Archive | July, 2012

Cholesterol and diet

31 Jul

Well, I have just had my cholesterol rechecked. Last month it was 8.0 and now it is 7.3. The doctor want to put me on drugs but I really don’t like drugs, especially when they can be avoided. We have struck a deal. If I can get it below 7.0 by December he will let me continue, otherwise I will go on the drugs.

Now, how have I got it down so far? It is quite easy really. My high level is not caused by ingestion of cholesterol. I eat little that contains it. My body just makes too much and reabsorbs it. The trick is to stop the reabsorption.

So, here is what to do. Have porridge for breakfast, that is cooked rolled oats. Not the flavoured ones just the plain one, quick oats with no additives is ok but costs more so why bother? 1/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup skim milk, 1/8 cup water into the microwave for 90 seconds. With the bowl I use, I break this up to 60 then 30 so it doesn’t overflow. To this I add 1 desert spoon of psyllium husks and 4 slices of cooked peaches with juice. Just mix it all together and it is plenty sweet enough. If you would like a different flavour, add 1 tsp cinnamon.


With my lunch salad I add a drizzle of flaxseed oil. Doesn’t matter how much, at least a teaspoon.

For an afternoon snack it is a handful of walnuts and almonds.

That is it. How easy is that?

If your high level is due to ingestion, it is so much easier. Cut out cheese and butter, eat only lean red meat, 100g raw measure per serve and skinless chicken, no more than 115gm raw measure per serve. If you must have a spread either use butter sparingly or use low fat cream cheese like Philadelphia.

I want to thank you for all the comments and making me think about the technology of the blog. Because of it, here is a photo of my breakfast.

What is great about this is that it adds very little to the budget and for those having expensive sweetened cereals will save money and help to avoid type 2 diabetes.


Family and organ recipients

29 Jul

I have become aware of the impact of organ donation on the recipients family. We all know it is a small positive for the donor family in their loss but how it extends widely for the recipient side is really something.

I have posted here about my friend whose brother received a kidney transplant and how she and I felt about it. Since then the impact for the family has become obvious.

The brother (I will call him Dan) is a grandfather, the latest child arriving three weeks after the operation. Dan has gained an extension on watching them grow up. As much as he will appreciate this, his children and their spouses are grateful too.

Dan’s parents have been quite emotional, they were caught unawares when the whole thing occurred and are now hopeful that they might actually out live him. It is a new thing for them but everyone is excited that Dan is no longer tied to the dialysis machine every alternate day.

His three siblings have been a bit quieter about the whole thing. One, who was considering a live kidney donation is relieved it won’t be required. The others are just happy Dan has received a life extension and they are no longer carrying the guilt of not wanting to do a live donation.

Dan is a popular member of the community and many people have been visiting him since the operation, so much so that he is struggling to get the rest he requires to recover from the operation. This has practically chased him from his home in an effort to get some peace and quiet. His sister (my friend) is quite angry about this. “Why can’t people have more consideration?” It is like the morbid who visit hospitals and sit bedside of non relatives for hours, leaving the patient exhausted.

His sister is now wondering how to get all these visitors to show more consideration for all he has been through. He needs to toughen up a bit I think. Tell visitors he has had enough please go, or just don’t answer the door. I have approached doors with signs on them, ‘no visitors today’. Anyone who truly cares will respect this and make an appointment.

In this fast pace life of instant gratification, respect for others is becoming lost as everyone want to get the scoop. It leaves me thinking how I enjoy my privacy. I hope Dan will start to get some peace and quiet soon.

Stir Fry

26 Jul

For lunch today I had a vege stir fry. It is easy to do. I was feeling guilty because the last couple of evening meals have been pasta, so I was short on my  vegetable intake.

Someone once showed me fool-proof stir fry which I would like to share with you.

The cooking utensil is a non stick pan or wok with a lid.

First cut up your vegetables. I like onion, garlic, cabbage, capsicum and zucchini. You might like to add things like carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, Bok choy. Cut them all into thin strips or slices.

Heat the pan to high with a tabs of your preferred oil, coconut or olive for preference. Add the onion, then garlic, cook for a minute then add the cabbage. When that starts to soften, add the remaining vegetables.

Once all is hot add 60-80 ml water and cover. Leave until steam starts to escape. Remove lid and allow all water to evaporate.

At this point there are several options. If you choose to have meat, then now is the time to add cooked meat, chopped, to warm through. Then it is time for the flavouring. Choose from soy sauce, satay, sweet n sour, or maybe a beaten egg or cheese. Add it to the pan, stir through and serve.

This is a meal chock full of goodness and flavour. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Easy favourite

22 Jul

Not feeling like exerting myself with the cooking tonight so going for a familiar favourite that I can whip up quickly. Spag Bol.

I cook this often so it is easy to put together for me when I don’t feel like working at it.

Finely dice 1 large onion and 1 clove garlic, fry until golden, add 500g mince and stir til well browned. Add 150g tomato paste, 2 cups water, 2 chicken stock cubes, 1 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp thyme, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/4 – 1/2 cup red wine.

Simmer over low heat for 1-1 1/2 hours. Serves 5

Usually I serve this over shredded cabbage but tonight I feel like pasta so that is what i am having. It is easy to cook with my Tupperware pasta cooker.

If you are setting up a kitchen, I recommend you go for Tupperware. It is easy to care for, easy to use, covers all your cooking needs and has a lifetime guarantee. My kitchen cupboards would be much more organised if the current stock was available when I started setting up my kitchen.

winter food

18 Jul

I tried another casserole yesterday. I used pieces of steak, a budget cut, rather than cubes and a different dish. It was a bigger dish and non stick. I put in the steak, then on top I added herbs, coconut oil, carrots, zucchini, cabbage chunks, a splash of red wine, soy sauce and a jar of pasta sauce. I then half filled the jar, shook it to get the rest of the sauce and added that to the pot.

It came out so tender, was just delicious. Some other vegetables could be added too, like cauliflower, broccoli, beans etc.

It just shows that masterchef skills are not required. Good thing for me as I never watch these “reality” shows.

comfort food

14 Jul

Today I got to ask Mum about why my baking didn’t work. It seem I used the wrong tin. What the recipe calls a cake is actually a slice and should have been in a slice tin rather than a loaf tin.

This is what I need to learn about Mum’s recipes. She keeps them in a black book that she has had as long as she had been married and it is written by her. I now have to learn the tricks of her abbreviations and this is one of them. Another is what she means by milk in her scone recipe. I actually measured as I made them yesterday and got a rough amount so at least now I know if I have enough milk to make them.

The slice that I made is a favourite of Mum’s, she makes it all the time and is easy to make now that I know the rules. It is mixed in a saucepan, I used a non stick one and it just slid out into the tin….easy.

So, melt 4oz butter, 4 oz sugar and 1dsp golden syrup in saucepan, let cool. Add 1 beaten egg then 4 oz SR flour, 2 oz plain flour, pinch salt and 1 cup sultanas. Put in slice tin 11″x5″ sprinkle with cherry pieces and almond slivers. Bake in mod oven 30 mins.

I also want to report success. Having not been able to fit in my jeans last week, I went back to my staple regime and was good for the week and now easily fit my jeans again. It really works.

time poor

12 Jul

I have found myself time poor this week. I know many people experience this most days but it is unusual for me. It was enjoyable too, though I don’t want to do it all the time. What it did show me is the benefit of cooking in quantity. I didn’t have to find time to cook because my meals were in the freezer ready to go.

This is why I  recommend it to you. At some point we want to cook the family a healthy meal. Do it in bulk and you are set for the week. Use the largest pot you have and fill it. Separate it out into daily serves and freeze. Use different amounts if you know there are different numbers to feed on different days.

Some days it has been easier than that because I was out for all meals. This is not something you want to repeat often as it damages the budget but when you are not paying don’t argue huh.

Of course there is a down side to all this eating out and business, it is harder to watch your intake. I get all wrapped up in what is going on and forget that I am eating, suddenly finding that I have eaten that piece of pecan pie! I can’t get into my jeans this week, so am back on my strict regime which excludes alcohol and dessert of any kind.

Also, I did not have my doggy bag with me to take some home for later. This is the best way to not over eat when out I find. Of course this is not acceptable if you are at a private residence. There you just take what you want or leave it on the plate if it is served up. This achieves two things, your host recognises that you do not want so much on your plate and you are not left feeling guilty. Remember, no-one else has the right to tell you how much to eat.