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.
eggs are not dairy
and potato is good for you
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.
I need to eat healthy stuff
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.
every door is locked
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.
hanging around in bars is not an indication of self-control
nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring
Lent is a time for abstinence, for giving up something that’s important to you. In my case I have given up on something that used to be important, and I will stay away from toxic relationships all through Lent and beyond.
The other two things I am giving up are alcohol and candy. For one thing booze is definitely not good for me, and neither is too much sugar. People who suddenly become sober tend to eat a lot of candy to make up for the sugar they’re not getting in booze. I have been scoffing quite a lot of candy this year.
So the three things I am giving up for Lent, and beyond are:
- Dysfunctional and toxic relationships.
- Alcohol in all its forms. (I have not had an alcoholic drink since Christmas 2020)
- Candy, chocolate, and what we English call sweets.
Instead of all that I am going to work hard at being fitter and healthier.
Please wish me luck.
women who drink to excess are no longer a part of my life.
first, use what you have to hand
On Friday, looking through my refrigerator and store cupboard I found an eclectic mixture of bits and pieces; steak, red onion, garlic, olives, and dried apricots. All of that’s been there a little while, and it’s either use it or lose it into the trash.
I thought I could turn these into something like a Moroccan Beef Tagine for Saturday’s dinner. I’ve no doubt I have enough in my spice rack to come up with vaguely the correct blend. (I have some baby bell peppers too.)
Moroccan Beef Tagine
That wasn’t my picture because I hadn’t made it yet….
As it happened it turned out well, especially for a first attempt at the recipe.
Next time it will be better.
I’m not quite certain what tweaks I need to make, but hey, I cook for Marmy and me…… I need to practice my food photography too.
except I don’t think Marmaduke likes Moroccan food very much ~ he is an English bear
first, use what you have to hand
Looking through my refrigerator and store cupboard I found an eclectic mixtire of bits and pieces; steak, red onion, garlic, olives, and dried apricots. All of that’s been there a little while, and it’s either use it or lose it into the trash.
I think I can turn these into something like a Moroccan Beef Tagine for Saturday’s dinner. I’ve no doubt I have enough in my spice rack to come up with vaguely the correct blend. (I have some baby bell peppers too.)
Moroccan Beef Tagine
That’s not my picture because I haven’t made it yet….
I will let you know how it works out.
I don’t think Marmaduke likes Moroccan food
one should not merely eat to live
Life should be fun, filled with enjoyment, good friends, good times, and great memories. Too much of our mealtimes today are snatched, eaten on the run, filled with convenience food, fast food, and takeouts. And, in all honesty, too many of my meals are from a can or the freezer, and eaten alone. I guess that’s a lockdown thing.
Let’s see if we can change that lonely, bland, and unhealthy life for the better. Let’s taste our food again.
Despite having spent quite a lot of time in Southern California I’ve never had anything like these Queso Fundido Taquitos ~ from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest. Served with avocado lime crema.
Queso Fundido Taquitos
I’ve never had a Chicken Sheet Pan Quesadilla either. This from Ali at Gimme Some Oven. Easy, delicious, perfect to share with friends.
Chicken Sheet Pan Quesadilla
Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has this very nice-looking recipe for Sweet and Spicy Thai Chicken. It’s a 45 minute dish, but I think most people I know could spend a very relaxing hour making this yummy concoction.
Sweet and Spicy Thai Chicken
Joy the Baker says these Mediterranean Salmon Parcels are a weeknight dinner. I think you could serve this recipe to your friends any time. I really like cooking in foil.
Mediterranean Salmon Parcels
Another seafood dish, this time from Chungah at Damn Delicious; Brown Butter Scallops. Quick, easy, and very healthy. You could serve this with rice, salad, or just some crusty bread.
Brown Butter Scallops
It turns out that over in the USA it’s about to be Super Bowl Sunday. Ergo our collection this week is from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; 21 Favourite Recipes for Superbowl Sunday. From her collection I’ve chosen to feature a Caesar Salad with Pizza Croutons ~ very pretty.
Caesar Salad with Pizza Croutons
healthy eating is a way of life
Most Americans are unhealthy. The USA spends twice as much on heathcare as the average OECD country, yet has the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rate among the 11 OECD countries. Almost half of adult Americans are obese, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the USA, and almost 35 million Americans have been diagnosed to have diabetes. Most of these illnesses can be put down to unhealthy lifestyles ~ about one third of Americans are classified as ‘physically inactive’, and the US Department of Health says 80% do not take enough exercise to be even moderately fit and healthy. Things are not much better here in England.
To eat a healthy diet, to live with a healthy lifestyle, isn’t difficult. It does mean giving up a couple of things; drinking and smoking chief among them. There are also some things we should consume a lot less of; refined sugar, caffeine, stuff made with white flour, dairy, canned food, fast food, processed food, take out meals, sugary carbonated drinks, and anything and everything with high fructose corn syrup in it, (HFCS).
Now that I have to control my recently diagnosed high blood pressure, the kinds of dishes I’ll be eating are shown here.
Petra at Food Eat Love has a great recipe for Beef with Ginger and Grapefruit. Beef is more than just OK, and both ginger and grapefruit are great for keeping one’s blood pressure under control.
Beef with Ginger and Grapefruit
Oily fish is very good for our health and so are cilantro and citrus. Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb combines these ingredients in her Baked Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon in Foil. An easy and healthy 30 minute dish. Supposedly, honey has some surprising health benefits.
Baked Honey Cilantro Lime Salmon in Foil
A good breakfast is important to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Jessica Merchant has a collection of her 10 Favorite Weekday Breakfasts. From that I’m featuring these Pumpkin Protein Pancakes, so easy and so healthy.
Pumpkin Protein Pancakes
A healthy hearty diet need not be lots and lots of salads, we can also eat comfort food and Holly at Spend With Pennies has a great side dish of Colcannon ~ mashed potatoes and cabbage, fabulous served with corned beef. Potato and cruciferous vegetables are good for helping to control one’s blood pressure. (there is the obvious farting issue when it comes to eating lots of cruciferous vegetables)
Joy the baker has this very interesting dish; Mushroom and Brussels Sprout Hash. Brussel Sprouts are cruciferous vegetables and really good for us, and mushrooms have lots of potential benefits when it comes to preventing cardio vascular diseases.
Mushroom and Brussels Sprout Hash
Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has this very attractive recipe for Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken. I have just got to try this easy, healthy dish ~ using brown / wild rice.
Healthier 25 Minute Kung Pao Chicken
but a glass of good red wine is probably beneficial most evenings of the week
if you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple;
then you’re not really hungry, just bored
Yesterday I was diagnosed as having high blood pressure and told that I need to have a battery of tests, and prescribed some powerful medicine to help me. To help myself I need to change my lifestyle;
- eat a heart-healthy diet with less salt, less refined sugar, and less caffeine
- get my weight into the green zone body mass index, which means losing about ten pounds
- take regular exercise ~ which is a bit difficult given how much I hurt
- give up booze and smoking ~ which is OK because I’ve never smoked and haven’t taken a drink since Christmas
The type of menu I should be on includes;
From Jessica at How Sweet Eats, Shredded Citrus Brussels Sprouts Salad with Avocado and Pomegranate.
Shredded Citrus Brussels Sprouts Salad with Avocado and Pomegranate
Salmon and other oily fish are good too. A recipe by Chungah at Damn Delicious; Lemon Dill Salmon in Foil. I love these easy ‘wrapped in foil’ dishes.
Lemon Dill Salmon in Foil
And last for this morning; a collection from Delish Magazine; 33 Amazing Broccoli Recipes Even Broccoli Haters Can’t Hate. I’ve chosen to feature this Better than Takeout Beef and Broccoli.
Better than Takeout Beef and Broccoli
The Minimalist Baker