Thursday, February 5, 2009

Shaking Things Up Savvy Style

So, it's been a week! Turns out Superstar #2 had something that caused hives. Nothing major and yet three nights last week, around 9 o'clock she's complained about itching all over and next thing you know, she's breaking out in hives! As the daughter of a nurse, I tend not to freak out right away, and yet it's NEVER fun to see your child in distress, but a dose of Benadryl stopped the itching and allowed her to go back to sleep in each case.

We went to the Dr after having spoken to the on-call physician the first night it happened. I was pretty sure it was an allergic reaction, but wanted to be sure, and hey, that's why we have a Dr, right? I explained that there has been nothing out of the usual with her diet, no new detergents, no new soaps. Nothing except a tiny drop of a new hand lotion I had gotten, which I have since put away and would therefore not account for the other bouts we experienced. The Dr said that it could be a virus and that it could mean the hives cropping up here and there in the next few days but not to worry. Sigh. What can you do but worry a little and pray a lot!

Then Superstar #1, not to be left out, had a Dr's visit (on a separate day) for this crusty yucky stuff in her eyes. It wasn't conjunctivitis, but has since come and gone with no explanation. The Dr said it was probably drainage from her recent cold and since her ears and lungs looked/sounded clear, she was just fine. At any rate, between the mom-on-call and the mom-on-the-go-with-a-meeting and helping my neighbor by watching her 3 children one day, my week was gone before I knew it. During that time, however, I have been plotting and planning my return and so, without any further ado....

Today's topic - SHAKES!

So my husband, while not an unhealthy eater, has never been one for breakfast. And really, when he gets busy at work, he has been known to skip lunch. Of course, I keep telling him that doing that only puts your body into survival mode and can cause your metabolism to slow, but what do I (daughter of a German nurse who use to MAKE plain yogurt and mix it with wheat germ for breakfast as well as roommate & bestfriend to a woman who earned a degree in nutrition in college) know? I'm just his wife.

At any rate, I stopped nagging long ago since it doesn't help anyone, and he really had been trying with breakfast shakes in the morning using some supplements from Whole Foods and frozen fruit. I had used our big blender but found myself getting resentful for cleaning the durn thing every morning. I mean, yes, I want my husband to be healthy but he seemed to "need" my help making the shakes or he wouldn't do them (could it be because cleaning the blender afterward was such a pain????).

I solved that dilemma in savvy style a week ago when I bought a "magic bullet" type of mini-blender at Macy's. Belle Cucina is the brand name, and whereas the Magic Bullet runs around $79 retail, this runs $49 retail. It was on special for $19! The great thing is that I put all the "stuff" into the container at night (powder, fish oil, yogurt, frozen fruit, etc.) and he just pulls that out in the morning and sticks it in the nice small blender and Voila! A healthy, DELICIOUS shake and VERY easy to clean. It has to taste good or my husband will not drink it. He could be dying and he would not drink it. Me, on the other hand, will stomach just about anything if it's good/healthy for me. That's what happens when you are the daughter of a German nurse.

The blender comes with several cups, in 2 different sizes and with different attachments (a rim for easy drinking, a shaker top, a cover, etc.). "A shake top?" you ask. While I didn't buy it for this reason, you can grate things like cheese in this little guy too! In fact, the other night I did use the mini-blender to make a Shrimp & Feta dinner; first to chop the parsley and secondly to dice the diced tomatoes a little smaller. It was easier to use AND clean than my KitchenAide mini-chopper.

From what I understand, this thing makes a MEAN Mudslide too. I'll let you know once it gets warmer outside!

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