Smorgasbord Health Column – Painkillers – Prescribed and Over the Counter – Side Effects and Addiction.


Over the last twenty years, the USA has been on a downward spiral with regard to opioid addiction.

In 2002, 5,000 people died from overdosing with prescription opioids such as extra strength Oxycontin – Pure Oxycodone  ( a semi-synthetic opioid loosely related to morphine and originally based on elements of the opium poppy) and from others such as Percocet, Percodan which are usually oxycodone mixed with Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Other opioid drugs include Fentanyl, Hydrocodone and codeine in various strengths and mixed with NSAIDs or paracetamol.

In 2015 these deaths caused by opioid overdose had increased to 52,000 per annum.

The UK has also seen an increase in addiction. However some of those who are afflicted go unreported, such as when associated with the very elderly. I have personal experience of this with the prescription of Tramadol in excessive doses, and also Oramorph which is a liquid opioid, to my mother in her late 80 and early 90s. And then with the safe withdrawal from those drugs over several months after taking issue with the prescription.

It is hard not to be cynical when our elderly are being given addictive opioids, that can severely impact breathing, and who may be only interested in the pain relief they offer, rather than the very small print on the leaflet enclosed.

The UK has a public health system which is far more regulated than in the US, and the pharmaceutical companies do not have such a lucrative market place. However, we have still managed to become a nation of pill-poppers at a cost of around £16 billion per year to the NHS.

In the USA, the prescriptions for Oxycontin had risen to 6 million a year by 2009 but the use of the pills became big business on street corners and became part of the overall drug problem facing the nation. Also there is often a transition to the use of illegal drugs such as heroin, when the prescribed source of the painkiller dries up. It is no longer the stereotypical junkie who is on the front pages of newspapers, but young mums and sometimes both parents passed out in cars with children in the back seat.

Here is an interesting statistic that caught my eye when reading various reports on opioid addiction.

“Other developed countries, including the UK, have been grappling with a rise in opioid addiction, too, although Britain’s public health system means the issue of massive over-prescription is less acute.

But the US is the epicentre and the origin of the crisis, consuming more than 80% of global opioid pills even though it has less than 5% of the world’s population and no monopoly on pain.”

Read more of this very informative article: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/25/americas-opioid-crisis-how-prescription-drugs-sparked-a-national-trauma

There is no doubt that there are life saving drugs developed that are beneficial to mankind, and that for short term relief of extreme pain, opioids are one of the few options. But unfortunately once the body is no longer in pain, and the drugs are continued to be taken, the neurotransmission in the brain is disrupted.

This is the way that neurons (nerve cells) communicate in the brain and they determine the way we feel, think and behave.

Each of our neurons produces one or more neurotransmitters such as serotonin or dopamine. For example, dopamine is mostly found in areas of the brain that determine feelings of reward. Prescription opioids produce effects similar to the neurotransmitters such as dopamine as well as endorphins (creating the feel good factor) effecting pain relief but when production of the neurotransmitters is disrupted, it can also result in lack of focus, lack of inhibition and become life threatening by inhibiting the ability to breathe.

Withdrawal from these addictive prescribed painkillers after long term use, is not easy at all, and can be dangerous. It takes professional intervention and help to rid the body of the toxins and to also normalise the functionality of the neurotransmitters in the brain.

What about over the counter painkillers.

It is easy to assume that if a drug or painkiller is available over the counter then it cannot be harmful. Unfortunately this is not always the case, especially with the class of drugs known as NSAIDs or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which includes Ibuprofen and Aspirin (Disprin).

Millions of us will walk into a pharmacy and buy both these painkillers to reduce the inflammation of certain common conditions such as arthritis. However, there is increasing concern about the long-term use for chronic conditions.

Even the low-dose aspirin taken as a preventative against heart conditions, can contribute to some of the side effects that have been recorded.

Increased risk of Heart Failure.

NSAIDs encourage the body to retain sodium. The body then hangs on to water to dilute the concentration. You then have more fluid around individual cells and additional volume of blood in the cardiovascular system. This results in a lot of additional work and pressure on blood vessels which can harden, which in turn leads to high blood pressure, heart attack or a stroke. If you find yourself becoming breathless easily, developing puffy ankles, suffer from indigestion more frequently, tight feeling in the chest, nausea and sweating and a persistent cough, please go to the doctor immediately.

Kidney damage.

The anti-inflammatory and sodium retention properties of these drugs can lead to damage to the kidneys, and if after prolonged use of Aspirin of other NSAIDs you notice that you have poor energy levels, dry itchy skin, pain both sides of your lower back, frequent urination or blood in your urine, you should go to a doctor immediately.

Internal bleeding from stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal damage.

Although the 75mg preventative dose of aspirin has been thought to be less of a risk in relation to internal bleeding, there is growing evidence that in some people it can still result in damage throughout the digestive tract including the esophagus. Taking full strength aspirin for extended periods has been associated with stomach ulcers and intestinal bleeding. If you smoke, have a family history of ulcers of have other medical problems you should seek medical advice before taking this painkiller.

Allergic reaction.

My mother was allergic to aspirin and so am I. Possibly because we have the asthma gene from my grandmother. Asthma sufferers should be very careful about taking NSAIDs without medical advice and should be monitored carefully.. This is particularly important if you have children who have asthma, and in fact it is not recommended for under sixteens to take NSAIDs at all.

Paracetamol is generally considered safe as it does not have the same anti-inflammatory properties, select age appropriate dosages such as in children specific products, but again it is wise to ask the advice of the pharmacist.

You should also never give NSAIDs like aspirin to children with chickenpox or with influenza as it can result in damage to the liver and the brain.

What are the alternatives.

That is really tough because when it comes to acute short term pain such as following injury or post operative, it is difficult to beat NSAIDs, and in extreme cases opioids.

However, chronic pain management needs to be approached in a holistic way that maximises the effect on the pain, but minimises the damage to the whole body and its major organs.

Diet and exercise is very important as sitting all day and not using the body does not release natural endorphins that help with pain.

Eating sufficient good fats, vitamin C rich foods to help the production of collagen (for joint pain) and a wide range of anti-oxidants with a reduction in refined sugars.

Here is my basic nutritional shopping list and if you are eating these foods regularly you should see some benefit. Those with particular anti-inflammatory properties are tomatoes, green vegetables such as spinach, nuts, fatty fish and berries.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/a-basic-shopping-list-for-a-nutritionally-balanced-diet/

Sometimes diet and exercise is not sufficient, in which case it might be worth exploring acupuncture, which is a therapy that I have used for chronic knee pain successfully.

Physiotherapy can also help relieve muscle and join pain as can certain forms of exercise such as swimming.

Personally I use a daily turmeric spray as it has anti-inflammatory properties when used over an extended period of time.

Finally

At the end of the day, pain needs to be managed. If it is acute pain from an injury or post operative, then you may require prescribed medication in the short term. In which case you should work with your doctor to reduce the painkillers over a period of time as the pain becomes manageable with non-opiate alternatives.

If you suffer from chronic pain then also work with your doctor and pharmacist to manage with both physical therapies and the right pain medication that does not cause any serious side-effects. Do not be afraid to ask questions about any prescribed medication and read the leaflet carefully to maximise safe usage. For example taking with food to help prevent damage to the stomach or intestinal tract.

Also review your diet, lost weight if that might relieve joint pain in hips and knees and explore alternative health products that may work for you. Talk to a qualified assistant and check out online first. If you have any questions them please do not hesitate to ask. sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

For more information on Opioids and NSAIDs here are some links.

https://familydoctor.org/condition/opioid-addiction/

https://drugabuse.com/library/opiate-abuse/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/pain-relief-taking-nsaids-safely

I hope you have found this of interest and I look forward to your feedback. Thanks Sally

 

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The Afternoon Video Rewind – Healing Equine Therapy – Stress and PTSD


This is a video from an equine therapy center. The horses were born there and have an amazing bond with humans. At http://www.equinisity.com people come from all over the world and experience a life changing connection with animals, nature and their higher selves

If you have time here is another video showing how working with horses are helping to heal veterans with PTSD.

Thanks for dropping by… Sally

Smorgasbord Health Column 2018- Seasonal Affective Disorder – Part Two – Vitamin D the Sunshine Vitamin


seasonal-affective-disorder

First a reminder if you missed the first post in this series of the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The typical symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) include depression, lack of energy, increased need for sleep, a craving for sweets and weight gain. Symptoms begin in the fall, peak in the winter and usually resolve in the spring. Some individuals experience great bursts of energy and creativity in the spring or early summer. Susceptible individuals who work in buildings without windows may experience SAD-type symptoms at any time of year. Some people with SAD have mild or occasionally severe periods of mania during the spring or summer. If the symptoms are mild, no treatment may be necessary. If they are problematic, then a mood stabilizer such as Lithium might be considered. There is a smaller group of individuals who suffer from summer depression.

To show the connection to Seasonal Affective Disorder I need to give you an idea of the scope and breadth of the influence of Vitamin D Levels in the body. And as you will see later in the post it has been identified that there is a difference in the incidences of several diseases between population is sunnier areas of the world and those that have extended winter months.

WHAT IS VITAMIN D?

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in some food sources. We are also designed to make the vitamin in our body after exposure to the ultraviolet rays from the sun. When it is manufactured in the body it takes on a number of different forms, each of which have a different function to perform.

The main function is to maintain the correct balance of calcium and phosphorus in the blood and then to ensure that calcium is absorbed efficiently so that new bone is formed and maintained throughout our lifetime.

This link to calcium resulted in the first major nutritional breakthrough nearly 100 years ago when it was identified that children with rickets, usually from poor and industrial areas suffered from Vitamin D deficiency and were supplemented with fish liver oils resulting in a virtual eradication of the disease.

Calcium plays a crucial role in other functions in the body but one of the most important as far as cancer is concerned is its ability to maintain the acid/alkaline balance within all our operating systems.

There is also a strong link between magnesium and calcium in the role of balancing hormones and are used very successfully in the treatment of PMS and menopausal symptoms.

Oestrogen the female hormone has been identified as the fuel that breast cancer cells prefer and this is why during the menopause when levels are likely to be elevated, we are more likely to develop tumours. This can therefore be linked back to a deficiency in Calcium and by definition a lack of vitamin D which enables the mineral to be absorbed and used by the body.

Vitamin D also works to promote healthy cell growth and actively prevent the formation of abnormal growth which strengthens the link between not only breast cancer and a deficiency but other cancers as well. Incidences of breast, prostate and colon cancer in the cloudier, Northern parts of the United States are two to three times higher than in Sunnier states. A link has been established to a deficiency of Vitamin D with all these types of cancer.

Apart from working with other nutrients to provide a healthy balance, Vitamin D is also associated with a number of other chronic diseases including Osteoporosis (calcium) Diabetes, Heart disease, arthritis (immune system) Multiple sclerosis (autoimmune system) Obesity ( lowers the levels of leptin hormone produced by the fat cells which regulates weight) , PMS and infertility, chronic fatigue and depression.

Many people in countries with long wet and dark winters suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Vitamin D which has been activated in the adrenal gland regulates an enzyme called tyrosine hydroxylase which is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine and epinephrine. Not only do they regulate how we feel but also are linked to some interesting parallel conditions associated with a lack in Vitamin D namely obesity, PMS and menopausal symptoms such as migraines, and chronic pain associated with arthritis etc.

HOW DO WE GET SUFFICIENT VITAMIN D?

There are actually two types of vitamin D found in nature – D2 is the one activated by sunlight in plants and D3 is found in animal foods. D3 is the one that is most commonly used in supplementation usually in combination with calcium as it is the most biologically usable and effective for humans.

If you have a liver or kidney condition then you should not supplement without your doctor’s advice. When we take in Vitamin D from food or sunlight it firsts goes to the liver and gets converted to one form and then onto the kidney to be converted into another form before being active and usable. If you have a liver or kidney problem you will be unable to convert the vitamin and will need the already activated form on prescription from your doctor.

Vitamin D taken in excess can be toxic and you should not supplement more than 1000 IU to 3000IU per day. The upper limit for safety has been set at 10,000 IU per day and if you are getting adequate sunlight provided vitamin D you should not need to supplement in summer months.

The recommended daily levels are confused as since 1997 when the original levels were set at between 200 and 600 IU An IU represents 5 micrograms. Researchers now believe that we need a minimum intake of 1000 IU rising as we age to 3000 IU

Most of what we require on a daily basis is produced in the skin by the action of sunlight and many of us who suffer from depression through the dark winter months are actually missing around 75% of our required daily dose this represents over 2000IU of vitamin D for someone in their 70’s

There is quite a lot of information available regarding the amount of time that you need in the sunshine to produce sufficient Vitamin D and unfortunately it is also very confusing. Some researchers say that you only need 15 minutes per day in the sun and others recommend two to three hours of exposure.

What is crucial is the type of ultraviolet light, the time of day, the latitude and altitude and amount of bare skin exposed.

Ultraviolet light is divided into 3 bands or wavelength ranges which are UV-C, UV-B and UV-A. UV-C is the strongest and it is the band that causes our skin to burn in a very short space of time. This band is absorbed by the ozone level and thankfully never reaches our skin – yet.

UV-A is responsible for our tans as it activates the pigment in our skin. Usually we will not burn in this range unless we are photosensitive (some anti-depressants and St. John’s Wort can cause this) or very high and frequent doses are used. This range is used for tanning beds and there have been incidences of skin cancer resulting from over use. Until very recently this UV-A was not blocked in any sunscreens and of course sunbathers would lie out in extremely strong sunlight believing that they were protected completely from harmful rays. Of course they were not which is believed to be the reason for the increase in the level of skin cancers.

The ultraviolet wavelength we need to produce Vitamin D is UV-B and unfortunately despite its benefits also is the burning ray and the primary cause of sunburn.

It also however, produces the beneficial effects of stimulating Vitamin D production, causes special skin cells to produce melanin which protects our skin and also for those of us trying to lose weight also stimulates a hormone MSH (Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone) that helps in weight loss and energy production.

A drawback is that although UV-A is present all through the day the UV-B available is dependent on a number of factors including the angle of the sun rays and cloud cover as well as latitude and altitude. The upshot is that the most beneficial time to take advantage of the UV-B rays is in the peak burning zones of 10.00 a.m. to 2.00p.m.

The sensible approach is to build up you tan slowly and carefully over a period of time so that the melanin in your skin provides protection from burning. Start by getting five minutes exposure to very bright sunlight if you have very fair skin and then increase this as your tan builds. Walking at other times of the day will also benefit you and try to expose as much skin as is decently acceptable (don’t frighten the tourists) You need to try and reveal around 85% of your skin to be effective.

I don’t advise anyone to sit in scorching sunshine in the middle of the day for hours – If you do make sure you have adequate protection to begin with and then reduce the factor down to 8 over a period of time. Any sun blocks over 8 will not allow the UV-B rays through to produce Vitamin D so when you are ready and you have sufficient protection in your own skin reduce the sunblock to under 8.

FOOD SOURCES

Our ancestors mainly worked outside until the industrial revolution and activities such as farming, fishing and hunting meant that we were exposed to sunlight throughout the day depending on the latitude and altitude of our immediate vicinity. Those not lucky enough to get adequate sunshine would have instinctively sought other sources of Vitamin D from food. In those days it was the intestines, livers, kidneys, skin and fat of the animals they caught as well as seafood, oily fish and insects. It is obvious from this list how many foods have disappeared from our plates in the last 100 years. When was the last time that you ate liver, kidneys, the fat on your steak or the crispy skin on your chicken. We certainly have been told not to eat most of these to preserve our health but ironically it means that we are also missing out on viable sources of Vitamin D.

This has limited the available food sources of the vitamins and some of them are rather inadequate anyway.

eggs

An egg contain approximately 24 with a 100g serving of herring or tinned salmon providing just over 400 IU. Dairy products such as milk contain the vitamin but an 8oz glass only contains 100 IU of the vitamin.

Pork fat contains 2,800 IU per 100gms so start eating the crackling again (do not attempt if trying to lose weight. Herrings contain 680 IU, Oysters contain 640 IU (would need a lot more than a dozen) Sardines 500IU. Mackeral 450 IU and butter 56IU

This compares to 2,000 IU to 5000IU produced from sunlight dependent on the factors we have already covered.

COD LIVER OIL.

Now that most of us are well into the winter months I do recommend that everyone take high quality cod liver oil. Apart from the Vitamin D you will also be supplying your body with an excellent source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids essential for a great many of our bodies functions and the subject of another programme. Cod liver oil also contains rich amounts of vitamin A and the whole package will help protect you against age related diseases.

As children we were given spoonfuls of cod liver oil and thanks to that simple breakthrough in the early 1900’s we did not get rickets. Today if you cannot face a tablespoon of the oil, you can obtain high quality cod liver oil capsules. There are lots to choose from so I suggest you shop around to find the best quality you can.

As we get older our skin thins and we are less able to manufacture Vitamin D naturally, which is when supplementation is really quite important.. It is a good idea to take not only cod liver oil but also an additional supplement of calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D. This is important for both men and women to maintain the correct acid/alkaline balance and also to balance hormone levels during midlife when breast and prostate cancer is more of a risk.

For the last two years I have been using a Vitamin D3 spray – one spray on the inside of the cheek supplies me with 3000 IU. It is absorbed much more efficiently in this form and I take all year round now that we are not living in a place with 300 days of sunshine a year.

Next time the link between Sunshine and Tryptophan.

©sally cronin- Just Food for Health – 2004 – 2016

Smorgasbord Christmas posts from My archives – The Leftovers by Sally Cronin


 

The Leftovers

I opened the fridge this morning
To check on the state of the world,
I hoped to see that the turkey,
Was not all shrivelled and curled.

It peaked from its packet of foil,
Still juicy and raring to go
I shredded it into some sauce
With some shrooms and onions for show.

I took the spuds, carrots and peas
And slathered with butter and oil.
The brandy was down to the dregs,
I added and brought to the boil.

But what to do with the trifle
Still lush with custard and berry
Guess I shall just have to eat it
Topped with a schooner of sherry.

So if I sound a bit pickled
The leftovers carry the blame.
Since to throw good food in the bin
Would be a dire waste and a shame.

My waist has expanded to fit
All the goodies that have been served
But thankfully my beloved,
Likes his women rounded and curved!

©sallycronin 2015

Please let me know if you have any leftovers that required consuming in the comment section of the post and be kind!!

Smorgasbord Review 2017 – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – Don’t forget to eat your Purples – The Aubergine


 

This was the most viewed post of the Cook from Scratch with myself and Carol Taylor… I hope many more people are including the wonderful aubergines in their diet after reading these recipes.

Welcome to the series where I provide the nutritional health benefits for a food and Carol Taylor works all week in the kitchen to provide delicious recipes to include in your regular diet. I hope you will go over to her new blog which she has just started: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/ and discover more about her beautiful home in Thailand.

Before we enjoy another wonderful selection of recipes from Carol Taylor it is time to look at the health benefits of this richly coloured vegetable.

Don’t forget to eat your purples! – The Augergine history and health benefits.

There are certain foods that on my shopping list regularly as daily or weekly additions to our diet and others that we might have a little less often.. One of these is aubergines which I love but only eat occasionally as I have a tendency towards gallstones. If you do not suffer from either gallstones or kidney stones then you can enjoy a couple of times a week at least.

We were all encouraged to eat our ‘greens’ when we were children, and we know that the brighter the food colour the more anti-oxidants they contain, but I cannot recollect being told to eat my ‘purples’. But it is this colour which gives this food its uniqueness.

When we are enjoying a moussaka or ratatouille made with this versatile food we don’t tend to dwell on its medicinal properties, but like the majority of fresh produce we eat, aubergines have some powerful health benefits.

The History of the aubergine.

The aubergine has its origins in ancient India and is mentioned by different names in Sanskrit, Bengali and Hindustani languages.  It was grown in China as well but only came to Europe around 1,500 years ago.  There is no Latin or Greek name for it but there are Arabic and North African names indicating that it came to this continent via that trade route.

Americans call it the eggplant, and in India it is known as Brinjal.  In Spain, aubergines are called berengenas or ‘apples of love’ for supposed aphrodisiac properties. Something that I take on faith!  In northern Europe they had a strange notion that eating the vegetable caused fevers and epileptic seizures and named it Mala Insana or ‘mad apple’. It is also known as melanzana, garden egg and patlican in other languages.

The aubergine belongs to the nightshade family that includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes.  It grows from a vine and will vary in size and colour although the flesh of all the different types tends to be slightly bitter and spongy in texture.

When you are selecting the aubergine go for the smaller, smooth skinned vegetable.  Gently push with your thumb and if the flesh gives slightly but springs back it is ripe.  If the indentation remains it is overripe and will be soggy inside.  If you knock on the fruit and it sounds hollow it will be too dry and inedible.

What are the medicinal properties of the aubergine.

As with all plants, the aubergine has a sophisticated defence system to ensure its survival.  When we eat it, we inherit some of these properties and our bodies process and use specific nutrients to benefit our own health. The aubergine has an abundance of nutrients including antioxidants, phenolic compounds including chlorogenic acid and flavonoids such as nasunin.

Nasunin is a potent antioxidant in the skin of the aubergine and has been studied for its ability to prevent free radical damage to cell membranes.  Lipids or fats are the main component of cell membranes and not only protect the cell from damage but also regulate the passage of nutrients and waste in and out of the cell.  The research is focusing on brain cell health and eating aubergines regularly may help protect us from degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  Nasunin may also help prevent oxidative damage to the LDL or the unhealthier cholesterol in our blood that leads to plaque in the bloodstream and blockages in the arteries.

Nasunin also assists with the regulation of iron in the body.  Iron is an essential nutrient required for the transportation of oxygen in the blood and our immune function. However, too much iron can increase free radical damage and is linked to heart disease, cancer and degenerative joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.  Nasunin is an iron chelator, which means that it binds with the iron processed from the food we eat and transports it safely in the blood stream preventing excess iron from causing damage to cells.

What are the benefits of Chlorogenic Acid.

Chlorogenic acid is a phenolic compound and one of the most potent free radical scavengers in plant tissues. It is very abundant in aubergines and very effective against free radical damage to LDL cholesterol. Additionally it may help prevent certain cancers and viral infections.  Like Brussel sprouts some varieties of aubergine can be very bitter and it is thought that this is due to very high levels of Chlorogenic acid, which is also responsible for the rapid browning of the flesh when it has been cut.

Other good reasons to include aubergines in your diet on a regular basis.

The aubergine is a good source of dietary fibre, which not only helps prevent constipation but also helps eliminate waste from the body and prevent the build-up of plaque in the bloodstream leading to arterial disease.  Recent research is identifying some very interesting properties in certain fibres including the ability to absorb and eliminate harmful bacteria from the body without the need for antibiotics.  Fibre in the diet has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer and also regulate blood sugar levels

By eating aubergines regularly you will also be including healthy amounts of potassium, manganese, copper, vitamins B1, B3, B6, folate, Vitamin C, magnesium and tryptophan.  It is what I call a well-rounded food.

Are there any drawbacks to eating aubergines?

The majority of us can enjoy aubergines on a regular basis in our diet and obtain its full health benefits, but as I mentioned earlier, a small proportion of people should avoid eating it.

The aubergine contains relatively high concentrations of oxalates, which are found in all plants and humans. If oxalates are too concentrated they crystallise and form stones in the kidneys and the gallbladder.  If you already suffer from kidney or gallbladder problems then it would be best to avoid aubergines.  This also applies to rheumatoid arthritis and gout sufferers, as this vegetable is part of the nightshade family and could increase the symptoms of these diseases.  This applies to tomatoes as well.  I have found that cooked tomatoes cause me less problems and they are too nutritionally rich to avoid completely.  I suggest you try eating cooked tomatoes twice a week, three days apart and monitor your symptoms.

Now time to hand over to Carol, who despite a very busy week, has as always produced some amazing dishes for us.

Aubergines adding purple to your diet.

Aubergines or egg plants as I know them are eaten a lot here in Thailand…They are made into dips, sauces, stir fries, curries …I also had a beautiful Tian but that wasn’t Thai it was in a lovely restaurant on the beach.

It was very finely sliced egg plants layered with tomatoes and courgettes and cooked until the flavours mingled together …I had it with fish and it was very nice…

I am always being surprised at what I find tucked away when I least expect it.
Egg plant also makes a lovely vegetarian curry when they are roasted and paired with a coconut curry .

Image Pinterest

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Japanese eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1-inch knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Thai chili, sliced (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro, to garnish

How to prepare

  1. Make the curry using coconut milk cooked with fresh ginger, garlic, fish sauce and a little raw sugar and onions…
  2. Sear the aubergine over the BBQ FOR 3-5 minutes then add to the coconut mixture…
  3. Cook for a few minutes until the egg pant has absorbed some of the coconut curry and serve with rice or noodles…

Sally has told us how beneficial they are to our health so I am now going to give you some recipes which I hope you enjoy.

Starting with? Thai Green Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into cubes.
  • 6 Thai egg plant. cut into quarters……They are the larger ones in the pictures.
  • 2-4 tbsp green curry paste
  • Bunch small egg-plant (optional) Pea like size in Picture.
  • 10 straw mushrooms quartered or use button mushroom.
  • 5/6 stems of Thai sweet basil (pick of leaves1 large or 2 small cans of coconut milk

Let’s Cook!

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in your pan and add the curry paste I would start with 1/2 tbsp curry paste …You can always adjust the heat later in your cooking… I don’t know how hot you eat curry so would always suggest start small.
  2. Cook for 1-2 minutes to release the flavour, add tbsp fish sauce cook for a further 2 minutes then slowly add coconut milk and simmer gently.
  3. Add the chicken, cook on simmer for 20 mins then add vegetables and Thai basil cook for further 20 mins.
  4. Serve with Steamed or boiled rice.
  5. If you are making veggie curry just omit chicken and add carrots and broccoli or veg of your choice.
  6. When we had our restaurant, chef always put extra veg in mine as she knew I liked veg so can add to chicken curry as well if you like although that is not the norm just how she did mine.
  7. You can use beef or pork instead of chicken if you like but will req longer cooking.
  8. Garnish with sprig Thai basil and extra sliced chilli… if required.

N.B. You can get curry paste called Nam Ploy from supermarkets in the UK which is a good substitute unless you prefer to make your own paste. We buy ours from local markets which is freshly made and the curry is a lovely vibrant green colour.

Image Pinterest

Aubergines are also nice just sliced, seasoned and put on an oiled baking sheet in a hot oven for 5-7 minutes then brushed with a mixture of herbs of your choice and popped under the grill for 30 seconds. Serve immediately. Nice as an accompaniment to chicken or fish with a nice salad on a summers evening.

Fancy a quick dip for unexpected guests

  • 2 aubergines
  • 100ml natural yogurt
  • juice ½ lemon/lime
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • olive oil , to drizzle

How to prepare

  1. Char the aubergines over a flame or cook in the oven and remove skin.
  2. Tip into a food processor with the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, chilli, coriander and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Blend until smooth tip into a bowl, and drizzle with more olive oil.
  4. For a chunkier dip, the aubergine, garlic and chilli can be chopped by hand and mixed with the other ingredients.

Enjoy!

Aubergine dip the Thai way.

  • 1 medium egg plant
  • 2-4 chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 med shallots
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Big handful coriander

Let’s cook

  1. BBQ your egg plant, shallots, chilli and garlic the chilli and garlic will be done first , pop the chillies into a sealed plastic bag to cool it makes it easier to remove seeds and skin.
  2. When eggplant is soft then scoop out flesh and add all the ingredients to your food processor or just a pestle and mortar like it is done here.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if required more fish sauce or lime juice.
    Serve with noodles or raw vegetables.

The Greek Moussaka is a beautiful dish with luscious layers of minced meat, tomato sauce, béchamel sauce and sweet eggplants.

Also they make a very nice au-gratin layered with potatoes and goats cheese.

Grilled and cubed with watermelon they make a lovely salad using sesame oil as a dressing.

Eggplants are also used in Indian cuisine and pair very nicely with cumin, garam masala and other Indian spices….

All in all a very versatile vegetable….

Quick and easy Aubergine and feta rolls.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, trimmed and sliced into 6 1/2-inch-thick lengthwise slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled or cubed feta
  • 2 Tbs. chopped pitted Kalamata olives optional
  • 2 Tbs. chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as chives, parsley, and basil); more for garnish

Let’s Cook!

  1. Cut aubergines into slices long ways; brush them with oil and season. Grill until the aubergine slices have griddle marks on one side about 3 minutes. In a small bowl combine either crumbled feta or feta cubes and mix with olive oil and herbs.
  2. Put the feta mix or cube of feta on the widest part of the aubergine and roll. Put on a serving dish and sprinkle with olive oil, pepper and herbs before serving.

Egg Plant sauce for pasta

Ingredients – Makes 7 pints or 4 quarts.

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 2lbs egg plants peeled and cubed
  • 8 cups tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp fresh basil
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine

Let’s Cook!

  1. In a very large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic; cook until the onion is soft.
  3. Add tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper, and wine; stir.
  4. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Put into hot sterilised jars and seal.
  6. Process the jars of sauce in a hot water bath for 40 minutes.
  7. This is a great sauce served over pasta with Mozzarella cheese.

Baba Ganoush

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 garlic cloves finely diced
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flat leaved parsley
  • ½ cup brine cured black olives optional

Let’s Cook!

  1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill.
  2. Preheat an oven to 375°F.
  3. Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill rack 4 to 5 inches from the fire.
  4. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.
  7. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl.
  8. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste
  9. Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well.
  10. Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.
  11. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.
  12. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley.
  13. Place the olives around the sides.
  14. Serve at room temperature.

Once again many thanks to Sally for sharing her wonderful knowledge on the benefits of the Aubergine and allowing me to share my recipes for the Aubergine which I hope you have enjoyed.

As you can see it has been a busy week in the kitchen, and so grateful to Carol for all the hard work that she has gone to again, to make recipes that do the ingredients justice.

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Connect to Carol

New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology.

 

Phuket Island Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Please feel free to share thanks Sally

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – My annual reminder – Before you Indulge..think Milk Thistle


For some of you it is Thanksgiving this week which is a wonderful opportunity to meet with family and friends and of course over indulge. This celebration kicks off the festive season and from the first week in December there will be Christmas parties at every opportunity and good intentions fly out the window as the sausages on sticks and mince pies are handed around.

Do not get me wrong… I am with you 100% and Christmas is one of my favourite times of year when chocolate coins and almond paste are on the top of my to do list! However, there are two major organs in the body that find this month of the year extremely confusing and upsetting. Our brain and our liver.

The brain turns into a pinball machine with all its pleasure and reward centres being pinged off regularly as we hand around the treats and sit down to laden tables. For the rest of the year most of us are moderate eaters with just the occasional blip, but at Christmas the restraints are off and our eyes and taste buds are in charge of proceedings.

This results in some pretty dramatic chemical changes in our brain that has a knock on effect on the glands of the body. The immune system is impacted which is why it is so easy to pick up a cold or the flu as we mingle with family and friends. As the sugar floods our bloodstream our blood sugar levels play havoc with our kidneys and our energy levels.

mince pies

The liver is in no position to help us out. Normally it happily removes toxins and waste from the body and releases stores that help with digestion and protect us. For the next few weeks it will be working overtime and it will not be able to do its job causing a build up of toxins in the cells of the body. This is not helped by all the antacids and over the counter painkillers that are knocked back in December and early January.

That is the bad news. The good news is that there are ways to support the body and the liver through the festive season. The first strategy is to use your usual common sense and know when you have had enough!! The second is to make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush out toxins. The third is to eat light, fresh meals on the days that you are not indulging in heavy celebrations so that you give your body and major organs a break. Finally you can take a herbal remedy in the form of Milk Thistle to help support your liver as it works overtime in December.

As with in any complementary medicine, it is important not to assume that it is either safe to use or that it will cure your condition. In the case of herbal therapy there is a great deal of written and oral evidence, over centuries in some instances, that it is an effective and safe way to support the body and when appropriate can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine. In the case of milk thistle, trials have indicated that even at high doses there is little known toxicity.

Thistles are part of the daisy family, found mainly in Europe, Asia and Australia, especially dry and sunny areas. It can grew very quickly to over 10 feet and produces a milky white sap when the distinctive green and white leaves are crushed. It is a plant that takes over and smothers other growth so is not always welcome. It has been used medicinally for the last 2,000 years and it was highly regarded by the Romans. It has undergone extensive research and in some parts of Europe, like Germany, it is the most commonly used herbal therapy.

Scientific studies into the effects of the herb are mixed but do show some indications that taking Milk Thistle has positive benefits for the liver. It might also have some anti-cancer properties but this will take considerably more research to confirm. Traditionally, no self-respecting medicine man or woman would have been without the herb, especially for the treatment of poisonous mushrooms, including the Death Cap.

The liver has over 500 functions in its role as guardian of our health and it is vital it is kept working at an optimum level. If your liver is sluggish you may notice a few symptoms that indicate a need to look at your diet but also at ways to encourage the organ to function better. If you suffer from headaches at the side of your head that sometimes affects the eyes, or you feel nauseous after eating fatty foods, or find it difficult to get going in the morning you may be suffering from liver fatigue. In Victorian times grumpy old men and women were termed ‘liverish’ due to increased stress and irritation levels.

How does milk thistle work?

Milk thistle (Silybum Marianum) helps protect the liver and encourages it to regenerate. It protects against incoming toxins and also assists the liver to cleanse itself of alcohol, drugs, heavy metals, and poisons. It is also helpful in treating congestion of the kidneys and the spleen.

By stimulating the release of bile from the liver and the gall-bladder the whole digestive process is improved, which in turn ensures that any nutrients are absorbed more effectively. It also supports the liver in its role of purifying the blood, for this reason it has been used in support of treatment for psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Silymarin is the main component of milk thistle seeds and is a flavonoid containing 4 isomers – Silybinin, silychristin, silydianin and isosilybinin. Silymarin works directly with the cell membranes of the liver preventing damage and encouraging re-growth.

Research into the actions of this herb indicates that it helps reduce inflammation in hepatitis, soften the lesions caused by cirrhosis and helps detox livers that are cancerous. Anyone taking long term medication will also find that taking milk thistle (with the agreement of your doctor) may alleviate some of the side effects and help the liver process and eliminate the drugs more effectively.

How do you take milk thistle?

Milk thistle is an herb that is not soluble in water so you cannot make a tea from leaves, or extract. It is soluble in alcohol, which is why it is found in tincture form, and in capsules. One of the most effective ways to take it is as part of a complex where other herbs such as dandelion, artichoke and peppermint are included. These herbs are also very supportive of the liver – as artichoke helps reduce cholesterol and blood lipid levels; dandelion is a mild diuretic and laxative and has long been used to help with liver and gall bladder problems; and peppermint is a general aid to digestion and helps relax muscles.

Normally you would take 15 to 20 drops, twice a day in a little water, as an adult. It is one of the herbs that is not recommended for children. As a precaution, you should always ask a qualified herbalist before giving herbal medicines to children, or anyone pregnant. This also applies to patients who are HIV positive.

As with any herbal treatment it is a good idea to take a break from the therapy from time to time. If you have been taking it for three months, take a break for about six weeks before resuming. It is also a good idea to keep a diary of how you feel during treatment, as it will help you note improvements. Also, do not forget that herbs to not necessarily work overnight. They need time and it can take several weeks to notice appreciable differences in the way you feel.

Provided you have consulted your doctor there should be no problem taking milk thistle in conjunction with prescribed medication for hepatitis, gall-bladder disease and during recovery from alcoholism. One of the areas in which it may be very helpful is during chemotherapy, but in this instance it is extremely important that your medical team are consulted, as it will affect the potency of your treatment.

It is one of those herbal remedies that are useful to have around at Christmas time. As I have mentioned the liver takes a great deal of punishment at this time of year and apart from keeping hydrated and alternating alcohol drinks with water, I also suggest that you take Milk Thistle from now until after New Year. Then move to a gentle detox with the herb as part of a complex for the rest of January.

This of course does not mean you have a free licence – this poor herb can only do so much!

I am happy to answer any questions you have about health posts.. If it would benefit everyone then please leave in the comments section. Or you can contact me via sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Thanks for dropping by and love to have your feedback. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – ABBA, Constantine The Great and Brown Rice!


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week.. I was off on my travels this week to Belfast to celebrate our wedding anniversary and to visit the Titanic museum. We don’t get out much!  But, when we do we like to push the boat out. We stayed at the Culloden Estate and Spa with a suite overlooking the loch and only 3 miles from Belfast City Centre and 10 minutes from the Belfast City Airport. It is on 12 acres of wooded gardens and the food was superb. I think 37 years is worth celebrating in style. Here are a few photos to whet you appetite. In fact mid-week rates for two days are exceptionally good value and you can use the spa and swimming pool free during your stay.. and no…you do not get to see me in a bikini!  Not in this lifetime anyway.

Can definitely recommend the hotel and the food was delicious. https://www.hastingshotels.com/culloden-estate-and-spa/

Titanic Belfast is an award winning exhibition and museum and you need to allow at least two hours to see all the various exhibits, interactive displays and the ride by suspended car through the bowels of the ship watching the animated images showing the work involved in building this mammoth ship.. no works comp in those days and over 250 accidents and several fatalities that need to be added to the loss of life over a few hours a short time after her launch.

You can find more details here: http://titanicbelfast.com/

Anyway, whilst I was off having fun for my three days, contributors were still working away in my absence and I am as always very grateful. This is what the week looked like.

William Price King began a new series of the all time favourites of millions.. ABBA… this week meeting the individual band members.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/william-price-king-meets-some-legends-abba-meet-the-group/

Writer in Residence. This week Paul Andruss continues with the story of Constantine the Great who was allegedly the first Roman Christian Emperor.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/writer-in-residence-the-thirteenth-apostle-and-his-mum-part-two-by-paul-andruss/

Carol Taylor spent time in her kitchen in Thailand to turn the raw brown rice grains into wonderful recipes for all the family.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-brown-rice-nutritious-and-delicious/

Cook from Scratch with Robbie Cheadle and a cake you really would not want to cut into and eat.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/12/cook-from-scratch-2017-how-to-make-a-fishing-boy-cake-by-robbie-cheadle/

The Ultimate Bucket List Interview

Robbie Cheadle joins us again for the last in the current series of Sunday Interview shows and shares her two top wishes on her Ultimate Bucket List.. Wedding Cakes and a very personal wish…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/smorgasbord-sunday-interview-the-ultimate-bucket-list-wedding-cakes-and-a-very-personal-wish-by-robbie-cheadle/

Personal Stuff

My review for Look the Other Way by Kristina Stanley a romantic thriller set in the warm coastal waters of Florida and the Caribbean.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/smorgasborg-blog-magazine-sallys-book-reviews-look-the-other-way-by-kristina-stanley/

Smorgasbord Reblogs

Last week I was the guest of Christy Birmingham on her eclectic blog, writing about elderly health care in the colder months and some ways to avoid colds and flu.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/smorgasbord-reblog-elderly-health-care-keeping-colds-at-bay-by-sally-cronin/

Jessica Norrie visited Lisbon last week and apart from a tour of the old part of the city, she also shares some of the books written or set in the city.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/smorbasbord-reblog-lisbon-city-of-books-by-jessica-norrie/

Contributors to the Posts from Your Archives series

We are today because of the choices we have made… Carol Taylor explores where those choices lead us.. and how we feel about that.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-i-am-who-i-am-today-because-of-the-choices-i-made-yesterday-by-eleanor-roosevelt-from-carol-taylor/

Allie Potts has an eventful walk with her beloved dog.. and comes a cropper….and shares the lesson learnt.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-get-a-grip-a-painful-lesson-on-when-to-hold-on-by-allie-potts/

J. Hope Suis shares the most beautiful Japanese restoration process that turns broken china into works of art with gold and silver. Something that as humans we can learn too when putting ourselves back together after life’s experiences.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-when-the-flaw-becomes-the-beauty-by-j-hope-suis/

Do you wish that you had not selected your Twitter handle in the beginning?  Rosie Amber takes us through the simple steps to change it. I am @sgc58 and realise I should have gone with RedHotMama.. ah well.. if only I hadn’t just had 500 business cards printed!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archive-how-to-change-your-twitter-handle-from-rosie-amber/

Karen Ingalls shares a post in tribute to an elderly friend who passed away after a gracious life well-lived.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-she-passed-by-karen-ingalls/

Can you remember your first kiss.. Patricia Salamone shares this experience with an interesting outcome!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/smorgasbord-post-from-your-archives-first-kiss-by-patricia-salamone/

Darlene Foster takes us on a tour of a medieval market in Orihuela in Spain.. food, colour and sunshine.. what else do you need?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-spain-orihuela-medieval-market-by-darlene-foster/

Having almost given up showing my mother how to operate the DVD player with a different remote from the TV … I take my hat off to Jane Risdon who managed to get an 83 year old relative online and on Facebook… I think Jane was on herbal stress relief!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-gas-lamps-harry-randals-sat-navs-and-ipads-by-jane-risdon/

Annika Perry shares an atmospheric visit to Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-gothic-enlightenment-by-annika-perry/

Adrienne Morris is on the subject of toxic criticism and how to handle it.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-how-to-handle-criticism-by-adrienne-morris/

Marian Beaman shares her wonderful tradition of family dinners through the decades.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-dinners-keeping-the-spark-alive-by-marian-beaman/

Lillian Csernica continues her tour through the gracious city of Kyoto

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/smorgasbord-reblog-posts-from-your-archives-kiyomizu-dera-kyoto-day-four-by-lillian-csernica/

D.Wallace Peach with a post about what defines the characters that we write about, and the stereotyping that is applied to emotional character,  according to the gender of your protagonist.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-strength-of-character-by-d-wallace-peach/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-christmas-archives-christmas-magic-from-a-bit-about-britain/

Do you know what a Fidget Spinner is?  I didn’t but I do now courtesy of Cecilia Kennedy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-fidget-spinners-by-cecilia-kennedy/

Jaye Marie and Anita Dawes join us with their archive posts this week. It would seem that children are discovering the joys of computing earlier and earlier. I was in my early 30s when I was introduced to one and I only really used it for word processing and loved the freedom it gave me from tipex! It was a while before I got into the programme side and that was a huge dent in my self-confidence… read on.. I am not alone.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-children-are-our-future-jaye-marie-and-anita-dawes/

Smorgasbord Poetry

A poem on the subject of Happiness by Balroop Singh

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/smorgasbord-poetry-happiness-by-balroop-singh/

Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelvesmany-hats-of-a-lady-ladies-of-entrepreneurship-by-brenda-scruggs/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-susan-toy-john-maberry-and-jack-eason/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-malia-ann-haberman-david-lawlor-and-geoff-le-pard/

Air Your Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/smorgasbord-air-your-reviews-v-l-mcbeath-stevie-turner-and-jann-weeratunga/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/smorgasbord-book-promotion-air-your-reviews-andrew-joyce-molly-stevens-and-deanna-kahler/

Monday Night Quiz with Debra Russell author of Trivia Lover’s Ultimate Reference

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/smorgasbord-quiz-night-trivia-lovers-ultimate-reference-questions-by-debra-russell-winner-receives-free-book/

Humour and afternoon videos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-challenge-can-you-keep-your-eyes-open-during-this-video/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-from-the-archives-parrots-hamsters-and-polo-mints/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-rewind-traffic-cop-michael-jackson-in-traffic/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/smorgasbord-laughter-academy-dogs-under-the-dining-room-table/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/smorgasbord-afternoon-video-interrogator-discovers-who-stole-the-cookie/

Thank you to all the contributors and to you for all your support by dropping in, liking posts, commenting and sharing..