Feed Your Soul

How to cook without clean water...

- Monday, January 30, 2017

Here in the US, we Americans use an average of 100 gallons per day for washing, cooking, cleaning, drinking, (and lawn watering). It’s easy to take clean water for granted, especially when all we have to do is turn a valve and copious amounts of water flow from the faucet. But according to the United Nations nearly 900 million people in other parts of the world do not have access to the daily minimum water requirement of 5-13 clean and safe gallons.

Whether your area experiences an earthquake, tornado, or a boil order, it’s good to know what to do in the event of a natural disaster when it comes to having clean water to for drinking, bathing and cooking. Here are the steps to take should you need to purify your water:

1.       Fill a large pot with water, straining the water through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove particles and dirt.

2.       Bring the water to a rolling boil and keep boiling for 1 minute.

3.       Allow water to cool and then pour into a disinfected drinking water bottle or container.

4.       Store in your refrigerator if possible.

Follow these steps to purify water using chlorine bleach:

1.       Strain water through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove particles and dirt.

2.       Pour 1/8 teaspoon or 16 drops of pure, unscented chlorine bleach into gallon size water containers. Allow this to stand for 30 minutes without drinking the water.

3.       If the water isn’t cloudy, it is safe to drink. But if the water is still cloudy after 30 minutes, add 1/8 teaspoon or 16 drops of chlorine bleach to the water and allow to stand for another 30 minutes. If the water is still cloudy after the second treatment, do not drink the water.


Caution: Using more chlorine bleach than recommended can be poisonous.

5 tricks to sneak veggies into your kids' diet...

- Monday, January 23, 2017

Sometimes getting our kids to eat their vegetables is as challenging as getting a tax cut bill passed on Capitol Hill. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Here are 5 tricks to sneak vegetables into your kids’ diet.

·         On pasta night, slip your child’s favorite vegetable into the boiling water a few minutes before the pasta is cooked. Add in the sauce and fewer turned-up noses will occur.

·         Another covert move—add finely shredded zucchini or summer squash to casseroles. Not only will the zucchini and squash’s mild flavors blend in almost seamlessly, you’ll also add in important vitamins and minerals.

·         Sloppy Joe night is another opportunity to slip in a veggie or two. When preparing  sloppy joes or any meat-based spaghetti sauce, replace some of the ground beef with some finely chopped mushrooms. Mushrooms are similar in texture to ground beef, and they absorb the rich flavors of the sauce.

·         Transform lycopene-rich tomato sauce to an even healthier and creamier sauce by stirring in canned unseasoned pumpkin puree. You’ll add fiber and beta carotene, as well as a mild flavor and creamy texture.

·         Cheese Sauce. There’s nothing wrong with cheese sauce it gets your children to eat their veggies. Consider a healthy cheese sauce that doesn’t use lots of butter and cream, but low-fat milk and full-flavored sharp Cheddar instead.

Create a homeless care package...

- Saturday, January 21, 2017

We’ve all driven past folks on the corner holding up a sign asking for help. You might have handed them a ten dollar bill, maybe more, and still thought there must be more you could do. Actually there is. This simple care package for the homeless is something you can make yourself and keep in your car when such occasions arise.

Take a watertight gallon-size zipper lock plastic bag and fill with items like these:

  • Water bottle
  • Note of encouragement or uplifting Bible verse
  • Crackers with peanut butter or cheese
  • Fruit snack or applesauce cup
  • Granola Bar or cereal bar
  • Tuna and crackers
  • Gift certificate to fast food
  • Band Aids
  • Chapstick
  • Comb or small brush
  • Socks
  • Hand wipes
  • Pack of Kleenex
  • Maxi pads
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Nail clippers
  • Mints, cough drops or gum
  • Rescue Mission meal voucher

5 simple tricks to cut your energy costs...

- Thursday, January 19, 2017

If you’ve resolved to reduce your energy consumption in 2017 and save money in the process, then you'll enjoy these five ways to save energy by cutting electricity.

1.    Use the sun to your advantage. To take advantage of the sun’s rays, keep your curtains open during the day, especially on the south side of your home where there’s more direct sunlight. Close curtains at night to reduce drafts.

2.    Raise Door Thresholds. If you see daylight under your front door, then you’re losing indoor air you’ve paid to heat. A bit of light in the corners is okay, but adjusting the height will eliminate gaps where heated air is escaping from your home. Avoid raising thresholds too high so that the door doesn’t drags across and wear out weatherstripping.

3.    Log Out and Shut Down. Unused computers consume energy and tend to warm your office space, pushing up air conditioning costs.

4.    Clean or replace your furnace’s filter often during winter months. Furnaces use less energy when they “breathe” more easily. Follow instructions in your furnace manufacturer’s manual.

5.    Keep furniture, carpeting and curtains from blocking your home’s heat registers and air return ducts.

Can you control the clutter?

- Tuesday, January 17, 2017

“Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self.” –Eleanor Brown

Keeping a home tidy and organized is practically impossible for most of us, especially when organizing often requires too much effort and time than we care to dedicate. 

The key is to set realistic goals.

Start with your kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home and often the messiest room in the house. Start by cleaning and putting away the dishes. Then tackle the piles of paperwork. Once you can see your countertops, you’ve accomplished something. Look for ways to store paperwork that are easy. When it’s too difficult to put things away in your home, it becomes more likely that clutter will collect on countertops.

Don’t forget the beauty of delegation either. More than likely, you weren’t the only one who made a mess in the kitchen. Get the family to help put things away and do this on a continual basis. They’ll be less likely to leave things out next time. Plus, they won’t have the excuse that they don’t know where items are kept.

The life changing magic of tidying up...

- Sunday, January 15, 2017

“Start by discarding all at once, intensely and completely.”

“Keep only those things that speak to your heart.”

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”

- Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Declutter your mind...

- Sunday, January 15, 2017

The holidays are over and mid-way through January you thought your schedule would return to normal. Problem is, it hasn’t and you’re having a hard time keeping up with your to-do list much less sleeping at night. Is your mind so muddled it keeps you up at night? Here are a few tricks for de-cluttering your mind so you can sleep and be better equipped to tackle your to-do list.

Give yourself permission to take a break. It’s okay to put down your to-do list and just breathe. For 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or an hour, if possible, focus on the present rather than making plans in your head. When you take the time to let go, you’re more likely to have more success when you return to your to-do list.

Meditation. You don’t have to be Buddhist to meditate, nor an expert. Not only that, you don’t need to set aside a lot of time out of your day to meditate either. Meditation is about slowing down and you can meditate while you cook or take a shower. As you meditate, pay attention to your contact with the Earth. Focus on the movements of your body, the feel of the air on your skin, and the center of your body where your breath fills you most. Relax any tension you feel in your neck, shoulders and jaw. Let your thoughts, worries and concerns go. Imagine your thoughts written on a leaf that floats away down a river. Do this for as long as you can or need to. For some this is 2-3 minutes, for others 10-15 minutes. You’ll find you’ve given yourself a mental reboot.

A change of scenery is more powerful than you might think. Whether it’s to your back porch to have lunch, a neighbor’s house for a visit, or a simple walk through your neighborhood or local park, when you break any kind of cycle, changing location is a huge help.

Get moving. When you get your blood flowing and oxygen throughout your body and to your brain, you’ll feel renewed and ready to focus again. Consider walking, dancing, yoga or a pillow fight with your kids!

The best way to get things done...

- Saturday, January 14, 2017

The best way to get things done is to simply begin.

Wine and cheese pairings...

- Friday, January 13, 2017

Here are some suggestions for wine and cheese pairings.

·         Try pairing Champagne with brie or triple creams. The champagne’s scouring bubbles is a perfect match to the triple cream’s rich texture.

·         Sparkling Shiraz and Cambozola. The sharpness of this German cheese’s blue cultures stand up to the wine’s effervescence and tannins.

·         Chenin Blanc and Fresh chèvre. Both the cheese and the wine match each other in acidity and intensity.

·         Cabernet Sauvignon and Achadinha Cheese Company’s Capricious. This hearty, aged goat cheese is meaty enough to stand up to this robust wine’s tannins.

·         Stilton with Port. The salty sharpness of this cheese melds with this wine’s sweet depth.

·         Cheddar with red Bordeaux. The gravelly texture of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot combine beautifully with the tang and crystalline crunch of Cheddar.

·         Aged Parmigiano-Reggiano and Chianti. Parmigiano’s nutty, distinct crumble coupled with the mouthwatering fruit of Chianti balances this cheese’s salty richness.

Traditions to bring your family together...

- Thursday, January 12, 2017

Traditions strengthen your family’s bonds, enrich the life you share together, contribute to your children’s well-being and create lasting memories. There are lots of family traditions practiced during the holidays and there are plenty of others observed throughout the rest of the year. Here are some traditions families living in the Information Age are observing so technology doesn’t take over!

Daily connections include:

Family Meals that begin with grace or sharing something they’re grateful for that day. No TV, no cellphones, and no tablets. Everyone takes a turn sharing something positive and negative that has happened to them during the day. Families also share stories and interesting information they’ve read or heard that day.

School Lunch Inspiration. Put inspiring notes or drawings in your children’s school lunches. It’s a great way to connect and make your kids feel extra loved.

Bedtime Story. Children whose parents read to them regularly typically do better in school and have larger vocabularies than children who don’t.

Weekly Connections include:

Family Game Night – From Pie in the Face to Monopoly, family game night is great fun, a fantastic way to keep connected and ramp up the laughter.

Movie Night – Borrow your favorite 80s movies from the library, hit the dollar store and let the kids pick out their favorite candy, pop some butter flavored popcorn at home and you have the perfect opportunity to wax poetic with your kids about why movies from the 80s were so much better than the ones produced today.

Pizza Night – Almost everyone loves pizza and having a pizza night gives you and your family a favorite meal to look forward to each week. Skip delivery and making your own is another way to connect and pass on some cooking skills to your kids too.

Saturday/Sunday Morning Breakfast together – Pancakes and waffles are “easy like Sunday morning.” So are biscuits and gravy. Indulge your inner chef.

Monthly Connections:

Box of Goals. Setting and working toward a goal is an important life skill. On the first day of every month, have family members write down one goal they wish to accomplish that month. Then place the piece of paper in a cigar box or a tin from the dollar store. At the end of the month you can take out the pieces of paper and see how everyone did. Then write new goals for next month. You’ll be amazed at all you and your family can achieve.

Family Service Day. If your family’s mission is to serve the community, consider designating one Saturday or Sunday each month to helping others. This could be in the form of spending a morning at a homeless shelter, helping a neighbor with yard work or sorting clothes at Goodwill.

What are some of your family’s traditions?


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