Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up -Herbie Hancock, Gems from Your Archives and Talkative Parrots.


Welcome to the round up of posts on the blog you might have missed this week.

We currently have a digger in the back garden, a cement filled trench awaiting blocks for a retaining wall and mounds of earth, that I am sure will be turned into a wonderfully landscaped vista by the end of the week.. that’s the plan anyway.

I had to do a complete replant of my pots this week as the ones I bought from a supermarket as good value, turned out to be duds.. I did think when I put them in that they were too dry and watered them and gave them some feed but after two weeks of TLC… most had died. Anyway… I went to my usual garden centre and paid a bit more and they are all thriving. Just goes to show sometimes bargains do not work out. It is the first year out of about 50.. that it has happened so I should count myself lucky.. All the pots are round the side of the house at the moment with equipment coming in and out and I will have fun putting them back later in the week.

We have old friends arriving Tuesday for two days. They are currently touring south and west Ireland finishing in Dublin over the weekend before coming down to us.. we are only an hour from their return ferry so handy… This is their first time in Ireland and I am looking forward to hearing how they got on..

The Posts from Your Archives is going well. I am so enjoying browsing and reading everyone’s posts to select the four I am going to publish… I feel I am getting to know people a little better and I am discovering some hidden gems to share as you will see later in the post. If you are on the list and have not heard from me… I am just about to begin scheduling the June spots and will get in touch with dates shortly.. It looks like this series is going to run into July which is terrific.

Time to get on with the round up and as always I am very grateful for all the contributions, shares, likes and comments..

William Price King shares the music of American Jazz Pianist, Keyboardist, Composer, Band Leader and Actor Herbie Hancock.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-american-jazz-pianist-keyboardist-composer-band-leader-and-actor-herbie-hancock/

Another two part series from Paul Andruss on Poetry… with some iconic examples from the masters.. According to the Muse….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-according-to-the-muse-a-dialogue-in-2-halves-part-1-what-is-poetry-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-according-to-the-muse-a-monologue-in-2-parts-part-two-born-to-die-by-paul-andruss/

This week I reviewed Devil in the Wind: Voices from the 2009 Black Saturday Bush Fires by Frank Prem.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/smorgasbord-book-reviews-devil-in-the-wind-voices-from-the-2009-black-saturday-bushfires-by-frank-prem/

This week in early June 1986 we drove the 7 hours to reach South Padre Island on the Gulf of Mexico.. fabulous place (those shrimp were to die for) and also I up my exercise routine (makes my knees ache just reading about it!)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-june-1986-south-padre-island-and-getting-fit-sally-cronin/

Delighted to welcome guest writer, singer/songwriter guitarist Michelle Monet to the blog today who explores the concept of fame and the inclusion of ‘big names’ in memoirs to catch the public’s eye.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-michelle-monet-memoirs-i-was-told-that-my-memoir-could-be-a-huge-bestseller-if-i-do-more-celebrity-name-dropping-huh/

Robbie Cheadle with a short story in response to one of Sue Vincent’s Photo Prompt Challenges  Memorandum left by Dr Thompson

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-short-story-memorandum-left-by-dr-thompson-by-robbie-cheadle/

Jacquie Biggar with a delicious recipe for soup that can be adapted for everyone’s tastes and would make a great starter or main course.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-sunday-potatosoup-cooking-up-memories-by-jacquie-biggar/

This week D.Wallace Peach back to nature, and if you think you have bats in your belfry… you might not be crazy.

photo by John Pearce via Flickr

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bats-in-the-writers-belfry-by-d-wallace-peach/

Finance expert Sharon Marchisello shares some of the ways you can pay off your mortgage early.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-finance-paying-off-your-mortgage-by-sharon-marchisello/

Our resident foodie, Carol Taylor, shares the stray dog and welfare issues in Thailand and how one mum and her pups enters their lives

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-properly-trained-man-can-be-a-dogs-best-friend-by-carol-taylor/

Miriam Hurdle takes us on a trip to Yellowstone National Park and Alaska with some amazing photography.

alaska-1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-a-trip-to-yellowstone-park-and-alaska-by-miriam-hurdle/

Pete Johnson, Beetley Pete, takes us on a ride in his time machine to ancient Rome.. where would you like to travel to.. the past or the future..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-my-time-machine-by-beetley-pete/

D. G. Kaye – Debby Gies has a wonderful book review feature every Sunday and here is an example where she reviews Midlife Cabernet by Elaine Ambrose.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/smorgasbord-post-from-your-arcives-potluck-d-g-kaye-sunday-book-review-midlife-cabernet-by-elaine-ambrose/

This week I am sharing a guest post by author A.C. Flory from the archives of Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-story-reading-and-his-guest-author-a-c-flory/

A heartwarming and poignant short story from Darlene Foster…The Special Date.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-shortstory-the-special-date-by-darlene-foster/

Author Christine Campbell shares the first part of a tour of Scotland when she and family drove whilst her husband cycled from John O’Groats to Embo..

surf 1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-cycling-days-1-to-3john-ogroats-to-embo-by-christine-campbell/

Another wonderful episode in the linked flash fiction family saga.. The Fold by D. Avery

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-arcives-potluck-the-fold-part-three-by-d-avery/

Charles Yallowitz takes a look at the art of ‘Banter’ the exchange between two people… usually comedic. The Art of Bantering: Not as Easy as You Think

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-art-of-bantering-not-as-easy-as-you-think-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

This is the third post from author Jane Risdon and since you enjoyed the audition posts last week.. here is part two…The Auditions Part Two: Let’s Play Rock ‘n’ Roll by Zeppelin

Red Corvette rear end

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-auditions-part-two-lets-play-rock-n-roll-by-zeppelin-by-jane-risdon/

This post by Mary Smith, illustrates that sometimes the hardest part of caring for a person who has dementia can be leaving them to have some much needed respite… even when they are never far from your thoughts.

October 2014 028-800

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-my-dads-a-goldfish-downhill-slide-by-mary-smith/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-undercover-crime-shorts-by-jane-risdon/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-mystery-fire-in-the-vineyard-by-christa-polkinhorn/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-children-davey-derek-junior-detectives-series-the-case-of-the-mystery-of-the-bells-by-janice-spina/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-ghost-horror-haverscroft-by-s-a-harris/

Author update #reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-hugh-w-roberts-don-massenzio-and-nicholas-c-rossis/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-victoria-zigler-sue-coletta-and-amy-reade/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-jokes-from-sallys-archives-episode-10/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-some-snippets-from-sallys-archives-episode-11/

 

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Bloggers, Authors, Music, Health, Food and Funnies.


Welcome to this week’s round up where I share the posts you might of missed, and thank you for taking the time to drop in.

It has been a busy week from a blogging perspective as the new series of Posts from Your Archives gets under way. I did wonder if the previous series which usually featured 12 or so bloggers was restricted due to natural reticence. I have noticed before that you are a shy in coming forward which is why I changed the concept this time so that I went into your archives to select four posts to share.

Boy, did that turn things on its head.. there are now 45 bloggers on the list and I am having the time of my life delving into all the archives to select posts to share. And I am finding some gems that I delighted with.. such as poetry hidden away, wonderful personal stories, travel experiences, family sagas and it just goes to show what a thoroughly talented bunch you are. It has also been great to see lots of discussions going on between everyone about the subject of the posts… loving it.

Clearly it is going to take me a little while to get through all the archives and they will appear over the next three months.. I will try to let you know dates in advance of that, but I am totally privileged to be allowed to access your archives and thank you for trusting me with that. This week’s archives coming up later in the post.

Facebook

After several attempts to delete my account (following weeks of blocked posts and nasty messages), and then receiving emails welcoming me back to Facebook…..(I do not understand the inner workings of FB Bots!) Anyway I have been back tentatively for the last month, keeping in touch with friends and sharing their posts internally, and so far so good. I am hugely grateful to those of you who have manually shared posts using the URL.. and that has worked thank you.

I am now re-installing my Facebook share button and I would be grateful if you would let me know if you get any messages if you share a post. I know that a lot of other bloggers such as The Story Reading Ape, Debby Gies and  Ellen Best to name a few had exactly the same problem, and there is apparently a reason for it.. Facebook does not want their members to leave the site to go off to visit another, particularly if that site is selling stuff they are not getting a cut of!

Since Smorgasbord is not monetized in any way.. I am hoping that things are now back to normal.

It looks like we will be getting the contractors in to do the back garden this week… fingers crossed.. and we are then 95% finished on our project that began 3 years ago on this house. When I look at the before and after pictures the thought runs through my mind “What were we thinking”…..but it is now a lovely family home that we hope to hand over to someone with lots of kids who will enjoy for many years. Our original plan was to put it on the market next spring but now we will probably go ahead as soon as it is finished.

Anyway… time to get on with the posts from the week that you might have missed… thanks as always to contributors and guests who give so much time and effort to providing amazing posts.

D.G.Kaye.. Debby Gies, gives us the low down on the popular holiday destination of Puerto Rico…essential reading if you are planning to travel there.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-san-juan-puerto-rico/

This month Siliva Todesco serves up a quick and simple classic that is hard to resist for pasta lovers…and I am sure your families… Garlic, Olive Oil and Red Pepper spaghetti.

GARLIC, OLIVE OIL AND RED PEPPER SPAGHETTI (Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-italiancookery-with-silvia-todesco-garlic-olive-oil-and-red-pepper-spaghetti-spaghetti-aglio-olio-e-peperoncino/

Two stories from me this week.. one in response to Diana Peach’s Speculative Fiction Prompt I went a bit outside my comfort zone and went forward in time….with The Enhancement Project..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-short-stories-mays-speculative-fiction-d-wallace-peac-the-enhancement-project-by-sally-cronin/

and the second story was in response to Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills on the subject of getting old. A Small Price to Pay

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-a-small-price-to-pay-by-sally-cronin/

Weight loss and sleep are connected, and if you are not getting enough sleep your body will not get sufficient time to repair, regenerate and restore balance…The sleep process and the benefits of a good night’s rest.

beating heart GIF

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-weight-loss-the-benefits-of-sleep-by-sally-cronin/

Debby Gies was back on Wednesday with a guest post about a topic we are reluctant to talk about… with doctors included.. our inner workings and colonoscopies. Debby shares here experiences to demystify the process and stress the need to get checked.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-health-column-guest-writer-d-g-kaye-what-i-did-yesterday-besides-having-a-colonoscopy/

I look at the myths surrounding cholesterol and the importance of eating good fats from grass fed animals, including dairy to obtain sufficient Vitamin K2

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-health-column-cholesterol-and-fat-myths-part-two-vitamin-k2-and-healthy-fats-by-sally-cronin/

And a reminder about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, a silent killer that almost ended my life. The statistics in the USA and the UK are not improving fast enough.

 

Each year, approximately 20,000 people in the United States visit the emergency room because of carbon monoxide poisoning. While many of those people are treated and released, on average, 400 people will die from carbon monoxide poisoning in a given year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-health-column-something-to-think-about-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-statistics-by-sally-cronin/

Do you remember the song Dominique by The Singing Nun?  Find out more about the singer and this one hit wonder and the life it led to.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-one-hit-wonders-the-singing-nun-dominique/

This weekend I share two more posts from my archives, featuring Paul Andruss with Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-rosabelle-b-e-l-i-e-v-e-by-paul-andruss/

Doyle and Houdini (library picture)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-doyle-and-houdini-the-dream-team-by-paul-andruss/

Jacquie Biggar shares her first camping experience which seems to have been one shared by many….would have loved to have been a fly on the wall of the tent!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-camping-woes-by-jacquie-biggar/

Robbie Cheadle with some Flash Fiction…and it is all about the lavender.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-flash-fiction-lavender-not-forever-by-robbie-cheadle/

Financial expert Sharon Marchisello shares some of the ways to prevent being taken for a ride.. literally in New York..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-money-navigating-new-york-by-sharon-marchisello/

Fantasy author Diana Wallace Peach shares the miracle and importance of reading with grandchildren…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-miracle-of-reading-by-d-wallace-peach/

In Miriam Hurdle’s first post I shared her responses to a challenge that asked specific questions about life… such as ‘A piece of clothing from your younger childhood you still remember?’

Miriam_0001 (2)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-share-your-world-by-miriam-hurdle/

Beetley Pete.. Pete Johnson with a thought provoking memory of meeting a man blind from birth who explained how he perceived images we take so much for granted.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-thinking-aloud-blindness-by-beetley-pete/

Debby Gies shares the stunning photos of her grandmother who competed in the Miss Toronto 1926 pageant, and also other photos that show that the good looks run in the family.

Miss Toronto beauty pageant 1926

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-miss-toronto-1926-my-grandmother-by-d-g-kaye/

The Story Reading Ape.. Chris Graham is well known for his guest posts and in this series I am sharing four from his archives.. this week his guest is Michelle Clements James who puts forward the perspective of a reader.. important for all writers to understand.. after all, readers are our customers.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-story-reading-ape-with-his-guest-michelle-clements-james/

Darlene Foster poses the question… Are blogging friends real friends? and there was a lot of discussion on the matter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-are-blogging-friends-real-friends-by-darlene-foster/

A lovely poem on the joy of sunshine from Christine Campbell.. certainly one I can endorse.. we so little of of it, it is like gold around here!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-summer-sunshine-by-christine-campbell/

Fantasy author Charles E. Yallowitz on the subject of standing out from the crowd.. and being labeled ‘odd’.. and why there is no ‘normal’ to be judged by. Something to think about…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-whats-wrong-with-being-odd-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

The second part of the linked Flash Fiction that reveals a family drama – The Fold by D.Avery

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-pot-luck-the-fold-part-two-by-d-avery/

Jane Risdon who has been in the music industry for many years, shares an audition in Hollywood that had its moments!! Part one here with more to follow.

 (c) Jane Risdon 2014

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-auditions-part-one-snore-poison-so-ill-know-it-by-jane-risdon/

Mary Smith takes us on a trip to visit some sacred crocodiles.. fascinating history.. watch your fingers now!

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluckmary-smiths-place-karachi-crocodiles/

New book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-desolation-bluff-by-toni-pike/

Author Update – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-c-s-boyack-lizzie-chantree-and-sheila-williams/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-robbie-cheadle-leslie-tate-peter-weisz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-3/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-4/

Thank you very much for your ongoing support and I hope you will pop in again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health – Size Matters The Sequel – Weight Loss – The Benefits of Sleep by Sally Cronin


As I have already established, healthy weight loss is not just about calories in and calories out. Although that is the basic principal of losing fat, there are so many other elements to consider, that are emotionally, physically and mentally critical to a successful outcome.

In the last few months we have explored the impact of stress, emotional and physical, types of foods that are nutrient dense, willpower and exercise. Another daily activity that also has a part to play in maintaining a healthy balance in our bodies is sleep. I have posted before in the various weight loss series but it is worth reminding ourselves how important this period in our day is to us.

If you are trying to lose weight…sleep is one of your most powerful diet aids.

You might wonder why weight loss and sleeping go together. Well apart from the fact you won’t be putting any calories in during that time; your body will be processing those you ate the day before. If you consistently only have five or six hours of sleep not only has that process not been completed efficiently, but you wake up wanting to dive into carbohydrates and as many sugary coffees you can get your hands on. Over a period of time as your body loses energy it will demand that you top up more frequently and consume sugars to keep it going… Before you know it your weight is going steadily upwards.

Sleep is essential for the recovery of the body and mind. It is the time of day when organs continue to function but calmly enough to be able to carry out diagnostics and repairs ready to face the next active 16 hours. Without this down time every night you will find yourself vulnerable to physical and mental stress and if sleeplessness is a long term issue for you it can lead to a number of health problems.

The Power of Sleep

Sleep is as vital to humans as breathing, drinking water and following a healthy diet. We need exercise and movement throughout the day, to keep us supple and fit, but you cannot run any operating system for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for 70 or 80 years without carrying out essential maintenance.

If we are doing our bit, we should be providing the body with the raw materials it needs to process, manufacture and rebuild our bodies internally and externally. For many of us, however, the ingredient our bodies are deprived of most is sleep.

During the day, our normal activities help our bodies to excrete toxins but the body also needs time to heal, rejuvenate and rest. Most of the day our body is focusing on keeping you upright and able to accomplish every task you set yourself, including providing you with a functional immune system. At night your body can concentrate on cleansing and restoring all the operating functions, ready for the next day.

beating heart GIF

For example: the heart normally beats 82 times in a minute.

That is 4,920 times an hour – 118,080 times a day – 826,560 times a week – Almost 43 million heartbeats a year.  That is a huge amount of work for the organ that keeps us alive!

However, when we are asleep our hearts beat at around 60 beats per minute, or lower. This means that for 8 hours of the day our heart will beat 28,800 instead of 39,360 times, which is a saving of 10,560 for those down time hours.

If you multiply that over a year you will be saving nearly 4 million heartbeats. Take that in relation to our life-span  of an average of 80 years, and your heart will have to work 320 million heartbeats less, saving wear and tear on this vital organ.

With regard to weightloss, your heart will also have to beat less as you lose weight which is one of the reasons that being close to a healthy weight is so important.

The same principal applies to the rest of the body and its operating systems. Your lungs will work less as your breathing slows during the night. Your muscles will rest and recuperate and your brain will undergo diagnostic tests and repairs while you sleep.

Most mental disorders, including depression and Alzheimer’s, are linked to various sleep disorders, some resulting from drugs used to control the disease or from changes in parts of the brain that normally regulate sleep patterns. There are also some concerns that sleep aids, particularly prescribed medication used long term may result in mental impairment. (As always do not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your doctor.)

Our dream states are important as it is part of your brain’s downtime function as it sorts information, filing and in some cases deleting unimportant information or spam, much as we do with our computers.

Going without sleep affects hormonal balance, and therefore our mood and stress levels. The glands that produce these hormones, such as the adrenal glands, are on constant alert and have no chance to rest and rejuvenate. As in the case of a rowdy neighbour it is “one up, all up”. The knock-on effect of having all these hormones rampaging around the body is that nobody gets any rest, leading to physical, mental and emotional problems.

Performance levels will decrease without proper sleep and our reactions and internal processes will be impaired. Research has shown that sleep deprivation has the same effect on driving performance as taking alcohol or drugs. People who do not get enough sleep become increasingly less sensitive to certain chemical reactions within the body and in the case of insulin this increases the risk to developing both diabetes and high blood pressure.

If you are tired then your body is trying to tell you something

Taking a nap is actually a way to catch up on your missing sleep. The most natural time for a nap is 8 hours after you have woken up in the morning and 8 hours before you go to bed. This way it is unlikely to affect your ability to fall asleep at night. Even 20 minutes can actually revitalise you and rest your body ready for another 8 hours of activity.

Make yourself comfortable, loosen your clothes and just close your eyes. Even if you do not fall asleep your body will relax and everything from your muscles to your brain will benefit.

Getting to sleep at night

Unless you are Mediterranean, and used to eating late at night from childhood, avoid having dinner just before you go to bed. Leave at least two hours – and if it has been very spicy then leave for at least three hours. I have no idea how anyone can go out for a night drinking, eat a curry and go to bed and not suffer a dreadful night’s sleep.

Alcohol can be a stimulant and whilst excessive amounts may make you sleepy it is going to wake you up four hours later with a raging thirst and a thumping headache. Once in while you may get away with it but if it is the norm you will become seriously sleep deprived.

Sitting up too late, watching an action thriller is not the best way to ensure a good night’s sleep. Those of us who have dogs who need walking benefit from both the physical activity and the fresh air before hitting the pillow and if you can safely take a stroll at night then it is an excellent idea.

Make sure that there is plenty of airflow in the bedroom and sleep in comfortable clothes. I have no idea how people manage in button up pyjamas as they must be so restrictive and you will be moving around quite a bit at night and getting tangled up in both bedclothes and your nightie is going to disturb you.

I find that, however late I go to bed, reading a few pages of a book is guaranteed to help me drop off. Many people have discovered their own sleep triggers over the years, including warm baths with Epsom salts, herbal teas such as Kava Kava and Valerian, and gentle music that drowns out the noise of neighbours, or a snoring partner.

Earplugs can be very useful, particularly if you are sharing a bed with a snorer, although you may miss the alarm clock in the morning.

If you are going to bed at more or less the same time every night you will find, within a very short space of time, you will wake at about the same time every morning. In fact, it is a good idea to follow the same sleep patterns all week rather than opt for a lie in at the weekend. It establishes a healthy downtime for the body and does not confuse it for two days every week.

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and research is increasingly showing that it is also vital for the development of our brains. Children who do not get sufficient sleep will develop behavioural and learning difficulties as well as compromise their immune systems and future health.

Keeping your children up with you late at night is not healthy. They need far more sleep than we do during their rapid growth spurts. Make sure that they have a nap during the day about half way through their active hours and get them into the habit of getting at least 10 hours sleep per night. When they are very young you will obviously be waking them for feeds and then for potty training but you must always try and ensure that they are kept calm and are put back down as quickly as possible. This will also be healthier for you as this is the time when most parents are likely to suffer from sleep deprivation. The next crisis for those of you with teenagers is when they fail to return before 2.00 in the morning.

Stages of sleep

There are a number of different stages of sleep and it is important that you go through the entire cycle to reap all the benefits.

There are two main phases. In phase one you will be going through Non-Rapid Eye Movement Sleep or NREM. There are different stages within this phase which naturally lead you to phase two or Rapid Eye Movement sleep or REM.

Phase one NREM

Stage One. This is the lightest stage of sleep and although your main senses are turned down they are not off completely and you can be disturbed by certain noises such as snoring, dogs barking or doors slamming.

Stage Two. If you get into this stage you will fall deeper asleep and your heart rate and temperature will begin to level out and drop. This stage represents about half your night’s sleep.

Stage Three and Four are the deepest stages of NREM and represent about 15% of your night’s sleep. Your breathing will slow; your temperature will drop further as will your blood pressure.

Phase two REM

After about 30 minutes in stage four NREM sleep you begin to move back to stage one and two where your brain will become more active and you will begin to dream. If you are woken up at this point in the cycle you are likely to remember the dream you were experiencing at the time. If you have reached one of the NREM stages then you are not as likely to recall anything when you wake up.

This cycle of phase one and two takes approximately 90 minutes and then begins again. To really benefit from this combination of rest and activity you need to complete at least 5 cycles during the night. This adds up to approximately 8 hours of sleep. If you only manage one or two cycles then your brain and body will not have completed its cleansing process and you will feel tired. If this becomes the norm you will begin to notice the symptoms of sleep deprivation.

Sleep is as essential as air, water and food and if you are not currently enjoying a good night’s sleep then you need to work towards finding a solution.

 

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998- 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with over twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2018/

 Thanks for dropping in today and if you have any questions please use the comments or if your prefer you are more than welcome to email me on Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You can find the previous posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/size-matters-the-sequel/

This is the last part in this series of updated chapters from Size Matters and it will published with the second part of the original book which was nutritional data, later in the year.. I hope you have found helpful. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

A quiet week on the home front, with a couple of days of sunshine and more today, so I will be out in the garden for much of the day…not so much making hay as getting rid of the rust in my joints!  David has been working to level off the back garden which was left as a weedy slope, and once the workmen have completed the pathway and resurfaced the back patio, we shall have a lovely spot to eat out which gets the sun in the summer until 10.00pm.  Also another step to getting the house ready to go on the market next spring.

I have also managed to find dry enough days to finish by pot plants. We then had three days of torrential rain and I am afraid some of the younger plants drowned.. you have to be hardy around here!

As always thank you for your support during the week and to the contributors who continue to share such wonderful articles.

I am so thrilled by the amazing response to the new Posts from the Archives series with over 40 bloggers allowing me access to their archives, to select four posts to share with everyone. This means I will be doing a lot of reading of posts, which is wonderful and it means that we have about three months worth of posts. Apologies if you have just gone on the list, but I will respond to you and get in touch when I have selected your posts… The first of those later in the post..

Now for the posts from the week……

This week William Price King shares the life and some of the work of jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer Miles Davis

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-trumpeter-bandleader-and-composer-miles-davis/

Two posts this weekend from Paul Andruss on Glastonbury and King Arthur.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-dancing-floor-of-glastonbury-tor-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-arthur-king-or-pawn-by-paul-andruss-by-paul-andruss/

In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Carol Taylor takes the ingredients that contain good sources of the nutrient and creates dishes that the whole family will love..this week Vitamin B6.. and delicious Chicken and prune tagine, tofu and honey bites and spicy sweet potato balls.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/smorgasbord-health-column-are-you-getting-enough-vitamin-b6-chicken-and-prune-tagine-tofu-and-honey-bites-spicy-sweet-potato-balls-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor/

Annette Rochelle Aben with the Universal Energy for May and what that could mean for you as an individual…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-your-universal-energy-for-may-2019-by-annette-rochelle-aben/

I trot this post our once a year as a reminder that you are being watched… even when you are not in front of your computer screen. It is not only thieves and vagabonds you need to worry about who might have designs on your empty house, but also trying to claim on your health insurance for some unfortunate mishap that took place while you were having fun in the sun.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-reminder-going-on-holiday-with-your-bff-social-mediaby-sally-cronin/

My review of the anthology to raise funds for cancer research compiled by Stevie Turner : Understanding: An Anthology of true and significant life events

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/smorgasbord-book-reviews-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-compiled-by-stevie-turner/

I unearth one of my poems on the culinary delights of holidays

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-poetry-holidays-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s carrot ranch flash fiction challenge In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about sisu. It’s a Finnish concept of enduring strength, the ability to consistently overcome. Sisu – DNA.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/smorgasbord-short-stories-the-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-sisu-dna-by-sally-cronin/

The majority of us who are losing weight will hit a plateau some weeks into the diet.. In this post I explain why and how to work through it.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-weightloss-hitting-the-plateau-by-sally-cronin/

You can find details in this post…love to hear from you, and as I mentioned if on the list it could be a few weeks before you feature :https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Christopher Graham began the new series and I selected one of his guest posts from Emily Gmitter with a wonderful post that I recommend you read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-story-reading-ape-a-selection-of-guest-posts-emily-gmitter/

Here is the first of the posts I have selected from the archives of D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies. Every month on the last Friday, those who participate in a global We Are The World Blogfest, (#WATWB) share inspiring stories of random acts of kindness, or projects that are making a difference to people around the world.

Inspirational Rocks

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-d-g-kaye-kindness-rocks-project-watwb-how-it-began-how-to-participate/

Children’s author and travel writer Darlene Foster is a regular visitor to the blog and has shared some amazing posts. The first post that I selected was from 2013…about a wonderful organisation in Canada that raises funding for the Children’s Hospital.

Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-cwill-bc-group-rewards-by-darlene-foster/

Author Christine Campbell has given me permission to browse her extensive archives dating back to March 2013… and the first post I have selected is from May 2013… and is about crafting, and in particular those delicate handkerchiefs that have been usurped by the paper tissue in many of our homes…

image

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-crafting-memories-by-christine-campbell/

The next contributor to the series is fantasy author Charles E. Yallowitz who has a wonderful blog where you can find stories, thoughts on life, book related posts and poetry. This week a poem on the journey of an Indie author.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-path-of-the-indie-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

I am delighted to share the first post from the archives of D.Avery who is the author of three short story and poetry collections. I have selected a wonderful serial that I am going to share over the four posts from D’s archives

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-serial-the-fold-part-one-by-d-avery/

This is the first post of four from author Jane Risdon… Jane loves to go on a ‘jolly’ for those of you who are unfamiliar with the expression… It is taking a road trip and having fun.. basically. The first post from her archives of 2016 is an example of that.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-hardwick-hall-another-jolly-from-2016-part-one-bess-of-hardwick-a-force-to-be-reckoned-with-by-jane-risdon/

My next guest in the new series of Posts from Your Archives is author Mary Smith.. I have two blogs to select the four posts from and the first is from her blog My Dad’s A Goldfish, where Mary shares here experiences caring for her father as his dementia worsened. In this post however, she shares the tragedy of the dementia of a school friend who she has remained in contact with, who developed the disease at a much earlier age. Very poignant…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-my-dads-a-goldfish-for-john-m-by-mary-smith/

New books on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-sister-witch-the-life-of-moll-dyer-legends-of-the-family-dyer-book-1-by-david-thompson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-thriller-the-second-korean-war-by-ted-halstead/

Author Update – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-mary-adler-a-j-alexander-and-jacquie-biggar/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-vashti-quiroz-vega-tony-riches-iain-kelly-and-sacha-black/

I have often highlighted the inconsistencies of medical studies and the profound and sometimes downright dangerous statements made that vilify or extol the virtues of either a food or medication. This was the case in 2012 when a Professor, labeled one of the UK’s leading experts stated that everyone over the age of 50 should be prescribed statins to reduce their cholesterol levels.  In this post I look at the latest research into Statins and their long term impact on our health.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/smorgasbord-health-column-the-cholesterol-myth-part-one-and-statins-the-new-research-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-more-jokes-from-sallys-archives-3/

Thank you again for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed catching up with the posts. Take care and hope to see you next week too. Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters the Sequel – #Weightloss -Hitting the Plateau by Sally Cronin


Experienced dieters will dread that  plateau that everybody seems to hit five or six weeks into their weight reduction programme.

A pound of body fat is generally equated to 3,500 calories. However, you will not be losing just pure body fat in the initial stages of your weight loss, since 15% and 22% of the weight of a fat cell is excess water, and this must also be reduced. This water loss is one of the reasons why people tend to lose weight faster during the first few weeks.

Anyone who has dieted, or read about dieting, will know about the dreaded ‘plateau’. There are a couple of major reasons why this occurs.

The first relates to the ability of the fat cells to shrink in the 5th to the 8th week of a weight loss programme.  As fat leaves the cells to be used as a food source, the body has the task of shrinking the fat cell back to its normal size. In some cases this does not happen immediately, and the cell has an empty space, where the fat used to be. Since the body cannot have ‘empty spaces’, water and salt automatically flow into the fat cell to replace the fat. As the body catches up with the shrinkage of the cells this water will be expelled, but the plateau can last from 2 to 8 days. Since water weighs more than fat you may even see a slight weight gain during this period, but, you will still be losing fat if you continue with your diet.

If you ensure that you are drinking sufficient fluids that I outline in the next section, and have a regular exercise schedule, this will resolve itself naturally.  I do not recommend that you take diuretics to eliminate the excess fluid as these can do damage to your kidneys.  It will also artificially affect your fluid balance and once you stop taking them it can take a while to correct that.

The other reason you are likely to plateau is starting your eating programme with too few calories.  If you read the earlier post on how many calories you should be taking in… you will have identified your BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate, which for women is around the 1500 nutritional calories and for men 1800 (men have a different muscle mass). This is your resting calorie requirement to run the operating systems of your body for 24 hours. Going below this for an extended period of time results in your body kicking into survival mode.

If you decide that you are going to starve your body into submission with only 1000 calories a day and combine that level of calories with lots of exercise, your body will begin to move into Nutritional Deficiency Syndrome, this is where the body detects that it is becoming deficient in essential nutrients combined with too few calories.. (My term for this process, others call it starvation syndrome)

Your body has some survival traits that will kick in once it perceives that there is a famine or drought and one of those is to hang on to what is in its fuel cells – in other words the fat and water gets locked up.

Even on days when you think you are eating sensibly your body will decide to top up the fat cells.. and if you go on a holiday break or over Christmas your body will take full advantage.

If you want to reassure your body that there is not going to be another famine… stick to a your eating plan and do not drop below the recommended calories.

So if you start your programme at a minimum of 1500 (woman) nutritional to 1800 (male) calories depending on your BMR – with normal activity and exercise you can create the 500/ 750 calories per day to achieve your 1lb. to 2lb weight loss per week.

Work through the natural plateau as your cells shrink and instead of reducing your nutritional calories (make sure that what calories you do consume are nutrient packed) and increase your activity levels slightly to maintain a steady weight loss.

Only kidding….

Fluids to keep you healthy.

Fluids are important for the body.  We are 80% water and this is essential for life.  You can live without air for about 6 minutes, without food for about 6 weeks (not me certainly) but you only live for about 6 days with fluids.  Every organ in the body relies on a certain level of fluid to function and fluid washes over all the cells in our body keeping them healthy by removing toxins. When you are losing weight this is even more important because you will not be just losing fats from your cells – you will be losing stored toxins too.

You notice that I say fluids not water.  It used to be that it was recommended that you drank at least 2litres of pure water per day.  Well, we now know that certain water rich foods,your teas and coffees add to your fluid intake.  But, fizzy drinks, too many fruit juices and alcohol are not acceptable due to their high sugar content.  The odd glass of wine or fresh squeezed juice, or even B-vitamin rich Guinness a few times a week is good for you. But, at the end of the day you cannot beat good old fashioned tap water.

Those of us who are lucky to live in countries where it is safe to drink water straight from the tap should take full advantage of this very inexpensive alternative to bottled water. I enjoy a glass of sparkling water from time to time but you will get less sodium and depending on local conditions, plenty of minerals from your own tap.

It amuses me when people moan about the price of petrol and then go into a bar and pay £2 for a glass of ‘mineral’ water with a bit of ice and lemon.  That makes it around about £5 per litre or more.  Petrol sounds pretty cheap in comparison.

In recent months it has emerged that the cheaper mineral waters for sale in supermarkets for under 50p per bottle is actually just filtered tap water.  You can do that yourself if you wish either with a filter attached under your sink or by using one of the jug filters.

There is a knack to drinking your water so that it does not interfere with the digestive process.  If you drink a couple of pints of water with your meal you will dilute the gastric juices and the process then becomes less effective.

Try to drink a glass of water when you get up in the morning – a half hour before your main meals and about 90 minutes afterwards.  I will drink green or peppermint tea after a meal however; I find that particularly mint tea helps with digestion, which is why many cultures drink so much of it.

Another fluid that is good for your health, by giving you a boost of Vitamin C, kick starting your body after a night’s rest and is great for your skin, is hot water and a squeezed lemon before you have breakfast.  The other advantage to this particular drink is that if you are suffering withdrawal symptoms from giving up sugars in your diet, the lemon will retrain your palate quite quickly.

So with water first thing, hot water and lemon, a tea or coffee mid-morning, a glass of water 30 minutes before your lunchtime and evening meal and one 90 minutes afterwards, a cup of tea mid-afternoon and water rich salads, fruits and vegetables and you will have consumed at least 2 litres of fluid.

If you do 30 minutes of intensive exercise drink another glass of water before and afterwards. If you drink a couple of glasses of wine occasionally, have at least one glass of water afterwards.

If you drink a little more water you will not come to harm, but do not drink too much either as excess fluids can cause you to lose essential nutrients and make you feel very unwell.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998- 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with over twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2018/

 Thanks for dropping in today and if you have any questions please use the comments or if your prefer you are more than welcome to email me on Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You can find the previous posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/size-matters-the-sequel/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Constantine the Great, a horde of talented authors, canine petty thiefs and some jokes


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts on Smorgasbord that you might have missed.

After the glorious Easter weather the storm fronts came racing in and I am very grateful that the small plants that went into the pots last weekend have survived and thrived. I am amazed as they had such shallow roots and yet most have managed to also flower despite the high winds and torrential rain. Miracles really.

I was in Gorey today to get some food shopping done and on the way into town is a large roundabout which has recently be revamped by its sponsor. They had planted about five mature conifers about 5 foot tall in a circle and whilst my little petunias weathered the storm and bloomed… three of these conifers are now on their sides. Obviously not planted deep enough but a lesson on how the mighty fall and the meek might just inherit the earth.

I am waxing lyrical now so had better get on with business. 

The first thing I want to share is the new series of Posts from Your Archives and if you missed the post this morning here are the details.

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 400 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history and the most recent series was on any aspect about family.

Many of the posts were written at the start of a blogger’s experience and perhaps there were not as many followers at the time. Such a shame not to re-share all the hard work that went into the post in the first place.

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 40,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts.

So what is different about this series?

This time, rather than you send me four links to posts from your archives, all I need you to do is give me permission to dive in myself and find four posts to share here on Smorgasbord.

Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random across a number of subjects from the time you began blogging up to the present day.

If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.

Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.

Here are a few examples so you can see how a post will appear.

Darlene Foster shares the devastation caused by wildfires that destroyed old family homesteads in Canada.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-what-was-lost-in-the-fire-by-darlene-foster/

Robbie Cheadle shares a wonderful post about her wedding.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-contrasting-colours-a-poem-for-my-wedding-anniversary-by-robbie-cheadle/

Sue Vincent shares the wonderful dogs who have been part of her life since childhood and today.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-a-family-of-dogs-by-sue-vincent/

So do you trust me enough to delve into your archives and select some posts to share here on Smorgasbord?

All I need is your name in the comments here or in the original post and I will do the rest.

Time to share the posts from the week…slightly fewer than usual as I posted last week’s round up on Monday.

I thought over the weekend I would share a two part series from Paul Andruss posted originally in November 2017…As with any legend, there is usually some variations on the origins and plenty of embellishments by later historians, that need to be resolved. Paul takes on the task and unravels the stories to reveal the probable truth behind Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor.. and his mother Helena.

Part  One

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-thirteenth-apostle-and-his-mum-by-paul-andruss/

Part Two

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-thirteenth-apostle-constantine-the-great-part-two-by-paul-andruss/

They were not really the good old days, especially for women and children, particularly the babies. Robbie Cheadle shares the truly terrible tale of Amelia Dyer…

Amelia Dyer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-baby-farming-in-the-late-victorian-era-britain-and-amelia-dyer-by-robbie-cheadle/

Susanne Swanson turned her blog over to her cat Benji who shared an experience with a mouse…

20161023_19371322

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-mouse-had-no-chance-by-susanne-swanson/

Personal Stuff

This week on The R’s of Life… Reason.. have we lost all of us, or does our education system let millions down by not providing them with the tools to make informed decisions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-the-modern-world-reason-by-sally-cronin/

This week our friend’s cat goes missing and I grow tomatoes…Houston 1986

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-houston-april-1986-lost-cats-and-tomatoes/

My response to This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills is about ‘exhaustion‘… Tramp’s Heartbreak…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-tramps-heartbreak-by-sally-cronin/

Special Feature – the final contributors to Understanding An Anthology of True and Significant life events.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/smorgasbord-special-feature-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-contributors-clive-pilcher-abbie-johnson-taylor-stevie-turner-and-beem-weeks/

New Book on the Shelves.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-devil-in-the-wind-voices-from-the-2009-black-saturday-bushfires-poetry-anthology-book-2by-frank-prem/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-crime-thriller-irmas-endgame-by-paulette-mahurin/

Author Update #Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-jack-eason-jack-eason-m-j-mallon-bette-a-stevens-and-olga-nunez-miret/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-hugh-w-roberts-judith-barrow-and-linda-g-hill/

The truth is you cannot have your cake and eat it and lose weight.  If you want to enjoy a varied and healthy weight loss you need to get moving.. even if it is a walk around the block each day… and flexibility is key.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-getting-moving-and-shifting-the-pounds-by-sally-cronin/

There are a great many myths about food and one of those foods is salt. The fact is we are taking in far too much sodium in industrially produced foods, 75%… and not enough of the natural salt that we need.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-health-column-food-myths-do-you-have-enough-salt-in-your-diet-overweight-sugar-cravings/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-8/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-9/

Thank you very much for dropping by and your support…have a great week. Hope to see you here again soon…thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters the Sequel – Getting Moving and shifting the pounds by Sally Cronin


When you are embarking on a programme to regain good health, the last thing you need is to be laid up with a knee or other injury. The temptation is to complement your new healthy eating commitment with an annual gym membership and attempting to run a marathon..

It is much better to learn to walk before you run…. and if you are a certain age… it is better to ease into the weight lifting by starting with a couple of tins of beans.

Before you even begin to run, you do need to ensure that the ligaments, muscles and joints that have been on sabbatical for some time (except for the weight training involved in moving excess weight around) are in good condition for what is to come.

I suggest that you spend some time increasing your flexibility. And rather than get down on the floor at first (and be found months later very thin but in a fixed position) that you lie down on the bed or use a chair for some of the movements that follow.

Flexibility

We can maintain our flexibility and actually improve it as we get older. The main reason we get stiff as we age is because we stop moving our bodies into different positions. The body is designed to move, not stay sitting, or slouching, the majority of the time!

3 simple exercises to increase flexibility

No1.

Stand with hands by your side and as you inhale your breath, raise your arms slowly until they are above your head in a straight line with the rest of your body. At the same time as you raise your arms, also lift your heels to stretch the whole body upwards, whilst on tip toe. When you exhale lower the arms slowly and the heels back to the floor it is also a balance exercise so it helps develops concentration and focus. Keep your eyes fixed on a point during the exercise. Repeat 7/8 times.

No 2.

It is important not to do this exercise if you have a chronic back problem. Also only do a gentle arch to start with and increase the height over a period of weeks. Also it does help to have a solid surface so a bed is not the best option.. if you are using the floor have a buddy ready to help you back up again!

Go onto all fours. Hands placed on the floor under the shoulders and your knees under the hips. Imagine what a cat looks like when it gets up to stretch after napping. It arches its back up into the air.

Now with the back flat, exhale and arch the spine up, dropping your head into a relaxed position. Your abdomen is drawn up to support the spine in the arched position. Pause to feel the stretch. Inhale slowly flattening the back again. Pause. Exhale; slowly arch the spine up again etc. Always work slowly. Repeat at least 8 times.

No 3.

This posture is universally recognised as one of the best to help lower back pain but again make sure that you do not attempt if you are very sore. Take it gently over a period of time.

Lie down on your back. Inhale taking your arms back above your head, exhale bringing the right knee to your chest with your hands around it, to draw it in closer. Inhale as you lower your arms back down to your side and your leg back on the ground. Exhale bringing the left knee up with hands on it…and continue 8 times to each knee. Then 8 more times with both knees coming to chest together.

Then relax and lie flat for several minutes to appreciate what you have done and enjoy the benefits of the movements and deep breathing.

Getting into walking

It is so easy to slip into a bad habits and before you know it you are sitting, standing and walking incorrectly as your normal fall back position. It does mean that it can be difficult to encourage your muscles to return to the correct position as it can cause discomfort initially.

I recommended that you walk towards a mirror and note areas of the body that appear to be out of kilter… Such as an foot turned outwards or a slouch. The same applies to sitting and standing where you can observe your now natural posture, and where you need to adjust your frame.

Walking posture

After walking towards the mirror as you would usually, and noting where you are out of alignment, you can now make small adjustments.

Aim to keep the balance of your head on top of the spine, looking straight ahead and with your shoulders relaxed. As you walk towards the mirror focus on transferring your weight onto alternate feet pointed forwards.  Practice several times a day until this becomes your new natural way of walking. There might be some initial discomfort as muscles relearn their purpose but after a few weeks, you should notice that your original pain has improved.

On the road.

Please take care when walking… find a safe place, with an even path or pavement, away from cycles and traffic.

I recommend that if you have not done much exercise for a long period of time that you begin with a twenty minute walk at a pace that is comfortable for you. Do that every day for a week – 10 minutes out and 10 minutes back. You should find that by the end of the week you are going slightly further every day.

The second week, measure a half mile in your car or on Google maps. Then walk to that point and back every day for a week (or longer if necessary) and aim to be able to cover the distance there and back in 15 minutes. That gives you a walking pace of 4 miles an hour.

The next week measure 3/4 of a mile in your car or Google maps and walk to that point and bank every day until you are covering the distance  of 1.5 miles in 20 minutes and that will give you a walking speed of 4.5 miles an hour.

Increase your distance and speed in your own time.

Each mile that you walk at a reasonably brisk pace will burn around 100 calories. If you walk 2 miles just five times a week that is 1000 calories x 52 = 52,000 calories, equivalent to 15lbs in body fat…

There are many other effective forms of exercise. This chapter will cover the most common examples. There are also several everyday activities that we take for granted but which do qualify as exercise.

We are designed to move fast if we need to. Predators had to be taken seriously in the past, whether multi-legged or two-legged. We have a strong skeleton, with muscles and tendons holding it together. Our joints are flexible and can withstand considerable pressure. In this day and age, however, we have come to rely on mechanical means of transport, not only when we reach adulthood but as children too.

Thirty years ago, children walked to and from school every day, although they may have graduated to a bicycle as they got older. These days, children either use a school bus service or are driven to school in the family car. Physical education and team sports can still play a part in many children’s lives, but far too many take hardly any exercise at all. This, and unhealthy modern eating practices, means that obesity in children is on the increase in most western countries.

Exercise is not just about losing weight. There are many other benefits to us. The first is to our physical structure: the skeleton, joints, tendons and muscles. All these remain healthy if put to the purpose they were designed for. Without regular use, joints seize up, muscles waste away and fat accumulates, causing stress on the body. Without exercise, our skeleton is weakened and in later years this can lead to osteoporosis. Regular exercise improves the way the body functions generally. The immune system will work much more efficiently, making us less vulnerable to infection.

Aerobic exercise maintains the body’s capacity to utilise fuel and oxygen. This type of exercise not only burns fat, it can also lower blood-pressure and strengthen the heart, rendering it less susceptible to heart attacks or valve problems. The cardiovascular system needs exercise to keep it in good condition.

Combining aerobic work-outs with a stretching and toning program helps the joints to remain flexible and the muscles supple.

Weight-bearing activities such as walking, running and weight training ensure that the bones do not become thin as we grow older. They also tone the muscles and improve our posture, thus lessening our chances of suffering from age-related structural problems.

One of the major benefits of these forms of activity is the mental and emotional strength they foster. Most people experience a feeling of well-being about twenty minutes into a moderate work-out. This is a result of natural endorphins, which are mood-elevating substances, being released into the system. Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to go out on a wet, windy day, but, having done so; it is amazing how good you can feel half an hour later. People often comment on how a long, brisk walk reduces stress and tension.

Toning and exercising the body is a natural way to preserve and strengthen our entire system.

We have only the one body, so we may as well get the best out of it. For years I was imprisoned in my body, with neither the knowledge nor the willpower to escape. I could barely walk for ten minutes before I started the program, yet today I have no problem walking two or three miles a day. I would be miserable without physical activity and I soon know when I have not done enough: my joints, which have been damaged by all the years of carrying the excess weight, stiffen and become more painful.

One fact that caught my attention recently is that, for every hour of moderate exercise, our life span can be increased by around two hours. I have made a decision to live to the age of a hundred and still be physically and mentally active. If I maintain my program of two hours a day of brisk walking in the winter months and three hours in the summer until I am ninety-five, I will have added five years to my life.

Some of the gentler forms of exercise such as Yoga and Tai Chi are great for those starting out but it is important to have a great teacher. Even these seemingly gentle movements can cause you joint problems if they have not been used for a long time!!

Aerobics

Aerobics are a good way to maintain fitness, but it is not a good idea to do such a strenuous work-out when you are severely overweight, because you can damage joints and muscles and put additional strain on the heart and other organs. Before joining an aerobics class, carry out some basic research. Begin with low-impact aerobics, guided by a qualified instructor, and watch the class for a session before participating yourself. Make sure there is an adequate warm-up and warm-down period and some stretching exercises are included in the program.

You may feel more confident if you work out at home first, perhaps using a video. I started by dancing to my favourite music in the kitchen. At the time I weighed over 250 lbs. (113 kg), but I took it slowly at first, a few minutes at a time, until I felt confident about joining a class. You will soon feel the benefits. Not only will you burn fat, but you will also improve your circulation and lung capacity; your muscles will be toned and your stamina will increase.

Do not be tempted to do aerobics every day. Two or three times a week, combined with other forms of exercise, will be more than adequate. Make sure that you wear the right footwear, providing adequate ankle support, and that your clothing is not too restrictive. Keep a bottle of water nearby and stop regularly to take a drink. For every hour of aerobic exercise, you will need an additional litre of water.

Aquarobics

Another popular form of aerobics takes place in the water. Aquarobics is ideal for someone who is still too heavy for the dry land equivalent. The water cushions the joints and offers resistance to the muscles to make them work harder. Provided you feel comfortable in a bathing suit, you can begin this as soon as you like. Again, you do not have to complete a whole hour. If you feel you are getting too tired, stop and swim or relax for a short time and then resume. You will find that, over a period of weeks, your stamina, and ability to perform the various exercises, will improve and you may then think about joining a more conventional aerobics class.

Jogging and running

Jogging and running are classified as aerobics, with the additional benefit that you are out in the fresh air. Again this is an activity best done when you have reached a certain level of fitness. Do not push yourself too hard. Start by walking and then, when you can walk comfortably for an hour or more at a brisk pace, introduce some jogging. Walk a hundred paces and jog for the next fifty. After several days, increase the level of jogging until you are completing your usual distance in a shorter time. You must ensure that you are wearing the correct shoes. Normal walking shoes will not be suitable so investing in a pair of running shoes is essential. Make sure that your muscles are warmed up before you start to jog. Walk for the first fifteen minutes at a brisk pace and then change your stride.

Cycling

Cycling can be a great pleasure, although this depends on having access to pleasant places to ride. Mountain bikes have become popular in recent years, enabling us to ride on more varied terrain than the roads, which can be dangerous. As with all these activities, you should take things easy to begin with. Plan short trips of about half an hour. Save the day trips until you have the necessary power and stamina. Wear a helmet and elbow and knee protection if you are on the road, and the bicycle should have adequate lighting if you are cycling after dark. Most gyms have a static cycle and the home version can also be effective, but they can be boring unless you can watch the television or listen to music at the same time. Cycling in the fresh air, safely, is the best form of this exercise.

Swimming

Swimming can be monotonous unless you set yourself some realistic targets. You can be any weight when you start swimming. However, I found that embarrassment kept me out of the pool for a long time. I was self-conscious in a swimming suit, even when I was lucky enough to find one the right size. Usually the cup of the suit was huge and the bottom too tight. I will admit to being a coward on this one and it took me at least two years and a hundred pounds of weight loss before I ventured into the water. Once I did, however, I loved it. There is no stress on the body or the joints, and it tones everything.

Start with the objective of completing one lap without stopping and progress until you are completing as many as possible within a specific length of time. An hour is ideal.

Over the weeks you can either increase the number of laps to fill the time, or do the same number of laps in less time. No safety equipment is necessary, except for a swimming pool attendant – and strong shoulder straps!

Tennis

Tennis is a game I have loved since I was a child. It is competitive and can be fast-paced so, once again, wait until you have reached a comfortable fitness level before trying it. It is easy to damage the knees and leg muscles if you overdo it, so go gently.

I began by hitting a ball off the house wall for a few minutes every day, in time progressing to half an hour. This gave me an opportunity to get used to the twisting and turning that is involved. You get an excellent upper-body work-out with tennis, but you can strain shoulder and elbow joints and your muscles. It is a good idea to take lessons at first, to ensure that you are using the correct and least damaging strokes. If you are returning to tennis, then start with doubles, progressing to singles after a few weeks. You don’t have to make Wimbledon in your first season!

Weight training

Weight training tones the muscles and burns off fat. There are some simple routines to begin with, which require no weights at all. Moving the arms and legs slowly and firmly provides some exercise. Begin with arm extensions to the side and the front, clenching the fist and slowly bringing it up and down. I moved from this to lifting tins of beans and have now graduated to a multi-gym, which I use for just ten minutes a day.

I was always worried about being left with too much loose skin if I lost weight. The walking, drinking water and aerobic exercise have all played their part in toning my skin and forming firm muscle, but doing repetitions using light weights (two to five pounds each) has added the finishing touches. It is better from a fat-burning and toning perspective to develop a routine using light to moderate weights many times. Lifting heavy weights without proper supervision can damage the back and other parts of the body. Take advice from a qualified instructor. A book may not tell you all you need to know for your particular fitness level and body type.

Household chores

Finally, we should not forget housework and its benefits as a form of exercise. An hour of active house-cleaning, gardening or cleaning the car will use up around 200 to 250 calories. This, and running up and down the stairs in a normal day, can provide you with an opportunity to work out every day – and it also keeps the home looking good too!

Whatever form of activity you choose, you must enjoy it in order to feel all the benefits. Do have an occasional rest day, when you simply take a gentle stroll in the fresh air. Too much intensive working-out can be counter-productive, since the body can become tired and possibly strained. If you have a lot of weight to lose, this obviously is not going to happen overnight. Give your body a chance to get used to the new level of activity and vary your routine so that you and the body continue to find it stimulating and beneficial the whole time.

For me, there is no substitute for the way I feel when I finish my exercise. I am restricted, to a degree, by previous injuries caused by too much strain at my heaviest weight. However, I am delighted to be able to walk, swim and do weight training.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with over twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2018/

 Thanks for dropping in today and if you have any questions please use the comments or if your prefer you are more than welcome to email me on Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

I am joining a growing number of our blogging friends on MeWe and I invite you take a look… a different approach to users.  mewe.com/i/sallycronin

You can find the previous posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/size-matters-the-sequel/

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters The Sequel – Putting your Plan Together #Fats #portion sizes – Part Two by Sally Cronin


In the last post I shared the starting point for your eating plan, with your weight established and the amount of weight that you needed to lose and the timescales. Also some more information about the amount of fat in your diet and how cholesterol is broken down into the good the bad and the ugly..

In this post I am going too look at the food groups to include in your programme with an approximate calorie guideline.

What food should I eat within the calorie and fat guidelines?

I established in an earlier chapter that a woman needs a minimum daily intake of 1,500 calories and a man needs a minimum daily intake of 1,800 calories. Always remember that the most important aspect of those calories should be the nutritional content.

Let’s look at two sample menus of around 1,500 calories.

Menu 1 – Bad example

• You could eat three chocolate bars, which would be 1,500 calories or around 60 fat grams.
OR, you could have ALL of the following;

Menu 2 – Good example

Breakfast

• Bowl of cereal (30 g) with skimmed milk with a handful of blueberries (150 calories)
• Slice of toast with scrape of butter and jam (130 calories)
• Cup of black coffee and a glass of cranberry juice (50 calories)
(Total: 330 calories)

Morning snack

• Two pieces of fruit (100 calories)

Light Lunch

• Salad sandwich with chicken or fish (350 calories)
• Fat-free yogurt and one piece of fruit (105 calories)
(Total: 555 calories)

 

Dinner

• 150 gm grilled cod or small chicken breast (140 calories)
• 100 g potato (85 calories)
• Broccoli, cabbage and carrots (120 calories)
• Tomato and basil sauce (100 calories)
(Total: 445 calories)

Evening snack

Fresh fruit salad and low-fat yogurt (watch the sugar in the yogurt) (250 calories)

Total for the day: 1,580 calories or 28 fat grams.

What you should notice here is just how much food you can eat and still lose weight. You would not be hungry with a daily menu similar to this. But, if you had eaten only three chocolate bars throughout the day, you would not just have been very hungry at the end of the day but you would also have filled your system with many times the amount of sugar you need, and your fat intake would have been far too high.

We need a balanced diet whatever weight we are, but it is particularly important if you are trying to lose weight. Every individual requires a different balance in their diet, depending on age, sex and activity level. If you are pregnant, elderly or recovering from illness then you will require a different balance to the types of food you are eating on a daily basis. I discuss supplements in a later post, since it is very difficult to achieve optimum nutrition even on 2,000 calories per day. This is why eating lots of fresh (or frozen) vegetables and fresh fruit is so important.

Carbohydrates play a crucial role in our energy levels and it is important to include a healthy amount in your program. Usually it is what we serve with our carbohydrates that cause us problems. A healthy slice of whole-grain bread at about 75 calories suddenly becomes the snack from hell when you add butter, a slice of cheese and two slices of ham.

As a guideline, if I were on a regime of 1,500-1,600 calories a day, I would expect to eat the following amounts in the various food groups.

  • Carbohydrates:- 4 to 6 servings depending on your activity level. ( 1 slice of breads, small bowl of cereal and starchy vegetables such as carrots large tablespoon, potatoes 1 medium, turnip 1 large tablespoon, swede large tablespoon and beans tablespoon).
  • Green and salad Vegetables:- 4 servings – tablespoons
  • Fruit:- 2 – 3 servings – An orange, apple, pear, banana, handful of berries (variety)
  • Protein:- 2 servings, (1 egg, lean meats, 150 gm chicken or fish)
  • Fats:- In meats, chicken, oily fish and dairy products.
  • Milk:- You can use semi-skimmed milk or skimmed milk, but tea does not taste the same to me so I use full-fat milk and just have 1/4 pint.

The important thing to remember here is that you may need to increase your intake of carbohydrate to fuel certain levels of activity. I have worked with a number of athletes among my clients and their programs were planned around their training sessions. They would eat more carbohydrates, in the form of pasta or beans, on the day before training. This increases their energy and stamina levels even just hours later.

How quickly should I lose weight?

I have found that, for both myself and my clients, the rate of weight loss is variable in the first two or three weeks, depending on how much weight you wish to lose. For instance, someone who is more than 42 lbs (3 st, 19 kg) overweight can often lose 5 to 6 lbs (2.3 to 2.6 kg) the first week, then 4 lbs (1.8 kg) each week for the next two or three, followed by 2 to 3 lbs (0.9 to 1.4 kg) a week thereafter, depending on lifestyle.

In my case, I was losing at least 3 lbs (1.4 kg) a week right up to the end. I did not drop my calories below 1,750, but I was walking between four and six miles a day. If I had not walked, my daily deficit would have been about 750 calories a day, which would have given me a weekly total of 5,250 calories or 1.5 lbs of body fat. However, the walking, and other exercise, that I did each day doubled my daily deficit to 1,500 calories, or 10,500 a week, resulting in the 3 lbs (1.4 kg) weight loss. I was also converting fat to muscle, which uses calories more efficiently, so I felt happy to be losing weight at that rate.

If you are not at that level of exercise, then losing 1.5 lbs to 2 lbs (0.7 to 0.9 kg) of body fat each week after the initial month is absolutely fine. Remember that this is still between 14 lbs and 20 lbs (6.5 to 9 kg) every ten weeks, which is over 100 lbs (45 kg) a year. For someone who weighs in the region of 280 lbs (20 st, 127 kg), this is a tremendous change in a relatively short space of time. You have spent a lifetime getting to the size you are, so it is well worth making the necessary changes in your lifestyle to know that, in a year’s time, you will have lost 105 lbs (7 st 7 lbs, 48 kg).

At this steady rate of weight loss, your body is not going to be under stress. You will be properly nourished and you will have the energy to do the exercise you need to tone your body and maintain the weight loss.

While I recommend walking to speed up the weight reduction process, swimming and cycling are also excellent. I do not, however, believe in spending two hours a day on a treadmill, especially when you are still considerably overweight. If you are obese, probably you will have caused some structural damage to your body. My right hip, knee and foot are very vulnerable.

For years I would use my right leg to push my entire body weight out of the car which did not help the knee joint and then about 20 years ago I snapped my ligaments when my knee was twisted around suddenly.. I am now lucky to be able to walk the distances I do, but aerobics, tennis and similar forms of exercise are less suitable for me. I know a lot of people who have done similar damage to themselves, and they certainly compound this when they exercise too hard.

How much exercise should I do to help me lose weight?

I love walking. People used to ask me how I could walk 6 miles a day and not get bored. At first I looked on it as a chore. I could barely go down the road for ten minutes before I was unbearably hot and sweaty (and hating the way people looked at me).

My attitude began to change after the first 30 to 40 lbs (14 to 18 kg) of weight came off. I was now walking for an hour at a time. I felt better and could see the changes in my body. I had been very worried that, as I lost the weight, I would be left with bags of loose skin, but this wasn’t the case. Some people need an operation to remove such sagging skin, but walking – and drinking plenty of water – are two key elements in avoiding a medical solution.

Apart from the obvious benefits we have already talked about, there is another aspect to walking that has added a whole new dimension to my life. I discovered that the time spent walking was very precious. No one could intrude. I could think about anything I wanted: planning my day, writing my book, listening to my favourite music. There were no interruptions, and no other demands on that time.

I then got myself a personal fitness trainer. All he cost me was a lot of love, three walks a day and massages. He made me get up at 7.30 every morning, rain or shine, and, when he looked at me in that certain way, there is no way in the world I could say no. He would walk for miles, checking messages left by passing four-legged friends and coming back occasionally to let me know he was still there. Even though he is no longer with us, I will never forget his contribution to my walk back to health.

Later I began swimming again, something I loved as a teenager. I swam everyday for an hour and this certainly helped me with my knee injury. It is also an all over toning exercise and will also increase internal organ health including heart and lungs.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with over twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2018/

 Thanks for dropping in today and if you have any questions please use the comments or if your prefer you are more than welcome to email me on Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

I am joining a growing number of our blogging friends on MeWe and I invite you take a look… a different approach to users mewe.com/i/sallycronin

You can find the previous posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/size-matters-the-sequel/

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters – The Sequel – Putting your Eating Plan together Part One #Measurements and #Motivationby Sally Cronin


So far in this series I have covered the basics of how you might have become overweight, and some strategies to put in place to make sure you are successful, however much you weight you need to shed. This included making sure you deal with any underlying health issues such as Candida Albicans and getting your willpower in shape. Last week I shared the abundance of food that you can eat as get to a healthy weight and now it is time to put those foods together in an eating plan.

Because this is a longer than usual chapter… I am posting over two days with part two tomorrow.

Creating Your Own Plan

So now it is your turn. Weigh yourself. I hate bathroom scales with a vengeance. They can sabotage a healthy eating programme as quick as anything. They are not always reliable, if old, the measurements are off and if you do not lose weight one week you can get demoralised and give up.

I suggest that you find a chemist or other outlet that has accurate scales and visit every two weeks – same day and time if you can – on the way to work perhaps. I try to find one that does not shout the results across the shop floor! Some of these also have a blood pressure cuff so another measurement to check on a regular basis. Do still have your BP taken officially along with your LDL cholesterol levels and Blood Sugar with your doctor or the pharmacy after 6–8 weeks.

To be honest, I find using a different method to measure progress can be more motivating.

One is to take a photograph, full length of you today and stick it somewhere you see it every day. In 6 weeks time having been following your new regimen of natural unprocessed foods and got into an increased activity programme, take another and compare them. I think you will be pleasantly surprised, especially if you wear the same clothes you did in the first photograph.. They should feel a lot looser and it will show.

Another option is to find an item of clothing that is a size too small and every week on the same day try it on. Keep going until you fit into it. Be realistic. If you are a size 20, don’t think that you are going to be in a size 10 in six weeks. Start with a size 18 and then a size smaller every four to six weeks should be about the right time scale.

A note here, unfortunately, we women lose weight from the top down usually. One of the reasons being is that we have different hips and thighs to men. We bear children and the fat in those regions would be used to nourish the baby when we are pregnant. So perhaps an idea would be to find a top of some kind or jacket to compare sizing for the first few weeks.

Determine your frame size and decide what weight you need to be by using the BMR calculator and the addition of normal activity and exercise per day. If you missed that post here is the link How much should you weigh

Remember: It is not healthy to lose masses of body weight too quickly. You start to lose muscle instead of fat and that is not good in the long term. When you lose muscle and then come off your diet, you don’t have the necessary muscle to burn fat, any excess beyond what your body uses up each day will be popped into the fat cells for safe-keeping. That is why when you eat too few calories on a ‘crash’ diet, you put on even more weight than you started with.

Having said that, if you are steadily increasing your activity level, you can sustain a healthy loss of 2–3 lbs (1–1.5 kg) a week, because you are building muscle as you lose the fat.

Most one-dimensional diets work on the assumption that you walk three times a week for 20 minutes. This is hardly enough time to get out of breath! If you are walking for an hour every day, you will be achieving seven times that amount of exercise and will soon see the benefit in additional weight loss and toning.

The weight loss will always be quicker at first, but, if you average it out over a 20–week period, it usually works out to 2.5 lbs (1 kg) per week. You do not need to do the entire hour at once. Intensive and brisk walking for 20 minutes, three times a day can actually be more effective. Also, you are more likely to sustain the level of exercise in smaller segments. For me, I find that if I listen to rock music it keeps me at a good pace although does solicit some odd looks from passers by.

As always, especially if you are very overweight, you should not launch into an aggressive exercise program without first talking to your medical adviser.

Without the use of technical equipment, and complex calculations, it is generally difficult to calculate an individual’s calorific usage during an hour of exercise. To keep it simple, I have listed only a few exercises and divided them into two main groups: Moderate and Heavy (I will cover excercise in more detail in a later post).

Moderate exercise:

Walking, cycling and swimming. These use approximately 300 calories an hour. You should then add 10 calories for every 14 lbs (6.5 kg) you are overweight.

Heavy exercise:

Aerobics, mountain biking, running, and football. These use approximately 500 calories an hour. Here you need to add 20 calories for every 14 lbs (6.5 kg) you are overweight.

Basic Summary:

• Weigh yourself.
• Determine your frame size.
• Decide on your ideal weight.
• Calculate the weight loss required to achieve this weight.
• Determine the amount of calories you need each day to provide basic nutrition – BMR – then add in basic daily activity and exercise.
• Without going below your BMR – around the 1500 calories for a woman and 1800 for a man – design your healthy eating programme to provide a 500 to 750 calorie deficit per day to achieve 1–2 lbs weight loss per week.

It is worth noting that some weeks you may lose less than in others. As you increase your activity level, you will be toning up and this will create more muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat and so you may find that you have lost inches instead of pounds. However, in my experience, it usually seems to average out to about 2–2.5 lbs (0.9–1.1 kg) per week. Think long term, and do not become too obsessed with the day-to-day loss of weight.

I suggest that you keep a journal as I did.. I would list my food intake for the day in detail, plus fluids and the exercise. I weighed myself every Monday morning and made a record of weight lost, gained or stayed the same. If there was gain or I had stayed the same weight, I would take a look at the food and see is anything had slipped in or if I had been doing less exercise.


How much fat should I eat each day?

At this point I think it is important to remember that our bodies have been evolving for a very long time – in a hundred thousand years our DNA will only have altered about ten times – I have said before that the body does not react to sudden changes very well! However, in the last 300 years and particularly the last 150 years since the industrial revolution we have thrown some curve balls at our bodies.

Processed foods with manufactured artificial ingredients is just one area where our nutritional needs are not being met – one of the others, which is the real demon in our diet, is refined sugars – addictive – available from birth to grave, within hand’s reach in shops, in our own fridges and store cupboards – and laboratory constructed fats to extend the sell-by-date on ready meals and other processed foods in our daily diet. No wonder our bodies are in melt-down with increased health issues that lead to Heart disease, Cancers and Dementia.

But back to fats …

We must not cut fats out of our diet – they have an essential role to play in our health and without fats and cholesterol our bodies will be open to infections, poor function in areas such as the brain, heart, reproductive system and our eyesight. I use the 80/20 rule with my diet because I have to be watch my weight – 20% of my diet comprises healthy fats – sometimes I will have more because I am out for a meal etc. but basically my everyday diet comprises mainly seasonal vegetables and fruit, whole grain rice, fish, chicken, red meat once a week, eggs, moderate dairy.

No one person’s diet is the same and you have to find the perfect balance for you and this includes your fat intake – as long as it is not harmful fats.

Briefly, a quick look at the fats you are likely to encounter in your daily diet:

• One fat to avoid all together is not naturally occurring at all and that is manufactured ‘Trans Fats” Liquid oil is hydrogenated to extend its shelf life but in the process Trans fatty acids are formed – found in most processed foods including margarines and snacks such as microwave popcorn, biscuits, cakes, packaged puddings etc.

• The other fat type, which in large quantities is not helpful in maintaining cholesterol levels, is saturated fat – if there is too much in your diet it will raise your total Cholesterol as well as the LDL (low density lipoprotein which is smaller and clumps in arteries, and I call it Lousy Cholesterol). Mainly found in animal products but also some seafood. However, provided you are not eating the rich fat around a steak or roast every day, or eating a block of cheese three times a week, or a pound of butter on your spuds, you can enjoy what is very tasty component of your diet in moderation.

Personally I would rather have a small amount of real grass fed dairy butter with all its nutritional value, than a large dollop of low fat chemically processed glop……

Cholesterol is an essential element of many of the chemical reactions in the body including our brain health and our hormones. Dropping it too low can have an impact on our long-term health.

• The fats classified as healthy fats are Monounsaturated fats – which lower total cholesterol and at the same time lower LDL and increase HDL (High Density Lipoprotein and which I call Healthy Cholesterol) – this is contained in nuts, like walnuts and olive oil.

• Polyunsaturated fats also lower total cholesterol and LDL and these are found in salmon, soya, sunflower oils etc and have a very important component Omega-3 fatty acids. These can not only reduce your LDL and support HDL but are also very helpful in reducing blood pressure and the risk of developing blood clots. Even with people who have already suffered a heart attack including Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet reduces their risk of a fatal attack.

We love fish and it is very easy to include oily fish at least three times a week. Some of the best for Omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, halibut, mackerel, sardines and Albacore Tuna.

At this point a word about cooking your healthy meals – Olive oil is great but not so good when heated to a really high temperature to cook your steak or fish. It should be Extra Virgin Olive oil so that it has not been over processed – do not be tempted to use the light versions!

Use to drizzle over your meat, fish, vegetables, jacket potato etc after cooking – steam bake your food – if you are eating steak put in the oven in a pan with a grid so that the excess fat drains off – if you fancy a little butter on your vegetables, why not – great taste.

A little more info on Olive Oil – great stuff – potent mix of anti-oxidants that can lower the LDL but leave the HDL untouched – obviously if you are overweight it does have a high fat and calorie count but much better to use the Extra Virgin version and get the health benefits than use the diet alternatives.

I also use coconut oil for cooking and I have the liquid oil as a dressing, it is organic and has no additives and mixed with a little balsamic vinegar makes a delicious addition to salads.

The greatest gift you can give you body and its cholesterol is to avoid eating processed store bought cakes, biscuits, crackers some cheap breads, pasta dishes etc. If you make your own from scratch using butter and eat occasionally you will get a better tasting and healthier alternative.

To summarise – do not take fats out of your diet – use unprocessed, natural ingredients in your cooking, use fats and oils in moderation, eat plenty of vegetables, seasonal fruits, whole grains, dairy and eggs.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with over twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2018/

 Thanks for dropping in today and if you have any questions please use the comments or if your prefer you are more than welcome to email me on Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

I am joining a growing number of our blogging friends on MeWe and I invite you take a look… a different approach to users.  mewe.com/i/sallycronin

You can find the previous posts in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/size-matters-the-sequel/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up- Glenn Miller, Roses, Mexico, New Books, Reviews and Guests.


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

Some stand out moments from the week that I would like to make a special mention about.

The first was the nomination for the blog for the Versatile Blogger Award by Brigid Gallagher which I was very honoured to receive. I know that many bloggers are now award free. I quite understand, as when you are at full tilt, it is tough to take the time to respond to an award and also to draw up a list of willing nominees.

However… even after six years, I still get a kick out of awards and I have met so many wonderful bloggers through other people’s nominees, that it is well worth the effort. And also it is an opportunity to showcase newer bloggers who are still finding their feet or deserve to have some promotion.

Anyway.. this was my response with 7 more secrets about me…..and some nominees who are terrific bloggers.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/smorgasbord-and-the-versatile-blogger-award-nominated-by-brigid-p-gallagher-7-things-you-may-not-know-about-me/

The second highlight is the release of Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events… Compiled and contributed to by Stevie Turner and 18 other authors including myself and quite a few of our blogging community.

The proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Over the next week I will be posing a number of author profiles of those who have contributed and I hope that you will follow those authors and also support their work in this collection.

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers kindly answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

In this first post I share the authors who have contributed with a profile on Stevie Turner, D.G. Kaye and in the coming two weeks will feature the other authors in separate posts.

All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research:

You can buy the anthology for only 99c: https://www.amazon.com/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

And on Amazon UK for 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-special-feature-proceedscancerresearch-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-compiled-by-stevie-turner-and-18-other-authors/

Now on with the other posts this week.

This week William Price King shares the life and music of the legendary Glenn Miller whose music is still loved over 70 years since his untimely death during the Second World War.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-glen-miller-trombonist-composer-big-band-leader/

In his final gardening post, Paul Andruss shares the beauty and background to the rose.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-only-a-rose/

In the second part of her posts on Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, D.G. Kaye shares the fundamentals that you need to know about renting, shopping, tipping, exchanging your cash, dining and how to drink safe water.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-puerto-vallarta-mexico-part-two-renting-shopping-tipping-and-water/

This week my guest is author Ann Chiappetta who shares where she would love to live in the world, the animal she would most like to talk to and her favourite season.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-ann-chiappetta

My review for Small Town Kid by Frank Prem – recommended

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/smorgasbord-book-reviews-small-town-kid-by-frank-prem/

This week Carol Taylor and I join forces to share the foods that contain good amounts of Vitamin B3 and the recipes that the whole family will enjoy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-vitamin-b3-niacin/

A lovely guest post from Joy Lennick in tribute to her mother…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-joy-lennick-a-tribute-to-my-dear-mama-mum/

Sally’s personal stuff

This week in the R’s of Life,  I look at the true cost of retail therapy and the waste associated with our drive to own the latest and the most fashionable.  And also the mountains of food that goes uneaten in most of our countries when millions are starving.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-a-modern-world-retail-therapy-the-true-cost-by-sally-cronin/

This week I share the abundance of food that you can enjoy as you lose weight… starving the body is not an option, and cutting out food groups is counter productive.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-weightloss-all-the-delicious-foods-you-can-eat-by-sally-cronin/

Being the first week of the month… .Colleen Chesebro allowed us to pick our own words as prompts…My Etheree is entitled ‘April’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-etheree-april-by-sally-cronin/

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – the Prompt this week is ‘Fire’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-fire-by-sally-cronin/

Donna W. Hill is a breast cancer survivor and in this week’s inspiring post she shares her motivation and also encounters with butterflies and knitting.

Blue butterfly on milkweed: photo by Rich Hill

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-butterflies-me-an-authors-breast-cancer-survival-story-by-donna-w-hill/

This week Jen Moore, shares the delightful character who is her son, and the warm and embracing way that the family manages his dyslexia.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-the-funny-thing-about-dyslexia-by-jen-moore/

This week Norah Colvin shares all things berry.. which resulted in a lot of discussion about what is a berry and what is not, and how to get hold of our favourites…

mulberries

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-berry-delightful-by-norah-colvin/

A new contributor this week and the first post from the archives of Susanne Swanson who shares her return to her kindergarten school, celebrating its 100th anniversary.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-frank-b-cooper-school-refrain-by-susanne-swanson/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-amie-savage-safari-amie-in-africa-book-5-by-lucinda-e-clarke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-special-pre-order-price-99c-99p-the-mayhem-series-book-3-silent-mayhem-by-sue-coletta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-trudys-diary-libraries-of-the-world-mysteries-book-1-by-amy-m-reade/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-shortstories-a-box-of-memories-by-allan-hudson/

Author Updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-d-wallace-peach-barb-taub-and-mary-smith/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jean-lee-paulette-mahurin-pamela-s-wight/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-a-mixed-bag-and-some-observations-on-life/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-another-odd-assortment-and-more-observations-on-life/

 

Thank you very much for visiting this week and for all your support, it is always appreciated.