26 August 2012

Slow Living

I recently came across Christine's blog over at Slow Living Essentials.  She has challenged herself (and anyone wanting to join her) to be accountable to selected slow living principles and to blog about her progress every month.  I like the idea (and the challenge) so I'm going to try too.  Her categories are: Nourish, Prepare, Reduce, Green, Grow, Create, Discover, Enhance, Enjoy.  Perhaps mine will be slightly different, but it's a good place to start.

Here's my progress for the month of July:

Nourish:
Being Winter, I've been making soup from scratch every week.  Most times the soup has some form of meat in it, but one of our favourite vegetarian soups is Lentil & Vegetable soup.  I made sour-dough rye bread for a few weeks and continue to bake whole-wheat bread every week.

Prepare:
Citrus fruits are all in season now, so Sarah  (daughter no.2) has been helping me make lemon cordial, marmalade and lemon curd.  We stocked up on all the dry pulses at Fargo Trading, i.e. beans, lentils a few weeks ago, and we are still eating from that (we eat vegetarian 4x a week).  The Bean Book by Rose Eliot is still my No.1 vegetarian cookbook for over 20 years!  Every recipe in that book has been a winner in our house.

Reduce:
Plastic bottles are my focus at the moment.  I 'wash & squash' them and collect them in a large drum which is emptied and taken to be recycled.  We have recycling collectors come around on Garbage Day, who rummage through the garbage bins before the truck arrives.  I gave a large sack of said 'squashed bottles' to one, who was very pleased with my contribution, as it saved him a lot of rummaging :-)

Green:
Still using home-made laundry liquid and tried finding an alternative to bleach to whiten the whites.  A cup of lemon juice in the machine works well if you can then hang your washing in the sun to dry.  Since my washing lines are under a roof that didn't work.  A peroxide solution didn't work for me either.  Back to the drawing board on this one.

Grow:
Our Community Garden has continued to produce throughout the winter months, but everything is terribly slow.  Leeks planted in April, are still not ready to pull.  Peas are only just starting to produce.  We are still regularly eating lettuce, spring onions, rocket, spinach and radishes.   In the last week of July we had a few warm Spring-like days, and I sowed one of the seed beds with summer crops.  Since then we've had chilling winter rains and thunderstorms and I'm hoping I wasn't too optimistic.

Create:
I love to crochet (as it's so quick and you can see results fast!) and was thrilled to have finally finished Ruth's (daughter no.1) scarf and beret and even managed to post it to her in time for her birthday this month.  (Thrilled because I started the scarf  LAST winter, and then Spring arrived ... and the garden needed me :-)

Discover:
A friend lent me a pair of circular needles (large and fat ones) and without a pattern, I attempted to knit a round beanie, or should I call it a beanie-in-the-round?  I'm sure there's a more elegant name for this type of knitting, but it's the first time I've ever tried it.  The beanie turned out well.  Now I want to try socks...

Enhance:
The Community Garden has been our on-going project for 3 years.  We spend a few hours every day either working in the food garden or supervising the maintenance of the whole project.  Currently hubby and I are training 2 local people to manage the garden.

Enjoy:
Joshua (grandson no.1) turned 13 and we celebrated the day by playing indoor golf at the Waterfront, followed by a walk in the wonderful Green Point park.

Wow, that wasn't so difficult afterall.  Actually quite fun!  I hope you'll join me?




13 August 2012

Winter... a season for colds and flu!

What's the first thing you do when you feel a cold coming on?  Please share your secrets with us?  I usually head for vitamin C and whatever immune booster I can lay my hands on.

Prevention is better than cure, and is usually cheaper too!  So what can we do to prevent a cold from attacking in the first place?

When my children were small, I gave them a daily dose of Cod Liver Oil & Malt from Autumn until Springtime.  It seemed to provide a good protection against chest complaints.  You can get Cod Liver Oil in capsule form.  I would also take a viral immune booster daily.  Nowadays, there's you can get effective throat sprays for the type of cold that attacks there first.

Minimize DAIRY intake.  This culprit is the cause of too much mucus.  Switch to soya or rice milk.

EAT YOUR SALADS!  I know, when it's cold you don't feel like eating cold foods, but if you make it a family habit to start the meal with a small plate/bowl of raw salad before you serve the main dish, they'll eat it, believe me!

Drink enough water.  Again, most of us don't.  Think about it like this.  Just as your car needs oil to lubricate all it's parts and keep them in smooth running order, so your body needs water to do the same inside you!  By adding the juice of half a lemon, orange or grapefruit, you're getting the best combination of vitamin C and water.  As mentioned before, if you can't handle cold water in your mouth, add a little hot water to temper it.

Exercise!  Whether it's walking, biking, gym, pilates or whatever you prefer, don't stop doing it during winter-time! 

And if all your efforts fail?  Then hit the bed and get as much sleep and rest as you can.  Yes you can take a few days off from work until you recover!  Your health is more important!