Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Three Great Pasta Alternatives for Your Family!

Talking on the subject of healthy eating can be quite comical. Some people want to run away, while others want to hear every word that you say. Some people, like myself, need to eat healthy and do a detox; others, like my husband, tell me that he wants to do a retox. Not one of us is the same. After all, Usain Bolt ate 1000 chicken nuggets during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and even added fries and apple pie with that ( But, for most of us (especially women), eating healthy greatly improves our everyday life.

Many people are sensitive to gluten. But, as The Daniel Plan explains it, "what is one man's medicine is another man's poison." The book states that inflammation that results from gluten can trigger arthritis, asthma, diabetes, dementia, obesity, depression, heart disease, and cancer. That is quite a list!

Recently I found three great alternatives to ordinary pasta. Pastas, breads, and baked goods tend to cause inflammation. So, here are three ideas to help...

1. Quinoa
2. Brown Rice Pasta (may contain quinoa, as well)
3. Spaghetti Squash.

I was so excited about these alternatives because after I topped them with my favorite spices and cheese, I enjoyed them more than spaghetti. Each of these options are delicious and healthy. But, we, also, must keep in mind the type of sauce we are using. Regular spaghetti sauce usually contains ingredients that are genetically modified and are filled with sugar. However, there are choices readily available that are non-GMO and have no sugar added.

Top it off with Mozzarella cheese and your favorite spices and enjoy! For a bonus, you can place the baked spaghetti squash into a pan with sauce and cheese, and turn it into your favorite lasagna recipe!

I hope these ideas are a great help to you and your family. Thanks for reading, and feel free to share my blogs!

Melissa Seng

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Protecting Our Kids from Drugs

 It was once believed that only the "troubled kids" do drugs. Those were the kids you knew not to hang out with, because they were choosing to be rebellious. It was a lifestyle, and one that most of us chose not to live. Today, this is not the case.

President Donald Trump just mentioned Hancock County in his speech about combating the nation's drug problem. Findlay, Ohio, particularly, is a family-oriented community, where families place high value on raising their kids and teaching them the value of hard-work and living a moral life. Unfortunately, even in conservative communities, drugs are having an impact on the youth.

Recently, I read an article about a young athlete who got addicted to a "study drug" in college and ended his life. The pictures showed that he was a good-looking, well-kept student. He had a bright future, as he was a  focused, hard-working, and a well-liked individual. Sadly, drugs got in his path. His loving family didn't even know that he was struggling with addiction.

These types of stories tell me that we need to do more to help our kids. What can we do to help them before drugs come knocking at their door?

In reading Zig Ziglar's book, Better Than Good, written in 2006, he shares that we can make an incredible impact on our youth. He tells that his father passed away when he was young, but a man stepped into his life and treated him as a son. Zig Ziglar explains that he was filled with encouragement, direction, love and support, which helped to shape his character and his life. He states that we, too, can provide wisdom, encouragement, and care to the young people around us.

So, what tangible steps can we take as a community to teach children to stay away from drugs?

I go back to my personal experience in elementary school. For years, I watched these strong, purposeful, and courageous police officers come in to our classrooms and tell us that they care about us. They told us that drugs were bad and they wanted us to stay away from them. I realized, because of their sincerity, experience, and care, that I could rely on their words of wisdom. Those officers were the reason why I never let drugs come into my life. 

Let's do the same for our kids. The D.A.R.E. program still exists in the classroom, but unfortunately between 2002 and 2010, the revenue declined from $10 million to $3.7 million after government reports that it wasn't effective ( Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) not only addresses drugs, but also violence, gangs, alcohol abuse, and peer pressure. It is an entire curriculum for helping our youth! What better things do we need to teach our kids in schools than such topics as these?!? Through this education, we can put our youth on the right path for success in and out of the classroom. And, more importantly, these topics are so pertinent because we do care.

Let's not only promote the education in the classrooms, but in the church, as well. A bible-centered curriculum for kids, that includes teachings on drugs, would be great. Some people may not be crazy about the idea, but if drugs can take our children away from our God and our family, we need to do our part to save them from such a lifestyle. Drugs contaminate the body and spirit, as well as relationships, and every aspect of a person's life. "Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness, out of reverence for God (2 Corinthians 7:1). We need to teach our kids these truths, through the Word of God, so that they can be equipped to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

If you like this blog, I'd encourage you to share it.

Thanks for reading!

Melissa Seng