Category Archives: Food

Avoiding Dementia

first it takes your mind, then it takes your life

there are strong links between boozing and dementia

Dementia actually kills four times as many people as all the deaths attributed to COVID-19, even at the height of the supposed pandemic.  And, dementia kills people in a particularly horrible and distressing way.  I am not and have never been worried about the coronavirus, but becoming a shadow of myself through the hell of dementia frightens me, if I ever let myself think about it.

However, dementia is not inevitable, it’s not all down to random chance, it’s not all down to genetics, and it’s not a pestilence inflicted by a malicious God.  Your mind does not have to be blown to dust ~ there are things we can do right now to help ourselves avoid the unimaginable suffering of being locked inside a mind afflicted by Alzheimer’s, or a softening of the brain, or whatever else causes this insanity.

Dementia is not primarily a mental illness, it is physical degradation of the brain.

A hell of a lot of dementia is caused by the lifestyle choices we make.  To reduce your chances of becoming a shell of who you used to be then;

  • get plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise
  • keep mentally and socially active, do not sit in front of the TV or computer screen for hours at a time
  • keep regular hours and get enough good sleep ~ 6 to 8 hours a night
  • do not smoke ~ and if you do give it up, forever
  • do not drink to excess ~ avoid binge drinking
  • do not take drugs, and I mean strong medication as well as street drugs
  • have a good healthy diet; avoiding fat, sugar, wheat and other grains, dairy products, junk food and takeout, and especially high fructose corn syrup
  • do not get avoidable diabetes
  • do not get obese, regularly check your Body Mass Index
  • control your blood pressure and cholesterol
  • avoid hearing loss
  • focus on your general health and well-being; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually ~ especially do all you can to avoid suffering from prolonged clinical depression
  • do not to get sick from social diseases, so avoid; casual sex, using dirty needles, socialising with the dregs of society, drinking in sleazy bars, and taking vacations in disease riddled hell-holes like India
  • do not get a head injury, so wear a helmet when cycling and avoid contact sports such as boxing.  Do not get into bar fights.
  • stay very clean; wash, shower, get in the tub, wear gloves for dirty jobs, wear clean clothes every day, change your bed-linen weekly
  • do not get sent to jail

As it goes, all of the above are things that right-minded, self-disciplined, ethical and sensible people will do as a matter of course.  There are two other things that will help you not to get dementia; be male and die young.

Some say that COVID-19 is the new plague sent by a vengeful deity.  And that dementia only affects the very old.  All I know is that all disease and infirmity is mostly preventable.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

probably heading for dementia

 

Food on Friday ~ Quick and Easy

my friend cooks with wine, sometimes she even adds it to the food

In an ideal world each of us would have a gorgeous kitchen, a larder full of exactly the right ingredients, and lots of time to create wonderfully, brilliant, healthy and tasty dishes.  Mostly the world isn’t like that, and for many of us there are so many other things we need and want to do rather than stand over a hot stove.  Particularly when the weather is wonderful ~ or we have to go to work.  Or have a long, hot, soak in the tub.

This week we’re concentrating on quicker and easier wonderful, brilliant, healthy, and tasty recipes.

First up this week, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest; 15 Minute Garlic Butter Ramen Noodles.  Simple, easy, fast, and looking delicious.

15 Minute Garlic Butter Ramen Noodles

Another noodles dish, this time from Chungah at Damn Delicious; Quick Chicken Ramen Noodle Stir Fry.  I like stir fry dishes, my perfect one pan meal every time.  This one should be ready in 30 minutes.

Quick Chicken Ramen Noodle Stir Fry

Something I must try, from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb is a Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet.  This is a one pan dish you should be ale to prepare and cook in just 30 minutes, less if your seasoning is ready mixed.

Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet

At this time of year some of you may have peppers growing in your yard.  From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats we have these Grilled Marinated Peppers with Burrata and Breadcrumbs.  This dish may take a little longer than the others we’re looking at this week, but it’s a very relaxing kind of longer.

Grilled Marinated Peppers with Burrata and Breadcrumbs

Our first collection this week is from Diane, The Minimalist Baker 26 Quick & Easy Recipes, all of which should be ready in 30 minutes or less.  As the weather is not only mostly sunny, it’s also probably hot where you are, I’ve chosen to feature this Greek Goddess Bowl ~ something an Aphrodite would enjoy.

Greek Goddess Bowl

Another collection, this time from Country Living; 77 Best Quick, Easy Dinner Recipes You Can Make In 30 Minutes or Less.  I’ve chosen to feature this dish of Grilled Pesto Chicken with Summer Squash ~ and talking of things you may have in your vegetable patch, how brilliant if you have squash growing in your yard.

Grilled Pesto Chicken with Summer Squash

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

we each have our own idea of an Aphrodite

Songs on Saturday ~ Annie Lennox

walking through rainstorms to be with the one you love

Summer in England 2020; doom, gloom, and rain.  Would I walk five-thousand-miles through pouring rain and high winds to be on a lonely island with the one I love?  Hell Yes!  The one you love should be your precious angel and worth everything ~ else it isn’t really love at all.

Back in the day I learned a harsh lesson ~ you can’t beat City Hall.   Right now there are some things I can’t do, and some things The Man is making me do that I’d rather not.

Some say we should always be the best person we can possibly be.  And that the one you care for deserves the best of you, no matter what.

All I know is that I’ll make the best of things, and right now that means staying fit, strong, and healthy.  In a few days I’m heading away from cold and rain to warmer and sunnier climes.  Walking, swimming, yoga, Aegean sunshine, fresh mountain air, healthy food…..  For a while I’ll be spending time working on becoming a physically better man.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

beachcombing at dawn

how to learn who you really are

Food on Friday ~ Summer Salads

create healthy habits, not restrictions and rules

It’s hot, it’s sunny, it’s time for a cool drink and a fabulous salad.   After all this self-isolation, comfort eating, and processed food it’s time to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.  And we all know that salads are brilliant at this time of year.  Preferably eaten in the sunshine and fresh air.

This quick, healthy arugula salad with lemon balsamic dressing is from Erin Clarke, at Well Plated by Erin.  It’s listed as a side dish, but I think many of us would be happy to have this for an al-fresco lunch, maybe with some salmon or chicken added.

Arugula Salad

This is fabulous from The Bojon Gourmet; vegan caprese salad with peaches and arugula.  Here a vegan mozzarella is used, but if you don’t want to be so strict you could choose an alternative.  BTW, I love heirloom tomatoes.

Vegan Caprese Salad with Peaches & Arugula

And now for something completely different from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; panzanella with marinated chickpeas and chimchurri.  Bread in a salad, now that is different!

Panzanella with Marinated Chickpeas and Chimchurri

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a recipe for heirloom tomato soba noodle salad, and as I already said I like heirloom tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato Soba Noodle Salad

Trust Amanda at Chez le Reve Francais to come up with something decadent; an asparagus, broccoli, and endamame salad.  Looks deliciously different.

Asparagus Broccoli and Endamame Salad

Finally this week is from Chunghah at Damn Delicious, how about this grilled Greek chicken salad, served with tzatziki dressing?

Grilled Greek Chicken Salad

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

a Mediterranean Salad

from Heather Christo

Looking Better after Lockdown

it could have been worse, the liquor stores might have been closed

Now that I’m regularly out and about again after a period of government imposed solitary confinement at home, I’ve noticed just how manky some people are looking.  It’s not their fault, being subject to lockdown and being made to work from home does bad things to your health, your looks, and your well-being.  It’s a lack of sunshine, fresh air, exercise ~ and too much junk food, processed food, comfort eating, too much booze, too many cigarettes, and for some too much reliance on drugs.  Add to that the lack of proper sleep, irregular hours, lazing around most of the day in sweats or night-attire, not being able to get to a hairdresser…..

Face it after a period of lockdown, and while we are working at home, it’s possible that we don’t feel or look at our very best.  I know I didn’t, and I know just how much weight I put on.

It’s pretty simple to get back to looking and feeling great;

  • Get out in the sunshine and fresh air as much as you can.
  • Get some exercise.  Walk the 10,000 steps a day.  Learn some yoga.  Use free exercises such as squats, push ups.  Look here’s a link to a 20 minute home workout video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKfNUOWuZV8
  • Stop drinking so much every day and every night.  Have two or three totally booze-free days every week.
  • Stop smoking all together, forever.  Smoking makes you look old, you stink, it ruins your health.  Smoking will kill you.
  • Stop comfort eating.  Don’t eat just because you’re bored, stressed, lonely, or sad.
  • Stop eating processed food, or eat much less processed food if you can’t get to a good store as often as you’d like.
  • Stop shoveling your food in with both hands, eat mindfully and slowly, chew your food properly.
  • Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.  Salads are brilliant at this time of year.
  • Drink more cool, clear, cleansing water.  (Fruit juice counts too.)

I am back on a health and fitness programme again, after letting myself go during lockdown.  It’s so depressing being in solitary confinement that I found it hard to keep up good habits.  But you know what?  It doesn’t take more than a week or so to turn things around to a better life.

Some say that just one bottle of wine won’t hurt.  And, that potato chips go so well with wine.  All I know is that the dictum of a healthy mind in a healthy body is the real truth.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

yoga is bloody good for you

Food on Friday ~ Lazy Summer

roll out those lazy hazy crazy days of summer

So, what is it?  Spend the days isolated in lockdown?  Or do we get out into the yard, have family over, have friends round, or just enjoy ourselves in the warm summer sunshine?

I guess you all know which end of the spectrum I’d prefer.  But then, at my age I’m not so risk-averse.

Should you wish to try some alfresco dining then I heartily commend these recipes to you.

Since we can’t go travelling the world, there’s a cosmopolitan flavour to the dishes this week.

First up, from Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français, we have this Tuscan roast pork with apples.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Tuscany; Florence, Sienna, Pisa…..  but the food there is fabulous.  Amanda captures the atmosphere perfectly with this dish that would be great on any alfresco dining table.

T

Tuscan Roast Pork with Apples

Since you probably don’t want to go trogging off to stand in line at IKEA, I offer you this Swedish meatball pasta, from Chungah at Damn Delicious.

Swedish Meatball Pasta

From semi-professional taco eater Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb here’s a dish of Cajun shrimp and rice, cooked in a skillet, so easy and so delicious.  Great with a salad.  I’ve had a very similar dish in the West Indies, on a beach of silver sand.

Cajun Shrimp and Rice

To go along with any of the dishes this week, or as a fabulous, healthy meal in its own right we have this beautiful Mediterranean Salad from Heather Christo.  She does make good looking dishes.

Mediterranean Salad

Our collection this week comes from Good Housekeeping Magazine their 75 quick summer dinner ideas for easier weeknights ~ weeknights? Hell!  These dishes are great at any time.  From this collection I’ve chosen to feature this grilled Moroccan steak and carrots.  It’s worth getting the spices and doing this properly, you’ll love it!

Grilled Moroccan Steak and Carrots

And for desert, or as an alfresco brunch, we have this blueberry Dutch baby panckake from Andrea at Cooking with a Walflower.  Fantastic with vanilla ice cream.

Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancake

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

blackened shrimp kale Caesar salad

an odd fact,

women like kale much better than guys do

Food on Friday ~ Music

all we ever get is gruel

As it goes, lots of Americans eat gruel all the time ~ it’s merely another name for oatmeal.  Mixed thin mind you, but oatmeal nontheless.  This from the musical Oliver, based on Charles Dickens seminal work; Oliver Twist.

Some things mentioned in that song you may not have heard of; pease pudding and savaloy.  You’re not missing much if you’ve never tried either.

Please listen with a proper appetite.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

no doubt Oliver, the Artful Dodger, et al

would enjoy this strawberry and rhubarb pie

Artificial Sweetener

so I tipped my morning coffee down the sink

not me, but it could be

Staying at home during lockdown, comfort eating, eating out of cans, eating out of boredom, getting zero fresh air and exercise…..  When I stood on the scales a few days ago I discovered that I’d piled on more than a few pounds since March 23rd.  That is not good, by any stretch of the imagination.

So, I’ve resolved to be fitter and healthier, and get back to my normal weight just as damn soon as I can.  It isn’t easy to restart a fitness programme after 3 months of relative inactivity.  Fortunately I don’t find sitting in a chair binge watching TV at all addictive.  (Things would have been much worse if it had been easier to get to the store and buy copious quantities of beer.)

For a while I’d been following the 10,000 steps a day challenge, and now, after all that lockdown inactivity and idleness I’m back on that ~ with a vengeance.  Yesterday I walked to the next town down the coast and back, in all yesterday I walked 20,204 steps in the fresh air and sunshine by the sea.  For me that’s almost exactly 10 miles, and if I can keep on walking 10,000+ steps a day I should get my health and fitness back.  Perforce I should also lose / stabilise my weight.

Along with the fresh air, sunshine, and exercise I’m also changing my diet back to something much much healthier than cake cookies candy alcohol and eating out of cans.

As part of a healthier diet I thought I’d switch from having high-quality Barista sugar in my morning coffee to an articicial sweetener instead.  I bought some stuff based on sucralose and tried that for the first time this morning.  You know how good that morning coffee always tastes ~ except this one didn’t, and I tipped it down the kitchen sink.  I find the sucralose artificial sweetener to be bitter, chemical, and just yuck, with a yuck aftertaste.  (The most common brand of sucralose sweetener is Splenda.)

Surcalose is chemically altered sugar where the water based chemicals are replaced with chlorine, and it’s 500 times sweeter than proper sugar.  To me it tastes like bug killer smells.  Other artificial sweeteners include aspartame, which is positively bad for you.

WTF was I thinking of?  If I want to be fitter, stronger, healthier, why would I swap a high-quality natural product with something that came out of a chemical plant?

Some say that artificial sweeteners are perfectly safe.  And that they are a useful part of a calorie controlled diet.  All I know is that I’d rather consume natural foods than stuff that came out of a chemical plant.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

not the kind of plant I want to make the sweetness in my coffee

I am not a number…..

I am a free man

Yesterday I tried to come up with a bucket and to-do list that had 7 important things on it, and I got stuck after 6, which you will see if you look back at that post.  I shouldn’t have been surprised, the number six is in my destiny right now.

~

Kipling thought that six was important too;

I keep six honest serving men, (They taught me all I knew);

Their names are What and Why, and When

And How and Where and Who

If you can remember those, then you will never go far wrong when it comes to making any decision, writing anything, or making a success of anything you wish to do.

~

There are also 6 healing powers.  The six best doctors are;

Sun, Rest, Exercise, Good Food, Self-Respect, and Friends

But, when it comes to good food, don’t eat too much of it.  Keep well hydrated, and stay away from the booze.

~

In fact there are 6 things one should really stay away from;

Alcohol, Casual Sex, Drugs, Over-Eating, Smoking, and Refined Sugar

All of those will kill you eventually, some will just kill you faster than others.

~

The number 6 is also a perfect number, congruent number, harmonic divisor number, and has lots to do with weird stuff like Zsigmondy’s Theorem, sphere packing, the kissing number problem, and Graeco-Latin squares.

~

Some say we should not worry about material items, including money.  And that worry lowers the effectiveness of your thoughts, dreams, wishes, and prayers.  All I know is that the Angel Number 6 means that our prayers will be answered, although the answer might be ‘no’.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

we each have our own Angel and Goddess

When You Know You’re Ill But Don’t Know Why

today is ideal for those who wish to make it so

to see a fine sunrise would make my day

I know I’m poorly, but I don’t really know why.  Here in England we can only have an on-line of telephone doctor’s appointment, but we have a National Health Service help line, and they play it safe, call them and the chances are they will say you most likely have the coronavirus….. there is no chance of being tested for COVID-19 unless you are a ‘key worker’.

They have told me that I need to self-isolate for another week, which is fine because just going down the 56 steps to the street door is difficult.  Climbing back up again needs to be done in stages because I’m so breathless.

The symptoms I have make no sense, neither do the antibiotics I’ve been given ~ a placebo perhaps.  I believe that the vitamin supplements are doing me more good; A, B, C, D, E, magnesium and zinc, iron, and cod liver oil.  Being isolated and alone is most likely what is wrong with me.  Solitary confinement is a cruel and unusual punishment, and I’ve had about 53 days of that.

I really, really, desperately want to be fit and well again.

Some say that illness is all in the mind.  And that you are just as healthy as you want to be.  All I know is that I’ve had some very bad days since my birthday on March 23rd.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

at least I have a friend to keep me company

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