Homemade Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam

Now that I am starting to eat healthy (and I hope it sticks this time), I am starting to open my eyes to something that never even occurred to me before.  Why am I so fat?  I mean, when I was a kid, I ate the same things that I eat today and I wasn’t fat then, so why now?  It’s not an overeating issue because I can eat a healthy portion and yet I can’t lose weight easily.  Well, now that I am eating healthy non processed foods, I am finally starting to lose weight.  Why is that?

Here’s the thing.  We’re all hearing all this stuff in the news about what they (food producers) use to make and preserve all of the food that they sell and all of the pesticides that go into the plants (corn) that they use to preserve and sweeten our food.  What is a pesticide?  It’s a poison.  We are knowingly or unknowingly putting poison into our bodies.  Have you seen the size of chickens today compared to chickens 20 to 50 years ago?  They were very tiny back then, now they are fat and they grow really fast.  Why is that?  Because they are injecting growth hormones into them to make them bigger.  We are knowingly or unknowingly putting growth hormones into our bodies by eating those chickens.  They are injecting those into the cows and turkeys too.  Nothing is safe.

I haven’t really done any research so I can’t verify everything I just said because I don’t know for a fact that that is what is happening.  But it’s a good question as to why we are getting so fat all of a sudden compared to so many decades ago.

Pardon me, let me adjust my tin foil hat… there, that’s better.

What does that have to do with homemade peanut butter and strawberry jam?  Here’s what.  Look at the list of ingredients that are in a jar of Jif Creamy Peanut Butter and Knott’s Berry Farm Strawberry Preserves.

pbj jars

I apologize that the Jif label is ripped conveniently on the part that I wanted you to read lol.  It was already like that when I bought it and I have no idea what it says, but it doesn’t matter because it already has too many ingredients which proves my point.

Let’s look at the ingredients though.  Roasted peanuts, hydrogenated vegetable oil, mono and diglycerides, molasses, sugar and salt.  What problem do I have with those ingredients?  Well, for one, you can make your own homemade peanut butter if you have a food processor or a blender by simply blending a jar of unsalted planters peanuts until they are in chunks, then add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of molasses or brown sugar or whatever sweetener you want, or you don’t even need to add any sweetener if you don’t want to or if you are diabetic..  That’s all you need.  You can add some cinnamon if you want, but that is totally up to you, but at least you know what you are eating.  Watch this video for a tutorial on how to make it.

Take a look at the ingredients in the strawberry jam.  Strawberries, high fructose corn syrup, more corn syrup, sugar, fruit pectin and citric acid.  You can make your own strawberry jam and even store some in your pantry if you follow the instructions in the video below.  All she uses is strawberries, sugar, pectin and lemon juice which is your citric acid.  That’s it.  No high fructose corn syrup and more corn syrup.  That is just so unnecessary.

 

I am going to start making our own peanut butter and strawberry jam from now on.  Have you seen the prices on those at the store?  We don’t buy them too often because of how expensive they are.  It only just occurred to me that I could probably make these things a lot cheaper, and now I see that is true.  Of course I don’t plan on going crazy jarring food, but it doesn’t hurt to make a few jars of this and that every few months or whenever you run out of things.

One of the homemade things I made recently is homemade applesauce.  All I did was peeled an apple, chopped it up, put it in a little pan with a little bit of water and let it boil until the apple was soft.  I crushed it and mixed some cinnamon and a tiny bit of brown sugar and viola, applesauce.  You don’t even need to add the brown sugar because it’s sweet enough on its own, I just wanted the extra sweetness of the brown sugar.  I am seriously considering buying a bag of apples so I can make many jars of applesauce to keep in the pantry.  I don’t eat enough apples because I don’t particularly care for them in their solid form, but I do love applesauce.

So there you have it.  You can make your own healthy PB&J and it’s way cheaper than buying jars at the grocery store.  Not only will you save a lot of money, but you know exactly what you are eating.

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“My secrets video – It Gets Better” by Savealifeful on YouTube

Gay bashing/bullying is not a new fad, it has been happening for decades.  It is a very sad thing and I feel sorry for every gay person who went through it.  Ever since children started committing suicide because they couldn’t take the bullying anymore, people have been making “It Gets Better” videos and posting them on YouTube.  I love to watch them because I love to see the positive message at the end.  These videos are meant to help children change their minds about suicide, but it also helps us adults who after all those years are still contemplating it.

Take a look at this one.  His YouTube channel is called savealifeful and he brought me to tears with his story.  When he says that the bullies taped him to a pole and then taped his hair, tears flooded my eyes, actually I’m starting to tear up again just thinking about the torture he went through.  Take a look at his story.  Perhaps he will inspire many others out there who are depressed and wanting to make that final decision.  Maybe his video can save a life.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L5pIreg-7c

Cirque Du Freak eBooks

I started reading the Darren Shan “Cirque Du Freak” books late last year on Halloween.  I figured it was time to start a new series of books and since it was Halloween, I wanted it to be some type of horror book and I remembered the Vampire’s Assistant started out as a book so I figured it would be a good read.

The ebooks were only a couple bucks and I figured it would be a very good purchase.  I didn’t read them all right away, I read the first 3 then stopped to pursue other books.  But last month I decided that I wanted to finish them once and for all.

These books are small so it doesn’t take more than a day to read them, less for everyone else who doesn’t have dyslexia.  So it usually takes me 2 days at a couple of hours each day to read them.

The first book was very similar to the movie but with a lot more detail.  At first I thought the movie was all 12 books rolled into a movie but after the first book I realized it wasn’t the case because decades have passed in the book where only maybe months have passed in the movie.  But the movie also didn’t get to the war of the scars either and with Darren and Mr. Crepsley leaving the Cirque at the end of the movie, or rather the next day when Darren has had his rest, it leaves it open for more story which I doubt they will ever tell in movie format.

The books were very good to read and since I had most of the characters in my head from watching the movie I was able to visualize most of them for when I read the books.

I hate giving away plots or story lines because I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone but if you do get a chance to read these please do.

I said the books were a couple bucks, well, unfortunately they raised the price.  eBooks are now $7.99 each but you can buy the actual books in a set for only $35 on Amazon.  That’s only a couple bucks per book and it is so worth it.  I don’t know if $8 is worth it since they are so small though.  I’m just glad I bought the whole series when I did lol.

If you weren’t aware of the story, here is a synopsis from the Cirque du Freak Wiki:

The Vampire’s Assistant is a fantasy-adventure based on the first three books of the series, The Saga of Darren Shan, by author Darren Shan about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.

16-year-old Darren was like most kids in his suburban neighborhood. He hung out with his best friend Steve, got decent grades, and usually stayed out of trouble. But when he and Steve stumble upon a traveling freak show, things begin to change inside Darren. That’s the exact moment when a vampire named Larten Crepsley turns him into something bloodthirsty.

Newly undead, he joins the Cirque du Freak, a touring sideshow filled with monstrous creatures from a snakeboy and a Wolf Man to a bearded lady and a gigantic ringmaster. As Darren flexes his newfound powers in this dark world, he becomes a treasured pawn between the vampires and their deadlier counterparts. And while trying to survive, one boy will struggle to keep their brewing war from devouring what’s left of his humanity.

There is a lot more about the story than in this synopsis but you can find out about it by reading the books.  This synopsis says the movie is based on the first 3 books but that isn’t exactly the truth because so much happens in the 2nd and 3rd book that you never even see in the movie.  If I were you I would just get the books and find out for yourself.  I double dare you.

Christmas Pictures

I am very happy today because a few days ago I found out that the person who had taken photos of Christmas lost his fanny pack which had his camera, wallet and 2 cell phones in it but someone else took pictures too.  She took them on a disposable camera so the quality of the photos isn’t as good as a digital camera but who really cares?  I got photos of me with the kids FINALLY!

On the left is baby Noah, in the middle is Andrew and on the right is Jordan then in the back is well, me…

I was really happy with the look on these kids faces when they found their stockings because even though they were empty, they didn’t care because they have a stocking with their names on them to use every year with a cool picture on them.  That was all that mattered to them.

Andrew was the first to find it.  I was watching him and he was ear-to-ear smiles and he was really excited about it.  Then he was yelling for Jordan to come see his and he was really excited too.

That’s what made it all worth it to me.  The months that I spent making them all boiled down to one thing, how the kids liked them.  It was worth all the numbness and pinching in my hands to see the looks on their faces when they saw them.

I hope they enjoy the stockings for many decades.  Except for Noah because his stocking is a baby stocking hehe.  I’m obviously going to have to find another stocking to make for him.

Additional pictures:

Blame McDonald’s

I was browsing YouTube and came across this video of Morgan Sperlock from Super Size Me that someone had put the bonus feature from there on their YouTube page.  You know the one where he puts several burgers and fries into jars and watches how they all mold except for the McDonald’s fries.

Then I saw another video of this woman over at diet health channel who used to be fat but hello, she’s not skinny yet… talking about how bad McDonald’s is and she carries around a 4 year old happy meal.

I am not siding with the fast food industry.  And I’m especially not siding with health experts because I’m constantly seeing all these obese people telling me how to lose weight when they are fat themselves.  I had a friend who passed away who was a vegetarian and she was constantly putting me down for eating fast food yet I was 150lbs and she was more in the neighborhood of 400lbs.

All I’m saying is, fast food has been around for decades.  Actually the first McDonald’s opened up in 1940 so there has been fast food for 69 years.  So if eating McDonald’s causes such obesity then why is it that it’s taken until the 1970’s or 1980’s until people started having issues with their weight?

Yes there has been fatness throughout history.  In the last thousand years the only way you could tell the rich was by how fat they were.  All the skinny people were skinny because they were so poor and all the kings and queens were fat.  Obesity was a sign of wealth.  That’s not the case anymore.

But I digress.  You cannot blame the fast food industry for your own obesity because it wasn’t the fast food industry that made people fat, people made themselves fat me included.  I became obese when I quit smoking and started eating more junk than normal because I wasn’t exercising anymore and I was eating more food because I was exchanging one habit for another.  I don’t blame anybody but myself.

When I quit smoking I could’ve done it differently but I didn’t.  I was rewarding myself with ice cream, something that I loved but hardly ever ate because I could never afford it because I was spending all of my money on cigarettes.  Then I started spending what was my cigarette money on fast food.  I could’ve just either saved it and bought groceries maybe or some other treat, maybe video games?  But instead, I ate fast food.  I had a choice.  It was a bad choice but it was mine to make.  They weren’t begging me to eat their food.

And yes their “supersize me” offers were just too good to pass up but I didn’t have to.  In fact, they have such good price now that I don’t even need a large french fry, I can get a small fry for $1 on their dollar menu.  It’s even cheaper now to eat there but you know what?  I don’t eat there and I’m still fat.  I eat fast food sometimes but it’s not daily.  I could probably afford McDonald’s or Taco Bell’s value menu more than I can afford groceries but I choose to buy groceries instead.

I have also chosen to exercise and ride my bike so I am dealing with my obesity by doing something about it and not bitching about how McDonald’s made me fat.  Don’t blame others for your own mistakes.  After all, they are just trying to make a quick buck but you can hold onto that buck and make a better choice instead.  They do have salads after all.  Actually when I worked at McDonald’s as a teenager they had salads and they sold a lot of them too.