Friday, 30 January 2015

Meat - my dilemma......

Inspired by a documentary (can't remember the name) ......
How would a big juicy steak go down right now?    Medium, medium rare, well-done? Baked, BBQ’d, grilled?  Does thinking about it make your mouth water?   Does the moreish texture of a rich golden baked leg of pork with salty crackling that snaps with a crack as you bite into its flavoursome rendered fat ignite memories of family gatherings, Sunday roasts and Xmas dinners? 

We are told how eating meat is good for us.  It is high in protein and iron.  Builds muscles and keeps our blood healthy and even now some health experts are declaring that animal fat is good for us, dispelling the old belief that animal fat, saturated fats are harmful, clog up our arteries and indeed make us fat;  so much information on this food, this product that humans have been voraciously consuming since the cavemen.

We now add hormones and antibiotics and preservatives to manipulate it for convenience.  Less meat lost through disease, higher yield per beast and of course fresher for longer….all for our own benefit no doubt.  We can package it in plastic, in black poly styrene trays, we can pulverise it to mince, we can roll it, stuff it and we can even marinate it so that it doesn’t taste like meat at all. We call it roasts, chops, steak, shanks, brisket. We can break it down to the abstract we are most comfortable with.  We can reason our choices and we can justify our desire to eat meat. 

The truth is this once was a living breathing animal.  This deliciousness was an animal with the right to live its life freely; to feed on the grass in the paddock, to rest under the shade of a tree, to be part of a herd, a family.  To feel safe and to enjoy its time on this earth however long or short that may be.  The right to be respected and treated with care and thoughtfulness not forced, farmed, abused, tortured and slaughtered without a thought.  So there my dilemma!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Food--such a simple four letter word

In my mother-in-law's kitchen pretending I belong!

Food—such a simple four letter word but the whole food thing is not simple at all.  We eat not only for sustenance but pleasure and health.  And it is health that I so want to maintain. It is not that you can’t be bold if you have ill-health; it is just harder.

Of course, food is only one component to health. I am thoroughly convinced of its interconnectedness with other health-giving components: physical exercise, adequate sleep, and enjoying other’s company. But for me food is the most challenging.

I get it that it is just about choosing wisely and eating less. I seem to have always been interested in nutrition and healthy eating. I have listened, read, observed, and tried to heed evidence-based research (really tried). I have learnt that fads and diets are fanciful, and that there is no one miracle food.

I am thoroughly annoyed that I can’t say to you: ‘Look at me, I am doing it and this is how it is done’.  I can’t because I overeat—and it shows. I know it is the emotional connection—the absurd fear that I might get hungry and starve—and so I eat food that is excellent for sustenance, but in quantities that may not be best for health. Or if I am truly honest, my real concern is

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Black or white?
More like stuck in the grey area!
Another afternoon at the hairdressers.  An appointment I have become more reluctant to make these days because I know I will ask the same questions, probably get the same responses and leave the salon, only to continue procrastinating as to whether the time has come. 

Aren't things mostly black or white?  Up until now I loved my hair …… black.  It has been my better feature and one I had been especially fond of.  In the eighties when hair styles were up and out, teased and tussled into organised messes I was envied for my luscious locks and was blessed with the ability to get exceptionally  “big hair”, one of the fashion statements of that era. 

Over the years my hair has taken many twists and turns (no pun intended).   I once had it short during my second pregnancy.  Not sure why, but pregnancy did strange things to me.  All I can say is “my hormones made me do it”!  But mostly my hair stayed somewhere between my shoulder blades and my waist.

I was always happy and content with the colour.  I never, ever desired to be blonde; I was already having all the fun I wanted and I actually could never imagine myself any other shade.  I rarely spent time and money at the hairdressers, needing only a trim here and there and when I did lash out on some blue flashes at times; results of random, unexplainable acts of boredom, I felt I had done my bit to keep up with the trends. But now, OMG

Monday, 19 January 2015

Black or white?

Naz wonders if and how she should take the plunge. Fiz has and has no regrets... 

Foils were big 10 years agon and i felt that my auburn highlights and clever styling helped to camouflage that white line that regularly emerged along the roots of my dark-brown hair. Having a good haircut has always been important to me—a necessity even in the austerity years. My hairdresser was 'the' hairdresser in town, and so I would emerge from her salon every four weeks confident that I had the latest look.

Of course, I worried about the white line becoming less easy to hide, and spending two or more hours at the hairdressers wasn’t always convenient—and though I sometimes liked the respite it offered, other times it was plain annoying.  And it wasn’t cheap either! Not doing it, however, seemed a step way too far, a step that shouted I’m old.  I still had zing and plans and hopes. At 54 I definitely did not want to be classified as old.
But I did take the plunge, and this is why.