Sweet Potato Soup ~ with apple

sweet pot soup

 

Simple and Healthy

 

I made Sweet Potato Soup Thursday. I’m having the second helping today and am enjoying it

1] peel, chop, boil 1 good sized sweet potato. When nearly soft, chop into chunks a good sized Gala apple with the skin on and add to the pot. When both potato and apple are very soft but not falling apart, drain.

2] Pour half of the mixture into a blender. I used a Ninja mixer. Add half of 2 cups of chicken broth (if it doesn’t have salt, add to taste). Add half a cup of plain yogurt, preferably Greek. Mix well.

3]Pour into a large bowl or pot and set aside. Then repeat the process. Place remaining potato/apple mixture in the blender,  the remaining 1 C of broth, another 1/2 C plain yogurt, and wiz.

4]Pour this into the bowl with the other half of the soup. Add boiling hot water to obtain the consistency you desire. Mix well with a large spoon, careful not to splatter it out of the bowl. Eat what you want and refrigerate the rest for later in the week. I have not tried to freeze this because I eat it right up.

Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works. ~ Ecclesiastes 9:7, New American Standard Bible [NASB]

What’s A Virus Busting Diet? ~ healthy eating in a dangerous world

My people are destroyed for lac of knowledge;… Hosea 4:6 [English Standard Version, ESV]

I’ve researched a great number of websites on antivirual eating/foods. Most of them quote studies and research. I didn’t include those notations. I did select the foods that were common to and showed up on most of those sites.

These are the viruses we mainly deal with in 2020: covid19, the flu, HIV, cancer, hepatitis, the measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, and shingles, polio, common cold, rabies, ebolavirus disease and hantavirus fever,  herpes and cold sores. These viruses are much more difficult to heal than bad bacteria which we treat with antibiotics. However, we are not helpless. We can eat a diet that is hostile to viruses. And we can follow the advise of our doctors. And we can pray for healing. You can believe what you want. I, personally, believe food is not the healer. The Healer is God. God can work through prayer, doctors, a healthy diet. I believe healthy food provides a supportive environment for health and healing.

Antivirus Foods to add to your diet:

a garlic

Garlic and Onions: Garlic gives a threefold punch. It has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. . Raw garlic when it’s crushed or sliced gives the most benefit, but most people can’t eat it that way. When you cook it, peel and crush/slice it right before it goes into the pan. Jarred garlic bits in water is second choice, garlic powder third. Don’t use garlic salt. Studies have associated over salting with stomach cancer and high blood pressure. Garlic is part of the Onion Family (onions, garlic, leeks, shallots) Everything in the Onion Family has anti-viral benefits.

            Steamed Broccoli w/Garlic and Red Onion: Combine ¾ C water, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1Tbsp fresh sliced garlic in a skillet and bring to a boil over a high hear. Add ½ C very thinly sliced red onion, 2 C broccoli florets and boil at high heat for 5-7 minutes (or to the tenderness you like). Individuals with a thyroid condition will have to boil the broccoli until it is very tender. If there’s too much liquid, drain some of it. At the end, add 1/4  tsp- salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, toss, and serve. You can sprinkle grated cheese on at the table, if desired. Serves 2.

Note: cancer patients who are cautious about frying foods can steam/saute foods. Spray the pan with pan spray, add the onions, garlic, veggies, meat/fish/poultry and begin to cook over a low flame. Slowly add 1/4 C – 1 C water, broth, cooking wine, wine, or even fruit juice. Slowly raise the heat to the desired temperature. Don’t drown what you’re cooking. This steaming/sauteing will remove the fear of carcinogens that comes with pan frying and grilling.

a tea

Black Tea/Green Tea: Tea plants have properties that protect the plant from viruses and fungi. This does translate to human consumption. Tea has been shown to fight a number of viruses.

a salmon

Fish/Seafood with Omega 3 Fatty Acids:  Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, oysters. Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids reduce inflammation and acts as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral agents. Chronic inflammation has been shown to lead to heart disease and cancer.

A orange-4663073_1920

Citrus and Leafy Greens:  provide Vitamin C which boots the immune system. Flavonoid rich foods. Many of the articles I’ve looked at report that when an imbalance of healthy antioxidants and harmful substances called free radicals occur in the body there is increased risk of stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Foods rich in Vitamin C help to restore the balance.

A nut-1569252_1920

Nuts and Seeds: provide supportive Vitamin E, Selenium, and Magnesium. All it takes is a small handful of walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds. Caution: portion control is important. Nuts are a healthy virus fighting food but are calorie dense. Keep the portions small because overweight has no health benefits. 

A yogurt

Yogurt/Kefir: Yogurt is rich in probiotics, the good bacteria that support intestinal health. A large proportion of the immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. Eating yogurt regularly (daily or at least 4 times a week) can improve immune function because it increases the body’s production of antibodies that fight off viruses. Best is unsweetened plain yogurt, but any yogurt is better than none. At least one brand of Greek yogurt has no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners. It is slightly sweet. Drinking Kefir is also very good.

A asparagus

Foods rich in zinc: Zinc helps to keep viruses from attaching to cells and helps prevent them from replicating. Among the foods with the highest zinc content: garbanzo beans and other beans, asparagus and spinach, mushrooms, dark chocolate, nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts), oysters, shrimp and scallops, beef, lamb, and poultry.

My personal advice: take a multi vitamin every day and add a zinc and a vitamin C supplement to that.

Portions: Imagine your plate is divided into three sections like summer picnic plates. Your veggies go in the large space. Protein (meat, poultry, fish, seafood, cheese, etc) go in one of the small spaces. Carbohydrates (brown rice, sweet potatoes or red skinned potatoes with the skins on, whole wheat pasta, 1 slice of whole grain or multi-grain bread) goes in the other small space. If you are having fruit for dessert put it in one of those little bowls that look like finger bowls. Those are dessert bowls. The ones we tend to use are actually a cereal bowls.

A fruit

 

 

 

 

I Had A Minor Female Procedure Done ~ for women only

Magnolia Trees

Half of an abortion cocktail was proscribed.

 

I had to take the medication, as prescribed, every six hour on the day before the scheduled procedure. This medication causes the uterus to dilate.

Why I initially sought treatment was for Post Menopausal Bleeding. I’m 71-years-old and started spotting/light bleeding for five days then the bleeding would stop. It would start again a week later light bleed/spotting for six days. So I was bleeding lightly twice a month.

I sought treatment immediately after the first bleeding. A sonogram was ordered and on a later date, this procedure, a biopsy to see if the cause was cancer. Then it became scary, but I am a calm person by nature. I know my body and felt the bleeding was related to physical exertion. Still the word “cancer” is daunting and plaguing. The doctor told me the medication would cause some cramping. I knew all bases had to covered. I will find out the results of the sonogram and the biopsy in a few days. That is NOT what this article is about.

The day after the biopsy, I was ill. bleeding had increased. I figured the meds and dilation had caused that. However, I was nauseous to the point I could not get food down, had body aches, and was exhausted to the point that I thought not only could I not stand, I could not sit. That first day after the biopsy, I slept for 9 hours during the day and then my usual  8 at night, a deep sleep both times. This feeling of sickness lasted four days. Finally, today I got up with my usual energy and have started my morning — and I thought, Oh, Good Lord, that medication was very, very toxic.

Yesterday, I had an email exchange with a senior woman who had a hysterectomy for bleeding fibroids a few years ago. She’s the type who always puts family before herself and put off taking care of the bleeding. She wound up hemorrhaging. At that point, the doctors told her that her hemoglobin count was so low it was scary. Since the hysterectomy, she’s been fine. After all, by the time you get to Medicare, what does a woman need a uterus for?

My friend thought although I went through difficult side effects from the medication, and that the doctor should have alerted me to them, it’s something I had to go through because Post Menopausal Bleeding is no joke.

I should’ve read the paper that came from the pharmacy with the side effects, or looked them up online. I was fixated on the word “cancer” and I didn’t. So, I was completely taken by surprise.

I wonder what the experiences of other senior women with Post Menopausal Bleeding have been, and also women who have taken similar drugs for dilation purposes for other reasons. If you are a woman who took the meds for an abortion there will be absolutely no judgement here!!! I’m only interested in the actual physical/emotional experiences of women (and their caretakers) with Post Menopausal Bleeding and dilating drugs.

No Florida Fare During a Polar Vortex ~ beet soup (Winter Borscht)

Winter Borscht

With temps in Jacksonville dipping to 32 degrees at night (not good for the orange groves), I wanted something warm and comforting to eat. Shrimp ceviche, chicken salad with white grapes,  or Caesar salad with roasted chicken pieces  wasn’t as appealing as it was a week ago.

So, I fell back on the Slavic food of my heritage and a couple of days ago whipped up a pot of vegetarian winter borscht. I didn’t eat it vegetarian. I sprinkled a healthy dose of uncured real bacon bits on top and added the dollop of light sour cream you see in the photo. I never use fat-free sour cream. It’s got imitation everything. But I often has as a staple in my fridg uncured bacon or light (reduced fat) sour cream.

I don’t give recipes any more because I don’t use them. I chopped up two stalks of organic celery and threw it in because I had it on hand, wanted to use it, and celery is healthy eating. My mother and grandmother didn’t use celery in their borscht, but I’ve found it in some recipes. Of course, to me, these are simply guidelines. I like cooking without a net.

Speaking of cooking without a net…as it hadn’t gotten any warmer, yesterday I made a pot of brats with cabbage, canned tomatoes and tomato paste, carrots, onion, celery…totally without a net. I use little to no oil and the Johnsonville beef brats were lean. So, I threw in some organic apple cider vinegar to add flavor. It was only partially successful. During the next Polar Vortex, when I make it again, I’ll also add cubed Granny Smith apples. I think that would make it absolutely yummy.

I cook without a net, however, I don’t recommend living without one. If my recipe is only semi-successful, I can improve on it the next time. In life, sometimes there is no next time. When we make a mistake, we might have to live with the consequences for years. Jesus is my net. I believe in intentional living based on biblical principals without being legalistic, and it works for me.

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29: 11 [New American Standard Bible, NASB]

There are many excellent winter borscht recipes. Here’s a simple one from Eating Well Recipes that looked really good to me and doesn’t have exotic ingredients my Ukrainian grandmother never heard of and doesn’t require a culinary degree to prepare it.

Eating Well Borscht

 

 

Humility ~ is not self-deprecation

Shame

True humility isn’t devaluing or condemning ourselves. It’s not self-debasing humor. It has nothing to do with belittling, cheapening ourselves, or excessive modesty.  This is especially true for Christians.

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ~ Romans 8:1 [New American Standard Bible, NASB]

We all seem to have a sharp-tongued little voice that harps out a refrain saying we are not worthy, we are less than. This voice taunts us without our permission and against our will.

It’s the presence of this relentless, antagonistic, often lying or distorting voice that makes me believe there’s something beyond the natural. There’s a spiritual element.

As I wrote that, I realized I’m writing this for myself, as well as for others. — I’m a patient in a local medical practice that was just purchased by a larger medical group. There was confusion in the office when they gave me a follow-up appointment for test results…on a Saturday. I arrived on time for my appointment and the door was locked. The old practice had been open on Saturday, but the hours on the newly painted door said they were closed Saturday. On the drive home, that inner voice berated me. It said, I’d gotten the date wrong. It said they probably said the 18th (a Friday) but I had heard the 19th (a Saturday). What really made me anxious was the voice saying, “You’re getting older, you might be slipping.” Scary.

When I got home, I checked the appointment card they’d given me, held by a magnet to my refrigerator door. The card read: 1/19/19. Yes, a Saturday. They made the mistake. I was NOT slipping because I’m getting older. Yet the voice had tormented me.

This negative voice that seems to run on a “replay loop” is hard to shut off. Even when we later discover we were right and the voice was wrong, it’s left us exhausted. It’s the default, so it seems. That’s why I say, there’s a spiritual element to it.

The truth is, we can quiet and even shut down that harping, negative, self-deprecating voice. We retrain our minds to replace that voice with the Word of God.

 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12: 2 [New American Standard Bible, NASB]

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. ~ [NASB]

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5 [NASB].

This last one, 2 Corinthians 10:5 is a key. If we destroy all negative speculations that nasty little voice raises against us and replace them with what God says, we can get the upper hand over that voice.

  • we are sons and daughters of God the Father
  • we are made in His image and likeness
  • we are highly favored by God

We have to do it. We have to do and live what the Word says.

  • be transformed by the renewing of our minds
  • think on what is good, pure, lovely, honorable
  • destroy negative speculations…they are only speculations.

Cream of Brocolli Soup ~ on a cold Florida day

IMG_2837 (3)

I’ve attempted posting recipes with moderate success. That’s because I don’t cook with a recipe. I’ve tried measuring a 1/2 C of such and so and typing that in the blog article next to the photo, but then as it cooks, I say to myself, “Self, that doesn’t look right,” and I throw in some more. So, how much of that ingredient did I use? I don’t know!!! Just enough to taste good. I taste as I cook, look at the colors of the ingredients, and smell the aromas to know. Do I make mistakes? YES, but all cooks make them, and you can make a mistake following a recipe to the letter. Trust me on that one.

So, It was in the low 40s last night in northeastern coastal Florida. I had to bundle Sophie the Wonder Dog up when I took her for her morning walk. Not to mention, I actually put on a pair of socks, and I never wear socks. May I digress…I was without socks yesterday at the Post Office to mail a Christmas gift. I noticed roughly half the women were in jeans, a sweat shirt and a hoodie or jeans and a heavy cable knit sweater, and over-sized clunky sandals (not the dainty, pretty kind you see all summer) with socks on. This is Florida in winter.

Sophie Winter Coat 2011

Well then, after Sophie, the cats, and I had breakfast, I realized I had a small container of half ‘n half in the refrigerator I had to use. Now, my doctor just reminded me I’d put on weight since my last visit three months ago (Thanksgiving will do that) and my blood pressure had gone up. No alarm siren, but it had gone up. So, I wanted to use the half ‘n half, but not in a super high-cal way

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Light bulb moment…cream of broccoli soup. So, I cut my broccoli florets up into soup-spoon size pieces and covered them with water in the pot and started them simmering on a medium heat? How much water? Enough to cover them. I had red onion (I always do), carrots, and two white potatoes. So, I chopped those up and threw them in. Added parsley flakes, garlic powder, a couple of bay leaves, some jarred seasoned vegetable base, and pepper. (I put some base in, tasted and put some more in…so don’t even think about asking me how much.) No salt. Remember my blood pressure had just gone up. Besides, the veggie base has salt.

I tasted it as it simmered and added more pepper and lowered the heat to low-medium. If I’m cooking only for myself, I taste with the same teaspoon. If I’m cooking for others, I go through all my teaspoons. After about twenty minutes, I tasted again and wanted to thicken it. I often have some Campbell’s turkey gravy on hand and did this time. I added some by eye, stirred and tasted, and added some more. I let it simmer again on low to have the gravy kind of amalgamate with the other flavors. Then I tasted and turned it off. When it cooled off substantially, I added the entire container of half ‘n half, stirred, and tasted. Very good, but it had to cook with the half ‘n half just a bit. Besides it had cooled too much, so I turned on the heat to low and got it to an edible temp. Then I scooped it into a bowl, sprinkled on mozzarella cheese I had on hand and some Parm/Romano… and then I sat down to eat lunch. Good, very good.

I cook by the seat of the pants, and I write by the seat of the pants.

 

Sophie The Wonder Dog ~ to have surgery

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Soph on her fav perch, the back of my easy chair

When I first saw Sophie, she was in a cage in the small dog section at the ASPCA in New York City. She was so cute, but so unhappy. Those who wanted to adopt a little dog were drawn to her, especially their children. But as cute as Sophie was, she was also angry. She hated the cage, and she growled at a few people who approached. I thought no matter how appealing she looks, she’s not going to get adopted. So, I asked to hold her. At first the attendant was reluctant. She took Sophie out of the cage, but said she’d hold her. I gave her a “Nike look” and said, “No, I’ll hold her.” How else can I know how she will be? But I already knew, no matter how she was, she was mine.”

As soon as she was in my arms, she burrowed into me, plastered herself to me. I whispered to her, “I’m coming back for you.” Then I had to go downstairs, fill out paperwork, pay the fee, and wait a week for them to check references. When I came back to get her, I whispered, “I told you I’d come back.” That was seven years ago.

Sophie is HIGHLY allergic to flea bites. One bite will cause her to scratch and chew herself to bleeding. We’ve battled this for years. We tried Trifexis for dogs (flea med and heartworm med combined. I’ve heard it works miracles on some dogs, not Sophie. Then we tried Comfortis which is more expensive because you have to purchase the heartworm medication separately. It works better on Sophie, but not perfectly. Summertime is still gruesome for her and for me when I see her bleeding. We’ve tried Apoquel for dogs, a med for atopic dermatitis, that is supposed to stop her from feeling the allergic reaction. Several vets have tried to push this on me, but she doesn’t have atopic dermatitis (allergy to pollen, dust, etc.). Sophie is allergic to flea bites. Boy is she.

What does help is a flea and tick killing spray called Nature Care that Walmart carries. Chewy also carries this line of products. I use that in combination with Comfortis. I have sprayed carpet, upholstered furniture, and of course Sophie before she goes out. It not only kills fleas (which you will see before your eyes if one walks into a sprayed area), it also kills flea eggs. In addition, adult fleas don’t like the peppermint smell and it keeps them off a dog that is walking outside.

She also has had cataracts growing since I got her. They were not a problem, and now they are. She can’t see much any more. We’ve always gone for a 3/4 mile walk twice a day. We went down to a 1/4 mile walk twice a day for a few days. She trusted me completely to see that she didn’t run into anything outside. I’m her seeing-eye-person. But outside noises, such as a loud vehicle, unnerve her. She gets around very well in the house she knows so well. She jumps into my chair, then up onto its back…no problem.

After only a few days as her seeing-eye-person, I knew this would not do. I phoned the Animal Eye Clinic in Orange Park, Florida and Sophie has an appointment for a consultation next week. I’m slightly  concerned about Sophie going under anesthesia for the surgery. She is in excellent health at 11 1/2 years of age. She came  through a dental cleaning last year with her regular veterinarian with flying colors. I’m praying for cataract removal with no problems and that’s what I’m expecting. Please pray for Sophie in the next few weeks. Bless you.