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“Mommy, where does meat come from?”

Welcome to Talk Tuesday! Today, we will be discussing what to do if your kid asks, “Mommy, where does meat come from?”. We will also discuss the health benefits of meat and veggies. Join the discussion! Here we go…

Warnings about warnings…

(Warning: Graphic pictures of an actual cow being butchered-you know, where meat come from.)

(P.s. Its ok to know where your meat is coming from.)

(P.P.S. This is reality.)

(P.P.P.S reality is good for the soul.)

(P.P.P.P.S Im not being sarcastic…at all 🙂

 

bbq

Yummy Meat!!

Holy Cow!

We recently had our cow butchered. Yes, they still do that sort of thing in Southern California! (We’re not all yuppies down here :)).

Anywho…I used our cow being butchered as a “science lesson” for the kids and took them “out back” (we have 6 1/2 acres of land) to see the cow that would be our meat for the year. It was a great time to show the kids the reality of ranch living and teach them where their meat comes from.

Some would say that it is “too much” for children. I would have to disagree. Even though it can be gruesome in some ways, it is in-fact reality. I believe it is important to show the reality of life to kids, in some ways. One of them being where meat comes from. There are a lot of lessons to be learned in the process of butchering meat.

This is our meat cow.

beef butchering
The kids named our cow “T-bone”
boys and the cow
The kids taking a “selfie” with T-Bone
butcher day
Uncle John teaching the kids about how to “get the meat out”

My kids were definitely curious, so I was happy to oblige their request to “go see the cow being killed out back”. In this instance, it was the perfect educational tool to explain to them the reality of life. The reality that our meat does not just “appear” on the grocery aisle shelf.

Homeschool Lessons

Thats one thing that I do love about homeschooling. You can use almost anything to teach your kids a lesson. This one was great because it was “hands on”, out in the open and real.  For my almost 8 year-old, it was awesome, because he could write a little report on what he learned. He was able to describe to me the process in such a detailed way. Im pretty sure that I wouldn’t have been able to teach him half of the stuff he learned that day.

butcher day
Jesse, my almost 8 year-old, watching and learning
Jesse
Jesse and mama

Its amazing to me how much kids retain. They really do learn so much more than what we give them credit for (or at least I do sometimes). My oldest, Jesse, is “wise beyond his years”. He is very smart and never ceases to amaze me with his “smarts”.

He is however, my most sensitive, and had the hardest time with watching the cow get butchered. I was able to explain to him that the reality of where meat comes from is kind of ugly, but that it is a necessity if he wanted to have those yummy meals that we eat. He understood and was able to write a report about it later. Sometimes the most important lessons are the hardest to explain.

Vegetarians vs. Meat eaters

My dad always told me this joke:

“Question: What do you call a vegetarian? Answer: A bad hunter.”

Hey, I get the reasons why people would want to be a vegetarian. It is a great way to cleanse your guts and become more healthy. However, I believe in meat.

I believe that meat (in its organic and natural form) has the ability to offer so many nutrients that you just cannot get with only vegetables. I know, I know…I probably got “poo poo’d” by some vegetarians….but that’s ok! I have a deep respect for vegetarians. I really do. But, at the end of the day, we all can have our own opinions, right?

Benefits of eating only vegetables:

A number of studies dating back to the 1950s have been done to examine diet-disease associations and many of these looked specifically at the effects of a vegetarian diet on health.  These studies focused primarily on prevalent conditions that have high mortality and morbidity, including different cancers, heart disease, and diabetes [6]. In addition, studies have also examined if vegetarians have lower rates of mortality compared to non-vegetarian counterparts [7]. Taken together these studies suggest that vegetarian diets (that are appropriately planned and nutritionally adequate) may lower the risk of certain chronic diseases, notably cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. –https://www.bu.edu/themovement/past-issues/spring2011/being-a-vegetarian/

Benefits of eating meat:

While the current trend is all about going vegan, the idea of eating meat (thanks to the horror stories about red meat) is rapidly diminishing. Most people consider vegetables and fruits to suffice when it comes their daily nutritional needs while also thinking that plant protein is better (and safer) than animal protein.

As this is not true, here is a list of the health benefits of eating meat that all contribute to carrying out vital metabolic functions but also giving one a lot of energy as well:

Benefit 1Since meat contains a large amount of protein, this could be beneficial to the body as the need for protein is an important one for the body. Since protein is said to improve the overall health and well-being of one’s body, there are other benefits such as the repair and building of body tissues as well as the production of antibodies that will protect the body from infections, thus strengthening the immune system as well. Most importantly, since meat contains all the essential amino acids, it definitely ranks as one of the best sources of protein.

Benefit 2Of the many nutrients that meat contains, it is rich in iron, zinc and selenium. While iron helps in forming hemoglobin that transports oxygen to different parts of your body, zinc helps in tissue formation and metabolism as well as selenium breaks down the fat and chemicals in the body.

Benefit 3Vitamins are also a big part of the one’s diet, and Vitamin A, B and D are commonly found in meat as well. Not only do these vitamins promote good vision, stronger teeth and bones but it also support the central nervous system thus promoting mental health as well.  Another big benefit of eating meat is the maintenance of your skin’s health. –http://www.medicaldaily.com/3-benefits-eating-meat-234798

meat and veggies

Pork loin roast with bacon on top, served with veggies! Yum!

You gotta do you

Again, you have to make up your mind for yourself when it comes to deciding if you want to become a vegetarian or sticking with a balanced diet of meats and veggies. I chose the later, only because I believe that meat has so many health benefits., and because I just love the taste of meat!

However, in our current culture there are so many harmful things added to our meat AND to our vegetables.

It would be so awesome if we all lived on a working farm, and were able to eat only home-grown vegetables and meat, right? (I wish). But that is just not possible for all of us. We are made to rely on our grocery stores and our local farmers markets to get “nutritional” foods.

Unfortunately, a lot of our meats are full of hormones, fillers and sometimes chemicals. It is so disappointing, but it is reality. We cannot all have the “homegrown” and healthy meats and vegetables, but we can be aware of where our meat and vegetables are coming from and whats “inside” of what we are eating, and choose to make the healthiest choices that we can.

I try to buy as many “organic” foods that I can afford, but unfortunately, our budget does not always allow for that. It is very unfortunate also that organic foods are so expensive, but that’s just the “name of the game”. There is big money in the production of organic foods, and I think some farmers have to charge more for it to be able to produce a lot of it.

giant ice cream kids

All that being said, “you gotta do you”. What works for some families, does not work for others. Some budgets are able to afford all organic, and some cannot.

In the end, you gotta do you!

Hope this post was encouraging for some of you who might be on the fence about vegetarianism and or meat eating.

Have a blessed day!

-Z

 

 

Bacon, Waffle and Chocolate Covered Banana Boys

 

 

Homeschool · My homeschool adventure

Why I use the Self-Teaching method in my homeschooling

My fight against homeschooling

Homeschool! There’s that “4 letter word” again! Haha…not really.

I have to be honest…I fought doing homeschool for a long time. The thought of doing it with my children made my skin crawl, but I knew that it would be a decision that would have to be made sooner or later. Especially with the way that our culture was beginning to go. My husband and I discussed it when our first two boys were babies, and so I knew that it would come up eventually.

A lot of my friends had been telling me that homeschool “was the only way to go”. They always said it with such vigor. I thought that they must have been drinking too much coffee or something, because I couldn’t understand why anyone would be so excited about homeschool. I swore that I would never do homeschool with my kids, because of how much I loathed teaching.

Haha…God had different plans for me.

 

It’s Not About Me

Obviously, MY plans suck. God always has a way of “putting me back in check”. I’m a stubborn ol’ cuss sometimes, and I like to fight against things I don’t want. Don’t we all?

He has given me so much insight in to the WHY I should do homeschool. It really is “not about me.” It is about instilling character in to my children. It’s about teaching them respect and love for God. It’s a choice to put their needs before mine, and to know that their hearts are important. Even at the young age that mine are (almost 8, 6, 4 and almost 2).

So, my feelings are invalid here. Most of my reasons for disliking homeschool so much are just selfish reasons, at best. These reasons are not really reasons. They are my selfish desire for silence, order and for “my space”.

I am naturally a selfish person when It comes to my time. Notice, how I say, “my time”. As if I have any of that!

I enjoy quiet, structure and everything in its place. I realize that all of those things are next to impossible when you have kids. Who can relate?

Here is yet another lesson God has been teaching me this year. The lesson that …

THIS SEASON OF LIFE IS NOT ABOUT ME.

This “season” of life is for my kids. They are only little for a little while. I can only instill in them wisdom, for a short time. In the scheme of things, it’s really not that long that we have with our kids!

Yes, I am a selfish person by nature. Yes, God is continuing to clean that crap out of me. Yes, I am a work in progress.

Pray for me 🙂

 

Self-Taught is the way I roll

When I was little, my parents decided to homeschool my sisters, brothers and I. We were homeschooled for 10 years. I went to public high school for the last 2 years, and graduated with honors and a 3.7 grade point average.  Let’s just say, that at the time, I was probably one of the most “stupid homeschoolers”, but when I went to public high school….I excelled.

Looking back now, I really admire my mom who, at the time, was running my dads business and raising us 5 kids. Although she wasn’t a “teacher”, she made sure that we had all the curriculum we needed, and that everyday, we were doing our school work. She taught us how to read early, so that we could be “self-taught”. Because of our early reading abilities, we were able to read instructions and figure out how to do things all by ourself. That is why the Self-teaching method is the style for me. It’s just the way I roll!

This style for me, is the only way to go! Just like my mom, I am NO TEACHER. I don’t claim to be, and I do not want to be.

Do I help my children with their schooling? Of course! At their ages, I am fully aware of the time required of me to be able to teach them basic learning skills. I know that the first couple of years is going to obviously take a lot more of my time, and that’s ok. I’ve resolved this in my mind already. 🙂

This semester, I am teaching my 6-year-old  how to read. Although it is a lot slower of a process then his older brother (almost 8) was in learning, he is getting there. I fully intend to teach my kids how to read early on, and how to understand questions and instructions, so that they can be self-taught learners, just like I was.

“Besides the great advantage of developing good study habits and thinking ability, self—teaching also has immediate practical advantages. Many children should be able, through Advanced Placement examinations, to skip over one or more years of college. The great saving in time and expense from this is self—evident. These and other comparable accomplishments await most children who learn to self—teach and then apply this skill to their home education.

Even children of lesser ability can, by means of self—teaching and good study habits, achieve far more than they otherwise would have accomplished by the more ordinary techniques.”  https://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p993.htm

If you get a chance to check out this guys ^ (Mr. Robinson) story, its pretty crazy! He has a bunch of kids, and was able to homeschool all of his kids, after his wife died, with the Self-Teaching method. Great read.

How do I do Self-Taught?

The way that I approach homeschool is very simple. I currently use My Fathers World curriculum (https://www.mfwbooks.com). It is a great way to start homeschooling. I love how it lays out the lesson plans for you each week. I lay out for my almost 8-year-old (Jesse), the required books and lessons he needs to complete, and pretty much let him go at it. He is very smart, and understands things very well. After that, I start to teach my 6-year-old (Justus). He is still at that stage where he requires a lot of my attention.

Mix that with a 4-year-old running around like a zombie and an almost 2-year-old, getting in to anything that is not tied down. CRAY CRAY! You can say that my household is most of the time… chaotic. But, with all this chaos, somehow, it all works out in the end.

My almost 8-year-old (Jesse) had thrived in the self-taught style. He does great with learning, and needs very little from me. He has a 4th grade reading level, and is able to pretty much teach himself. It’s so awesome to see him at work!

Now, in another 10 years, I can totally go on vacation and be sippin’ margaritas by the beach somewhere, while my kids self-teach themselves!

Haha….Just kidding (kind of). But seriously, it really does take the “load off” or homeschooling, and especially teaching.  For those of you, like me, who are not teachers…maybe this is a style that will work for you?

You gotta do YOU

In the end, you have to do what works for you. I know this method doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s ok! You gotta do you. You gotta do what works for your individual child, and what works best for your personality.

If anyone has any great advice for me…PLEASE send me some suggestions. I don’t want anyone to think that I have it “all together”, because I don’t. I really have no clue. I am just doing what I need to do, and praying for the best.

Feel free to email me at zfrancisfit@gmail.com. I’m always up for some good tips or tricks!

God bless all you mama’s (or daddy’s) who are homeschooling today!

-Z