Tuesday, 1 January 2019

January 2019: listen!



LISTEN WHEN THE BODY WHISPERS - DON’T WAIT FOR IT TO SHOUT ....


December was a month of indulgence. And not a good one for listening to whispers: there’s too much shouting going on. So, keeping an ear open for your body’s complaints may have been difficult; but in January we should have a little more time.

The avalanche of potions and pills around these days, makes it so easy to attack every discomfort with medicine. Headache? Ibuprofen. Tummyache? Paracetamol. Can’t sleep? Zimovane, etcetera. Sometimes this is necessary: when you are really busy and can’t miss a beat, a pill can be a godsent. But are you, always?
Do you know what causes your headache? And do you really need to delete it with a pill every time? For the cause will stay, and may well get worse. And those pills always have side effects.

When you catch colds too easily, or when a fever won’t go away, when your leg or your chest or your bottom seems to hurt, this means something’s not right. And it is best to listen, and react.
When a child catches a fever, it’s probably one of the many childhood diseases. And dealing with it wisely rather than using pills, will improve their immune system [1].

Your body is constantly talking to you.
When you notice you are tired, try to take the time to rest and ask yourself what you can do to improve things. How often do you push yourself, grab a cup of caffeine or eat something sugary to lift your energy, to keep you on task? Forgetting all the while that something was trying to get your attention?
When you have a headache, before you grab an aspirin and forget you even had one, remember that your body is reminding you to be gentle with yourself. It is - still - whispering.
When you lay in bed restless and can’t seem to get to sleep, don't go immediately for a sleeping aid. Take a few moments to write your worries and concerns on a piece of paper so you can feel a bit lighter in mind and body [2].

One of the clear ways your body speaks to you is pain. But your body is not the enemy! Some people can't feel pain at all - a terrible affliction which leads to an accumulation of wounds, bruises, broken bones, and other health issues that may go undetected, often leading to a shortened life.
Pain is a warning sign. Use it sensibly. If you don't heed it, you may regret it forever. 

Whenever you feel a cold coming on, don't just grab a pill. Eat more fruit and veg. Drink a lot. And build up your immune system. See the Thought of October 2014.

If your throat starts to complain, don't just grab a pill. Avail yourself of the many home remedies around, and build up your immune system. See the Thought of November 2014.

If you tend to get indigestion, don't just grab a pill. Have one if you must, but when you get the time, ask yourself what might have caused it. For instance, heartburn is likely to be the result of too much, rather than too little stomach acid: which means that the very last thing you should do is an antacid. See the Thought of December 2018. 

If your arthritis is getting worse, your blood pressure too high, your eyes are deteriorating etc. etc., you could consult our alphabetical index and find out what else you can do, instead of medicating. The companies flogging these tablets don't want us to get better. They want us to go on buying them forever.  

"It is too easy to medicate, numb or cut out the parts of your body that cause you pain. If you do not get at the root cause, it will show up over and over again in various ways." [3]




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EAT:
Veg: Brussels', beet, sprout tops, cabbage, celeriac, celery, corn salad, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, salsify, kale, kohlrabi, landcress, leeks, parsnips, pumpkin/squash, rocket, spinach, swede, turnips, winter (= black/white) radish, endive, winter purslane.
Meat: wood pigeon, pheasant, wild duck, goose, grouse, partridge, venison. For game recipes, see www.gametoeat.co.uk/.
Fish: coley, megrim, hake, clams, crab, cuttlefish, mussels, oysters, scallops, whiting.

PLANT:
Shallots are traditionally planted on the shortest day. You can still plant garlic: buy heads from a proper supplier to prevent disease.
If you leave veg in the ground, apply a thick mulch (straw, bracken or newspaper) for protection, so you can get them out easily. And check http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/your-organic-garden-december-and-january?dm_i=4UO,4NFGO,JCJBU,HC8AU,1 for what else you can do in January. 


RECIPES




PUMPKIN SOUP
Pumpkin/squash, other vegetables (leek, cabbage, onion, swede, garlic, celery, carrot, parsnip, tomato purée), herbs (rosemary, thyme), spices (cayenne/chilli pepper, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, ginger, paprika powder, cardamom, curry powder, turmeric, masala), (sour) cream* …. whatever you fancy and have lying around.
Peel pumpkin and take the seeds out. Cut it up in ab. 2cm pieces. Cook with the other chopped vegetables, spices, herbs and salt, till everything is soft. Mash or purée. Add salt, pepper and (sour) cream.

*Try make it full-fat if possible: fat helps absorb the nutrients and does not make you fat at all! See the Thought of November 2018 and https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/full-fat-dairy-may-reduce-obesity-risk/.

KALE, SAUSAGE and POTATOES with RED WINE - the original recipe has pasta but I prefer potatoes. If using pasta, just put it in the water when it boils, along with the kale.
Kale, potatoes and sausages for 4; 130ml red wine; tin of tomatoes or 2tblsp of tomato paste, large onion.
Cut up the onion, chop the sausages in 4. Fry both together for about 10 minutes, but make sure the onions don’t burn. Add the wine and tomato (purée). Let boil gently, covered, while preparing the rest. Cut the potatoes in pieces of about 2-2½ cm. Strip the kale off its thick midriffs and chop finely. Put the potatoes in cold water and bring to the boil; then add the kale. When both are done, drain the water and add the sausage mix. Stir. Season if necessary.

POTATO-PARSNIP MASH with GRATED CHEESE
Boil equal amounts of peeled, cut-up parsnips and potatoes until tender. Or a bit less of one or the other, depending on taste and availability: I had a bit more potatoes. Drain, mash with butter, milk, and grated mature cheese; season with salt and pepper. Delicious winter fare.

LEEK and SARDINE SAUCE for 5.
Leeks for 5, 2 tins of sardines, flour, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, rosemary, olives, lemon slices.
Cook the leeks in little water, set aside, and keep the liquid. Heat 4-5 tblsp oil from the sardine tin and ab. 8tblsp flour, all the while stirring. When it’s a nice smooth paste, gradually add the tin of tomatoes, then the leeks and some of their liquid till the thickness feels right. Add the sardines, chopped rosemary and olives. Heat through, season and serve with pasta, millet or on bread. Or with potatoes as we do - we grow our own and plenty of them! And don’t forget the slices of lemon.


For more recipes see January issues from former years. Or go to https://thoughtforfoodaw.wordpress.com, which still has eight recipes for this year. 
We also have an alphabetical index of subjects, which you will see if you click on this month, in the top right hand corner.






alphabetical index of subjects

alcohol                       Dec 17:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/12/december-2017-drink.html                 
                                  Dec 14:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/12/december-2014-drink-drank-drunk.html
antibiotics                  Sep 15:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/september-2015-antibiotics.html
                                  Apr 17:      https://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2017-biotics-pro-or-anti-pre-or.html
arthritis                      Apr 14:      http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2014-arthritis.html
brain food                  May 13:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/may-2013-brain-food.html
bread                         May 10:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/may-2010-slow-down-your-bread_30.html
                                  Oct 16:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/10/october-2016-bread.html
breakfast                   Jul 10:      http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/july-2010-breakfast.html
                                  Aug 12:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/08/august-2012-breakfast-cereals.html
butter                         Feb 12:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/february-2012-joys-of-butter.html
                                  Apr 10:      http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2010-tub-spreads-or-butter.html
calories                      Jan 12:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2019/01/january-2012-calories.html
chocolate                  Jun 13:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/june-2013-chocolate.html
cholesterol                Nov 13:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/11/november-2013-in-praise-of-cholesterol.html
                                 Apr 11:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2011-cholesterol-eggs.html                         
                                 Mar 10:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/march-2010-cholesterol.html                                       
coughs                     Nov 14:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/11/november-2014-throats.html
cravings                   Jun 12:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/june-2012-cravings.html
dairy                         Oct 17:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/10/october-2017-please-have-your-dairy_1.html
death                        Feb 17:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/february-2017-death.html
diarrhoea                 Aug 15:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/08/august-2015-diarrhoea.html
dieting                     Jan 15:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2019/01/january-2015-dieting-dangerous.html
                               Jul 11:       http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/july-2011-diet.html
drink                        Dec 17:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/12/december-2017-drink.html
                                Dec 14:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/12/december-2014-drink-drank-drunk.html 
eggs                        Jan 17:      http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2019/01/january-2017-eggs-is-eggs.html
eyesight                   May 18:  http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.com/2018/04/may-2018-our-precious-eyesight.html
fast food                  July 18:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.com/2018/06/july-2018-fast-food.html
fat                             Nov 18:   https://thoughtforfoodaw.wordpress.com/2018/09/24/november-2018-fat-the-latest-research/
                                Nov 13:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/11/november-2013-in-praise-of-cholesterol.html
                                Jun 10:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/june-2010-fat-is-bad.html 
faeces                     Sep 17:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/september-2017-number-two.html
fever                        Dec 15:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/12/december-2015-fever.html
fish                          April 18:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2018-fish-forever.html
                               Jul 12:      http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/july-2012-to-fish-or-not-to-be.html
insomnia                  Apr 15:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/april-2015-insomnia.html  
milk                          Oct 17:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/10/october-2017-please-have-your-dairy_1.html
                                Sep 11:  http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/september-2011-milk.html
salt                         Oct 15:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/10/october-2015-salt-ii.html
                               Oct 11:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/10/october-2011-salt-1.html
soy                         Aug 13:  http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/08/august-2013-soy.html
stress                     Jul 14:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/july-2014-just-relax.html
sugar                     May 17:   http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/may-2017-sugar-slavery.html                     
                              Jun 15:    http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/june-2015-sugar.html
                              Jul 13:     http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/july-2013-sugar.html
throat                      Nov 14:  http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/11/november-2014-throats.html
vitamins                  Mar 13:  http://thoughtforfood-aw.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/march-2013-vitamins.html 

January 2018: keep your teeth!








KEEP your TEETH


Are there things we can we do to keep our teeth in a better state? Yes there are. Here are some tips. 

Toothpaste
Have you heard of SLS, sodium lauryl sulfate? An ingredient in practically every toothpaste, it is actually a foaming agent which wears away the protective layer which safeguards gums, tongue and everything inside our mouths. Mouth ulcers are only some of the results of this [a].
Triclosan, another common ingredient, is a carcinogenic pesticide which disrupts our hormone system and normal breast development. As well as in toothpaste, it is now found in practically all cleaning products [b].

Acids
Though vitamin C in natural form is good for you, beware of taking tablets. In 2012 it was found that chewable vitamin C tablets, vitamin C gums and powdered supplements significantly increase dental erosion. They affect our teeth in the same way that soft drinks and orange juice do: they all contain acid, which dissolves calcium. Pills you swallow, however, are in the clear.
In general, don't brush your teeth immediately after meals and drinks, especially if they were acidic. Sour foods - citrus fruits, sports drinks, tomatoes, soda (both diet and regular) - can soften tooth enamel "like wet sandstone," says Howard R. Gamble, past president of the Academy of General Dentistry. Brushing speeds up acid's effect on your enamel and erodes the layer underneath. He suggests waiting 30 to 60 minutes before you brush [c].
For the same reason, try and cut down on drinks and snacks during the day. After eating, your mouth becomes acidic for roughly 40 minutes. If you snack constantly instead of sticking to regular meal times, your mouth is 60% more acidic. This dramatically increases the chances of tooth decay and gum disease.

Foods
What foods are good for your teeth? Milk, eggs, cheese and yoghurt; meat, fish, dark leafy veg; crunchy foods that contain lots of water are all excellent. But please make the milk and the cheese full-fat: see [d]! The fact that this will make you feel full so you will eat less later, is only one of the reasons - see [e].
Sweets and (diet) soft drinks are notorious, but citrus, coffee, wine, and pickles too contain acid. They are best consumed with other food, and don’t brush your teeth straight afterwards! See [f]. However, fermented and cultured foods are in the clear [g].

AND ALSO
  • When your teeth take turns hurting, when there is decay or discoloration, this can be due to lack of calcium - or of other nutrients which help absorb it, like vitamins D, C, E, K,  magnesium and boron (h). Exercise, too, helps our bodies use the calcium we consume.
  • When teeth are just sensitive, you may be lacking vitamin D.
  • If your mouth dries out, the bacteria will cause bad breath. A drink of water, or watery veg like cucumber, celery or carrots, helps as well as some fancy mouthwash. 
  • If you knock out a tooth, don’t rinse it in water or wrap it in a tissue – you’ll kill the fragile cells that can help it survive. Lick it, stick it back into the cavity or, failing that, put it in milk – and see the dentist as fast as you can.
  • For inflamed gums, use aloe vera gel - or a leaf from the plant [i].
  • For effective toothache remedies, see [j]. Personally I just stick a clove in my mouth!
  • Should you brush before bedtime? See [k].
  • How to whiten teeth naturally - see [l].

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Unfortunately there is no list of the most and least contaminated foods in Britain, so the US version has to do: see https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/#.Wg7BH610eGg for what you can safely eat there, and what not. Britain can't be too different. 


EAT:
VegBrussels', beet, sprout tops, cabbage, celeriac, celery (with Stilton!), corn salad, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, salsify, kale, kohlrabi, landcress, leeks, parsnips, pumpkin/squash, rocket, spinach, swede, turnips, winter (= black/white) radish, endive, winter purslane.
Meat: wood pigeon, pheasant, wild duck, goose, grouse, partridge, venison. For game recipes, see www.gametoeat.co.uk/.
Fishcoley, megrim, hake, clams, crab, cuttlefish, mussels, oysters, scallops, whiting.
PLANT:
Shallots are traditionally planted on the shortest day. You can still plant garlic. Buy heads from a proper supplier to prevent disease.
If you leave veg in the ground, apply a thick mulch (straw, bracken or newspaper) for protection, and so you can get them out easily.
And check http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/your-organic-garden-december-and-january?dm_i=4UO,4NFGO,JCJBU,HC8AU,1 for what else to do in the garden in January. 



RECIPES



SAUTEED RED CABBAGE
Red cabbage, large onion, olive oil, large cooking apple, cider vinegar, mustard seed, (sugar).
Pull off the outer cabbage leaves and cut off the bottom. Halve, then slice thinly. Chop the onion. Sauté both for 5 minutes. Add 10 ml cider vinegar and the chopped cooking apple. Season the mixture with 1 tsp mustard seed, salt and pepper. Cook for 10-15 more minutes with the lid on, before serving. You may want to add a bit of sugar.

SHREDDED BRUSSELS SPROUTS with APPLES
350g brussels', 1 large cooking apple, 2 minced garlic cloves, 80ml hazelnuts toasted and chopped, olive oil or butter, salt.
Slice the sprouts finely or quarter. Cut apple in wedges and sauté with the garlic for a few mins. Take out of the pan. In the same pan add some more oil/butter and sauté the sprouts. Keep the pan quite hot, and stir one or two times, not too often. Add apple/garlic and nuts, heat through and serve immediately or the flavours will change dramatically.


What to do with leftover Christmas wine?
LEEKS in RED SAUCE
4 leeks, 3 tbs olive oil, 240ml red wine, 2-3 tbs water, salt, pepper.
Cut up the leeks quite finely and wash. Place them in a pan that has a well-fitting cover. Add oil and a pinch of salt. Sauté, while stirring, until they just start to brown. Add wine and water. Cover the pan and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Check every so often and add a little more water if needed. When the leeks are tender, take off the lid and if there is still too much liquid, let most of it evaporate, so you just have some sauce left.

SPICY TOMATO & KALE LINGUINE for 4-5.
450g linguine or other pasta, 250g kale, (weighed after being de-stemmed); ab. 500g tinned tomatoes, butter/oil for sautéing, 6 minced garlic cloves, cayenne or chilli pepper, 80ml good quality extra-virgin olive oil, juice of 1/2-1 lemon, thyme, (black) olives, grated mature cheese, salt, pepper.
Cook pasta al dente in salted water. Drain but keep the water. Chop the kale. Sauté garlic and kale; cook for 1 min., stirring often. Add tomato, salt, red pepper, olives and cook until soft, about 4-5 mins. Add 120ml pasta water and heat thoroughly. Add cooked pasta, oil, lemon juice, thyme, and if needed, some extra cooking water. Season and mix. Put the cheese on the table for people to help themselves. 

For more recipes, see January issues from former years - click on January 2017 on the right hand side. 
Or go to https://thoughtforfoodaw.wordpress.com, which still has eight recipes for this year. 
We also have an alphabetical index of subjects, which you will see if you click on this month, in the top right hand corner.
Next month: the thyroid. To see this now, go to https://thoughtforfoodaw.wordpress.com and scroll down.





[d] See the Thought for October 2017.
[h] See the Thoughts for March 2013 and April 2013.