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The Healthy Family Meals Newsletter, Issue #109 A Sleepless Family?
October 30, 2008

Welcome! Learn How to Combine Healthy Recipes with Family Adventure!

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Kindy's Musings....

Now every week, as your family dietitian, I will be scoping out the most relevant research and news that you can use to help your family make healthy nutrition and wellness choices.


...about the food industry we shop in as parents and educators...and family nutrition and health issues today.

Before we turn our clocks back this fall season, as your family nutritionist my question is, are you and your family getting enough sleep?

A recent article from the Breakpoint organization reports that from Starbucks, to Red Bull, to No-Doz, Americans are showing signs of addiction to caffeine. Sixty percent of us drink a cup of coffee a day. On average we will drink 52 gallons of soda this year. And Starbucks—they get a whopping $5.3 billion of our collective dough.

Whether we are chemically stimulating because we do not get enough sleep, or whether the caffeine itself is depriving us of precious rest, we are also sleeping less than ever before. Americans get an average of six and a half hours of sleep a night, a 25 percent drop since the early 1900s. No wonder we are stressed. And as if we needed any more help depriving ourselves of rest, scientists may have found a drug that will eliminate sleepiness.

According to a recent article in Wired Magazine, "A nasal spray containing a naturally occurring brain hormone called 'orexin A' reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys, allowing them to perform like well-rested monkeys on cognitive tests."

While the drug is still many years away from reaching pharmacies, it reminds me how important it is to examine the trends facing society. We live in a culture today that spurns rest.

Whether it is working later hours to have more spending power or commuting longer distances to live "the good life," or just staying up too late to watch more TV, the truth is people are ready to skip rest to do it all. For most people, the only thing that makes this choice a dangerous one would be the potential health risks and the side effects we feel the next day. Eliminate the health risks and side effects, and ta-da!, no problem.

Our Creator built rest into the very rhythm of creation. Keeping a day of rest made His top-10 list. And believe it or not, rest serves a purpose—a divine purpose. It reminds us that God is in control.

So I ask again: How are you and your family doing at resting? May your family take time to find rest in this beautiful fall season!

Read the latest food trends and happenings with the links below:





Barley-Beef Soup


12 ounces beef or lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 tablespoon cooking oil

4 14-ounce cans beef broth

1 cup chopped onion (1 large)

1/2 cup chopped celery (1 stalk)

1 teaspoon dried oregano or basil, crushed

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup 1/2-inch slices peeled parsnip, or 1/2-inch cubes peeled potato

2/3 cup quick-cooking barley


1. In a Dutch oven brown meat in hot oil. Stir in broth, onion, celery, oregano, pepper, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours for beef (45 minutes for lamb).

2. Stir in frozen vegetables, undrained tomatoes, parsnip, and barley. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

3. Makes 8 servings (11 cups)

4. Slow-cooker directions: Substitute regular barley for quick-cooking barley. In a large skillet brown cubed beef in hot oil. Drain off fat. In a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker combine beef and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.


What will your family do for healthier MEALTIMES?

Celebrating Healthy Families 2008

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Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Kindy --Your Family Dietitian

Copyright (c) 2008,

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