Sunday, August 22, 2010

Omnivorous Diet

OK.. This Blog post will likely be none too interesting for the most of you.. I am actually putting it here for one soul reason..

I'm in the midst of writing my book, and very enthused about it I am.. it's changing heaps.. continuously morphing into something different as I keep coming up with new ideas at night time, or while pottering around doing something else..

Anyhow, my initial thoughts had been to include some info on what I ate while growing up, but the lengthier it got, the more I felt it just didn't flow with the rest of the story, and was even, all things considering, a little boring, in a story which I'm otherwise hoping will enthrall and entertain,  so I've been frantically chopping things up and rearranging them, and have finally decided to cut and paste this extract.. (below)..

As I've said, it's not something which I particularly wished to blog about, but the idea is that in the book, for those that are vaguely interested, I'll include a link to this particular blog post..

During my most earliest years, due to some complications breast-feeding, I basically survived on formula milk powders.

From that, I believe I moved on to baby foods, probably much of which originated from jars, and then slowly just began eating what the rest of the family was already hooked on..

So I guess you could say, I grew up on the conventional English meat and 2 or 3 veggies diet.

Memories of my younger years have mostly faded into vague mists of obscurity, but throughout my school years, and the time I spent still living at home, a typical days eating for me could quite possibly have often been something like the following:

07:00 Breakfast cereal smothered in sugar and cream of cows milk, followed by drinking the rest of the bottle of milk, and sometimes one more bottle, (just to give me that little extra boost!!)
10:00 A small chocolate bar or some other kind of sweetened snack bar thing..
12:00 Lunch was generally 2 or 3 sandwiches, filled with some kind of spread or another (mostly fish or meat based paste), followed by a piece of fruit (an apple or orange), and followed by another small chocolate bar. And all that accompanied by some sticky sweet cordial carried in flasks that I seem to recall I was always breaking.. - All lovingly prepared by mum. Bless her.
16:00 Getting home from school, I would generally drink a pint of milk, and eat a small snack, maybe biscuits or slice of bread and something.
18:00 was dinner, which was generally some kind of meat - fried, grilled or boiled - together with the 2 or 3 veggies - boiled potatoes, carrots and possibly a brassica of some kind.. All generously covered in a gravy sauce.. - If we were (what I, at the time, considered) lucky, it'd be followed by desert, of a heated fruit pie, and ice-cream, or some custardy delight thing.
20:30 I'd most often eat another snack bar, or a packet of crisps.. - Just to help me sleep see..

During the summer months, we did eat our fair share of salads, which I recall having a particular fondness  toward.. – They Consisted mostly of lettuce leaves, tomatoes, spring onions, cucumbers, gherkins, ham, cheese, crisps and bread & marge.. – Each on their own platter on the table for us to serve ourselves from.

And then, I mustn’t forget, that there was the forever present bowl with some fruit in it for us to eat.. Mostly apples or oranges, but being hooked on all things artificially sugary, I admit openly that like many others, I much preferred to snack on biscuits and cakely snacky things..

Actually, while still briefly on the topic of fruit, I recall that from a very young age I had a very strong aversion toward bananas. Even the smell of them would make me want to throw up. One time, while on a school trip to Belgium, aged but 9, I somehow convinced myself that I was morally obliged to eat a banana a friendly hotel staff member gave us once at lunch time..

After pretty much forcing it down me, I became as sick as the proverbial dog.. For the rest of the week, I was in bed, throwing up and feeling about as rotten as one can feel when one’s 9, in an exciting foreign location, and supposed to be having a good time.

Drinks were taken at any time, and were mostly milk based or lemonade, or orange juice from a glass bottle, or cordial of some kind. I seem to recall too, that I went through phases when I was often snacking on yogurts, especially, I think, in my teen years, I was hooked on the dairy thing.. I even remember there was the odd day or 2 when I managed, somehow, to get through as many as 8 pints of milk in a single day! (although a more consistent average was often more like 3 to 4 pints a day)..

At other times I was completely hooked on lemonade and forever visiting the fridge to pour myself a glass, and during my late teens, I did the same with bottled and cartoned orange juice.

In my mid to late teens, I started drinking coffee regularly, and aged 16 or 17, while working for Weatherbys in Wellingborough (home of my parents), I believe I had my first of what was to be many many beers at bars, and soon fell into the pattern of getting pretty darned drunk on a semi regular weekly basis..

In an effort to be more mature about my drinking habits, I recall as a late teen, I got myself into the habit of drinking vodka, particularly a polish brand named Wyborowa, straight. And despite the fact that at some point I really was drunk on pretty much every Friday or Saturday night, or both sometimes, it took me some years before I was to experience my first hangover.

After having left home, and being out in the big wide world fending for myself, I was completely hoodwinked and brainwashed into believing that cooked food and animal products were essential fundamentals of a healthy staple diet.

So, when I initially began being responsible for my own meals, I followed to the T, the pattern I had already grown accustomed to.

However it did not take too long, before having my own money and free choice, that I basically became lazy with the rules I'd adopted, and instead began digressing, and focused more on a diet of pizzas, burgers and other so called “fast“ foods..

After moving to Germany, in '82 I have difficulty remembering preparing any food for myself.. It's quite possible, nothing other than sandwiches.. Very rarely anything fresh, and probably no fruit at all except an odd stewed apple pie.. Most of my food was consumed in pizza restaurants, or fast food joints.. followed frequently by icecreams and coffee, and washed down with coke during weeknights, and the German yeast beer (my new image!) at weekends.

Oh yes, there were also lots of those little tubs of yoghurty creamy chocolaty sugary things that were and maybe still are so popular in Germany.

Leaving Germany and migrating to Norway a few years later, was a most excellent move for me though.. It saw me slowly shifting my focus from the unhealthy lifestyle of junk food, regular alcohol binges and continuous subjection to smoke filled bars..

I not only began making a conscious choice to move away from all passive smoking environments, but also to make significant changes to my eating habits, and I once more began preparing my own food from fresh ingredients..

It was while living in Norway, that I turned vegetarian.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

koala bear encounter

Hi Amelia! This is a special blog post just for you!

Last summer, for a short period, it got so hot in certain parts of Australia that Koalas started coming down from the trees in search of water..

there were several cases of them even approaching humans and more or less begging for it..

Koalas, as I'm sure you probably know already, mostly stay up in their eucalyptus trees, eating and sleeping all day, and rarely feel the need to supplement their diet with water..

As you can see from these pictures, this one even went into someones house to escape the heat..

These pictures were taken when the house owner offered the koala a bowl of water to drink..

now that's one cute looking animal!!

Since spending time in Australia in the 1990s, and arriving again 2006, I have only ever observed one koala in the wild.. they are very shy creatures, difficult to spot as they tend to blend into the tree they are hugging.. You have to have really keen eyes and be very patient and observant to spot them..

Kangaroos on the other hand.. once you get out in the country they're everywhere..

Saturday, August 14, 2010

And the Wolf shall lie next to the lamb

Some interesting photos a friend just sent me via email..

Generally these sort of pictures frequently get broadcast around the internet, but i'm not much into bulk forwarding stuff, and I found them interesting, so thought I'd post them here..

These images were taken by a guy named Norbert Rosing.

Apparently they are of a wild polar bear coming upon tethered sled dogs in the wilds of Canada's Hudson Bay.

The claims are that Norbert was convinced he was going to see the end of his dogs when the Polar bear wandered in.

But it seems, all he needed was a playful hug, and to make new friends

He reckons that the Polar Bear returned every night that week to play with the dogs.

Amazing.. I am convinced that there will one day come a time when the Isaiah prophecies of the wolf lying next to the lamb will come to pass..

This reminds of a story I once heard, (and this is me, mango speaking, not part of the chain letter), while living in Norway, about a woman who kept a bear as a pet.. She lived in some sparsely populated area, somewhere in the non-enviously cold north.. one day, she chained her bear up in the garden, and left into the town to do some shopping..

Half way to the markets, she heard something behind her, and saw the bear running toward her..

Believing the bear to have escaped it's chains, she stood her ground, and waited for him to get close, then walked to it, slapped it's face, and scolded it telling it that it shouldn't be following her, and to head on back home..

Reluctantly, the bear about faced and headed sullenly back along the path..

After the markets were done, she returned home.. only to find her bear still chained up in the garden!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Avocados on a Fruitarian Diet..

In reply to the anonymous someone that recently asked me once more about avocados on a fruitarian diet..

Hi Mango!
I frequent your website often. I would like to ask you something. You know, I like to eat avocados, but the 80-10-10 people say it's too much if you eat more than half of one a day! And, I can eat three a day. I have a feeling that I only want the avocados because they make me feel restrained and then I "binge" on them, which is usually three to 4. I don't eat any greens. they taste like dirt. I live off OJ, mangoes, cherries, watermelon, and avocado for now. But, what is your take on the avocado and its fat?

scrumping avocados
Me scrumping organic avocados from local orchard

Well, I have no real doubt that there's a fair amount of sense in much of what the 80/10/10 diet and philosophy propose, however, I feel that trying to methodically stick to the 801010 pattern is not the right way to go.. Each day, the body's needs may vary greatly, and if you feel drawn to eating more avocados one day, or over a period of time, then there is little doubt in my mind that it makes good sense in eating them..

I'm not a calorie counter, nor into the nutritional science side of things, but they may be right in that 80/10/10 is an overall, seen over longer time period, reasonable average.. I wouldn't really know for sure though...

I tend to do things differently, for the record, I can regularly eat 4 or 5 avos throughout the course of a day, and sometimes more.. sometimes less too.. I never feel I binge on them. They're a fruit! Binging is something you do on foods that you shouldn't be eating at all in the first place..

descending the avocado tree
Climbing down from the avocado tree

Unlike others, I don't "diss" the avocado, or the tomato for that matter. I don't classify it as "fatty", - in my opinion a very derogatory term that doesn't give it credit for it's unique fruitiness.

Avocados are fruits like any other, and (provided you are not overly mixing them with other fruits - which is something you can say of all fruits!), I think it's unlikely your body would let you overdo them.. once you've had enough, your body will tell you, just as it does with every other fruit..

If you feel at times you overdo them, then maybe it is because you've eaten them too fast, or because they were overripe (too soft), or had some other deformity (like invisible mold!).. If you're energy appears to drop after eating them, don't stress unduly or give yourself a hard time, just try and flow with it.. go and lie down and have a siesta.. nothing wrong with that.. rest's good too..

Over time, it may be true, that one's desire for avos drops, and maybe even there will be times when they don't appeal at all, and that's good too.. just accept that no 2 bodies have the same nutritional needs at any given point in time.. and that at any given point in time, individual needs can vary greatly too..

pockets loaded with avos
After scrumping - pockets loaded with avocados and a cheeky grin on me face..

Avos are in my opinion, a great fruit, and I hope to have at least 3 trees on the eventual land that we end up living on..


Monday, August 02, 2010

Mystery Fruit - 5

OK.. let's see how many of you recognise this one:

It's a pretty rare fruit not seen much, if at all, outside of the tropics..

An exceptionally strong smell, and a delightfully moreish taste..

These are the seeds:

Any guesses?