Monday, September 29, 2014

Fighting Hunger for Hunger Action Month: My Thoughts

Fighting Hunger

Did you know that September is the official “Hunger Action Month?” Even though September is the official month, we can always find ways to fight hunger. What can you do? Every day children go hungry. National Geographic states that 1/6th of the American population doesn't get enough to eat (more on this here). How is this so in the world's richest country? Do you think it doesn't happen in your community? It does. Probably more than we care to acknowledge. Most of us are blessed beyond comprehension in having food in our fridge and pantry whereas others are barely getting by. We hope to change that! 

With regards to my community: There are many resources in Ridgecrest that offer what I’d like to call a “fighting hunger” service. Having lived in Ridgecrest for two years and an advocate for families to eat more whole foods namely fruits and vegetables, I have done some research to learn which locations in our community offer these services.

First: I have compiled a "Meals & Resources" PDF that I can email you with the various locations around the community who offer affordable (and sometimes free) meals. Send me an email if you’d like a copy. If you live out of my area, you can still have a copy as this may help you fine tune your search in your own community. 

Second: A California grocer, Albertson’s, has coupons for children to receive a free apple or banana. Ask customer service the next time you go in there. The dates may be expired but as of July they were still honoring them. Just ask!

Third: Did you know that Ridgecrest has a community garden? Yes! It is located behind the police department and it is run by volunteers. The visionary behind this resource is Dr. Iresha Goonesinghe of Compassionate Doctors. The garden services single parent homes and low income families. If you’d like to volunteer your time (we need you!) or know of a family in need, please get in contact via Facebook. “Like” the We Love Ridgecrest then send them a message. Please let them know Jessica David sent you. I am a volunteer there. If you have a brown thumb, please don’t let that stop you from volunteering your time. I have one too!

In the beginning of this article, I asked, “What can you do to fight hunger?” Did you think of anything? You can do one of the above, but I've got some more ideas for you. Take one of these ideas and run with it and get others involved too!

From The Good Long Road: Hunger Action Month, 11 Simple Ways. This is a short list from Jennifer Fischer’s post:  

+ Collect Spare Change and donate to a local cause or nonprofit.
+ Donate (and volunteer) at our local food pantry. Ridgecrest has two that I know of: St Ann’s Church (SARP) and the Salvation Army.
+ Garden.
+ Eat a meal with gratitude.
+ Support a neighbor in need.
+ Organize a food drive.
+ Learn about hunger / talk about it.

I know one of these ideas inspired you to get involved. Still want more ideas? Great! Go to the Moms Fighting Hunger blog hop here to grab more resources.

If your plate is already full, you can “eat a meal with gratitude.” You can ‘like’ the Facebook page: “We Love Ridgecrest.” You can tell people about these resources. We all have something wonderful to give. That’s what we were created for anyway! Learn, grow, and share!! Be well.

P.S. Last year I partnered with The Good Long Road and we both shared a post on "Moms Fighting Hunger" for Hunger Action Month by taking the #SNAP challenge. Find our posts here and here

P.P.S. Contact me on my blog if you'd like a copy of the "Meals & Resources" PDF. 

Like what you have read here? Follow me on my social media sites. Scroll up to find the buttons on the top right side of the blog. 

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Community Garden and More from Summer 2014

Take the pledge here to do as the words encourage us to do (Sep 2014)

Summer! ... it is my favorite season. This post is a little late getting out there but I cannot miss the opportunity to share some of the highlights of our summer break with you! I know, I know... this should have gone out in August but better late than never. =)

Many of the images will be to share about a resource in my community that was created late Fall last year by a local doctor, Dr. Iresha Goonesinghe; she is compassionate, shares resources, and is always looking for ways to partner with the community. She is the visionary behind the "community garden!"

With a team of volunteers, the Ridgecrest community garden was formed and continues to flourish! The vegetables grown in the garden are organic and non-GMO and are given to single parent homes and low-income families; it is one way we are able to fight hunger. I helped a half dozen times throughout the summer with my son at my side. Now that school is back in session, I plan to help a little more consistently. I like to get my hands dirty plus it's a good work out. Since school began I have volunteered twice and am looking to go again this week (after this post publishes). 

In the image above, pictured is Angela Cooper of Angela Cooper Wellness who just happened to open her new Massage and Yoga Center in Ridgecrest on 9/8/14!! I'm pictured in the center and for those who don't know me, I'm a certified health coach (my services) and I focus on real food nutrition, label reading, and empowering the consumer and Anna Lynn (on the right) who you will learn more about as you continue reading. 

I do not own a garden (yet) but I'm starting to think about one more and more. I may consider doing some berries in raised beds or potatoes but I'd like to get a compost going. I've been talking about starting an aeroponic garden that requires no soil or kneeling that sounds really rewarding but due to the extreme climates in my area, I haven't started one. And, at this point in time, not sure when or if I will (yikes did I just admit that out loud?!). However, if a few friends and clients order a Tower Garden then we all can help each other out in the various seasons (dry, windy, cold) and in times of overgrowth. Win-win! =)

I did enjoy having my son at my side during our learning at the community garden. Anna, one of the volunteers, is a wealth of information and has the most patience you could ever imagine and is eager to learn and share what she's learned with others! There's plenty of room in the world for people like her!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

{Chicken 3+ Ways!} No matter how you slice it!

... it'll be good, right!? Well, that's what they say anyway.

Chicken is a staple animal protein in our home. But we are also big fans of fatty fish like salmon and plant protein too! I was able to an organic whole chicken and though she was small, it was a good decision to purchase it because I have been wanting to make several recipes using one for awhile. (I am keeping my eyes peeled for a pasture raised chicken. Hard to come by in my area.) One recipe that I had been eyeing was by Organic Kitchen here. I didn't have some of the ingredients her recipe asked for so I found another recipe based on the ingredients I did have on hand by the little kitchen

Crock Pot Chicken 

I even attempted to broil the whole chicken but I slow cooked it too long (which was a really good thing, but not so much for presentation) to crisp the skin. The chicken was so tender it was falling off the bones! YUM!!