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Giving in to the Illness

28 Aug

I did it. Having a touch of gastro, then a mild cold, I spent three days over the weekend volunteering at an event assisting with parking. After that I gave in to the illness and spent a day in bed. It did the trick and I was feeling better, though not like blogging or even cooking.

Following that the week passed in a bit of a blur. Now we are into another week and I am feeling more in the pink. Thus I did cook again, just a simple dish as that is all I felt like.

Stewing or chuck steak, thinly sliced pieces about 2 inches across, layered in a casserole dish. Add sliced onion, crushed garlic, herbs as desired, some red wine and a can of crushed tomatoes. Bake for 1 hour and enjoy with your choice of vegetables or rice.

I even managed to do some baking from Mum’s recipe book which I was very pleased with and it went down well at the Lions working bee.

So to anyone else who has been or is ailing, feel better soon.

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Gastroenteritis

16 Aug

There is a gastro bug doing the rounds at the moment. I got a mild dose of it and am unsure if it was the door handle at the library, where some staff have been off sick, or if it was the cafe with the cutlery out for people to help themselves.

It is always a risk going places where people gather but I am usually pretty lucky and avoid the ills. So the last couple of days I have been off my tucker and wishing I always felt this way about food, ie. eat because I am hungry, not because I like food.

Anyway, I made a belated call to a family member today and told her I had been feeling queasy. She said I should have called someone if I was unwell so they could help me out. Who wants to hear from someone saying they are sick? That is one of the things to deal with when being single, you have to ask before anyone cares about you.

What I wanted to talk about was dealing with gastro. I did enjoy my chicken soup and toast for dinner last night and dry crackers with cream cheese spread for lunch though technically cheese should be avoided, all dairy and meats should too. Broth, nice and hot, will soothe the stomach while avoiding those other foods will deprive the virus of sustenance thus leading to a quick recovery. Today I had stir fry veggies with lots of onion and garlic, on toast.

 

Flu prevention

14 Aug

I have been finding that all the places I am going lately have been dealing with staff illness. Cold and flu are on the rampage. I have managed to avoid it thus far.

My recommendation is to eat garlic. I know many dislike garlic and some opt for tablets but I find that the real thing works best.

You will have noticed that my recipes usually include garlic, this is because I like it but the benefit of that is that I have an increased resistance to viruses. I believe, and there is plenty of evidence to support it that garlic is a natural antibiotic. This is why I am generally healthy, rarely contracting even a cold.

There has also been a survey recently saying that families with a dog are healthier than those without. My belief is that those families with dogs are less likely to use chemicals in the house such as spray disinfectants. Using chemicals to sterilise your home will reduce everyones resistance to germs and well as increasing exposure to chemicals. I also believe that this increases health problems such as asthma and allergies. As our use of chemicals increases so do these conditions in our children.

It is something worthy of debate at least. Natural antibiotics, soap and water to clean and eucalyptus oil on known contaminated surfaces are the best method for maintaining good health.

So do your own research and good health.

A Different Way With Mince

10 Aug

Cooking day has come around again for me and I don’t feel like spag bol but I have mince ready to cook. So, I pulled out my recipes to see what I could find.

While I don’t have all the ingredients, I did find one I can easily change to use ingredients I do have. This is what is great about cooking. Experimenting with what is in the pantry. The children may have suggestions, or you may be able to draw on some experience.

So, I have chosen a dish that includes pasta. It is simple and cooked on the stove top. 500g mince (5 serves), 2 onions chopped, 2 rashers bacon (don’t have, replace with bacon stock or finely chopped ham) can tomato soup (don’t have, replace with crushed tomato), 1 1/2 cups water (substitute 1/2 cup for red wine if you like), 1 beef stock cube, 1/2 tsp mixed herbs, seasoning, 1 cup macaroni.

In large pot cook onion and bacon, add mince and brown. Pour off excess fat. Add tomato, water, stock, herbs and seasoning. Cook covered 20-30 mins.

I use a Tupperware pasta cooker to cook macaroni, drain and add to pan, stir through.

Enjoy with some steamed broccoli or beans for colour.

This is an easy recipe to change. If you think you have one that could be changed but not sure, send it to me and I will give it a go.

Cooking and a busy life

7 Aug

I have been thinking about all those who have the busy lifestyle of today and how to fit in cooking with the demands of work and school. Many people find it easier to have fast food meals these days and as we know these are not the best for a healthy diet.

The simple recipes I include here don’t necessarily solve those problems so I have had an idea on how that can be done.

In order to attack childhood obesity children need to be involved in cooking and learning how it can be fun to experiment with flavour without necessarily complicating the process.

My thought is that the cooking probably does not want to be done on a weekday night. So let’s do it on the weekend when there are actually three night to choose from, Friday being one.

It doesn’t require cooking three nights. Even if you choose one and cook two or three dishes. Get the children to help, preparing vegetables, trimming meat, choosing flavourings, collecting fresh herbs etc, even choosing recipes.

Getting the children involved also allows for educating them in money and budget issues.

With everyone pitching in it is an opportunity for a family chat to catch up on the week and prepare for the one coming. These times are important and you may not be having it at present. This is a way to introduce it without pressure.

To decide how much to cook you just take the number of people in the family and multiply by 7, being the number of evenings per week. This is how many serves you need, so given that each of my recipes will give 5 serves, you can choose either two or three dishes, using different cuts of meat and you will have 10-15 serves for the week. With one serve each out for cooking night and  the rest in the freezer, you are ready for the week.

It doesn’t matter if there are more than you need for the week, having extras can be a bonus if something unexpected comes up.

When you are putting these meals in the freezer, there are two options; put all single serves in or in larger containers put daily serves. Tupperware heat n eat come in larger sizes too. The thing to be careful with in the second option is that someone may not turn up for that meal and once defrosted it cannot be frozen again and I would also be cautious about keeping it for the next day.

I hope this idea has some appeal for you.

bbq

3 Aug

It is still winter but the days are delightful. While the mornings are cold and frosty at -2, by early afternoon it is almost a relief to get outside and do something active.

I have been walking around the neighbourhood, getting to know it and checking out the gardens. What grows well? What looks pretty? etc. It is quite a lesson.

What does excite me about this weather is that it will not be long until it is BBQ time again. I love the new style of BBQ where it is more than sausages. I rarely eat snags, they are full of calories and cholesterol, soooo bad for you but tasty. Of course these days there are lots of varieties and not all are bad but then they are not economical.

What I like to cook on the BBQ is a roast. Lamb leg stuffed with fresh rosemary sprigs  and a nice glaze, chicken with herbs or marinated beef and onions.

I love sitting around the bbq on a pleasant spring afternoon, preferably the men doing the cooking. The kids running around the yard, the adults relaxed.  What could be better than that?

Throw in some tasty salads, nothing fancy required but I do know some great recipes. It is something to look forward to isn’t it?

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.