Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor to prevent nutrient deficiency – Vitamin B2 -Riboflavin


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

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

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.

 

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Like the other B vitamins, B2 plays an important role in energy production by ensuring the efficient metabolism of the food that we eat in the form of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It plays a key role in our nutritional processes such as its help in processing amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is the substance that we are made of. Twenty amino acids are needed to build the various different proteins used in the growth, repair and maintenance of our body tissues and whilst eleven of these are made by the body itself, the others must be obtained from our diet and processed by other agents including B2.

Surprisingly, despite there being plenty of sources for B vitamins in the Western world, a deficiency is not uncommon. There are a number of causes for this, lack of variety in the diet, restricted diets for weight loss, a change of diet to vegetarianism or veganism without careful consideration and inclusion of alternatives to meat to provide B vitamins. It is also common in those who drink heavily. It is also found to be deficient in those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and cataracts.

Here is a quick look at why Vitamin B2 is essential in the diet.

The role in the uptake of iron

Research into anaemia has highlighted the role of B2 in the body’s inability to manufacture red blood cells. There are two areas that would appear to be particularly critical. One is the vitamin’s role in mobilising iron from storage to the cells and secondly that a deficiency prevents the efficient absorption of iron.
Energy

Vitamin B2 is a vitamin that is essential for metabolising carbohydrates to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) without which we would be totally lacking in energy. It also works with enzymes in the liver to eliminate toxins, which helps keep us clear of infection.

Pre-Natal health

B2 is needed to change B6 and Folic Acid into an active and usable form so that our nervous system is protected. Folic acid is essential for healthy cell division and is needed before and during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy to help prevent birth defects. B2 is also part of the process that changes tryptophan, so important to our mental wellbeing, into niacin.

Antioxidant efficiency

Our bodies have an extremely complex chemical operating system and it is synergistic. It is rare for one of the chemical components to work in isolation and it usually requires a reaction to occur to achieve a function. For example B2 is needed to recycle the vital antioxidant Glutathione in its oxidised state (after it has done its job to detoxify the unstable free radicals) into reduced Glutathione so it can go back and do the job again.
Other areas where B2 is essential.

Without sufficient B2 we would not have healthy skin, nails and hair and our thyroid function can be compromised, B vitamins are also essential for brain health.

Some of the symptoms of Vitamin B2 deficiency.

1. Weakness or fatigue
2. Frequent bouts of depression
3. Frequent throat infections
4. Dry Skin, in particular persistent skin cracking
5. Dermatitis and other skin conditions such as acne
6. Anaemia (poor uptake of iron)
7. Migraines and headaches,
8. Rheumatoid arthritis

Dairy products are one of the main sources of Vitamin B2.

If I was to use an alternative it would not be soy-milk but rice milk. The only proviso with rice milk is if you are diabetic or at risk of diabetes.

Other foods that provide you with Vitamin B2

1. Offal meats
2. lamb
3. Beef,
4. oily fish such as mackerel.
5. eggs
6. wholegrain Rice.
7. dark Green vegetables (Spinach and Broccoli)
8. asparagus,
9. mushrooms
10. almonds.

I am now going to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include some of the high source foods needed to provide you and your family sufficient Vitamin B2

Carol Cooks 2 with Vitamin B2.

I am already loving this new series that Sally and myself are bringing to you…It was the brainchild of Sally and I think it is a great idea…Although I know a fair bit about cooking and food I am the first to admit that although I know what is good for me I don’t always know why…If a doctor or health practitioner informed me I was short on a certain Vitamin and needed to include more of it in my diet I wouldn’t always know where to start…

The recipes I will be providing for each vitamin will help with this and will include everyday foods which will help boost any given deficiency …Some of the ingredients will be duplicated but we are hoping that it will make it easier for you to remember which ingredients contain which Vitamins it has certainly helped me while I have been looking at recipes and ingredients.

Today I am looking at ingredients which contain or convert to vitamin B2 … All these recipes are made in my own kitchen and tested by me and my family…

Offal contains B1 and B2 and I know many people do not like offal…I was bought up eating offal and offal is eaten and cooked a lot by Thais… Thais tend to use chicken livers whereas my mum used lambs or pigs liver she also used to stuff pigs hearts with sage and onion stuffing which cooked slowly with onions and served with mash, broccoli and carrots with thick gravy it was a lovely hearty meal…

Liver and Bacon was my mum’s preferred way of serving liver and mine until I moved here I now use chicken livers and add some chilli paste…Although it is quite a fiery little dish even hubby eats it as I think his love of liver overrides the fact he is sweating buckets because of the heat of the chilli…haha

This lovely spicy chicken liver dish is very easy and quick to make…..In Thai it translates to Pad Ped Kuang Nai Gai Tua Fuk Yaao try pronouncing that after a few sundowners…

Spicy Chicken Livers.

Ingredients:

  • 350 gm Chicken Livers
  • 4 or 5 long green beans.
  • 2 tsp Red curry paste… depending on your red curry paste you use you may need to add more…I use a locally made one which blows your head off …so only use 2 tsp and it is still hot!
  • 1-2 tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • 6/8 Lime leaves very finely sliced.
  • 4 tbsp Coconut Milk or more if you like a bit more sauce.
  • Small amount of coconut oil.

N.B You can use oil of your choice I just always cook with Coconut oil.
Serve with brown/wild steamed rice.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Clean and cut up chicken livers..I do bite size pieces.
  2. Cut up long beans into half-inch long pieces.
  3. Finely shred lime leaves…..I roll them and shred.
  4. Heat Pan over fairly high heat, add a small amount of oil, add chilli paste and 1 tbsp Fish sauce stir until paste is liquid, add finely sliced lime leaves and chicken livers , stir until just cooked.
  5. Add green beans and coconut milk and cook gently for 2/3 mins.
  6. Taste and add more fish sauce if required…I generally add about another half tbsp.

It is now ready to serve…this is quite a dry dish so can be served with a small bowl of miso soup with chopped spring onions if liked.

N.B. If you can’t get snake beans then substitute green beans.

Spinach and Brocolli are a great source of Vitamin B2…

Now I know many people don’t eat vegetables and that really surprises me as we love our vegetables we were always given them as children and I did the same to mine I never forced a vegetable as long as they ate at least one vegetable with their meal. But I also found that as they grew older they liked that veg which they hadn’t when younger a good example is Brussel sprouts.

Vegetables can be disguised if you really don’t eat them with a cheese sauce or popped between the layers of a lasagne…

How lovely does that look..A simple white sauce with added grated cheeses poured over the top of any vegetable you like I use cauliflower and broccoli mixed sometimes have added it to cabbage and it makes a lovely dish on its own with some grilled tomatoes or as a side vegetable with fish.

My salad this week again using Mackerel which we love is :- Mackerel and green mango salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small mackerel or mackerel fillets
  • 1 green mango, julienned
  • 3 shallots finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Lime Juice
  • 2 -4 fresh red chillies sliced
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes ( optional)
  • 1 handful of fresh mint picked and chopped
  • 1 handful coriander chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted roasted nuts.

To prepare

  1. Grill the mackerel unless you buy ready smoked mackerel and in that case break it into flakes.
  2. Julienne your mango, slice your shallots and chop your herbs.
  3. Put all your chopped ingredients and the fish into a serving bowl and add your chillies, fish sauce and Lime Juice..
  4. Taste and if you wish to add a little sugar to balance the flavour or suit your palate then add it now.

Serve with noodles or some steamed plain potatoes.

I personally preferred this mackerel dish to the one last week not by much but I like fruity flavours…If you can’t get green mango then I think( and) am going to try it next it would be lovely with mango which is just ripe but still firm which I think you could get almost anywhere in the world now…Or try a green apple which I think would be equally as good.

Mushrooms also contain B2 and I love mushrooms in any way shape or form and there are so many different mushrooms…

Mushroom Pate…

Ingredients

  • A cup of shelled walnuts
  • Half a cup of minced shallots
  • ¼ lb shitake mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ lb Crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ lb Portobello mushrooms chopped
  • 1 tbsp of roasted garlic puree
  • ¼ cup Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Black pepper to season
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Lets Cook!

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350F, 175C
  2. Spread the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven until lightly brown. Take out and set to one side.
  3. In a large pan melt the butter and add the shallots, cook until translucent then add the mushrooms, garlic, parsley, thyme , salt and pepper, cook, stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Next blend the walnuts and oil together until they form a thick paste, add the mushroom mix and blend until it reaches your desired consistency…some like a coarser pate than others.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  6. Put in small ramekins or one large dish. Cover with cling film and chill for a few hours or overnight before serving.

A simple dish is mushrooms on toast.

Ingredients to serve 2 people.

  • 2 slices of sour dough bread or bread of your choice. Toasted.
  • 170 gm of mixed mushrooms
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 2 slices of bacon or prosciutto
  • Few sprigs of Parsley, chopped for dish and to garnish
  • Knob of butter

Let’s Cook!

  1. Fry your bacon or prosciutto and set to one side. Cut into pieces.
  2. Add the butter to a pan then add mushrooms cook for 2 minutes, add crushed garlic and crème fraiche cook for 3-5 mins and stir in some chopped parsley.
  3. Pile mushrooms on top of toast and garnish with bacon and some parsley.
  4. If you are feeling really peckish then top the mushrooms with a poached egg.

Enjoy!

Mushrooms also go well in a cream or tomato sauce over pasta or in a lovely mushroom risotto. They lend themselves to so many savoury dishes and cream of mushroom soup is very nice…One of my grandsons favourites.

What is your favourite mushroom dish?

My thanks to Carol for creating and adapting recipes to include Vitamin B2 rich foods and I am sure the whole family will love them.

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have any questions for either of us then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments. Your feedback is always welcome.

As I move from Facebook to share my posts, you will find me with some other blogging friends on a relatively new, and friendlier site called MeWe….you can find me on mewe.com/i/sallycronin

 

Advertisements

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up – Social Media Woes, Jazz, Gardening, Italian Recipes, Nutritional cooking, Flash Fiction and Books Galore


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week… especially if you normally pick them up on Facebook!

I won’t go into detail as I covered it in a post early in the week, but suffice to say that I was in Facebook quarantine for two days with my posts removed as not meeting the community standards and I also received notification that someone has reported my posts as offensive.  I also got this message when I tried to share other blogger’s posts.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-removal-of-the-facebook-link-button/

Those clicking the Facebook share button were also getting a blocked message and rather than cause them upset, I removed the button until Friday after I had sent numerous appeals to the governing body and emails (still no response) and I was able to finally share from other blogs and those sharing from here got through.

I have not posted any links to the blog posts themselves until today.. and hopefully you are reading this because it has gone onto my timeline.

I am not the only person to be affected this week including Debby Gies who you know as a regular contributor here. It is allegedly down to the new policies on fake news and too many external URLS being posted.

Clearly though someone thought that book promotions and health posts were offensive and rather than hit the unfriend button, decided to report me.

That’s life… Going forward I am restricting my own links to other blogger’s posts and once week my round up and hopefully we can maintain the status quo.

In the meantime several of us have also joined MeWe with is a similar interface as Facebook but is more user friendly. They also guarantee that none of our data will be sold. It is early days, but if you are an author you might like to check it out, as Colleen Chesebro, Debby Gies and myself are part of a Literary Diva’s Library on the new site to help you promote your books, reviews and interviews. Just click the image and it will take you there.. my personal profile is mewe.com/i/sallycronin

Anyway.. no more drama…… and on with the week’s posts…

This week William Price King introduces us to the unique talents of jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-esperanza-spalding-jazz-bassist-and-singer/

This week Paul Andruss introduces us to the Hellebores… and some of the poisonous beauties much loved in ancient times as instruments of death…including deadly nightshade.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-heavenly-hellebores-3/

The next in the series to prevent nutritional deficiency by creating dishes containing the nutrient for the whole family… Carol Taylor has produced some wonderful recipes using ingredients rich in Vitamin B1.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/smorgasbord-health-column-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-vitamin-b1-thiamin/

In the second of this series, Silvia Todesco shares a traditional ricotta and beef meatballs in tomato sauce….

IMG_2826

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-silvia-todesco-italian-cookery-ricotta-and-beef-meatballs-an-italian-classic/

My personal stuff – Short stories and poetry

My response to Diana Wallace Peach’s monthly speculative fiction photo prompt..a story titled A Moment of Alignment.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-marchs-speculative-fiction-a-moment-of-alignment-by-sally-cronin/

Colleen Chesbro’s weekly poetry challenge is an escape from my WIP that I look forward to…. this week my poem was an etheree… March Hares

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-weekly-poetry-challenge-march-hares-etheree-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction was to create a story about a mouse.. in 99 words, no more, no less….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-my-mouse-by-sally-cronin/

This week a look at how our childhood can influence both our willpower and how we regard the food that we eat. Understanding your relationship to food is important for health and also for weight loss.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-emotional-factor-willpower-and-childish-things/

This week a look at more of the official human rights as laid down by the United Nations, and our obligation to protect that right and to abide by the law… and when you look at the mortality rates of car accidents vs. murder rates and the high percentage of fatalities associated with texting and drink driving, you will find it hard to separate the two.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/something-to-think-about-survival-in-modern-world-our-rights-part-two-by-sally-cronin/

An unexpected gift of a turkey causes untold mayhem in the farmyard which as always creates an entertaining episode from the family archives of Linda Bethea

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-pass-the-chicken-please-or-fowl-friends/

There are a number of flash fiction challenges on WordPress that are really fun to take part in and certainly do hone our skill at brevity.. Here is a post from Joy Lennick’s archives on the subject and an example of her own flash fiction.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-on-the-subject-of-flash-fiction-and-minimilism-by-joy-lennick/

I am delighted to welcome author L.T. Garvin (Lana Broussard) to Smorgasbord with a series of guest posts, and her first is a heartrending poem about the past, her family and the devastating loss of a mother in wartime. Lana will be joining us every two weeks until April 8th.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-l-t-garvin-poetry-looking-homeward/

My guest this week is author Ann Barnes who shares the animal she would like to have a conversation with, her weirdest dream, what is in her handbag, and what she would have done differently.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-ann-barnes/

This series offers you a chance to share posts from your own archives that you would like seen by a new audience. Perhaps a post your wrote a year or so ago. If you are interested you can click on the link in any of the posts below to get the details. It is another opportunity to promote your books or other creative work as well.

Can you remember your first flight in a plane? Poet and author Balroop Singh shares hers which was a magical experience… she would love to hear about yours.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/smorgasbord-blogs-from-your-archives-family-my-first-flight-by-balroop-singh/

Childrens/YA author Darlene Foster, shares more of her extended family that emigrated to Canada in the 1900s… this time her father’s relatives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-the-other-side-of-the-family-by-darlene-foster/

Jennie Fitzkee who has over 30 years experience as a pre-school teacher, and loves sharing stories with her class, shares her childhood in relations to fairy stories and how many have an element of violence. She explores the need for a reality check for children from an early age about life in general, but there need to be guidelines on how they are introduced.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-my-mothers-fairy-tales-by-jennie-fitzkee/

Robbie Cheadle spends a great deal of time tempting us to eat scrumptious baked delights, and this is no exception as she shares the family recipe of Granny Una’s apple pie…bibs on…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-granny-unas-apple-pie-by-robbie-cheadle/

Sharon Marchisello learnt some valuable financial lessons from her parents, and this week the advice given to her by her father.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-financial-lessons-from-my-father-by-sharon-marchisello/

Children’s author Bette A. Stevens shares her poem in tribute to her grandmother.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-poetry-grandmas-legacy-by-bette-a-stevens/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-romance-skating-on-thin-ice-by-jacquie-biggar/New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shades-of-sepia-cover-model-book-2-by-laura-m-baird/

Author Updates – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updates-reviews-deborah-jay-andrew-joyce-and-jacqui-murray/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-rachele-baker-dvm-marina-osipova-and-d-wallace-peach/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-doctors-and-side-effects/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-5/

Thank you very much for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed the posts. Thank to those who have shared to Facebook, sometimes using alternative methods!  I appreciate the support.

Hopefully all is more or less back to normal!!!!!!

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters the Sequel – Emotional Factor, Willpower and Childish Things


Over the last few chapters, I have been exploring the physical factors behind my weight gain to 330lbs. In particular Candida Albicans and how its overgrowth in your gut can undermine your best efforts to get rid of the culprits in your diet causing you to overeat. Such as sugars.

You can find last week’s post and all the previous chapters in this file: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/size-matters-the-sequel/

This week a look at our emotional attachment to food and how we can flex our willpower muscles to overcome this frequent excuse to dive into a tub of ice-cream!

My life, despite all the changes due to moving around so much was within a stable family environment, I was not deprived of love, food or attention. But things did not go according to plan in my 20s and emotionally I was hit very hard. But, that is not unusual and having worked with both men and women as a nutritional therapist, I was hard pushed to find a perfect childhood, relationship, marriage, body image, work environment amongst them.

If someone says that they have a perfect marriage, it usually means that they have reached, through hard work, compromise, commitment and love, a state of contentment, friendship, shared laughter and respect.

We all have things in our lives that broke us, or tried to, that brought us to the brink of giving up. But they are usually balanced by all the good things we have encountered in our private lives and careers.

We have a choice, one that I had to make in my late 20s, that I could not let what had happened to define me. However, as I discovered it was easier said than done. Clearly by the time I was in my early 40s, I was still hanging on to the scars and the pain and reaching out for food to comfort me. It was only when I took a long hard look at my experiences, that I realised the only person that I was hurting was myself. The culprit was totally unaware of the damage he had caused and was happily ruining someone else’s life (as I later found out).

It was time to take back the power and to no longer allow the past to dictate my actions in the future. Including, handing power to a bunch of crystals that infused the foods that I ate.

Learning to flex the willpower muscles.

This leads me on to my struggles and the question ‘How will I find the willpower?’ With over 150 lbs. (11 st, 68 kg) to lose and an uncontrollable craving for sweets and bread, I knew that I was my own worst enemy. Nobody stood over me and force-fed me; the chocolate bars did not throw themselves off the sweet counter into my pocket and the fridge door never opened by itself.

I had already begun to address the physical issues and had put in place an eating programme that excluded as much sugar as possible. But I also needed to be sure that I would not drift back towards it at the slightest setback.

Willpower implies choice. Obviously, many of my cravings were a result of Candida, but, even so, that condition did not make me eat Chinese takeaways nearly every night, nor did it make me raid the fridge for bacon and eggs at midnight.

We are not born with willpower. As babies, if we want something, we do everything we can to get it: scream, cry, and throw tantrums. If you have young children, break a bar of chocolate into squares and put it in front of them, tell them not to eat the chocolate, then leave the room.

What do you suppose they will do?

Yes, they will eat the chocolate!

Why? Because they have not yet learned about the consequences of their actions.

They do not know how you are going to react when you come back and find the chocolate has been eaten. They may be a little nervous if they have experienced your displeasure before, but if it was not in direct relation to this particular event, they may not even give it a second thought.

You would think that, as an overweight adult, you would be well aware of the consequences of eating a bar of chocolate. Wrong! – Because as adults we have justification down to a fine art. How many of you justify your overeating with some of the following reasons?

Reasons for NOT losing weight

  • I have just had an argument with my mother/lover/friend/boss and I need to eat something sweet.
  • My relationship has just broken up. I’m so unhappy, I need chocolate.
  • I have had a hard day at the office, so I deserve a drink or two.

    Everyone lets their hair down on a Saturday night.

  • I was taught to clear my plate.
  • We have always had dessert.
  • I have been good and I deserve a treat.

    I’m middle-aged, so extra weight is normal.

  • My husband/wife/lover loves me whatever weight I am.
  • My personality would change if I lost weight.
  • One chocolate bar won’t hurt.
  • My glands don’t work properly.
  • It’s hereditary.
  • People like me the way I am.

We have all used these excuses, particularly when on a diet. I worked eleven or twelve hours a day in my old job, travelled a thousand miles a week, lived in three homes and managed 150 or so people. However, you could not keep me out of the fridge at night!

It appears that I had willpower in some parts of my life but not all, and I am sure that, if you examine your life, you will find the same. I know women who have given up smoking and drinking as soon as they got pregnant, but once the baby is born, they go back to both immediately. I know clients who give up sweets and chocolate for Lent every year and do not miss them a bit. As soon as Lent is over, they go back to their bar of chocolate (or more) a day.

Why? This is about absolute necessity! A ‘must have’ attitude to the way you approach the important events in your life. For example, the overwhelming desire of a pregnant woman is to give birth to a healthy baby. She knows the risks involved in smoking and drinking and applies them to her baby’s health. Even though she may not always find it easy, she manages not to smoke or drink for nine months. This is the willpower you must find to get you through your weight reduction program.

Make a list of why it is absolutely necessary for you to lose weight. My list used to read something like the following.

  • I do not want to die young.
  • I want the nose-bleeds to stop.
  • I hate the way I look.
  • I do not feel sexy or feminine.
  • I feel middle-aged.
  • I am ashamed to take my clothes off in front of my husband.
  • I cannot fit into economy airline seats, so we have to travel by sea.
  • On long-haul flights the tray table cannot be lowered and I am offered seat-belt extensions.
  • I cannot drive for very long, because it is too uncomfortable.
  • I can only manage a ten-minute walk instead of going hill-walking.
  • Children laugh at me in the street.
  • People ask me when the baby is due.
  • People keep saying not to worry; I have a lovely face.
  • My shoe size has gone up to a size nine, with a very wide fitting.
  • My ankles have disappeared.
  • I can no longer shave my legs higher than the knee or behind my thighs.
  • Bras do not fit properly: I have to buy a 48-C to fit my back, but the cups are far too big.
  • I hate shop assistants coming into the changing room when I am trying on clothes.
  • I am tired of cracking jokes about my weight.
  • I can’t take a bath, because I cannot get out again.
  • I cannot take a shower in my father-in-law’s house, because the doorway is too narrow, even if
  • I try to squeeze in sideways.
  • My joints and muscles are always painful.
  • My knee and hip hurt when I push myself out of the car.
  • I can no longer dance.

How many absolutely essential reasons to lose weight can you put on your own checklist? 

If you really give it some thought, and drag out all those niggling irritations about your size that have accumulated over the years, I am sure you will be writing a book yourself.

However, this is not the end of the exercise. If you simply sit and think about all these miserable feelings, you will probably head for the nearest tub of ice cream. Write down all your reasons and then take what you consider to be the most important three and look at them in detail.

For me this was very easy.

  • I did not want to die young.
  • I did not want any more nosebleeds as a result of high blood pressure.
  • I would have quite liked to feel slim and healthy again.

Every time I was tempted to break my program I reminded myself of these three things.

Of course, being less than perfect, sometimes I broke the program. Somehow though, it became less hard. The more weight I lost, the better I felt, and the easier it seemed.

However, after losing 40 to 60 lbs. (18 to 27 kg), I started to slip back again. This was because my original list of reasons was no longer absolute enough. I had improved my health to the extent that I wasn’t going to kick the bucket immediately, my nosebleeds had stopped and, while I did not feel entirely slim and sexy, I was getting there.

At this point it was necessary to revisit the list and find three more that were now a priority.  I still felt middle-aged, still had aching joints and muscles, and was still asked when the baby was due.

Now it was time for the third round. At the end of three years, having lost 112 lbs. (8 st, 51 kg), I realised that I had polished off most of the reasons on my original list.

Thankfully by then I had some new reasons to continue to lose the weight.

  • I now have clients who look to me as a role model. If they are to succeed they need to see that I can lose weight and keep it off.
  • I have written several books on how to lose weight and health with more to come. I have to practice what I preach.
  • I still need to exercise to maintain a healthy weight. Even walking a couple of fast miles a day would not be possible if I weighed too much.
  • I enjoy being able to walk into M&S and pick up clothes I like off the rack. No more out size shops
  • When we have our friends around for a party we always end up dancing – I can keep going for a couple of hours – how much I would miss sitting on the side lines.
  • In the summer I can now wear a swimming costume and swim a kilometre a day without sinking!
  • I want to live as long and as healthily as possible to enjoy everything that I currently have in my life.
  • I want to be mentally alert and physically active when I am elderly

This is how I have kept myself going. However, my list will not be the same as yours.

You can supply your own individual reasons for losing weight. You do, however, have to revisit them on a regular basis and decide which are no longer valid and which are now top of the list.

Our childhood often influences the way we reward ourselves in adulthood

  • Many of the rewards we give ourselves are a throwback to our childhood. Our parents’ approval was important, which is why we tend to adopt many of their rules and attitudes about life.
  • When they told us we were a good girl or boy, and gave us some sweets as a treat or reward, we felt loved and cherished.
  • Treats were also used if we were sick or unhappy: a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down!

The trouble is, we still want that feeling as adults and, life being what it is, we often believe that the only way to recapture that emotion is by eating chocolate or sweets as we used to. Apart from which, in this constantly changing world, food and sweet things are particularly predictable and very comforting.

This is a problem I have with many slimming organisations that elevate certain foods to reward status that have little or no nutritional contribution to your daily requirements.

They imply that you have been a good little girl or boy and deserve to have a little treat so that you don’t feel deprived.

Sorry, but we are grown-ups and we need to create a new reward system. Our long term health is at stake here! Here is one of my most prized rewards. When I reached 18 stone I managed to get into a bath for the first time in 10 years! I still get a kick now, 20 years later, getting in and out unaided!

Your task is to create a whole list of activities, events, purchases, gifts to yourself and others to celebrate the progress you make along the way. The only proviso is that they are not food related in any way.

For example activities that were uncomfortable for me at 24 stone included trips to the cinema, fitting into an airline seat to go on holiday, buying clothes from M&S, getting into normal width shoes, dancing with my husband, going on the big wheel at the funfair.

Achieving those goals became the rewards in themselves.

So create your list, small rewards for your weekly progress:

  • For each 14 lbs.
  • For a new dress size, for reducing your blood pressure to normal,
  • To coming off pills for life …

It won’t necessarily come easily but give it time. Share your list with your support team and I am sure that they will be delighted to join you for your outings and celebrate with you as you make progress.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

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

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

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

Please note that due to ongoing issues with facebook about posting from my blog (not conforming to community standards), I have removed the Facebook share button as a temporary measure so that you do not get an error message.  Going forward I will be only sharing my weekly round up to Facebook (hoping that it gets through).

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

I would be very grateful if you could share where you can.. many thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Health Column with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency – Vitamin B1- Thiamin


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

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

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.

Vitamin B1- Thiamin

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that along with the other B vitamins and Vitamin C it travels through the blood stream and any excess is eliminated in our urine. The body cannot store thiamin but it is found in tissues within the body such as in the liver, heart, kidneys and the nervous system where it binds to enzymes.

This does mean that these types of vitamins need to be replaced from our food continuously.

Thiamin helps fuel our bodies by converting blood sugar into energy. Every cell in the body requires it to form the fuel we run on called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It also keeps our mucus membranes healthy and with other B vitamins is essential for a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system as well as muscular function. It is also important for healthy skin, hair and our eyes.

Deficiency of B1

It is very rare in this day and age in the western world to find a person who is deficient in Thiamin. A lack of it can cause a disease called beriberi with symptoms of rapid heartbeat, muscle wasting, nerve problems and confusion. The body is unable to efficiently digest carbohydrates which results in a build-up of pyruvic acid in the bloodstream leading to the symptoms.

There have been babies who have suffered from this due to a lack of the vitamin in their formula and people who drink excessive amounts of alcohol can also develop beriberi.

Most commonly it is found in elderly people who have general malabsorption problems or a restricted diet. Some children with congenital heart disease may suffer a deficiency, as can patients undergoing kidney dialysis who should be prescribed B1 by their doctor.

A deficiency is also likely in someone who has an eating disorder, particularly anorexia or who suffers from Crohn’s disease where there is a general malabsorption of nutrients as a whole.

Some of the mild symptoms that might indicate that you are becoming deficient in B1.

1. Frequent headaches
2. General Fatigue
3. Regular nausea
4. Irritability
5. Mild depression

More Severe symptoms of a deficiency which might indicate Beriberi

1. Confusion
2. Burning sensation or tingling in the hands and feet,
3. Trouble breathing
4. Uncontrolled eye movements.

As a supplement it is usually taken as part of a B-complex formulation and does work better with vitamin B2 and B3. As with all supplements that could have an effect on your health, you should first look at your diet and make changes to ensure that you are getting the nutrient from sources your body recognises. Food is always the best source, but if you are in one of the risk groups then do consult a doctor about your need for supplementation.

The best food sources B1

  • All wholegrains such as brown rice, oats and whole wheat cereals and bread, beans, sunflower seeds, lentils sesame seeds, nuts,
  • Fruit such as pineapple, watermelon, Vegetables including asparagus, spinach, squash,
  • Protein oily fish, eggs, lean ham and pork.

Time to hand over to Carol to turn these vitamin B1 rich ingredients into delicious dishes to include regularly in your diet.

Good morning from sunny Thailand although we had the mother of storms last night and we are expecting a few more as when the temperatures start to rise we get the tropical storms as well but generally over night and it is also the reason why our vegetation is green and lush it gets the best of both worlds.

I am already loving this new series that Sally and myself are bringing to you…It was the brainchild of Sally and I think it is a great idea…Although I know a fair bit about cooking and food I am the first to admit that although I know what is good for me I don’t always know why…If a doctor or health practitioner informed me I was short on a certain Vitamin and needed to include more of it in my diet I wouldn’t always know where to start…

The recipes I will be providing for each vitamin will help with this and will include everyday foods which will help boost any given deficiency …Today I am looking at ingredients which contain or convert to vitamin B1 … All these recipes are made in my own kitchen and tested by me and my family…

Starting with this lovely Mackerel dish…Mackerel is an oily fish and a very popular fish here it can be found on all the fish stalls and BBQ’S on all the street corners… Often just eaten with sticky rice and a spicy dip it is also made into lovely salads both here and in Mediterranean cuisine.

Smoked Mackerel, Broccoli and Almond salad.

Ingredients:

  • 4 smoked mackerel fillets
  • 300 gm tender stem broccoli
  • 300 gm purple sprouting broccoli
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tbsp capers plus 1 tbsp of caper juice
  • 1 lime juice and zest
  • 60 gm toasted almond flakes
  • 60 gm toasted walnuts chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt

This recipe will make enough for 4/5 persons and I have also included 2 different dressings. The thing I love about these recipes is that you can scale it down for 1 or 2 persons.

Dressing 1 …A yoghurt dressing.

  • 4 tbsp Natural Yoghurt
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 20 gm chopped fresh herbs of your choice I used coriander, dill and mint.
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Flaky salt and freshly ground pepper to season.

To make just combine all the ingredients together and chill until required.

Dressing 2…Apple which was our favourite…

  • 50 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ an apple peeled and finely chopped or julienned.
  • 20 gm chopped fresh herbs of your choice
  • ½ tbsp runny honey
  • Flaky salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix together the onions, capers, caper vinegar, salt and lime juice and zest set to one side to allow flavours to develop.
  2. Make your dressing by whisking or blending ingredients together and put in the fridge until required.
  3. Steam the prepared broccoli until tender 5-7 mins.
  4. Skin and flake your mackerel.
  5. When ready to serve toss your salad ingredients and mackerel gently together with ½ your chosen dressing and ½ of the nuts.
  6. Arrange in a serving bowl or individual plates and drizzle with the remainder of the dressing and scatter the nuts over the top.

Serve with toasted sourdough bread drizzled with some olive oil and rubbed with some roasted garlic.

We all loved the apple dressing the most as the apples give it a tart fresh flavor and cut through the grease of the mackerel…

Another favourite fish dish is …Yellow tail fish with a sesame seed crust.

The Yellow Tail fish or Amber Jack is native to the North East Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. It is also not related to the Yellow tail Tuna.

In Japan, this fish is eaten cooked or raw and known as Hamachi or Buri.

As you know I am firmly in the camp of eating healthily and choose my fish carefully …I steer clear of farmed fish and only eat locally caught straight off the boats or fish which is responsibly sourced. It doesn’t mean however that it is expensive which a lot of people seem to think …You can buy fish responsibly and at good prices by researching your local markets or even buying frozen.

This fish has extra lean, firm white meat and if you want a lighter meal then it is a lovely tasting fish with a mild flavour.

Ingredients for two servings.

  • 2 x 150 g pieces yellow tail fish or any other firm white fish.
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to season…..I use pink Himalayan or mineral salt which is farmed close to my home.
  • 1 egg white whisked until it is foamy.
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds.
  • Oil for frying…I use coconut oil.

For chilli, lime and soy sauce.

  • 60 ml Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey……I use honey from the comb
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 chilli deseeded and finely sliced…guess who leaves the seeds in? Moi
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A drizzle of sesame seed oil
  • Fresh coriander leaves to serve

Let’s Cook!

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  2. Season the yellow tail fillets with a little salt and freshly milled black pepper. I cut the fish into steaks…
  3. Dip the seasoned fish into the egg white and coat both sides with sesame seeds.
  4. Heat a little coconut oil (or oil of your choice) in a frying pan and sear the fish for about a minute on each side or until the sesame seeds are golden brown. Remove the fish and place in a roasting pan.
  5. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through.
  6. Meanwhile, make the soy sauce reduction. Place the soy sauce, honey, garlic, chilli, lime juice and sesame oil in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
  7. Cook for about 2–3 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly and has thickened so it coats the back of your spoon.
  8. Remove the garlic clove and set to one side…
  9. Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the oven and serve immediately, drizzled with a little soy sauce reduction.

Serve with brown or wild rice, steamed pak Choy or spinach and fresh lime wedges.

Enjoy!

Both Pineapple and watermelon contain the vitamin B1 and are very popular fruits here either eaten after a meal just as they are or maybe with a little spicy dipping sauce…

Pineapple also lends itself well to being cooked or added to a stir fry or curry… Spicy pineapple being a favourite here it is quick and easy to do…We also love it pickled…Yes you can pickle most things…ha-ha

Ingredients:

  • 300 gm of fresh pineapple cut into smallish chunks
  • A handful of shallots finely sliced
  • 1 pickled jalapeno sliced
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of white vinegar
  • The juice of 2 fresh limes
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • A handful of chopped coriander

You will need 3 sterilised jars with lids.

Let’s Cook!

Heat the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, limes and Jalapenos together and bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat add the shallots and leave the mixture to cool down.

Did you know? Watermelon is not only lovely in a smoothie or just as it is and it also comes not only in red, but yellow… As you know I also believe that you should Waste not! Want Not! Water melon rinds are great pickled…

Even my Thai family liked these although they did suggest adding tamarind…Thais often don’t like our pickles as they find them too vinegary but loved these… I loved that they offered a suggestion which is how good dishes evolve.

Fruity Fridays…On A Sunday! Watermelon.

Lastly Pork is a good source of the B1 Vitamin and this quick easy stir fry incorporates pork and a dark green aka Kale and a firm family favourite

Ingredients:

  • 2 Belly Pork Strips or you could use loin or shoulder sliced if you didn’t want to wait while the belly pork cooks.
  • 8 Large leaves of Kale.
  • 3/4 cloves Garlic. squashed with the flat blade of a knife.
  • 2/3 birds eye chillies.
  • 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2/3 shakes of Maggi Sauce.
  • Half tbsp. Oil.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Cook Belly Pork in the oven until tender and crispy. For about 30 mins.
  2. I normally cook on about 180/200 degrees to start and then reduce heat slightly to160 degrees. When the pork is tender turn up the heat to crisp the pork. When nice and crispy remove the pork from the oven and chop into bite pieces.
  3. Heat the wok or large fry pan and add half tablespoon oil.
  4. Add crushed garlic and chillies, add little hot water and cook for 1 min…at this point the chillies may overpower you..Ha ha….turn on expel fan and add chopped Kale.
  5. Stems first if using as they take longer to cook. I use stems of Kale also if they are quite thick slice into 2-inch pieces.
  6. Cook for 2 mins and add remainder of Kale leaves and turn over a few times ….I use fish slice as I find it easier to just turn kale over.
  7. Add 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce and 1 tbsp Soy along with few shakes of Maggi (seasoning Sauce). Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Cook for further 2/3 mins.
  8. Add crispy Pork turn or stir a few times to mix.

Serve with brown or wild rice

Enjoy!

©Recipes Carol Taylor

I hope these recipes have given you an idea of how to incorporate the Vitamin B1 into your diet.

Until next time when it will be Vitamin B 2…

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have any questions for either of us then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments. Your feedback is always welcome.

 

As I move from Facebook to share my posts, you will find me with some other blogging friends on a relatively new, and friendlier site called MeWe….you can find me on mewe.com/i/sallycronin

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Jazz, Chicken Poop, Chopped liver, Old Age, Australia and Sheep farming!


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

Despite some grey and misty starts to the days, there has been a trending upward curve in the temperatures and the hedgerows and gardens locally are beginning to show signs of spring. For someone who does not do short days, devoid of sun, and usually wet, this is a great shift in the weather. All my years as a child and adult living in sunnier climates makes it a challenge. I must admit to becoming a bit of a hermit from October to March and guess in a previous life I must have been a bear!  I can be be grumpy enough at times, especially when I wake from a long sleep and am hungry and thirsty.

Thankfully there have been some offline activities this week that have been great fun and people and laughter make all the difference.

Apart from that…. it has been a great week here online with a new job for me, having been invited to be an administrator for The Literary Diva’s Library on Facebook, alongside Colleen Chesebro and D.G.Kaye… and Colleen has added me into the group banner and if you click that, it will take you to the page where you can share book reviews for yourself and crucially for others, and also author interviews and news. The more members we have the more effective the group will be in supporting authors.

If you are an author and would like to be part of a group that supports and promotes other authors then please head to Facebook by clicking the image.

As always I would like to thank the contributors to the blog who inform and entertain you. This includes those participating in the new Posts from Your Archives series which is all about the family.. If you click on one of the posts it will give you the details on how to share your posts to a new audience. You can also become a guest writer with any new material that you would like to share… you can email me for details if you are interested sally.cronin(at)moyhill.com

Welcome to the music column with William Price King and this week the featured artist is Ted Nash, Saxophonist and Composer  and his work Portrait in Seven Shades.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-ted-nash-with-portraits-in-seven-shades/

In this week’s re-run of Paul Andruss’s gardening column, he promotes the beneficial properties of chicken poop for the garden…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-the-best-thing-to-come-out-of-a-chicken-by-paul-andruss-3/

A new series of Cook from Scratch with myself and Carol Taylor. This time looking at nutrients and the symptoms that you might be deficient in them.. I share the signs and the foods to include to avoid becoming deficient, and Carol turns them into delicious meals for all the family. This week Vitamin A..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/new-series-smorgasbord-health-column-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency/

In this week’s chapter I look at the amount of sugar that is hidden in our diet and how Candida Albicans thrives on this food, fueling the overgrowth in our gut.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/23/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-eliminating-its-favourite-food-sugars-by-sally-cronin/

My guest today is author Sheila Williams who lives in France, but in the past has enjoyed several careers, including that of sheep farmer (more about that later!). Sheila shares a mortifying experience in a restaurant, her fashion sense, the contents of her handbag and a tussle with a persistent romeo ram (of the sheep variety!)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-sheila-williams/

This week Linda shares ‘Family Talk’ the expressions that become a code that every member of the family understands.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-family-talk/

Australian author Frank Prem shares his love of his hometown, and the inspiration behind his recently released collection of poems and stories.. Small Town Kid.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-frank-prem-welcome-to-beechworth-victoria-australia/

Joy shares a poem that expresses the joys of being young at heart at eighty-three years old…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-poetry-mistaken-identity-by-joy-lennick/

As a follow on from the Valentine’s Day post of romantic ballads, here are some of the requests with more to come on Tuesday.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/22/smorgasbord-music-column-the-romantic-ballad-request-show-part-one-becky-ross-michael-d-g-kaye-abbie-taylor-cindy-knoke-sue-vincent/

My guest today is poet Miriam Hurdle who wrote a post in 2017 at Thanksgiving. It was an eventful time with Miriam in recovery from an operation for cancer and her daughter about to give birth.

9

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-thanksgiving-2017-by-miriam-hurdle/

D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies, shares the signs that you are in an abusive relationship, and from personal experience, she inspires those who are trapped in a cycle of abuse to break free.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-memoir-bytes-the-10-red-flags-i-didnt-pay-attention-to-domestic-abuse-by-d-g-kaye/

Delighted that author Sue Vincent is sharing a post from her archives, particularly as it is all about dogs that have been a part of her family, going back generations.

 

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

In respect of this series, where I explore some of the key elements of our modern lives, I take a light-hearted look at love and romance. Well partly light-hearted, as there are some elements of this universally sought after state of bliss that can be from the dark side. 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-romance-a-modern-fairy-story-by-sally-cronin/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-swimming-for-profit-and-pleasure-the-port-naain-intelligencer-by-jim-webster/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-wings-of-prey-book-6-the-gift-legacy-by-j-p-mclean/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-sci-fi-thriller-life-and-other-dreams-by-richard-dee/

Author updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-james-j-cudney-paulette-mahurin-and-jean-lee/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-deborah-a-bowman-olga-nunez-miret-and-vashti-quiroz-vega/

This week my etheree is on the Joys of Spring….in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 124

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-124-etheree-the-joys-of-spring-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-debby-gies-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-the-thrill-of-the-chase-and-senior-dating-ads/

Thank you for all you support and look forward to seeing you again next week.. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters – The Sequel – Candida Albicans – Eliminating its favourite food – Sugars by Sally Cronin


Last week I looked at Candida Albicans and how it can become overgrown in our gut for a number of reasons that include over use of antibiotics: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-candida-albicans-sally-cronin/

This week the first part of eliminating the overgrowth and creating a balanced bacteria in your gut by eliminating sugars

There is a ton of dietary advice out there on the net about the “correct” diet to get rid of an overgrowth of Candida, some of which is pretty drastic. Of course, you need to adjust your intake of certain foods, because even if you are prescribed anti-fungal drugs, the pathogen itself will always be present in your gut waiting for another opportunity to take over the body again.

Remember that Candida Albicans exists in all of us at normal levels in the intestines and it can just take a two day stomach upset, which causes an imbalance of healthy flora, to trigger an overgrowth. You also need to think twice before you decide to embark on a crash diet that is nutritionally depleted – this too will cause an imbalance of essential bacteria in the gut.

Prevention

Preventing this overgrowth in the first place is the ideal. Unfortunately, it is not just antibiotics we take that can kill off good bacteria in the gut and allow the Candida to thrive unaffected. It is highly likely that long-term use of medication including the contraceptive pill or HRT may also result in an overgrowth.

Certainly, people 50+ who have been prescribed life-long medication for cholesterol, blood pressure etc may also be at risk of an overgrowth, and it may take generations to understand the impact on our intestinal bacteria.

Please do not stop taking prescribed medication without consultation with your doctor.

If you do have to take antibiotics for a serious infection, then certainly taking a course of probiotics afterwards can be helpful – there are some on the market now that claim to be resistant to the antibiotics so that you can take simultaneously, but you do need to continue them for a period of time afterwards.

Live yogurts are fine for helping to maintain the healthy balance but they are not strong enough to kill an overgrowth, neither are they a magic bullet! You cannot expect to eat a rubbish diet and then have one small pot of yogurt a day in the hopes it will make up for it! The other ingredient in many supermarket pots of yogurt is the hidden sugar levels which of course is Candida’s favourite food.

Just a reminder here about the difference between probiotics and prebiotics if you missed the last post.

Probiotics are the bacteria and yeasts that are classified as ‘friendly’. They inhabit our digestive tract and are a vital part of the process of digesting food and turning it into something that the rest of the body into a form it can utilise. Without a healthy balance of these probiotics systems such as the immune function can be compromised as well as the health of other operating systems and the major organs.  If you eat live dairy products including Kefir or fermented foods such as sauerkraut it will encourage the essential bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria to flourish.

Prebiotics are processed from insoluble carbohydrates in most fruit and vegetables including Apples (skin on) bananas, beans, artichokes etc (which is why we need to eat several portions of vegetables and fruit daily) This survives the stomach acid and digestive process that some foods such as yogurts might not do, and reaches the gut where it acts like a fertiliser for the existing probiotics and maintains a healthy balance.

Candida’s favourite food and ours, is sugar and the first step to reducing an overgrowth is removing sugar from your diet.

Whatever the reason for your overgrowth of Candida Albicans; you still need to adapt your diet. The main problem is the sugars in industrialised foods will not just satisfy your sweet cravings, but the candida’s too. You will be surprised at how much sugar is included in savoury products that you may buy, and it is important to check labels.

Sugar addiction is recognised as a real and extremely harmful craving mentally and physically.

I am a sugar addict………..along with millions of people around the world, most of whom have struggled with their weight and their health all their lives. Sugar is everywhere – there is no getting away from it. Not just sweets and chocolate, cakes, muffins, bread and cereals but hidden in pasta sauces and most of our savoury favourites. In every shop and in our own kitchen cupboards and fridge – always within reach and as enticing as anything in our lives.

What are sugars?

Sugars are a vital component of the fuel we require to function – unfortunately the modern diet is akin to a 24 hour petrol station and most of us slide effortlessly up to the supercharged pump and pay the very heavy price to fill our tank with it. We then tootle at 20 miles an hour or slower and instead of burning off the fuel we store it in our cells – as fat.

A quick look at the fuel itself. It belongs in the carbohydrate food group, our main source of energy. Carbohydrates are a group of nutrients that contain carbon atoms that have been hydrated by adding water molecules. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches and fibre. The sugar and the starches are metabolised by the body into the simple sugar, glucose.

Glucose molecules circulate in the bloodstream, supplying our cells with the fuel, as they need it. Any additional glucose is converted into glycogen, which is stored in the muscles of the liver. If that storehouse is already full then any excess glucose gets converted into fat.

There are two types of carbohydrate, simple and complex.

ourbetterhealth.org

Simple carbohydrates contain one or two saccharides such as sucrose (glucose and fructose) which is table sugar and lactose (glucose and galactose) which is the sugar found in milk. This is called a disaccharide.

If the carbohydrate only has one saccharide, it is called monosaccharide such as fructose which is found in fruit and honey. The less saccharides the sweeter the taste so the sweetest is therefore fructose. Whilst moderate consumption of natural sources of simple sugars is absolutely fine including fruit and some honey it is the hidden simple sugars in industrialised foods that are causing the problem.

Complex carbohydrates are known as polysaccharides and they are made of long strings of simple sugars and there are many different kinds. These are the starches and are the most nutritious because they tend to be a component in a food that has other nutrients. The body also breaks down starches into glucose, but it takes longer to digest than the simple sugars which is why they do not cause the same blood sugar fluctuations.

Fibre is a very important carbohydrate because the intestinal tract does not have the enzymes necessary to break down the long chain into individual sugar molecules so it does not get absorbed into the bloodstream – also, fibre slows down the digestion and absorption of sugar, which extends and maintains the energy levels it provides. The source for this nutritious and useful form of complex sugars is found in green vegetables, whole grains, potatoes and other fibre rich foods.

Why use the term industrialised?

Earlier in the post I mentioned the addictive nature of sugars caused largely by the accessibility to those of us in developed countries to industrialised food. I use that term because it is more appropriate than just using the term processed. Natural foods can also go through a form of processing to get to our table, but as long as that process does not include the removal of essential elements or the addition of industrial ingredients, it is unlikely to be harmful.

This industrialisation of our foods is very recent in terms of our evolution. Less than 150 years. To put this into perspective in terms of our body’s genetic make-up.. It can take 10,000 years for a mutation to occur in our DNA to adapt to a new environment. Whilst we have much more access to natural foods all year around, (which would have not been the case 10,000 years ago), we have the disadvantage of now including artificial foods that our body simply cannot process effectively to provide essential nutrients to be healthy.

The body is a sophisticated and complex machine which requires a diverse range of ingredients to process and then pass into the bloodstream to provide the energy we need both on a daily basis and additional power when we need it. If the ingredients you are putting into your body, are not of the chemical make-up essential to make this fuel – you will not only be lacking in energy, but the corrosive nature of the poor ingredients will cause damage and wear on our organs, arterial system and long-time health.

The manufacturers are well aware of our addiction to sugar and manipulate us into eating more.

For some, high sugar/fat foods are a comfort, and the manufacturers are well aware of this.. Take a look at the chocolate adverts on the television and most feature women who turn to chocolate whilst they watch a sad or romantic movie, or because they are day dreaming of love or a sexy hunk dropping off some Black Magic…In this one the girl is wandering through a healthy field of sunflowers, giving the illusion that the flake is too.

It is true that at certain times of the month a woman’s hormone fluctuations can increase that desire for sweet foods.. We tend to misinterpret this as a craving for chocolate, but in fact it is more likely to do with the body wanting to prepare for conception by ingesting high energy foods and changes in blood sugar levels. But the body is looking to receive that fuel from nutritious complex carbohydrates and fruit rather than a Toblerone! (Trust me)

The amount of sugar that we ingest is not just in response to a possible addiction… It is more likely to be habit.

This habit was formed when we were fed as a child. In our house for example we always had a dessert after our main meal and my father was the master of the steamed treacle pudding with lots of sweet custard. He had two teaspoons of sugar in his tea and he had done so since the first cup his mother gave him as a child. It never occurred to him to reduce it to one or none at all. He had a very sweet tooth.

How many biscuits do you automatically reach for when you open a tin or packet? I bet like me it will be at least two…one piece of toast with butter and jam seems a bit lonely too.. A couple is a round number.

Anyway..One of the key indicators that you are eating too much of this high octane fuel, turbo-charged with too much sugar is a candida overgrowth.

Apart from an overgrowth of candida, eating too much sugar puts you at risk of morbid obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, varicose veins, high blood pressure, eye disease, depression and liver and kidney problems.

Sugar intake guidelines for a healthy balanced diet.

First and foremost – these can vary, but for the sake of having some form of measurement to use – men should not consume more than 37.5 gms or 9 teaspoons a day of additional dietary sugar a day. For women it is less around 25grams or 6 teaspoons. That is not really a great deal – to be honest by the time you have had a frosted cereal for breakfast with a couple of spoons of sugar you have had it for the day!!

There are plenty of lists out there with the sugar content of everyday foods. However, the manufacturers can be very clever when hiding the actual level of sugar in their product, one of which is splitting the sugar content into different types and who has time to stand in the aisle of a supermarket and add up the small (very small print) on every item you buy? Food manufacturers are well aware for our new found love for sweet foods and have no problem exploiting it!

A quick guideline – keep to foods that have a total sugar content of 5gms or less per 100gms…and do not buy anything that has syrup at the end of it, or sweetener or cane…..and remember that to your body whatever its name or origins it is all just simply sugar and it will be treated as such.

Low fat foods can be the biggest culprits and certainly fizzy drinks should only be drunk very occasionally. Canned fruits in syrup may seem a low fat option but even the light syrup options have 18grams of sugar! Pasta sauces and certainly most Chinese sauces are high in sugar and if you cannot live without your sweet and sour chicken three times a week, you have a sugar addiction! Your daily bread has sugars and certainly the body will treat the white flour products, white rice and pasta that you eat as sugar.

If you are diabetic then you do need to monitor what you are eating with regard to carbohydrates and sugars and that will be explained to you by your medical advisor.

To be successful you need to move your body away from its addiction to sugars over a period of about four weeks as going cold turkey can end badly!

First keep a food diary for a week and circle everything that contains sugar which includes pasta sauces, cereals, soups, ketchup, jams, biscuits, cakes in fact suspect everything!! And don’t forget the soft drinks that you include regularly.

Begin the process though by halving the amount that you eat immediately.

As most of the sugars will be in foods that are snacks, you will find you can reduce the sugar content by substituting with these natural foods.

Greek yogurt
cottage cheese
Avocados
olives
raspberries
strawberries
melon

Rather than eating sweet biscuits, substitute with high quality oatcakes (check label but typically 45% lower in sugar than other biscuits). Eat with some low fat cottage cheese, sliced avocado or even some thin sliced cheddar.

I am not keen on artificial sweeteners, even those as touted as ‘natural’ including Stevia, which after all has been manufactured to achieve the powdery substance. Whilst some may be deemed safe to use by the authorities, if you have a sugar craving, you are not reducing that by offering it a substitute to refined sugars, as you are still feeding the habit. Your body and Candida, will react to artificial sweeteners in the same way as they do to real sugar.

In summary

  1. Strategy one in your battle with your Candida overgrowth, is to halve the amount of sugar in your diet in the first two weeks.
  2. Reduce the amount again by half in the second two weeks.

©Sally Cronin – Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. 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. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook.

You can find out more about my books and their recent reviews: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

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

Next week – Starve the Fungus and Feed the Body – Specific foods and a shopping list for Candida.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round up – Waterford Castle, Romance, Great Food, Music and a few Laffs.


Welcome to the weekly round up and I have been off on a jaunt this week. As a birthday treat we went down to Waterford, which is David’s home town for a couple of days and stayed at the Waterford Castle Hotel on its own private Island.

You reach the island by a chain link ferry which only takes two minutes and runs every 15 minutes during the day and 30 minutes at night. We had a suite overlooking the magnificent gardens and all the rooms have wonderful features introduced over the long history of the castle. Such as this fireplace with a Wedgewood insert.

History of Wateford Castle

Throughout the centuries, the Island’s strategic location, in a pivotal position near Waterford City, brought it historical fame playing a major role in the history of the region.

From the 6th century settlement of Monks to the Vikings in the 9th – 11th Centuries. Followed by Norman Invasion of 1170 were Maurice Fitzgerald became the potentate of the Island and the Fitzgerald family legacy lasted for over 800 years.

You can download the full history of the castle
Click here to download our History brochure.

The food was wonderful and we ate in their award winning restaurant on the first night – freshly sourced produce, deliciously prepared. The service was brilliant and it was a meal to remember. We were treated to some live music in the form of a talented pianist and each course was much appreciated. Certainly a stunning venue for a Wedding.

The next day we had a wonderful breakfast (great poached eggs) in an atrium overlooking the gardens, with some of the wildlife in attendance. Including a red squirrel, unusual to find in Ireland but clearly the grey squirrels who decimated the red population have not learnt to use the ferry to get to the island. As we walked to the car park, we also encountered to deer intent of feasting on the new crocus shoots.

We spent the day touring the coast and revisiting some of David’s childhood and teen haunts as well as the cottage, right on Woodstown beach where Geoff Cronin (you might have read his memoirs here) grew up. Also Dunmore and Tramore, holiday spots in the summer when the family lived in the centre of Waterford.

That afternoon we went in to the city and checked out the regeneration that took place in the 1990s up to the present day. We had a birthday tea in The Vintage Parlour Tea Rooms and I had the best Victoria sponge I have ever eaten… with fresh cream… and David had a delicious piece of apple tart. Fortified with a couple of cups (porcelain) of tea, we explored the local estate agents with a view to moving to Waterford once we sell our house here in Wexford next spring (or sooner). Certainly Waterford is on the list of options as the city has great facilities and is close to some stunning coastline.

We ended the day with dinner at The Bodega Mediterranean Restaurant and I can highly recommend, especially the monkfish scampi starter. The  food, atmosphere and service was excellent and brought back happy memories of our years in Madrid.

If you are planning on visiting Ireland I do recommend that you put Waterford on the schedule. If you are travelling with family then I suggest you book one of their lodges which sleep six people and are self-catered, but you can still eat in the restaurant or clubhouse if you wish. There is a golf course, tennis courts and fabulous walks around the island. You are central for the coastline to the south of Wateford towards Cork, and when the new bridge is completed (the longest in Ireland) later this summer, it will be a much faster trip to Dublin.

Now time to catch up with the posts on Smorgasbord you might have missed during the week.

This week Paul Andruss shares part two of his recommendations for early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-this-week-spring-bulbs-part-two-daffodils-narcissus-jonquils/

And on the subject of food…. something from the Thai kitchen of Carol Taylor.. a three course meal that should get Valentine’s evening off to a good start.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-st-valentines-day-thai-three-course-dinner/

A new series of Posts from Your Archives and to kick the series off, one of D.G. Kaye’s heartfelt and heartbreaking – Memoir Bytes where she shares her childhood memories. Details of how you can share previous articles from your archives are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-memoir-bytes-love-notes-and-other-words-by-d-g-kaye/

This week my guest is author Abbie Taylor who shares her inspiring story as well as some interesting responses to the questions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-abbie-taylor/

Here is my response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 123

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-weekly-poetry-challenge-etheree-romance-by-sally-cronin/

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction this week prompted 99 word stories on the subject of Valentines.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-flash-fiction-challenge-together-forever-by-sally-cronin/

In this week’s music column, I share a song from each of the decades that I have been listening to music… and next Friday I will be sharing the requests that you shared, the songs that you felt were the most romantic.

Now time for the round up of the posts this week that you might have missed.

An extract from Tales from the Irish Garden to celebrate romance. Queen Filigree meets the roguish Prince Ronan.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/tales-from-the-irish-garden-valentines-day-story-the-magic-garden-comes-to-life-by-sally-cronin/

Last year I wrote this post for USA Today Bestselling romance author Jacquie Biggar on keeping the magic of romance alive…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/keeping-the-magic-of-romance-alive-every-day-by-sally-cronin/

This week in the R’s of Life, part two on the subject of relationships, and the impact of a dysfunctional childhood on our ability to connect as adults.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-two-adulthood-by-sally-cronin/

I reviewed two books this week.. the first being The Beast Within (Mended Souls Two) by Jacquie Biggar.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/smorgasbord-book-reviews-the-beast-within-mended-souls-book-two-by-jacquie-biggar/

And the second book was first book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-book-reviews-mystery-academic-curveball-by-james-j-cudney/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-claire-fullerton-darlene-foster-and-angie-dokos/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jacquie-biggar-clifford-browder-and-christine-campbell/

Many foods have been labelled aphrodisiacs through history, some deservedly so…but they also tend to be highly nutritious and have a positive effect on the whole body and not just the libido.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/smorgasbord-health-column-foods-to-get-you-in-the-mood-for-st-valentines-day-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s chapter looks at the impact of an overgrowth of Candida Albicans on our overall health. The symptoms number around 125, and I included some of the key signs that your gut may have been compromised.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-candida-albicans-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-valentine-special-you-knows-i-loves-you-right/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-valentines-day-special-and-a-parrot-with-moves/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and for your visits this week. Your comments and sharing on your own social media is much appreciated as always. Have a great week and hope to see you again soon.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Size Matters – The Sequel – Candida Albicans – Sally Cronin


In last week’s post I explored the physical events in my life from childhood that might have resulted in the inability to sustain a healthy weight. Whilst I could pinpoint an hormonal imbalance from puberty, and a cycle of crash dieting as contributors to my eventual morbid obesity. It was the more important discovery of a series of extended courses of anti-biotics at age 10, that was to result in a breakthrough.

It is not just my health that was compromised, many millions of the population, particular in developed countries also have been put at risk, with an estimated 70% of us with a candidal albicans overgrowth, seriously undermining our health.

Just to recap….

What is Candida Albicans

Candida is a fungal infection of the intestine. There is a delicate balance of bacteria in our gut and it works very much like a waste-disposal unit. However, certain conditions can activate changes in the balance between healthy flora and this opportunistic fungus, and this can result in Candida taking control of the intestine. Candida is a yeast that thrives on sugar. Among the many symptoms of this condition is an irrational craving for sweet foods including high sugar savoury foods such as pasta sauces.

The list of symptoms attributable to Candida seemed endless, but when I completed the questionnaire, my score was so high that there was no doubt at all that I was indeed suffering from an overgrowth in its most chronic form. While it was an enormous relief to have identified what had been causing my problems, it was devastating to realise that Candida had been a part of my life since childhood and was likely to be one of the main reasons for my weight problems. It was not just a childhood event that had triggered Candida, but its fire had been fuelled several times since.

You will not be surprised to learn that one of the prime causes for this condition is the over use of antibiotics, and also some other medications prescribed for conditions such as asthma. Once I realised this, I put together a chart showing the periods in my life when I had experienced weight gain. Bingo! In every instance the weight gain followed heavy doses of antibiotics prescribed for a variety of reasons. In one way this discovery was reassuring.

Overweight people often look for a physical problem to blame for their condition, such as their glands, so it was a revelation to learn that there might indeed be a physical reason for my excessive weight gain.

Before I look at Candida in more detail… I am often asked the difference between probiotics and prebiotics. This difference is important as diet is the key element of keeping a healthy balance of bacteria in our gut, and our modern diet, that includes far more industrialised foods, does not provide the elements needed to maintain this balance.

Probiotics are the bacteria and yeasts that are classified as ‘friendly’. They inhabit our digestive tract and are a vital part of the process of digesting food and turning it into something that the rest of the body into a form it can utilise. Without a healthy balance of these probiotics, systems such as the immune function, can be compromised, as well as the health of other operating systems and the major organs.  If you eat live dairy products, including Kefir, or fermented foods such as sauerkraut, it will encourage the essential bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria to flourish.

Prebiotics are processed from insoluble carbohydrates in most fruit and vegetables including Apples (skin on) bananas, beans, artichokes etc (which is why we need to eat several portions of vegetables and fruit daily) This survives the stomach acid and digestive process that some foods such as yogurts might not do, and reaches the gut where it acts like a fertiliser for the existing probiotics and maintains a healthy balance.

As far as Candida Albicans is concerned this balance in the intestinal flora is crucial and I will explain that as we mover through the upcoming posts.

We are all familiar with the concerns about the rain forests and their devastation and long lasting consequences for our planet. Well our gut is an eco-system too – teeming with life that is as varied and as exotic as in any rain forest. And, like the many species that are at risk in the wider world, our bacteria that populate our gut and keep us alive, are under threat too.

All humans contain Candida Albicans in small amounts in our gut and urinary tract. In those amounts it is harmless – however – advances in medical treatment, and our modern diet, have given this opportunistic pathogen all it needs to develop from harmless colonies to massive overgrowths. It is also referred to as Monilia, Thrush, Candidiasis and Yeast Infection.

The most at risk are those with an already compromised immune system, but because of our high sugar, white carbohydrate and processed foods in our diets, most of us are now at risk.

We have also been treated with broad spectrum antibiotics for the last 65 years, as well as newer drugs that we take long term, that manipulate our hormonal balances. We as yet do not know the long term impact on our bodies of the modern drugs we take, and it may be generations before we do. Which is why there is now great concern that the pathogens are becoming more and more resistant to drugs such as antibiotics.

The eco-system which is our gut.

Our intestinal tract, like our hearts, brains, livers, kidneys etc is a major organ. Some refer to it as the ‘gut brain’ – How many times do you mention your gut feelings? Without it there would be no way to process the raw ingredients we eat to keep our immune system healthy enough to protect us from pathogens. The good bacteria or flora in the gut, two of which are, Bifidobacteria bifidum and Lactobaccillus acidophilus normally keep the Candida in balance.

In most cases antibiotics are broad spectrum, not specific, because, without a lab test it is difficult to tell the specific strain of bacteria responsible for an infection. The use of broad spectrum drugs usually guarantees that the bacteria in question will be killed off.

  • Unfortunately, not only the bad bacteria are killed off but also the good bacteria in your gut.
  • Candida remains unaffected because it is not bacteria it is a yeast and this is where it takes full advantage.

What happens to Candida to allow it to take over?

If Candida yeast is allowed to grow unchecked, it changes from its normal yeast fungal form to a mycelial fungal form that produces rhizoids. These long, root-like components are capable of piercing the walls of the digestive tract and breaking down the protective barriers between the intestines and the blood. This breakthrough allows many allergens to enter the blood stream causing allergic reactions. Mucus is also formed around major organs and in the lining of the stomach. This prevents your digestive system from functioning efficiently. The result is poorly digested food and wasted nutrients. Your body begins to suffer a deficiency of these nutrients and it leads to chronic fatigue, an impaired immune system and disease.

There would appear to be a strong link between this overgrowth of Candida Albicans to a huge list of symptoms and illness. Here is a snapshot.

  • People who are suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME usually test positive for Candida although there are also other issues involved in this complex condition.
  • Numbness, burning or tingling in fingers or hands.
  • Insomnia,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhoea,
  • Bloating,
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • Thrush and Cystitis,
  • Sexual dysfunction and loss of sexual drive.
  • Endometriosis or infertility
  • PMS and heavy and painful periods.
  • Depression and panic attacks
  • Irritablity when hungry.
  • Unexplained muscle or joint pains often diagnosed with arthritis.
  • Headaches and mood swings.
  • Chronic rashes or hives
  • Food intolerance.
  • Liver function due to build up of toxins leading to  chronic fatigue, discomfort and depression.

The list is virtually endless – which just adds to the confusion at the time of diagnosis.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then you may have a varying degree of overgrowth.

If you would like to complete the Candida questionnaire yourself then please email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

In the upcoming posts this week I will be featuring some of the health problems associated with an overgrowth of Candida Albicans and the strategies to reduce levels to normal, and rebalance the flora in your gut.

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

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

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

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

 If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments.. or if you prefer send in an email to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord Health Column- Foods to get you in the Mood for St. Valentine’s Day by Sally Cronin


Perhaps Adam thought the apple was an aphrodisiac when he offered it to Eve and certainly the belief that foods could stimulate and arouse us to passion has been honoured by both men and women since earliest recorded time.

It is a belief that is held across every race, culture and age group, which makes for interesting research into the subject.

Foods, herbs, spices and unfortunately certain animal parts have been considered to be stimulating over the ages and I am going to focus on food and herbs that are still readily available today in our supermarkets.

The background to aphrodisiacs

Aphrodisiacs were taken in the first instance to calm anxiety and therefore improve sexual performance. Having children was considered a necessity from both a moral and a religious perspective and so being at peak fertility was considered essential for both men and women.

Aphrodisiacs are broken down into two distinct functions. Primarily they needed to be nutritional to improve fertility and performance and secondly stimulating to increase desire.

Being poorly nourished will affect semen, egg production and quality so it was considered important to eat nutritional packed foods such as seeds, roots and eggs, which were considered to contain sexual powers.

To stimulate desire it was thought that eating foods that resembled the sexual organs would produce the required result and of course there was always the hearsay element of mythology and fairy tales to establish credibility for one food or another.

Many of the foods considered by the ancient Egypt, Greek and Roman civilisations to be aphrodisiacs, are still available today, and we eat them on a regular basis.   This makes it a little difficult to determine if the rocket, pistachio nuts, carrots and basil that you eat as part of your normal diet are acting as stimulants or not.

At least most of us are no longer indulging in gladioli roots or skink lizard flesh although the French may well claim that their continued consumption of snails may have something to do with their reputation as the best lovers.

Are there foods that are more of a turn OFF than a turn ON?

Allegedly there are a few foods that may not be helping you in the romance department but there is no definitive research on the subject.

Apparently eating too many lentils, lettuce, watercress, and water lilies might affect your performance although I suspect that there are more than a few rabbits that might disagree with that belief. Also one needs to choose and prepare food that is not likely to produce wind as there is nothing more disastrous during a romantic interlude!

What are considered the most effective aphrodisiacs?

Aniseed was believed by the Egyptians, Greeks and the Romans to have very special properties and they sucked the seeds to increase desire. Aniseed was also favoured for its medicinal properties, which may explain its popularity as a sexual stimulant. It was used to reduce flatulence (not a particularly attractive condition) remove catarrh, act as a diuretic and as an aid to digestion combined with other herbs such as ginger and cumin.

One of its properties was to increase perspiration and one wonders if this additional heat was confused with an increase in desire. However if you are planning a romantic interlude avoid drinking it in tea form as it was considered a very effective insomnia cure.

Asparagus was well regarded for its phallic shape and also for particular stimulating properties. It was suggested that you fed it to your lover over a period of three days either steamed or boiled. One explanation of its supposed success is that it acts as a liver and kidney cleanser and also a diuretic. After three days it is likely that you might feel more energetic and also have lost a couple of pounds, guaranteed to give anyone a boost sexual or otherwise.

Almonds have long been considered the way to a girl’s heart in particular their aroma, which is supposed to induce passion in a female. Almonds are incredibly nutritious, packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fat so there is no doubt that regular consumption of these and other nuts would be likely to improve overall general health and therefore fertility. Almonds have been prepared in a number of ways over the ages but certainly the one that seems the most popular is marzipan, guaranteed to win over any sweet-toothed female, young or old. All nuts and seeds have similar nutritious content so you can lavish these on your sweetheart if you find it difficult to find Almonds.

Avocado was regarded as an aphrodisiac mainly due to its shape. The Aztecs called the avocado tree “Ahuacuati” or testicle tree and when brought to Europe the Spanish called the fruit aquacate. Apart from the shape the fruit has a sensuous smooth texture and exotic flavour that stimulates all the senses. Again including avocados in your diet several times a week will contribute to your general health as well as possibly improving your love life.

The banana has been featured several times in my blogs on healthy and medicinal foods. Obviously the shape played some part in its reputation as an aphrodisiac but it is very rich in potassium and B vitamins, which are both essential for healthy hormone production. Eating one banana is unlikely to enhance sexual performance but including them on a regular basis will certainly have you firing on all cylinders.

Cloves amongst other herbs and spices contain eugenol, which is very fragrant and aromatic. It has been used for centuries as a breath freshener, which may be hint to why in days before dental hygiene became so important eating it before a date was considered an aphrodisiac.

 

Chocolate like almonds has long been regarded as an enticement to females and contrary to popular belief; Cadburys were not the inventors of this delicious if very addictive treat. The Aztecs called it the “nourishment of the Gods” probably because of the chemicals in chocolate that stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain that produce a feel good effect. It also stimulates the production of theobromine, which is related to caffeine and would no doubt stimulate performance in other areas.

If only Adam had been better informed, he might have made a better impression!

Honey has been used medicinally for thousands of years and was considered essential as a cure for sterility and impotence. Even in medieval times less than scrupulous suitors would ply their dates with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey. This was also drunk by newly-weds on their honeymoon probably acting to relax inhibitions and anxiety. Honey is wonderfully nutritious and again including it regularly in your diet is likely to improve your general state of health, which would lead to improved sexual performance.

Mace and Nutmeg contain myristicin and some compounds related to mescaline. Mescaline is found in Peyote cactus and has been used in South American and North American Indian cultures for over 2000 years as a hallucinogen. This might explain why the use of mace and nutmeg in aphrodisiac potions may have produced mild euphoria and loss of inhibitions. Hot milk and ground nutmeg has long been a night-time drink and now we know why.

Oysters were well known for their aphrodisiac qualities in Roman times and their reputation continues today. There is some reference to their likeness to female sexual organs but the main thing going for oysters is their high content of Zinc. This mineral is essential for male potency but if you do not have a balanced diet with other sources of zinc, eating a dozen oysters from time to time is unlikely to give you the desired results.

Saffron has been used since the times of the ancient Greeks where it was harvested from the wild yellow crocus, flowers. Its use has since spread throughout the world and has been used for thousands of years as a medicine and as a perfume. It is said to be an excellent aid to digestion, increases poor appetite and being antispasmodic will relieve stomach aches and tension. More recently it has been used as a drug to treat flu-like infections, depression and as a sedative. As far as being an aphrodisiac is concerned its most important property is likely to be its ability to regulate menstruation which would of course help lead to a better chance of conception. It is generally a tonic and stimulant and being very versatile can be used in many dishes regularly in your diet.

I obviously could not miss out the carrot – since it played a starring role in one of my health books. Carrots taken long term provide the body with a great source of vitamin A essential for our hormones and in men their sperm production. Hence, the title of my health book. Forget the Viagra……which is a men’s health manual and not just about aphrodisiacs!

 

There are many other foods, herbs and spices that have for one reason or another been associated with sexuality. These include liquorice, mustard, pine nuts, pineapple, strawberries, truffles, basil, garlic, ginger and vanilla.

The one thing that is absolutely certain is that if you have an excellent balanced diet with plenty of variety you will be taking in all the above nutrients on a continuous basis and that will enable you to enjoy an active and full sex life. Adding a few of the above ingredients will certainly do you no harm and who knows you may be able to prove if they really are all they are cracked up to be.

I cannot leave you today with a recipe that includes some of the above ingredients but I suggest if you are planning a St. Valentine’s Dinner for your loved one, you create a three course dinner from the above… Get creative!

Isabella’s aphrodisiac ice-cream.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1 cup peeled and mashed rich ripe figs
1 teaspoon vanilla

To prepare

  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the almonds and sauté until just golden. Remove the almonds and dry on paper towel. Put aside for later.
  2. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a stainless steel bowl, or double boiler, whisk the yolks with the sugar and salt for 3 minutes, or until pale yellow. Add hot milk slowly while whisking. Place the stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmer water and cook whisking constantly, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the custard from the water and stir in the chilled cream, mashed figs, vanilla, and almond extract.
  4. Chill the mixture for 30 minutes, then pour into an ice cream maker or the freezer compartment of your fridge until set.

Of course there is allegedly an equally anciently revered aphrodisiac that has nothing to do with food!

Thanks to Pixabay.com for the images.

Thanks for dropping by and I wish your Valentine’s Day to be all you wish for. As always I love to receive your feedback.. Sally

©sally cronin Just Food For Health 1999 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

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

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

 If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments.. or if you prefer send in an email to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Bloggers Bash Nominations, Winter Warmers, Arizona, Spring Bulbs and all that Jazz


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

We are actually enjoying some sunshine despite very cold temperatures and we are hoping it is a sign spring is on its way. I know for many of you in the UK and USA, this has been a very tough couple of weeks with snow and storms, so hopefully you too will have a more settled week ahead.

It is hard to ignore the turmoil going on in the world, especially as the press is having a field day with fake news, assumptions, predictions, fear-mongering, pot-stirring and allegations. There may be a reason that we as yet have not been invaded by an alien species. I suggest that they have popped in from time to time, to the excitement of the UFO buffs, and exited rapidly when they see what they might be getting into.

The actions of those in power are completely at odds with the promises made in their wonderful election speeches, and at the very least they should be prosecuted for false advertising and misrepresentation.

Meanwhile, in the real world, all we can do is keep doing what we are doing and try to stay as positive as possible.

If all else fails………..

My thanks to my regular contributors who continue to spread a positive message and to your for dropping in and liking, commenting and sharing..

And on that note……

I was very honoured to be nominated for the Best Book Blog award, and my thanks to those who put my name forward. Voting begins at the end of March and you still have time to nominate your favourite bloggers in the new categories. The links are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-nomination-best-book-blog/

This week William Price King shares the life and music of legend Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-charlie-bird-parker-saxaphone/

Paul Andruss with some suggestions to bring colour to your garden with early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-rewind-light-up-your-life-with-brilliant-bulbs-part-1-early-spring-bulbs/

Carol Taylor shares some recipes that are easy to prepare and that will warm the cockles of your heart…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers-stews-and-casseroles/

Debby Gies is still on vacation in Mexico and busily creating future travel posts about this fantastic vacation spot, but in the meantime, she gives us a guided tour of Jerome, Arizona which is a preserved copper mining town that generated billions for investors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-jerome-arizona-mining-town-with-d-g-kaye/

Joy Lennick shares two poems that bridge the end of winter and the start of spring.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-poetry-spring-by-joy-lennick/

Welcome to the blog for the first time to romance author Laura M. Baird who shares her love of country, music and tattoos, as well as one of the craziest and most detailed dream

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-romance-author-laura-m-baird/

I am now participating in is Diana Peach’s monthly speculative fiction challenges and this month she had a delightful photo prompt. My story is called ‘The 1812 Overture”

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-februarys-speculative-fiction-prompt-the-1812-overture-by-sally-cronin/

Another of my weekly challenges is the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-sea-mist-by-sally-cronin/

It is that time of the week when I get my syllables in lines in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 122.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-poetry-colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-122-poets-choice-etheree-metamorphosis-by-sally-cronin/

It is February 1986 and we are preparing for my birthday and I get a new car.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-birthday-party-and-new-car/

Relationships – So far I have covered respect, recognition, relations in Previous Chapters, which leads me very conveniently into relationships. In this first part, I am looking at the socialisation of children before and during school that form the basis of their relationship skills in the wider world.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-one-childhood-by-sally-cronin/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-fiona-tarr-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-miriam-hurdle-linda-g-hill-and-mark-d-giglio/

Every year, 4.2million people die worldwide within 30 days of surgery. This is a staggering 1.23million more deaths than HIV, TB and malaria combined makes up 7.7% of all fatalities – with only heart disease and stroke killing more. You can make a difference to this statistic by preparing for elective surgeries in the weeks before the operation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-health-column-new-statistics-on-surgery-recovery-that-are-shocking-and-preparing-for-an-operation/

The next chapter in my rollercoaster weight gain and loss history, with a pattern emerging that linked a number of physical events in my life, antibiotics, candida albicans and stress together.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-morbid-obesity-a-physical-rollercoaster-anti-biotics-candida-hormones-yo-yo-dieting/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-funnies-and-things-kids-say/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-3/

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing week……