Thought-Provoking Questions

Hey my Lovely Rainbows!

The past few weeks I took a break from blogging to focus on my college classes, my job as a teacher assistant for my Nutrition Professor and my job as a tutor for Chemistry, and on my calling (Secretary) in my church with the women’s association (called Relief Society). And now with the semester over, I look back and stand in wonder at how much I was able to accomplish these past 14 weeks. I did very well in my Anatomy and Physiology, Nutrient Metabolism, Medical Terminology, Advanced Writing and Critical Thinking, and Mission Prep classes. At first I was scared when I found out I had to take Anatomy and Physiology part II, but I am so glad I did. I love it. The body is absolutely fascinating, and I’m excited for the classes I’ll be starting this next week: Women’s Health, Sport’s Nutrition, Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases, Exercise Physiology, and Family Foundations. Yes, it will be another challenging semester, but I’m ready to go forth and love life every step of the way.


A couple months ago Kendra shared a questionnaire with me. She posed some thought-provoking questions, so I’d love to hear your responses to them!


1. When you find an insect or arachnid in your house, what is your immediate response? Do you scream? Rescue the bug and let it outside? Kill it? No, I will not judge you (too harshly) for your response.

While I’m not a big fan of insects (other than lady bugs and butterflies, and the rollie-pollie bugs my sister likes), I don’t like God’s creations being hurt, no matter their size. Despite my dislike of ants, they are one of God’s creatures and do an amazing job keeping the earth clean. But I must admit – mosquitoes are an exception. I despise those mini vampires. One bite and my skin drives me insane for a week. I’m a scaredy-Kat when it comes to bugs, but I have been brave a few times and taken a bug out using a cup and piece of paper.

2. What is your opinion on so-called “white lies?” Are they necessary in certain cases to avoid hurting someone? Or should they be avoided at all costs?

I agree with Thumper’s dad’s response in the Disney movie Bambi: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” A lie is a lie, no matter the context. I think they should be avoided in all situations. Honesty is the best policy.


3. What is one of the most bizarre/detailed/vivid dreams you have ever had? Have you ever had a dream that predicted something in the future (yes, this was inspired by the aforementioned dream I had)?

I remember having a dream that I was a Jedi – it was sweet! I enjoy my “Adventures At Night” (what I call “dreams”), but the one thing I dislike about dreams is that I never get to see the ending! I finally get to the best part, and then I wake up!! It’s so frustrating.


4. Do you eat food that you’ve dropped on the ground? Or throw it away in disgust? Do you follow expiration dates on all packaged food, or only with dairy products and other mold-prone food? This was inspired by the fact that I recently threw out a tub of almost-empty yogurt that had expired a month ago. Even I have my limits when it comes to expired food.

It depends on the food. If the food could be easily washed off, then yes, I’ll wash it and still eat it. If not, then I just throw it away – I don’t know what has been on the floor. When it comes to expiration dates, I usually go by the smell or look of the food in addition to the date listed to know if it’s gone bad or not – just because a food is a few days past a date doesn’t necessarily mean it has gone bad.

5. Do you have one or more social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc…)? How has it affected your life, both positively and/or negatively? Or do you prefer to stay off of such websites?

I have Facebook, Pinterest, and WordPress accounts, but during the semester I stay almost completely off them since my day is packed from morning to evening. I think social media can be beneficial, but it’s imperative I balance its use in my life. If it become more important than spending time with my family or fulfilling my responsibilities, then I have lost balance. For instance, I love the Bakery Story game on my mom’s iPad. I played it every day for years. Right before I came back up to college, I realized my life was being consumed by that game. I was planning my schedule around it. All I wanted to do was play it. It was a hard for me, but I decided to completely delete the game. Yes, it was a fun game and it was better than other things I could have done, but it was not the best way I could spend my time. “Is it good, better, or best?” That is the question I ask myself when deciding the what, when, where, and how I use social media.

6. Why exactly are there warning labels on things such as bottles of hairspray stating “Do not use near heat, flame, or while smoking.” “Avoid inhalation.” “Avoid spraying in eyes”? Do these companies think we are idiots, or are they simply terrified of being sued by a person who says “You didn’t tell me that it’s dangerous to use my hair dryer in the bathtub!! How dare you do such a thing!!” Yes, this is somewhat of a rhetorical question, so instead of answering it, feel free to share the most absurd warning labels you have ever seen.

This question makes me think of my sister – she thinks it’s ridiculous how a frozen pizza will instruct after removing the wrapper to ‘discard wrapper.” Like she doesn’t know to do that.

7. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? If so, what was his/her/its name? Was it human, animal, vegetable, mineral, or alien?

Yes, when I was a child I did have an imaginary friend named Condetoe (pronounced “con-dee-toe”) Steen. My sister and I would play “house” together with her. Gosh I’m old.😉

8. Do you talk to yourself on a regular basis? Or perhaps to your pets? Have you ever engaged in a fascinating discussion or argument with yourself? (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has done this…)

I talk with my kitty cat ALL the time – he’s just being a little shy in that picture. I talk to myself on occasion, but not commonly. My sister, on the other hand, talks to herself daily. I’ve even witnessed her engaged in an argument with herself– it’s captivating to watch. I just chuckle to myself, roll my eyes, and give her a “you-are-so-silly” facial expression.


9. When was the last time you sent an actual pencil-and-paper letter to someone? Do you think handwritten letters are always more intimate and personal than an email or text message, or does it depend on the situation? Speaking of which, can you write in cursive (I can’t, so don’t worry about being judged here)?

Oh gosh, I can’t remember the last time I wrote a pencil-and-paper letter to someone. I have two friends serving missions for my church (one in Peru and the other in the Philippines), and I communicate with them weekly through email, as its cheaper and faster than hand-written letters. I do prefer handwritten letters and notes though. They mean more to me than people think. And yes, I can write in cursive. I like to use it with my journal – it makes what I write more special to me.


10. Do you feel as though TV or magazine advertisements actually make you more likely to purchase the product being advertised? Or do you simply enjoy mocking them and/or laughing at them? Feel free to mention one of the strangest, best, worst, most sexist, or most creative advertisement you’ve ever seen.

There are some commercials that I just laugh at since they are trying so hard and I’m not “buying” it (pun intended). Others (like Bare Minerals) I would not have known about were it not for the commercial, and seeing the commercial did make me more likely to purchase it (and I love it). Manufacturers know what they are doing when it comes to TV and magazine advertisements. In my Nutrient Metabolism we had a discussion on the effects advertisements have on children, specifically those about sugary cereal, fast food, and candy. It’s intriguing how some manufacturers claim their advertisements don’t affect children as much as people think, yet they continue to spend multimillions on the advertisements. They work, especially with children who haven’t fully developed the ability to discern when manufacturers are telling the truth or over exaggerating.


What’s the latest news in your life? Catch me up!

With lots of hugs,


Does Eating A Healthy Diet Cost More?

A few days ago my mother shared an article with me by the Harvard Gazette titled “Pinpointing the higher cost of a healthy diet.” 

In this news article posted earlier this month, the researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health examined the difference in cost between eating a nutritious diet and eating an unhealthy diet. Summarizing their results, they reported that “On average, a day’s worth of the healthiest diet patterns cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy ones. … Over the course of a year, $1.50/day more for eating a healthy diet would increase food costs for one person by about $550 per year.”

$550 per person per year is a lot of money. That extra cost could be really hard for some families.

I even witness this when I go out to eat at restaurants. The more healthful dishes at restaurants tend to be more expensive than the alternatives. This does not help invite families to adopt healthful lifestyles.

Not only does a healthy diet cost more, it can also require more time and effort to prepare. I find this up at college as well. When life gets hectic and stressful, it can be hard to find time for preparing healthful foods. However, these times are some of the most important times for me to eat healthfully so my body can run and heal efficiently.

Even though eating a nutritious diet can cost more, I believe the costs are worth it in the long run. As the researchers from Harvard discovered, the price difference “is very small in comparison to the economic costs of diet-related chronic diseases, which would be dramatically reduced by healthy diets.”

A healthier diet helps promote better sleep, more sustained energy throughout the day, higher levels of immunity, faster healing, and more strength. In addition, this can lead to fewer sick days, taken from work, fewer doctor visits, and fewer medical bills and pricey medications. These benefits can help offset the higher cost of healthier food. As Benjamin Franklin once related: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Nonetheless, are there ways we can cut down on the costs of healthful foods?

Here are my tips on saving money and time for buying and preparing healthful foods.

1. Keep it simple.

When you’re in a rush, you don’t have to spend hours preparing a four-course meal. I love meals that can be quickly thrown together based on what I have on hand. When throwing together a meal, I try to have: a vegetable(s), a fruit, whole grain/starchy veg, protein (usually beans since they’re cheaper than meat), and a source of healthful fat in every meal. Lentils, whole grain pasta, mixed vegetables, and marinara sauce. Lentil soup, spinach, orange. Soymilk, apple, kale, ground flaxseed, oatmeal, etc. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

2. Prepare foods ahead of time.

If weekends are the time you have to make some things, prepare your meals a week ahead to help with the craziness later in the week. This is one reasons why I love my crock pot and Rubbermaid containers. I can prepare a meal earlier in the day and have dinner cooking for me while I’m at class. I can also prepare my own beans instead of buying the canned beans. One bag of dry beans gets me over eight cans worth of beans for a mere fraction of the cost.

3. Have easy and healthy snacks on hand and available.

I always have fresh fruits and vegetables on hand. I also like to keep some Progresso Lentil Soup on hand, as well as homemade hummus. If I want a quick meal/snack, I grab my container of hummus and Ziploc bags of veggies and dig in while reading or working on a school assignment.

4. Cut, prepare, and cook things yourself at home.

Instead of spending the extra money on pre-cut vegetables and fruit, you can cut your own baby carrots, celery sticks, cauliflower florets, apple slices, etc. A head of lettuce only takes a couple minutes to be chopped at home instead of spending twice as much on a pre-chopped bag. Carrots can be sliced into sticks, as well as celery into celery sticks. Beans can be prepared in a slow cooker or on the stove. (One bag of dry beans can make multiple cans worth of beans for a fraction of the cost.)

5. Eat at home. Make your own version of “fast food” meals.

Sadly, the more healthful dishes at the restaurants cost more than preparing the food at home. One thing I love to do is make “copycats” at home of certain foods I love from stores and restaurants. (For example, my Panera Inspired Black Bean Soup, my Great Harvest Inspired Honey Whole Wheat Bread, Great Harvest Inspired Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, homemade soft serve, granola bars, etc.)

6. Check the sales at the grocery store!

If one of your staples goes on sale, stock up on it (if you know you’ll use it and it can store well)! Check the sales, compare to generic versions, and purchase produce closer in season.

7. Go to the store with a list.

This helps me stay focused while I’m walking the aisles of the stores and helps me get in, get out, and have a few moments at home to chop, bag, and put things away. This also helps when I’m planning my meals for the week.

8. Use coupons smartly.

Coupons are great for products you already use, but sometimes coupons aren’t worth it. Sometimes the coupons would just make your bill larger without buying you the things you really need. Sometimes the generic version is still cheaper than the name brand with a coupon.

9. If you buy frozen vegetables, buy the LARGE bags.

Typically these are cheaper, and you can use Ziploc bags to divide the large bag into smaller and easier to use servings.

10. Don’t buy things you won’t use.

This last semester I bought a jar of salsa that I figured I’d use some time or another, but I NEVER used it. I didn’t even want it. If you won’t use a large bag of something before it goes bad, don’t buy it. Buy what you know you will use and pass the rest.

11. Make large batches.

If I’m going to spend time preparing a meal, I like to prepare certain foods in large batches (like lentils, black beans, chickpeas, grains, soups, etc.) and store the extras in the fridge for the next few days. This helps when life gets hectic. I can grab a container of this and a container of that, throw in a vegetable or fruit and call it a meal.

12. Use smart tools.

With a little creativity you can make meals cheaper at home instead of spending a fortune at the store.

  1. I love using a misting spray bottle to make my own homemade non-stick cooking spray. Pour the oil into the spray bottle along with some water, shake, and mist over the skillet. Much cheaper and environmentally friendly than the alternative, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to put together or use.
  2. In addition to my crock pot and blender, I love my microwave steamer – While my pasta is cooking on the stove, I can steam my vegetables in the microwave. Much more compact than taking out a large steamer. It’s also faster, cooking my vegetables in half the time.


What are your thoughts on the higher costs of eating healthy diets?

Is the extra $1.50 per person per day worth it?

What are ways you save money while eating healthfully?

What is one of your goals for this coming new year? (Happy 2014!)

with lots of hugs,


A Gift to the World

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Christ gave His life for each of us. His birth, life, and resurrection are a gift to the world. And what a beautiful gift that is<3

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have a wonderful day today with your family!

with lots of hugs,