Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – #Honey -#Propolis – Thousands of Years of History and Health by Sally Cronin


There are certain foods that bring more than taste to your diet, rich in nutrients and energy they are worth including in your weekly shopping.

Food therapy is a broad term for the benefits to the body of a healthy, varied and nutritional diet of fresh foods.

Most of us walk through the fresh produce departments of our supermarkets without really paying much attention to the individual fruits and vegetables. This is a great pity because the vast majority of these foods have been cultivated for thousands of years, not only for their nutritional value but also for their medicinal properties. If you eat a healthy diet you are effectively practicing preventative medicine. A robust immune system, not only attacks external opportunistic pathogens, but also works to prevent rogue cells in the body from developing into serious disease.

NOTE If you are on any prescribed medication do not take yourself off it without consultation with your doctor. If you follow a healthy eating programme and lose weight and are exercising you may not need the same dose and with your doctor’s agreement you may be able to reduce or come off the medication all together.

#Honey -#Propolis – Thousands of Years of History and Health

This week it is the turn of honey which has been providing sweetness to our diet for thousands of years. First a look at its many health benefits and then Carol is going to work her magic in the kitchen.

Many people are enjoying the benefits of plant based sweeteners such as Stevia which are very useful in cooking and as an alternative to table sugar. I do use at times but I still use honey for its reputation for thousands of years as a healing food.

I doubt that there are many people today who are not aware of the health risks in consuming too much sugar-rich food. Diabetes is on the increase, especially in children, and along with obesity is likely to be one of the top causes of premature death within a few years.

To my mind, the insidious inclusion of sugars in processed foods and equally as bad the introduction of toxic artificial sweeteners is one of the reasons for increased levels of cancer and degenerative diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. We are becoming nutritionally deficient as we become more and more reliant on convenience and junk food laden with fats and sugars.

Honey is the exception and I encourage even my clients with Candida Albicans to use it in moderation as a healthy alternative to sugar or artificial sweeteners.

History of Honey.

For thousands of years it has been used both as a nutritious addition to diet and as an effective medicine and the oldest reference to this delicacy dates back to 5500 BC. At that time Lower Egypt was actually called Bee Land while the Upper Egypt was called Reed Land. By 2500 BC bee keeping was well established and a thriving trade existed between Egypt and India – where honey became associated with religious rites.

Apparently, 110 large pots of honey was equivalent to one donkey or ox. Babylonian and Sumerian clay tablets describe honey’s use as a medicine, some of which included powdered bees, which was considered a cure for bladder stones and dropsy. In all over half of the documented remedies, recognised from these periods in our history, were based on honey.

At first honey was treasured, due to not only its sweet taste but also its rarity. It was considered to be a divine substance and therefore it played a substantial role in many ancient people’s rites and ceremonies. Apart from anointing the dead, jars of honey were sent into the next world to nourish the deceased and in some civilisations honey took on mythical and magical properties.

The Aztecs and Mayan cultures of South America kept colonies of native bees, for their honey and wax, mainly for use as medicine. Sometime in the 16th or 17th century settlers brought European bees into the Americas and honey became more available to everyone.

It is considered to be very pure and therefore used in marriage rites around the world including in our own expression of “honeymoon” as it promoted fertility and was thought to act as an aphrodisiac.

If all that is not enough to tempt you to use honey on a daily basis then some of the health benefits of honey may be able to persuade you.

 

Raw Irish Honey: Coolmore Bees Cork

Health benefits of honey

Having given honey such a wonderful lead-in I now have to put in a proviso and that is that not all honey is created equal.

Bees make honey for their own nourishment from the nectar collected from flowers and the enzymes in their saliva. They carry the honey back to the hive where it is deposited in the cells in the walls where it dries out and forms that consistency that we are familiar with.

The quality and medicinal qualities of honey are very dependent on the plants that the bees producing that honey have had access to. Most of the commercially available honey originates from bees feeding on clovers, heather and acacia plants but there are some wonderful flavours available from bees with access to herb plants such as thyme and lavender.

Unfortunately, in the processing of wild honey to the commercially acceptable product you find on most supermarket shelves, many of the nutrients can be lost. One in particular that is a very valuable anti-bacterial, anti -viral and anti-fungal agent is Propolis, the glue that bees use to seal the hive and protect the colony. This is usually present in small amounts in wild honey but is lost in processing – unless it is marked on the jar. You can buy Propolis honey but it can be a little more expensive but worth it.

Whilst I only take supplements at certain times of year, one that I take from September onwards is propolis in capsule form, through to April ( I have taken longer in 2020). There have been some studies on the action of propolis on virus strains and the conclusion was that it prevents replication of the virus: NCBI – Propolis

One of the best honeys in the world comes from New Zealand and is called Manuka honey and because of its reputation for healing it is very heavily tested and regulated to maintain its high standards.

Active Manuka honey is used both internally and externally to treat a number of medical conditions and research is being conducted to legitimise the claims that are made of its effectiveness which show a great deal of promise.

Currently it may help prevent:

  • stomach ulcers
  • poor digestion
  • gastritis
  • Helicobacter Pylori (H.Pylori)
  • skin ulcers
  • sore throats
  • skin infections
  • boost immune system and energy levels.

It is thought that it might even work effectively against MRSA, which would be very interesting.

If you are eating honey then do buy locally and if possible from source. Visit the beekeeper and you should see someone in glowing health, which will be a testament to the quality of his bees and honey. We had bee farms near where we lived in Madrid and they are miles from pollution and surrounded by wild plants of every variety in the hills.

Internal health benefits

Good quality raw honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It is also an amazing energy source and certainly Greek athletes used both honey and figs to enhance their performance on the track. Modern researchers conducted a study using athletes, some of which were given a honey, some sugar and some maltodextrin as the carbohydrate source. The athletes who were given the honey maintained a steady blood sugar level throughout the two hour training session and their recovery times was much better than those athletes on the alternative energy sources.

For anyone suffering from diabetes, finding a sweetener that does not affect blood sugar levels dramatically is vitally important and honey would appear to raise levels far less than any other refined alternative. However, this still does not mean that a diabetic can eat honey freely but it does mean that breakfast porridge and cups of tea can benefit from a little sweetness if it is required. Please check with your doctor beforehand.

It has also been found that natural honey rather than processed honey can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels (smaller particle cholesterol that when oxidised can attach to the walls of arteries and block them), homocysteine levels and increases the level of HDL (healthy cholesterol) helping to prevent heart disease.

Honey’s healing properties are beneficial for stomach ulcers, sore throats and intestinal damage with a balancing effect on intestinal bacteria. This includes Candida Albicans, which goes against most therapists’ philosophy of eliminating all sweeteners from a sufferer’s diet. All my clients have switched to honey in their programmes and it seems to not only help in the recovery but also provides a small element of sweetness to satisfy cravings.

It has been found that taking natural honey on a daily basis raises blood levels of the protective antioxidant compounds that we need to prevent disease and to heal ourselves. Admittedly the subjects in the study that confirmed this consumed four tablespoons of buckwheat honey per day which would grate on even my sweet tooth. I do believe as you know in the accumulative effect and therefore over a period of time taking a teaspoon or so of honey per day on food or in drinks should benefit you in the long term.

External health benefits

As with ulcers internally, honey is excellent for external wound healing. Honey absorbs water in the wound inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi. Also honey contains glucose oxidase that when mixed with water produces hydrogen peroxide which is a mild antiseptic. There are also specific enzymes in honey, particularly Manuka honey that appear to speed up the healing process in combination with the common antioxidant properties.

I use a range of organic Manuka skincare for face and body and it actually works out less expensive and less polluted then many of the expensive brands.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2022

A little bit about me nutritionally. .

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four 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, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

 

As always I look forward to your comments and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column 2022 – The Dynamics of Change – Part One – Our Physical Being by Sally Cronin


For so many of us, this last two years have resulted in changes to our lifestyle,  relationships and reliance on others. For millions who have contracted Covid, there has also been for lingering aftershocks that have impacted their physical well-being.

However, change is also a natural and progressive force in our lives as we move through the various stages in our lifetime. Each year sees minor shifts in the way we are physically but there can also be changes in our mental and emotional perspectives. In the next few posts I will be exploring those changes.

When we are younger and the world is our oyster, we tend to feel that anything is possible. We have dreams and ambitions, and with support and some luck we are often able to achieve at least some of them. However life has a way of intruding into our well laid plans, and you find that some of those dreams have fallen by the wayside as we fulfill our role in our families and society.

When there is a problem with our computers, which are like us, complicated, programmed and prone to the occasional virus… we do a reboot. This resets all the original content and is effectively a fresh start. With an older model computer we might think of increasing the memory or power and adding additional programmes that bring it up to date.

As a blogger on Word Press I will admit that sometimes I get a little irritated by some of the changes that are made to the platform.. Well make that very irritated.. But of course those people who have moved to mobile devices find the upgrades very much more useful. My desktop computer is where I am most comfortable, and I have to remember that it is down to me to make the change in attitude to accept that this is the future and get to grips with it.

I have rebooted my life a number of times.. Sometimes forced into it by circumstances and other times by choice. Often it has resulted in a new direction with opportunities and achievements, and occasionally I have been up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

Luckily since childhood I have travelled the world and lived and worked in countries where I needed to adapt to be included in society. I am not afraid of change and in fact everyone  laughed when I announced that our move back to Ireland and to this house was the last!! Six years later and we are decorating in anticipation of putting the house on the market…

There are a number of reasons for a reboot including health or weight issues, financial restrictions, a toxic relationship, a feeling of life passing you by, disappointment in your job or realising that your formal working life is over. The question that usually gets asked is ‘What am I going to do now?’

The elements of change.

As we get older we do tend to become more entrenched in our lives and routine and disconnecting from that and floating off into space looking for the next harbour to anchor can be stressful.

There are varying degrees of change, and there are also many different reasons for that change. The two main forms are those we decide to make and those that are thrust upon us.

I am going to be looking at three elements that are subject to both enforced and voluntary change. Physically, mentally and emotionally we are programmed for change as our body and brain develop and age.

scan12a-sallyscan7a-sallyscan6a-sally

Physical changes

Firstly, I am taking a look at the enforced physical changes that effect us all. For many this natural aging of our bodies, is unwelcom and it has fuelled a multi-billion dollar industry to try and halt the process. (And yes I am a contributor!)

We are set upon an inescapable course of events from the moment we are conceived. Our genetic makeup will determine many factors that contribute to the way we develop and mature including our eye colour and eyesight, hair colour and hair density, bone structure, height, skin tone, tendancy to forms of arthritis and other diseases and to a degree our lifespan.

We also carry genes from random pairings over thousands of years that contribute to the complex chemical makeup which is unique to everyone of us in the form of our DNA. This will result in family traits that are clear to see from each generations photographic contributions.

The fact is that we are born, live and then we die. Barring accidents, and with the help of modern medicine we should all look forward to living into our 80s, 90s and increasingly into 100s. Which of course fuels another industry – Pharmaceutical companies are delighted with the prospect of an aging population that requires copious amounts of pills to hold back the inevitable.

Voluntary changes.

There is an enforced part of the equation when it comes to physical changes based on our genetics, natural aging and environment.

There is however the voluntary factor which can make a huge difference in the rate that we change physically and that is related to our diet and lifestyle choices.

Some of the genetic traits that I mentioned are carved in stone. But we can make a difference in a number of areas, particularly where there is a family connection to disease.

Previous generations who have contributed to our makeup may have had what I call ‘famine’ years that will have impacted their general health, immune systems and also their physical development.

My two grandmothers were about 5 feet 4 inches tall and my maternal grandmother was very slight and suffered badly from asthma which resulted in her early death at 52.

If you look back 100 years to old family pictures it is clear that the majority of people in them are much shorter than we are today. I know that most of my grandparents and the next generation were all under 5′ 7″ with the women actually much smaller. I am almost six feet tall which would have horrified my grandmother who believed that petite was the only female form allowed!

The vast majority of our ancestors, unless very privileged would have had simple diets and would have certainly not had access to as much fresh vegetables, fruit, and protein all year around that we have today.

There are a number of factors that determine life expectancy including the introduction of modern medical care and better living conditions, but diet will also have played a major role in the average life expectancy at birth in 1914 of 50 years for men and 54 for women.

Today in Ireland for example the average life expectancy is around 81 for men and 84 for women which is a huge leap in such a short space of time. You can check your own country’s numbers Worldometer Demographics Life Expectancy

So this is definitely an area that we can impact physical change voluntarily not just for ourselves but also in future generations as they benefit from our choices today.

progression-of-osteoporosisThe good news is that a balanced diet does not just impact our physical health and longevity.

Eating the right foods also improves skin tone and therefore reduces wrinkles, improves hair condition, and with a little help from the beauty industry one can banish those grey hairs that do infiltrate. A balanced diet with moderate execise will also help improve joint health and bone density and stimulating the brain will ensure that you keep mentally vital during your lifetime.

Giving up smoking not only improves the health of the lungs but will also improve your facial skin tone that ‘leathers’ in the bath of 4000 chemicals. Maintaining a healthier weight and exercising will improve muscle tone and improve posture. Drinking pure clean water every day will keep your body clear of toxins, hydrate your skin to look and feel more youthful and also improve hair condition.

We also can make the voluntary choice to see not just an aging face and body in the mirror but to also see a life well lived, the laughter lines, the wisdom and the character.

I have a strategy that works for me when I look in the mirror

No glasses : Age 40 – Driving glasses : Age 50 – Reading Glasses : OMG!

As with any project to make physical changes to our bodies, we need a project plan.

This requires that you measure where you are today in terms of your physicality. It includes what I consider to be the key indicators that identify health issues – Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar levels, Balance of LDL (unhealthy) and HDL (healthy) cholesterol and food and exercise.

It is always good to have a review of all of these and frequent intervals and certainly over the age of 50 I recommend that BP, Blood sugar levels and Cholesterol are checked annually and every six months after the age of 60. You can have this checked in many pharmacies today and at a reasonable cost which is well worth the money.. Or you can do what we do and have home kits which are available online.

Once you have a start point you can set a reasonable target for improvement and I usually suggest six weeks for BP, Sugar and Cholesterol levels and you might find this of help.

Reducing excess weight by just 6kilos (14lbs) will make a difference and following the eating recommendations should also improve your results at the end of 6 weeks. At the end of June I will be featuring my weight loss programme again updated for 2022… In the meantime here is a link to a shopping list of foods that will provide all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Print off Weekly Grocery Shopping List

Having followed your plan for six weeks it is important to maintain those improvements by appreciating the benefits of looking great, having more energy and less age related aches and pains.

However, none of this will come into effect unless you make that decision to make the changes in the first place.

Next time the hard-wired changes in our brain as we age and the voluntary changes we can make to stay mentally young.

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four 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, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

 

As always I look forward to your comments and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them.. thanks Sally.

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – #Olive Oil…keeps your body moving by Sally Cronin


There are certain foods that bring more than taste to your diet, rich in nutrients and energy they are worth including in your weekly shopping.

Food therapy is a broad term for the benefits to the body of a healthy, varied and nutritional diet of fresh foods.

Most of us walk through the fresh produce departments of our supermarkets without really paying much attention to the individual fruits and vegetables. This is a great pity because the vast majority of these foods have been cultivated for thousands of years, not only for their nutritional value but also for their medicinal properties. If you eat a healthy diet you are effectively practicing preventative medicine. A robust immune system, not only attacks external opportunistic pathogens, but also works to prevent rogue cells in the body from developing into serious disease.

NOTE If you are on any prescribed medication do not take yourself off it without consultation with your doctor. If you follow a healthy eating programme and lose weight and are exercising you may not need the same dose and with your doctor’s agreement you may be able to reduce or come off the medication all together.

Olive Oil…keeps your body moving

This week the food in question is Olive Oil. It stands in the shade next to my hob and is used a number of times a day on our breakfast (blitzed fresh tomato, red pepper, garlic and pimiento with a drizzle of olive oil), over my cooked vegetables and salad and also to prepare cooked meals.

Here are the health benefits of this versatile and very healthy fat.

For many years fats were considered to be the baddy in the diet and recently it was interesting to see that for the vast majority of the population the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats was still a mystery despite all the health campaigns.

The right fats are essential for nearly all our bodily functions and they provide a massive amount of nutrients that play a vital role in the processes going on in our body 24 hours a day.

Lo and behold the ‘experts’ have now retracted their ill founded advice about dropping all fats and replacing with carbohydrates and low fat options in favour of a higher fat diet.. provided those fats are not trans fats in industrially produced foods.

Having said that, you cannot eat pounds of any fats, however healthy, without combining it with a balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, protein and exercise…

My favourite fat is olive oil and it is amazing how many health benefits there are in a tablespoon. Including this healthy fat in your diet on a daily basis in moderation provides the right fats needed by your body to function healthily and efficiently.

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. A deficiency can lead to decreased immune system function; elevated levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) high blood pressure and irregular heartbeat.

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

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. So, including half an avocado in your diet every day may well protect you from the harmful long-term effects of a number of diseases.

Olive oil is also an excellent source of Vitamin E and phenols.

Vitamin E: Tocopherol; As an antioxidant it protects cell membranes and other fat-soluble parts of the body such as LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage and blood vessels. It can be used topically for skin health and is involved in the reproductive system. It may help prevent circulatory problems that lead to heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease by preventing clots from forming. It improves the pulmonary function of the lungs and enhances the white blood cells ability to resist infection.

Phenols: are a large group of compounds that include flavonoids such as anthocyanin and quercetin, phenolic acids like ellagic acid, fibres such as lignans and vitamins. Many of these have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting properties, all of which are known to benefit cardiovascular health.

olive oilThe benefits of Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil which is from the first pressing of the olives is the best oil to use as it contains higher levels of nutrients, particularly Vitamin E and phenols above. Recent research into the reasons why Olive oil extensively used in Mediterranean diets is so healthy has thrown up some interesting results.

In a human trial it was found that polyphenol- rich olive oil included in the diet improved the health of blood vessels which was not the case for another group of volunteers that included oil in their diet with the phenols removed. Obviously the healthier the blood vessels the more effective the entire circulatory system. It appears that the particular part of the blood vessel that is affected is the endothelium or inner lining of the blood vessels. The endothelium determines the interactions between the blood vessels and the immune, coagulation and endocrine systems. If the endothelium is not functioning correctly it can lead to calcification within the arteries and increased risk of heart disease and strokes. Another function of the endothelium is the release of vasodilators (increasing size of blood vessel) such as Nitric Oxide and vasoconstrictors (decreasing size of blood vessels) such as thromboxane and prostaglandin. Like any system in the body balance or homeostasis is required to ensure that blood pressure is regulated and the phenols in olive oil ensure that sufficient nitric oxide is produced to keep the arteries open and blood flowing.

Other research areas

Until now it has been difficult to isolate which component of this very nutrient rich oil was responsible for the health of Mediterranean populations. Recently however in America they have identified a previously unknown chemical that they have called oleocanthal that appears to have an extremely effective anti-inflammatory action. They have compared it favourably with over the counter pain relievers for inflammatory conditions such as ibuprofen. This is great news for sufferers of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.

Other Benefits

Olive oil is very well tolerated by the digestive system and is therefore beneficial for stomach ulcers and gastritis. The oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more effectively than prescribed medication and therefore lowers the incidence of gallstone formation.

Two tablespoons of a day has been shown to lower oxidation of LDL (lousy cholesterol) in the blood whilst raising antioxidant levels such as Vitamin E.

It is suggested that including olive oil in your diet may also help prevent colon cancer and this provides an alternative to patients who are vegetarian and do not wish to include fish oils in their diet.

Including extra virgin olive oil every day in your diet is likely to protect you from diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, asthma, breast cancer and arthritis.

The best oil to buy

As I have always said the less processed a food is the better and olive oil is no exception. On the shelf you will find at least four different grades of oil.

Extra Virgin which is the best, least processed and most nutritional and comes from the first pressing. This should be your first choice and used for all cooking and dressings during your detox period.

Virgin is from the second pressing and should be your second choice.

Pure undergoes some processing such as filtering and refining and is a lesser grade oil.

Extra Light – has undergone considerable processing and only retains a small amount of nutrients or even olive taste. It is not officially classified as an olive oil and it was produced more for the “diet” culture than for taste or nutrition.

Storing Olive Oil

Olive oil degrades in light and should be kept cook and tightly sealed. If it is exposed to air oxygen will turn it rancid. It is also better kept in a cupboard away from natural light and the best containers are ceramic jugs rather than glass or plastic bottles.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2022

A little bit about me nutritionally. .

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four 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, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

 

As always I look forward to your comments and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiencies with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Magnesium – Coleslaw, Pumpkin Seeds, Tom Yum Soup, Morning Glory


Welcome to the rewind of this series from 2019 where 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.

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.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few months we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Magnesium – Calcium’s BFF and a deficiency alert

One of the minerals that most people focus on is calcium (the last column) but it is in fact magnesium or the lack of this mineral in our diet that may be the contributory factor in many of the diseases that we suffer from, particularly as we get older.

Deficiency alert

It is believed that the availability of magnesium in drinking water and in our soil is now greatly decreased.

Not only is the soil depleted but the plants that we eat are also becoming more and more magnesium deficient for two reasons. There is less magnesium in the soil that nourishes them, and the use of potassium and phosphorus-laden fertilisers, alter the ability of the plant to absorb the mineral.

When we cook food we lose magnesium and if we restrict our calories during a diet and remove specific food groups such as whole grains; it can create an imbalance.

pH balance – Acidity and Alkalinity

It is important that our bodies have a pH level that maintains the correct balance being too much acid or too alkaline. Major organs and our blood have their own healthy pH level and this also applies to our intestines. Our modern diet of high sugars and processed foods compromises the pH balance in our gut creating a high acidity environment, leading to malabsorption of not just magnesium, but of all the nutrients the body needs to maintain health.

It is staggering how many diseases are linked to a deficiency of this mineral including:

• Alzheimer’s disease
• Angina
• Asthma
• Autism
• Auto immune disorders
• Congestive heart failure
• Depression
• Diabetes
• Eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Insomnia
• Kidney stones
• Headaches
• Multiple sclerosis
• Muscle weakness
• Parkinson’s disease
• Osteoporosis.

How Magnesium works with Calcium (the most abundant mineral in the body) and Vitamins D and K – Nutrients that need to work together.

  • Magnesium works with calcium in a number of ways but fundamentally the absorption of calcium is severely compromised if there is not sufficient magnesium.
  • Calcium is stored in the body including in our bones and teeth. Magnesium however is not stored and we therefore need to include in our diet daily.
  • Humans now consume more dairy than they have in the past and although magnesium is present in dairy in small amounts the amount of calcium is ten times more. If there is not sufficient magnesium, calcium is not absorbed into the bones as it should be and instead it collects in soft tissue, including around our joints leading to inflammation and arthritis.
  • Because it is not being absorbed into the bones, that leads to loss of bone density over time leading to osteoporosis.
  • Muscle contraction is made possible by calcium but muscles also need to relax and that requires magnesium.

Magnesium has a critical role in the health of our major organs and systems including:

  • Brain health- Magnesium lowers the risk of heavy metal poisoning and deposits in the brain leading to dementia. This is turn will corrupt nerve transmission and the secretion of hormones such as insulin.
  • Reproductive health. As magnesium is essential for the transmission of oestrogen a deficiency in young women’s diets can result in irregular periods and other PMS symptoms. This is particularly relevant to cramps due to a calcium (contract muscle) magnesium (relax muscle) imbalance.
  • Apart from our bones magnesium is needed in the formation of protein and fatty acids, new cells throughout the body, activating the B vitamins, clotting blood and helping form the ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) fuel that we run on.The good news is that by consuming magnesium in high quality fresh products (not necessarily organic but not the cheapest) daily is usually effective provided you are not over consuming calcium rich foods every day in excess.

The best food sources for magnesium are to be found in dark green vegetables such as spinach also in fish, meat, seafood, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, whole grain cereals such as brown rice, beans and nuts.

Welcome to this week’s food column where I am looking at incorporating magnesium in the diet.

As Sally has stated as the quality of much of our soil is depleted it means plants are becoming more and more deficient in Magnesium…

Magnesium is also lost during cooking processes…There is much debate about cooking processes and although I eat a fair amount of raw vegetables and herbs purely for the taste some foods need cooking and in some cases heating can enhance some vitamins…

I eat a varied diet and don’t exclude any food group and believe that is the best way to get the nutrients my body needs.

Personally I don’t use a microwave and although I steam some vegetables it does leave them bland tasting and that’s when we pile on the butter or dressing…

I tend to favour stir frying most of my vegetables as I can add chilli, garlic, herbs and other aromatics.

Today…I am giving you a lovely slaw recipe which is loaded with lots of vitamins as well as its share of Magnesium…

Appetizer, Background, Bowl, Cabbage, Carrot, Chopped

Ingredients – Coleslaw

• 12oz broccoli, cabbage, salad mix, shredded carrots are a nice addition..one of my favourites as it always brings back memories of the very odd occasion when I was allowed as a child to have a school lunch and the grated carrots were a big favourite of mine…But really just use your favourite veggies…Shredded finely…Sometimes I even add an apple.
• 1/2 cup cooked bacon, crumbled (vegans can omit or use coconut bacon)See below.
• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 1/4 cup dried cranberries or craisins
• 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (roasted)
• 2 tbsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup plain kefir yogurt (can use plain yogurt too)
• 1 tsp smoked paprika or chilli flakes
• 1/4 cup chopped nuts .again pick your favourite…I love walnuts and almonds.
• 1/2 tsp mustard powder (optional)
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil

Preparation

  • Place your vegetables in mixing bowl.
  • Add in your kefir/ yogurt and vinegar. Mix well.
  • Then add seasonings. Mix again.
  • Finally, add the remaining ingredients, berries, seeds, bacon, onion, etc. Mix and chill in fridge until ready to serve.
  • This is also great to mix into wraps, as a topping for your jacket potato or as a side dish
  • Makes 3-4 servings.

N.B…Coconut Bacon…

Did you know?

1 ounce of pumpkin seeds will give you 37% of your daily value of magnesium. However if you have heard that dark chocolate will provided 100% of your daily magnesium…Yes it does contain magnesium …There is always a but isn’t there? You would need to eat at least 2/3 of a big bar…Not your best source of Magnesium if you are watching the weight.

A take on Tom Yum Soup… This is one of my favourite Thai soups and so easy to make from scratch. Adding a portion of salmon and you are on your way to topping up your magnesium.

Ingredients

• 2 litres of water
• 4 stalks of lemon grass
• 1-inch chunk of galangal
• 10 kaffir lime leaves
• 10 Thai chillies
• 5 cloves of garlic
• 85 gm salmon per person
• 100 gm noodles of your choice per person
• 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
• 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
• 5-6 shallots halved if really small if a little bigger quartered
• 1 and a half tsp of sugar
• 7 – 10 tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
• Juice of 5 -8 limes.
• A handful of cilantro ( Coriander)
• Half hardboiled egg per person…optional

N.B I recommend using the lowest amount of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Let’s Cook!

  • The first thing to do is put about 2 litres of water in a large pot to boil.
  • Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it’s best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don’t need to rush to squeeze them all.
  • Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a rolling-pin or the handle end of a knife to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavours. Then just slice it diagonally into 1-inch strips or so.
  • Take about 1 thumb-sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.
  • Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves – no need to cut them, just tear them – which is going to help release their flavour.
  • Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.
  • I used about 10 Thai birds eye chillies for this recipe, but you can use however many you’d like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you still like the chilli flavour but not as much heat.

  • Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies into the water.
    You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.
  • Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.
  • Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre-rinse beforehand.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes. .Add the tomatoes and onions.
  • Cook for further 6-8 minutes.
  • Now add your noodles and after 2 mins add your salmon and cook for a further 5 mins until salmon is just poached…
  • Remove from heat and gently stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.
  • Taste and adjust if necessary.

This delicious soup is now ready to serve. Garnish with half a boiled egg and some coriander…

Enjoy!

Another source of Magnesium are dark greens simply just stirfried…If you want you could add a few almonds…

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.

This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.

Ingredients:

• 1 bunch of Morning Glory
• 4-6 cloves of garlic
• 3 or more Thai Chillies
• 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
• 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
• 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans ( optional)
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
• 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock

Let’s Cook!

  • Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
  • Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
  • Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.
  • Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry (stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.

  • Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
  • Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.
  • Serve with steamed rice or as a side dish.

Enjoy!

This is a lovely vegetable dish and you could use any dark greens and cook the same way I sometimes shred kale and the stems or broccoli and again I take of the outside and used the stem either cut in slices or julienne depends on what I am cooking but any dark greens are lovely cooked this way it is quick way to cook and retain as many of the vitamins as possible.

Until next time…xx Thank you for reading xx

My thanks to Carol for these recipes that will bring magnesium into your diet deliciously… and that coconut bacon looks interesting..

Next time.. we turn our attention to another of the essential minerals in our diet.. I hope you will join us.

About your hosts…

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four 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, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: Amazon US

Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – May 2nd – 8th 2022 – Voice of Indie, Hits 1994, Ella Fitzgerald, Guest Posts, Short Stories, Poetry, Health and Humour


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

A slightly different location for this week’s round up as I am set up in the kitchen whilst our office (that is the official dining room) is given a full makeover. Because we set up our computers in there six years ago it has not been decorated as part of the renovation so a big job ahead for David. We plan to move all our dining room furniture in there and make the kitchen diner our office going forward, as we think it is important when the house goes on the market there is another fully functional reception room. So we are making progress and another job ticked off the list…

There are boxes everywhere, some already packed up to be taken away as we declutter and the next few weeks will be a bit chaotic, but it is exciting to be getting on with something we planned to do before Covid.

Apart from that, we now have a few sunny days and I am taking full advantage of the garden. Sitting in the back of the house I am treated to a revue show put on by the crows, starlings, blue tits, sparrows and the resident robin as they enjoy breakfast, lunch and high tea before they go to bed. There is a large swimming pool that is well utilised, and whilst the starlings love to get in there and splash around, the other birds often join in and it is as wild as any pool party I have ever gone to. Very entertaining and distracting, and if I sit quite still, they forget I’m there and get up close and personal.

As always I must thank these three amazing contributors as the blog would not be the same without them.

William Price King joined me on Monday to share his thoughts on I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now about his love of Tap Dancing. The Breakfast show this week for the first part of the hits from 1994 and for the next part of the series on Friday featuring Ella Fitzgerald. – You can also find William – Blog– IMPROVISATION– William Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies has had another busy week on her blog D.G. Writes with a book review for the latest collection of poetry by Frank Prem – The Garden BlackA post on the ending of the positive blog series Goodbye We Are The World Blogfest And a powerful poem as part of Colleen Chesebro’s weekly challenge on Women’s Rights Taste the Rainbow Senyru

Debby will be taking us to St. Thomas this week in the Travel Column...and I hope you will join us for some sunshine and sparkling blue waters.

Carol Taylor has been to Cyprus this week to explore the wonderful fusion cuisine, shares a wonderful Chicken Pasanda recipe and one for pull apart garlic bread – do not eat all on your own…a food review on Ramen Noodles and should you be eating them…Monday Musings and Saturday Snippets featuring the word ‘candle’. You can catch up with all her posts by following the link to her Weekly Round Up. Carol will be with us on Wednesday with recipes to ensure you are getting sufficient magnesium

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 1st -7th May 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Food Review “” and Saturday Snippets where “Candle” is my prompt.

On Wednesday I was the guest on the Voice of Indie podcast with presenters Beem Weeks and Gary “Stephen Geez” great to talk about life, books and publishing. You can listen on Blog Talk Radio Voice of Indie Episode 92 – Sally Cronin and you can comment on Twitter @VoiceOfIndie – You can also listen to the podcast and the other editions and comment on Voice of Indie Youtube episode 92 – And Spotify

If you would like to get in touch with the team Website/Blog: Beem Weeks – And: Stephen Geez

On with the show…..

Chart Hits 1994 Part One – Collective Soul, The Cranberries, Bruce Springsteen, MC Sar & The Real McCoy

William Price King meets the Jazz Icons – Ella Fitzgerald Part Four – The Collaborations

Chapter Six – Ladies Fashions and shop lifters

Chapter Seven – The Cosmetic Department

#MirrorCinguain -Storm Front by Sally Cronin Posted on May 7, 2022

Tales from the Irish Garden.. The Dapperman

#Action #Supernatural #AncientEgypt She who comes forth by Audrey Driscoll

Food Therapy – #Mushrooms – The Egyptians believed they granted immortality

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Darlene Foster

#Tapdancing by Jazz singer and composer William Price King

I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by Gwen M. Plano

#Life #Change – Linda’s Midlife Crisis by Toni Pike

#Poetry #Memoir – More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose by Lauren Scott

#Fantasy The Prince’s Heir (The Five Kingdoms Book 4) by Deborah Jay

May 4th 2022 – #Spotlights Winona Kent with The Story Reading Ape, Marcia Meara with John W. Howell, Robbie Cheadle with Colleen Chesebro, #Poetry Elizabeth Gauffreau

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin -Bathtub test and more Weird Facts

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Age and more Weird Facts

 

Thanks very much for dropping in today and I hope you will join me again next week.. Stay safe.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – #Mushrooms – The Egyptians believed they granted immortality by Sally Cronin


There are certain foods that bring more than taste to your diet, rich in nutrients and energy they are worth including in your weekly shopping.

Food therapy is a broad term for the benefits to the body of a healthy, varied and nutritional diet of fresh foods.

Most of us walk through the fresh produce departments of our supermarkets without really paying much attention to the individual fruits and vegetables. This is a great pity because the vast majority of these foods have been cultivated for thousands of years, not only for their nutritional value but also for their medicinal properties. If you eat a healthy diet you are effectively practicing preventative medicine. A robust immune system, not only attacks external opportunistic pathogens, but also works to prevent rogue cells in the body from developing into serious disease.

NOTE If you are on any prescribed medication do not take yourself off it without consultation with your doctor. If you follow a healthy eating programme and lose weight and are exercising you may not need the same dose and with your doctor’s agreement you may be able to reduce or come off the medication all together.

Mushrooms –  The Egyptians believed they granted immortality

According to the ancient Egyptians, over 4,000 years ago, eating mushrooms granted you immortality. The pharaohs even went as far as to ban commoners from eating these delicious fungi but it was probably more to guarantee that they received an ample supply. Mushrooms have played a large role in the diet of many cultures and there is evidence that 3,000 years ago certain varieties of mushrooms were used in Chinese medicine and they still play a huge role in Chinese cuisine today.

There are an estimated 20,000 varieties of mushrooms growing around the modern world, with around 2,000 being edible. Of these, over 250 types of mushroom have been recognised as being medically active or therapeutic.

More and more research is indicating that certain varieties have the overwhelming potential to cure cancer and AIDS and in Japan some of the extracts from mushrooms are already being used in mainstream medicine.

Apart from their medicinal properties, mushrooms are first and foremost an excellent food source. They are low in calories, high in B vitamins, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc – and supply us with protein and fibre. They are versatile and they are easy to cook and blend with other ingredients on a daily basis. For vegetarians they provide not only protein but also the daily recommended amount of B12 a vitamin often lacking in a non-meat diet.

Mushrooms in general.

The most common mushrooms that you are likely to use in cookery are white button mushrooms and oyster mushrooms. They may not be as exotic as some of the oriental varieties but they still hold many health benefits. They are not only low in calories and fat, and therefore great if you are trying to lose weight, but they will also provide you with plenty of fibre. Even the little white mushrooms contain B vitamins, potassium and selenium and there are some interesting studies being conducted at the moment into some very important medicinal applications.

One area of research is into the phytochemical action that suppresses two enzymes, aromatase and steroid 5alpha-reductase. Aromatase converts the hormone androgen into oestrogen, an excess of which can promote the development of breast cancer. Steroid 5alpha-reductase has the same effect on testosterone, converting it to dihydrotestosterone, which has been shown to be involved in the development of prostate cancer. In the laboratory a team led by a Dr. Chen discovered that the mushroom extract suppressed the growth of both these cells.

Another property in mushrooms that is potentially very interesting is the amount of the antioxidant ergothioneine compared to the amounts in other foods such as wheatgerm and chicken livers. In fact, mushrooms can have up to 12 times as much – which means that a small serving of 5oz could provide excellent protection against oxidative damage throughout the body.

Until recently it was difficult to find some of the traditional medical mushrooms outside of specialist shops but supermarkets have begun to carry Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms. They can be a little more expensive but their benefits far outweigh the cost.

Shiitake mushrooms.

shitakeShiitake mushrooms range in colour from tan to dark brown and they have broad, umbrella shaped, caps. They feel soft and spongy when raw but when cooked they are rich tasting and meaty in texture. They are ideal as an alternative to red meat in pasta dishes as you can chop them finely and cook with a little olive oil in exactly the same way.

Shiitake’s main benefit is the ability to lower LDL cholesterol. There is a specific amino acid in the mushroom, which helps speed up the processing of cholesterol in the liver resulting in lower levels in the blood and therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.

In 1969 Japanese scientists isolated a polysaccharide (sugar) compound from Shiitake they called Lentinan. It appears that this substance stimulates the immune system cells to rid the body of tumour cells resulting in either a reduction in size or complete removal of cancerous growths. In Japan the Federal Drug Agency has licensed Lentinan as an anti-cancer drug and there is on-going research into the effect of Shiitake mushrooms and AIDS.

Maitake mushrooms

The Maitake mushroom is found in clusters of dark fronds, which are firm but supple at the base. They have a distinctive aroma and taste rich and earthy. They are great in any dish where you use mushrooms but are wonderful in a homemade stroganoff sauce served with brown rice.

They are also known as the “hen of the woods” possibly because of their shape. As with the Shiitake this mushroom has a compound that inhibits the growth of cancer cells by stimulating the immune system and in addition they have been found to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels but this has not been proven in humans as yet.

Another area of research is diabetes and it is thought that Maitake mushrooms may have a blood sugar balancing action that may reduce the need for insulin.

Mushrooms, as with most fruit and vegetables, hold some interesting and potentially lifesaving properties as well as nutritional benefits.

Selecting and storing mushrooms

Button mushrooms should be white, plump and clean. Shiitake and Maitake mushrooms tend to be brown and slightly wrinkled but they should not have any damp, slimy spots. Keep mushrooms in a loose paper bag in the refrigerator for about a week and store dried mushrooms in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer for six months.

Use a damp cloth to clean and then either slice or chop finely and add to your favourite recipes. They are great in stir-fry vegetable dishes, soups and stews and cooked gently in a little olive oil they make a great accompaniment for steak and poultry.

One word of warning: Naturally occurring Purine in mushrooms causes an increase in the amount of uric acid in the blood. This can lead to the formation of kidney stones and also the crystals that collect in joints in the toes that result in gout. If you suffer from kidney problems or gout I suggest that you limit your intake of mushrooms to once a week. If you still experience problems then you should avoid these and other Purine-rich foods altogether.

Candida: As a yeast overgrowth it was assumed that eating fungus such as mushrooms should be avoided. However, recent research has found that it is sugars that are the problem.

Here are two recipes that I have adapted over the years that are delicious and full of mushroom goodness.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

When preparing mushrooms remember that if you wash them you need to dry as much as possible before cooking, however with soup that is not too much of a problem since you need the liquid.

To serve four people a generous supper portion or six as a starter.

  • 250gm (8oz) mushrooms (the type of mushroom will determine colour – brown mushrooms give a depth of flavour but you can use shiitake or button too.
  • 1 medium onion.
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon and rind (try freezing your lemon before grating and you get the added vitamin C from the pith)
  • 600ml (pint) of chicken or vegetable stock.
  • 200ml (1/2 pint milk) I use full fat milk to give a creamy taste but you can use semi-skimmed.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of thyme
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (a pinch)
  • A half teaspoon of pimiento dulce to add a little spice and colour.

Preparation

  1. Wash and slice the mushrooms and put into a pan with the finely chopped onion and grated rind and lemon juice.
  2. Pour in the stock and milk and add the thyme and salt and pepper.
  3. Cover the pan and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Liquidise the soup and then return to the pan to reheat and check the seasoning.
  5. Serve hot with warm French bread.

Mushroom Chilli Carbonara

I love pasta although I do not eat as much carbohydrates these days as my requirement is much less than it used to be. However, we have a pasta dish with or without meat at least once a week. Here is a recipe using mushrooms and with a touch of added heat from chilli.

Serves 4 people.

  • 250gm (8oz) button, chestnut or shiitake mushrooms.
  • 300ml (1/2pint) hot water
  • 225gm (8oz) pasta of your choice – Tagliatelle or spaghetti is great especially whole wheat.
  • 1 crushed garlic clove or level teaspoon of garlic powder if you like the spice.
  • 25/30gm (just over an 1oz) butter
  • 15ml (1tbsp) Olive oil (do not worry about virgin or extra virgin for frying)
  • 1 Teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
  • 300ml (1/2 pint) single cream
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese and some chopped fresh parsley to garnish

Preparation

  1. Cook the pasta according to the preparation information on the packet, drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. In a pan lightly sauté the garlic if you have used fresh cloves in the butter and oil.
  3. Add the mushrooms, chilli flakes and cook for about three minutes.
  4. Pour in your hot water and boil to reduce the sauce.
  5. Beat the eggs and the cream with the seasoning.
  6. Add the cooked pasta to the pan of mushrooms and then add the eggs and cream.
  7. Mix through the ingredients
  8. Reheat so that the eggs are cooked but don’t boil.
  9. Serve in a bowl with grated parmesan and chopped parsley.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2022

A little bit about me nutritionally. .

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four 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, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

 

As always I look forward to your comments and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy Rewind- Salmon – Omega 3 on a Plate by Sally Cronin


There are certain foods that bring more than taste to your diet, rich in nutrients and energy they are worth including in your weekly shopping.

Food therapy is a broad term for the benefits to the body of a healthy, varied and nutritional diet of fresh foods.

Most of us walk through the fresh produce departments of our supermarkets without really paying much attention to the individual fruits and vegetables. This is a great pity because the vast majority of these foods have been cultivated for thousands of years, not only for their nutritional value but also for their medicinal properties. If you eat a healthy diet you are effectively practicing preventative medicine. A robust immune system, not only attacks external opportunistic pathogens, but also works to prevent rogue cells in the body from developing into serious disease.

NOTE If you are on any prescribed medication do not take yourself off it without consultation with your doctor. If you follow a healthy eating programme and lose weight and are exercising you may not need the same dose and with your doctor’s agreement you may be able to reduce or come off the medication all together.

Salmon – Omega 3 on a Plate

Much of the salmon available today comes from fisheries and conditions and feed of these farmed fish have improved through regulation in recent years. However, I am not convinced by the publicity and prefer to eat fish that has been caught in the ocean and to me there is definitely a difference in the taste of this salmon. You can buy ocean caught fish frozen or fresh depending on where you live and for me the freshest is fish that has been caught and frozen whilst the trawlers are still at sea.

There is always some concern about the levels of mercury in fish and studies indicate that ocean caught salmon from the northern seas and rivers have levels that are considered to be low and safe for more regular consumption.

Salmon has been on my ‘must eat’ list for a long time and in this day and age, when obesity and heart disease are becoming the top causes of premature death, then including it in your diet regularly is very important.

There are a number of health issues apart from heart function that eating salmon benefits including weight loss, bone health, a healthy immune system and brain health. The nutrients in this important source of protein are also helpful in preventing cancer and diabetes.

I will begin with Omega 3, which is abundant in fatty fish such as Salmon.

Omega-3 (Linolenic Acid) is the principal Omega-3 fatty acid and is used in the formation of cell walls, improving circulation and oxygen. It is important that your overall cholesterol is kept to a normal level but it is equally important to ensure that the balance between the LDL (lousy cholesterol) and the HDL (healthy cholesterol) is maintained with a lower LDL to HDL ratio.

Omega 3 appears to maintain that correct balance. LDL (low density lipoprotein) has smaller particles than the higher density lipoprotein and when oxidised becomes dangerous. Because it is smaller it is able to clump and attach to the walls of the arteries and cause a dangerous narrowing. Pieces can also break off and travel in the bloodstream to major organs like the brain and the heart. An added bonus in eating salmon muscle is that it contains peptides that may also lower blood pressure.

One trial in New Zealand measured adults with a high cholesterol level over a 4-week period. They consumed 3g of salmon oil per day and after the 4 weeks they showed an increase of HDL and a decrease in LDL levels. Lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure levels certainly contributes to a healthy heart.

Omega 3 is linked to brain health in a number of ways. The brain contains a large amount of fat especially Omega 3 fatty acids in particular DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). In studies DHA levels determined levels of brain activity and cognitive function and is thought to be essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in babies. This ability is not limited to young humans as it is vital that this brain activity and function is maintained into old age. Including Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet therefore may well decrease our risk of developing degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Carrying additional weight can certainly contribute to strain on the heart muscle and the salmon has a rather unusual property that whilst yet unproven may help in weight loss.

There is a protein that is released when we begin to eat called amylin. This protein travels to the brain where it is measured and the brain then decides when we have eaten sufficient food and should stop eating. Unfortunately we have got very adept at overriding this message from the brain and consequently we tend to eat more than we actually need leading to weight gain.

The salmon produces a hormone called calcitonin, which has the same effect on animals as amylin does in humans. There is no conclusive proof but it is felt that this hormone when eaten might result in us consuming less food.

The other possible weight loss property of salmon is Chondroiton sulphate. Chondroiton is often used in conjunction with Glucosamine as a joint repair preparation but in this case the Chondroiton which is found in the nose of the salmon appears to have fat blocking capabilities. It appears to work in two ways by reducing the amount of fat absorbed into the intestines and then preventing any fat that has been absorbed from being stored in the cells. This will require a great deal more research but could be an interesting property in the fight against obesity.

As we get older the risk of bone fractures increases with many women particularly suffering from hip joint disease after menopause. Omega 3 may be instrumental in decreasing bone loss and therefore osteoporosis.

Our immune system is working ceaselessly against the constant onslaught of bacteria and viruses and on the whole if we have a healthy diet containing plenty of antioxidant rich foods our defence system keeps us safe. However, from time to time something slips through and then we need to know that all the complex mechanisms of the immune system are functioning perfectly.

Salmon is high in selenium,which is avery important trace mineral that activates an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, which may help protect the body from cancer. It is vital for immune system function and may help prevent prostate cancerin particular.

Overall, the salmon contains many nutrients in the flesh and also in parts of the fish such as bone that is often included in canned fish. It is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, manganese, copper, phosphorus and zinc, some of which are of particular benefit for the cardiovascular system and the heart.

Apart from its role in the formation of teeth and bones, calcium 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.

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 and the major organs of the body such as the heart become deprived of this life essential element.

Salmon is very versatile and provided it is from a healthy source and not from poorly maintained fish farms it can be eaten two to three times a week served hot or cold with plenty of fresh vegetables and salads. It is particularly delicious served chilled with a spinach salad and new potatoes.

You can also eat canned ocean caught salmon and this is particular good if you eat the soften bones that tend to come with it – if you find this unappealing simply mash the salmon and bone together with a fork and use on salads.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2022

A little bit about me nutritionally. .

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four 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, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

 

As always I look forward to your comments and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiencies with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Calcium the most abundant mineral in the body


Welcome to the rewind of this series from 2019 where 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.

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.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few months we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body

Calcium is the most abundant and essential mineral in the body. There are about two or three pounds of calcium, which is mainly found in the teeth and the bones. Apart from the more obvious role in their formation it is also essential for the efficient functioning of many essential systems in the body.

There is also some evidence to suggest that women cannot absorb calcium prior to menstruating and that there may be an accumulative deficiency that contributes to PMS and menopause symptoms and also degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis. Certainly women who take in additional calcium have reported a reduction in those symptoms.

Our bones are not static and are constantly being broken down and formed. They are a living tissue made primarily from collagen which forms the framework whilst the calcium hardens the structure. After 40 years old more of the bone is broken down and less is manufactured; which is why it is important to make sure that you are consuming the right balance of dietary calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Other vitamins such as D and K and minerals are involved in the structure of bone and those have been covered in The skeleton, Bone health Vitamins D and K

There are a surprising number of symptoms associated with a deficiency in calcium and here are the key ones to look out for:

  • Frequent feeling of dizziness leading to fainting
  • Chest pains (can lead to heart failure)
  • Numbness or tingling in fingers and toes
  • Frequent muscle cramps in legs particularly.
  • Difficulty swallowing,
  • Shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Very dry skin
  • Consistent tooth decay
  • Eye problems leading to cataracts
  • Muscle weakness
  • Reduced bone density (osteoporosis)

Word of warning about supplementation

If you are at risk from kidney stones you need to be careful about taking in calcium supplements and this also applies when taking in additional dietary calcium in the form of dairy products if you are suffering from prostate cancer. One of the reasons for this is that excess calcium depletes the body of Vitamin D, which is essential for our immune systems and may also protect against prostate cancer.

If you are supplementing choose a formula that includes Calcium and Vitamin D to aid absorption. As it is rare for a complete deficiency of calcium in our western culture it is important to ask the advice of a qualified sales person in the health store or the pharmacist. Keep a food diary for a week and take with you so that they can see what you are currently consuming.

Calcium is one of the nutrients that works more efficiently in conjunction with others including Magnesium for better absorption.

The best dietary sources of calcium are through eating moderate amounts of dairy products such as milk, cheese and butter. If you find that cow’s milk does not agree with you then try goat’s milk products from time to time as the different antibody does not usually cause an intolerance.

Eat fish such as sardines and canned salmon with the bones, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, watercress (more calcium than milk) and soy products such as tofu.You will also find good amounts in dried apricots, figs, kiwi fruit and oranges.

Time to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include ingredients that are great sources of Calcium.

Today marks the start of the next Cook from scratch to avoid deficiency of minerals in the body we begin with – Calcium…the most abundant and essential mineral in the body.

I am happy to be working with Sally on this…she is the expert on everything to do with Calcium… I have great fun researching and trying out the recipes on my ever happy band of guinea pigs…haha…They are my harshest critics trust me…They do not consider my feelings what so ever if it is not good I get told… I also get suggestions on how I can improve the said recipe…But that is good…I like that as that is the only way to get a better dish…I trust their judgement as they know food and always…well, nearly… offer what I consider good alternatives or additions to a dish…My role was to teach them and I consider it a job well done…

This first dish is a pasta one as although pasta is not a particular favourite with me… I prefer rice…My taste testers love pasta dishes and I know many of you do…

Pasta with spinach pesto and sardines…

Ingredients:

• ½ lb spaghetti…I used bows
• 15 cherry tomatoes
• 2 tbsp capers
• ½ cup pesto (see below)
• 1 can pacific caught wild sardines in olive oil…
• Fresh ground black pepper to taste
• Parmesan or crumbled feta for topping.
• Pesto
• 4 cloves garlic
• Zest and juice from 1 lemon
• 4 cups greens (I used 3 cups spinach and 1 cup basil)
• ½ cup walnuts or almonds
• 1 cup grated parmesan
• 1 tsp salt
• ¾ cup olive oil

Let’s Cook

  1. Using the back of your knife crush the garlic…The peel should come right off.
  2. Add all ingredients except olive oil and cheese in your food processor. Puree while drizzling olive oil in. The consistency should be slightly chunky, but the garlic shouldn’t be in large pieces.
  3. Once you get that right consistency, add the Parmesan and pulse until combined.
  4. Reserve ½ cup pesto for the pasta and freeze remaining or store in the fridge if you plan on using it within a week on say eggs, pizza or salmon…Salmon and pesto is one of my favourites and so quick to do…
  5. The next step is to cook the Pasta, bring large pot of water to boil with about 1 tsp of salt.
  6. While waiting for the water to come to the boil…slice tomatoes in half lengthwise. Slice extra if you ate some like I did….Cooks perks…haha…either that or my smallest tester is pinching one or two as I slice…
  7. Add pasta to boiling water and stir so it doesn’t stick. Cover pot and bring water back to a boil then remove the lid.
  8. Cook pasta until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. It should still have a little bite to it since it will cook more with the pesto. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. The starchy pasta water along with the pesto will create a nice saucy coating on the spaghetti.
  9. Drain pasta, but do not rinse. Rinsing cools the pasta and prevents it from absorbing the sauce.
  10. Return the pot to a medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil.
  11. Add sardines and break up with spoon or tongs.
  12. Add about half of the pesto and then add the pasta. Stir until coated and drizzle in ¼ cup of the cooking water.
  13. Add the remaining pesto and drizzle in ¼ cup more water. Toss until well coated and pesto and water have created a sauce. If needed, add more pasta water.
  14. Toss in tomatoes and capers right before serving. Serve with parmesan cheese or crumbled feta which I did…

Enjoy!

My second dish is a dish which I have been craving for a long time and just never got around to making it…When I got to thinking about foods which contain Calcium like milk, cheese and butter…I got to thinking about rice pudding again…I love a baked rice budding with nutmeg which is how my mum always made it…The skin we would fight over as we all wanted the lions share…haha…

I am also very lucky to be able to get fresh goats milk so Rice Pudding it is with just a few tweaks…

Rice Pudding, Rice, Cute, Sweet Dish, Dessert, Yummy

Baked Rice Pudding…

Ingredients:

• 750 ml of goats milk
• 100 gm pudding rice
• 75 gm sugar
• 25 gm grass fed butter
• Grated Orange zest..reserve some for decoration
• Grated nutmeg

Let’s Bake…

First wash and drain the rice then grease a 1.5 litre oven proof dish with all the butter.

Stir together the rice, milk, sugar and orange zest leaving some for decoration when serving.

Pour the mixture into your greased oven proof dish and sprinkle the top with the grated nutmeg and just smell that aroma it is one of the best smells I adore nutmeg…

Bake the pudding at 150C/ Gas mk 2 for approx 2 hrs depending on your oven. Stir the pudding gently after about 20 minutes then cook until the rice is thick and creamy and the top golden brown.

My thanks to Carol for these two recipes that will bring calcium into your diet and for reminding me about homemade rice pudding… on the list.

Next time.. we turn our attention to another of the essential minerals in our diet.. I hope you will join us.

About your hosts…

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four 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, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: Amazon US

Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy Rewind- #Apricots – no honeymoon should be without them! by Sally Cronin


There are certain foods that bring more than taste to your diet, rich in nutrients and energy they are worth including in your weekly shopping.

Food therapy is a broad term for the benefits to the body of a healthy, varied and nutritional diet of fresh foods.

Most of us walk through the fresh produce departments of our supermarkets without really paying much attention to the individual fruits and vegetables. This is a great pity because the vast majority of these foods have been cultivated for thousands of years, not only for their nutritional value but also for their medicinal properties. If you eat a healthy diet you are effectively practicing preventative medicine. A robust immune system, not only attacks external opportunistic pathogens, but also works to prevent rogue cells in the body from developing into serious disease.

NOTE If you are on any prescribed medication do not take yourself off it without consultation with your doctor. If you follow a healthy eating programme and lose weight and are exercising you may not need the same dose and with your doctor’s agreement you may be able to reduce or come off the medication all together.

Apricots – no honeymoon should be without them!

The apricot season opens at the beginning of May and goes through to the end of August or early September, which gives us five months to enjoy this highly nutritious and healing food.

Apricot, Fruit, Power, Apricot, Apricot

First though a little history about this luscious golden yellow fruit. In China over 4000 years ago a bride will have not only had something borrowed and something blue but would have also been nibbling on an apricot. It was prized for its ability to increase fertility, which is not surprising, as it is high in nutrients necessary for the production of sex hormones.

The Latin name for the apricot is “praecocia” which means precocious or early ripening. It is part of the rose family and is a cousin to the peach, plum, cherry and the almond. In China it first grew wild in the mountains before being introduced to Arab traders who took it with them along the trade routes to Babylon and Persia where they were called the “eggs of the sun”.

Over the following centuries the fruit continued its travels reaching Greece where the juice was known as “nectar of the Gods, then onto Spain, Mexico and North America. It is now cultivated in all warm climates around the world and used as a sweet and savoury addition to a healthy diet.

The health benefits of apricots

As with any fresh fruit the apricot is packed with fibre and nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamins B1, B2, B6, Vitamin E, Potassium and Iron. Of particular interest from a therapeutic viewpoint are its high levels of carotenoids.

Carotenoids are responsible for the wonderfully rich reds, oranges and yellow colouring of plant leaves, fruits, flowers and some birds, insects and fish such as salmon. There are around 600 carotenoids that occur naturally and the apricot has two in particular that benefit us, Beta-carotene and lycopene.

Beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for healthy sight especially at night. As with any part of the body the sensitive components of the eye are as vulnerable to oxidative damage as any other and Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to degenerative eye disease in many research programmes. It has also shown that eating just three portions a day of yellow and orange fruit and vegetables such as apricots and carrots would lower the risk of poor eyesight as we age.

As an anti-oxidant, beta-carotene protects the LDL or harmful cholesterol from free radical damage that can cause plaque to form in the arteries. A build up of plaque can lead to both heart disease and a higher risk of stroke.

Lycopene is usually associated with bright red fruits such as tomatoes but it is also present in apricots. As well as helping protect the eyes from degenerative disease, lycopene is associated with a reduction in damage to LDL cholesterol and a much lower risk of developing a number of cancers including bladder, breast, cervix, prostate and skin.

There has been considerable interest in the medicinal properties of the apricot kernel for the last 40 years. There has been some controversial claims made about cancer curing abilities that has not been well received by the medical profession or pharmaceutical companies. Hopefully ongoing research will prove that this is a natural alternative to the highly invasive treatments currently available such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Modern scientists are not the first researchers in history to explore the possibilities of the apricot kernel.

The medicinal properties of apricots.

In ancient China over 4,000 years ago, healers used a medicine made from the kernels to prolong life. Additionally the oils from the kernels were used as a sedative, muscle relaxant, in wound healing and as an anti-parasitic.

The apricot’s fibre makes it a gentle laxative; aids weight loss and reduces cholesterol in the blood. Its alkaline properties aid digestion if eaten before a meal and due to the high content of iron it is excellent for anyone suffering from anaemia. Apricots also contain a small but essential amount of copper, which may increase the production of haemoglobin in the blood providing more oxygen and therefore energy for the body.

Over the centuries the juice of apricots mixed with honey has been used to treat fevers and the juice from the leaves appears to reduce the inflammation caused by eczema and sunburn.

So this small fruit has a large reputation and certainly in the fight against the most common modern diseases such as elevated cholesterol, heart disease and cancers it would definitely be worth including in your diet on a daily basis.

Buying apricots

Apricots are best eaten when still a little firm. If they are not fully ripe when you buy them keep them in a fruit bowl for two to three days and then store in paper or plastic bag in the fridge for up to three days.

Apart from eating them fresh you can use them in cooking by stewing, grilling, baking or roasting and they are delicious as an accompaniment to meat and poultry dishes or in desserts. As a pre dinner snack they are delicious halved and stuffed with a cream cheese and chopped nuts or as part of a fruit plate. For a main course serve in a fresh spinach and walnut salad with roast salmon.

N.B: If you want to use dried apricots out of season then do buy guaranteed sulphite free brands as there are many people who react to this preservative. Asthma sufferers in particular should avoid any food containing sulphites including inexpensive wine, baked goods, soup mixes, jams, snacks and most dried fruit.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2022

A little bit about me nutritionally. .

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four 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, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin

 

As always I look forward to your comments and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask them.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – 11th – 17th April 2022 – Twitter fakes, Hits 1992, Ella Fitzgerald, #Caribbean, Vitamin C, Stories, Poetry, Reviews, Health and Funnies


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

It seems that winter is dragging on for many this week including places that hve been seeing some unseasonal cold weather and frosts such as South America, with some crops at risk at this critical stage in their growth. By this time I usually have my planters full of flowers but last week we had several severe frosts but hopeful it will be warmer this week. Apart from the colour in the garden.. the exercise would be welcome, especially after we shared a box of luxury chocolates for Easter instead of eggs… a little of what you fancy does you good!!.

 

On another note. This week someone decided to use my name and photograph and open an account on Twitter. One of my contacts alerted me to it early in the week as they had been approached but she saw it was a different twitter tag although it was my name and picture. Also there was no profile to indicate who and what this person was nor where there any tweets made.

I reported and blocked them. This is important as they are usually after your connections and all they have to do is click on Followers in a profile and then keep clicking the follow button without much limitation.

Many people follow back automatically when a notification appears in their timeline without heading over to check who it is they are following. This means that this fake person can end up with potentially thousands of followers who they can then target for one purpose or another. For example book promotion sites who claim to have 250,000 connections and ask for £50 a promotion!  Or it may be direct messages promoting their goods or even asking donations for a charity etc.

Anyway.. my twitter is @sgc58… and it is Sally Georgina Cronin

They are using twitter.com/germaine_ellen  and it is a good idea to block them to stop them mining your followers and if you feel like reporting them then that is a good idea too.

I did report to twitter and told them they were impersonating me but they wanted me to upload my passport or driving licence to prove who I was. I am not doing that as most social media sites as as leaky as my kitchen colander.

It is best to check before following back anyone.. if they are genuine they will have at least some form of profile to indicate who and what they are and they have tweeted.

There is always something to be grateful for, including these three amazing contributors.

My thanks to William Price King for joining me on The Breakfast show this week and for the first part of the new series for Friday featuring Ella Fitzgerald.  – You can also find William – Blog– IMPROVISATION– William Price King on Tumblr

Debby Gies has been busy this week with her catch up posts following her two months away from her blog including some highlights from her trip to Puerto Vallarta in #Mexico… of particular interest to anyone going there for a vacation with regard to food, drink and restaurant service…

You will also find a packed Writer’s links post and her Sunday book review for Alex Craigie – Means to DeceiveD.G. Writes

Carol Taylor has had another interesting week on her blog and she has wrapped them all up in one terrific round up. Including Monday Musings, Chicken with Shitake Mushrooms and Tarragon, World Cuisine featuring the eclectic food to be found in Canada, Spring Cleaning the Spice Cupboard and her usual entertaining Saturday Snippets.

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 10th -16th April 2022-Monday Musings, A-Z World Cuisine, Canada , Food Review “Spring Cleaning” and Saturday Snippets where “Squeak” is my prompt.

Thank you for all your support during the week and always lovely to receive your comments… have a lovely rest of the weekend.

On with the show…

 

Chart Hits 1992 Part Two – George Michael and Elton John, Boys II Men, Shakespears Sister , Bruce Springsteen

William Price King meets the Jazz Icons – Ella Fitzgerald – The Early Years

The Travel Column Rewind with D.G. Kaye – #Caribbean- Welcome to St. Martin – Two Countries – One Island

Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiencies with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Vitamin C (ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid) oranges, grapefruit, cauliflower, eggplant

Just an Odd Job Girl – Serialisation – #Romance, #Humour – Chapter One- Reflections on the Past

TankaProse – Verse Envelope – Seasons – text and audio

Memories, Music and Movies – 1997 – Belgium, road trip, Dublin, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, The Full Monty

Smorgasbord Podcast – Tales from the Irish Garden.. A Place of Sanctuary

Food Therapy Rewind- #Asparagus #VitaminK2 – Nutrient Packed and Delicious by Sally Cronin

#Biography #WWI, Queen Victoria, #Adventures, Lucky Jack by S. Bavey

Guest Post – I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now! by John W. Howell

New Book on the Shelves – #Western #Paranormal Mateo’s Blood Brother by Sandra Cox

#Fantasy #Adventure – The Ferryman and the Sea Witch by D.Wallace Peach

#Family, #Dementia, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Personal Recommendations – #Family Allan Hudson, #Children’s Sue Wickstead, #Children’s Bette A. Stevens

The Senior Team pass the the funnies along – Pearls of Wisdom Part Two – Sunbathing and Scarecrows

Hosts Debby Gies and Sally Cronin – Fish Bait and dating columns

 

Thank you very much for joining me today and I hope you will drop by again next week.. Sally.