent post at Money Saving Mom. Crystal talks about a three-step process she’s used to become more confident, and it’s already helping me reprogram my own thinking.

    Step 1: Label the lies. I’ve read for years about recognizing negative self-talk, but until reading Crystal’s post, it never occurred to me to just flat out say, “That’s a lie.” But there’s something liberating about it.

    Step 2: Refuse to believe the lie. Labeling the lie as a lie causes me not just to dismiss the negative self-talk, but to affirmatively banish it. My stomach isn’t flat, but it’s a lie that that fact makes me unworthy. That’s much more effective than simply waving a negative thought away.

    Step 3: Replace the lie with the truth. After reminding myself that my weight does not define my self-worth, I remind myself of the truth: I’m a good person, with a good life.

    This is not a quick process by any means. It may take all year and then some to reprogram what’s now decades of negative self-talk. But it’s definitely worth doing and persevering.

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    2014 Focus: Get Healthy – Learning to Be

    Get Healthy in 2014 with chieffamilyofficer.com

    This year, I’m focusing on getting healthy, and I have as much work to do mentally as I do physically. You can read the posts in this series in reverse chronological order here.

    I am still reading my way through Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything by Geneen Roth. She talks about “bolting,” or using food as an escape, and I’ve known for a while that I definitely do this. Instead of feeling my emotions, I eat. I eat when I’m frustrated with the kids. I eat when I’m bored, and when I’m sad. It’s as if I’m literally keeping the emotions bottled up inside me by stuffing the mouth of the bottle opening closed with food {ooh, pun not intended}.

    This isn’t a new concept to me. But up until now, I couldn’t cope because I couldn’t figure out a better way of dealing with the emotions. How do I not yell at the kids if I’m not eating? {I bring this one up in particular, because I’ve been fully aware that I was eating to quash my emotions yet eaten anyway because I didn’t know what else to do.}

    Reading Roth’s book, I realize that somehow, I need to learn to be with the feeling I’m trying to keep bottled up. I don’t have to make it go away. {Even if it means I yell at the kids? We’ll have to see about that.} In theory, at least, I think I need to learn to just feel my feelings, whatever they are.

    And not judge myself, which may be the hardest part of all.

    Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Apolonia.