Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to My Parents!

This past weekend, my parents (whose birthdays are five days apart) celebrated their birthdays at a Lake Lavon camp site. My sister flew in for five days to help take care of me while our parents enjoyed some alone time. We went out to the camp site on our Dad's birthday (July 16th) with presents in hand. My boyfriend Billy and I gave my Dad a new pair of dress shoes while my sister gave my Dad a Racetrac gift card!

We grilled bratwursts and turkey dogs to perfection! The scorching heat was the only down side. Ever since my accident, my body does not sweat and therefore does not regulate temperature. When I get real hot or cold, it takes several hours for my body to cool off or warm up. When we were at the camp site, I had to constantly pour water on my head and neck. It was a bit overwhelming.

Last night, we had a shrimp fest! After my Dad peeled shrimp, My Mom beer-battered and deep-fried them and then made mashed potatoes and corn-on-the-cob while my sister boiled shrimp and sauteed a veggie mixture! Then, we presented my Dad with a chocolate pie and my Mom with a red velvet cake. Birthday celebrations always taste so wonderful! I am so thankful that God has blessed me with an amazing family, a land rich in food and clean water, and finances to purchase what we have and use. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Berry Children From Texas Paralyzed In Car Crash, Parents Killed: How You Can Help

A family tragedy has prompted Houston residents to open up their hearts to help three children orphaned in a West Texas car accident.

The children's parents, Joshua and Robin Berry, were killed when an SUV veered into their lane and crashed head-on into their van, confirmed by family friend Allen Deutsch.

Nine-year-old Peter Berry, and 8-year-old Aaron Berry were airlifted from Covenant Health System's Women's and Children's Hospital in Lubbock to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital last Wednesday night after sustaining serious spinal cord injuries. They are both paralyzed below the waist.

Six-year-old Willa was less seriously injured and is recovering at a family friend's home.

The SUV passenger, 28-year-old Colleen Doyle, also died. The driver, 31-year-old Michael Scott Doyle, was taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock in critical condition, according to the Associated Press. A hospital spokesperson told the Huffington Post that Doyle is not currently registered there.

The Doyle's 1-year-old daughter was in the car as well but was unharmed, authorities say . . .

To make a contribution to the Berrys that will help fund all of the children's ongoing needs, including medical rehabilitation, physical therapy, psychological support and education, visit

McCormack, Simon. "Berry Children From Texas Paralyzed In Car Crash, Parents Killed: How You Can Help." The Huffington Post. 12 July 2011. Web. 13 July 2011.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Top College Degree Salaries

1. Petroleum Engineering ($90,000 salary stating pay/$160,000 mid-career pay)
2. Other Engineering Degrees - Aerospace, chemical, electrical and nuclear engineering ($60,000 salary starting pay/$100,000 mid-career pay)
3. Math and Sciences - Applied mathematics, physics and economics ($48,000-$56,000 salary starting pay/$100,000 mid-career pay)
4. Government, computer information systems, geology, chemistry and accounting ($40,000 salary starting pay/$87,000 mid-career pay)
5. Liberal Arts and Business ($70,000 mid-career pay)

Mueller, Annie. "The College Degrees You Should Have Gotten." Yahoo! Finance. Investopedia, 6 July 2011. Web. 8 July 2011.

5 Foods That Keep You Thin

1. Apples

Apples are a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber not only contributes to a healthy digestive system and reduced cholesterol, but it also benefits smart eaters by yielding no calories while keeping them satisfied.

And there's something else about the fruit that might help you feel full. A study in the journal "Appetite" found that when women added either three apples or three pears to their daily meals, they lost more weight than people who added three oat cookies to their diets -- even though the fruit and the cookies contained the exact same amount of dietary fiber.

Although the reason behind this finding may be a mystery, there is something to be said for the findings. According to Alan Aragon, a nutritionist and author of "Girth Control: The Science of Fat Loss & Muscle Gain," crunchy foods in particular can trick a person into feeling fuller. The act of chewing may send satiety signals to your body, he says, making you think you've eaten more than you really have and keeping hunger at bay.

2. Almonds

If you're looking for a tasty midday snack, a handful of almonds are a well-regarded option. A study in 2009 in "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that women who ate nuts at least two times a week were more successful at keeping weight off than those who didn't eat this food.

One particular favorite among some nutritionists is almonds, says Aragon. One ounce of this food contains only 167 calories, plus it packs roughly 6 g of protein and 3 g of fiber, both nutrients that can make you feel full. Furthermore, like apples, almonds are crunchy and require a lot of chewing, so they, too, can make you feel like you've eaten more than you actually did and keep you fuller longer.

3. Salmon

If you're uncertain about fish, there's no need to fear. Seafood can be part of a healthy diet. And there's some evidence that the fat in foods such as salmon can boost satiety levels, says Aragon. For example, a study published in the "International Journal of Obesity" found that when dieters ate salmon a few times a week, they lost about two more pounds than those who didn't include seafood in their meals.

And in spite of the mention of salmon's fat content, the food is relatively low in calories. One 3-oz. serving has just 175 calories. Salmon is a good source of protein as well.

4. Eggs

There's no doubt that protein, like fiber, has impressive satiating powers. And while eggs seem to have a bad reputation in some circles, there can be no contesting their ability to help keep your weight in check.

Research has shown that eating eggs at breakfast can help you fight weight gain all day long. A study reported in 2008 in the "International Journal of Obesity" found that when dieters ate two eggs for breakfast for five days out of the week, they lost 65 percent more weight than dieters who consumed a bagel in the morning. Although protein is likely to fill you up whenever you eat it, some scientists suspect that having more in the morning can keep you feeling fuller all day long.

5. Tomatoes

It's true that most veggies make for great diet fare. Non-starchy vegetables in particular, such as carrots, celery and spinach, are filled with fiber. Like other foods high in fiber, they can help keep you feeling satiated.

Plus, they're pretty self-regulating, says Aragon. You can't really overeat with nonstarchy vegetables. After all, how many baby carrots can a person eat without needing to dunk them in some ranch dressing?

So while there are many veggies that can help you stay slim, tomatoes might be a particularly good option because they're so tasty. And, besides, with that whole a-tomato-is-a-vegetable-no-it's-a-fruit argument, you might have forgotten all about eating them. One cup of cooked, red tomatoes contains just 43 calories, but tastes just as delicious as any number of high-calorie foods.

And that's at least half the secret, finding foods that are both healthy and tasty. The good thing is, they do exist. Over time, you'll discover what wholesome, filling foods you prefer, expanding your choices while shrinking your waistline.

McGrath, Kristin. "5 Foods That Keep You Thin." Shine., 5 July 2011. Web. 8 July 2011.