I'll never capitalize cancer

I have alot going on in my life, more than just cancer and chemo. Sure it's a big part of my life right now, but it's not the most important part of my life. You will never see me spell it with a capital "c".

I'm a Wife and Mom. I love my Family. I have good Friends. We do fun stuff and dumb stuff and sometimes we argue and then we laugh again. We go to work and to the grocery store and we go swimming and have birthday parties and get ready for the first day of school.

I keep saying that I don't want ovarian cancer to define me, but sometimes I just can't help it.

A good friend put it this way for me "cancer may be defining your life for the moment, but it is not your entire life. You seem to just make time for it." That made me feel better.

If you want to see it from the beginning, my cancer story begins in March.

The rest of my story is happening now.

Friday, August 29, 2008

ABC's of Back to School

I have been half heartedly preparing for a possible Hurricane evacuation. I looked through the pantry to see what we should eat now in case we lose power and refrigeration; and what kind of snacks we would need for a road trip. I suppose if we absolutely have to, we could survive on Meal Replacement Shakes, Spark, Muscle Gain, ReHydrate - Just add water. Throw in some Snack Bars and Fruit & Vegetable Formula and we're good to go!

This also got me thinking about having to pack lunches for school again. Of course, my daughter only has school a couple of times a week, but still, I want to be sure she gets the good stuff - and LIKES it!

Maybe I am overthinking it, but I remember when I was in school and sometimes my tummy would get all rumbly, or I would get sleepy or cranky and just not be able to pay attention.

Sure, I have a few ideas, but I also want variety. A couple of my listed Blog favorites have some great recipes.

Recently, our friends at Advocare have written some great articles relevant to Kids and Back-to-School. They can be found on SupplementalScience.com. Here is one that offers some guidelines for helping Kids make healthy choices.

As our long, hot summer draws to a close; it’s time to start making those plans for back to school. Today, we would like to make available Dr. Lisa Hark’s advice on the ABC’s of back-to-school nutrition for parents and children. “Learning to enjoy nutritious foods and be physically active in fun ways are life lessons that parents can teach their children to help them develop healthy habits they will carry through their school years and on into adulthood,” Lisa advises.

  • ACTIVITY is essential to staying healthy
Limit TV and video game time to less than 2 hours a day. Studies show that the more children are exposed to TV ads for junk food and sweetened drinks, the more likely they are to consume large amounts of unhealthy food.
Work in at least one hour of activity every day. Children spend most of the school day sitting, so get them outside for some play time after school. To get moving, choose activities like baseball, frisbee, jump rope, dancing, hula-hoop, and tag.
Use weekends for active family bonding outings. Hiking, biking, walking, and sports all count, so get out, get moving, and have some fun!

  • BALANCE your meals throughout the day

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Some healthy choices to start the day off on the right foot are low-sugar cereal with 1% low-fat milk and fruit, or whole grain waffles with low-sugar syrup and a small glass of orange juice, or one slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and jelly and a glass of 1% low-fat milk.
Don’t rely on school lunch options. Pack a healthy lunch at least 3 times a week. Healthy choices include whole wheat bread or a small whole grain wrap with turkey, ham or tuna salad, low-fat yogurt, fruit, and a water bottle.
After school is a great time to get children to eat their vegetables because they are so hungry. Try baby carrots, cut up cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, or celery with low-fat ranch or French dressing. You will be surprised at what they eat!
Everyone is busy at the end of the day, but it is important to plan ahead and prepare a healthy dinner at least 3 times a week. Include fresh vegetables and salads, lean meats such as poultry or seafood, and whole grains such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Skip the soda and juice and serve either water or 1% low-fat milk every night.
A healthy meal and time with the family is a great way to end the day, teach children about socialization, and catch up on the day’s activities!

  • COOK and shop with your children

Create a healthy shopping list with your children at home before going to the market. Before you leave, help children understand that, “If it’s not on the list, we’re not buying it.” Remember that it is okay to take control and say no to your children, especially when it comes to junk food and sweets. You are the boss.
Make shopping a fun and educational outing. Use the produce section to teach young children about colors, shapes, and expand their vocabulary of fruits and vegetables. They will be more likely to try new fruits and vegetables when you get home.
Get children involved in safely preparing healthy foods such as vegetables for salads, scrambled eggs, turkey burgers, and smoothies. Children will be excited to eat what they’ve made and proud to share with others, as well!

“Children and teenagers are experiencing medical complications, such as high blood sugar levels, diabetes, and high blood pressure at alarming rates due to sedentary lifestyles and consuming too many calories,” says Hark. “By setting a good example, providing healthy foods in as many settings as possible and being active with their children, parents can play a huge role in improving their children’s health now and in the future.

Follow the ABC’s for a wonderful 2007-2008 school year.

Dr. Hark, PhD, RD, is Director of the Nutrition Education Program at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, hosted TLC’s show “Honey, We’re Killing the Kids”. PENN Medicine consists of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.