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Showing posts from June, 2016

Nutritional interventions AUSAID report

If you want to get your geek on, there's this report on the importance of nutrient dense food with plenty of variety, in this report by AUSAID entitled "Nutrition interventions and programs for reducing mortality and morbidity in pregnant and lactating women and women of reproductive age: a systematic review"

Here the link is:

https://www.adelaide.edu.au/arch/research/3ie/AUSAID_short_version_May_2013.pdf

Guaranteed return on investment?

So many of my contemporaries get excited about the money they will make when they "invest" in housing.  All I notice, despite the optimism, is people lucky to break even (get back what they put in), or worse.  No doubt a few make modest returns.

This story, about the house from the movie 'The Castle' should give people food for thought:
http://www.domain.com.au/news/house-from-the-castle-faces-demolition-20160630-gpw1nf/

You may want to just watch the movie "The Castle" and then just buy a house to live in and be content.

Bankruptcy over in three months (Ireland)

Imagine being free of mortgage debt within three months if you voluntarily give up property the debt is on, and it is agreed with the lender?  In Ireland, for some people, they have been able to avail themselves of quick bankruptcy periods.   In Australia, as far as I am aware the period is three to seven years.

News article:

http://www.irishtimes.com/business/personal-finance/debt-free-in-three-months-with-new-bankruptcy-option-1.1820244

A helpful book

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Yesterday, instead of physically going to the library, where I have read most of the books (not such an exaggeration, I love a good book, or fifty to read over a weekend) I decided to borrow, and read some books from the online resource.  Thankfully the state library are adding e-books all the time.
One of the three books I read yesterday, was 'Don't Eat This If You're Taking That' which is a useful guide by medical scientists on the interaction of food and medicine.  It provides easy to understand and implement lifestyle guidelines for people with conditions related to:  anti-depressants; pain relief; blood thinners; diabetes management; heart burn; blood pressure; cholesterol management and heart disease management.
I found it a really informative book and well worth reading to better understand the above.  I think everyone would benefit from reading  this book, particularly the chapter relating to pain relief.  While beneficial to patients with these conditions, th…

Fruit and vegetables with a splash of resentment

Finally hauled myself to the supermarket.  As I went to bed early, and woke up early, I am not any healthier or wiser.  I was happy though to discover that early winter mornings are the most enjoyable time of day to shop.  There was hardly anyone in store and most of the staff were fresh and bushy tailed.  Most of the produce was at its freshest too which was good!

I've paid off my first and only payment towards my university degree debt.  I do resent paying for it when my parents generation enjoyed not just free education and training but guaranteed secure paid employment at the end of it.  I also resent it as more young people pour into higher education the employment outcomes are plummeting and the value of the qualification is weakened.

I did pay for my TAFE qualification which was capped and subsidized and found that far more useful.  I'm trying to view my University payment as just one of those bills I must pay but it's expensive and the government applies interest …

Chocolate sauce

Just made a quick gluten free, dairy free, chocolate sauce to enjoy with other dessert goodness.  It was made with a couple of heaped tablespoons of cocoa, about one tablespoon of sugar (you could use stevia, maple syrup or honey), about a tablespoon of gluten free flour, one can of coconut cream.
Mixed and stirred together and can be served on its own, with fruit, with ice-cream, with muesli (sounds strange, tastes good).  
Pure decadence and thoroughly enjoyable for an occasional low cost treat.

Annoys supermarkets

I seem to be going online with a list and a plan to buy some groceries, placing things in the virtual basket and then deciding that I really do have enough to be going on with.  At some point soon I will need to get myself some milk and yogurt and a few more vegetables but in the meantime it's kind of nice to have enough and not have to go out in the winter chill.

Compared to other places in the world Hobart's winter's are generally fairly mild.  Certainly it does get incredibly cold in other parts of the state and we do get 0 degree temperatures every now and then.  This winter has already been one of the coldest for over twenty years.

I've decided that I would like to get my University debt down in the next few years, or at least pay some off to keep the interest on the debt at bay.  It's not as big a debt as I thought and a bit of pain to pay off but that's another goal that's keeping me away from shops and no doubt frustrating their IT team with my vir…

This:

http://themighty.com/2016/06/to-people-who-say-it-must-be-nice-to-lie-in-bed-all-day/

Oolong tea and a hot bath

Is there a better way to start the day than a soak in a hot bath?  The answer to that is yes, but not many better ways when you feel like you recently had a skirmish with a truck and came off second best.  Then I drank a rose infused black tea by Dilmah and now I am trialing Madame Flavor's Caramel Oolong tea which is seriously good (even sweeter as I bought both teas on special).

I had quite the chronic fatigue crash yesterday and my body decided to do it properly so I was snoozing on the couch by 8 pm at night after I spent the afternoon napping much to the consternation of the dog who likes to know that I am about.  I awoke a couple of hours after my sleep on the couch with the TV blaring to find the cat and dog contently snoozing nearby.  Going to bed did not impress the dog who was soon asleep after I ignored her yaps for unnecessary food.  I have discovered the hard way that it pays to feed this dog enough or she eats far more than she needs, her eyes are definitely bigger t…

Cream cheese yogurt (soooo good)

I did not bring my yogurt thermos to where I am currently staying.  Partly because I have limited space for my stuff and equally because I can not be bothered moving another thing if I can avoid it.

Instead of driving to the shop I decided to stick with my food budget and use what I had.  Normally I would use powdered milk and/or sugar to thicken my yogurt and give the yogurt culture something to feed on.  I substituted cream cheese and it's absolutely delicious.  I wanted vanilla yogurt with less sugar than the commercial one and a fifth of the price to buy it ready-made.  I saved four to five dollars for a few minutes of work in the kitchen.  Additionally, I made use of a saucepan and towel to keep the yogurt going overnight instead of a thermos.

This recipe is not recommended for a novice.  I would familiarize yourself with basic yogurt making and techniques before you play around too much.  If you can find someone who regularly makes good tasting yogurt and lived to tell the t…

Renters' market

According to this report, tenants in areas of WA are negotiating better prices and deals on rentals as landlords struggle to find people to live in their property:

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/31870636/renters-enjoy-the-upper-hand/

Staying cool

I'm keeping warm with difficulty at the moment due to record breaking cold days.  Yesterday, I thought my thyroid might have been playing up but apparently it was the coldest day since the early nineties.  Boy, did it feel cold.  I had hot drinks, thermal top, polar fleece, slippers, a sporadic wood heater, blanket and hot water bottle and I was still cold with a cat on my lap.

I do love the ambiance of a wood fire.  The work involved in getting and keeping a wood fire going, is quite a lot.  Mind, I think the wood may be a little green.  The animals are content sleeping by it.  I think a pellet heater is worth considering if you like the look but hate the work involved.  I actually do not mind bringing in the wood too much as it's good exercise.

Even though it's cool, I am making sure I exercise.  Since dinner, I've just been drinking herbal tisanes. One more and to sleep.

Social Services Report Australia

I was looking for some social security information online to try and avoid ringing and listening to the same few bars of music on repeat for an hour.  I found this report by DSS on a recent pension review:

https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/seniors/publications-articles/pension-review-background-paper?HTML

I recommend reading it if you want to understand the social security system in Australia in more depth.  The comparison in payment levels of Australia to other countries shows us to be generous in family payments with higher rates than Scandinavian countries (when the report was completed).

Hobart, the best place for coffee in Australia!

Personally, I think this article is stating the obvious, Hobart has Australia's best coffee.

http://www.hit1009.com.au/thisistassie/blog/2016/6/hobart-has-the-countrys-best-coffee/

I will concede that I drank great coffee in Sydney (Manly), the Goldcoast and Brisbane.  I'm sure other areas on the mainland also do good coffee and tea, I just have not visited them.

Get physical

This article found on PubMed conclude that CFS is likely caused by immune dysfunction and depression found in CFS patients is due to illness.  In other words, CFS is a physical illness.

Immunological and psychological dysfunction in patients receiving immunotherapy for chronic fatigue syndrome. - PubMed - NCBI http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/1642616/

When to buy a shed?

Trying to figure out where the housing market is locally, and when is a good time to buy a property given local and global conditions.

This article sure is enlightening about conditions in rural Queensland:

http://www.afr.com/real-estate/residential/qld/property-investors-in-queensland-suffer-as-prices-plummet-65pc-in-three-years-20150811-giwqpk

Small things that make me happy and content

Small things that make me happy and content the last few days:


uplifting music playing (as I type)fizzy mineral water and/or filtered water - My taste buds notice the difference and it's better to use filtered water to make espresso.  Coffee tastes better and the machine will thank you. managed to find meat on special and freeze for future mealsfound bananas on special, eating with oats and yogurt for breakfast, can freeze and make into muffins/ banana breadgrabbed my Italian pod machine (Lavazza) and enjoyed quality morning coffee, sugar freespent the morning in the garden lapping up the winter sunshinespeaking to friendly people on the phone and in personhundreds of herbal tea bags (not quite!)leftovers for dinner (no cooking tonight)will make some yogurt later for one fifth of the price of bought and low in sugar

Restricted eating

Are you (or someone you know) dangerously obsessed with eating certain types of food (not related to a diagnosed and treated food allergy)?  You may find these articles helpful:

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/orthorexia-eating-clean-eating-disorder

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/wellbeing/health-advice/orthorexia-the-clean-eating-obsession-that-makes-you-dangerously/

Disclaimer: for medical advice seek treatment and advice from appropriate medical professionals.

Possessed vegetables

I just read about possessed vegetables.  They were, of course processed vegetables which some nutritionists would argue are in fact it's the same thing anyway!

Then there was the time I read about orgasmic vegetables being on special.  Actually, they were organic, which I am sure some health focused types would argue is the same thing.  Better food, better health, better everything.

I'm on my second cup of coffee, hopefully that will clear the cobwebs.

Suburban lights

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I took this photo of suburban Kingston, with the shops glittering in the background and ominous rain clouds gathering in my direction.  Such a pretty sight before the suburb goes to sleep.
Things I did that were low cost yesterday:
1) I went for a walk and took a picture of the lights which was inspiring
2) Sent some emails to stay in touch with people
3) Knitting a blanket to give away
4) Drank vanilla flavored coffee sachets (New Moccona - lower in sugar than the other brands I found in store).  I do not have my coffee machine with me and this is an easy way to have a treat for low cost, low calorie.
5) All I want to do in winter is stay inside and eat, and eat, and eat some more.  I ate high fibre food and drank plenty of water yesterday.  My main treat was flavored coffee, though I have been indulging in a little too much dairy after deciding I needed to reduce it.  
6) I found out how to use the fan on the wood heater, so it's quiet and efficient.
7) I did use the electric h…

Save, save, SAVE

According to the following report, more Australians are saving money in the bank:

https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/consumers-become-more-conservative-031053313.html

Third cup instant vanilla coffee goodness

Drinking my third cup of homemade quality instant coffee today.  One was a flavored vanilla coffee sachet, even made the next cup vanilla flavored.  Nice to be able to drink coffee without getting dressed up and going out.  Still a little hit by chronic fatigue today so being a home body.

I spent the morning making some freezer meals for my worst days and a few oatmeal cookies.  I had to throw the first batch out because I underestimated the oven I am using.  Turns out this oven bakes like hell!  Well, I turned down the second batch to baked-by-sun setting and just managed to get them out again and edible.
Ate a bag of microwave popcorn the other day that I found lying around asking to be eaten.  I will buy more next time I feel like a easy, relatively healthy snack.  Tasted better than I would have thought and most of the corn popped.  No burnt pan, or machine to put away, and clean.  Loving the microwave popcorn.
Made some phone calls and followed up some emails I needed to do.  Soo…

Basics of life, sorted

Feeling a bit hit-by-train as I like to call one of my more severe chronic fatigue/ SEID episodes.  I suspected that I would crash today and I did, and spent the wee hours of the morning in the bath and then half the day in bed due to exhaustion and insomnia.

I've been doing quite a bit of cleaning, one way and another, and my body has had quite enough.  Resting today, though I did managed to do a quick vacuum as the animals I am looking after tend to be a bit messy.  Using a quality stick vacuum, I really would recommend buying yourself a Bosch cyclonic stick vacuum, so easy to use.  I've also been learning to use a steam mop, they really are quite brilliant, much easier than a normal mop.

If you ever need to get on a cat's good side I recommend 'Fancy Feast'.  Getting rid of them after they discover that you are the source of such good eating may be difficult.  It will certainly stopped this cat from her usual sulk that her owners are away.  One very happy cat.

B…

White Christmas in July, anyone?

I'm reliably informed that half of Hobart have been experiencing snow.  Tasmania's where it's at for excitement at the moment.  We've had it all lately.

Today, I spent the morning in bed.  My sleep's gone a bit wonky but I am hoping to work on that.  Then I did some cleaning and vacuuming and then more cleaning.  Drank strong coffee and ate porridge (what's going on with me?) and read a book on domesticity.  I was not really in a terribly inspired or domestic mood but I got some chores done.

Then I spent some part of my afternoon dreaming about and researching the possibility that I could afford a small house in a very humble area.  I'm do not mind it being humble, at this point, I'm really not sure that it's safe!




Teeth and Coeliac

Like I said, unfortunately Coeliac Disease seems to be associated with expensive dental bills:

http://allergicliving.com/2013/03/13/celiac-diseases-toll-on-your-teeth/

http://www.oralhealthgroup.com/features/paediatric-dentistry-dental-enamel-defects-and-celiac-disease/

http://www.cdho.org/Advisories/CDHO_Factsheet_Celiac_Disease.pdf

http://www.foodsmatter.com/coeliac-disease/general-articles/diagnosing-coeliac-disease-via-teeth-10-10.html

No tooth fairy

Today, I had an eventful trip to the dentist.  As I suspected, my baby tooth had to be extracted.  I also had a couple of small fillings, and another few to go.  My teeth are in a less than fabulous state, and I believe some, if not all of it, is due to Coeliac Disease.  Certainly, the inability of my baby teeth to be seeded by adult teeth, with a couple missing can unfortunately be attributed to the condition.
I am incredibly grateful that my parents prioritized health in a way that their parents did not.  I would say that their parents did the best they could for their children but lacked the knowledge and understanding of my parents.  My grand parents' generation also lacked the education in oral hygiene that has followed for my generation.  
My mum, and I believe the health department at the time, gave me school dentists.  Unfortunately for me, due to my Coeliac Disease, most of my baby teeth had to be extracted, some with long roots on them.  I am grateful that I was provided…

On being sensible

Today I had much toast (gluten free), mustard and a tiny bit of cheese, two cups of coffee, fruit, green and herbal drinks, quinoa with chicken and vegetables.  I ate a small sample of gluten free dessert my mum was preparing for tomorrow and now I am drinking hot chocolate made with a drop of vanilla, cooking cocoa and a dash of milk.

Lately, I've been avoiding snacking other than fresh fruit and herbal infusions and watching my portion sizes.  I'm not convinced that it's made any difference to my weight but I am sure it's good for my general health.  After two strong cups of green tea I ended up in bed this afternoon.  I've not been able to exercise much due to my body fighting the last remnants of the flu.

Let's hope that my sensible behavior leads to good health and fitting into all my clothes.

Bye, bye savings

After extensive nagging to The Head Gardener, to go to the dentist, I've been forced to follow my own advice and book in for treatment tomorrow.  I've been putting it off, but hopefully a fair amount will be paid out by my health insurance, which is why I have it.  Unfortunately, I will need implants in the future and I think that may be all my savings gone if I go with the private system like I want to.

It's pretty frustrating when you work hard to save the little I have and it just leaves my account on necessary, and boring, but potentially life enhancing medical and dental costs.  I am grateful to have the money there to spend on important items which is why I get frustrated with other people who have so much more and waste it on tat, rather than at least save a little for times like this.

I also paid for my car registration which thankfully attracts a concession fee but again, still not cheap!  I would like to get ahead and keep my savings in my account to turn into a …

Stay updated with floods Tasmania

For Tasmanian's who need up to date information, I find that social media really does come into it's own.  You can "like" TAS Alert on Facebook and follow information on the floods on Twitter.

Alternatively, go to TAS Alert to keep up to date:

http://www.alert.tas.gov.au/Pages/ActiveHome.aspx

I am still safe on the hill and have enough supplies stashed away for the next few days.  I am due elsewhere next week but the forecast for those dates sounds promisingly boring.

Please follow instructions of emergency service and health workers and stay out of flood waters.



Rainy day activities

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Assuming that you, and yours are safe and on relatively dry ground, then you may find the need for some indoor activity inspiration.  As I type, someone I know is braving the wet weather to go for a run.  I might add, that where he is has not had a severe weather warning, yet.
Me?  I'm inside seeing how much caffeine I can drink before it leaks out my ears.  Also, I've prepped dinner and tried to take a photo of a couple of camera shy birds.  The cutest little things.  
Here are some links with some very good ideas to keep you inspired while the weather pelts down:
http://www.kidspot.com.au/school/school-holidays/holiday-activities/rainy-day-activities-to-keep-you-sane
http://mommypoppins.com/ny-kids/50-indoor-activities-for-a-rainy-day
You could (from my child hood):
Let your older children make playpens, pretend inside tents - help younger children make them Let your children play hide and seek (obviously you need out of bounds areas if they are unsafe, and it's best to …

Floods - Tasmania/ Australia

As I type, people are being evacuated from their homes, there has been loss of life in other states.  Forecasters are expecting things to get worse north of the state and roads are closed state-wide.

The Head Gardener is at the dentist and I will be relieved when she returns and my dad is likely out and about getting ready for what will hopefully be the trip of a lifetime (in the best way possible).  Emergency services, and I, would recommend that you avoid driving today.  Without question, avoid driving in flood effected areas.

Reportedly, the army is being brought in to deal with flooding in the north of the state.  It looks possible that a major river system near New Norfolk may also burst its banks.  It's all go for emergency services.

In other states there has been some loss of life reported and to those families I can only offer my sincerest condolences.  To people whose houses have been swept away (these reports are not clear) in NSW, I only hope that you have supportive f…

Dumbing down my smart phone

I enjoy using my smart phone for phone calls, it has a quality rarely seen in my previous dumb phone incarnations.  Even though I still specialise in twelve second conversations with my nearest and dearest (because I am usually on my way to see them) with the odd text to alleviate the boredom, it's really lovely to be able to hear people talking.  Half my conversations with old technology involved the word "pardon?", or "what" if I was getting particularly frustrated.  Though to be fair, I usually just spent my time, and my phone credit, apologising about the rubbish quality of my phone with absolutely no commitment to buy another phone until my current one went west (kaput a.k.a gone).  I was not going to spend a thousand dollars on a phone!!!  Thankfully the price has only been going down.

So, I like talking on the phone and hearing people, I even like the little pictures I can send.  I love the camera on the phone, so people look like people, and I love the …

Opiod abuse

No doubt you've read the tragic news that Prince's death has been ruled to have been due to self administration of the drug Fentanyl.  The response to this news from addiction expert Dr Drew is worth watching.  I found the video via twitter, here's the link:

https://twitter.com/AC360/status/738551172471095296

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (USA) has more information and links on further information on Fentanyl here:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/fentanyl

Signs and symptoms of Fentanyl abuse written by Narconon, here:

http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/fentanyl-signs-symptoms.html

For professional medical advice contact appropriate medical professionals.

A green fingered flop

I can only hope that this makes someone else feel smug, or smile.  I planted my lettuce and other assorted greens and put them outside during the day so they benefited from the sunshine.

The birds ate my greens!  No wonder they are happily tweeting all the time.  Then, the birds dug up my seedlings.  I have a few left that are alive but they look to me like they are hibernating.  Oh well, The Head Gardener planted some, kept them inside day and night, and it looks like she will have greens.  My tiny gardening attempt has been more of a PR exercise than anything else.

A frugal flu, part 2

I forgot to add, taking coffee so I feel happy while I suffer, and it's a good at helping me breathe!

A frugal flu

I am hoping that I can avoid the doctor.  I just ate an apple, which has to count for something.  My flu is considering taking up residence on my chest, at least for a little while.

I am fighting back by drinking herbal tea and honey, plenty of fruit and vegetables, keeping up my thyroid support regime by taking selenium and iodine as well as thyroid hormones.  Tomorrow I may get myself some fluids (electrolyte powder - add water) to keep me going but I am avoiding for the moment.  I am staying warm inside and taking gentle exercise.  If things continue I will get myself to the doctor who I managed to avoid last time I had the flu and would like to do this again.  At the moment, I am taking rest, fluids and I will take painkillers if things get too painful.