Written for the River Current Publication, June 12, 2014
Making Memories With My Boys
My boys were both home last weekend. It is always enormously fun for me when they are both ‘in the house’. I’m sure they have no idea how much their presence can make me over-the-moon happy. (I always take great liberty when discussing my boys, as I know they do not read my writings. For some reason, they feel it is a little weird to know what is going on inside of their mother’s head…lol. My hope is that someday when they are older, they will sit and read my words.)
The main reason for their visit was because of a crazy notion that struck me during the final hours of the Memorial Day weekend. I decided that it was time to paint my house…and that I would do it all by myself! So it was for this reason that my boys came home to lend their crazy mother a hand. Together we shared abundant laughter; creating memories I am sure that they will never forget. Those “do you remember when” sort of memories.
My youngest had just returned from a terrific experience in France the day before. He was full of excitement and great stories. (Poor thing, one day in France…the next day on a ladder with a paint brush in rural America.) We opened the windows of the house, cranked up some (unknown to me) European techno music and let the sunshine of the day soak into our skin.
One thing the boys do expect when they are at home is to be fed. What a treat for me to once again head to the kitchen and stir up some goodness for my boys! As growing young men, it seems they are always hungry!
We fired up the grill and I headed to the kitchen and laid out for them a spread of their favorites…and even bravely threw something new their direction. (It is fun to see how much more open minded they are now about their eating!) I offered to them another summer salad that I have been wanting to try. It was a zippy little cabbage slaw that was crisp, crunchy and healthy too!
When they aren’t looking, I try to sprinkle healthy eating ideas at the boys. Unbeknown to them, look at all of the wonderful things that cabbage has to offer:
Cabbage is rich in various phytonutrients and vitamins like vitamin A, C & K…natural antioxidants, which help prevent cancer and heart disease inducing free radicals. Cabbage is also a good source of dietary fiber, providing nearly 15 percent of the daily recommended dietary intake. And take a look at some more positive health benefits that cabbage has to offer:
1. Prevent cancer growth. Cabbage contains several cancer fighting properties, including lupeol, sinigrin, diindolylmethane (DIM), indole-3-carbinol (I3C), and sulforaphane, which may help trigger enzyme defenses and inhibit tumor growth. One study of Chinese women found that consumption of cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts) was associated with a significant reduced breast cancer risk.
2. Treat peptic ulcers. Cabbage is one of the best natural remedies for stomach ulcers (called peptic ulcers). A study at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that fresh cabbage juice is very effective in treating peptic ulcers. The anti-ulcer properties of cabbage are due to the high glutamine content in it.
3. Anti-inflammatory properties. Cabbage is a good source of the amino acid glutamine and is believed to help those who are suffering from any type of inflammation.
4. Boosts immune system. Due to its high amount of Vitamin C, cabbage helps strengthen the immune system and help the body fight against free radicals.
5. Prevent cataract risk. Cabbage is also high in beta-carotene which helps protect against age-related macular degeneration and prevent cataracts.
6. Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Recent research has shown that eating red cabbage may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Red cabbage contains vitamin K and anthocyanin, an antioxidant that helps to reduces plaque on the brain, thus can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Relieve constipation. The high fiber content in cabbage helps stimulate the digestive system.
9. Skin care. The antioxidants in cabbage help protect the skin from free radical damage known to cause signs of aging.
10. Relieve muscle soreness. Cabbage contains lactic acid which is known to help relieve muscles soreness. (How perfect…we all needed this after our big day of painting!)
Zippy Little Cabbage Slaw
6 cups shredded cabbage or 6 cups coleslaw mix
2 or 3 green onions, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
3. Stir well immediately before serving.