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Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Do you need to go gluten-free this Thanksgiving? Popular blogger Nicole Hunn is here to help. Check out her 4 Tips for a Safe and Delicious Gluten-Free Thanksgiving below. From her new book, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, she also shares a breadstick recipe she swears is as good as The Olive Garden’s!
“As the mom of a gluten-free kid, I know stress can come as its own special side dish to family get-togethers and holidays. Double it when you’re talking about Thanksgiving, or as I like to call it, The Food Olympics. But whether you’re hosting your own Thanksgiving this year or you’ll be a guest in someone else’s home, you can (and should!) expect great gluten-free food for your gluten-free kid, with all the trimmings! In fact, since we moms of kids with food intolerances and allergies tend to think about food more than the average person, our allergy-friendly food should be the envy of the table. I can help you with that! Beyond the food, I recommend you stay away from religion and politics at the dinner table, and the holiday should go off without a hitch.
Before I share with you a gluten-free bread recipe from my new book, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, here are a Four Tips for a Safe and Delicious Gluten-Free Holiday for yourself and those you love:
1. If you’re hosting the holiday, guests feel uncomfortable showing up empty-handed. Since I keep an entirely gluten-free household, I ask guests to bring wine or fruit. I tell them that this is going to be the most stress-free holiday that they’ve ever had, since they don’t have to lift a finger.
2. Second, if you’re a guest in someone else’s home, don’t expect them to cater to your and your family’s dietary needs. In fact, I much prefer it when they don’t, since then I am free of any worry that their kind attempts to help will end up making my son sick. Did they chop up those vegetables on the same cutting board they use for regular bread? Did they bake those muffins in their regular muffin tin, the one they used the day before to bake regular cupcakes? Instead, I offer to bring as many sides as the hosts will allow. Then, I just serve my son his meal first before everyone else digs in. Otherwise, I basically cater a whole meal for my gluten-free son and bring it, already warm, in an insulated cooler. That’s why I prefer to host. It’s easier! But we do what we have to do for our kids.
3. Make a fabulous dessert. They’ll always remember you for it.
4. Finally, pick a part of the holiday meal that is typically filled with gluten, like breadsticks or rolls, and knock one out of the park with an amazing gluten-free version. Like these Soft Olive Garden-Style Garlic Butter Breadsticks, from my new Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Cookbook:
Soft Olive Garden–Style Garlic Butter Breadsticks
Makes 12 breadsticks
4 1/4 cups (595 g) Gluten-Free Bread Flour (recipe included below), plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons (6 g) instant yeast
2 tablespoons (24 g) sugar
2 teaspoons (12 g) kosher salt
6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water (about 95°F)
3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic salt
First make the bread dough. (more…)
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Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Do you have a little worry wart in your family? Is it you? This new book, Make Your Worrier a Warrior, might be just the thing you need. My kids worry about everything from the first day of school to spelling tests to who is invited to which birthday parties. All the while, I’m worried about my volunteer jobs for the PTA and whether I’m going to have enough time to cook a decent Thanksgiving turkey! All this anxiety is for the birds. So I really appreciate psychologist and Ph.D. Dan B. Peters‘ advice. He explains why we all worry and how to feel better below:
KK: What is The Worry Monster?
DP: The Worry Monster is a mythical creature that picks on us and bullies us into feeling worried and scared. He activates our “survival response” or “fight or flight” response by telling us that we are in danger and that bad things will happen (i.e., “Your mom is going to forget to pick you up; people will laugh at you; you are going to fail”). He is very sneaky and quietly lurks, waiting to use his tricks against us. The Worry Monster wants us to avoid people and situations, not fully engage in life, and not become all we can be.
KK: What prompted you to write this book? Tell us your personal journey as a father and doctor.
DP: This book came out of years as psychologist, speaker, father and someone who knows the Worry Monster, and his friend, the Perfectionist Monster. I have been working with wonderful, bright, creative and conscientious kids and their families for years, and over time, found myself combining several schools of thoughts and strategies in a way that made sense to people and were successful in driving the Worry Monster away.
At the same time, my 3 children were getting older (now 13, 11, and 9) and having their own battles with worry and fear. I wrote this book to give people of all ages simple, useful information that they could utilize in their life to live with less worry and fear.
KK: What are the Top 3 ways to Tame the Worry Monster?
1. Know that you are built to survive, and that we all have a fear center of our brain known as the amygdala (a-myg-da-la) whose job it is to sense danger and activate us for battle or escape in the face or threat of danger. The amygdala sends messages to our adrenal glands to pump massive amounts of adrenaline through our bodies to be super human fighting machines. The adrenalin and re-routing of our blood supply from our head and stomach makes us feel bad – headaches, dizzy, upset stomach, butterflies, etc.
2. Our thoughts trigger our amygdala and survival response. When the Worry Monster tells us a worrisome thought (“You are going to forget everything you studied”), we go into survival mode, even though we are actually safe. If we change our thinking to a more rational thought (“The test will be hard, but I studied and usually do fine”), our amygdala turns down and we go back to a relaxed, non-fearful state.
3. Since our thoughts trigger our anxious feelings, and then cause us to behave in a certain way (i.e. avoid, cry, act out), if we change our behavior, it also changes our thoughts and feelings too. This means that everything you DO to take a stand against the Worry Monster (i.e. speak in front of the class, look someone in the eye, go to a party, try out for a team) reduces the Worry Monster’s power. Since the Worry Monster is a bully, like all other bullies, when you stand up to him, he gets weaker and usually decides to pick on someone else. Also, doing the things you are afraid of makes you feel more confident and stronger in all aspects of your life.
KK: Is there a way to turn your Worrier into a Warrior?
DP: Absolutely! I have seen it time and time again my office and in my home. These techniques and strategies really work. Teaching your child about his or her brain and how the survival response works; how your thoughts are responsible for your uncomfortable feelings; changing your thinking can make you feel less worried and scared; and that doing the scary thing (or taking baby steps towards it) makes us less fearful and feel stronger – makes Worriers into Warriors.
KK: Can your tips also help Moms and Dads?
DP: Yes they can! These skills and strategies work for people of all ages – parents, teens, tweens, children.
In fact, in the parent book, I write about how the Worry Monster had the nerve to visit me when I began writing this book. (I should have known he would not want me to tell the world about him and how he works!) I used the same strategies I use with my clients and children to drive him away. I highly recommend that parents look at their own experiences with the Worry Monster and use their experiences to relate to their children, as well as motivation to join their children in driving the Worry Monster away.
The Worry Monster is strong, but when we team up against him, he gets small and powerless.
About the Author:
Daniel B. Peters, Ph.D., licensed psychologist, is co-founder and Clinical Director of the Summit Center, specializing in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and families, with special emphasis on gifted, talented, and creative individuals and families. Dr. Peters speaks regularly at state and national conferences on a variety of gifted, learning, and parenting topics. He consults with GATE and special education departments and trains teachers and parents in understanding, teaching, and raising complex children to be engaged in the classroom, at home, and in life.
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Friday, November 15th, 2013
Did you like the book Eat, Pray, Love and wish you could devote a whole year to becoming a better person? Yeah, me too. But with three small kids, trips to Italy, India and Bali (or even the local spa) are out of the question. That’s where a fun new book comes in. The 52 Weeks: Two Women and Their Quest to Get Unstuck with Stories and Ideas to Jumpstart Your Year of Discovery was written to inspire readers to try new things no matter how crazy-busy they are.
One of the authors, Karen Amster-Young, gives the scoop on the book below. And don’t miss her 5 Ways to Get Unstuck!
“We are bombarded each and every day with countless responsibilities, errands, work, family and taking care of those we love. Carving out time for ourselves is usually last on the list. In fact, we often feel guilty when we sneak off to the gym, a movie or even a long lunch.
A few years ago a good friend and I found ourselves complaining about this–a lot. We were restless and wanted to shake things up. Our children were no longer babies, and we felt stuck. We wanted to make an effort to do new things again. We would be happier and healthier, plus we would be better moms, wives and friends if we just did a few things for ourselves. We vowed to try something new or different every week for a year and write about it. Now, our book, The 52 Weeks, inspired by our blog, is out. We’ve included our adventures and expert advice, and we hope this book gets you doing more things you love.
Don’t now how to get started? Here are 5 Ways to Get Unstuck Right now (and have some fun along the way!):
1. Learn something new. Even if your newborn keeps you at home most days, sign up for an on-line class, learn a new language at home or teach yourself new recipes right from your computer. Learning new things stimulates the mind and improves your mood.
2. Take 10 minutes to give back. Send flowers to a friend just because, make soup for a sick neighbor, donate clothes you don’t wear anymore to a non-profit organization. Giving back makes you feel like you are doing something beyond your four walls.
3. Hire a sitter for an hour and take a yoga, Pilates or other exercise class. We all know that exercise lifts your spirit. Do one new thing for health and well-being this week.
4. Don’t forget your significant other. As new moms, we often neglect our primary relationships. It may be hard to get out for date night for a while but find time to bond. Take advantage of naptime on weekends and rent a movie together or light a candle and play cards.
5. Get out of your zip code. Hire a sitter or borrow your mom for a while and plan a trip to another neighborhood–even for an hour. Simply getting out of your immediate area can give you a new perspective on everything.”
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busy moms, Eat, Karen Amster-Young, Love, Pamela Godwin, Pray, The 52 Weeks | Categories:
Guest Blogs, Mom Must Read, Mommy Bloggers, Must Read, Parenting Advice
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Katrina Alcorn couldn’t take it. At 37, she had it all: a great husband and job and three sweet kids. Yet, on her way to the store to buy diapers one day, she had a nervous breakdown. She stopped working and began a journey through depression, anxiety, insomnia and medication.
Was she the only one who couldn’t handle the demands of career and family? We all know the answer to that–absolutely not!
It’s no wonder her new book, Maxed Out: American Moms on the Brink, has created such a buzz lately. In it, Katrina argues that even though women are the primary or substantial earners in two-thirds of American families, the American workplace is uniquely unaccommodating to working mothers. In fact, the U.S. is the only developed country that does not require paid maternity leave. She writes that a whole generation of women are “maxing out” in their attempts to meet the daily demands of their lives.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Below, Katrina suggest 10 Ways Maxed Out Moms Can Start Changing Things Right Now. (And click to the end to see the cool book trailer.)
1. Practice saying no—Working moms have to find ways to say no. It’s not about letting other people down; saying no to others is about saying yes to yourself.
2. Tell your partner what you need—Communicate with your partner about how they can make life a little more manageable, from taking the kids for a few hours to being on dish duty. (more…)
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Katrina Alcorn, maternity leave, maxed out, nervous breakdown, work and career, work and family, working mom | Categories:
Mom Must Read, Mommy Bloggers, Must Read, Parenting Advice, Popular Books
Friday, November 8th, 2013
Author and illustrator Dallas Clayton might be best known for his sweet and inspirational children’s books such as Make Magic! Do Good! and An Awesome Book of Love!
But this playful and creative guy thinks adults need kid’s books, too. I totally agree. Where are our pretty pictures, perfect rhymes and straightforward messages? They are in his latest work called It’s Never Too Late: A Kid’s Book for Adults. This fast and fun read brightened my day–and it only took a few minutes. Dallas shopped this book around to traditional publishers who all turned him down. So he printed it online–and it went nuts. Finally, Penguin snapped it up, and it hit bookshelves yesterday.
Check out this excerpt and some artwork. Then see Dallas talk about his book in the video below:
“Because it’s never too late,
too late to begin,
and today is the day
the world might end.
And today is the day
the world might start,
so live it and love it
with all of your heart.”
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