Category Archives: Lifestyle

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – “I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” by Eleanor Roosevelt. From Carol Taylor

Thank you Sally for showcasing another of my archived blogs you are a star ❤

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

I am now looking for archive posts for the festiveseason.. short stories fiction and non-fiction, food and recipes, humour, memorable Christmas’s etc.  Please send one or two posts to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.. I will be resuming the regular archive series in the New Year.  Thanks Sally.

Today Carol shares a post from 2015 that explores the choices we make and where they might lead us.. In Carol’s case to Phuket, sunshine and a contributor to a short story anthology…

“I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” by Eleanor Roosevelt. From Carol Taylor

Are we all happy with that?

I am, because if I hadn’t retired to Phuket I most certainly would not be blogging, I would not be warm( it’s so hot and sunny here), I would not be making my own ham and bacon, I would not be a published author the list is…

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I have done it!

Finally….I took the plunge and jumped… After months and months of huffing and fuffing and reading all the horror stories…..I have done it!

I am now the proud owner of a new blog called Orienthailiving and my domain name is myhealthyretirement…

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Why Orienthailiving?

I suppose because there are so many lovely places to see here, some which I have seen and many which I want to see. They are on my bucket list no less. I am discovering old traditions passed down through generations and we are growing our own turkeys among other things… Who would have thought..farming????

There are so many beautiful crafts and things which I would love to bring to you and which would look lovely in your home or as a gift. It would also bring a little bit of the Orient to you wherever you are in the world.

So, my friends, that is how Orienthailiving was born. What do you think of the name Orienthailiving? Do you think Orienthailiving reflects me and my core values?

I also wanted to keep my other website separate.

I didn’t want to merge the two…Retired no one told me!       is my first blog..my first foray into the world of blogging and yes I would like to earn a little to help support the lifestyle that I love and my writing hence the self-hosting option but to keep them completely separate, with both reflecting the country that I love and live in is how I think I like it for now. Maybe at some point, I will merge the two…Who knows???

Also, healthy eating is my baby and my passion so whatever else I decide that I will bring to you it still won’t be things which I wouldn’t eat, drink or make merry on myself.

Supplements, protein pills and powders and the ilk are a no-no and always will be for me and will not be shown on my blog ever.

So please bear with Me…

That’s my aim and when you pop over to my new site there will still be tweaks to do, so please bear with me. It takes a while to set anything up, but I am no young thing who can do it in a trice. It takes me a while and that is with some help, lol, and I have found a lovely young woman called Misty who I think is going to be an absolute little gem. I already feel less stressed.

I hope you will stay with me into my first foray of self-hosting and be sure, I will make changes. Because really how many times do we change our furniture around ladies?? so that goes without saying. Any constructive words will be gratefully received as I really pretty much still don’t have a clue. To be honest I am not one of these bright young things who was born with a mouse in hand. I am self-taught, a tad over 50 ish (now that is stretched)… just a little bit…haha…

I am trying really hard as I don’t want to sit in my rocking chair with a good book and just watch while the world passes me by. So be kind to me in view of my advancing years.  (just don’t upset me!…haha…) That was the age card pulled…yeah! Bring it on!

I do hope you enjoy my newest blog…

http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

Thank you for reading and I would be happy if you would share the good news on social media and if you would like to follow me or like my post that would be really great…..Much love to you all xxx

 

 

Things That Bloggers Need to Stop Getting Stressed About

Great advice on how not to get bogged down and envious ….Love what you do and celebrate your success 🙂

Suzie Speaks

imageHow to blog. There are so many questions that I see being thrown around continually among bloggers. How often should I post? Should I create a Pinterest or Stumble Upon account? What plug-ins should I use? How often should I share my posts on social media? Should I be self-hosted? There is no definitive guide as to how to create a successful blog, and therefore there are no definitive set of right or wrongs. Most of what I have learned has been through trial and error, and from advice given by bloggy friends. Some of it has worked, some of it hasn’t, and I have shared my experiences in the hope that they prove useful for others. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that my advice will be successful for everyone, if indeed anyone at all. Focus on doing what works for you, don’t be afraid to try new things, and…

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One year on! My way forward

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And what a year it has been!

Living in the north of Thailand is completely different to Phuket but I have also discovered much more about Thailand and its culture, traditions and discovered so many different fruits and vegetables.

So in some ways because of the move, it has taken me a while but I have decided now on my way forward.

The last post I wrote had a very good response with reblogs, shares and views/reads on a few of the different social media’s.

People are obviously interested in health both bodily and mentally and looking at food to help them achieve that and food which can work alongside any medications that is prescribed for you.

Like this one: Foods which may help lower your cholesterol

As those of you who know me know that none of my recipes are just a recipe but also contain other titbits of information.

I know I can waffle with best of them…lol

My recipes will now contain at least one and possibly more ingredients which will help you reach that goal of eating more healthily and also start to learn that it is important what we put in our mouths for our children’s health and our health.

We read a lot about buying organic foods and yes it is sometimes way out of some of our budgets but even if you only have a window box I hope I can help you learn what it is best to buy organically and what you can buy through your normal shopping channels knowing it is safe and also what you can grow.

 

A lot of the articles I read bombard me with information and sometimes I just switch off because I am either too busy or I just haven’t got a clue or just because I don’t like the sound of the foods which it is suggested are good for me. Who wants to eat boring unappetising food?

So my aim is to keep it simple and not bore you with jargon.

I want to give you recipes for the whole family that encourage those who are faddy eaters to try things. Give you alternatives for some ingredients that may be cheaper or more palatable to some and indeed a lot of the recipes I have come across I don’t really want to eat ….I may change my mind when I try them or make a few changes and that is also what food is about adapting it and of trying new ways of cooking and it makes food fun and enjoyable and that is what food should be about.

Whether you only have the weekends to cook or when you are on holiday but learning how to adapt your cooking to your lifestyle take one step at a time because it is no use running yourself ragged as that is not good for your health either.

For example, a lot of the food I cook is just for me. So I buy my meat or fish and cut it into portions and freeze it. If I cook a chilli I freeze individual portions it is all about planning.

No one has to spend hours in the kitchen if you plan and prepare. Put the slow cooker on before you go to work and when you come home a beautiful meal is ready to eat.

Put porridge in your slow cooker overnight and it will be ready and waiting for when you come down in a rush with no time to cook and just enough time to eat.

I plan to write some cookery e-books with my favourite recipes in for you.

So in a nutshell, I want to give you the information so that you can make your own decisions on how to feed your family for optimum health. Feed your family normal food. Food which encourages faddy/picky eaters because then you stick to it because you love what you are eating.

Feed your family normal food. Food which encourages faddy/picky eaters because then you stick to it because you love what you are eating.

I plan to self-host my blog very soon and I will be adding affiliate  links for products that I use and love not just a fancy product which costs an arm and a leg and doesn’t do what it says or is so difficult to clean that it puts you off using it or you just plain don’t have the cupboard space to store it.

The final part of my plan is that when I have this in place I will have the time to finish my novel which is a long time coming…lol

Oh, and I haven’t started on the chooks and farming but that is also on track.  We are the proud parents of some baby turkeys …..Why Turkeys? Because I haven’t been able to buy one for Christmas dinner for the last two years and so I thought I would grow my own…They are adorable, so friendly and make lovely soft, happy noises…They seem to love their new home although they are having to stay in the smaller bit for another few days..just so they get used to their surroundings and where their food is…

 

But I am focused and ready to move forward.

Thank for reading this post I do hope you enjoyed it.and our new adventures in Northern Thailand…If you did ..please share it or reblog it….

And lastly, if I can do it so can you…cos I am not a spring chicken anymore but having so much fun and feel I have a new lease of life….

Please feel free to give me any advice, suggestions anything at all. That is what comments are for.

Any photos I use are by myself( Carol) or are from Pixabay and free to use.

Healthy Eating …

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I try to eat healthy or as much as I can or I want to…I like the occasional treat and why not???

I am careful about what I feed my family and my cooking methods and I do what I reasonably can… I check out things or products I am not sure of and make my own mind up as to whether I buy it or not.

I believe it is all about balance and not being fanatical as that just makes you miserable and laughter is good for you as well.

I know it is hard to check and there is a mine of information out there and some very believable I will say…But I love digging and not just the garden and sometimes I get really frustrated and just save the links for another day when my brain is clearer…

What annoys me most and there is one in particular that when I see his name connected to a statement of supposedly valid, 100% true facts….I read, double-check and read again….I also came across and interestingly…and no I am not going to name drop…I believe he has a regular tv show … But the other week I  was reading something which stated a fact and provided the name of the organisation which conducted the research… BUT… it wasn’t a clickable link..an error??? We all make those…

So  I copied and pasted the link…. yes there was a study and it totally contradicted the statement this doctor had made…

My conclusion was that he is very famous and a lot of people hang on his every word and take it as gospel and wouldn’t click the link if they had been able to anyway…Total faith in his word.

Today I read a post that mentioned him, Two in fact …One interested me as it was the topic of a post I am currently writing…. This is where the red mist took over… My husband always used to tell the kids it was “tin hat” time…lol

Real life medical doctors have investigated claims made on this show and stated that not even half of the recommendations made were based on any proven evidence at all….Now that is scary..don’t you think????

Rant over ..normal service will resume with a smile with my next post and I promise I will research everything as much as I can but please..check for yourself…Promise me that…. You owe it to yourself and your families…

Until next time…Stay safe, laugh a lot and ASK a question.

 

 

 

 

 

Foods which can help reduce your cholesterol levels naturally.

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Cholesterol.… there has been so much bad publicity about taking statins, however, if you are taking prescribed medication for your cholesterol please speak to your doctor before you stop taking any prescribed medication.

If your doctor is suggesting that you take medication then now is maybe the time to look at natural ways of reducing your cholesterol before you start medication and it does work as my mum did just that and she got her cholesterol level down and didn’t need medication so diet does work for a lot of people.

Nuts…

If you’re looking for a snack food that lowers your cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! Ha Ha… In a study published by The Medical Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that people who munched their way through 1.5 oz of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%. Almonds and Hazelnuts are another great option.

The picture above shows the little cob nuts we used to pick and enjoy at Christmas also known as Hazelnuts they are sweet and incredibly nutritious edible kernels from the “birch” or Betulaceae family of trees.

They are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic as well as essential fatty acid, linoleic acid that helps lower LDL or bad cholesterol and raises HDL or good cholesterol.

Spinach…

This popular green food contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Research suggests that just ½ cup of a lutein-rich food daily guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls “shrug off” cholesterol invaders that cause clogging.

Just take…

25g butter 

100g fresh breadcrumb

zest of a lemon

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 red chilli, finely chopped

500g spinach…. then melt the butter in a large frying pan add everything except for the spinach. Cook until golden and crunchy. Remove from the pan and put to one side. Add the spinach to the pan and wilt, Stir and season then put in a serving dish and top with the crispy crumbs and serve as a lovely side dish with a pasta or ????? You choose!

You choose!

Fruit……..

Fruits such as apples, citrus fruit, berries, apricots, cherries are high in soluble fibre and pectin both shown to be helpful in lowering cholesterol. A bowl of beautiful fruit in season is just wonderful or make it into a smoothie….I use fresh and frozen fruit for my smoothies, if you have some bananas that are getting too ripe and they do ripen so quickly don’t they?..then pop in a bag ..remove the skin of course and chop into pieces and when you do a smoothie just pop in frozen.

My smoothie recipe....  a couple of strawberries, a banana, a few frozen raspberries and 3 cheeks of lime and about half small glass of coconut milk. I like my drinks a bit tart and I don’t do sweet drinks so if you like yours sweeter you may want to cut the lime a little and add some honey to sweeten but the beauty of the smoothies is anything goes ….you can make them to order.

I also sometimes add a slice of tomato, beetroot( not in vinegar), and carrot…Play with your flavours you will be surprised and you are getting your 5 a day beautifully served in a glass of deliciousness.

If I want it colder and more frozen then I use frozen bananas.

Fatty Fish….

Omega 3 fats found in fish are one of the natural health wonders of the world these fatty acids can lower cholesterol replacing saturated fats with omega-3 like those found in salmon, sardines, and herring can raise good cholesterol as much as 4%.

Do you think that fish looks appetising? It is one of my favourite dinners and so quick and easy to do click here for the recipe     I hope you love it as much as I do. For ease, I buy a piece of fish and portion and freeze it so if you are busy or working you can just take it from the freezer before you leave the house and it is nice and thawed ready to cook when you get home.

Garlic…

Aside from adding zing to almost any dish, garlic makes the list of foods that lower cholesterol; Research also finds that it helps stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage by keeping cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls. Read how to get the full benefit from garlic here

Oats….

If you are looking to lower your cholesterol then get out the Scotts Porridge Oats.  I grew up on those… a lovely warming bowl before I went out into the cold to walk to school. Yes…shock horror..walk to school…

Now that is another post as I still walk …my longest walk….26.2 miles which is the official length of a marathon and I did it!

Back to that bowl of oats…Eating two servings of oats for breakfast can lower LDL (Bad) cholesterol by 5.3% in only 6 weeks.

The key to this cholesterol buster is beta glucans, a substance in oats that absorbs LDL, which your body then excretes.

Don’t like porridge then what about some lovely oat biscuits

Olive Oil….

Good news: This common cooking ingredient can help your health. Olive Oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids which lower LDL cholesterol—and have the welcome side effect of trimming belly fat. Use it to make your own salad dressings, marinate chicken and fish, or roast vegetables.

For a quick, easy bread roll recipe using olive oil.…they are wonderful toasted, with a lovely bowl of soup…… Isn’t healthy eating delicious???

Red Wine….

I love science especially when it tells me that a glass of what I love is healthy for me….It doesn’t get better than that…Does it???

Now, who doesn’t love a good Rioja? Well, those lovely high fibre Tempranillo grapes may well significantly lower our cholesterol levels.

A study by the Department of metabolism and nutrition at University Health News 

Confirmed this …That’s good news a glass of Red wine is beneficial to our health, isn’t it…..Cheers!

 

I hope you enjoy these posts ..my aim is to encourage healthy eating but also to help you realise that most of us only need to tweak our diets a little as much of what we eat is good for us as long as we buy fresh produce or grow our own… don’t buy processed foods but hey I don’t buy processed foods and we eat well…I also have a budget and buy foods in season, on special offer, if it is something I use, we swap vegetables and fruit here so if I have too much of something I share it with my family or neighbours and they do likewise.

Just a few little adjustments sometimes make so much difference.

I could tell you about so much more…name everything which helps lower your cholesterol…It would be akin to War and Peace BUT I want you to use google, ask and decide for yourself what you want to cook and what you want to buy……If only 1 person does this then I will be a happy bunny.

 

And if you think I am being too frivolous as health is a serious subject……..Laughter is also good for your health.

Until next time…Stay safe, laugh a lot, have a glass of red wine and  ASK a question.

 

Natural Foods to treat pain and inflamation.

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I have this phobia I suppose one might call it…Even my family doctor used to smile and pat my hand and say “Carol, just take them” I am sure sometimes he even wondered why I paid him a visit …..Maybe I just wanted him to advise me on what he thought was wrong with me although I was one of these people who probably only saw my doctor every few years at most.

Now I don’t even go although if I felt really, really very unwell I would go. So I am not advocating never visit a doctor again I am just saying if you have a mild pain or some inflammation there are Natural Foods which can help and indeed many people and even some doctors are advising the use of Natural Foods and Herbs.

I have listed a few everyday foods and seeds with some recipes if you wish to incorporate some of these in your daily diet.

Ginger…..

I love Ginger and grow and use it in a lot of my food and pickled it is beautiful.

Ginger you can grate or dice finely, it is used in fish dishes here or with Scallops it is a lovely thing.

A member of the rhizome family as is Turmeric…Ginger is softly sweet and slightly spicy and medicinally it has many benefits.

Ginger tea can aid digestion and is a lovely drink.

It also is an ideal home remedy for muscle and joint problems.

In addition to drinking ginger tea, you can also use it to soak inflamed joints. Ginger is one of the best pain killers in the world having analgesic properties like the popular ibuprofen, only better.

It contains a quartet of active flavour constituents, gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone which are active ingredients to reduce pain. Ginger reduces pain-causing prostaglandin levels in the body.

All studies by researchers found that when people who were suffering from muscular pain were given ginger, they all experienced some improvement.

Turmeric……

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Millions of people take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat their arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Many of these same people are now looking to treat their arthritis and other inflammatory conditions naturally.

Awareness and knowledge is increasing and people are now aware of available natural remedies that are possibly safer, or at the very least as effective, easily accessible, and inexpensive.

Despite decades of research and thousands of preclinical studies indicating the therapeutic value of turmeric, many people are still not aware that the common kitchen spice can serve as a valuable alternative for a number of health conditions.

A human study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine clinically confirms the medicinal value of turmeric. Results show that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract can reduce inflammation in patients who suffer from knee osteoarthritis.

Turmeric is a plant specifically from ginger family, used for flavouring and colouring in cooking.

The value of taking turmeric seems to be a valid one and yet many people are still not really aware of what a powerful substance it is.

It can be taken in Golden Milk, added to carrot soup, taken as a supplement or extract but as it is not readily absorbed and retained in the body it is advised to take it with black peppercorns which aid its absorption in the body.

Golden Milk Recipe using Turmeric and Virgin Coconut Oil.

Cayenne Pepper……

Cayenne pepper has many health benefits and anti-irritant properties. It can ease stomach upsets, ulcers, sore throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs, and diarrhoea.

Just a simple blend of:

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of hot red chilli powder and
8oz pulpy orange juice,

Taken with a straw, can provide almost instant relief from a sore throat.

Be sure not to use more than 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon for about every 8 ounces of orange juice, as Cayenne pepper is a highly concentrated spicy food powder, and when taken in higher amounts, can aggravate parts of your gastrointestinal tract.

 

A little word of warning although this is a very effective cure for sore throats be aware and careful that you do not use too much cayenne and to protect your stomach, a banana, some rice or potato before drinking will do that if you have a sensitive tummy.

 

Celery/ Celery Seeds……

 

As kids, we had celery with our tea on Sundays with crumpets and shellfish my mum always put it in her stews and now research backs all this up it has found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in celery and its seeds and advises adding it to soups, stews or use as a salt substitute.

To me, it sounds like mum knows best….What do you think about age-old remedies which are making a comeback??

My mum probably didn’t give the benefits a thought, her only thought was that we should get good nourishing home cooked food..nothing was packets then..everything was made from scratch and that is what she taught me and I have taught my children and now my grandchildren…..

There is a lot to say about traditions and passing on knowledge and I think that all this is now making a comeback as people are questioning what is in their food and medicines.

That is good!

Oh! waffling again..sorreee we were on celery were we not?

 

I myself have used celery juice as a brine when making bacon as a substitute and natural brine if you don’t wish to use Salt-petre.

 

Celery juice is also a diuretic and can also help clear toxins that form those painful kidney stones.

 

Cherries…..

Cherries are one of nature’s best sources of health enhancing pigments called anthocyanins which provide powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect is the human body.

Anthocyanocides are particularly effective at keeping blood uric acid in check and a viable remedy for the painful condition of gout.

This lovely smoothie recipe incorporates cherries and leafy greens.

A cup of pitted cherries.

A young coconut..the meat and ½ cup of the coconut juice.

½ an apple or a pear

2 cups of fresh baby spinach (or other leafy greens)

Blitz together and enjoy!

 

Dark, green vegetables…….

Are good sources of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol thiocyanate which protects cells from inflammatory substances which can be produced in response to injury or infection in your body.

Bok Choy is one such green which is used widely in Asian countries. It can be eaten raw in salads, coleslaw or juiced. It can also be used when making fermented vegetables which are sold on every market here and very easy to do at home.

 

Walnuts…..

A valuable source of omega 3 oils walnuts are one little powerhouse.  Its anti-inflammatory properties help lower the risk of chronic inflammation. Just a handful a day or incorporate them in a lovely smoothie or shhh shh chocolate brownies..yum

Or if you want a bit of fit and healthy then look no further than this recipe for a luscious Banana Espresso Smoothie.

 

This is a recipe that my daughter gave me along with a packet of Chia seeds as I can’t always get them here. Bananas we have in spades as they grow in abundance here so my freezer always has frozen bananas ready to make a smoothie.

Ingredients:

1 frozen Banana

1 cup of coconut milk.

2 tbsp oats.

halved walnuts as in the picture or you can use 1 tbsp peanut butter

A shot of espresso.

1 cup of ice

1tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds and honey.

Put all ingredients in your blender and blitz away.

Pour into glass and enjoy!

 

I hope you are enjoying these posts and my dearest wish is that they prompt you…Yes, YOU!

To question and research what you are eating and how eating somethings can improve your health and that of your family.

Until next time….stay safe, laugh a lot and ASK a question x