July 2010

July 1, 2010 in 2010 by Joyce Bunderson

July: In this Issue

Special Days and Monthly Celebrations

Dr. Grandma really enjoys celebrations and special days; so each month she shares a few ideas that she thinks are interesting.

Good Health Can Be Yummy

Dr. Grandma’s blog – the Foodland Chronicles – has recipes and thoughts on making food taste great and build healthy bodies. Links to last month’s Foodland Chronicles are provided.

Special Days and Monthly Celebrations

July is for reunions, patriotism, and just enjoying the summer days, friends and family.

Halfway Point of 2010

Can you believe it? Half of 2010 has been spent as of July 1st. They say that time flies when you’re having fun – I’ve discovered that it will fly whether you’re having fun or not. So we may as well have fun.

July 4th Independence Day

A day to recognize our independent spirit. We’ve been blessed as a nation – greatly blessed. Yes, I realize that there are plenty of opportunities for improvement and growth; but at the same time I feel an almost overwhelming sense of gratitude. I feel that often with blessings comes responsibility. Since both of my parents were born in this country, and most of my grandparents and great-grandparents – some going all the way back before the Revolution, it’s a worthy exercise for me to think about what their independent spirit has bought for me. It seems to me that an excerpt of a recent book that I’ve read can say what I’m feeling better than I can say it.

In my June 11th post, I mentioned finishing reading Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng. If you’re not familiar with the autobiography, it’s the story of a woman who had the unfortunate luck to be born the daughter of a landowner, then to be educated in Great Britain and eventually employed by a foreign company. During the Cultural Revolution, she was imprisoned and almost lost her life. She did lose her only child, a daughter, who was murdered during the wave of repression that imprisoned her. In the epilogue of her book she writes

…….. “I hope in due course to become a citizen of this great nation of open spaces and warm-hearted people where I have found a new life. The United States of America is the right place for me. Here are Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, dissidents of repressive regimes who had been imprisoned, boat people from Vietnam, and political refugees from tyranny. Among people like these, I do not feel alone. Since I settled in Washington, D.C., I have been accepted by the American people with unreserved friendliness. I have found old friends and made new ones. My only regret is that my daughter, Meiping, is not here with me.” ……    Note: She became a U.S. citizen in 1988.

If we think about it, all except our Native American friends came from elsewhere; most were escaping something unpleasant. July 4th magnifies my patriotic feelings and fills me with gratitude for the decisions and sacrifices made – from which I now benefit. I believe that I have a responsibility to do my part to protect this great country and insist that it is run in an honest and ethical manner – the way our forefathers envisioned.

It’s time for sparkles in the sky!


School is out and there’s time to enjoy the:

  • Dog Days of Summer – July 3rd to August 11th   If it’s too hot to bake muffins for breakfast, July and August are perfect for Mountain Top Breakfast, topped with a little fresh summer fruit. Served cold with non-fat or low-fat milk or yogurt, you start the day right with whole grains, nuts, dairy and fruit. Easy eating and in keeping with your goals of following  Mediterranean-style eating.
  • Hot Enough For Ya? Day –On July 23rd, the answer is probably going to be a resounding, ‘yes.’
  • Beach Month – For those of us who live far away from the ocean, will the shore of a lake be enough for you to celebrate beach month?
  • National Grilling Month – You may want to consider grilling some vegetables this summer. Perfect for your Mediterranean-style of eating. (See the June 18th blog post for an innovative new salad recipe.)

July is Family Reunion Month – If you planned a reunion on the 24 – 26th you could check off two additional events:

  • July 24th is Cousins Day – What fun it is to see the excitement of all the little cousins when they get together at family gatherings. Cousins have a special lifetime bond.
  • July 26th is National Parent’s Day

Maybe this year is a good year to make it a goal to make some healthy fruits, vegetables and whole grains part of your family gatherings. Healthy delicious foods are a wonderful way to say: “I care.”

If this is not the year for a family reunion, maybe just remember July for: National Share a Sunset with Your Love Month. I want that to be a goal for July 2010; especially on July 22, which is Spooners Day (as in case you’re young, to spoon is to ‘kiss and cuddle’ day). O.K. The children and grandchildren don’t want to think that their grandparents would be sitting on the top deck, sharing a sunset and spooning, but ‘what the heck!’ they won’t be there to police us. ☺

National Chocolate Day, July 7th  – Can you believe that they need a day to celebrate chocolate? I hope they don’t think that we will only have it once a year. (See Enjoying Chocolate – A Spoonful of Reality in our June 14th post.)

National Ice Cream Month – If you have the opportunity to make ice cream during the summer, you may want to consider making a change or two to your recipe:
•    Substitute Dr. Grandma’s Delight for all or some of the sweetener. If you’re striving to keep to the 100 calories of sugar (honey, corn syrup and other caloric sweeteners all count) for women or 150 for men American Heart Association goal, ice cream is an easy way to go way off your goal.
•    Add pureed and/or chopped fruit to your recipe; it’s a great way to cut the calories and fat per serving, while increasing your nutrients and fiber.
•    Use a lower fat mixture – maybe substitute some milk for the cream, or use yogurt. Using Greek Yogurt gives a really nice thick mouthfeel and increases the protein content per serving.

Good Health Can Be Yummy™

Recipes and thoughts on making food taste good and build healthy bodies.

Did you miss any of these articles? These were some of the most popular blog posts and the most fun to write:

  • Getting on the Whole Grain Train, the June 23rd post – is a discussion of new Harvard research that showed that eating white rice increased the risk of getting type 2 diabetes and eating brown rice decreased the risk. This blog includes a recipe for Sage, Apples, Pods and Shrimp with Whole Grains.
  • Not Sacrificing the Joy of Sweets, Nor Health, the June 11th post – is a discussion of the idea of keeping life enjoyable and sweet without sugar.
  • Enjoying Chocolate – A Spoonful of Reality, June 14th post – is a discussion about all the hoopla over the benefits of chocolate. Yes, let’s enjoy chocolate, but keep it within realistic limits.
  • A Rat’s Eye View, June 2nd post – was the most fun post for me. First, I didn’t write it – it was a Dr. Grandpa special. Vic told the story of rat research that studied craving. Rat models are excellent to glean information for human application. I think A Rat’s Eye View, is arguably the best post that we’ve put up. What a fun way to tell as serious story. This post includes a recipe for Wheat Berries, Tofu and Flavors of the Basque – delicious Mediterranean-style meals.
  • Are We Being Robbed, June 30th post – is a Dr. Grandma rant about food-like substances (we often call them fudes; so named by Dr. Grandpa). It’s an article about replacing mango pulp with starch in mango juice. This post includes two recipes using fresh mango, including the pulp that is naturally in the fruit: Lively Tropical Chutney and Cool Refreshing Cucumber Mango Salsa.
  • In the post, Start Now Even if You’ve Had a Heart Attack, posted June 18th – Dr. Grandma shared a recipe for Grilled Vegetables and Wheat Berry Salad. It was filled with herbs, vegetables, and lots of flavor. Perfect for summer gatherings; you may want to consider this Mediterranean-style recipe instead of the classic mayonnaisy pasta or potato salads.