School lunches – around the world

Well, these pictures of schools lunches around the world are definitely worth more than a thousand words! The ones you see here make me hungry!

Brie, green beans, carrot, rare steak and pudding of kiwi fruit and apples is served in French schools 

Brie, green beans, carrot, rare steak and pudding of kiwi fruit and apples is served in French schools.

In France, school lunch is an art form: hot, multi-course and involving vegetables. A meal of rice, salmon, ratatouille, a slice of bread, a salad with celery and carrots, and an orange and donut at the Anne Franck school in Lambersart, northern France

In France (again), school lunch is an art form: hot, multi-course and involving vegetables. A meal of rice, salmon, ratatouille, a slice of bread, a salad with celery and carrots, and an orange and donut at the Anne Franck school in Lambersart, northern France.

A meal of traditional flavours: Brazil's rice and black beans, baked plantain, pork with peppers and coriander, green salad and a seeded roll

A meal of traditional flavours: Brazil’s rice and black beans, baked plantain, pork with peppers and coriander, green salad and a seeded roll.

Rice, a chicken croquette, a piece of taro root and yellow pea soup is the school lunch in Old Havana, Cuba

Rice, a chicken croquette, a piece of taro root and yellow pea soup is the school lunch in Old Havana, Cuba.

In Japan, school children tuck into fried fish, dried seaweed, tomatoes, miso soup with potatoes, rice (in the metal container), and milk

In Japan, school children tuck into fried fish, dried seaweed, tomatoes, miso soup with potatoes, rice (in the metal container), and milk.

Wholesome: Seeded roll, shrimp with brown rice, gazpacho and tri-colour peppers. Dessert is half an orange

Wholesome: Seeded roll, shrimp with brown rice, gazpacho and tri-colour peppers. Dessert is half an orange.

A serving of borscht (beetroot soup) with pickled cabbage, sausages and mash. Dessert is a sweet pancake 

A serving of borscht (beetroot soup) with pickled cabbage, sausages and mash. Dessert is a sweet pancake.

Greek school lunches feature baked chicken with orzo, stuffed grape leaves, salad of cucumber and tomatoes, yogurt with pomegranate seeds and two oranges

Greek school lunches feature baked chicken with orzo, stuffed grape leaves, salad of cucumber and tomatoes, yogurt with pomegranate seeds and two oranges.

Bowls of salad are ready to be served at Delcare Edu Center, a local kindergarten and child care center in the business district of Singapore

Bowls of salad are ready to be served at Delcare Edu Center, a local kindergarten and child care center in the business district of Singapore.

A healthier UK school dinner: Two trays at a primary school in London. The meal at right consists of pasta with broccoli and slices of bread, and fruit. At left are vegetable chili with rice and broccoli, sponge cake with custard, and a banana

A healthier UK school dinner: Two trays at a primary school in London. The meal at right consists of pasta with broccoli and slices of bread, and fruit. At left are vegetable chili with rice and broccoli, sponge cake with custard, and a banana.

UK school dinner of frankfurters and beans, a baked potato, corn on the cob, slice of melon and a box drink 

And another UK meal for kids: frankfurters and beans, a baked potato, corn on the cob, slice of melon and a box drink.

South Indian school children eat off a thali plate which has white rice, sambar (dhal), smoked gourd vegetable stir-fry, curd, buttermilk and kesari, a type of sweet dessert made from semolina

South Indian school children eat off a thali plate which has white rice, sambar (dhal), smoked gourd vegetable stir-fry, curd, buttermilk and kesari, a type of sweet dessert made from semolina.

Lunch in an Estonian school is rice with a piece of meat and purple cabbage. They also have bread and a get a cup of chocolate drink 

Lunch in an Estonian school is rice with a piece of meat and purple cabbage. They also have bread and a get a cup of chocolate drink .

Balanced diet: Italian children get pasta, fish, two kinds of salad, rocket and caprese, a bread roll and grapes (courtesy Sweetgreen)

Balanced diet: Italian children get pasta, fish, two kinds of salad, rocket and caprese, a bread roll and grapes.

In Finland lunch is mainly a vegetarian affair of pea soup, carrots, beetroot salad, crusty roll and sweet pancake with berries to finish

In Finland lunch is mainly a vegetarian affair of pea soup, carrots, beetroot salad, crusty roll and sweet pancake with berries to finish.

School lunch in Alba, Spain (left):  white flesh peaches, strawberries and yogurt melts, cous-cous, broccoli, cucumbers and roasted salmon; (right): Poached apple pears, strawberries and blue berries, boiled swede and fresh garden peas

School lunch in Alba, Spain (left):  white flesh peaches, strawberries and yogurt melts, cous-cous, broccoli, cucumbers and roasted salmon; (right): Poached apple pears, strawberries and blue berries, boiled swede and fresh garden peas.

South Korean children tuck into broccoli and peppers, fried rice with tofu, fermented cabbage and fish soup

South Korean children tuck into broccoli and peppers, fried rice with tofu, fermented cabbage and fish soup.

And then, there are U.S. school lunches…

Thanks Michelle Obama? New school lunch rules backed by FLOTUS have students nationwide tweeting '#thanksMichelleObama' along with photos of meals like this

The backlash is part of the first lady's push for healthier school lunches

What is it? School lunches in the United States stand in stark contrast to the wholesome and in some cases even decadent meals served to kids in other markedly less fortunate nations

School lunches in the United States stand in stark contrast to the wholesome, and in some cases even decadent, meals served to kids in other markedly less fortunate nations.

By the way, did you know that most U. S. schools NO LONGER ACTUALLY PREPARE THEIR OWN MEALS? Yes, they have been outsourced to, primarily, fast food places, and THIS  is what your school taxes are paying for. Happy? Hope not.

This is only “balanced” in the minds of embarrassed parents and school lunch servers, bureaucrats and the lobbyists who have paid them off. Actually, most schools I am acquainted with would just have pizza and soda, although there is a growing backlash, just not large enough.

This is the kind of junk they have been eating all year and we wonder why our kids misbehave, can’t concentrate, are growing fatter every day and don’t know what healthy eating looks like except on government flyers. Will you sit by and let it be the same come Fall? Your kids will likely eat better when NOT in school.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but I would like to add at least one: Pathetic.

Feel free to add your own adjectives.

 

Images and descriptions from:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2958640/Photos-school-lunches-served-world-reveal-just-meager-America-s-meals-compared-cash-strapped-nations.html

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Solar Ice Maker: No Moving Parts, No Electricity!

And interesting concept I ran across…

* * * * * *

Intended for disaster relief situations, refugee camps, and developing nations the bright minds at San Jose State University have created an ice making machine that uses the heat from sunlight to power a chemical reaction. Read the full article for the details on this very “cool” technology!

Source: Solar Ice Maker: No Moving Parts, No Electricity | greenUPGRADER

Sleep and those “Screens”

Clearly, this information is directed at people like me, only I use a REAL computer, but that doesn’t change the effect.

Older ladies, let’s smile, laugh and be happy!

It’s happy video time (just 3, this time)!

Guys, you can appreciate these too, but sometimes ladies get pretty down on themselves, and aging in our culture can be a big downer for us. Yet, in this far-too-often stressful, tragic, unhappy, negative world, we often forget that pain is inevitable, but misery is OPTIONAL. Call me Proudly Pollyanna!

So, knowing that a little encouragement goes a long way to helping us turn things around, if you’ve feeling a bit down (or a lot), watch these and laugh and sing along or dance and get some of that exercise that we all know we need but don’t get enough of.

(There’s a 24 hour version of this in 1 hour increments if you want to try dancing that long! Here’s the link to the playlist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIqO1DPOkR0&list=PLp9XTIHDvWR_sIC6TpWd_igY8xH86C2H5)

Oh, and if you want some funny (not mean) stuff about Moms, Dads and family watch Anita Renfroe and Tim Hawkins. Enjoy!

Is anxiety and stress “killing” you?

This world is causing more and more people to feel greater anxiety and stress than they know how to handle. You may think its worst manifestation is in poor interpersonal reactions and maybe some heartburn. The truth is much deeper, and could explain a recent health crisis I experienced, and I am sure even these graphics depict just the tip of the iceberg.

AnxietyInfographic-850x2064

 

17-reasons-to-avoid-stress

But someone has gone to the trouble to list a few possible herbal remedies:

7-herbal-remedies-for-stress

Mr. Obama, maybe folks are mad because you’re a liar

Matt, you certainly have a way with words!

The Matt Walsh Blog

Dear Mr. Obama,

Congratulations on getting 7.1 million people enrolled in Obamacare before the March 31st deadline!

Not to muddy the festivities by harping on technicalities, but I thought I’d pass along just a few corrections, in case you plan on giving anymore speeches or anything:

Alright, by ‘March 31st’ you mean ‘sometime in April,’ and by ‘deadline’ you mean ‘suggestion which is subject to change.’

And, obviously, by ‘enrolled’ you mean ‘people who have filled some information out on a website.’

And by ‘7.1 million’ you mean ‘probably like 858 thousand or something.’ 

In your speech on Tuesday, when you said that Obamacare is ‘the law’ and ‘it’s here to stay,’ you really meant that Obamacare is ‘a fluid and constantly adjusted set of unconstitutional decrees, which can be imposed or withdrawn by the Executive Branch at any point, for any reason, up to 21 times and counting.’ And by ‘here…

View original post 1,014 more words

WHY bees are disappearing AND something you can do about it!

I expect a number of readers may be familiar with the frightening trend of bees disappearing, and some may even actually be very concerned. I’ve been following this for a time and, in case you didn’t know yet, there seems to finally be an answer/answers. Watch this, but don’t be depressed, because there are things you can do.

I am sure there are plenty of other ideas to help people begin to address this in practical ways, but since I hate kvetching without offering something that can be done, my initial guerilla/grassroots response will be to buy bulk quantities of the following (untreated) seeds:

  • white clover
  • red clover
  • alfalfa
  • as many of those native wildflower packs (that few ever use) as people will send/give me beyond what I will buy (oh, here is a source: Wildflowermix.com)
  • Whatever native flowers will grow easily.

Like many places in this country our city (Rochester, NY) and surrounding areas have plenty of abandoned properties, former business “properties,” ignored bits of land, barely acceptable parks, neglected back alleys, lots long empty after the city has torn down the houses, neglected and/or abandoned farms/farmhouses, fence rows along the side of highways (let your imagination run wild) that could be “beautified.”

There are also old railway lines, and we have large areas along the Erie Canal that span from Albany to Buffalo (remember the song?). So I am going to do like Johnny Appleseed and make and carry a mix with me and sprinkle seeds wherever I go biking, hiking, walking or deliberately meandering ANY time of year. It’s that easy because you don’t even need to break ground for them to grow – think of dandelions which, by the way, are popular with bees, so (deep breath) leave them alone, or just dig them up where you don’t want them instead of using chemicals/herbicides. Oh, and stop spraying your lawn for insects; there are more natural ways to manage them.

Oh by the way, that pretty pink pea-like flowering groundcover you see along highways are completely unattractive to bees. Stop and see for yourself – then sprinkle some useful seeds. Anyone have some other useful ideas? Would love so see them!

Fighting one fire (ant) with another…

Perhaps more accurate to say with “the coals of another.” This treatment astonished and excited me! I have a friend who has nothing left to lose.

Living on the knife-edge of Eternity…

I’ve been thinking of writing about this for a while, but explaining the difference between Type 2 Adult-onset Diabetes (caused by diet and lifestyle) and Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes (an autoimmune disease that was 100% fatal until only very recently in human history) succinctly and effectively was something I didn’t quite know how to tackle. Then I saw this video, and knew I had found my springboard; it was time. Many years ago I was like most people, not knowing there were two types or the differences between them. Let me help inform the rest of you as one Type 1 lady kindly and patiently did me. Watch the video, then read our story.

I call living with Type 1 Diabetes “living on the knife-edge of eternity.”

Our own son Josiah was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes shortly after turning 4. Until only fairly recently, at 2 am every night I checked his blood sugar…and to make sure he was still breathing… Sleeping through the night is not a luxury parents of juvenile diabetics can expect for a long time, even with an insulin pump.

Two years later I learned of a 31-year long study in Finland that gave 12,000 pregnant mothers Vitamin D, then gave it to the babies for a year, then followed them until they were 30 (10,000 still in the study). They found an 80%(!) reduction in the incidence of Juvenile Diabetes. Share this! Vitamin D is no guarantee of prevention but a VERY important piece of the puzzle. I wished the study had been completed years before, but there’s no benefit in living in the realm of “if only,” but there is benefit in sharing what we have learned. Although Vitamin D won’t cure Type 1, we haven’t called 911 for difficulty breathing since he began taking it (at least 5 years ago), and he doesn’t get sick as often. [To watch an entertaining and informative video by a doctor explaining why we need vitamin D, go to http://www.uvadvantage.org/portals/0/pres/%5D

Josiah eats very well and diligently limits and counts carbohydrates, and exercises as if it could make a difference, but can really only hope to keep as healthy as possible and prevent diabetes-related ailments (diabetic neuropathy, blindness, brain problems and more).

He has little patience with Type 2 diabetics, and when he was about 9 I heard him firmly tell one whining adult Type 2 diabetic that at least they can, if they will, do something (like change their diet, exercise, take certain supplements, etc.) that can prevent or even reverse their condition, unlike him. Out of the mouths of babes… I regularly remind myself that I owe it to him to not become one of them by exercising my prerogative of prevention.

I take each day as it comes, living with prudence and care but not in anxiety (although the possibility naturally hovers on the fringes) and do my best to teach this to him. Early on we explained that this is a broken world and no one gets out of it well and alive, and if you live long enough eventually everyone gets something, he just got his early, which gave him an early appreciation of the value of life.

I’ve seen various responses to Type 1 Diabetes: anger, denial, paralyzing fear and realistic acceptance, and getting stuck in the unhealthy responses can cause people to manage it carelessly or poorly. Happily, Josiah is learning healthy acceptance; he’s a cautious, serious and thoughtful young man (now 15) who struggles against his anxieties and fears, more successfully as he matures, but also tries to maintain a sense of humor at the same time. He’s taking on the challenge of keeping himself alive and still leading a meaningful life and doing an excellent job.

As he tries to plan his future he has an underlying acute awareness of life’s brevity and the many situations that could affect him. This knowledge has led him to become a completely “sold out” Christian and has in turn become very concerned about the eternal destiny of others, and lovingly speaks to them whenever he has the opportunity.

He used to say he wishes he had cancer, because at least he could have a realistic chance for a cure. Every day he prays for a cure.

So if you see a fundraiser by the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), please give, for he is one of the innocent victims.

 

What is Getting Me Up Off My Blogging Rear and Moving – A Visual Retrospective and Hopeful Plan

FYI, this is NOT changing the character and focus of my blog (I am still an eclectic blogger, just a fatter one), although it is a consequence of it–and yep, that was how I was feeling when I abruptly stopped blogging last year (recent post “Attempting balance”), and it wasn’t good.

computers and obesity

Obese_Blogger

Just sitting and typing – the good Lord didn’t design our bodies to just sit around (that is the “genetic” problem for most, but not all, of us) – it causes trouble the way a car that is just parked and left alone for a very long time goes surprisingly bad. But at least I didn’t sit around shirtless and in my underwear while doing it!

obese-woman-sitting

I did, however, have the not-so-sneaking, disturbing suspicion that the view from behind was worse the the one in the  fitting room mirror, which I didn’t care to dwell on…

pressure on knee from obesityMany people say I look fine, but I dress carefully, yet kids and age make the results on me not very forgiving.

I have a few friends with weight issues so bad that at least one is now wheelchair-bound (with chronic cellulitis of the tissue in the legs, and now type 2 diabetes) making the very thing she needs and wants to do nearly impossible; another has a leg brace and cane, and others talk about their horrible “arthritis” in their knees and how they might need knee surgery… Uhhh, that’s NOT a solution, and doctors say you must lose weight before they will do it (which can obviate the need, of course). But they didn’t get to those painful states overnight, but just one ounce/pound at a time, a little more food, a little less activity, a little more self-loathing temporarily assuaged by ice cream (or whatever), and repeat….

There, if I didn’t get off that path could very well be me! Eeek! And then I saw this….

Sitting is Killing You

But in this slow, downward (upward?) spiral, a ray of hope…I saw my friend with the leg brace for the first time in maybe 6 months. I used to drive her to work, but More

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