Mug Cake

Sometimes I just want to eat something sweet. This morning was one of those times. I love Danish Pastry, and that is what I craved. But the only store bought pastries that work for me, with comprehensive labels, come in packages of four or six. I cannot purchase in individual pastry. Herein lies the problem. If I buy four, I will eat four. If I buy six, I will eat six. If I buy one, I will eat one. I only want to buy one, which I cannot do. So instead, I found a recipe for a mug cake, skipped the Nutella, added a dollop of peanut butter, and a dollop of raspberry jam, then sprinkled chocolate chips over it, and baked it in the microwave. It hit the spot, scratched the itch, quenched my craving.

I am careful of sugar laden treats, as I feel sugar contributes significantly to my high blood pressure. I’m not sure it works this way for everyone, but I certainly found it to be the case, after monitoring my diet and my blood pressure daily, for more than a year. I love sugar, but it is something I have to be very careful with. My mug cake had a total of two tablespoons, or six teaspoons, of sugar in it. That is my daily quota! So today I am over quota, because I also added a teaspoon of maple syrup to my morning coffee. I enjoyed that cake, and won’t need to bake another for a while.

It is raining today, providing the newly washed Iris The Trailer with a thorough rinse. The weather reports say that next week we will see sunshine again, and then I will be up there on the ladder, scrubbing away to remove the black dots left by the lichen. When the surfaces are clean, marine wax will be applied and buffed. Slow but sure, that’s me.

Green, a very welcome colour. The day gets greener as the rain falls. Sometimes it is wonderful to live in the universe’s colouring book.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

11°C
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Wednesday 25 April 2018
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 10.5°C
Dew point: 9.7°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: ENE 17 km/h
Visibility: 5 km

Quote

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.”
Robert Fritz

A Tale Of Two Sandwiches

Another gray and dreary day. It is mild though, and almost all of the snow has melted away. So far it has been a wonderfully mild winter.

A few days ago I was careless and ate slightly more than 1200 mg of sodium for the day. I experienced some swelling in my feet and fingers. Yesterday and during the night my system finally released the excess fluid, and the swelling has subsided. I am very sensitive to sodium.

This morning I awoke at 6:00 a.m. For me this is sleeping in. Attila was still in dreamland. Sitting at the kitchen table I had the sudden urge to bake a loaf of bread. I have known since last September that I needed to start baking bread again, salt free bread that is. I have procrastinated, for months.

I found a salt free recipe online, for Oatmeal Bread, and began with that. I used the ingredient list, but since I use a Bosch mixer to knead my bread, and the recipe included only instructions for a bread machine, I had to improvise.

My Oatmeal Bread Low Sodium was a success. Attila will continue to eat store bought bread for the moment, until I get into the swing of things, then he will be switched over to salt free bread as well.

I love peanut butter sandwiches, preferably with jam, not honey.

Yesterday my peanut butter sandwich was a source of shame and guilt. How can two slices of bread with a few tablespoons of peanut butter and a tablespoon of jam cause so much distress? I am restricted to 1200 mg of sodium a day, and 25 gm of sugar per day; when I eat something high in sodium, or sugar, I have to carefully watch everything else I eat, all day long, including snacks and beverages. An indiscretion at breakfast or lunch can severely limit our choices for dinner; this affects Attila too.

Yesterday’s sandwich was made with commercial bread, regular Kraft peanut butter, and some “fruit only” jam with a significantly reduced sugar content. Yesterday’s sandwich packed 440 mg of sodium and 7 gm of sugar. Yesterday’s sandwich used up more than a third of my sodium quota, and almost a third of my sugar quota.

Today’s peanut butter sandwich makes me smile.

Today’s peanut butter sandwich was made with my homemade Oatmeal Bread, all natural Kraft peanut butter, and the same “fruit only” jam. Today’s peanut butter sandwich had 22 mg of sodium, and 9 grams of sugar. The low sodium intake for my lunch allows me to have 60 mg of ham for my dinner! Alas, the sugar intake increased, because my homemade bread is made with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Still, I find it far easier to restrict sugar than to restrict sodium, so I reckon I am ahead of the game on peanut butter sandwiches. Eventually I will experiment with reducing the amount of brown sugar in the homemade bread; that will take time, and won’t be worth the tradeoff if the flavour suffers.

Little things can make a big difference.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

3°C
Date: 2:08 PM EST Saturday 21 January 2017
Condition: Mist
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 3.0°C
Dew point: 2.6°C
Humidity: 97%
Wind: SW 10 km/h
Visibility: 1 km

Quote

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
Thomas Carlyle
1795 – 1881

Note: Women marching on the White House in Washington today, supporters marching all over the world. Let our solidarity extend to one another when the banners are no longer waving.

The Bright Side of Life

Attila and I are having a good laugh this morning. I noticed that he had cleaned the toilet. We both hate the job, I usually break down and do it. But I’ve been working a lot since Christmas, and just haven’t managed to make the time. It is an easy job to postpone.

As I was thanking Attila for getting the job done, a thought occurred to me. The only circumstance where we might feel uncomfortable about an unclean toilet is in the event that we received company. We began to discuss when we last had visitors. It was last fall sometime, Harriet and Hogan dropped by for an hour or so on their way home from their cottage. We aren’t sure though just when, but it was last fall. The kids haven’t been to visit since 2011.

We burst out laughing! We dodged that bullet, no visitors, no worries about an unclean toilet. “Always look at the bright side of life.” [Monty Python, The Life of Brian]

We both worked yesterday, and also managed to squeeze in a trip to the nearby town to do our banking, pick up our prescriptions, and do a bit of grocery shopping. Although we have had snow almost every day, the roads are clear and dry.

Fresh Canadian mushrooms and USA strawberries were both on sale. They have been cleaned and sliced and arranged on the dehydrator trays, and will dry during the night while the hydro is less expensive. The strawberries smell divine!

Today, Sunday, is our “weekend”. Attila has prepared refried beans for this week’s lunches, and will be whipping up some baked falafels for quick and easy meals after work. At Christmas Terra gave us the turkey carcass from her turkey dinner, which we froze immediately; today it becomes turkey soup. I love Attila’s turkey soup.

I have baked a fruit and nut loaf for Attila’s snacks, and have yet to decide what other delight to bake. Perhaps I will make some homemade biscuits to eat with Attila’s turkey soup tonight.

I think that cooking for oneself, from scratch, improves mental health. I know it improves physical health. It is a win/win activity.

Having a post secondary educational background in human nutrition, I am sometimes shocked at the proliferation of misinformation that circulates on the web. Recently a friend posted someone’s article about the importance of diet in battling cancer. Sounds plausible. I read on. The article was written by an entrepreneur who is selling “health” products. That was the first warning bell. The article stated that “sugar” “feeds” cancer and should not be consumed. No references, no citations, just the statement of an unsupported “fact”. That was warning bell number two. Warning bell number three came in the next paragraph, where the author suggests eating molasses and maple syrup. Molasses and maple syrup [I eat both] are sugar; the stuff the author just warned readers not to eat. The author was unaware of the contradiction. I stopped reading. In my opinion the author is just another self-proclaimed “expert” trying to make a buck.

Here are some reliable sources offering information about sugars:

https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Carbohydrate/The-Truth-about-Sugar—FAQs.aspx

http://ajl.sagepub.com/content/4/6/515.abstract

Sugar is a treat. Treats are not part of a healthy diet, they are something you indulge in. I indulge in treats. I eat sugar, primarily maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses. I don’t kid myself though, and I restrict the amount of sugar I eat.

A healthy lifestyle includes daily exercise, healthy relationships, and a healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables, with moderate amounts of other foods.

This is reliable advice on choosing a healthy diet.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-8 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -8.0°C
Dewpoint: -12.8°C
Humidity: 69 %
Wind: WNW 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -15

Quote

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
J. R. R. Tolkien
1892 – 1973

Amen to that!