Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Book and Product Reviews

I've been reading a lot while on maternity leave.  Here is the nitty-gritty on what I have read thus far.

Breaking Dawn (Stephanie Meyer):  So-so.  This is the last book of the ever-popular Twilight series.  To be honest, Twilight just isn't for me.  I find the main female character to be whiney and boring.  However, Jacob (from the film series) is definitely h-o-t.

A Knight in Shining Armor (Jude Deveraux):  So-so.  I picked this one up because I like historical fiction and someone recommended this to me.  Um... it was okay.  It took me quite a few chapters to really get into it and I almost didn't finish it.  I'm glad that I finished it.  This would be a nice beach read.

Heart of the Matter (Emily Giffin):  LOVED IT!  Although, I love ALL of Giffin's books.  I flew through her "Something Borrowed" series.  This was definitely something a little different for Giffin, but it was a nice change.  Some of the thoughts of the main female character were so spot-on.  A great read for moms too.

Orange is the New Black (Piper Kerman):  Interesting topic - definitely kept my interest.  This is recommended reading from my book club at work.  Plot:  Girl makes some bad decisions when she is young and learns the error of her ways.  She totally cleans up her act, but the Feds come to get her years later... and she has to pay her dues.  Yikes!

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Steig Larsson):  Really liked it.  I would probably have loved it, but there was some violence included and I don't really like to read violent stuff.  The mystery aspect was great and there was a small love story to keep my interest.

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Steig Larsson):  Didn't finish reading it.  ok - this book makes me regret buying books through my nook.  If you thought that Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was disturbing... then this is worse.  I didn't finish reading it and I can't even loan it to someone or give it away... in hopes of getting some use out of it.  I'm sure that the story line is great... but I don't like to read (or watch) disturbing stuff.

Food Inc. (based on the movie by the same name) and The Omnivore's Dilemma (Youth Edition) (Michael Pollan)

I really embraced being earth friendly while I was home on maternity leave with Brody.  At that time, all of the daytime talk shows were regularly doing some sort of show on something that had to do with being green.  Consequently, I bought re-usable water bottles for every member of my family AND we started recycling among other things.  Yes folks, we have ONLY been recycling for a little over two years now... very embarrassing. 

My maternity leave with Brielle really has me taking steps to be pickier about what my family eats.  My goal is two-fold:  (1) offer more fruits and vegetables and (2) offer organic products when possible.

I started reading Food Inc and The Omnivore's Dilemma so that I could know more about what we are eating and then make smarter choices for our family.

I am half-way through each of these books.  I am shocked by what I am reading... and you will be too.  Our food industry is crazy.  You can read all bout it for yourself.

Anyways... here are the few small steps that we have taken to be healthier:

1.  Buy organic milk,
2.  Shop local fruits and vegetables at a market that is only .5 miles from our house (more about this later), and
3.  Buy organic meat.

Since I started reading the books I find that I have a hard time eating ground meat and I turned my nose up at sausage the other morning {{shocker}}.  Dear Husband forbids me to become a vegetarian.  :-)  I'm eating chicken just fine and the shrimp and crab cakes are going down with no problem.  It looks like my lifelong love affair with spaghetti might be coming to an end... but it could be too early to tell.

If you don't have time to read both then get the Youth Edition of The Omnivore's Dilemma.  It is still fairly sophisticated and will give you enough information to make some informed decisions. 

And now for some product reviews...

Pina Colada Jello:  Yummy!  Loved it!  Very delicious... and it is the first time that I have had jello that you can't see through.  Weird, huh?  Try it - it's perfect for summer.

Pretzel M&Ms:  Not yummy.  Oh, I sooooooo had high hopes for these.  Alas, they were kinda good at first... but were just plain gross by the time I got to the last bite.  From what I can tell, the pretzel is NOT a salt-covered pretzel... so you literally have chocolate covered pretzel toast.  It was the consistency of a whopper... but without all of the sweet factor.  Yuck. 

Chips Ahoy cookies with Reeses Cups:  Very, very yummy!

Justin's Almond Butter:  Really yummy!  We are loving almond butter more than peanut butter.  We bought another brand of almond butter recently but it wasn't as good as Justin's.  However, I can only find Justin's  in single servings and I'd like to buy a whole jar please. 

Coconut water:  Not yummy.  Not to be confused with coconut juice.  Um... coconut water is supposed to be a refreshing drink and beneficial to drink after a workout but I thought that it was just so-so.  I won't buy this product again. 

What new product did you pick up from the grocery store recently?  How was it?

1 comment:

SusieQ said...

The crackers with a cracker on one side and a pretzel on the other.. we all inhale them! We tried the ones with garlic/cheese, but went back to the originals..

When the kids were growing up I bought a "strange" item ever week so they would learn to eat just about anything..