Sunday, July 15, 2012

Controlled Eating!

Later start today due to waiting for Gill to call before I began writing. She tells me she is on the borderline of being classed as diabetic type 2 and has to return to the surgery tomorrow to get advice from the diabetic nurse. As mentioned in a comment, a lot problems are caused by being overweight, and just reducing weight can bring the blood sugar level back down to normal - as is happening to me, and this also allows me to eat more 'normally' than having to keep to a strict diet - at least in my case, not always for others.

My mother had pernicious anaemia Alison, but this wasn't discovered until she was in hospital after falling and breaking her hip (she was my age at that time). She had always taken iron pills from time to time which helped her, but am sure that most of her, tiredness etc were due to this and almost life-long problem with anaemia. In those days not so many checks were taken, and my mother was not one for going to the surgery like - EVER!

I do have some iron pills, and will start taking them again for a week to see if there is any improvement in my 'feeling cold all the time', as it is pointless eating more just to try to keep warm when my weight has to reduce rather than pile the pounds back on again, which happens all too easily with me.

Thanks Catriona for sending details of where I can obtain that violet essence. Will look up their website to see what other interesting things they sell that I might be able to order at the same time. Now that I am well into cake-making for B's sailing club it would be nice to be able to provide more interesting flavours.

Finding you have a good supply of cakes, biscuits, crisps etc at the back of your cupboards Jane could prove useful. Myself find that most cakes (even fruit ones) heat up successfully in the microwave to turn into a type of 'steamed pudding', this can then be served with custard or cream. Crisps normally have a fairly long shelf life beyond their b.b. dates, and as long as biscuits are kept in airtight containers (especially those that have the silica gel crystals fitted in the lid - or in sachets - to absorb excess moisture) these should also keep fairly well. Crushed sweet biscuits can form the base of cheesecakes, or more coarsely crushed can be folded into melted chocolate together with dried fruits, glace cherries, nuts, mini marshmallows etc to make a 'no-cook' chocolate refrigerator cake (aka 'Rocky Road').

As you say Campfire (also mentioned above), controlling what we eat can make a vast improvement on our blood sugar levels when we are diabetic, and this brings me to my 'moan of the day'.... what I call 'controlled eating'. Read on!

Yesterday there was a two page feature on the Olympics, and I was absolutely disgusted what I read. Apparently there are tight controls on the use of any names to do with the Olympics, also the five-ring symbol of linked rings. We are not (allegedly) now allowed to use this symbol in any way (unless we pay millions for the use of, oh ha ha!), and a butcher had to take his display of linked sausages (forming the five Olympic rings) from his window display, another lady had to remove models wearing underwear from her window as they were supposedly wearing Hoola Hoops, again in the Olympic ring colours. Worse of all was an elderly lady who was 81 who had knitted a doll to be sold at a charity stall, and this had a jumper which also showed the interlocking Olympic rings. That too was not allowed to be sold.

With our recent Jubilee, everyone was in on the act, practically all shops displaying flags and selling mementos, cookery mags full of recipes with cakes decorated with our national flag/s, crowns, and so on, which together caused a national 'togetherness' over the whole thing. Now anything to do with the Olympics is invisible, this leading to a nation of people who either know nothing about what is going on in their area, or just disinterested because of it. We did have the cross-country Olympic flame relay, but that was about all, and even some posters promoting that had to be withdrawn, and no 'replica' Olympic torches are allowed to be sold.

What is worse is that the 'big boys' (sponsors from other countries) are forbidding any others to supply (certainly food) at the Olympic venues. McDonalds even tried to forbid any potato chips to be sold that weren't provided by them. However, our 'fish 'n chips' being such a national institution, these have been allowed. Heinekan have taken over the sale of the beer at the venues, and even though they own our John Smith's bitter et al, these are to be sold only as 'English Bitter' and 'English Cider'.

These Olympics we have always hoped would help our economy, but we British are being pushed aside to allow the fat cats to reap in even more profits, this being money that our nation so badly needs, and would have helped our national industry if more of our products were allowed to be sold.

Another very strange thing is that the big food sponsors seem to be the ones selling 'unhealthy' foods that we are normally warned to avoid (due to our obesity problems) so we see the Cola drinks, the McDonalds and the like being the sponsors for the 'edibles' that we are 'allowed' to buy and eat at the venues, as of course we are not allowed to take any of our own foods bought from outside (or even home-made) to eat when there. Unhealthy foods promoted at a sports event! How mad can that get?
If at a venue then we should choose only to eat OUR fish and chips. These are a British traditon (as is 'pies and mash' and haven't heard these will be allowed), and known to be healthy (at least the fish is). For once let us vote with out feet (and mouths) and prove we have the right to eat what we want and not be controlled in any way.

Personally, if I was going to an Olympic venue I would boycott all the above 'unhealthy edibles', even boycott them away from the venue just to show that we are also able to pull a few strings. There must be other 'fast food' outlets around the country we could choose, other burger bars, buy other brands of soft drinks. If OUR taxes have paid for some of the expense of the building of the Olympic venues, why shouldn't we be allowed to sell OUR British foods there? Other than just fish and chips.

On the other hand we could all stay away, sit in front of the TV with our feet up, and eat what we jolly well like. Our nutritionists, dietitians etc try to control our eating by giving good advice (that for our health's sake we should try to take), but it is only advice, we are not being force fed. Yet we are now having to let foreign manufactures control what we eat at all the Olympic venues, and that sets my blood boiling.
Don't know what others feel about this, but would love to hear your comments as I would hate to feel I am alone in this 'beef' about the take-over of our nation by the 'bad boys', even if only for these few weeks.

Yesterday was fairly busy (at least for me) as I made another batch of bread, using 'extended' dough. Made one small loaf and 16 bread rolls, some round, some long and 'sausage shaped'. B ate several with freshly fried burgers inside and he said they were 'the best ever, and please could he have them again". As the rolls tend to dry out sooner than a loaf, have frozen several away, just leaving the 'finger rolls' for him to eat filled with cold sausages (the 'bangers' I will cook for him today for him to snack on this evening).

It was a lovely and hot sunny afternoon, so I went into the garden and filled half a dozen large containers with the geraniums. I did a bit of a 'cheat', and took out a big bunch of artificial blue hydrangea flowers/leaves and divided those up and stuck some between the red and pink 'real' geraniums, and they look so real and make a much better colour effect than just the geraniums alone.

Artificial flowers can be quite useful. We brought several with us from Leeds and last winter I filled a hanging basket with oasis, then filled it full of red and orange 'artificial's' with some green leaves as well, and our neighbours were very impressed, thought they were real flowers. These have stood the test of time, hardly fading and not seemingly damaged at all with the rain that fell on them. I love real flowers of course, but just a 'cheat' here and there can make a great deal of difference to a display when a hint of blue (or red, or yellow) is missing, and improved by 100% if it was there. Certainly cheaper and longer lasting than buying 'the fresh'.

A friend of mine (the one who hates cooking so doesn't, yet has spent thousands on having a new kitchen with all the appliances etc), has a lovely display of 'fruits' in bowls on her units. One dish she has piled up with lemons, in another she has several bell peppers in all their range of colours. I thought they looked wonderful, and was amazed of the quality and appearance of the produce, and she told me they weren't real, just plastic. So lasted for ever. Quite fancied doing that myself as I have done the same with 'fresh' but they 'go off' quite rapidly at room temperature, so have to keep mine in the fridge where they can't be seen.

Have to say I do 'cheat' quite a bit, and remember in the past when I used to save those plastic lemons that held juice (Jiffy lemons?) - at that time better value as they lasted longer than squeezing fresh lemons. After collecting quite a number of 'empties' over a few years (even in those days never threw anything away), glued them together in a pile (with the cap parts hidden inside), then sprayed them with white enamel paint. When dry, stuck the tower/cone of lemons onto a white plate and tucked in a few plastic green leaves. It looked EXACTLY like the ceramic version of china fruit that was 'fashionable' at that time, to be displayed as an ornament, and the real thing would have cost a great deal of money. All it cost me was glue and paint (under £1).

Have to love you and leave you now as I need to plan for the week ahead. More gardening (some plants still need repotting to their final places), lots more cooking (for B and the social club), must do some laundry whilst the weather stays fair, and am hoping to make some jams and marmalade and even more bread if I can find the time.
Will now go and have a cup of coffee, take an iron pill and see if this improves my circulation and 'warms me up'.

Cannot believe parts of the country yesterday had even more heavy rain, especially as we are - at the moment - having lovely weather, although today has more wind, the sun is still shining. Seems that Japan has now had great problems with flooding due to heavy rain. If so much rain is falling, then other parts of the globe must be having severe drought. Or is it time we started thinking about building another Ark. Where are you Noah when we need you?

Haven't had a comment from Les recently, am hoping he is keeping well. I probably upset him as constantly dumbing down his favourite sous-vide and men in general, so he has moved to pastures new. Wouldn't blame him, from a man's point of view I am not one to be friends with, am lucky if I have any male readers left. But for those who are still with me, and of course ALL my readers, hope you have a pleasant day and will be joining me again tomorrow. See you then.