A Pyramid Scheme for Bacteria

How often do you do laundry?  I’m serious…..how often do you wash your clothes?  Or maybe a better question to ask is how often do you wear something before you wash it?

What about your reusable grocery bags?  When was the last time you washed those?  Oh Yeah…….you forgot about those!  That smelly pile of canvas festering in the darkest corners of your trunk.  Not the pile of gym clothes that have been hiding out since September….you never have time to get to the gym anyway, right?!  It’s the bacteria riddled grocery bags that carried last month’s stockpile of ground beef that was on sale for $3.99/pound and next month carries the fresh veggies for the veg platter you are taking to the Super Bowl party at the neighbor’s house.

See where I’m going with this?  You wash your hands, you sanitize the grocery cart handle, you bleach every inch of the bathroom…..but you never wash those bags!  And they are the primary source for cross contamination.  Cross what??  You know…when bacteria from one thing gets onto another.  You sneeze on your hand and then shake hands with your boss and he wipes his face with that hand.  That’s cross contamination.  You put raw chicken on a cutting board and then use that same board for vegetable prep.  That’s cross contamination.  You use your bags for one thing and then use them for another.  THAT’S CROSS CONTAMINATION!!  I am not a germ-a-phobe.  I grew up with a dad that told us we need to eat more dirt.  Proverbial dirt, I’m sure.  Nevertheless, more dirt.  But your grocery bags are just wrong.

And I hear about it, people!  I am at a different grocery store twice a day 4 days a week for clients. That’s 8 different grocery stores, every week.  They know me in there.  Not because I am there every week.  Well….maybe that’s why.  But they LOVE me because my bags always smell like laundry detergent and the bag guys don’t feel like they need a hazmat suit just to pack my groceries.  I didn’t realize that this was a problem until they said something.  So I did some research and what I found was pretty disturbing.

A year ago, USA Today published an article about a study by the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University from 2012 on reusable grocery bags and the carts we put them in.  You can read the article here: usatoday.com article reusable grocery bags and germshttp://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/06/reusable-grocery-bag-germs/4341739/

But to summarize, the germs we carry around in those bags can spread like norovirus. And I’m not talking about the garden variety germs that reside naturally on your very own skin (cough*staph*cough).  I’m talking about deal breakers, like E. coli.

It’s a pyramid scheme for germs!  You carry the bag inside, now the germs are on your hands.  You put the bags in the cart.  Now those germs are on your hands and your cart.  You touch the produce and put it back…..on your hands, the cart, the produce you touched and now the produce that produce touched……do I really need to go on?

If you already use reusable bags, that’s GREAT! If you remember to take them into the store, even BETTER! Now I challenge you to take it one stop further and wash them every once in a while.

This is not a public service announcement, friends.  This is an intervention.  I know, I know.  We touch thousands of things every day that harbor bacteria and viruses.  You eat more germs than you even want to know.  That’s right cafeteria salad bar….I’m talking to you.  But it’s not just the germs you can’t see.  Look at the inside.  That’s dirt and food stains. Take a whiff. They smell like dirty gym socks. And it’s gross.  So wash your bags and do it often, like once a month. Or more often if you have a particularly juicy package.  With soap and water please. You will do us ALL a favor! And while you’re at it, quit buying the polyurethane bags. They are hard to keep clean and fall apart. Invest in some heavy duty canvas bags that you can throw in the washer and dryer.

Rebecca Nedrow is an ACF Certified Culinarian with a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Kansas State University. She is also the Director of Operations for Friend that Cooks Personal Chefs.

We send a talented chef to your home for a half day every week to shop, cook, clean up and stock your refrigerator with a week’s worth of healthy prepared meals to reheat.

Friend that Cooks personal chefs in Wichita, Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com

It’s More Than A Meal

We are chefs.  It’s what we do.  You hire us, we come to your home once a week, and we cook for you.  We cook for you and your family.  It’s our job, our career, our LIFE.

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

For most of us, food is our life.  We eat, drink (ha…get it!?), breath, and live our lives around food.  We don’t just go to the store and buy what ever is on the shelf and then go home and shove it in our faces.  Ok…..sometimes we do that.  But the other 364 days of the year, we think about where that food came from, where it was raised, how far away it was grown, which farm it came from.  We think about perfectly caramelized meat, which knife cut to use on those vegetables, how much time the kale should steam in the pan.  We plan our holiday meals 90 days in advance because we are so excited for that one day when we get to do what we love to do, all day long, for all of our friends and family, and it’s a HOLIDAY!  Food isn’t all we care about.  We all have other interests outside of the kitchen.  But food is like……really important.

So after we have prepared all of these gloriously nutritious, perfectly delicious meals for you and your family to eat, we go home to our own families.  And just like any other person at any other job, we sometimes think about the work we did that day and what we would have done differently….Should I have used basil instead of oregano?  That whatever would have been great with mushrooms too.  Blah, blah, blah.  Sometimes we think about how great we did……That soup was the BOMB!  That was the most perfect medium rare on a prime rib EVER!

Prime Rib

Salt crusted prime rib with bacon, garlic and herbs

And every once in a while, we get a text or an email from you…. “I can’t remember the last time we could sit down together as a family.  Especially before 8:30.  Such a treat for all of us.”  “I thought I would like the food but I didn’t know what to expect.  It is absolutely amazing!!  I have NEVER looked forward to dinner, but now, it’s family time again.”

 Babcock Family

Babcock Family "we love you"

Or “WOW!!  I caught my kids sneaking your roasted broccoli from the fridge last night!  BROCCOLI!”

 Mongolian Beef

Braden and his Mongolian Beef and Cabbage

And “I wanted to thank you for assisting my athlete during his off-season training program.  Your attention to details and ability to adapt his meals…were outstanding.”

 Arthur Brown and Bryce Brown

Arthur Brown and Bryce Brown


(me with Arthur Brown of the Baltimore Ravens and Bryce Brown of the Buffalo Bills)

For most of our clients, our service isn’t just about helping out because you have 50 million other things to do that day.  It’s a matter of eating or not.  It’s a matter of health and quality of life.  It’s about managing diabetes, congestive heart failure, food allergies and how the heck to get your kids to eat something other than a chicken nugget. So when you send us that message, and we see the joy on your faces, or hear the relief in your voice, our hearts are filled with joy.  This totally makes our day!  To know that what we have done for you, whether it was to help you get to that goal weight, get your kids to eat broccoli, reduce the sodium in your diet or just get dinner on the table before 9:00 pm….brings us the most satisfaction.  We put more than just a meal on that table.  And that’s the best Thank You.

Rebecca Nedrow is an ACF Certified Culinarian with a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Kansas State University.  She is also the Director of Operations for Friend that Cooks Personal Chefs.  

Friend that Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets.

In Kansas City and Wichita learn more:  www.friendthatcooks.com

Check us out in Chicago:  www.friendthatcookschicago.com

and St. Louis: www.friendthatcooksstl.com

Resolution Revolution | blog.friendthatcooks.com

They’re heeeeere!  The commercials.  So. Many. Commercials.  For diets.  “Try our diet.  It will work!”  “No!  Try our diet.  It’s the only one that will work for you!”  “It worked for me so it will work for you.”  BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!

We are all about new year resolutions.  We all make them, every year.  Lose weight.  Get organized.  Eat more kale.  Have more family dinners.  Eat out less.  Spend less money.  It’s important to periodically assess one’s life goals and evaluate what worked last year and change what didn’t.  But the intention has to be real, and the effort legitimate.  Maybe that diet will work for you.  But for most, it is only a matter of time before old habits creep back in and the good intentions are forgotten.

We all want overnight change.  We want to snap our fingers and drop 20 pounds.  We want the home office that looks like the staged glossy pages in a Pottery Barn catalog.  And we want our kids to eat what we put in front of them without whining and complaining.  But it doesn’t happen overnight.  Sometimes organized doesn’t look like a Pinterest Pin.  And the kids….well, just remember that you are the parent and you alone get to make decisions.

weekly meal prep

Permanent change happens with time.  Want to lose weight and keep it off?  Make small adjustments one at a time.  Start by swapping out a soda for water.  Start eating breakfast.  Take a walk around the block after dinner.   Too busy at the end of the day to even think about cooking dinner?  It’s all about the mise en place.  The WHAT?!  The prep.  Cooking is 85% prep and 15% actual cooking.  So make a plan, prep ahead, and stick to your plan.  Don’t let the bright lights of the drive-thru hypnotize you.  Before long, those simple little changes will become habit.  It sounds so simple, right?  The truth is, nothing easy is worth having.  (That includes that drive-thru burger! )

healthy prepared meals

It’s already January 4th.  Many of you are well on your way to a better you.  Keep up the good work!  Some of you (myself included) haven’t even started with this year’s resolutions.  But don’t worry.  There is still plenty of time.  361 more days to be exact!

Rebecca Nedrow is a Certified Chef with a degree in Dietetics. She is also the Director of Operations for Friend That Cooks Personal Chefs.

Friend That Cooks Personal Chefs offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets.

We send a talented chef to your home for a half day every week to shop, cook, clean up and stock your refrigerator with a week’s worth of healthy prepared meals to reheat.

Learn more in Kansas City and Wichita:
www.friendthatcooks.com

Check us out in Chicago: www.friendthatcookschicago.com

Find us in St. Louis: www.friendthatcooksstl.com

This is how I really feel about carbs

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/19/best-good-carbs-eat-more_n_5773480.html?cps=gravity

NOT ALL CARBS ARE BAD!  Whew….there, I said it!  Our brains need a particular form of energy to function properly.  A form of energy that can only come from carbohydrates.  And no, the 100oz jug of soda on your desk is not it.  I’m talking about complex carbohydrates like fiber, whole grains and natural sugars in fruits and vegetables.  And it’s not just our brains that function better on carbs.  There are other important bodily functions that work better with carbs too.  Check out this article from the Huffington Post for some great examples of where to find ‘em.  And stop drinking all of that soda!

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.

How Dirty Are Your Dishtowels…. Really?

We’ve all read the articles and seen the stories on the news.  Your kitchen sponge is full of bacteria!  And not the good kind.  But what about your kitchen towels?  Check out this article about how dirty your kitchen towels really are.  And then do some laundry!

56570458

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/16/kitchen-rag-bacteria_n_5960786.html

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.

Going Out This Weekend?

http://m.pitch.com/kansascity/food/BestOf?oid=4951523

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The weekend is finally here!  For some of you that means lots to do and not enough time.  For others, so much to eat…!  I fall into the latter category.

During the week I try to stay conservative and “healthy”.  I watch my calorie intake, eat my vegetables, and try to stay away from sweets.  But when Friday comes, it’s ON!  My weekends, especially non-tailgating Saturdays, are all about what awesome restaurant I can go to in KC.  My list is always longer than there are meals to eat, but that’s what makes it exciting! 

We have some of the best chefs in the country right here in our own backyard producing some of the most brilliant food anywhere.  I admit my number one reason for going is because…well…..I like food and I love to eat.  But its also a way for me to get inspired.  Autumn is in full effect and that means most independent restaurants in town will have changed their menus to match. Try someplace new this weekend.  Or better yet, click on the link above for the Pitch’s Best Of list and hit up the city’s favorites.  After all, we do have a lot to celebrate….Go Royals! 

I can’t wait to get started! 

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.

The Benefits Of Eating Oatmeal Every Morning? | LIVESTRONG.COM

http://www.livestrong.com/article/494189-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-oatmeal-every-morning/#page=1

What’s in your breakfast?  Does it have protein, whole grains, fiber, antioxidants?  Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.  Don’t skip out.  Start your day off with a delicious and nutritious choice.  And have fun with it by mixing in…well…..whatever you want! 

Check out this baked oatmeal with blueberries, pecans, and zucchini.  Yes you read that right!  Zucchini is a great vegetable to add to your oatmeal.  Its loaded with vitamins and fiber and it doesn’t have a lot of flavor on it’s own.  So it won’t compete with the blueberries and honey! 

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Click on the link at the top for a great article on the benefits of eating oatmeal every day! 

Friend That Cooks personal chefs in Wichita and Kansas City offer weekly meal prep for families with busy schedules, food allergies or special diets. Learn more at http://www.friendthatcooks.com.