Dec 28, 2011

Onions are Healthy!!

I've just been reading about the health benefits of Onions. Wow, I am going to make sure I eat more of this super food!! The one web page I've read so far summarizes the health benefits of onions in this way:

Onions, and other Allium species, are highly valued herbs possessing culinary and medicinal value. Some of their beneficial properties are seen after long-term usage. Onion may be a useful herb for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, especially since they diminish the risk of blood clots. Onion also protects against stomach and other cancers, as well as protecting against certain infections. Onion can improve lung function, especially in asthmatics. The more pungent varieties of onion appear to possess the greatest concentration of health-promoting phytochemicals.

For more interesting reading, go to their site and read the entire write up.


Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed is always
to try just one more time.

Thomas A. Edison

Dec 27, 2011

Christmas Gifts

How was your Christmas this year?? Did you spend time with friends? With family? Both? Neither? What kind of gifts did you get... if any? Did you get a computer, cell phone, other electronic gadget, make-up, eyelash growth products, chocolate, money? Any of the above? None of the above? All of the above? LOL, okay, so I'm playing with you, it's always fun to laugh with people.

I had a really great Christmas for different reasons which include, but are not limited to the following:
- My sister M and her husband R are in California and Arizona for about 6 months this winter. About 3 or 4 days before Christmas, I got an email from M saying that R had to be rushed to the hospital with a burst appendices and undergo surgery to save his life. All went well and Christmas day M emailed that he had gotten released from hospital that morning, they spent a quiet day at their RV and with friends they travel with.
- My older brother T and his wife A were up from the lower mainland and I got to see them Christmas Day. On top of that, they gave me a pair of Vintage Motorcycle Saddlebags!!! T thinks they are off a 1945 Harley Davidson, though isn't positive about the year. This really shows their love for me and their support of my riding my own motorcycle (trike).
- Spending time with my niece, T's daughter, Becky is always cause for joy, and this Christmas I got to do just that, as well as give her my first spinning wheel. I bought this wheel many years ago at a local auction and after a year I found someone to teach me how to spin wool on it. It is a Traditional style spinning wheel, hand made by Jorgen Almas, a man who lived in Enderby, the town where Becky grew up. On the bottom of this wheel is his name and that this wheel, this 153rd, was made in August '77. Becky was born in February '76. Eventually I moved up to a more modern style of wheel and didn't use this one anymore, though still kept it as it meant a lot to me. Now Becky was thrilled to receive it as she and her mother want to learn to spin and to weave.
- Mom gave me $100 to put towards something I'd like. She was thinking maybe an MP3 Player. My friend Dan just came home for a couple days, he's working away for awhile, and gave me an MP3 Player, lol. So I will likely spend that $100 on something for my trike as I plan to do lots of work on it before summer.
- Dinner at my nephew Denny's (eldest sister's son) with him and his family as well as Mom.
- The entire day with Mom. This is my 56th Christmas and it's the 55th one I've spent with Mom.
- Open House at my brother T's mother-in-law's home, lots of friends and family as well as great food. This month has been hard on the diet!!

All in all it was a wonderful Christmas!!

Super Foods

I really enjoyed the TOPS News (magazine put out by TOPS) article on The TOPS Ten Underappreciated SUPER Foods. As well as getting TOPS News in the post, members can also go to the TOPS website, sign in and read this magazine online. Mostly I like to curl up with the paper issue, though there are times when it's good to be able to read it on the computer. I was hoping I could copy/paste this article here for you to read, but no go, and I can't just give the link to the page as you have to sign in to get there... soooo, I will just tell you what the super foods are that they talk about.
- beans
- celery
- garlic
- onion
- peas
- black pepper
- bell pepper (all the colors)
- sunflower seeds
- sesame seeds
- canned tomatoes (I don't know why the specify 'canned'. Why not fresh? Personally, I believe fresh is always more healthy than anything canned, frozen, cooked, processed, etc.)

The article tells different reasons why these are all good for your health; things like antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, protein, help reduce cholesterol levels, help balance blood sugar, cancer fighting properties, etc etc. I eat a lot of beans, especially since I became a Vegan and it's winter time. I make different variations of multi bean soups so not only do I have a quick, easy to reheat meal in the fridge, but it's always very tasty and healthy. Among many other things in the current pot of soup, the super foods in it are: beans (an 18 bean mix of dried beans), celery, onion, black pepper (fresh ground), bell pepper (red and yellow), and a jar of home canned tomatoes that was given to me this fall. I made this huge pot of soup today and ate some this evening. Tomorrow I will put some of it into containers that will go into the freezer as there is just way too much of it for me to eat in the next few days. It will be great to have a bunch of it put away for other winter days.

I will make sure in future that I eat many more of the foods from this TOPS list. Some will go into my next batch of soup... and some will be eaten in other ways.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly

For 2 years now I've been going to TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). In the first year I lost 20 pounds though in the second year I gained about 10 of them back. I think it is time I get serious!!! In my TOPS club there are several who have been going every week for a lot longer than I have and I think will be going for many years to come and stay around the same weight they are now. There also have been some who reached their weight loss goals and have become KOPS (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly). Every month TOPS puts out a magazine that each of us members receive in the mail. This magazine gives us information on weight loss as well as shares stories with us written by people who have lost a lot of weight. TOPS has helped many people to shed the extra pounds and become much more healthy, but TOPS can't do it for us. We have to do it for ourselves!! I have to do it for my self!!! I love eating and I don't like exercising and yet I have to find a way to eat less and move more. Oh Joy!! Maybe writing here can help me with this road I must go down.

Dec 20, 2011

Potato Leek Soup

I got this recipe from a thought many might be interested in reading it and perhaps even making it. I plan to try it, though I will use less of the olive oil, perhaps half of what is recommended in the recipe and if that's not enough oil to saute the onions and leaks, I can add a bit of water. Olive oil is much healthier than most other fats, and yet it is still fat. Let me know what you think of this recipe.

Potato Leek Soup

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

1 medium onion, chopped finely
4 small leeks or 3 medium ones, chopped finely (use white parts mostly)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
3 cups water (the water should almost cover the ingredients)
salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a large pot, add the olive oil and saute the onions and leeks for two minutes. For leeks, you may use the green part, but this will change the flavour of the soup; you can use the green foliage of the leeks in a stir fry. Add the potatoes to the pot, and also the water.

2. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until cooked (potatoes are soft) Remove the pot from heat. If you have a hand blender, let the soup cool and then blend until smooth. You may wish to reheat the soup. Season with salt and pepper.

3. If you do not have a hand blender, with a ladle, scoop up the chunky parts and process in a blender or food processor until smooth. You may need to do this in two parts, so have a bowl ready in which to transfer processed soup. Once all the soup is processed, mix it to the liquid left in the pot, and add pepper and salt.

Source of recipe: My recipe; learned how to make potato leek soup before I was vegan. This recipe is a simplified and vegan version.

Makes: 5-6 servings, Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

Cat on the Move

My friend Cat has been looking for a small apartment or even a room that is "frbo". She recently separated from her husband and moved to a rental room in a house where she was very unhappy with the living situation, with the landlord, the other tenants and the rent going up a significant amount starting on the second month of living there... so she moved out and went to another rental room in someone else's home. Cat was so looking forward to the move, was so excited that she'd be in a good home and just a week or so after moving in she was told the house had just been sold and she would have to find another place to live. She had never even been told the place was for sale, so was very surprised and disappointed. She began to look around this area again, then found that her daughter and family were moving out of this area, so she decided to do that too. I'm not sure where her family is going, but Cat is headed to a mid size city further north of here where she has lots of biker friends. I am sad she's leaving... and wishing her the best. Wishing my friend a joyful life.

Dec 17, 2011

Veganism Explained

I found a good write up on the internet of what Veganism is about. Put simply, it involves eating only plant based foods and nothing of or from animals. In more detail, here is what I found on the internet site Simple Vegan Recipes:


Vegans eat all sorts of plant foods - fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, fungi - and avoid foods made from dead or living animals - meat, eggs, milk, milk derivatives such as cheese and yogurt, or honey. Someone who has not encountered veganism before will ask, ‘Well, what DO you eat?’ The only non-animal foods a meat-eater tends to come across are the vegetables that accompany their meals. However, there is a wide variety of vegan foods with a diversity of flavours and textures. The important point to grasp is that going vegan is not just taking vegetarianism a step further. Going vegetarian tends to involve simply removing meat from the diet and abstaining from products that contain slaughterhouse products. Becoming a vegan, on the other hand, is a very different process where one adopts a whole new cuisine and which touches every area of life.

If you want to find out more about Veganism, visit the Vegan Society. They provide lots of information including the Animal Free Shopper, a comprehensive list of products sold in the UK that are vegan.

One farmer says to me, "You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make the bones with;" and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying himself with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle.
~ Henry David Thoreau (author of Walden and Civil Disobedience, 1817 - 1862)

Dec 11, 2011

A Healthy Choice

About 3 months ago I started to eat Vegan. Oh, I'm not 100% yet, but in the mid 90% I'm sure. Well, less during December, yet still keeping in with it pretty well. Mostly, I eat Vegan though when I eat out at someone else's place or at a restaurant it does become a challenge. Still, I do manage to stick to the Vegan plan, though I am getting a bit tired of Veggie Burgers, haha. I love drinking tea with milk in it and at home I use Soy Beverage instead of cows milk. When I'm not home I end up using milk or cream, depending on where I am and what they have available. My Mom is trying to support me in this life style change for which I am very grateful, though I can see it is hard for her since she doesn't really understand what I can/will eat or not eat. I guess I need to give her some recipes that she can make, and in the meantime, I will take food for us to eat.

"It takes a little work to be a vegan, but now it's really possible to have tasty stuff and it's better for you. I say the best test is go as far as you can and see how you feel. Personally, I feel great."
~ Grace Slick

Dec 7, 2011

My Day... Good and not so much

Yesterday I got to stay home for the first time in awhile, and the early part of today as well, then had to go to town to the final fitting of my new upper denture. While in town, I met with Wendy, a former friend, to return 2 movies and a book I had borrowed some time ago and had tried to return but we were unable to connect until today. I also stopped at a dollar store for some TV cable connectors, and candles as part of some gifts I'm putting together, and a grocery store for just a few things like cranberry sauce for tomorrow's pot luck luncheon.

At home, I've checked my emails, read a few posts on Facebook, read a bit about carpet cleaners durham nc, and looked up a few vegan recipes. I also made a nice hot cup of tea and sat down on my couch to drink it... only to spill the entire cupful all over my couch, coffee table and laminate flooring. I cleaned that up and moved furniture around a bit to get the tea that went under the couch and coffee table. Now my living room is all askew and needs to be put back together or finished being re-arranged. I think I'll move everything to different spots and wash the floor.

«There is force in the universe, which, if we permit it, will flow
through us and produce miraculous results.»
Mahatma Gandhi

Dec 6, 2011


There is a list of things I've wanted for awhile and this year I was finally able to get myself a few of the things on that list. Sort of like getting myself early Christmas presents. One of the things on that list was one of those flat screen lcd tvs. Well, the one I got isn't an LCD, it's a plazma which my friend Dan says is not as good as the LCD... yet I am really enjoying sitting here in my living room watching my 51" flat screen TV!! I also picked up a good, used treadmill that I have in the living room so I can watch the TV while I walk on the treadmill. I am in the process of changing around some of the furniture in my home, so this evening I can't do the treadmill unless I want to look at the wall, but in the next day or two I will have the TV on the other wall and all will be good again. For now, my back is aching too much to walk on the treadmill anyway.

Got something accomplished here

Even though my back has been rather painful today and pain in the upper legs, I managed to get some work done in my house.... thanks to my friend Ray. I had mentioned to him one day a couple weeks ago that I wanted to move some furniture in my living room, so he came over today and we got some of it moved. I kind of wished he'd have picked a day when I had less pain, but once we got it done I sure was glad I didn't say "No, not today." I really appreciate the help, and it feels really good to have at least a small part of my home cleaner and more organized than it has been for awhile. It seems I take 2 steps forward and 3 or 4 steps back with trying to get this mess under control. Having physical and moral support from a friend really helps a lot and gives me hope that I will indeed eventually over come this monstrous problem!!