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Grab Bag Conversation Consideration:

So last week’s post about end-of-life choices must have hit a chord, as I got some valuable feedback. It strikes me that this is a discussion we, collectively, are not having often enough. And, to be fair, as individuals we probably don’t have to experience this issue very often… probably with our parents, maybe a sibling or spouse, but when the process is behind us, few, if any, want to rehash it enough to change where the system failed us and our departed loved one. We just want to get on with living…. until we ourselves end up in the hospital, at the end of our lives, with our loved ones facing agonizing decisions within a system that offers technological possibilities but no ethical advisory. And the circle of hand-wringing, unintended consequences perpetuates.

But there is a a groundswell movement that hopes to change the system. A non-profit effort to educate both the general public as well as the medical community has produced a lauded documentary called “Consider the Conversation. Some PBS markets have aired this documentary and will do so through the end of this year. The DVD is available for purchase, the profits of which support the education effort. Read what this reviewer had to say on The Huffington Post:

Michael Bernhagen and Terry Kaldhusdal put their hearts into this film, and it shows. Michael came to the hospice movement after his mother’s decline and death showed him how far from a healthy, authentic relationship with mortality the medical profession, and the nation, are. Terry’s fifth documentary, this film includes interviews with his brother, Peter, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 53. Michael and Terry have given us a great gift.

Consider the Conversation

Grab Bag Fix-It Fix:

10 Fix-It tips from This Old House that will have you strutting your fix-it mojo in no time…

Be sure to click the full screen button, lower right corner, so you can easily read the slides.

Grab Bag Clean Out:

The 10 Commandments for cleaning out your stuff:

De-Clutter

Grab Bag Oil Slick Tricks:

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Reader Susan R. asked for some tips on getting oil stains out of linens and clothing. I found the following suggestions to try… all of which will probably work much better if the piece of fabric in question has not gone through the dryer, as heat tends to set stains, but worth a try at any time, nonetheless. Most probably work best from the back side of the fabric.

Goof Off, followed by an overnight soaking in OxyClean, then laundering in hot water with Tide with Bleach. “It’s amazing how much stuff that combination can get out.”

• Combine 1 tablespoon glycerin, 1 tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap, 8 tablespoons of water. Work the solution into grease adn oil stains. Let sit a few minutes, flush with water and launder as usual.

Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover to remove greasy spots on clothes, then launder in the hottest water for fabric type, using a long wash cycle and adding 1/4 cup of washing soda along with your detergent.

• Spray with WD-40 lubricant and wait 10 minutes. Work in undiluted dishwashing liquid and launder as usual.

Go-Jo Waterless Hand Cleaner can be worked into the spot, then launder as usual.

And from the GODDESS herself, Martha Stewart’s take on getting rid of oil (mostly olive, I assume) stains on clothing:

1. Cover stain with corn starch and let sit for 20 minutes. Brush off with a soft-bristled toothbrush or similar.

2. Make a 5% Orvus paste and water solution in a spray bottle (find Orvus in tack stores… horse people use it… or quilting stores… quilters use it…or Amazon, etc.). Turn cloth over, place on a white cloth, and spray solution from the back. Spray with solution and tamp well to remove. If it improves, continue with Orvus solution, rinse with clear water after 2-3 attempts. If stain looks lifted, wash in COLD water (unlike tips above).

Click on the image below to print Martha’s Stain Removal Guide.

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Grab Bag Summer Snack Attack:

Snack Attack

Smart snacking is truly half the success of healthful eating. Summer is so often a time when we grab a few fries here, a few chips there, and soon those little choices make big differences. Here is a great list of healthy snack ideas… the secret is having these things readily available before you reach for a package of poor choices.

1. 1 cup of Cherry Tomatoes (can mix these with one serving size of crackers to make a great filling afternoon snack!)

2.  Small Green Salad with light dressing (suggested serving size is about a handful of lettuce. Try a light vinaigrette dressing.  Try to stay away from the creamy thick dressings. Those carry the most calories)

3. Mango smoothie (frozen mango, mango Greek Yogurt or plain Greek yogurt, and a small amount of orange juice or any other juice that you like.  Try to use no more than one serving size of juice and make sure that it is 100% fruit juice)

4. Kabobs (thread low-fat meat, low-fat cheese, pineapple and cherry tomatoes onto a stick.  You can always substitute other fruit/veggie options)

5.one slice of WHOLE WHEAT bread topped with peanut butter and banana slices (make sure it is whole wheat bread. this is one of the best options when consuming bread products)

5. Grilled Pineapple (throw them on the grill or a skillet on med. heat for two minutes or until golden. The best option for these is the whole round cuts and not the chuncks)

6. Baked Apples (one tennis ball-sized apple, cored, filled with 1 teaspoon brown sugar and cinnamon, and baked until tender.  You can also cut the apple into desired sizes and sprinkle the toppings onto the slices. Makes for a less messy version)

7. Strawberries dipped in fat-free Cool Whip (suggested serving size is 1 to 2 cups of strawberries and 2 tablespoons of the Cool Whip) (Note from LK: I would pass on the polyester whipped cream and go with something more natural).

8. Low-fat tortilla (or whole wheat tortilla) topped with egg salad, shredded carrots and cucumber slices (you can also top is with egg whites, feta cheese, cottage cheese, or any other type of low fat topping that you like)

9. Parfait (build your own with Greek yogurt or plain yogurt, fruit, and granola.  Make sure to not use to much granola! some granola can pack a lot of sugar)

10. Bowl of bran flakes with 1/2 cup skim milk and berries

11. Guacamole with you choice of veggies (suggested serving size is 1/4 cup of guacamole)

10. Triscuit’s Thin Crisps dipped in cottage cheese or hummus (this is MY personal favorite afternoon snack. i spread low fat laughing cow Swiss cheese on my crisps which is also just as good!)

11. Cashews (suggested serving size is 1 ounce. It is also good to mix this in with cottage cheese, low fat yogurt, or anything else)

12. Pretzels (suggested serving size is about 17 pretzels)

13. Sun Chips (don’t forget portion control! Read the serving amount on the side of the bag but it is usually about 1 ounce which is usually about a handful of chips)

14. Cheesy Breaded Tomatoes (Two roasted plum tomatoes sliced and topped with 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese)

15. Sugar Snap Peas (a great snack if you sprinkle your own spices on it.  If you dip it into a veggie dip make sure it is low in calories and stick to the portion size)

16. Steamed Veggies (steam non-starchy vegetables in a microwave safe bag and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese or 1/4 cup pasta sauce)

17. Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges ( you can spread this on crackers, veggies, or even fruit)

18. Snack/Granola bar (around 150 calories or less, like Kellogg’s All-Bran, Kashi TLC Trail Mix, or Fiber one Bar)

19. Baked chips (about 7-10) with salsa (you can make your OWN healthier version of baked chips by toasting whole wheat tortillas! Check out THIS post for the recipe)

20. Protein Bar (great snack after your workout.  Make sure to get a bar with low sugar.  Be careful to get a bar that is also tasty.  Some bars do not taste very well and can leave a bad taste in your mouth.)

21. Sweet Potato Fries (one light-bulb sized sweet potato sliced, tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and baked at 400° for 10 minutes)

22. Snack Wrap (I like a slice of turkey, Swiss cheese, baby spinach leaves, and cranberry relish wrapped up in a tortilla)

23. Pumpkin Seeds (2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, sprayed with oil (just a spritz!) and baked at for 400° for 15 minutes or until brown. Sprinkle a tiny amount of salt on top)

24. Bean Salad (a handful of lettuce, 1/2 cup of your fav beans, top with feta cheese or some other topping makes the perfect pre-lunch snack!)

25. Peaches and Cottage Cheese

26. Chopped Red, Green, or Yellow Peppers (dipped in fat free dipping sauce or sprinkle with spices for a lower calorie snack)

27. Tuna with Triscuit crackers (yes DRY tuna is a great option but i always like to add a little relish or mustard to give it more of a taste)

28. Cooked and Cubed Chicken Breast (you can season it or toss it into a salad for a great snack or healthy meal option!)

29. Homemade Popsicles (puree watermelon, strawberries, mango, banana, etc and freeze in popsicle molds or use your ice cube tray as an alternative.  You can also use small disposable cups and peel off the cup and enjoy the frozen treat!)

30. Quesadilla (whole wheat (or corn) tortillas w/cheese (or not) melted in microwave – adding on tomatoes, beans, corn, olives, avocado or guacamole or whatever sounds good. This can be a great snack or a great meal option depending on how much you add to the quesadilla!)

from InfiniteLifeFitness.com

As a bonus, here is a lunch idea that I LOVE…. Apple sammies!

Looks like these have nut butter, carob or chocolate chips and granola filling.

My personal fav is thick-ish slices of apple with almond or peanut butter, flax and pumpkin seeds and cinnamon filling:

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Grab Bag Brain Game:

It’s all about the fewest number of clicks… so this game of memory tests your recall of image and placement:

Concentration

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Fixed Sink

Spell House

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