Monday Musings…21st November 2022…COP27, Be a Lert and hot off the press…Variety is the Spice of Life: A Blend of Poetry and Prose –

Good Morning…and welcome to Monday Musings… a place where my inner child comes out sometimes and also where anything which has wowed or dismayed me has happened over the last week…

COP27…Finally reaches a breakthrough agreement on “Loss and Damage” for vulnerable countries who suffer some of the world’s worst effects of climate change yet have contributed less to those effects… at long last, they will be helped…A positive milestone!

But negotiations are ongoing…

As the bank account has still to be opened I do hope that the richer countries put their hands in their pockets…I hope this is not empty promises…

I think we all have similar though about scammers and hackers…

Thus we all have our own procedures for keeping ourselves and our hard-earned cash safe and where it belongs…Clive thought so too …he has been quite brave in revealing what happened to him …a lesson I have taken on board as I think we are so used to fending off the scammers we can get complacent when we really shouldn’t…Thank Clive for sharing…a useful lesson for us all…

https://cliveblogs.wordpress.com/2022/11/17/be-a-lert/

I absolutely love the cover of Sally’s latest book…Sally is most generous with her promotion and sharing of other authors and bloggers so it’s only right that I should return the favour…Sally’s new book is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US…

Variety is the Spice of Life is a collection of poetry and short stories about relationships with others, including pets and animals inhabiting the world around us. The connection with others brings love and friendship, excitement and sometimes surprises, danger, mystery and sometimes the unexpected.

The poetry explores human nature, fears, desires, expectations and achievements. Nature offers a wonderful opportunity to observe animals both domesticated and wild. Even in a back garden, you can observe a wide variety of creatures and the daily challenges to survive a harsh environment.

The short stories introduce you to a healer whose gift comes with danger, a neighbour determined to protect a friend, a woman on the run, an old couple whose love has endured, an elderly retired teacher who faces a life-changing accident, a secret that has been carried for over 70 years and a village who must unite as they face devastating news.

Head over to buy the collection in ebook and print: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments and appreciate your visit xx

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…13th- 19th November 2022-Monday Musings, #Thai Panang Curry, Health, Influenza, #Saturday Morning Market, Stir-up Sunday…Christmas Pudding……

Hello and welcome to my weekly roundup of posts you may have missed during the week…weather wise it has been heating up so much for being “winter”…its nice weather to walk in though especially in the early mornings before the sun gets high… I am increasing my daily steps gradually and feel better for it…It is enjoyable walking in the early morning nice and quiet plus you get the best of the market ….today it’s “Stir Up Sunday ” time to make those Xmas Puddings…

Have you made your Christmas pudding yet??

We have just returned from Bangkok where we have been for a few days it’s been a nice break… next week I have Christmas menus to finish testing and writing thus I am not spending as much time online as I am enjoying just being… cooking,  walking and enjoying life away from the screen …it clears the cobwebs…x

Monday Musings… this is where normally I share some things that have thrilled me, made me think or smile or even have a mini-rant but generally it is my happy place and I hope yours too…

Last Sunday was Remembrance Sunday or Poppy Day…The day when we should remember all those brave souls who fought and died for us…War is a terrible, terrible thing and life would have been so much different for us if we hadn’t won the war in fact we may not even have existed…so many needlessly died and many died unknown…to see that we still honour them makes me proud as we should not forget…

Monday Musings…14th November 2022…

Panang Curry is one of my favourites whether it is a chicken Panang or a prawn Panang they are both equally delicious…Enjoy!

CarolCooks2…in my kitchen…Thai Panang Chicken Curry…

 

lady holding veggies

There is so much written about what we should eat and what we shouldn’t eat, how much sugar or salt foods contain, how much of this, how much of that…I can’t blame anyone for feeling like ..What do we eat then?

This small list is not exhaustive but it covers a few of the main food groups things most of us eat or cook with on a regular basis and often there are so many choices for alternatives that we at loss as to what we can replace our regular food with. I hope this makes it a little easier for you.

I am also not going to bombard you with statistics and ingredients we can all look at a bottle or a can to see what is in it…If we don’t know ..google it… ask…question…we should all know what we are eating and feeding our families…It is then our choice as to whether we change or continue.

Healthy Eating and not so Healthy eating…That is the question!

Worldwide obesity figures are rising… with the rising of obesity then lifestyle diseases are on the increase and putting a strain on already stretched health services around the world which means longer waiting times to be seen plus as we/I get older I want to preserve my body as well as I possibly can which means I watch what I eat and I am walking more which is my preferred exercise…Sally over at Smorgasbord has been posting an excellent series on Morbid Obesity…Sally is a trained Nutritionist and her posts are very informative and helpful …Please head over by clicking the highlighted link above…I will leave all the important stuff we should know and the many tips to help us be in our best health to Sally as she is an expert…

My aim is to highlight the scale of the problem and to know that we are all part of the solution and are not alone in this…

Healthy Eating…Obesity around the World…

“Up to 650,000 people in the world die from seasonal flu each year. This is much higher than the often-used numbers of 250,000 to 500,000 deaths cited by the World Health Organization (WHO) based on data thought to reach back decades, which did not take into account the experience of developing countries. However, since then, many countries have improved their flu surveillance systems, and have been able to estimate deaths from the disease.”  Huffington Post 2022

Now the days and nights are getting a lot colder for some… we need to take every precaution and repair our bodies against the flu…Please head over to Smorgasbord to read the original post on what we can do to try and protect ourselves and our loved ones…

Smorgasbord Health Column – Winterise your Body – Influenza by Sally Cronin

Up bright and early time for my daily morning walk to Talad Tessaban this is my favourite time of the day when the world is just waking up…its about 6km there and back but a lovely walk and it clears away the cobwebs…smile…

The sun was taking its time this morning and then it was there so over the road I crossed to walk in the shade…What did I get today? Some lovely fresh coconut milk it’s so lovely watching the coconut being ground and my milk coming out nice and fresh …and believe it or not, it’s so much cheaper than buying it ready packaged who knew…freshly made and cheaper…

Saturday morning at Talad Tessaban,Udon Thani, Thailand

Thank you for joining me today I was away for a few days therefore there was no Friday food review..and Saturday Snippets is on holiday until after the new year…as always I look forward to your comments and hope you are having a pleasant Sunday and have a productive week ahead and if you are puddings today as its Stir Up Sunday then enjoy!

Have you made your Christmas pudding yet??

Have a great weekend x

 

Saturday morning at Talad Tessaban,Udon Thani, Thailand

 

Up bright and early time for my daily morning walk to Talad Tessaban this is my favourite time of the day when the world is just waking up…its about 6km there and back but a lovely walk and it clears away the cobwebs…smile…

The sun was taking its time this morning and then it was there so over the road I crossed to walk in the shade…What did I get today? Some lovely fresh coconut and other vegetables my favourite snake beans, fresh mint and coriander and of course peppercorns …I just love fresh peppercorns they make a lovely sauce.

fresh-vegetables-thai- market

I love the early morning market it is so vibrant and busy there are lots of lovely fresh produce…Today I bought some lovely fresh prawns some hand-picked crab ( so much easier than picking out the crab claws) and an Issan dish called Mok pla siw which means various small fish. they are cooked on a BBQ wrapped in a banana leaf with chilli, Thai basil and spring onion…Then eaten with sticky rice either on its own or as an accompaniment to other dishes…

fish-chilli-pla-basil-banana-leaf

What other goodies did I buy? A whole coconut for hubby as he likes to munch on fresh coconut… a whole one lasts him about 5/6 days…and some beautiful freshly made coconut milk for a curry…freshly made curry paste and even the prawns the lady cleans for me, crab freshly picked …my kind of market…

The betel leaves and the fruit are for Tik’s mum …This is an age-old tradition that old people do here..although it is actually against the law…A blind eye is turned so if you are visiting here and see someone with very red lips and teeth it is the betel leaves and nuts which they chew/smoke …It is illegal as it makes you a tad high so they will also probably have a calm faraway look…But it is big business here…

I just love the choice and the different foods I see every time I go…Lots of fish…Thais love fish of all sorts steamed, BBQ, smoked or as pla… and many smiling faces all trying to sell me their wares one-stop shopping at its best you can buy almost anything here… if you love browsing you would love it anyway back to food shopping and not forgetting the rice and man farang ( potatoes) which I needed…

That’s all for my trip down the market today… lots of fresh food for a few days…

I hope you enjoyed my local shopping trip today and you will most probably recognise a few of the vegetables some of which are eaten all over the world others which are not an Aladins cave full of fresh goodies.

Enjoy your weekend, be happy and mindful and laugh a lot xx

Smorgasbord Health Column – Winterise your Body – Influenza by Sally Cronin

For the last couple of years, flu has taken a back seat as covid arrived and went on a rampage  around the world but let’s not forget the seriousness of “The Flu”

Sally is correct when she says that protecting our bodies is paramount and this week she is taking a look at influenza as this like the common cold can have a severe effect on the very young and old and those who have poorly functioning immune systems.

“Up to 650,000 people in the world die from seasonal flu each year. This is much higher than the often-used numbers of 250,000 to 500,000 deaths cited by the World Health Organization (WHO) based on data thought to reach back decades, which did not take into account the experience of developing countries. However, since then, many countries have improved their flu surveillance systems, and have been able to estimate deaths from the disease.”  Huffington Post 2022

Now the days and nights are getting a lot colder for some… we need to take every precaution and repair our bodies against the flu…Please head over to Smorgasbord to read the original post on what we can do to try and protect ourselves and our loved ones…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/11/17/smorgasbord-health-column-winterise-your-body-influenza-by-sally-cronin/

Healthy Eating…Obesity around the World…

 

 

Worldwide obesity figures are rising… with the rising of obesity then lifestyle diseases are on the increase and putting a strain on already stretched health services around the world which means longer waiting times to be seen plus as we/I get older I want to preserve my body as well as I possibly can which means I watch what I eat and I am walking more which is my preferred exercise…Sally over at Smorgasbord has been posting an excellent series on Morbid Obesity…Sally is a trained Nutritionist and her posts are very informative and helpful …Please head over by clicking the highlighted link above…I will leave all the important stuff we should know and the many tips to help us be in our best health to Sally as she is an expert…

My aim is to highlight the scale of the problem and to know that we are all part of the solution and are not alone in this…

This series is one I posted a couple years ago when I looked at worldwide figures and how it looks depending on where you live…I am a self-confessed nerd sometimes…smile…therefore I am repeating and updating this series…

But I also believe life is for living…Food is for enjoying… So what I have decided to do is some comparisons …Which wasn’t my plan initially for these posts… I was just reading and researching and saw a link which I clicked and three hours later and many links later this idea was born…

It started with a headline about obesity ...Country by country and percentages and then I got to thinking about the difference in lifestyles and options or just what we have always eaten…But then those stats began to make sense to me…

My diet has changed drastically since I have lived here and it is not just me who has lost weight we all have … Now I know that when it is hot, you sweat more and your appetite diminishes somewhat…You eat less!

But the food is also different and not just Chillies … I have added some pictures to the header picture of food which is on every menu and commonly eaten at home…

Firstly I will just pick out a random mix for the list below….countries where many of my readers come from or live I have also included the top and the bottom country… Just because I can but over the next couple of weeks I will look at what is commonly eaten to see if a pattern emerges.

There are 192 countries in this and I have also added the link just in case you want to see where you fit…

  • 192  is Timor-Leste with a percentage of 2.2% ( of their population are obese.)
  • 147 is Thailand with a percentage of  8.5%
  • 95 is Germany with a percentage of 20.10%
  • 66 is France with a percentage of 23.9%
  • 35 is Canada with a percentage of 28.0%
  • 33 is the Uk with a percentage of 28.10%
  • 31 is Australia with a percentage of 28.60%
  • 19 is the US with a percentage of 33.7%
  • 1 is the Cook Islands with a percentage of 50.80%

If you wish to check your country out here is the link https://renewbariatrics.com/obesity-rank-by-countries/

At the end of this little experiment, I will do a post o the 1st and last and see what the differences in diet and lifestyles are.

Eating habits here in Thailand… Meals are eaten together as a family and the meal could last a few hours as Thais enjoy their food but it is a social gathering… Whether it is at home or eating out you will see family and friends all together eating and sharing.

Much of the fruit and vegetables are eaten raw or very lightly steamed and everywhere you go to eat you will get your food plus a dish of fresh herbs and vegetables. The variety is awesome Thais forage a lot and I have given up being surprised at what is eaten.

Lily flowers ..you know the pretty white ones that generally drop overnight and are collected early morning they are a delicacy here to eat they are lightly steamed then the stamens are removed and the rest are eaten with a spicy fish sort of pate… Just fish pounded in a pestle and mortar with chillies, fish sauce, lime juice, and maybe dried shrimp or shrimp paste it depends.

The banana flower is a delicacy steamed and eaten with a spicy dip. The lotus flower the seed pods which are left when the flower has finished blooming are eaten.

banana flower 1

A Sticky rice pot filled with fresh rice is a staple here and everywhere you will see a pot..the tuk-tuk drivers have their little pots lovingly made by their spouses and the food stalls have some really massive ones absolutely enormous you could feed an army.

Food and time to eat food are very important here… We learnt very early on that you didn’t ask staff to leave their lunch and serve a customer… A definite no-no it could cause a mass walkout and if a Thai is hungry…Look out! You do not want to cross a hungry Thai…

The world stops here for food be it a bus or any form of transport… The foot is to the floor and every shortcut is taken …

If you break down what Thais eat there are few carbs, lots of raw fresh herbs and vegetables, Lots of eggs in various forms, lots of BBQ meats chicken, fish in salt, kidneys, sun-dried beef, pork and fish eaten with Som Tam( Papaya Salad) which again comes in many variations but with lots of tomatoes, beans, dried shrimp, chillies, peanuts, maybe some crab…

Thai Platter

A typical Thai meal of Som Tam, Mushroom soup, mushrooms just sliced and steamed with a very hot spicy dip some fresh vegetables, crispy pork scratching and sticky rice. Sometimes this will be served with steamed fish or just as it is…

This platter is slightly more substantial with the fish.

Mixed Thai Food

Out for the evening and a little more…

Thai platter in Phuket Town

This plate has rice noodles and some thick rice noodles, a little chicken, Som Tam, vegetables and herbs, bitter gourd and crispy garlic but if you look at all three they are very similar…A large percentage of the food is fresh raw vegetables or plain steamed noodles… Not too much fried or high in carbs quite natural …Not high on processed foods either…

I do think over the next few weeks when I explore other diets we will see where and how much the diets vary from country to country…most of this diet I did eat in the UK as we had a large Thai community near where we lived plus my daughter in law taught me how to cook Thai food and also to enjoy my food in its raw state rather than processed and cooked to death… Not too many nasties on those platters of food.

In Thailand food is to be enjoyed, It is fun and food is savoured, enjoyed and time is taken ..No rushing and bolting down of food but pure enjoyment and if full they talk and laugh and then eat some more… a meal can and does last for a few hours and then in no time at all the next meal is being planned…

I do hope you have enjoyed reading about the food I eat and how much my diet has changed but also how much my health has improved and I no longer eat food just because it is good for me …I eat because I love what I eat.

Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments which I will respond to when I return from Bangkok we are having a few days away x

Healthy Eating and not so Healthy eating…That is the question!

lady holding veggies

There is so much written about what we should eat and what we shouldn’t eat, how much sugar or salt foods contain, how much of this, how much of that…I can’t blame anyone for feeling like ..What do we eat then?

This small list is not exhaustive but it covers a few of the main food groups things most of us eat or cook with on a regular basis and often there are so many choices for alternatives that we at loss as to what we can replace our regular food with. I hope this makes it a little easier for you.

I am also not going to bombard you with statistics and ingredients we can all look at a bottle or a can to see what is in it…If we don’t know ..google it… ask…question…we should all know what we are eating and feeding our families…It is then our choice as to whether we change or continue.

Sugary drinks: Unhealthy:

soda beverages-3105631_1280

When we enter a supermarket, restaurant or corner shop we are met with chilled cabinets and shelves full of enticing drinks all screaming at us to buy me or the kids are….and that is the difficult thing saying no to your kids or grandkids when the drink bottle shouts Miss Kitty or the latest fad or you have just watched your favourite TV personality endorsing a drink. We all know or should by now know just how much sugar is in them and that is without the other nasties like colouring even the ones that scream I am healthier than the bottle next door..buy me!  They are lying!

Freds with blue tongue

What does this say…???? Is that blue tongue because of something healthy? I think not…

Healthy Drinks:

Expensive I hear you say ….no it is not… Most of what we eat is taught to us…we teach our children, our parents taught us…some folks when they grow older make their own choices…That’s fine…but make an informed choice and try an alternative you may like it.

Water is healthy. Coffee and tea are healthy it is maybe what you put in it which is NOT.

Soda water with ice and lime or lemon is a nice refreshing drink. Freeze some fruit orange slices or pomelo, and pop it in the glass with the soda water..very nice and refreshing.

Papaya,Banana,Lime smoothie

Smoothies using fruit and vegetables that are in season..let the kids help, choose their fruits, make up little bags and freeze the fruit and then they can just pop it in the blender and make their own, it’s fun and healthy, no added sugar just natural sugars. Use fruit in season and add a slice of carrot, tomato, or beetroot it makes a lovely drink with no nasties. It also encourages them to eat their veggies…

Pizza: Unhealthy:

pizza-2530172_1920

Pizza is one of the most popular foods on this planet it comes in many guises savoury and sweet and the majority of the fat in most pizzas is saturated fat. If you eat too much saturated fat, you increase your risk for heart disease. Many frozen pizzas also contain trans fat, which is the most unhealthy kind. It raises your cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart damage.

Pizza: Healthy:

pizza-346985_1920

Does that mean you can never eat Pizza again…No!

Make homemade pizza instead ..Let the kids help… Make your own pizza sauce by pureeing cooked, peeled tomatoes with oregano and fresh garlic  Use low-fat mozzarella cheese so that your child gets plenty of calcium from his slice without all of the saturated fat. Skip the pepperoni and high-fat meats and add some chicken or prawns and add their favourite vegetables.  If they like olives even better add black olives for some heart-healthy unsaturated fat. One of my grandsons absolutely loved olives from the age of about one and a half, instead of sweets I used to buy olives…

Make your own base…I have made a cauliflower base and it is lovely, Portobello mushrooms, a sweet potato base..there are so many options for bases but that is another post…..It is all about experimenting and playing with flavours food should be fun and especially Pizza because it really is a fun food ..isn’t it???

You can never second guess a child and what they will like.  Encourage them to help prepare their food…They are more likely to eat what they help prepare.

White Bread and Rolls: Unhealthy:

white-bread-3279815_1280

White bread is made from refined, bleached white wheat flour and most of the white bread sold in shops and supermarkets is tasteless, sticky and not nice.. it has no real nutrients and converts to sugar in your bloodstream very quickly. You can tell I don’t like shop bread, can’t you ?…. I love good bread.

White Bread: Healthy:

appetite-1239259_1920

If you love white bread, opt for a brand that is made with unbleached white flour. Or try the bread with 100% whole grain unbleached wheat flour–

Or treat yourself to some of the lovely artisan loaves of bread available or make your own..with rapid, instant yeast it is now much easier and there are also so many recipes for sourdough starters…

Also, there is nothing more satisfying than making bread…It is great when your mood is less than happy a bit of kneading that dough works wonders…lol

Fruit Juices: Unhealthy:

bottled juice-19628_1280

How many of you have bought a bottle of fruit juice and when you read the ingredients it is little more than sugared, flavoured water…Hands up!

Even my favourite coconut juice has been ….. I can’t think of a printable word but…It’s just wrong… Leave my juice alone…

Fruit Juices: Healthy:

kaizen-nguy-n-274069

Photo by Kaizen Nguyễn on Unsplash

Coconut juice nothing else just juice and yes I know I am lucky… Or just fresh fruit in soda with ice ..don’t they look pretty?

A lot of the pomegranate and blueberry juices are as yet untouched…give them time…

And water…H2o…Nice and cold there is nothing better.

My advice before you buy read the ingredients or better still take your drink out with you…

Cooking Oil: Unhealthy:

empanadas-592352_1920

  • Canola Oil?… I have put this at the top because I have in the past agreed canola oil is one of the worst…but like everything that tends to change(I won’t)say with the wind…but it now seems that maybe it is not the villain.
  • Corn Oil.
  • Soybean Oil.
  • “Vegetable” oil.
  • Peanut Oil.
  • Palm Oil
  • Safflower Oil.
  • Cottonseed Oil

Are all highly sensitive to oxidation and cause oxidative stress in the human body…my advice is to check out the oil you use from a few reputable sources and make a decision as it seems to change the more research is completed…

Cooking Oil: Healthy:

food-2288443_1920 (1)

  • Extra-virgin olive oil. …
  • Pure olive oil. …
  • Coconut oil. …I use it but every so often research suggests it maybe not be as healthy as we think or thought.
  • Avocado oil. …
  • Butter…should be on the worst list but used in moderation and if it’s grass-fed plus it helps your olive oil from burning.

One thing I will say is to check your oil if you are cooking at high temperatures because there are varying pieces of advice about some of the oils you can then decide for yourself…oil is a bit of a minefield regarding info…I think if you don’t fry often then what oil you use isn’t a problem however if you are eating fried food every day then therein lies the problem.

 Margarine: Unhealthy Fat:

butter-1920670_1920.png

Margarine is an imitation man-made fat used for cooking and spreading which is loaded with trans fats. Even the margarine that claims to be “made from natural ingredients” isn’t really natural at all once they have been so heavily processed and heated at high temperatures that the oils have oxidized (which will actually contribute to inflammation in the body, rather than being “heart healthy.”) The debate lingers on still… But tests have been carried out and even rats and ants don’t touch margarine…Doesn’t that tell you something?

Butter: Healthy Fat:

bread-and-butter-1758669_1920

Butter, on the other hand, is a traditional food that our ancestors have been eating for generations. Butter is a simple, natural food that doesn’t require any heavy processing at all. You could even make it in your own kitchen if you wanted. And, unlike margarine which has only oxidized oils and other ingredients that you probably can’t even pronounce, real butter from grass-fed cows has enough nutrients that it could be called a superfood. (And some ancient cultures actually revered butter as a sacred, life-giving food.)

Butter from healthy, grass-fed cows raised on pasture is an excellent source of nutrients.

Gluten-free junk food: Unhealthy:

Is high in sugar, unhealthy oils, and refined grains. I think that it is abhorrent that manufacturers make foods which they know that many people with a gluten intolerance buy and that are actually very unhealthy. Some people choose to take the label “gluten-free” to mean the same things as “healthy,” which is not accurate.

Gluten-free foods: Healthy:

cauliflower-rice-pork-thai basil-recipe

Cauliflower rice...

Naturally, gluten-free foods include beans, pulses, milk, yoghurt, cheese, fish, shellfish, fruit, meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, butter, and oil.

I hope this has been of help when you are deciding which is healthier to eat and it doesn’t mean expensive foods it generally means fresh either home-grown or bought from local markets, food in season or food you have made in your own kitchen where you can count the chemicals.

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as you have heard me say it is free, no nasties but watch out it is catching…lol