“choose your parents wisely” he said

This Monday morning it was colder than it had been for weeks and the breeze along the river trail was chilling, inside and out.  I was therefore happy to see Bill walking toward me - a good reason to stop running and chat.  Bill began his morning river walks when he was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and now he is out all mornings. Bill  (a former surgeon) informs me that since more heart attacks occur on Mondays than on any other day he, that morning, tripled his daily aspirin intake.    We Read more [...]

“how’s your oatmeal?” he asked

"How's your oatmeal?" he asked and his face broadened to his ever friendly, genial grin.  Too friendly, considering he asks this question every Saturday morning when our run/walk group concludes the exercise phase and relocates to the breakfast restaurant.  This is "Bob" who recently survived a pulmonary embolism, whose specialists never raised the diet topic, and for whom a good meal is one of his life joys.  And a good meal does not include oatmeal - rather fried eggs and rashers of bacon.  Read more [...]

my dog Trudy

We had a Scottie, Angus, who died from melanoma at age 11.  We missed him and decided our next dog would not be pedigreed, we would find a Heinz 57 perhaps less susceptible to inbreeding diseases and, anyhow, we are not into status dogs, or cars.  So Trudy it was, a year old female terrier hound mix who had been tried and rejected at (at least) 2 homes and sidled up to us at the Atlanta Pet Rescue and promptly rolled onto her back - utter submissiveness and desperate to be adopted.  After 2 days Read more [...]

simple lunch

It being Father's Day I was permitted to prepare lunch for the two of us.  A rare event - usually I gather the produce and wash the dishes.  I kept it simple.  I like onions and garlic and have a lot growing. I also gathered large chard and collard leaves.  I chopped the onions into 0.5" segments including the green stems  and also peeled and chopped the garlic.  The mound went into a pan, with olive oil to gently saute. The chard and collard I hand washed keeping a sharp lookout Read more [...]

breakfast and garlic harvest

Breakfast this morning (Father's Day) was a simple affair.  We wandered to the top of the hill and picked a couple containers of blueberries and blackberries. The other ingredients were steel cut oats (pressure cooked 7 mins), flax for omega 3 fats, soy milk and a spoon of my own honey. And it tasted good and was filling. Also this morning, early, I finished harvesting my garlic.  May have left it a bit late since some of the stalks had detached and there are now garlic cloves Read more [...]

the dna cop-out

We generally accept responsibility for our actions but not for our circumstances.  When I told a nonagenerian I was fortunate to have good health and to retire in my early 60's, I was told "that's not luck, that's decisions made". Food plays a big role in people's lives, and I don't mean survival.  To quote: "some eat to live and some live to eat".  I am (mostly) in the first category.  Folks with health problems usually resist changing their diet - food is one of their chief enjoyments.  Read more [...]

season update – what grew, is growing, and still to come

This morning the sun ducked behind clouds and instead of retreating before the heat I took some pics of growing activity. At the top of the hill stands a solitary thistle. Thistle, a symbol of Scotland, brings back memories of vacations in the Highlands. And the pipes of the Black Watch swirling through our living room when my Dad, who fought in a Scottish regiment in WW2, would play our favorite record.  Not that it is universally admired - here is a quote from Botanical.com: In agriculture Read more [...]

first apple harvest

My Pristine apple tree is the first to ripen in my orchard and each day drops many apples.  In Atlanta and northwest Georgia we have had record making rains, so the apples are relatively large, very juicy and, for the Pristine, relatively sweet. I do not spray so, inevitably, there are occasional visitors but these are easily removed with my pocket knife as I gorge away.   Nice thing about not spraying is I don't wash my fruit and I eat the skin. Since there are too many apples for consumption Read more [...]

Is meat good for you? – the Finnish debate and Mummies

An examination of post mortem records of Finnish hospitals before and after the 2nd World War shows that deaths from heart disease declined significantly during the war years.  Some researchers have concluded that the decrease was because of reduced consumption of fats (meat, eggs, dairy and butter) as a result of shortages during the war years.  Apparently deaths from atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) did not decline as much in the United States and this is attributed to more severe Read more [...]

the traditional Okinawan diet and the sweet potato

My root crops (carrots, turnips and beets) are growing better as my soil has improved with time and I am now planning for the sweet potato.  There are several vogue diets circulating - the Mediterranean diet; the Esselstyn vegan diet I posted a few weeks ago, and the new Nordic diet (a free Coursera MOOC starts September 2013).  So why go back in time to the traditional Okinawan diet with its reliance on the sweet potato? I was pointed to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2009 Read more [...]