Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up March 1st – 7th 2020 – #Backup larders #Jazz, Books, Guests, Humour and Health


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

I hope everyone is doing well despite the ‘virus’, floods, tornadoes, fake news and politics. It is so easy to become panicked when you see what might be ahead and the papers are doing a very good job of keeping us informed but also creating a fear culture.

Healthy living has never been so important and a fully functioning immune system over the next few weeks and possibly months is vital. Especially for those with underlying health issues, such as the elderly. Apart from washing hands in hot water and soap frequently and avoiding crowds etc, we do need to make sure that we have a nutritionally balanced diet to maintain a healthy immune system system.

The governments are going to do their best to keep food and essential household products on the shelves and we are going to have to trust that it will happen without panic buying.

Having seen the images of what some people are grabbing off the shelves,clearly beer, chocolate and crisps appear to be classified as essential food groups for some.

Whilst I am not rushing out to buy food or these essentials, it is a possibility that as we are in our later 60s, we will be considered at risk and might have to self-isolate even if we do not have the virus.

We used to get snowed in when we lived in the mountains in Spain during the winter months, and it even happened here for over a week the first year in this house in Ireland. I have always kept a basic survival larder that is sufficient to keep us going for at least a couple of weeks.

If you are faced with self-isolation and still want to maintain a healthy nutritional diet for you and the rest of the household here are some of my basics for two weeks should we have to manage without shopping. As you know I do not recommend the use of industrially manufactured foods in a normal diet and prefer the cook from scratch approach. However, at times you might have to fall back on to some canned goods and cereals, but if you choose the ones that are low in sugar then it is not going to cause you harm in the short term.

For other posts on the immune system, supplements, and health you can find more information in the Health Column Directory

I keep a week’s worth of fresh vegetables and fruit topped up every shop that I make and if they start to wilt, I will cook off and they keep for another few days in the fridge.

In the freezer- depending on the size and ours is quite small.

  • I keep some frozen vegetables – carrots, broccoli and cauliflower mix, butternut squash, onion, mushrooms.
  • Protein in the form of chicken, beef mince and fish.
  • Butter and cheese (both keep for at least three months in the freezer if well wrapped)
  • Some pre-prepared meals that offer a full nutritional balance – Brown Rice Pilaf
  • Slow cooked stews of meat and vegetables in family sized portions.
  • Fresh eggs can last about three weeks after their best buy date in the fridge

In the larder

  • Tinned tuna, salmon and sardines.
  • Tinned soups that can be used as a base for a more substantial meal.
  • Marmite, honey and nut butter.
  • Brown Rice, whole grain pasta, brown bread (I make my own Irish Soda Bread but you can buy ready prepared mixes). Good quality muesli and porridge oats. Wholegrain rice cakes and oat cakes.
  • Dried beans and lentils
  • Tinned tomatoes, tubes of tomato puree and garlic puree, dried herbs such as basil, oregano and turmeric. Jars of pasta sauce.
  • PIckled vegetables such as beetroot.
  • Olive oil and coconut oil.
  • Jars of carrots, spinach and green beans (useful during power outages).
  • Canned pears and mandarins in juice.
  • Good quality fruit juice without added sugar I have cranberry, orange and apple.
  • Dried apricots and walnuts.
  • Long life milk – Dairy or coconut or almond milk.
  • Tea – Black, Green and lemon and Ginger
  • Water (although that is unlikely to be a problem)
  • Some 80% dark chocolate.

I hope that has been of some help with regard to having a back up in your larder that will provide you with foods that will help maintain your immune system over a hopefully short period of time without access to shops. As always if you have any questions please let me know.

Time to get on with this week’s posts and as always my thanks to my guests and their amazing contributions.

Jazz Pianist and Composer Thelonious Sphere Monk with William Price King

Two more stories from this collection.

Queenie Coming Back to Life

Rosemary – The First Date

Poetry and Prose Mr. Sagittarius by M. J. Mallon

Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner

Historical Caribbean – Fireburn by Apple Gidley

Eradication War of Nytefall Book 4 Charles Yallowitz

Mystery – Bay of Secrets by J.A. Newman

Dog Tales Patty Fletcher, Poetry Natalie Ducey, Paranormal Thriller John W. Howell and Gwen Plano

Poetry Balroop Singh, Thriller Lucinda E. Clarke, Memoir D.G. Kaye

Children’s Deanie Humphrys Dunne, Fantasy Deborah Jay, Historical Andrew Joyce

Me

Poetry – The Paintbox by Miriam Ivarson

Family History Marian Longenecker Beaman

Humanity – Are We Selfish by Balroop Singh

Live Like a Millionaire by Sharon Marchisello

Looking back at 2019 by Judy Penz Sheluk

Food Therapy – The Humble Potato

Whilst we are all concerned about the spread of Coronavirus, there is a danger lurking in the food that we eat, particularly that prepared by rogue takeaway kitchens.

Food Poisoning on the increase 2.5 million cases in UK 2019

Cathy Ryan

March 2nd Book Recommendations from D.L. Finn, Annika Perry and Cathy Ryan

March 3rd Romania Pat Furstenberg, Review Liz Gauffreau, Fantasy Teagan Geneviene

Author Spotlight James J. Cudney, Book offer Darlene Foster, Funnies The Story Reading Ape

Legacy Sue Vincent, Afghanistan Mary Smith, Weather Carol Taylor

#Translations Miriam Hurdle, #Poetry Pamela Wight, #Books Jacqui Murray

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Thank you for all the support which is very much appreciated.. I hope you will join me again next week .. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 16th – 22nd February 2020


Welcome to the weekly round up with posts that you might have missed on Smorgasbord during the week.

It is a windswept Saturday morning although thankfully it has stopped raining. I do feel so sorry for all those affected by the floods in the UK and other countries at the moment. Water is so destructive.

We came home after being away for two weeks at Christmas one year, and opened the door at midnight to find water running down the stairs and the whole house warm and humid, like a tropical greenhouse. Luckily our taxi driver from the airport was a plumber in his day job and he had his tools with him. He and my husband went into the attic and found that a hot water pipe had a one inch long rupture and had been pumping water out since a freeze within days of us going on holiday. We had left the heating to come on twice a day but it had not been sufficient to stop the pipe bursting.

Three ceilings had come down, all the wallpaper had peeled the walls and we lost around 700 books. I do tapestry and 8 large ones were steamed up beneath the glass of the frames, along with posters and prints,and all had to be dried out and re-framed over several weeks. We lost family photographs and clothing which was already covered in mildew. They wanted us to move into a hotel whilst humidifiers dried out the house, but we knew that opened the house up to being broken into.

All the walls were stripped back to the plaster and after 8 weeks three decorators came in and spent another 6 weeks repairing the damage. We managed to salvage some of the carpets but overall we lost so many items of sentimental including the books, most of which we had been collecting for 30 years. Whilst the insurance paid for replacements, those items that meant the most of us were gone forever.

We were lucky that we managed to salvage as much as we did and repair the damage, but so many over the last few weeks will not not necessarily have that outcome and have lost everything they own. Tragically there has also been loss of life as a result of the weather, and whilst material items and houses can be replaced, a life is the most precious and irreplaceable of them all.

Hopefully this wave of storm fronts will die away and we can look forward to a spring and summer that is less turbulent.

Time to get on with the posts from the week, and as always my thanks to contributors and guests for their wonderful posts… And to you for dropping by and supporting us all.

William Price King with John McLaughlin English Guitarist and Band Leader

Three more stories from this collection. ( I had a senior moment and posted two by mistake on Saturday)

Lily The Collector

Martha The System Administrator

Norman an Old Soldier

We have a lovely image this week, selected by Ritu Bhathal as the prompt for Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 165 – Photoprompt

Shadorma – A Beacon by Sally Cronin

Psychological thriller – Warning Signs by Carol Balawyder

Over the last six weeks I have shared the nutrients we need to be healthy and their main food sources. This week I am pulling that all together to provide you with a one sheet shopping list. You just need to cut and paste into word and print off.

All the nutrients the body needs in one weekly grocery shopping list

This is the first post by author Annika Perry and I am sure as you read, memories of your own from your childhood and teenage years will resurface and be enjoyed…

Memories I Remember by Annika Perry

10 Step Plan to promote your boo by Scott Hughes reviewed by Barbara Ann Mojica

Little House on the Prairie, to Geography, to Maps, to Mount Rushmore, to History… And More by Jennie Fitzkee

How Long Does it Take to Write a Novel by Janet Gogerty

Writing Blogs about Writing by Stevie Turner

Love Poetry – Walk Away Silver Heart by Frank Prem

Dystopian The Colony Series Book One: Subject 36 by Teri Polen

Holly & Abby Series Book 4 – The Hidden Stairway by Janice Spina

Thriller, Death on the Move Book 3 by Colin Guest

Childrens Nicholas C. Rossis, Blogging Anne R. Allen, Scifi Jack Eason

YAParanormal Karen Demers Dowdall, Relationships Alex Craigie, Crime Reference Sue Coletta

Fantasy Julia Benally, Romance Linda Bradley, Mystery Lizzie Chantree

Interview Norah Colvin, Writing Eloise de Sousa, Horror Sue Vincent

Funnies Story Reading Ape, Short Story Beetley Pete, Recipe Richard Dee

History with John W. Howell, Booktour Charli Mills with MJ Mallon, Author Spotlight James Cudney with Sandra J. Jackson

Writing Scams Anne R. Allen, Afghanistan Mary Smith, Family Pete Springer

Chai and a Chat Ritu Bhathal, Oxford Mike Biles, Composting Brigid Gallagher

Debby Gies with some new finds and new material from Sally

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Thank you very much for dropping in and look forward to seeing you again next week… thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Nutrients the body needs – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Sally Cronin


Over the last six weeks I have shared the nutrients we need to be healthy and their main food sources. This week I am pulling that all together to provide you with a one sheet shopping list. You just need to cut and paste into word and print off.

Vitamins A and B

Vitamin C to K2

Calcium to Manganese

Phosphorus to Zinc

Amino Acids and liver health

Part Six Essential Fatty Acids.

First a reminder of the basic nutrients we need for energy and healthy functioning systems and organs and the main food sources.

  • Vitamins and anti-oxidants – A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (Folate) B12, C, D, E, K,
  • Minerals Calcium, chloride, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc.
  • Amino Acids –  
  • Essential Fatty Acids –
  • Bioflavonoids –V
  • Very strong anti-oxidants.

Quite a few foods fall into several categories so I will give you the top sources within the groups- these are the foods that should make up your basic shopping with seasonal fruits and vegetables when available. In the first list you will find the nutrients with a small selection of foods that contain them.

For example, spinach has Vitamin A, B1, B2, B9, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium – I have included in the first group only. (Popeye knew what he was doing)

  • Vitamin A – carrots, red peppers, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe melon, nectarines, peaches and spinach. Cashew nuts.
  • Vitamin B1 – Pineapple, watermelon, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, oats, brown rice, lentils, beans, eggs, lean ham and pork.
  • B2 – All green leafy vegetables, fish, milk, wheat germ, liver and kidney
  • B3 Asparagus, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, wholegrain bread and cereals. Turkey, Salmon, tuna, and cheese.
  • B5 Corn, Cauliflower, Brewer’s yeast, avocado, duck, soybeans, lobster and strawberries.
  • B6 – Walnuts, bananas, lamb
  • B9 (folate) – nuts, beans and dark green vegetables.
  • B12– offal, dairy, marmite,
  • Vitamin C – virtually all fruit and vegetables already mentioned but also blackcurrants, blueberries, kiwi, cherries, grapefruits, oranges and watercress.
  • Vitamin D – Eggs, tinned salmon – fresh and tinned herrings.
  • Vitamin E almonds, eggs, maize, apples, onions, shell fish, sunflower oil.
  • Vitamin K– dark green leafy vegetables, avocado, eggs.
  • Minerals
  • Calcium – dairy, sardines, canned salmon, green leafy vegetables.
  • Chromium – Whole grains, potatoes, onions and tomatoes – liver, seafood, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb and pork
  • Copper – olives, nuts, beans, wholegrain cereals, dried fruits, meat, fish and poultry.
  • Iodine – cod, mackerel, haddock, eggs, live yoghurt, milk and strawberries.
  • Iron– shellfish, prunes, spinach, meats, cocoa.
  • Magnesiumdairy, seafood, apples, apricots, avocado, brown rice, spinach.
  • Manganese – beans, brown rice, spinach, tomatoes, walnuts, fresh fruit.
  • Phosphorus – poultry, whole grains.
  • Potassium – most fresh fruit and vegetables but in particular bananas, apricots, Brussel sprouts, kiwi, nectarines, potatoes.
  • Selenium – halibut, cod, salmon and tuna, mushrooms and Brazil Nuts.
  • Sodium – usually enough in our food but no more than 1 level teaspoon a day.
  • Zinc– seafood, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, egg yolks and tofu.
  • Essential fatty acids –
  • Omega 3– flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkinseeds, avocados, dark green vegetables, poultry and salmon.
  • Omega 6 olive oil and some of the above.
  • Omega 9– avocado, olives, almonds.
  • Amino Acids – dairy products, fish, meat, poultry, soybeans, nuts and seeds.

Some guidelines.

It is best to eat vegetables and fruit in season and from local sources where possible. They are likely to be fresher than those that have been transported some of which can be days or even weeks old. Avoid buying cut vegetables as they have lost 50% of their nutritional value as soon as they have been chopped.  Frozen food is fine as many of the vegetables have been harvested and frozen immediately.

You won’t find sugar, biscuits and cakes on the shopping list. Having them once a week is not harmful, but currently in the United States adults are consuming over 25 teaspoons of sugar a day, mainly in industrialised foods.  Ireland and the UK are not that far behind. There are some quite interesting statistics: Sugar Consumption and the effect on our health

Variety is the key and it is easy to get into the habit with both shopping and cooking, of preparing a very narrow range of foods. If here are certain foods that you don’t particularly like, then put in a slow cooker with herbs and some light seasoning, simmer and then blitz to make a nutrient supercharged soup.

I know that it can be a struggle to eat the recommended 5 portions of vegetables and fruit a day, but if you can manage that for your vegetables across breakfast, lunch and dinner then add in two pieces of fruit. I have an apple and mandarin orange every day.  That will take you to 7 portions.

The foods that I am listing are common to the UK and Ireland and you can substitute with your similar or alternatively named produce. I have only listed the most common items and you can add in your favourite within that food group. I have added in herbs which have nutritional benefits.

Shopping List to cut and paste to print Smorgasbord Health.

Vegetables.

  • Artichoke – Asparagus – Avocado – Aubergines
  • Basil – Beetroot – Broccoli – Brussel Sprouts – Butternut Squash
  • Cabbage – Carrots – Cauliflower – Celery – Chives – Cilentro – Courgette (Zucchini)
  • Dill
  • Fennel – French Beans
  • Garlic – Ginger- Green Beans
  • Haricot Beans
  • Kale
  • Leeks – Lemongrass
  • Marjoram – Marrow – Mint- Mung Beans- Mushrooms
  • Olives – Onions – Oregano
  • Pak Choi- Parsley -Parsnips – Potatoes – Pumpkin
  • Radish – Red Cabbage – Red Peppers – Rocket – Rosemary – Runner Beans.
  • Samphire – Spinach – Spring Greens – Spring Onions (Scallions) – Sweet Potatoes – Swede
  • Tarragon – Thyme – Tomatoes – Turnips
  • Watercress
  • Yam

Fruit and nuts

  • Almonds – Apples – Apricots
  • Banana – Blackberry – Blueberry – Brazil Nuts
  • Cherries – Clementines
  • Dates – High Sugar – occasional
  • Figs – High sugar – occasional – Flaxseeds
  • Grapefruit –  Grapes
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons – Limes
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Mango – Melon
  • Oranges
  • Papaya – Pears – Plums – Pumpkin Seeds
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Walnuts
  • Watermelon

Protein

  • Beef – all cuts.
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Ham (to home cook par boil to remove excess salt)
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Cod
  • Hake
  • Mackerel
  • Offal such as lamb’s liver.
  • Salmon – Tinned and North Atlantic wild – Sardines – Shellfish
  • Soy beans (make sure organic as most is GMO)
  • Tofu – Tuna – Turkey

Dairy (Always try to buy grass fed rather than corn fed Vitamin K2)

  • Milk – full fat or half fat
  • Butter (avoid any processed spreads)
  • Cheese – once or twice a week in moderate amounts.
  • Cream – occasional
  • Unsweetened Yogurt

Wholegrains

  • Brown Basmati Rice
  • Porridge Oats
  • Wholegrain Pasta
  • Bread (baked in store)
  • Homemade whole grain bread.

Cooking Oils (the least refined the better)

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter
  • Lard (in moderate amounts)

Fluids

  • Black Tea
  • Green Tea
  • Herbal infusions (make sure not just added flavouring)
  • Coffee
  • Mineral water ( check for low sodium)

Extras

  • Alcohol – in moderation
  • Dark chocolate 70% +
  • Dessert twice a week
  • Cocoa drink

 

©Sally Cronin 2020

I hope that you will find this helpful when you are putting your next shopping list together. Look for loose vegetables and fruit, local if you can verify their origins. Mix things up every week so that you are getting a different food within each of the groups.

If you have a problem cutting and pasting into word, then email me and I will send you a copy – sally.cronin@moyhill.com

 ©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty- two 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 my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 9th to 15th February 2020 – Food, Music, Guest, New book releases, Book Reviews and Laughter.


Welcome to the round up with some posts you might have missed here on Smorgasbord during the week.

I hope that those of you who celebrated Valentine’s Day had a wonderful time… we always enjoy even after 40 years, but this year we managed to both buy the same card for each other which we had a good laugh about… luckily there were a few others that were anonymous to make up for it!!

It was my 67th birthday on Thursday and rather than go out for a meal we decided to indulge in pizzas and ice cream. We don’t give birthday gifts anymore since I have more clothes, handbags and shoes than a department store, don’t have occasion to wear bling very much, and don’t need something else to dust. The most precious gift to me is that we are still going strong and able to eat pizza and laugh.  But I did have a few friends over for tea… virtually.

A wild and windy couple of weeks with the odd day of sunshine as one storm front drives through after another. We are not as badly off as many, especially those who live on the wild Atlantic coastline in the west of Ireland. Nor do we get the snowfalls that those in Britain can expect. And there are a number of storms brewing of a different kind around the world from more floods in Australia to the increasing momentum of the coronavirus.

Whilst naturally are very concerned about catching the virus there is already a fallout that is impacting millions. The travel industry is going to be badly affected as will the tourist industries of many countries around the world as airlines stop services in and out of China and people decide not to fly unless absolutely necessary.

I was looking at the images of the normally very busy Chinatown in the heart of London where we have spent many a lovely evening sampling crispy duck and dim sum. Completely deserted with businesses seriously threatened and the jobs of thousands at risk. Unfortunately it is not just businesses that are threatened but also individuals who are being targeted for the ethnicity.

We have little option but to wait it out and hope that the measures being put in place will turn the tide. Personally I will not be flying in the next few months, especially into major airports. I normally avoid crowded events and places anyway with shopping done early in the morning.

For the elderly, the young and those with a compromised immune system the dangers are very real and it is important to make sure that they are isolated as much as possible from infection. Tough to do but frequent hand washing does help and when my mother was alive she was disappointed that hugging and kissing were banned!

Even though I am a strong advocate for natural therapies, there is no magic potion that can protect you completely. I do use tea tree lotion with a touch of silver on my hands and I am making sure I am getting plenty of vitamin C and D in my diet. Getting out in the fresh air on a daily basis is also a good idea as our centrally heated homes are very attractive to both bacteria and virus opportunists.

I hope by the time I share next week’s round up there will be better news…

Now time for the posts from the week and as always my thanks to contributors and guests for their amazing posts.

The Letter C – Calabash, Cajun, Curry, Cloud Eggs, Chilli and Calamari

Editor Sarah Calfee with a step by step guide to creating the perfect romance plot

Guest Writer Editor Sarah Calfee – The Romance Plot Sequence

The Wind Beneath My Wings from Beaches

Another two stories from the collection

Jane – The Surprise

Kenneth – A Love of Life

This week on  Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 164 the prompts were very appropriate,’Love and Harmony’….. I have selected the synonyms ‘Passion and Rapport’

Etheree – Two Hearts

Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Six – Essential Fatty Acids

Trouble at Clenchers Mill by Diana J. Febry

Trillium by Margaret Lindsay Holton

Scifi Richard Dee, Romance Ritu Bhathal, Thriller Stevie Turner

Short Stories Karen Ingalls, Thriller Terry Tyler, Fantasy C.S. Boyack, Memoir D.G. Kaye

Afghanistan Patricia Furstenberg, Fantasy Kevin Cooper, Midlife Romance Sally Cronin

seaturtle4

Reality informs Fiction – Trails in the Sand by P.C. Zick

FDR Barbara Ann Mojica meets Author Bret Baier

Haiku Dogs Released by Denis Young

19

Mystery Wish You Were Here by Janet Gogerty

Poetry – Who’s Worse by Stevie Turner

Interview Jill Weatherholt and John Howell, Delta Pearl Teagan Genviene, Roti Kool Kosher Kitchen

Valentine’s Day Amanda Cade, Valentine’s Dinner Carol Taylor, Mistaken Identity Anne R. Allen

Reading Robbie Cheadle, Books Teri Polen, Children’s books Jennie Fitzkee

Afghanistan Mary Smith, New Book Teagan Geneviene, Author Promotion Susan M. Toy

D. G. Kaye and her Guest Ann Patras

D.G. Kaye and her guest Ann Patras

Thank you for dropping in during the week and your support is very much appreciated.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Six – Essential Fatty Acids by Sally Cronin


Last week I posted  Part Five of this alternative shopping list by nutrient, as well as types of vitamins, water or fat soluble, and a basic list of essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy. At the end of the the posts, I will collate the foods into nutritional groups so that you can print off and refer to when doing your weekly shop.

I believe in eating, and eating all food groups, just moderating the amount that you eat based on your requirements. Your body knows how to process fresh food, raw and cooked from scratch. It is not designed to extract nutrients from manufactured foods which includes the majority that come in a packet, jar or can.

With that in mind here is part six of a shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is missing elements that it needs which is when you are sick.

Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Six – Essential Fatty Acids

In recent years over 2,000 scientific studies have identified that there is a wide range of health problems associated with Omega-3 deficiencies. Unfortunately our modern diet is almost devoid of this essential fatty acid and in fact it is believed that around 60% of us are deficient in Omega-3. What is far more concerning is that a quarter of us may be so deficient that current test methods can detect none in our blood. Omega-3 is one of the most important nutrients for our health, and a lack of it in our system holds far more risk than any vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Our ancient ancestors were opportunistic hunter/gatherers and their diet was rich in Omega-3. It is estimated that through the seasons they had around 125 foods that they would consume. Today in the poorest countries of the world, some subsist on one or two staple foods. In our own ‘civilised’ cultures we rarely eat more than 25.

Before the inclusion of wild grains in the diet, ancient humans would have eaten meat, seeds, nuts and green leafy vegetables. Whilst I believe that we should also include fish and wholegrains, this is a good basis of a healthy diet.

The ramifications of not obtaining sufficient Omega-3 is long-term and apart from overall health, we are more at risk of heart disease, strokes, cancers, depression, dementia including Alzheimer’s disease. Therapeutically taking additional Omega-3 in the form of supplements may alleviate some conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. This should only be done however after consulting a doctor or qualified nutritional therapist or other health advisor.

If you have found it difficult to lose weight there might also be a link to a deficiency in Omega-3 as it can result in the inefficient digestion of the food you do eat, even if it is classified as healthy.

Let’s look at Essential Fatty Acids in more detail.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are necessary fats that humans cannot synthesise and must be obtained through diet. There are two families of EFAs Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-9 is necessary but non-essential as the body can make it if the other two fatty acids are present.

EFAs are essential because they support our cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous systems. We need these fats to manufacture and repair cells, maintain hormone levels and expel waste from the body. They are part of the process that regulates blood pressure, blood clotting, fertility and conception – and they also help regulate inflammation and stimulate the body to fight infection.

Omega-3 (Linolenic Acid) is the principal Omega-3 fatty acid and is used in the formation of cell walls, improving circulation and oxygen delivery. A deficiency can lead to decreased immune system function; elevated levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) high blood pressure and irregular heart beat. It is also anti-inflammatory and helps prevent heart disease.

It is found in flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkinseeds, avocados, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, sardines, tuna and salmon.

Omega-6 (Linoleic Acid) is the primary Omega-6 fatty acid. Omega-6 can improve rheumatoid arthritis, lower blood cholesterol, PMS, skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.

salmonFound in flaxseeds, pumpkinseeds, olive oil, evening primrose oil, chicken and poultry, salmon.

There is growing evidence that the non-essential Oleic acid, Omega 9, may help to lower cholesterol by decreasing the unhealthy cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), while at the same time raising the level of healthy cholesterol, HDL (high density lipoprotein).
Oleic acid is also emerging as a regulator of blood-sugar levels and as a possible protection against breast and prostate cancer.

avocadoSo, including half an avocado in your diet every day may well protect you from the harmful long-term affects of a number of diseases. Found in olive oil, olives, avocados, almonds, and walnuts.

A closer look at why EFAs are so essential.

First and foremost EFAs provide us with energy but unlike saturated fats their effect is beneficial. The body cannot manufacture them and that is why it is ESSENTIAL to include them on a daily basis in your diet.

Both of the important EFA families – omega-6 and omega-3 – are components of nerve cells and cellular membranes. They are converted by the body into hormone like messengers such as prostaglandins – which are needed on a second-by-second basis by most tissue activities in the body.

A summary of the functions in the body that EFAs are involved in:

  • Regulating pressure in the eye, joints, and blood vessels.
  • Dilating or constricting blood vessels
  • Directing endocrine hormones to specific cells
  • Regulating smooth muscle reflexes
  • Being the main constituent of cell membranes
  • Regulating the rate of cell division
  • Regulating the inflow and outflow of substances to and from cells
  • Transporting oxygen from red blood cells to the tissues
  • Maintaining proper kidney function and fluid balance
  • Keeping saturated fats mobile in the blood stream
  • Preventing blood cells from clumping together (blood clots that can be a cause of heart attack and stroke)
  • Minimising the release of inflammatory substances from cells that may trigger allergic conditions
  • Regulating nerve transmission and communication
  • If the diet is deficient in either omega-6 or omega-3 long-term degenerative illnesses can result such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.

 ©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty- two 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 my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/

Next week I will compile the complete shopping list which you can print off to check which foods you might not be eating enough of and to include more regularly in your diet.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you have found useful.. Sally

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Five – Amino Acids and Liver Health


Last week I posted  Part Four of this alternative shopping list by nutrient, as well as types of vitamins, water or fat soluble, and a basic list of essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy. At the end of the the posts, I will collate the foods into nutritional groups so that you can print off and refer to when doing your weekly shop.

I believe in eating, and eating all food groups, just moderating the amount that you eat based on your requirements. Your body knows how to process fresh food, raw and cooked from scratch. It is not designed to extract nutrients from manufactured foods which includes the majority that come in a packet, jar or can.

With that in mind here is part five of a shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is missing elements that it needs which is when you are sick.

This week it is the turn of Amino Acids and how to ensure that you are eating the foods that promote a healthy balance in the body. This is a little less straightforward than the other nutrients, as most of the amino acids we need are manufactured in the liver. So this requires a shopping list to include the foods this organ needs to be healthy.  I have also included some notes on strategies to help this organ be more efficient, as well as some links to posts I have written on the subject.

Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Six – Amino Acids and Liver Health

 

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks that make up proteins, which of course is what we are made of. Vitamins and minerals can’t perform their specific functions effectively if the necessary amino acids are not present. Amino acids are either classified as essential or non-essential. The non-essential ones can be manufactured in our bodies but the essential amino acids have to be obtained from food.

All hormones require amino acids for their production.

For example:

  • L-Arginine encourages growth hormones and constitutes 80% of semen, which is why a deficiency causes sterility and may be associated with prostate problems.
  • L-Tryptophan helps in the production of Serotonin and Melatonin and helps to control emotional behaviour.
  • L-Glutamine is helpful for Thyroid gland function.
  • Taurine is used for hyperactivity and poor brain function.

Some of the two types of Amino acid (liver produced or in the diet) are detailed below.

For your body to produce a healthy balance of amino acids, you need to promote liver health. If your liver is compromised then many of the functions in your body that rely on amino acids will also be comprised and it will impact many areas of your health.

You can read more about this vital organ in a post from last year: The Liver – Largest Waste Organ Inside the Body

Here is a brief look at its function. What does the liver do?

The liver is a multi-tasking organ, capable of around 500 functions. Before you put rubbish in your mouth, think about the liver as your best friend. Is it going to be happy when this jumbo hotdog, salad cream, on a white bread roll with margarine, onions cooked in lard and the reconstituted chips with lots of salt and large blueberry muffin with a 16oz diet soda hits the system!! Everything you consume including all the preservatives, toxins, lousy fats, drugs, excess sugar will pass through this portal…..

Liver

The liver has two essential roles – making or processing chemicals and eliminating toxins and waste. Without this portal system none of the nutrients that we have carefully processed and passed in the intestines could be carried in the blood, through the liver to nourish the body and give us energy.

The liver is the organ but the work horses are the millions and millions of cells it holds.

Specialist cells, hepatocytes deal with the raw materials our body runs on – proteins, carbohydrates and fats. We are made of protein and we need to consume high quality protein to renew our cells and create new ones – in its raw state some proteins are not accepted by the body and the role of the liver’s cells is to change the format so that it is usable. Any waste from the liver cell’s processes is not passed back into the blood stream but stored for elimination. Similarly with carbohydrates, the liver cells will convert the carbs into appropriate fuel that can be easily accessed by the body for energy.

Strategies to keep your liver healthy and functioning at peak performance.

Restrict the amount of sugars that you consume. Studies have shown that the liver reacts in a very similar way to Ethanol (Alcohol consumption) and Fructose (sugars) A major role of the liver is to keep blood sugar stable. Without the liver you could suffer from diabetes. Even one fizzy drink a day can raise your risk of developing diabetes by 1%.

The term ‘moderate alcohol consumption’ is not a measurement but a ‘guesstimate’. One person’s definition of moderate can be very different from another persons. Basically one small drink a day can still have an impact on your liver and also your brain. My mother had a whisky and water every lunchtime most of her adult life and lived to nearly 95. However, what can be more dangerous is not drinking all week and then binge drinking at the weekend with the result of overwhelming your liver’s ability to remove toxins from the body. Liver Diseases

 

The liver, like the rest of the body, needs antioxidants to prevent oxidative damage. Eat a varied diet of fresh produce including proteins, brightly coloured vegetables, wholegrains, fruits, healthy fats in the form of virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, oily fish. Cook from scratch and avoid anything that comes in a bottle, can or packet.

A diet high in industrially foods is not only going to give the liver even more work to do, processing additives and excess chemicals such as phosphorus, but is also not going to give it the raw materials it requires for its own health.

Keep hydrated to help remove toxins from the body.

Avoid taking over the counter medication such as painkillers unless absolutely necessary. Liver Damage and Painkillers

Now back to the Amino Acids….

Arginine: Arginine is an essential amino acid that aids in liver detoxification and is helpful in liver disorders. It may help to reduce tumours and cancer. It may also assist in elevating the sperm count in males. The body uses Arginine during periods of growth and protein synthesis. It is helpful during trauma or with kidney conditions. It can stimulate growth hormones and detoxifies ammonia from the body. Arginine is required during the manufacturing of substances such as haemoglobin and insulin. This is an amino acid produced by the liver.

Cysteine: Cysteine is an amino acid made in the body. It is important because it maintains the proper configuration of both structural proteins and enzymes. It contains sulphur that is formed in the liver and is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body from chemicals, heavy metals, and smoke pollution. It has been shown that it may stimulate the immune system, help burn fat, aid in tissue healing, and aid muscle growth. Another Liver amino acid.

Glutamine: Glutamine is found in high concentrations in the human brain where it is converted to glutamic acid. Taken in modest amounts, Glutamine can substantially increase your production of growth hormone. It may help with mental alertness and clarity, decrease sugar cravings. Is being studied in connection with mental disorders such as senility and schizophrenia. It maintains a healthy digestive tract and may help with people suffering from alcoholism. Produced by the liver.

Carnitine: Carnitine is made in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine and is needed to release energy from fat. It transports fatty acids into mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells. It may promote normal growth and development and treat some forms of cardiovascular problems. Studies have been carried out with athletes and there are some indications that it protects against muscle problems and helps build muscle. It may also protect against liver disorders and diabetes. It is manufactured in the liver.

Lysine: Lysine is an essential amino acid that helps maintain nitrogen levels and calcium absorption. It is often taken during a breakout of the herpes virus, either oral or genital. It helps produce enzymes, antibodies and hormones and helps repair tissue. This amino acid also is important when recovering from an operation. It also helps build strong muscles, collagen, bone and cartilage.

This amino acid comes from dietary sources are high proteins such as beef, cheese, chicken, lamb, milk, and beans.

Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid and is the precursor of tyrosine. This is an important amino acid. It produces neurotransmitters in the brain to produce norepinephrine and it assists in learning, memory, clarity and elevates the mood. Therefore, it may aid in the treatment of depression.

N.B. It should not be taken in supplement form by anyone suffering from high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, panic attacks, cancer or anyone taking MAO inhibitors. Women who are pregnant or lactating should also avoid using Phenylalanine.

 

Taken from dietary sources and found in most foods but it is highest in those that are high in protein such as dairy products and meats.

Taurine: Taurine is an essential amino acid that is found in the body, but mainly in the skeletal muscle, heart muscle, brain and central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Taurine also aids in the digestive processes including bile. A liver produced Amino Acid.

Tryptophan: Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is the lowest in terms of levels needed by the body. It is responsible for normal sleep patterns. Vitamin B6 is needed for the formation of tryptophan, which affects serotonin levels. These serotonin levels influence sleep and mood.

 

Best food sources are Turkey, Chicken, fish, bananas, yoghurt, pineapple and cheese.·

Tyrosine: Tyrosine is used by the thyroid gland to produce thyroxin. Thyroxin is a hormone that helps regulate growth, healthy skin, our metabolic rate and our mental health. Low levels of tyrosine have been connected with hypothyroidism. Tyrosine is used in our body to make epinephrine and dopamine. It reduces body fat and is an appetite suppressant. Manufactured in the liver.

N.B: People with high blood pressure, skin cancer and those who are using MAO inhibitors should not take it in supplement form.

Next week in part six I will be sharing the foods that contain essential fatty acids.. and the following week I will compile the complete shopping list which you can print off to check which foods you might not be eating enough of and to include more regularly in your diet.

 ©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty- two 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 my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/

Next week in part six I will be sharing the foods that contain essential fatty acids.. and the following week I will compile the complete shopping list which you can print off to check which foods you might not be eating enough of and to include more regularly in your diet.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you have found useful.. Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Health Column Guest Writer – How interacting with OCD sufferers has influenced my writing by Robbie Cheadle


Robbie Cheadle has been a frequent guest on Smorgasbord over the last two years, writing about a wide range of subjects. Today Robbie shares the condition OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), her observations in those that suffer from OCD and how it has influenced her writing.

How interacting with OCD sufferers has influenced my writing by Robbie Cheadle

What is OCD?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, obsessive-compulsive disorder (“OCD”) is an anxiety disorder in which time people have recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). The repetitive behaviors, such as hand washing, checking on things or cleaning, can significantly interfere with a person’s daily activities and social interactions.
Obsessions are involuntary thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in your mind. You don’t want to have these ideas, but you can’t stop them. Unfortunately, these obsessive thoughts are often disturbing and distracting.

The cycle of OCD

Compulsions are behaviours or rituals that a person feels compelled to act out again and again. OCD sufferers develop compulsions in an attempt to control obsessive and intrusive thoughts. For example, if an OCD sufferer is afraid of contamination, he/she may develop complicated cleaning rituals. The relief provided by compulsive behaviour, unfortunately, never lasts and usually increases over time, in tandem with increased anxiety by the OCD sufferer as a result of the time-consuming and invasive nature of the rituals.

Related conditions

Other conditions that share selected features of OCD occur more frequently in family members of OCD sufferers. These include, for example, body dysmorphic disorder (preoccupation with imagined ugliness), hypochondriasis (preoccupation with physical illness), trichotillomania (hair pulling), some eating disorders such as binge eating disorders, and neurologically based disorders such as Tourette’s syndrome (a disorder that involves repetitive movements or unwanted sounds (tics) that can’t be easily controlled by the sufferer).

OCD and my life

Over the course of my life, I have known, and lived with, several people who suffer from OCD and its related conditions, in particular, Bulimia, trichotillomania and Tourette’s syndrome. I came to realise many years ago that these disorders are like having a stutter, only of the mind rather than the physical body. A sufferer’s mind literally gets stuck on a disruptive thought and must repeatedly perform rituals in order to gain relief from it.

It is unfortunate that OCD sufferers are often highly intelligent over achievers who are able to hide their symptoms effectively from people outside of the home which results in a lack of understanding of, and sympathy towards, this illness. I recently wrote a piece of flash fiction where I likened an OCD sufferer to someone in a mental wheelchair. I think this is an apt description and if people could view mental disorders in this light, maybe there would be more understanding and sympathy of these conditions. Being in a wheelchair does not mean you cannot do things, it merely means that certain interventions are required for facilitate the achievement of specific objectives.

OCD and my story in Whispers of the Past

The paranormal anthology, Whispers of the Past, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth, features a short story of mine entitled, Missed Signs. The idea for this story came to me last year when I was reading up on rabies and discovered that there are still rare cases of rabies occurring in humans.

I wove the idea of a young man suffering from OCD with a fear of germs and illness together with the concept of a human contracting rabies through an animal bite and Missed Signs was born.

Writing this story required a fair bit of research on rabies and how it effects humans which I found interesting. The OCD symptoms and rituals were easy enough for me to include with my personal experience of this illness.

This story also exposes my own personal view that when a child or dependent continuously requires reassurance in respect of every small health issue, it can result in their caregivers becoming indifferent to their concerns. In these circumstances, it would be easy for a caregiver to fail to investigate the cause behind a particular anxiety and a real health problem could easily be dismissed as part of a new ritual or as a symptom of OCD, without giving it proper consideration or attention.

©Robbie Cheadle 2020

 

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

I have been drawn to the horror and supernatural genres of books all my life. At the age of ten years old I embarked on reading Stephen King’s books including The Shining and Salem’s Lot. These books scared me so much I had to put them aside by 6P.M. in the evening in order to get a good night’s sleep but they also fascinated me. I subsequently worked my way through all of Stephen King’s earlier books as well as those of Dean R. Koontz.

I have read a large number of classics, in particular, I enjoy Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Charles Dickens and the works of the Bronte sisters.

I am hugely interested in the history of the United Kingdom as well as the mythology and tales of the paranormal that are abundant on this intriguing European island.

A small selection of other Sir Chocolate stories co-written with Michael Cheadle and other work by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

One of the recent reviews for Through the Nethergate

After the death of her parents, Margaret moves to Bungay, England to live with her grandfather. Once there, she realizes she can see the spirits of the dead. Even more terrifying, Margaret sees the spirits of how they looked at the moment of their death. If that’s not creepy enough, hang on… this story takes a dark turn. Soon, Margaret realizes she must figure out how to free these lost souls from the ultimate evil.

Some ghosts are evil and some are good, while others seem to be stuck between the worlds in a sort of limbo. Margaret’s gift of sight acts as a catalyst for some and the ghosts begin to incarnate and interact with our world. All of this activity alerts the big guy below, and he fantasizes about Margaret’s abilities and what her power could do for him.

Cheadle builds her story off of the legend of Black Shuck, the Devil Dog of Bungay who in 1577 terrorized the parishioners of the local church by killing two people kneeling in prayer after bursting through the church doors amid a flash of lightning. In the book, the dog resurfaces as the evil Hugh Bigod, the vilest of spirits who commands the other spirits who chose not to go into the light when they died.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:Amazon US

And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK

Read more reviews and follow Robbie on Goodreads: Goodreads

Connect to Robbie Cheadle

Website/Blog Roberta Writes: Roberta Writes
Blog: Robbie’s Inspiration
Website: Robbie Cheadle:
Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books
Twitter: @bakeandwrite

My thanks to Robbie for sharing this post on a debilitating condition that severely impacts the lives of an estimated  750,000 people in the UK alone.

For more information: OCDUK

Thank you for joining us today and as always your feedback is very welcome.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 26th January to 1st February 2020 – West Side Story, A-Z of Food, Guests, Funny moments and Books Galore


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

An historic week for the UK when finally Brexit happened last night at 11 p.m. I was 20 years old when we joined the Common Market 47 years ago and it seemed like a great idea at the time. Trade between the partners without tariffs and joint projects and co-operation across borders, which made sense in the aftermath of the Cold War and an extended period of peace in Europe.

Unfortunately (in my opinion), like most well-intentioned projects, this went off the rails once it became a European United States with far more members than originally, many of whom who were not financially stable. Primarily in response to the power of the United States and Russia, but also to open the door to controlling  many aspects of our daily lives as possible. Some of which were excellent and aimed at improving our health, welfare and safety. But, very soon we had a huge governmental oversight in Brussels, costing billions a year, and the committees that were set up no longer looked at the bigger picture of our daily lives, but the minutiae.

Suddenly we are sitting in near darkness due to rules on light bulbs, unable to buy decent vacuum cleaners that actually sucked up the fluff on your carpet, and were forced to buy regulation size and shape vegetables! Sounds trivial, but for many people this was an intrusion too far.

It was this heavy handed oversight across every aspect of lives from the justice system to the shape of our vegetables in Britain that persuaded the population to vote for Brexit. And for a change the will of the people has actually been complied with.

And now the hard work begins to ensure that on major issues such as cross border co-operation on terrorism and crime continue. Also to agree trade deals with the EU member states and with the rest of the world, as part of the broader WTO (World Trade Organisation).

It sounds a bit like a Common Market to me………

For me as a British citizen living in Southern Ireland, things will not change noticeably as there is a reciprocal agreement signed between the UK and the republic on most issues, including health care and travel.

There will be a honeymoon period of 11 months whilst issues are ironed out. Hopefully with billions of euros being spent by British holidaymakers all over Europe, and their love of French cheeses, German Beer, Spanish Rioja, Italian Prosecco, Dutch tulips and Irish Guinness, there will peace and harmony….

Anyway.. on a less serious note…. here are the posts from the week.

As always I am so grateful to the contributors and guests who provide such wonderful content, and to you for dropping in and supporting us.

This week Carol Taylor works though some of the foods, cooking methods and kitchen equipment beginning with the letter B.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – Baking Soda, Bananas, Broccoli, Butterflying food and cooking with a Bain Marie

Maria from West Side Story

Two more stories from the collection.

Hector The Homecoming

Ifan and the Black Sheep

The circle of life Etheree Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 162 – Theme Prompt

Etheree – The Circle of Life

Little Tea by Claire Fullerton on Pre-Order and my advance review

My review for The Shirt by Richard Dee

Pete Springer shares more funny school moments and an extract from They Call Me Mom.

Delighted to share a brand new feature which is a collaboration between Kaye Lynne Booth of Writing to be Read and Robbie Cheadle. I was very honoured to be the first guest of the series and it was wonderful to be invited to share pieces of my favourite poetry.

thumbnail_Treasuring Poetry

Treasuring Poetry with Robbie Cheadle and Kaye Lynne Booth

D.Wallace Peach with another short story…. a bewitching tale I know you will love.

Short Story – Sign by D.Wallace Peach

Liz Gauffreau with a moving short story that I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did

Liz Gauffreau short story. The Ides of September

Richard Dee with some thoughts on how to deal with your story’s characters when they do want to come out to play.

Communication Breakdown when your Characters Refuse to Play by Richard Dee

Jane Risdon shares her experience of the generosity of our writing community…

We all need help and advice – Paying it Forward by Jane Risdon

Jan Sikes shares her top ten books that she read in 2019.. great recommendations.

Jan Sikes Top Ten Book List for 2019

Thriller – Vanished by Mark Bierman

Paranormal S.A. Harris, Thriller Carol Balawyder, Romance Jacquie Biggar

Memoir D.G. Kaye, Paranormal Roberta Eaton Cheadle, Family James J. Cudney

Poetry Balroop Singh, Children Janice Spina, Poetry Bette A. Stevens

Writer links D.G. Kaye, Funnies The Story Reading Ape, Photography Cindy Knoke

Photos Jennie Fitzkee, Recycling Carol Taylor, Reviews Annika Perry

Author Promotion Susan M. Toy, Poetry Challenge Colleen M. Chesebro, Community John W. Howell

Delta Pearl Teagan Geneviene, Virus Outbreak Jane Gogerty, Review film 1917 Geoff Le Pard

Justice Pete Springer, WATWB D.G. Kaye, Grief When Women Inspire

Minerals the body needs and the foods you should add to your shopping list.

Part four of the shopping list by nutrient Phosphorus to Zinc

Comedian in Residence D.G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

More funnies from D. G. Kaye and some new material from Sally

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed…look forward to seeing you again next week.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – January 19th – 25th 2020 – Music, Food, Guests and Humour – Enjoy the Party.


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

I hope that everyone is doing well, the week has flown by as usual and suddenly, or so it seems to me, we are at the end of January. The good news is that spring is around the corner.

A couple of reminders.

If you have a new book release coming out in February please let me know. If you are already an author in the Cafe and Bookstore I just need the date.

If you are new to the Cafe.. then details are in this post. It is FREE: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore

The Cafe and Bookstore is in the process of a makeover with new links being added and shortcuts to buy links and blogs. Sorry for the mixed look at the moment but working through it over the next few weeks.

My thanks as always to my contributors and guests who bring such great content to the blog each week, and of course to you for dropping and supporting, by liking, commenting and sharing…

William Price King with Charles Mingus – 1922- 1979

Two more stories from the collection.

Grace – The Gift

Hannah – Finding a Way to Move Forward

This week in Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 161 we are treated to a photo prompt selected by Willow Willers which is stunning.

Mirror Cinquain Ritual of Mehndi by Sally Cronin

My review for A Sweet Smell of Strawberries by Mary Crowley

D.Wallace Peach treats us to a therapeutic shampoo with special powers…

Image Pixabay combo

Short Story Clarifying Shampoo by D.Wallace Peach

Jacqui Murray shares some strategies to survive the work in  progress.

12 Survival Tips for Writers by Jacqui Murray

Richard Dee does not just create other worlds in his scifi books, but also does some nifty creating in the kitchen… peanut cookies..

Author Richard Dee showcases his skill in the kitchen.

Short Story Ghosts in the attic by Darlene Foster

Is the editor you hired actually doing the editing by D.G. Kaye

Memoir – Into Africa with 3 kids, 13 crates and a husband by Ann Patras

Non-Fiction – Speak Flapper: Slang of the 1920s by Teagan Geneviene

Mystery – The Charli McClung Mysteries book 6 – How Deep in the Darkness

Short Story The Shirt by Richard Dee

Flash Sarah Brentyn, Family Claire Fullerton, 1920s Elizabeth Gauffreau

WritingProse Harmony Kent, Fantasy Jack Eason,Thriller Allan Hudson

Recycling Carol Taylor, Alien Beetley Pete, Q&A D.G. Kaye with Jane Sturgeon

Blog award Karen Ingalls, Bletchley Park Mike Biles, Author Spotlight James J. Cudney with Zach Abrams

Interviews Kellie Butler with Judith Barrow, Jo Lambert with Jane Risdon, Dogs by Debbie the Dog Lady

Interview Book Club Mom with Ritu Bhathal, Mae Clair with Victoria Zigler, Afghanistan with Mary Smith

Books for Life Patricia Furstenberg, Fantasy Free Aurora Jean Alexander, What does your ring finger length mean by Jim Borden

Research is indicating that as well as possible liver damage resulting from taking too many paracetamol, it might also be impacting the way we relate to others.

Concerns are raised regarding Paracetamol and mental wellbeing

This week’s shopping list by nutrient is part three with the minerals Calcium to Manganese

Grocery Shopping by Nutrient Part Three Calcium to Manganese

More funnies from Debby and new jokes from Sally

Debby Gies with more funnies and guest poet Ann Patras

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by #Nutrient – Part Three – Calcium to Manganese


Last week I posted  Part Two of this alternative shopping list by nutrient, as well as types of vitamins, water or fat soluble, and a basic list of essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy. At the end of the the posts, I will collate the foods into nutritional groups so that you can print off and refer to when doing your weekly shop.

I believe in eating, and eating all food groups, just moderating the amount that you eat based on your requirements. Your body knows how to process fresh food, raw and cooked from scratch. It is not designed to extract nutrients from manufactured foods which includes the majority that come in a packet, jar or can.

With that in mind here is part three of a shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is missing elements that it needs which is when you are sick.

Last year we ran a series on nutrients and the symptoms of deficiency.. and Carol Taylor provided very tasty recipes using ingredients to make sure you don’t lack certain vital vitamins and minerals. Cook from Scratch to avoid Nutritional Deficiency with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor

Minerals the body needs and the foods you should add to your shopping list.

Calcium: The most abundant and essential mineral in the body. There are approximately two to three pounds mainly found in the teeth and bones. Apart from its role in the formation of teeth and bones it is also required for blood clotting, transmission of signals in nerve cells and muscle contractions. There is some indication that higher calcium intake protects against cardiovascular disease particularly in women. If you are at risk of kidney stones consult your doctor before taking in additional calcium supplements. This also applies if you are suffering from prostate cancer where there may be a link between increased levels of dietary calcium in dairy products and this form of cancer. It is thought it is thought that excess calcium causes lower levels of Vitamin D, which helps protect against prostate cancer.

The best dietary sources of calcium milk, cheese and butter, goats milk, sardines canned salmon with the bones, green leafy vegetables, spinach, watercress (more calcium than milk) tofu.

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the body maintain normal blood sugar levels. A deficiency of the mineral can lead to diabetes and this is where the primary research into this mineral has been directed. It may help increase the healthy cholesterol in the blood (HDL) and is necessary for fatty acid and protein metabolism

Chromium first and foremost is a component of the ‘glucose tolerance factor’ which is required for maintaining a normal blood glucose balance. Chromium works with insulin to ease the absorption of blood glucose into the cells and it may also play a part in other activities that involve insulin such as the metabolism of fats and proteins. Find out more:

Best sources of chromium broccoli and other dark green leafy vegetables, romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, wholegrains, potatoes, oysters and other seafood, liver, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef and lamb also contain good amounts.

COPPER: Copper is an essential trace element needed to absorb and utilise Iron. It is needed to make ATP and is also to synthesise some hormones and blood cells. Collagen needs copper, as does the enzyme tyrosinase, which plays a role in the production of skin pigment. Too much copper in the diet can depress levels of zinc and effect wound healing.

Best sources are seafood like oysters, cashews and other nuts, cherries, cereals, potatoes, cherries, vegetables and most organ meats.

Iodine: Iodine is a trace mineral that is needed to make thyroid hormones that maintain metabolism in all the cells of the body. It is rare to be deficient in the western world but the key time to ensure that iodine levels are maintained is during pregnancy as deficiency of the mineral has been linked to miscarriages and premature births and congenital abnormalities. Children whose mothers were deficient in iodine can develop growth and mental issues and hearing loss. A moderate deficiency has also been linked to ADHD.

Best sources are in seafood, iodised salt and sea vegetables such as samphire. Also in fish such as cod, mackerel and haddock, eggs, live yoghurt and strawberries

Iron: The main function of iron is in haemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying component of blood. When someone is iron deficient they suffer extreme fatigue because they are being starved of oxygen. Iron is also part of myoglobin which helps muscle cells store oxygen and it is also essential for the formation of ATP.

Dietary iron is found in two forms, haem iron and non-haem iron. (Heme in US). Haem iron, which is the most absorbable, is found only in animal flesh as it is taken from the haemoglobin and myoglobin in animal tissue. Non-haem iron is found in plant foods.

Best food sources for haem iron are shellfish such as cockles and mussels, liver, meat, poultry and fish.  And for non-haem plant based sources whole grains and fortifed cereals, watercress, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, legumes, Sweet Potatoes tofu, pumpkin seeds, and tofu. Strawberries, tomatoes,watermelon, prunes and dried apricots.

Magnesium is essential mineral needed for bone, protein and fatty acid formation, forming new cells, activating the B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood and forming ATP the fuel the body runs on. The secretion and action of insulin also needs magnesium. It is needed to balance calcium in the body and too much can result in very low levels of calcium.

The best food sources are whole grains, beans, seeds, wheat germ, dried apricots, dark green vegetables, soybeans and fish.

Manganese is needed for healthy skin, bone and cartilage formation as well as glucose tolerance. Also forms part of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase, which helps prevent free radical damage.Only needed in small amounts but is essential for brain health (it may help prevent strokes), may prevent health issues associated with free radical damage such as heart disease and arthritis.

Best food sources are nuts, seeds, wholegrains, leafy green vegetables, tea and pineapple.

Next time more minerals we need to be healthy and Amino Acids and Essential Fatty Acids you should include in your shopping list- and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks Sally.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty- two 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 my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/