Tema, Ghana: Joy in Simplicity

Aside from the cultural encounters I experienced abroad, the emotional impact of my travels were felt in great depth.  I felt most every adjective and action verb in the dictionary.  At times I was saddened and humbled.  At other moments I was astonished and filled with great gratitude and excitement.

My friends and I visited the people’s market in Ghana.  It was clear that we were not supposed to be present; however, for the most part the people were welcoming.  As we walked through maze-like halls under hanging tarps and fabric I noted the food for purchase was scattered across the ground.  It should be noted that although these types of conditions are improper for us in the States, the Ghanaian people have build up immunity to this different set of sanitation rules.

I often wondered how I would return home after viewing such poverty and be able to continue the blessed life I lead.  So many of the people I came into contact with in Ghana owned less than I had carried with me onto the ship.  Although the Ghanaians had little material possessions,  they were very rich in spirit and presented a carefree attitude.  I contribute the joy the Ghanaians possess  to their modest lifestyles.  The Ghanaians taught me to appreciate and value the simplicities of life–family, work, and the blessings of health.

Respectfully,

Tawnie Goodwin

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Costs of Eating Healthy: Eating Organic Part 2

As I stated before, upfront costs associated with proper nutrition are monetary of course, and time; in contrast,  I will argue that eating unhealthy can also be pricey.  My opinion stands that it is more profitable and even more convenient to pay the price for good health in the grocery store.  Neglecting the body by consuming of chemicals and pesticides can lead to cancer or other abnormalities of the body.

But it is so expensive!  A large contributor to increased expense in the market is the consumption of empty calories.  Empty calories are found in foods like soda pop, chips and candy bars.  These foods have large amounts of calories (a measuring stick for food energy) but no substantial vitamins or minerals.  If we are not feeding our bodies the nutrients they are begging for our bodies will continuously ask for food.  This lack of satiety, or constant state of hunger, leaves us reaching for another round of potato chips.  The cycle of eating empty calories supports one of the many theories making clear that junk food is a staple which contributes to obesity.

Below are a few tips that I use to cut the costs in the marketplace.

1.  Buy in bulk.  Bulk foods are generally cheaper.  Time can be saved as well by cooking in bulk and storing meals in portion size containers to be consumed throughout the week.  No matter if you are single or have a family of five, buying and cooking in bulk is much more efficient.

2.  Swap your proteins.  Try alternating beans or legumes in place of meat for a good quality protein and fiber source.  One large bag of beans is almost 90 cents cheaper per serving than chicken.

3.  Grow a garden.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests 2 hours and 30 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic activity” per week for adults.  (CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html)  Save money, engage in a family project, and exercise by growing a garden.

Lots to come,

Tawnie Goodwin

One Day in Lisbon, Portugal

Good Thursday Afternoon!

These photos represent only one day of my adventures in Portugal.  The town we visited, Lisbon (Lisboa), is the capital of Portugal and is the largest city in the country.  The city’s stacked homes were tucked between the hills and reside just off the ocean.  My friends and I walked aimlessly through the streets finding ourselves at food markets and coffee shops for snacks, coffee, and lunch.  These shops are locally owned and open mainly for older gentlemen reading the morning paper and women shopping for their evening meal preparations.  Pay close attention to the tile art in the pictures.

Enjoy your day,

Tawnie Goodwin