Smorgasbord Health Column – Blood Pressure and the #Salt debate by Sally Cronin


Having looked at the Cholesterol myth and how to maintain the healthy balance, I am now going to look at Blood Pressure and one of the foods that most of us use daily and is on the restricted list. Salt makes food tasty and the expert opinion is that it is one of the leading culprits in our diet that leads to high blood pressure and a risk of heart attack and strokes.

It is interesting that whilst we as humans are told to reduce salt in our diet, animals will travel miles to lick rocks that have a variety of minerals and in particular one they need to be healthy which is salt.

One of the first things a doctor will generally do, despite the fact that many of us have white coat syndrome which raises our blood pressure, is to measure it. As with the prescription of statins and the treatment of cholesterol ongoing research is identifying that the consumption of natural salt is not the culprit but the amount of sodium we are consuming daily from industrially produced foods.

I am going to share a post from 2018 with some links to the research and then next week I will share the foods that help keep our circulatory system flexible and may therefore reduce elevated blood pressure naturally without prescribed medication.

And as always, I do not advise you to stop taking prescribed medication for high blood pressure without consulting your doctor.

There are a number of lifestyle causes for high blood pressure including being obese and lack of exercise. It is actually quite easy to blame the amount of salt in your diet and in the early days of my nutritional therapy work, I would see clients who had been following their doctor’s advice about reducing salt in their diets, but still had high blood pressure. It was only when they lost the additional weight, upped their exercise to a 30 minute walk each day and included specific potassium and nitrate rich foods in their diet that the blood pressure dropped to healthy levels.

In this first post I am going to revisit some of the studies into salt and then next time I will share the fresh foods you can eat that will help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

I have been a nutritional therapist for 22 years, and one of the essential elements of my work has been to remain informed of new research as it becomes available. This has sometimes turned previously held beliefs on their head, and a number of experts and research studies do make us reassess our position on salt in the diet.

Top scientist says all you’ve been told about salt is WRONG: It won’t give you a heart attack – while having too little will make you fat and ruin your sex life

For more than 40 years, we’ve been told eating too much salt is killing us. Doctors say it’s as bad for our health as smoking or not exercising, and government guidelines limit us to just under a teaspoon a day.

We’re told not to cook with it and not to sprinkle it on our meals. The white stuff is not just addictive, goes the message — it’s deadly. Too much of it causes high blood pressure, which in turn damages our hearts. We must learn to live — joylessly, flavourlessly but healthily — without it.

Well, I’m here to tell you that all of that is wrong. As a leading cardiovascular research scientist — based at Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute, Missouri — I’ve contributed extensively to health policy and medical literature.

I am associate editor of the British Medical Journal’s Open Heart, published in partnership with the British Cardiovascular Society, and I sit on the editorial advisory board of several other medical journals.
In my work, I’ve examined data from more than 500 medical papers and studies about salt. And this is what I’ve learned: there was never any sound scientific evidence to support this low salt idea. What’s more, as I explain in my new book, eating too little of it can cause insulin resistance, increased fat storage and may even increase the risk of diabetes — not to mention decreasing our sex drive.

Current daily guidelines limit you to 2.4g of sodium, which translates to 6g of salt (or sodium chloride) or slightly less than a teaspoonful.

If you have high blood pressure, or belong to a group considered to be at greater risk of developing it — such as being over 60 or Afro-Caribbean — doctors even advise you to cut your intake to two-thirds of a teaspoon of salt per day.

Yet salt is an essential nutrient that our bodies depend on to live. And those limits go against all our natural instincts. When people are allowed as much salt as they fancy, they tend to settle at about a teaspoon-and-a-half a day. This is true all over the world, across all cultures, climates and social backgrounds.

Read the rest of the article: Salt is not the problem

The Mineral Deficiency That’s Making You Gain Weight by Dr James DiNicolantonio

“Salted foodstuffs make people slim, whereas sweet ones make them fat.” —Pliny (A.D. 23 to A.D. 79), an ancient Roman author and philosopher

We’ve been told for decades to hold the salt at the dinner table for the sake of our hearts and blood pressure. The anti-salt campaign has blurred the picture about what salt actually does for us—besides making everything taste better. Salt is an essential mineral that has many vital functions in the body, which I go into more in my new book, The Salt Fix. Since we lose salt every day through sweat and urine, we need to consume some salt in order to live.

What happens when we aren’t getting the salt we need?

When our bodies become depleted in salt, the brain seems to react by sensitizing the reward system—and not just the reward system for salt, but the same reward system that drives us to other pleasurable activities. The purpose of that sensitization is that when we eat salt it induces a greater reward than usual, leading to an increase intake of salt. This primitive “reptilian” response in the brain is over 100 million years old and it has carried over from our ancient ancestors. Its goal is to keep us alive by preventing or quickly fixing a salt deficit in the body. In other words, the brain controls our salt fix.
In our modern world, though, this reward system, intended to save our lives after salt deficit, could be inadvertently leading to weight gain, and even obesity.

Read the rest of this post on the subject of salt in our diet: Is salt deficiency making us fat

The Salt Fix by Dr James DiNicolantonio, was published by Piatkus Books in 2017 and is now in Kindle.

Dr. James DiNicolantonio, PharmD, is the author of The Salt Fix, and a cardiovascular research scientist and doctor of pharmacy at Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri. A well-respected and internationally known scientist and expert on health and nutrition, he has contributed extensively to health policy and medical literature. He serves as the associate editor of British Medical Journal’s Open Heart, a journal published in partnership with the British Cardiovascular Society. He is also on the editorial advisory board of several other medical journals, including Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases and International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology (IJCPT). For more information on Dr. DiNicolantonio, please visit The Salt Fix

One of the reviews for the book from a physician.

DoctorSH 5.0 out of 5 stars No longer in fear of salt!

I just finished the book, The Salt Fix by James DiNicolantonio. Well worth the read.
As a prevention and wellness family physician who prides himself in looking deeper at cause and effect in healthcare, I must admit that I had my blinders on when it came to salt. I too believed that salt was to be watched closely and tried to remain at the lowest recommended usage. Well, no longer! The author James DiNicolantonio makes a great case as to why limiting your salt to the national guidelines may be BAD for your health.
In my practice, I have different views than mainstream medicine in many areas of health and wellness. Why? Well, I have arrived at the point in my career when I am not afraid to ask the “experts”- “WHY?”.

Why is fat bad?  Why is cholesterol bad? Do cholesterol lowering drugs really save lives?

I like to dive deeply into cause and effect. But it appears like I did not look closely enough at how the human body uses salt. I was still advising people to watch their salt intake as I thought that the dietary recommendations were set in stone with irrefutable evidence.
Well……. Let me add one more question for the “experts”.
Why is consuming more than 2 grams of salt a day bad?

After reading The Salt Fix, I am disappointed in myself but that changes today. The author James DiNicolantonio very simply makes the case that the war on salt is as misguided as I believe the war on cholesterol and fat has been. He points out how salt is a vital nutrient that our body needs to stay in balance, just like fat and cholesterol. He clearly and simply shows how our body responds to different levels of salt intake.

He brings together many other aspects of my practice, writing about how it is not salt, but that other white processed powder, SUGAR, that is really the issue in most people with metabolic health issues. He points out how sugar can cause insulin resistance leading to Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart Disease, etc, etc. He then shows how too LITTLE salt also leads to insulin resistance, Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart Disease, etc, etc. See the twist?

Besides learning about the many beneficial aspects of salt, this book should make you a more skeptical thinker when it comes to national dietary guidelines. You should ask yourself, “Is there real proof that these guidelines are good for my health AND were these guidelines based on real medical studies or are they a dietary or political/industry power play?

If you are overweight, have High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Thyroid Disease, or Kidney Disease, BUY THIS BOOK and READ IT. If you like salt but are afraid to use it, BUY THIS BOOK and READ IT. Then have a conversation with your physician(s). If they just restate the National Dietary Salt guidelines without understanding the true data, lend them this book, or buy them one so they can refer to it and help more patients.

The book is available in several formats: Amazon US – And Amazon UK: Amazon UK

And another reason to ‘Cook from Scratch’ based on a Russian study avoiding industrially produced foods loaded with sodium.

Do you believe high amounts of salt provoke thirst and contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease? If so, you’re likely wrong. Studies have consistently failed to support either of these notions, showing the converse is actually true. Here’s a summary of findings that may surprise you:

• Eating large amounts of salt will not make you thirsty or cause greater urine output (which could lead to dehydration). A study1 involving Russian cosmonauts reveal eating more salt actually lowered their thirst — yet increased hunger.2,3 Recent animal research4 support these results, showing a high-salt diet resulted in increased metabolism, forcing the animals to eat 25 percent more calories just to maintain weight. This suggests salt may have a surprising influence on your weight

• Evidence shows having the correct potassium to sodium balance influences your risk for high blood pressure and heart disease to a far greater extent than high sodium alone, and processed foods are typically low in potassium and high in sodium

• Studies suggest a low-salt diet can actually worsen cardiovascular disease and raise rather than lower the risk for early death among patients at high risk of heart disease5

• The vast majority, approximately 71 percent, of your salt intake comes from processed food.6 Hence, if you avoid processed foods, you have virtually no risk of consuming too much salt.7 Eating a whole food diet will also ensure a more appropriate sodium-to-potassium ratio

• When lowering salt in processed foods, many manufacturers started adding monosodium glutamate (MSG) instead — a flavor enhancer associated with obesity, headaches, eye damage,8 fatigue and depression. Due to its ability to overexcite neurons, MSG may even raise your risk for neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease

Read the rest of the article here: The information you have been given about salt is flawed.

And another more recent look at salt in the diet and how far too much sodium is obtained from industrialised foods rather than from natural sources from Chris Kresser

“Salt has been the subject of controversy in recent years, and has increasingly been blamed for a number of poor health outcomes, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. (1) Salt is ubiquitous in our modern diet, with Americans consuming an average of 10 grams of salt per day. Of this amount, about 75% is derived from processed food; only about 20% is naturally occurring or from discretionary salt use, such as that added in cooking or at the table (the rest comes from sources such as water treatment and medications). (2, 3) Most of what we read and hear about salt these days is telling us that salt consumption needs to be reduced, and it has even been referred to as “the single most harmful substance in the food supply”.

This is a two part post – Part One: The History of Salt

About Chris Kresser

Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac., is the creator of the ADAPT Practitioner and Health Coach Training Programs. He is one of the most respected clinicians and educators in the fields of Functional Medicine and ancestral health and has trained over 1,300 health professionals around the world in his unique approach.

A reminder again that this is not a recommendation that you stop taking medication and suddenly start eating high levels of salt. But, as always I do recommend that you stay away from industrially produced foods and add salt to your food as you prepare and then eat.

Next time – foods rich in potassium and nitrates that the body needs for healthy blood vessels that keep them flexible as we get older, and whole grain carbohydrates ensuring adequate blood flow and healthy blood pressure.

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

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

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: My books and reviews 2020

Your feedback is always welcome and if you do find that following any of the posts that I have shared are beneficial then it would be great to hear about it. If you have any questions you can email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – March 8th – 14th 2020 – Elephant Ears, Crispy Chicken, Funny Girl, Music, Guests, Books and Humour


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

A tough week for everyone and even more difficult if you have family and friends who might be in the middle of the worst infection rates of the Coronavirus pandemic. Whilst we have been used to being in an isolated environment and with only two of us to worry about, my heart goes out to young families coping with not only making sure they have food to put on the table and other essentials, but with the childcare dilemma that they have to manage.

I also think that the healthcare staff who are exposed to the virus on a daily basis and who are working extra shifts to care for those infected should be recognised as being angels. Many of them are being infected themselves, and being overworked and probably not taking care of themselves as much as they should, they are at far greater risk than we are.

Also the staff in the supermarkets and pharmacies that are open and serving thousands of customers going through the checkouts. They have recommended that people use contactless cards, but they have a limit which is not sufficient for most weekly shops.

The keypads of ATMs and card machines are potential contagion sites and I have been using a sticking plaster on my index finger that I use to type in my PIN number and then carefully disposing of it in the nearest bin.

When I do the one shop a week now I am wearing latex gloves and peeling them off after shopping. Obviously there is a great deal of hand washing following any kind of outside contact.

We are slightly behind the rest of Europe here in Ireland, with new cases everyday but most associated with travel, or close contact with others on their return. All the schools, colleges and nurseries are shut until March 29th, and large gatherings, such as the renowned St. Patrick Day parades have been cancelled.

I hope that wherever you are that you are safe, supported and if you are on your own or worried and need to chat then please reach out and email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com… I may not physically be able to help, but very happy to support in anyway I can.

A note with regard to the Cafe and Bookstore…If you have a new book out in the next four weeks either on pre-order or available then please let me know. I am working a week ahead at the moment as I get on with my own projects, but I don’t want to miss helping launch your books.  All I need is the title of the book and the link on Amazon.

If you are new to the Cafe and Bookstore you will find all the details on how to get your FREE book promotion up and running: Cafe and Bookstore Free Author Promotion

Time to get on with the posts from the week…. I hope you enjoy.

Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘E’ for Egg Plant, Escargot, Elephant Ears and many more Eezee recipes and foods

Italian Cookery with Silvia Todesco – How to make crunchy Chicken Drumsticks

Romance – Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal

Another two stories from this collection

Sonia – In Search of Prince Charming

Theresa – The Checkout

Colleen Chesebro Tanka Tuesday Poetry No 168 – Shadorma – Memories

Butterfly Cinquain – Creatures of the Night – Sally Cronin

Don’t Rain on My Parade – Funny Girl

My Name is Danny – Tales from Danny the Dog – Andrew Joyce

Pre-Order for March 18th – Frozen Stiff Drink: A Kellan Ayrwick Cozy Mystery (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 6) by James J. Cudney

Thriller Yigal Zur, War Romance Marina Osipova, Mystery Amy M. Reade

Family Christa Polkinhorn, Contemporary Jessica Norrie, Memoir J.E. Pinto

Paranormal Mae Clair, YA Darlene Foster, #Supernatural Don Massenzio

child-3147809__340

Poetry Borrow My Place by Miriam Ivarson

Promoting Literacy – Pete Springer

Poetry – Earth and Sky by Balroop Singh

Chinese Style Tea Pot

A tale of Two Tea Pots by Tasker Dunham

Memoir – Another chapter from my life book: Dodgy Guests, Ms. Groves & ‘Dr. Strangeglove’ by Joy Lennick

Food Therapy – The Exotic Carrot

Book recommendation Claire Fullerton, Freelance Nicholas Rossis, Flash Fiction Charli Mills

IWD Willow Willers, Retirement Jim Borden, Colcannon New Vintage Kitchen

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

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

On Friday due to a senior moment you got two videos for the price of one…..

Thank you so much for dropping in today.. stay safe and I hope you will pop in again next week. Thanks Sally.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the larder

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

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

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

Jazz Pianist and Composer Thelonious Sphere Monk with William Price King

Two more stories from this collection.

Queenie Coming Back to Life

Rosemary – The First Date

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

Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner

Historical Caribbean – Fireburn by Apple Gidley

Eradication War of Nytefall Book 4 Charles Yallowitz

Mystery – Bay of Secrets by J.A. Newman

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

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

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

Me

Poetry – The Paintbox by Miriam Ivarson

Family History Marian Longenecker Beaman

Humanity – Are We Selfish by Balroop Singh

Live Like a Millionaire by Sharon Marchisello

Looking back at 2019 by Judy Penz Sheluk

Food Therapy – The Humble Potato

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

Food Poisoning on the increase 2.5 million cases in UK 2019

Cathy Ryan

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

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

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

Legacy Sue Vincent, Afghanistan Mary Smith, Weather Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

Smorgasbord Health Column – Health in the News – Food Poisoning on the increase 2.5 million cases a year in the UK alone.


At the moment the headlines are focused on the Coronavirus and rightly so. It seems that apart from self-isolation should we be in contact with someone with the virus (if we know that they have it!) and washing our hands regularly to twice the rendition of Happy Birthday is our best defence. And washing our hands regularly whether there is an opportunistic pathogen in our midst or not is a very good precaution against a whole raft of infectious diseases.

There is no doubt that it is very concerning at the moment, but to put things in perspective, there were 2.5 million cases of food poisoning in 2019 in the UK alone.

And even more sobering are the statistics from the WHO Estimating the burden of foodborne diseases World Health Authority

“Each year worldwide, unsafe food causes 600 million cases of foodborne diseases and 420 000 deaths. 30% of foodborne deaths occur among children under 5 years of age. WHO estimated that 33 million years of healthy lives are lost due to eating unsafe food globally each year, and this number is likely an underestimation.”

Clearly many of these numbers quoted are in countries where there are other factors such as poverty, drought, famine and conflict where food is in short supply and contaminated produce is the only option. Also where cooking facilities are limited and hygiene is compromised due to lack of sanitation and water.

However, in most of our countries this is not the case.

Whilst contamination might sometimes be in our own kitchens (lack of hand and preparation surface washing, eating foods beyond their safe usage), the boom in takeaway food is fueling not just the obesity epidemic but the cases of food poisoning. And 2.5 million cases is not trivial and in some cases has been fatal.

I can remember buying a Chinese takeaway for the whole family when I received my first full-time pay packet in 1970. We went to the restaurant and selected our food items, read the local paper for 20 minutes as the food was cooked to order and handed to us in a paper carrier bag. Unfortunately, as I proudly took the bag out of the car and was about to enter our front door, the bottom fell out of it and spilled the contents all over the pavement. One of the containers had not been sealed properly… I was devastated, so my father drove back and reordered and paid for another meal…the restaurant I believe gave him a healthy discount.

However, whilst today there are excellent restaurants offering takeaways to collect or to be delivered, that offer a wide range of well prepared and that offer healthy options: there are an increasing number of ‘black kitchens’ being set up to take advantage of this billion pound business.

As this article shows, many of these are temporary portacabins that are set up with untrained staff and inadequate health protocols and are producing food that is dangerous to eat.

Because it is not a fixed address and can be moved frequently, they are under the radar as far as health inspectors are concerned, and probably only come to their attention when there is a spike in food poisoning cases in the area.

The other issue is of course that a large proportion of the takeaways do contain a great many calories and are not always made with healthy fats. Eating on a regular basis does not do our weight or health any favours.  Certainly not more than once a week if you are fairly active, and perhaps once a month if you are a couch potato!

  • A 12 inch Pizza for example with several toppings can weigh in at  1800 calories and 76 grams of fat.
  • Average Fish and Chips 900 calories 48 grams of fat
  • Lamb Rogan Josh with rice with a serving of naan bread 1060 and 40 grams of fat
  • Fried Chicken and Potato Wedges approximately 650 and 15grams of fat (one of the better options, unless you have a family bucket to yourself!)

One of the favoured locations for these rogue traders is likely to be within easy delivery to student accommodation……..

As this report from Fresh Student Living highlights  Students Spend £925 a Year on Takeaways

According to food ordering service Hungry House the average spend on takeaway food a month for students was £102.77, which equates to £924.90 each academic year. Those at uni order takeaways an average of 8.3 times a month, compared to the rest of Britain ordering just 1.95 times a month.

So, does this mean that students are unhealthy eaters or just plain lazy? We don’t think so! The truth is that, if you think about the time it takes to go shopping and prepare a home-cooked meal, not to mention the cost of ingredients, students are actually more interested in prioritising their studies and social lives over spending time in the kitchen.

One of the places that these ‘black kitchens’ they advertise is on social media and one of the key indicators that they might be an unlicensed and regulated restaurant is that they will only offer delivery to your home and not collection.

We’re scoffing our way to obesity on fast-food deliveries with no idea where they’re even cooked, writes Rose Prince for the Daily Mail

A takeaway diet based on cheap, addictive carbs, oceans of grease and tonnes of processed meat — often rounded off with a sugary processed dessert — is inherently unhealthy. We all know that. Of course we do.

But our growing dependence on the convenience of online ordering means we are not only consuming more and more of this noxious garbage every year, but blithely doing so without having any knowledge about where the food has been prepared, or by whom.

And the consequences for our health and well-being are proving catastrophic.

There was a time, not so long ago, when local takeaway orders — from a restaurant or fast-food outlet — were cooked on premises that you probably knew and were delivered by a dedicated courier.

Risk – But the boom in home-delivered food, which has seen the market hit sales of £10 billion a year, means dishes are increasingly produced in what are satellite food-prepping stations known as ‘dark kitchens’.

Read the rest of the article: Scoffing our way to obesity and food poisoning

Avoiding food poisoning when ordering takeaway.

  1. Before ordering check for a physical address on Yelp or Trip Advisor and look at the recommendations.
  2. The first time you order collect it yourself to see the restaurant and their licence to serve food usually in the entrance. Then if you are happy have your food delivered.

Some tips on how to avoid food poisoning when buying prepared foods and in the home during storing and preparation.

  • Be careful when buying prepared sandwiches, especially egg fillings or fish and it is best to buy from an established and reputable provider (most major supermarkets for example have a reputation to maintain, but still check sell-by dates).
  • Bear in mind that sandwiches are made with food products from multiple sources and even if they are not contaminated they may become so during the production of the finished sandwich.
  • As with all food you must prepare appropriately. As with other bacterial and viral contaminants,storing your food correctly is very important. Always store your meat and poultry at the bottom of the fridge so that they cannot drip on other foods and always put cooked foods on plates that have not held the raw meat.
  • Wash your own hands regularly and encourage your family to do so, as they are likely to be in and out of the kitchen and fridge at some stage during the cooking process.
  • Thoroughly cook and re-heat meat, fish and egg products and do not consume raw even if you are an avid steak Tartare fan.
  • Do not drink milk that has not been treated. Even if you live on a farm, milk straight from the cow could have been contaminated by the animal’s faeces.
  • Keep your kitchen and utensils spotless using very hot water and soap.
  • Wash all vegetables and fruit thoroughly.
  • Ensure that any soft cheeses are from a reputable source. Buying direct from the market or from the supermarket deli counter may not be the wisest choice. At least if the product is wrapped and sealed at source it will have not had the same opportunity to be infected. Some of the cheeses that are possible sources of the infection are Feta, Brie, Camembert, Blue Cheeses and other cream cheeses, as these have not been pasteurised.
  • When you have cooked food never allow to stand for more than two hours before eating. They should be kept at temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit; anything below that and the pathogens will thrive.
  • When you are out for a meal do not accept any meat that is totally uncooked in the centre, particularly poultry and minced beef products such as burgers. Send back and ask for a fresh plate, bun and salad.
  • Always refrigerate food that you have bought within two hours of purchase. Take cooler bags with ice packs to the supermarket if you are intending to be longer than that.
  • If you are pregnant you should avoid the above soft cheeses altogether along with smoked fish, sushi and pates and meat pastes from the deli. Canned pates and meat spreads have been treated to prevent bacterial infection but they contain preservatives and other additives that you may wish to avoid.

©Sally Cronin – Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

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

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/

Thank you for dropping in today and your feedback and questions are very welcome.. thanks Sally.

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 23rd to 29th February 2020 – Clothes made out of Tents – Foods beginning with ‘D’ and Younger than Springtime…am I…


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

Between the weather and the coronavirus epidemic…. and who is going to pay the millions of dollars security bill for Prince Harry and Meghan, the news has not been uplifting this week. However, there is one news network, determined to only share inspiring and motivational stories such as this one.

Eco-Activist Hits Fashion Week Catwalk With Clothing Made Out of Abandoned Tents Collected From Music Festivals

This eco-warrior entrepreneur is making clothes from abandoned tents collected from music festivals—and the line debuted this month on the London Fashion Week catwalk.

24-year-old James Marshall spent last summer scouring campsites and collecting abandoned tents following the Eden Festival in the Scottish Borders and Kendal Calling in the Lake District.

With the help of his friends and family, he amassed around 300 tents which were then turned into trendy bucket hats, bumbags, and jackets by fashion designer Imogen Evans.

Some of James Marshall’s designs at London Fashion Week. SWNS.

Read the rest of this story and discover more good news: Eco Activist makes fashion week clothing out of tents – The Good News Network

On that note… time to get on with the week’s posts, and as always my thanks to guests who make such an amazing contribution to the week.

Carol Taylor A-Z – Dates, Dragon Fruit, Durian and Dirty Rice

Frank Prem shares his twenty year journey to achieve his publishing dream

This week ‘Younger than Springtime’ from South Pacific…

South Pacific – Younger than Springtime and Bali Hai

Two more stories from the collection.

Owen – Face to Face

Patrick – Love in a Time of War

Love Poetry – Walk Away Silver Heart by Frank Prem

 Annika Perry with her review for the wonderful Elisabeth’s Lists by Lulah Ellender.

Book Review Elisabeth’s Lists by Annika Perry

Traffic incident with Marian Longenecker Beaman

Jennie Fitzkee with the wonderful true story of a little girl and her family.

The Story of Romana by Jennie Fitzkee

Author and finance expert Sharon Marchisello shares tips on how to make sure you get the best value for money when travelling.

Foreign Currency with Sharon Marchisello

One Writer’s Journey 1 Star Reviews by Judy Penz Sheluk

Grinders by C.S. Boyack

Magic – Mr. Sagittarius by M.J. Mallon

Poetry – Inner Rumblings by Joyce Murphy

Format Your Picture Book Paperback for Amazon by Jo Robinson

Supernatural Marcia Meara, Romance Teagan Geneviene, Post Apocalyptic Sandra J. Jackson

Poetry Miriam Hurdle, British History Mike Biles, Fantasy Vashti Quiroz Vega

Thriller Mark Bierman, Adventure Audrey Driscoll, Short Stories Anne Goodwin

Angels Jan Sikes, Review Olga Nunez Miret, Mystery Mae clair

Recycling Carol Taylor, Chocolate Eat Dessert First, Poetry Colleen Chesebro

Afghanistan Mary Smith, Legends Andrew Joyce, Patience Geoff Le Pard

Short Story Beetley Pete, Medieval History Nicholas Rossis, Author Promotion Susan Toy

A study into why the immune system of bats has caused such a rapid mutation, better breast screen monitoring and the long term side effects of the Keto diet.

Bats and Coronavirus, Breast Cancer, Keto Diet

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

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

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

Smorgasbord Health in the News – Bats and #Coronavirus – #Breastcancer monitoring – #Keto Diet


Over the last couple of weeks I have read a number of health articles that you might be interested in. The first is a study on why are bat viruses so deadly?

Coronavirus outbreak raises question: Why are bat viruses so deadly?

Bats’ fierce immune systems drive viruses to higher virulence, making them deadlier in humans – Source: University of California – Berkeley. Original written by Robert Sanders.

It’s no coincidence that some of the worst viral disease outbreaks in recent years — SARS, MERS, Ebola, Marburg and likely the newly arrived 2019-nCoV virus — originated in bats.

A new University of California, Berkeley, study finds that bats’ fierce immune response to viruses could drive viruses to replicate faster, so that when they jump to mammals with average immune systems, such as humans, the viruses wreak deadly havoc.

Some bats — including those known to be the original source of human infections — have been shown to host immune systems that are perpetually primed to mount defenses against viruses. Viral infection in these bats leads to a swift response that walls the virus out of cells. While this may protect the bats from getting infected with high viral loads, it encourages these viruses to reproduce more quickly within a host before a defense can be mounted.

This makes bats a unique reservoir of rapidly reproducing and highly transmissible viruses. While the bats can tolerate viruses like these, when these bat viruses then move into animals that lack a fast-response immune system, the viruses quickly overwhelm their new hosts, leading to high fatality rates.

Read the rest of the article in Science Daily: Viruses in Bats

Breast Cancer monitoring breakthrough

Doctors create a scan that uses ‘magnetised’ molecules to track how aggressive breast cancers are by watching tumour cells ‘breathe’ in real-time

The scan works by monitoring how quickly tumours produce energy
A chemical is turned magnetic then tracked through the body with MRI scan
Doctors could use it to analyse exactly how aggressive a breast cancer is

Scans involving magnets can now monitor breast cancer tumours in real time and reveal which parts of them are growing fastest.

The imaging technique, which has been used in humans for the first time, involves making one of the body’s own chemicals magnetic and scanning it with an MRI machine.

The magnetic field comes from a chemical which tumour cells naturally use up, so the rate at which it disappears shows how active a cancer is.

This can help doctors to work out the type of cancer someone has and how it’s acting at a certain point in time.

The scan shows magnetic material glowing where the tumour is most active and using up a chemical to make energy to grow more. Left, the tumour is seen as darker, denser material than the rest of the breast

Read the rest of this article by Sam Blanchard Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline : Daily Mail

And the last article which I think is very important is the possible long term impact on the body of following the Keto diet for more than a brief period. Whilst the study was conducted on mice, I have seen the side effects of longer term adherence to the very low carbohydrate and high fat diet on both clients and personally.

I adopted the diet for research purposes for six weeks and had to stop and reintroduce more carbohydrates in the form of wholegrains as I had begun to experience heart palpitations and stopped losing weight. As soon as I began eating moderate amounts of wholegrains, these symptoms stopped.

Keto diet works best in small doses, mouse study finds – Materials provided by Yale University. Original written by Brita Belli.

A ketogenic diet — which provides 99% of calories from fat and only 1% from carbohydrates — produces health benefits in the short term, but negative effects after about a week, Yale researchers found in a study of mice.

The results offer early indications that the keto diet could, over limited time periods, improve human health by lowering diabetes risk and inflammation. They also represent an important first step toward possible clinical trials in humans.

The keto diet has become increasingly popular as celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Lebron James, and Kim Kardashian, have touted it as a weight-loss regimen.

In the Yale study, published in the Jan. 20 issue of Nature Metabolism, researchers found that the positive and negative effects of the diet both relate to immune cells called gamma delta T-cells, tissue-protective cells that lower diabetes risk and inflammation.

A keto diet tricks the body into burning fat, said lead author Vishwa Deep Dixit of the Yale School of Medicine. When the body’s glucose level is reduced due to the diet’s low carbohydrate content, the body acts as if it is in a starvation state — although it is not — and begins burning fats instead of carbohydrates. This process in turn yields chemicals called ketone bodies as an alternative source of fuel. When the body burns ketone bodies, tissue-protective gamma delta T-cells expand throughout the body.

This reduces diabetes risk and inflammation, and improves the body’s metabolism, said Dixit, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Comparative Medicine and of Immunobiology. After a week on the keto diet, he said, mice show a reduction in blood sugar levels and inflammation.

But when the body is in this “starving-not-starving” mode, fat storage is also happening simultaneously with fat breakdown, the researchers found. When mice continue to eat the high-fat, low-carb diet beyond one week, Dixit said, they consume more fat than they can burn, and develop diabetes and obesity.

Head over to read the rest of the article: Science Daily

I hope you have found this interesting and will head over to read the articles in full.. thanks Sally.

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


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

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

A couple of reminders.

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

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

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

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

William Price King with Charles Mingus – 1922- 1979

Two more stories from the collection.

Grace – The Gift

Hannah – Finding a Way to Move Forward

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

Mirror Cinquain Ritual of Mehndi by Sally Cronin

My review for A Sweet Smell of Strawberries by Mary Crowley

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

Image Pixabay combo

Short Story Clarifying Shampoo by D.Wallace Peach

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

12 Survival Tips for Writers by Jacqui Murray

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

Author Richard Dee showcases his skill in the kitchen.

Short Story Ghosts in the attic by Darlene Foster

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

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

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

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

Short Story The Shirt by Richard Dee

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

WritingProse Harmony Kent, Fantasy Jack Eason,Thriller Allan Hudson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concerns are raised regarding Paracetamol and mental wellbeing

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

Grocery Shopping by Nutrient Part Three Calcium to Manganese

More funnies from Debby and new jokes from Sally

Debby Gies with more funnies and guest poet Ann Patras

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

Smorgasbord Health Column – Health in the News- #Empathy #liver damage and pain killers by Sally Cronin


There are few of us who are not aware of the opioid drug crisis in our countries, but there are also side effects associated with some over the counter medication that nearly all of us will have in our bathroom cabinet. Often taking daily for chronic pain but certainly for several days at a time for acute pain.

How often do we reach for the paracetamol when we have a headache, migraine, aches and pains, influenza, PMS and toothache?

Recent research has highlighted a side effect that I believe is also feeding into the pain medication crisis we are facing. Because of the region of the brain that painkillers target.

I followed up on this recent post to check on the findings and was stunned by what I discovered. Daily Mail – Paracetamol and Empathy

  • The world’s most popular painkiller, taken by millions every day, blunts physical pain by reducing the flow of chemicals that make nerve endings sensitive.
  • But research suggests these chemicals circulate in brain regions that also control empathy and compassion.
  • Dominik Mischkowski, a psychologist at Ohio University, believes paracetamol, or acetaminophen, warp people’s personalities by dulling their emotions.

What interested me was that according to some sites… they don’t actually know definitively how paracetamol (acetaminophen) works. It is thought to suppress the activity of ‘pain messengers’ called prostaglandins in the central nervous system. This is assumed because of the relief that is felt wherever in the body the pain is situated. This implies that the pain messengers, sent to the brain to warn of danger to the body have been blocked.

If you read the insert for the various generic names for acetaminophen such as paracetamol, Panadol, Tylenol and Calpol for children, side effects are listed as rare but do include the following.

  • Rash
  • Reduction in levels of key blood cells including neutrophils that are essential white blood cells in immune system function
  • Also low level of platelets in the blood which are necessary for blood clotting.

However more concerning is the evidence that long term use of acetaminophen pain relieve can lead to toxicity and damage to the liver.

And one of the reasons for this is that the drug has so many uses and is available under various generic names.

So you have a muscle pain, you begin to suffer from a cold and you suffer from insomnia and you take the ‘safe’ dosage of three different medications. However you are now running the risk of toxicity and liver damage.

Addiction.

Whilst acetaminophen has not been associated before with addiction, when it is combined with other medication it produces a high. American Addiction Centres

More potent forms of acetaminophen, however, such as Tylenol 3, can only be obtained through a doctor’s prescription, as it also contains a significant amount of codeine, another painkilling drug. Acetaminophen alone is not particularly habit-forming, but the codeine in Tylenol 3 can lead to dependency.

The codeine in Tylenol 3 can cause feelings of euphoria, which leads some people to misuse the drug. Tylenol 3 has also been shown to enhance the effects of other drugs, such as narcotics, alcohol, general anesthetics, tranquilizers, sedative-hypnotics, and other central nervous system depressants. Combining acetaminophen with any of these drugs increases the risk of experiencing the adverse side effects of each drug.

However, research would indicate that acetaminophen on its own, can impact the same part of the brain that is involved with our social interaction and impacting our ability to feel empathy  National Library of Medicine

Acetaminophen – a potent physical painkiller that also reduces empathy for other people’s suffering – blunts physical and social pain by reducing activation in brain areas (i.e. anterior insula and anterior cingulate) thought to be related to emotional awareness and motivation. Some neuroimaging research on positive empathy (i.e., the perception and sharing of positive affect in other people) suggests that the experience of positive empathy also recruits these paralimbic cortical brain areas.

We thus hypothesized that acetaminophen may also impair affective processes related to the experience of positive empathy. We tested this hypothesis in a double-blind, placebo-controlled experiment. Specifically, we administered 1,000 mg acetaminophen or a placebo and measured effects on different measures of positive empathy while participants read scenarios about the uplifting experiences of other people.

Results showed that acetaminophen reduced personal pleasure and other-directed empathic feelings in response to these scenarios. In contrast, effects on perceived positivity of the described experiences or perceived pleasure in scenario protagonists were not significant. These findings suggest that (1) acetaminophen reduces affective reactivity to other people’s positive experiences and (2) the experience of physical pain and positive empathy may have a more similar neurochemical basis than previously assumed. Because the experience of positive empathy is related to prosocial behavior, our findings also raise questions about the societal impact of excessive acetaminophen consumption.

How many paracetamol painkillers should we be taking?

You should not take more than eight 500gm paracetamol within a 24 hour period.

Check all other medication you are taking to ensure that you are not ingesting acetaminophen they contain as well and overdosing. Long term this can lead to toxicity and liver damage.

Always check with your doctor of chemist before taking paracetamol: NHS Paracetamol

  • have had an allergic reaction to paracetamol or any other medicines in the past
  • have liver or kidney problems
  • regularly drink more than the maximum recommended amount of alcohol (14 units a week)
  • take medicine for epilepsy
  • take medicine for tuberculosis (TB)
  • take the blood-thinner warfarin and you may need to take paracetamol on a regular basis

What are the alternatives?

If the pain is acute (short term) I will take paracetamol, but with more long term issues such as arthritis I prefer to look at alternative therapies.

  •  I take turmeric in capsule form and also in my food, it is an anti-inflammatory that is proving interesting for a number of chronic conditions and also brain health and I wrote and article on it last year. Cancer, Alzheimers, Curcumin, Turmeric
  • I successfully recovered from a knee injury with acupuncture and physiotherapy without taking painkillers.
  • I also use essential oils such as lavender, rosemary and tea tree oil.

If you are suffering from chronic pain then it is important that you consult a doctor diagnosing the cause. Conditions such as arthritis are clearly obvious, but internal pain could be down to a number of health issues that need thorough investigation.

Don’t spend weeks or months on over the counter painkillers that could be masking a serious condition that needs treatment.

Get checked out.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2020

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

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019-2020/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me here or on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up- 18th – 24th November – Storms, Malta, Thanksgiving Menu and Tributes, and Christmas Book Fair.


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

For most of us in the Northern Hemisphere it has been a stormy week with flooding, high winds and lashing rain… and political highs and lows too!. I watched as four hardy workmen dug holes in a hail storm for our new fence posts, and had my wish for a swimming pool on the doorstep fulfilled. I even unearthed some of my dog walking gear from the depths of the wardrobe and was thankful that other shoppers in Tesco looked like they were heading out on an Antarctic expedition too.

As an antidote to the continuous downpour, I spent several days researching our destination for our 40th wedding anniversary next year. A month or two earlier than the actual date to ensure good weather, we are heading to Malta. I can recommend Oliver’s Travel who made the process very straightforward and were very responsive at every step.

My father was Commanding Officer of  Royal Naval WT station Rinella in Malta from 1959 to 1961 and whilst I have very happy memories of our time there being age 6 to 8 years old, my two sisters were 16 and 17 years old and remember a great deal more than I do. They will be joining us for a week and hopefully despite the amazing changes to Malta, we can still find some of their old haunts. We have an amazing villa booked, and as the wind and rain lash the windows, we do at least have some sunshine to look forward too. Hopefully after a good summer here to prime the tan.

We went to the movies yesterday, and despite being a wet Saturday afternoon, we and one other couple were the only occupants. The film was in its second week and the weather was atrocious and I suppose people had been out shopping all day. I do wonder how multiplexes will manage as more and more film streaming services come online with annual subscriptions. Even with a senior ticket you are still looking for £20 for two, multiply that by a cinema visit once a month and you would be able to stream a great many movies for a great deal less per year.

Anyway.. being into action films, we enjoyed 21 Bridges – a police drama set in Manhattan – great action, script, acting and production. If you are into that kind of film we can highly recommend.

Here is the official trailer for the movie..courtesy of Movieclips Trailers

It is Thanksgiving for many of you this week and in the spirit of being grateful, I have a few posts this week paying tribute to four of the contributors during the year who continue to create new content to entertain, inform and inspire you…

In this post today I am featuring my friend D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies who has been a supportive influence since I began the blog and who writes the Travel Column and co-presents the Laughter Lines and Afternoon Video.

A time to be thankful for friends and collatorators – D.G. Kaye

On Tuesday I am featuring William Price King in concert, celebrating over five years of the Music Column, on Wednesday a spotlight on Carol Taylor our food columnist but also an advocate for the environment, health and Thailand. And on Thursday the lovely Annette Rochelle Aben who for the last year has been introducing us to our universal energy with her numerology column… A talented poet and broadcaster, Annette is a wonderful talent.

I little bit earlier than last year, but with Thanksgiving not until 28th of November, I thought those of you having Turkey for that celebration might enjoy some of the dishes Carol Taylor created for this menu. Traditional Christmas Menu (and some ideas for Thanksgiving)

Carol Taylor’s Thanksgiving/Christmas Traditional Menu

I have saved up this repeat of Jessica Norrie’s Literary Column  to share as we move into the gift buying season… these books are timeless and the recommendations are never out of date. Picking the right book for the person you are buying for is an art. Jessica shares the books that she has gifted her daughter….

Christmas Book Gifts from Jessica Norrie

This week Mike Biles takes us to Oxford and shares a pint or two with literary greats who have frequented the ancient pubs of the city….How often do you walk into a pub mentally dwelling on things like wizards and talking lions? Be honest now. If you need help with this, try stepping over the threshold of Oxford’s Eagle and Child, because it was a favourite watering-hole of close friends JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Eagle, Child, pub, Oxford, Tolkien, Lewis

Aslan and Gandalf Go for a Pint

Another one of my favourite movies with stunning soundtrack.. Gladiator.

Music from the Movies – Gladiator – Now We Are Free

Pneumonia – Appalling statistics – Six children per hour hospitalised in the UK

I was staggered and shocked when I read this headline . I cannot believe that in this day and age, in a country with access to one of the finest medical systems in the world, that people are so crass as to ignore the dangers to their children by avoiding vaccinations.

Shocking statistics on children with pneumonia in UK

Mirror Cinquain – Westward by Sally Cronin in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 154

We wait
within the cave;
looking towards the east.
The sun rises to guide the way
westward.
We leave,
driven to pass on precious genes,
of strength and stamina,
humans will need
to thrive.

Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 154 – Mirror Cinquain – Westward

This week’s prompt for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills  is Romance... in all its glory… It is the glue that keeps a relationship strong along with other elements such as laughter and respect. And your heart can flutter at any age when you receive a romantic gesture, grand or as brief as a touch of a hand on your cheek.

Flash Fiction – Romantic Gestures

My review for Vikings – Taken (The Great Heathen Army Book 1)

In the first part of the Sewing Circle, a group of elderly women are faced with a violent and devastating event.

Flights of Fancy – The Sewing Circle Part One.

Justice is on the agenda for the Sewing Circle and with a little outside help, they are determined to achieve it.

Flights of Fancy – The Sewing Circle – Part Two

Delighted to welcome author and book reviewer Kevin Cooper as a guest to talk about book reviews and I am sure you will find it very helpful as I did.

Kevin Cooper on Book Reviews

New book on the shelves

Doggerel – Life with a Small Dog by Sue Vincent

Examining Kitchen Cupboards by Stevie Turner

The Secret Life of Humans by Jo Robinson

Oh Baubles Romance Novella by Harmony Kent

Author updates and reviews

Anita Dawes, Chuck Jackson, Sharon Marchisello and Olga Nunez Miret

Denise O’Hagan, Christa Polkinhorn, Miriam Hurdle, Iain Kelly, Harmony Kent

Vashti Quiroz Vega, Mary Smith, Teri Polen, Karen Ingalls, Patty Fletcher

Jan Sikes, Janice Spina, D.Wallace Peach, Terri Webster Schrandt

Laura M. Baird, Lizzie Chantree, Colleen M. Chesebro, S.A. Harris

Mary Smith Afghan Adventure, WIP Jacqui Murray, Marketing Nicholas Rossis

25 books Patricia Furstenberg, 99p/99c Bette A. Stevens, Funnies Story Reading Ape

Christmas Carol Taylor, Dogsitting Debbie ‘The Dog Lady’, Blueberry Pie Dolly Aizenman

Crystals M.J. Mallon, Indies showcase Richard Dee, Blog comments Hugh W. Roberts

Free books James J. Cudney, Spotlight Valentina Cirasola with Robbie Cheadle, Hanging Curtains Beetley Pete

More fun and laughter from Debby and Sally

Even more fun from Debby and Sally

 

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

Smorgasbord Health Column – Health in the News – Prostate Cancer, Measles


There have been some interesting breakthroughs in a number of health areas recently and it is important to keep up to date on common conditions particularly, as it enables you to interact with your doctor in a positive way when discussing treatment.

How prostate cancer could be cured in just FIVE DAYS: Radiotherapy breakthrough as doctors trial high doses that clear tumours much quicker

  • Researchers gave five stronger blasts of radiation to patients over two weeks
  • Found it caused no more side effects than current eight-week standard therapy
  • It could save patients months of gruelling treatments by condensing care

Prostate cancer patients are set to benefit from a radical new approach to radiotherapy which cuts the length of treatment from eight weeks to five days. Traditionally, radiotherapy is given over 39 days – requiring men to go to hospital every weekday for nearly two months. But doctors have conducted a trial that delivers far more powerful beams of precisely targeted radiation in only five sessions.

Read the rest of the article Daily Mail

Measles outbreaks are causing great concern in countries that previously had a high percentage of vaccination cover providing herd immunity..Here is an extract from a report from the World Health Organisation in April which shows the current trends. Also some of the headlines from around the world with regard to current outbreaks. WHO – Measles 2019

Measles cases have continued to climb into 2019. Preliminary global data shows that reported cases rose by 300 percent in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This follows consecutive increases over the past two years.

While this data is provisional and not yet complete, it indicates a clear trend. Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases. Current outbreaks include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Myanmar, Philippines, Sudan, Thailand and Ukraine, causing many deaths – mostly among young children.

Over recent months, spikes in case numbers have also occurred in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States of America as well as Israel, Thailand, and Tunisia, as the disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people.

Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases, with the potential to be extremely severe. In 2017, the most recent year for which estimates are available, it caused close to 110 000 deaths. Even in high-income countries, complications result in hospitalization in up to a quarter of cases, and can lead to lifelong disability, from brain damage and blindness to hearing loss.

In the USA – CDC update on Measles Outbreaks 2019.CDC Measles

In Australia – Measles rate rises amid global outbreak but Australia’s immunity remains high –  2019 on track to have 300 infections, the second-highest year for reports since 1997.

This article highlights the dangers of air travel when those who are as yet not symptomatic fly in from countries that are undergoing a measles outbreak.

On Tuesday Victorian health authorities issued a warning after a person with measles flew from Melbourne to Christchurch on 19 March. This was after an earlier incident when a woman attended the Moto GP while infectious. There have also been measles outbreaks in New Zealand, Japan and the US in recent months, and more than 200 people have died in the Philippines this year.

Number of children unvaccinated in UKMeasles: Half a million UK children unvaccinated amid fears of ‘public health timebomb’

More than half a million British children are unvaccinated against measles, new figures show, as the head of NHS England challenged social media giants to block “grossly irresponsible” anti-vax propaganda.

The hike is thought to be a direct result of the drop in vaccinations that followed the publication of fraudulent research linking the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) jab to autism by the disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield in 1998.

Health chiefs warn children will die if measles isn’t stopped as they reveal four European countries including the UK have been stripped of their measles-free status in the last year

  • There have been more measles cases this year than in the whole of 2018
  • The UK, Albania, Czech Republic and Greece have lost their measles-free status
  • Experts in Britain said it was ‘disheartening’ to see countries go backwards
  • Europe is slipping away from eradicating measles as four countries have lost their measles-free status, the World Health Organization has warned.

The UK lost its elimination status just 10 days ago and Albania, Greece and Czechia have all also lapsed in the last year. And 89,994 cases of the killer infection were diagnosed in the region in the first six months of this year – more than in the entire of 2018. The WHO warned children will die if it’s not brought under control, adding that every region in the world – except the Americas – is experiencing a rise in cases.

You can read the rest of the article here: Loss of Measles Free Status

©sallycronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

A little bit about me nutritionally.

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with 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-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have found the news useful.. thanks Sally.