Posted in Happiness, Health

Vasectomy by Dr Snip

I have never had a desire to be called’ ‘mum’ (or even ‘auntie’).  

Some kids know they want to be a pilot when they grow up, others want to be a rock star.  I just knew I never wanted kids.  People kept saying I would change my mind as I reached birthday milestones …25…nope …30…nope… 35…nope etc.

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Fortunately my partner felt exactly the same way about ‘dad’ and so an appointment with Dr Snip was made.  He has great information on his site, so if this is a path you are considering, it is well worth a visit.

For guys who are nervous about the physical side of it…think about what women go through…nine months of pregnancy (no alcohol!), permanent body changes, painful childbirth, sore boobs, career upheaval…and suddenly it doesn’t seem that dramatic at all.

My partner had it done on a Friday (I got to watch).  He works in a physical job and would have been able to go back to work on the Monday, but his big tough team leader who is terrified of the idea encouraged him to take it off, so who was he to refuse!

He had some discomfort on and off for a few weeks afterward, but nothing he needed painkillers for.  A few months after the procedure he experienced discomfort again, that lasted a couple of weeks then went away and he has been perfect in the years since.

It has DEFINITELY made a very positive contribution to our relationship. Spontaneity is never an issue and there is no more stress about contraceptive measures that can be unhealthy, unpleasant and also are never 100% effective.

Vasectomy is 100% effective and should be long-term side effect free.

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Some people say that we ‘missing out’.  No doubt we are missing out on some nice things, as well as some not so nice things…as are they.   Nobody can have everything.  I am just grateful that our society offers us the choice.

If you have decided not to have kids for one of many reasons…

For environmental reasons.  Or you can’t/don’t want to stump up the associated costs.  Or to prevent passing on a health issue.  Or you think that being born a human is overrated and you don’t want to put someone through all that.  Or you value your freedom and have other plans.  Or you want yourself and your partner to remain each other’s Number One.  You may like to know that when your turn comes to exit the world, you can do so with less attachment. Or you may like the ability to give/will your earthly possessions to charitable causes.  Or you just find the thought of being depended on claustrophobic.  Or you already have your fair share of kids.

…You have the choice to put your balls on the line.

Dr Snip will even throw in a free stubby cooler.

Posted in Health

Legumes, Starch and Farts 101

  1. How to appreciate farts for what they represent to your body’s health.
  2. How to minimise farting when there is no dog around to blame.
  3. How to best enter the wonderful world of beans and legumes.
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Starchy Carbs
Research suggests that starchy carbs, not a meat-heavy diet, advanced the human race.  They provided the fuel to grow and power our energy hungry brains.
Many of our starchy friends also contain fibre which is a type of carbohydrate that our upper digestive system can’t digest …fibre turns into really good food for (usually)good bacteria lower in our intestine.  These are the foods can really ratchet us up to 11.  I’m looking right at you, jerusalem fartichokes.
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Of course legumes also have this reputation too, and in some cases justifiably so, but there is one common  hidden veggie that may be giving legumes a worse reputation than they deserve…read on to find the possible culprit…!

1 Think of farts as good bacteria burping ‘thanks’ after a great meal.

15-18 pop offs a day is pretty average.  More or less will depend on what you have eaten and who you have partying in your gut. 

Purna Kashyap, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic: Eating foods that cause gas is the only way for the microbes in the gut to get nutrients. If we didn’t feed them carbohydrates, it would be harder for them to live in our gut.”

And we need to keep these colon-dwelling critters content.  When they gobble up food — and create gas — they also make molecules that boost the immune system, protect the lining of the intestine and prevent infections.

And the more fibre you feed these friendly inhabitants, the more types of species appear, studies have found. This bump in microbial diversity has been linked to a slimmer waistline.

Most gas made by the microbiome is odorless. It’s simply carbon dioxide, hydrogen or methane. But sometimes a little sulfur slips in there.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/04/28/306544406/got-gas-it-could-mean-you-ve-got-healthy-gut-microbes

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2. So you definitely want to eat farty foods regularly for health, but there may be times that social convention overrides their health benefits, so here are some tips

  • You may like avoid these foods for 24 hours before critical times
  • Gas producing oligosaccharides are apparently water soluble.  Soak dried pulses in a large amount of water and use the water on the garden.  Maybe change the soak water midway through. 
  • When eating, chew carefully to maximise what is digested higher up in the digestive system.  Saliva is an important part of digestion and the smaller pieces are also more thoroughly broken down.
  • Try taking  digestive enzyme supplements before, or along with starchy meals.
  • Fart in the face of social convention…it is just another means of controlling individuals via herd mentality anyway!

The amount of oligosaccharides in legumes varies, so certain kinds of beans may make you gassier than others. Lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, mung beans and adzuki beans are relatively low in oligosaccharides, while garbanzo, kidney and black beans contain average amounts. Soybeans, navy beans and lima beans are fairly high in oligosaccharides, and widely considered the most “disagreeable.” Avoid Boston baked beans and other sweetened beans if you’re prone to gas, as the added sugar in these dishes is another source of gas.

http://woman.thenest.com/body-adjust-eating-beans-13468.html

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  • Finally don‘t just blame the legumes! Most foods that include legumes also include ONIONS.  My partner always said that onions made him fart, but to my peril I never believed him.  I do now.  There is heaps of info on the interweb about this.  Leave them out of legume dishes and you might be pleasantly surprised.

 Whenever you add more fibre to your diet, your digestive system usually goes through an adjustment (that may include increased bum humming) before you find your body copes better with fibrous foods. Don’t give up, legumes are wonderful…cheap, tasty, healthy and easy. Really.

3 I get it, legumes are wonderful. How to prepare them?

Quickest: Red split lentils are the earth’s gift to the unprepared.  Just wash them and cook, no soaking required.  Dhal Tadka, bolognese and lentil soup are great ways to use red splitsters.

Quick: You can speed up the soaking and cooking process of other critters in three ways…

  • Soak in boiling water – this brings the soak time down from overnight to a couple of hours, especially useful in winter time.
  • Add bicarb soda to the water.  About  1 tsp at the time of cooking.
  • Use a pressure cooker – today is my sister’s 40th and my gift of one to her inspired this topic.  I bought her a Tefal Secure Neo 5 as on special it is a ‘reasonable’ price, gets great reviews and includes a steam basket.  Mine is an old banger from the op shop for $5, it does a great job, so go second hand if you can find one.  Red split lentils in a pressure cooker… now that’s fast food!

Less quick,  good if you don’t have a pressure cooker, also has other benefits:

  • Try and soak from the morning, a day, or even two before.  This way you get the added advantage of the pulse beginning to germinate or ‘activate’.  Green split peas are like little rocks without a good soaking.  Start with the water warm and cover with water to more than double the dry height of soakees.  In cold climates, leave in a warm place to soak. (Like on top of the fridge).

You will get the best results though with a pressure cooker, so here is my handy guide.

Use legumes in hommous, nachos, tacos, soups (miso, pho etc), salads, curries, stir-fries, process chickpeas into ‘mince’, make felafels from green (frozen/fresh) broadbeans  etc

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All I am saying, is give peas a chance.

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Posted in Health

Sandwich Press Pizza Recipe

I avoid home appliances that only have one use …I’m looking at you, pizza ovens…

…and I applaud appliances that are only limited by the imagination…our sandwich press makes everything from stirfries to felafels to hot chips to pad thai to pizza…so… today, let’s make amazing plant powered pizzas at home.  No cheese required.

The only fancy appliances required are a normal food processor and a cafe style flat bed sandwich press; Breville 4 slice is my pick.  And a bottle for a rolling pin.

Dough for 1 rectangular pizza

In a food processor with the blade attachment, put

1.5 cups plain white flour (not wholemeal, please-pizzas are meant to be fun! Only meat eaters need to worry about extra fibre cos animal products contain none; fibre is a plant product.)

1 tsp yeast, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt

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Put on lid, start blades running, then slowly drizzle in warm water and olive oil until the dough turns into crumbles and then wait til it JUST comes together in a ball. Stop blades and feel texture –  it should feel very malleable, but not sticky, and just little salty-like play dough, just with less snot worked into it.

Add flour or water as required if is not quite there, then let the processor kick the ball around for about three minutes to give that gluten time to realise who is boss.  Remove from processor bowl, shape into a ball with wet, oily hands (to stop the outsides drying out as it rises) then place in a large sealed container in a warm place; eg an oven that is now off, after being briefly turned on. Leave for an hour or more.(Add more yeast to turbo boost it quicker.)

⊗ Only make one batch at a time to save the stress on your processor, which is going above and beyond to make this for you.

Toppings in order of putting on pizza

Tomato paste, slather on generously

Minced fresh garlic

Fresh thyme/oregano/marjoram/basil/parsley and/or dried ‘Italian herbs’

Diced Onion, Tomato, Green Capsicum, Mushrooms (You can mix all these topping up in a bowl to make them quicker to apply)

Capers and/or kalamata olives.  If you think you don’t like capers, try them again; they are amazing! I keep a jar of them that I have drained and fried for use on salads, pizzas and pasta.  They are vegan substitutes for anchovies/ham/bacon/panchetta in recipes.

Smoked salt/lemon pepper/chilli flakes (optional)

Technique

Do not preheat press!!!

Roll risen dough onto cool, oiled sandwich press, using glass bottle.  This allows you to get right to all the edges, unlike a rolling pin. Roll it thin..about half a centimetre only. Don’t be tempted to use up extra dough  by making a thick base, it is yucky (unless you are five)!

Put on all the toppings, remember in a good pizza, less is more.

Now roll the toppings flat and push them a bit into the dough with your rolling bottle.  This stops them from burning and falling off without cheese to Clag them on.

Now turn on press and hover just about the toppings leaving a bit of room for it to rise.

After about 5 mins use a spatula to rotate the pizza 180 degrees to ensure even cooking. When it is golden underneath, turn off press and use a spatula and kitchen scissors to cut it up and serve straight from the press.

If you have smoked chilli sauce, you should be using it now.

Allow press to cool before making the next one!

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Pizza BC: before cooking

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Cheese on pizzas just glues on the ingredients, it isn’t really necessary as this recipe shows.  My ‘normal’ friends don’t even notice there is no cheese (or even cheese substitute) till I tell ’em.  You can use cashew cheese (pictured) if you want to.

Matt Preston said you can’t make good pizzas at home without a pizza oven.

He was wrong.

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Here he is, awarding me a trophy and apologising.

.

Posted in External Links, Health

ABC news report: Eating for better health: The power of plant-based diets

ABC Health & Wellbeing 18/1/17

There are lots of promises made about diets, many of which fail to eventuate.8187610-16x9-medium

But there is one approach to eating that growing evidence suggests could reduce your risk of developing a host of health conditions, from diabetes and heart disease to high cholesterol and dementia.

Eating a plant-based diet — rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — can help slow or prevent various processes of disease that begin long before diagnosis, says dietician Sue Radd.

“Often we think you either have a disease or you don’t. You’ve either got dementia, or you don’t. You’ve either got high blood pressure, or you don’t. You’ve either got diabetes, or you don’t.

“But it’s not quite the case. There’s a whole pathway from ‘not having it’ to ‘having it’,” says Ms Radd.

Diet, she says, is the cornerstone of ‘lifestyle’ improvement, and eating three times a day gives us great scope to include foods that promote good health.”

Research consistently shows that adopting a natural, minimally-processed, plant-based diet is best because it can simultaneously impact multiple pathways to disease.”

Full Article:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-01-18/eating-for-better-health:-the-power-of-plant-based-diets/8187436

♥ Wonderful plant foods! ♥