Category Archives: Diet

Food on Friday ~ Thyme

I know of a place where the wild thyme grows

Thyme_Common

Thymus Vulgaris, garden thyme, is one of the four great medicinal and culinary herbs; parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme…..  A herb is a plant where the leafy green and flowering parts are found useful in cooking and natural medicine.  Whereas, a spice is produced from other parts of a plant; seeds, bark, roots, fruit….  Ergo ginger is a spice, whereas the ash tree is used both as a herb and a spice.

Trust me, thyme is most definitely a herb and an important ingredient in Mediterranean, Indian, and Caribbean recipes.  Thyme is also a basic ingredient in perfumery.

In medicine, thyme should be treated with caution because, like all herbs, it contains some very powerful and complex chemicals, especially thymol.  Interestingly the antiseptic thymol is a major ingredient of Listerine mouthwash and most alcohol-free hand sanitisers.

Other major and powerful compounds found in the common or garden thyme are; borneol, carvavrol, eucalyptol, menthene, thymene, and tannin.  The major effects of these compounds are; antibiotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, balsamic, carminative, and soporific.  (Balsamic really means ‘elixir’)

Thyme tea, (usually made with dried leaves), is calming, helps most people to sleep, fights off coughs, reduces inflammations, and much reduces embarrassing night-time flatulence.  As with most natural herb teas women of child-bearing age should take care as it increases blood flow to the uterus.  Thyme in wine is good, and I use sprigs of thyme in both olive oil and apple cider vinegar, (makes a fabulous salad dressing)  Thyme tea is a potent female aphrodisiac.  Thyme and marijuana cookies should be treated with very great care indeed.

A sprig of thyme under the pillow is an aid to calm sleep, and a good bunch of thyme in your bath will help kill off very nasty things like toenail fungus, athletes foot, and the hookworm ancylostomiasis.

Thyme of any variety is easy to grow, it prefers a well-drained gravelly soil in full sun.  Collect your thyme in spring and early summer.  Bees love thyme as the flowers are nectar-rich ~ real thyme honey has all of the properties you can find in the plant.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you have a scrap of space, grow herbs

Living Normally

All I want is to live a normal life

the beach at Cancun

As we gradually come out of lockdown, some normal things I haven’t been able to do for months have become possible ~ like getting my hair cut, or even booking a vacation.

One of the good things about having been in self-isolation for over a year is that I haven’t spent much money, so now I am almost out of lockdown I can afford to take my friend to anywhere we would like to go.

Should be fun.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

this might be the route to normality

New Age ~ New Me

you get nothing without hard work

hanging out in bars is self-destructive

It was my birthday a couple of days ago ~ another year older and deeper into lockdown.  Given the premise that this is a new age for me I’ve decided to give myself a complete makeover.  And I mean doing it all for myself because there’s nobody to do it for me ~ and anything someone else does for you never lasts.  Any real and beneficial change I want to make has to come from within.

This makeover will be directed at significant improvements of my body, mind, emotions, and spirit.  It’s also going to include looking better and having a much nicer, kinder, more effective, and more likable persona.

The truth is that I started this big self-improvement programme just after Christmas when I gave up alcohol.  If you drink, smoke, take drugs, gamble, or suffer from any of the other life-destroying addictions, then the first step on any self-improvement / self-development / makeover is to quit your addiction(s).  And trust me, if you do drink, smoke, take drugs, (including stuff like Xanax), or gamble ~ then you are addicted.  (The list of life-destroying things people can become addicted to is long and inclusive.)

My plan for becoming the very best version of Jack Collier that I can possibly be is very simple;

  1. stay away from alcohol
  2. have a good daily exercise routine
  3. eat and drink healthily, (mine is a Paleo / Mediterranean diet)
  4. get enough good sleep, retire and rise at the same time every day
  5. cut out a lot of mindless, time-wasting stuff; TV, internet, social media
  6. look as good as I can all the time; bathed, shaved, hair, decent clean clothes
  7. study and learn interesting challenging stuff, from proper books by real writers

It should be easy, given some self-discipline and determination.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

none of this crap

who could like that guy?

Avoiding Insanity During Lockdown

here in England it’s day 353 of complete lockdown
some ways I’ve been able to stay fairly sane

~

stay away from booze, especially hard liquor, alcohol never helps anything

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get plenty of rest during the day and 6 to 8 hours of good sleep every night

if you need to, try herbal sleep aids

otherwise avoid street drugs and powerful medication

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eat in a healthy and nutritious way

take high-quality and  appropriate food supplements

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stay active, go outside, fresh air and exercise are important

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anger and resentment against the unfairness is futile

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even if you can’t meet anyone for a conversation

stay connected by phone and the internet

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take enforced self-isolation one day at a time

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personally, I found that prayer helps

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

remember, there is nothing whatsoever you can do except obey the stupid lockdown laws, regulations, and guidelines

 

 

 

 

Managing Myself

first of all stop dicking around

Not so long ago I was miserable, irritable, and utterly ineffective.  I didn’t ever leave the garret, except to buy booze, I never spoke to anyone, and I didn’t do anything interesting.  Every day was the same as the day before.  I was sick in body, mind, and spirit.  From time to time I had dark suicidal thoughts.  Even though my life was a mess, it was a mess with an efficient daily routine behind it.  I was very good at doing nothing except wasting the time I had on this earth.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.  ~  Peter Drucker

There are lots of ways and a myriad of techniques that I could have used to turn my life around, but before everything else I had to have the strong and unshakable desire to change myself and make my life better.  No Fairy Godmother was going to appear and make everything all right.  I wasn’t suddenly going to find an attractive woman who would give me the magical motivation to improve myself and my life.  Nothing good happens in life unless we make it so.

You can start to read lots of books, sign up for lots of expensive courses, and find tons of stuff on the internet that will say; ‘change your life around by following this advice’ ~ and they are all utterly useless unless first you have the willingness and determination to change.  Changing your life for the better takes every hour of every day of the rest of your life.  Being a better person needs willpower, and if you don’t have any willpower then create an unbreakable routine towards becoming the very best version of yourself you can possibly be.  If you can’t do that, then fake it to make it.

First of all I had to decide what I didn’t want.  What were the very worst things in my life.  What was I doing that was negative and self-destructive?  Think about it ~ what are the very worst things in your life?  What do you want the least?  What is killing you?  For me that began with agoraphobia and booze.  I had to stop drinking, and I had to get out of the garret, physically, mentally, and emotionally I had to get out of this place.

None of this was easy, but this blog is some small evidence of how far I’ve come since those dark days.

If I can become a better person, then you can too.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you don’t need a gym to exercise effectively

Food on Friday ~ Shrimp

you don’t need a silver fork to enjoy good food

Here in England we have been in lockdown for just about a year, and trust me there’s not much fun in that.  There is also a regrettable tendency to eat the wrong things at the wrong times; which isn’t healthy.  One of the few things we can enjoy is good, healthy food, hopefully some of these recipes will cheer us up.

First this week, from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest we have this Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special.  Looks deliciously easy.

Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special

From Karina at Cafe Delites we have this wonderful Jambalaya; chicken, sausage, shrimp, rice in a Creole saute from New Orleans.  Fabulous.

Jambalaya

Jessica at How Sweet Eats says this dish; Lemon Butter Shrimp and Broccoli Skillet is the perfect weeknight dinner.  I aver that this would be a perfect, healthy meal at any time of the week.

Lemon Butter Shrimp and Broccoli Skillet

Holly at Spend with Pennies says this Shrimp Lo Mein can be ready in just 30 minutes.  I’d take a little longer, just to enjoy cooking this good-looking dish.

Shrimp Lo Mein

If you get weary of shrimp, yet want to stay with the theme, From Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a recipe for Garlic Butter Clams with White Wine Cream Sauce.  I’d want some crispy garlic bread to go along with this dish.

Garlic Butter Clams with White Wine Cream Sauce

Our big collection this week is from Delish Magazine; 82 Shrimp Recipes That’ll Make Meatless Mondays Your Favorite Day Of The Week.  From this list how about a Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Pasta?

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Pasta

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

maybe Marmaduke is waiting for the shrimp-boats to come in

Addison’s Disease

I have decided to be happy and healthy

we don’t need to feel alone and lonely

For a while I have been ill, with a myriad of symptoms I couldn’t understand.  And, when I say ill, I mean that there have been times when I went to bed I wondered if I would wake up again.  There have been days when I wasn’t strong enough to take out the trash, and days when I wasn’t well enough to even take a bath.

My symptoms included;

  • extreme fatigue, lack of energy, weariness
  • weakness, aches and pains
  • depression, low mood, irritability, confusion
  • dizziness, unsteadiness, fluctuating blood pressure
  • being thirsty all the time, craving salt
  • Nausea to the point of throwing up

Honestly, I had no idea what was causing this, and of course my doctor is running various tests.  Privately I wondered if I had the coronavirus, or a parasite, or just the ‘flu ~ although the symptoms didn’t quite fit any of the possible causes.

However, a couple of things to do with the way my blood pressure was going up and down could be related to low adrenaline and low testosterone ~ and that’s something called Addison’s Disease.

The reason I have this problem is due to years of boozing too much, and years of mental, emotional, and spiritual stress ~ resulting in damage to my liver and my kidneys.

The treatment for Addison’s Disease is to take strong daily medication like hydrocortisone.  I’m not doing that.  Instead I am going to look after my body, mind, and spirit ~ especially being kind to my liver.

No alcohol whatsoever, less fat, no dairy at all, cut down on my intake of salt, refined sugar, caffeine, and potassium, (work that one out).  I’ll get a lot more fresh air and exercise, stick to a good Mediterranean diet, continue to take good dietary supplements ~ and Avoid Stress.

Just being pretty certain what’s actually been wrong with me, and having a solid plan to cure myself, means that I am already feeling a hell of a lot better.

Most of what ails us comes from within; what we do and don’t do, what we eat and drink, and how we feel.  I know I can change all of that for myself.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

eggs are not dairy

and potato is good for you

Day 333

not everyone is insane but some are depressed

I’m not howling at the moon

I thought that I was going crazy.  I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning, to keep myself and the garret clean, to find any interest in anything at all.  I believed that being in solitary confinement for almost a year had given me a bad case of lockdown depression ~ the whole world is grey and meaningless kind of depression.  The absence of feelings that leads to substance abuse and self harm.

The doctors don’t think that’s the case.  It turns out that there is something physically wrong with me.  It seems that I am sick in body, but not in mind and spirit.  And, somehow that’s good.  A physical illness can be treated and cured more easily and more effectively than can a mental illness.

The snag is that thus far nobody has any idea what’s wrong with me.  Yesterday I had another physical and another lot of blood taken for testing.  Next Friday I’m going for an MRI scan.  The doctors will find out what I’m suffering from, and what kind of treatment is appropriate ~ it’s just that it’s taking a little while.  But at least I’m getting all the tests they think I need.

What I know so far is that I’m not suffering from anxiety and depression ~ which is good.  And, after yesterday I know that my blood pressure is fine, without medication.

So, for now, I will just get on with Life as best as I can.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I need to eat healthy stuff

like this

avocado pomegranate salad

Digging Deep

when things get bad it takes everything you’ve got

keep on keeping on

It’s now the 332 day of lockdown, and this morning it took a lot of determination just to get out of bed and get moving.  I could say that I wasn’t feeling so good, but that wouldn’t be true, today it’s all in my mind.  If you haven’t suffered the agony of strict self-isolation for almost a year, then you don’t know how I was feeling at 04:00 this morning.  Kind of lethargic and depressed, with a touch of meaningless thrown in.

As a matter of fact, lockdown is completely meaningless.  All this destruction of the very fabric of modern society is doing is to make politicians and health officials feel better about the myriad of public inquiries they are going to face when all this is eventually over.

So, how do I get through this mess?

  • set small goals for each day
  • if that’s too difficult set small goals for the next hour
  • keep as fit and healthy as possible
  • eat regular, high quality meals
  • stay away from booze, drugs, candy….
  • read something challenging every day

What I really want to do is get out of the garret and go somewhere warm and sunny ~ but taking a vacation is illegal here.  I want to see my friends, but that’s also illegal here.  In fact having any pleasure at all is just about illegal here.

So, I will look of the bright side, and do the best I can.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

every door is locked

Self-Control

if you learn self-control, you can master anything

waste in a wasteland

It’s Lent, which is all about abstinence and self-control.   There doesn’t seem to be much self-discipline, self-control, or mastering difficult challenges about in the world today.  Rather there seems to be a lot of neglect, waste, and self-indulgence.  It’s waste of human life in a wasteland.

Addictions such as alcoholism, gambling, smoking, drug-taking, eating disorders, infidelity, and inappropriate casual sex seem to be rife ~ even among our senior politicians and bureaucrats, who are supposed to set an example to we ‘ordinary people in the street’, suffering the miseries of lockdown.  I myself have had a drinking problem, but I am pleased to say that I haven’t touched a drop since Christmas.  (There are none so self-righteous as a reformed addict.)

I am happy to tell you that I have learned self-discipline, self-control, and how to master difficult challenges.  It wasn’t easy, but I am getting there.

All we have to learn is how to say ‘No’, especially to ourselves.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

hanging around in bars is not an indication of self-control

 

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