Tag Archives: Food

Here’s What Fruits And Vegetables Looked Like Before We Domesticated Them…

For me, a very interesting post from Chris@thestoryreadingapeblog…Here on the farms some of the fruit is similar to the first fruits on this post not been commercially grown. The watermelon we are currently eating is not exactly the same as a commercially grown one and I have been having a conversation with my grandson as he pointed out the difference and thought it was bad?? I told him it was grown on his nan’s farm and they just come up every year so this post was interesting and another topic for conversation with him so thank you, Chris… Kids certainly know how to stretch ones grey matter…lol…A good share and timely for me….I can resume this conversation armed and ready..haha

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

By Tanya Lewis on Science Alert site:

Next time you bite into a slice of watermelon or a cob of corn, consider this: these familiar fruits and veggies didn’t always look and taste this way.

Genetically modified foods, or GMOs, inspire strong reactions nowadays, but humans have been tweaking the genetics of our favourite produce for millennia.

While GMOs may involve splicing genes from other organisms (such as bacteria) to give plants desired traits – like resistance to pests, selective breeding is a slower process whereby farmers select and grow crops with those traits over time.

From bananas to eggplant, here are some of the foods that looked totally different before humans first started growing them for food.

Wild watermelon

This 17th-century painting by Giovanni Stanchi depicts a watermelon that looks strikingly different from modern melons, as Vox points out. A cross-section of the one in the painting, which was…

View original post 82 more words

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Beat the Blues with food.

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Updated from 6 months ago ❤

Is depression on the increase? Is medication the answer? Sometimes.

Depression is not caused by just one factor but can WE help ourselves by eating well?

Can we help control our depression by diet?

A new trial from Deakin University http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/media-releases/articles/world-first-trial-shows-improving-diet-can-treat-major-depression  has shown for the first time that improving diet quality can treat major depression.

Just cutting out sugar, caffeine and drinking more water can have a huge effect on our moods.

Well, I don’t know about you but I love good food…

I love proper food, meals the whole family can eat and not pick at, meals I can knock up quickly for one or for 6 people. Food which is not expensive and I can easily obtain or grow myself even if I only have a window box.

1.Dark, leafy greens:

Spinach

Thai Spinach:

The healthiest greens on the planet are Kale, high in Vitamins,  folate and potassium with Collard greens, Spinach, Broccoli and sprouts following close behind they all promote good brain function.

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But I don’t like greens.

Just how many times have we heard that and not just from our kids but from some adults also…

Well, let’s introduce them gently and a little sneakily…lol

Mix lightly steamed, thinly sliced collard greens into your mashed potatoes.

Layer your lasagna with spinach which is low in calories and high in vitamins.

Better cooked than raw although great in salads. For the best sprout recipes ever sprouts with garlic, chilli..ha ha snuck that one in…lol

  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/20/our-10-best-brussels-sprouts-recipes  You will never notice you are eating greens.

2.Fish:

Salmon, trout, mackerel, snapper all high in omega 3 oils, they can be grilled, baked or steamed. Packed with protein, vitamins and potassium all healthy for your well-being. As long as you source and buy fish responsibly sourced and not farmed… fish is very good for your health and well-being.

Thai Salmon Trout.

salmon

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Ingredients:

180 gm Trout or Salmon fillet.( per person)

For Topping:

1 spring Onion finely chopped.

2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely…I use the stem as well.

1 red birds eye chilli finely chopped help promote the release of pleasure-boosting endorphins in the brain.

1 tbsp Fish Sauce.

A cheek of lime.

Mix ingredients together.

Put fish on foil and spoon topping on reserve some topping to add when serving. Seal foil and put in the oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.

Serve with steamed rice, boiled new potatoes or over noodles.

3.Walnuts:

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  7 a day may be all it takes to improve your health. The walnut is a little powerhouse packed with Vitamin E, folate, melatonin and omega 3 oils all of which support good brain health.

 

4. Tomatoes

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Packed with lycopene and antioxidants that reduce stress and repair damaged brain cells eating a tomato a day is said to reduce the blues by 52%.

My favourite recipe for sun-dried and beautiful tomatoes and here is how you do it yourself….. https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/yesterday-i-was-clever-so-i-wanted-to-change-the-world-today-i-am-wise-so-i-am-changing-myself-rumi/

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Just words of caution tomatoes are acidic and as with anything moderation is advised because it may cause heartburn in some individuals.

5.Beans:

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 Packed with nutrients copper, folate, magnesium, zinc and calcium.You can use beans in a lovely chilli, salads, add tinned beans to soups and stews. Make a chickpea hummus to dip your veggies in. Beans are a very versatile food  and so healthy for you as this post from the Sally and Carol Cooking from Scratch series  will show you HOW

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6.Berries: 

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Some of the healthiest food on the planet, juicy, brightly coloured, sweet or sour, fresh or frozen add them to smoothies, yoghurt, a compote on porridge, pancake batters or in salads.

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These foods are easily available everywhere and will help decrease depression and work alongside prescribed medication.

Does Junk food shrink your brain??  http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/media-releases/articles/does-junk-food-shrink-your-brain

This study thinks it just might!


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Salmon, Tomatoes and Spinach photos are from my personal photo collections.

All other images are Pixabay and no attribution is required.

I also am now the proud owner of a brand new blog called Orienthailiving which I hope you will pop over to and have a little look and maybe like and share it…It is in the early stages of development and a big learning curve for Moi…. But I have had positive feedback .. Thank you xxx

Celebration Cake | Orange Blossom, Yoghurt, Cardamom

Once again a wonderful recipe from Chez Moi I just love everything she does her photos are divine and her cooking awesome. This sounds like a beautiful cake and one I will surely make very soon…

 

Source: Celebration Cake | Orange Blossom, Yoghurt, Cardamom

Healthy Eating…..Just Pickled!

Oh my, have I been busy pickling this week.?

I have pickled cucumbers ( 2 ways), jalapenos, garlic and cabbage.

Pickled Cucumbers:

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I used 4 cucumbers ( they are short) ones here not like the ones we used to get when in the UK although I have discovered Japanese cucumbers and they are nice, crispy and very similar to the cucumber I know and love.

The cucumbers here are much smaller with larger seeds in the centre and not quite as crispy and flavoursome. In fact, I think I prefer them pickled.

Lets Pickle!

I peeled and sliced( quite thickly) 4 cucumbers.

1 large Onion peeled and sliced.

3 cups of vinegar.

1/4- 1/2 cup of sugar or sweetener of your choice. I only used a 1/4 cup of sugar and some salt to season as required.

1 cup of water.

Whisk vinegar, sugar and water together in a jug. Put alternative slices of cucumber and onion in pre-sterilised jars, then pour the vinegar mix over the cucumber and onion making sure to cover completely.

Screw the lid down tightly and refrigerate they will be ready to eat in 2 days in fact if you leave these too long they get too vinegary. They are really a quick pickle recipe.

If you missed my previous pickled cucumber recipe then here it is 🙂

Pickled cucumbers. 

3 medium cucumber

1 large Onion thinly sliced.

85g sea salt flakes (essential- table salt will render your efforts inedible)

500ml cider vinegar

250g granulated sugar

1 tsp Coriander seeds

2 tsp yellow mustard seed

1 tsp peppercorn

1 tsp ground turmeric

small bunch dill

Wash the cucumbers, split along their length and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into finger-length chunks, then cut into 5mm strips. Mix with the onion and salt in a large bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight.

Next day, drain the juices, rinse the vegetables in cold water and drain well. Put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a very large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins to let the flavours infuse.

Add the vegetables and bring the pan to a rolling boil over a high heat, stirring now and again. Boil for 1 min, then remove the pan from the heat. Tear in the dill, then pack into sterilised jars making sure that no air bubbles are trapped. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

in jars..pickled

I also had a lovely message today from a lady who had made the recipe and said they were lovely and it was a great recipe and to keep writing …How lovely was that?  It really made my day…

Pickled Garlic:

Pickled Garlic

8-10 garlic bulbs

500 mls white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

90 gm sugar

1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.

1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)

2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.

In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so I normally do some of both they are equal in taste to us. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.

The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time.

Pickled jalapenos:

Pickled Jalapenos

This recipe was given to me by a Texan friend and it has carrots in the Jalapenos something I hadn’t thought of. His mum’s recipe and they are the best ones. The carrots taste lovely pickled with the jalapenos. It is our go to recipe and I make them all the time …The current batch has some blow your head of Jalapenos isn’t it funny how they vary in heat just like chillies. But pickled they are oh so scrumptious.

INGREDIENTS:

10 large Jalapenos sliced into rings.

1/2 to 1 carrot sliced into rings.

3/4 cup of water.

3/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.

3 tbsp white sugar.

1 tbsp salt.

1 clove garlic crushed.

1/2 tsp oregano.

METHOD:

Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and oregano in a saucepan over a high heat.Bring to the boil.

Add carrots bring back to boil and lower heat slightly, cook for 5 minutes.Stir in Jalapenos and remove the pan from heat. Alow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Pack carrots and Jalapenos in sterilised jars using tongs. Cover with vinegar mix or put in sterilised storage container and keep in the refrigerator.

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)

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1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.

8 large spring onions chopped

Coarse Salt.

Method:

Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy..Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.

To Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water . Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

Then refrigerate and enjoy!

Images:

All images are mine and from my own photo collection.

I do hope you enjoyed this pickle of a post…it reminds me of the song of Peter Piper who picked a peck of pickled peppers..try saying that quickly…lol

Also when I was a little girl…I am not telling how many years ago…My nan used to give me the liquid from the greens when she cooked them…although I will say they massacred them then..no lightly steamed veg then it was cooked for at least an hour and she added vinegar to the green juice…It was such a treat though I loved it!

Can anyone else remember that?

If you enjoy my posts then please share or reblog it makes this whimsical English lady very happy and if you comment I will always reply back..I love comments and making new friends and exchanging recipes and tips….I love it!

So enjoy those pickles..always in moderation of course as vinegar is a fermented food, so if you suffer from gout be careful as too much will aggravate your condition otherwise the vinegar in pickle juice is actually good for the digestive system. “It encourages the growth and healthy balance of good bacteria and flora in your gut”

You didn’t think you were going to get away without a little bit of a Healthy Eating Talk, did you?

I am sure or I know there are lots of other benefits of pickles and a few downsides and all that is for another time and post just enjoy those pickles in moderation as with everything.

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is the best medicine you know…Happy endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals which in turn make you feel relaxed.

Love you all…..

 

 

 

Egyptian Lamb Flatbreads

Lamb is very expensive here and a treat for us…Monday we had a lovely butterflied shoulder and had some leftovers ..cold lamb is not very nice so decided to make some flat bread..a first time for me and I was really pleased with how they came out..very quick and easy to make and use the leftover lamb. Hence my Egyptian Lamb flatbreads.

Egyptian lamb flat breads (2)

Ingredients:

Flat Bread:

1/4 cup milk.

1/2 cup water.

2 cups flour.

1 tbsp Baking Powder.

2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp salt.

Filling Mix:

300 gm leftover cooked lamb…can use beef, pork or chicken.

1 lemon finely zested.

juice half lemon.

2 tsp black pepper.

1 tsp oregano or marjoram.

1 tsp dried thyme

I tsp Paprika.

1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted.

2 eggs beaten.

1 tsp sea salt….I always use Himalayan salt.

4 Spring onions finely sliced.

Method:

Make flatbreads.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins…. if that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour. Divide into 8 pieces. Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin.

My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with.

Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done… finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.

Lamb Filling:

Chop lamb into rough little chunks and pieces. Put in large bowl with lemon zest and squeeze half of lemon juice into the mix. Add all your spices, the eggs, salt and pepper and most of the spring onions..retain some for garnish. Mix together thoroughly.

Lay out flatbreads and cover half with filling, then fold over and press together. You get half-moon shape.

Get 2 large baking trays rub one with Olive oil Lay flatbreads on an oiled tray, lightly rub other tray and pop this on top of flatbreads. Put trays into preheated hot oven and cook 6-8 minutes. This way the flatbread will get lovely and crispy on top. If you have small trays you may need to do in batches.

Depending on size of flatbreads cut in two …I left mine whole as I served individually( see picture) and not on large serving plate but for a party or just because you want to….. serve on one dish with Houmous… Just as a little note it was my young grandson(11) who arranged these on the plate for me…didn’t he do well?

.Recipe  for hummus can be found on a previous blog ..published June 18th ..titled ..If you think sunshine brings you happiness, then you haven’t danced in the rain.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/if-you-think-sunshine-brings-you-happiness-then-you-havent-danced-in-the-rain/

The yoghurt dip was made with some chopped mint, good squeeze lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Scatter over reserved onions, sprinkle with little cumin. Serve with lemon/ lime wedges.

Voila ………… Eat and enjoy!

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

 

 

Natural Foods instead of medicines?

This post sets the scene for some of my future posts where I will be telling you about natural foods which may help treat pain and inflammation, natural foods which can lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, which foods are antacid and much more.

I will give you the information, the recipes so you can make your own informed decisions..which is how it should be. You should be in charge of your life and what goes in your body.

lady holding veggies

It means cooking and preparing more but it also means that you will know without a doubt what you are eating. I cook normal food, not faddy, not with expensive ingredients just day-to-day normal food. If I can make it I do, but on occasions, if I either can’t get the ingredients or don’t want to I may buy a packet mix but it is the exception for me rather than the rule. I cook recipes from around the world because that’s what we like but we also like a tasty stew and vegetables.

Does that sound good?In this post, I will give you a little background to me, how my brain ticks, my logic…. I use common sense, I use proper food and grow it where I can.

I am not vegetarian, vegan or anything else I just try to eat healthily…

I also on occasions eat you know who’s fillet of fish…and why not???

I love some veggie recipes and we eat everything in moderation…I just love a bit of meat and fish as well. But I  care how my meat gets to my table ….I grow my own fish..I started with 3 and I now have too many to count but as of yesterday someone came and took quite a few for their pond so the ones left have more room to grow and are happy little fishes.

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My Xmas turkey will be raised by us and I know where my beef and pork comes from. I also know that I am lucky to know this.

I haven’t always been that lucky but my mantra is you do what YOU can and what YOU are happy with and gradually it all falls into place. I am not fanatical I just do what I can and if we all did that we would all be happier, healthier and so would our families.

Baby steps are good.

More and more people are now turning to natural means of curing their ailments than ever before…Why? So many reasons, are they better? Do they work? I think in some instances they do but I also think that sometimes we need to heed our physician as tried and tested medicines also work.

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Can we find a happy medium? I think we can. Natural remedies do work but they don’t work the same on everybody. “one-size doesn’t fit all” as the saying goes.

Generic medicines have been tested, tested and tested again and work generally across the spectrum which is in some ways better as they work for the majority. Whereas natural remedies are more trial and error.  So I can see why medicines and tablets were invented as they were more stable.

It doesn’t stop me from preferring to take the natural route where I can.

I have always been a rebel on the QT… I have always questioned my doctor…I always look what is in the packet…I  question what I read on social media …I question everything…I always just do!

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I want to know what my family eats. I want to know what is in my food. Even before all of what goes on now ….I questioned…Years ago ..many more than I am going to tell you…ha ha…

My kids would have loved a Mr. Frosty….One mouthful and the tongue was bright blue…In my world that set off alarm bells…

Freds with blue tongue

If your tongue was blue what was it doing to your insides? They never got one!

My logic was basic… and I suppose to a point it still is…If it has really small print and the name is long and unrecognizable and the list is even longer…I don’t buy it!

Tell me in plain language what is in what I am buying….

 

If you don’t! I don’t!

 

 

If you liked this post then please consider following me and sharing or reblogging my posts. We are what we eat ….my first post on the subject. Please click the link to view  https://niume.com/post/316514   I hope you enjoy it!

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot 🙂 AND ask!