Author

Karla Walter

“Make food simple and let things taste of what they are” by Curnonsky

Songkran or Thai New Year is such an important festival, and it may look a little different this year. However, some things can remain the same, such as cooking special dishes to be eaten at this time. These dishes that may include Khao Chae — cooked rice in flower scented water with various condiments, Mango Sticky Rice, Prawn Pad Thai to name but a few. Already ones mouth is watering, knowing that these dishes are made with such exquisite flavours.

For more than two decades I have written about, talked about and advised about, the five flavours from which people make their meals. These flavours are salt, sweet, bitter, pungent and sour.

So how do we get to taste these flavours. The official word used for our taste is gustatory. Two of the main processes that help us to recognise flavour when we eat, are taste and smell.

Firstly, we taste from taste buds that contain taste receptor cells. You find these cells on the front and back of the tongue, the sides, plus the roof of the mouth. The little bumps that you can see on your tongue are called papillae. There are two types of papillae, one called circumvallate and the other fungiform and contain taste buds. There are approximately 10,000 taste buds in the mouth and they are replaced every 2 weeks. In older folk the taste buds decrease to approximately 5,000.

There are areas of the tongue that hold different receptors for flavour. When you eat one of the flavours, be it salt, sweet, sour, bitter or pungent the receptor will process an electrical charge and that releases a neurotransmitter. That electrical charge passes along a neurone and that message is carried to the brain.

Once the information is received by the brain, we have that moment of recognising what the taste is. How amazing that our receptors can send these signals to help us distinguish multiple flavours all that the same time.

The scientific community continues to discuss, debate and research whether in fact we have regions of the tongue associated with different taste sensations or whether there
are only three specialised nerves that have been discovered and that they are responsible for the tastes we have.

I am always advising people of the importance of chewing, also known as mastication, to start the process of digestion. Chewing not only aids in digestion but we now clearly see the importance of being able to enjoy the flavour of the food we eat through the saliva that is in the mouth. Saliva is another transport mechanism to our taste buds. The majority of people never chew their food long enough to truly impart enough salvia to assist with the breakdown of food particles.


The science of taste is an ongoing scientific project. Further studies are being conducted on a new taste Umani, which is the taste of amino acids in meat broth and aged cheese. The other exciting investigation is whether we have taste buds specifically for fat. Learning more about how the body works and what we are capable of is exciting. It’s your body, why not know how it works.

Another fascinating area of your tongue is that it is a window to your health. Look in the mirror and stick out your tongue. A healthy tongue is pink and you can see the papillae. The tongue can be pale, white, black or grey, which are indications of health challenges.
Oral thrush is a yeast infection inside the mouth. Patches appear that resemble cottage cheese on the side of the mouth. Oral thrush can occur from taking antibiotics, inhaled steroids, or people wearing dentures.

If the tongue in some way has been irritated white patches may appear which is called Leukoplakia. This is often seen in people who smoke. This condition needs to be addressed as soon as possible as it may be a precursor to cancer.

If the tongue is red, the first thought is Vitamin B12 deficiency. Easily rectified by Vitamin B12 foods or supplements. A blood test will help determine if a person is deficient in B12.
In very young children who have Kawasaki disease the appearance of the tongue is red similar to a strawberry appearance. This is very serious and must be seen to immediately.

Good dental hygiene is so important for having a healthy mouth and tongue. When people do not have good dental hygiene the bacteria in the mouth can grow and a coating almost like hair is formed over the tongue, making the appearance look black and hairy. Canker sores also known as mouth ulcers usually go within a week or two. The common thought is that these are bought on by stress.

If a lump or a sore appears on your tongue seek medical advice as soon as you can. It might be nothing or it could be the start of oral cancer. One item to give up is smoking. Smoking causes the tongue to be irritated.

One unique ability for some people, is that they are extremely sensitive to taste. There are people who are considered super tasters and they are several times more sensitive to bitter and other tastes than most people. This phenomenon is associated with the amount of fungiform papillae and therefore taste buds on the tongue and may run in families.

We must not forget that taste is also associated with food texture and temperature. Different temperatures have a different reaction on food particles. If the food consumed is  thick then the mastication process required to chew the food so the inner particles can get to the taste buds is greater. This is different from a food that melts with the heat of the mouth or is in liquid form. 

The sense of smell is present when we eat. When you have a stuffy nose or if you have a cold for example, there is no taste to the food you eat. Further discussion on smell will be included in my next article.

There are a number of things that can limit our sense of taste, from the types of food we have eaten during our life, to our environment and where we live. There is also internal and external pollutants in our home to take into consideration. However, when you come to the process of eating your food, take time to chew and enjoy all the taste sensations that food has to offer. 

“Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people eat together.”  Guy Fieri

Health and Happiness

Karla Walter

www.5seasonsliving.com

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

There is a long list of sayings and quotes about the eyes. The earliest account is from biblical times, in the King James version of the bible Mathew 6: 22 reads, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23: But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great the light!”

The Roman philosopher, Marcus Tullius Cicero, was known to say: The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter. Most people have heard the quote: “The eyes are the window to the soul.”

During 2020, more people spent time on computers, watching TV, playing video games, being on Zoom calls, learning online, talking online, browsing online, shopping online than in previous years. So many of the world’s population had to make it their new reality. Once again, our lives have become so enmeshed in the computer and other devices that we are afraid not to have it “on.” If we are spending so much of our time online, then what has happened to health of our eyes. 

Are your eyes tired, sore, red, inflamed, scratchy, itchy, dry, just old fashioned tired perhaps? Do you keep going hoping that things will improve or is it time to step back and check in with yourself about the messages your eyes are telling you? These are symptoms that are telling you something is wrong. It is how we interpret the symptoms that will help resolve the issue. Possible problems that may be starting are presbyopia, glaucoma, dry eyes, age related macular degeneration, cataracts and temporal arthritis to name but a few. Ignoring it, might not be the best remedy. 

I see the eyes as a reflection of one’s state of mind, physical and emotional health. 

When you feel good, energised, excited about life, and have a good night’s sleep, more often than not, someone will say, you look great. Your eyes are conveying how you feel. 

During 2020, and now in 2021, masks are still being worn by millions of people around the world. Your eyes are more than at any other time the first connection to communication. Of course, when we meet people, it is polite to look at them and greet them and we want them to see us, really see us. 

Here are some simple steps to make sure your eyesight is at its best. When your vision is at its best you perform well at work home, play, sport, driving and watching beautiful sunsets, no matter what your age. 

First let’s look at food. Reducing sugar and staying away from highly processed foods will give your overall health a boost. Foods that can assist in eye health come in different categories, that have many of the different vitamins or minerals required for healthy eyes. 



Vitamins and food

For eyes specifically the list starts with lutein and zeaxanthin. These are called carotenoids and are related to beta-carotene and vitamin A. Your body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, a nutrient that helps prevent dry eyes and night blindness. Beta carotene and vitamin A also may help reduce the risk of eye infections. These foods are carrots, sweet potato, eggs, especially the yolk, broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, butternut squash, orange peppers, kiwi fruit, grapes, peas, orange juice, zucchini, papaya’s, squash and liver. Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining a clear cornea, which is the outside covering of your eye.

Lutein is also thought to be part of the light filter, protecting the eye tissue from sunlight damage. Lutein is absorbed better when eaten with good fat, so a little extra olive oil will go a long way. 

Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants, and these protect your eyes from what is known as damaging free radicals. The reason vitamin C is so important it is required to make collagen, a protein that provides structure to your eye, especially the cornea and sclera. Ongoing studies suggest that vitamin C may reduce the risk of cataracts. 

Foods high in vitamin C are citrus, tropical fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, nuts, seeds and strawberries. Foods high in vitamin E are salmon, avocado, leafy greens, nuts and cooking oils. 

Omega 3 fatty acids play an important role in eye health. The cell membrane of the retina contains a high concentration of DHA, a particular type of Omega 3. Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory properties which may help prevent diabetic retinopathy. Research continues in this area especially around macular degeneration and cataracts. Foods that are high in omega 3 are fish, especially salmon, sardines, tune, anchovies, flaxseed, chia seeds, soy and nuts, good cold pressed olive oil.  

Zinc is an important mineral for the health of the retina, cell membranes and protein structure of the eye. Zinc has an important role allowing vitamin A to travel from the liver to the retina, to produce melanin. That is the pigment that protects the eye from UV light. Studies show decreased levels of zinc or zinc deficiency may lead to night blindness. 

Foods high in zinc: oysters, beef, lobster, pork, yoghurt, naked beans, dry roasted cashews.  

A healthy beverage to have next to you when working on the computer is green tea. It contains catechins, which are responsible for antioxidant actions in the body, especially your eyes. Apples and cherries are also in this category and great to snack on.   

Water: never underestimate the power of water and the impact that it has on the wellbeing of our cells. Not only for our eyes but our overall health. 

Quit smoking. Smoking causes the optic nerve to become damaged, increases risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. 

Preventative measures to help your eyes are to wear sunglasses. Wraparound lenses protect from both sides, look for a pair of sunglasses that block 99% – 100% of UV rays. Another helpful part of decreasing your chances of cataracts or macular degeneration. It is now possible to get contact lenses with some UV protection, however it is still preferable to wear sunglasses. 

Never underestimate injuries that can happen to the eyes when performing odd jobs around the home, or at work if you are in a situation of machinery, etc. Safety goggles are to be worn with airborne materials or hazardous environment in a factory for example. Anytime chemical solutions are used, wearing protective eye equipment is a priority. In many sports they wear protective head ware and also protective sports goggles. 

The computer, handheld devices, etc., are next on the list. Extended periods of time can cause any or all of the following. 

Trouble focusing at a distance

Blurred vision

Eyestrain

Dry eyes

Headaches

Shoulder pain and tension, neck and back pain

Here are some helpful tips for working on a computer or devices:

Make sure if you wear prescription glasses they are up to date. I have just received my new prescription glasses and they make all the difference, and the change was only minor. It is now possible to have computer glasses, that help with the distance between where you sit and where your computer is placed. It is best to get have this done professionally by your eye specialist.   

Set you chair high enough that you are in line with the top of the monitor. You should be looking ever so slightly down at the screen. 

Make sure your chair is comfortable and supports you. Your feet are flat on the ground or place a box or a foot stool, so your feet are not dangling under the chair. Be careful if sitting on a high stool. Make sure you have a rung that your feet are resting on. 

Blink if your eyes are dry or scratchy to see if that elevates the situation. If this persists, check the other items on this list and if no relief see a medical professional. Make sure there is no glare on the screen or use a guard if possible. I use a programme on my computer that changes the light depending on the time of day or night. It works from your location. It has made huge difference in my eye health. From the early inception of the computer, the recommendation was to rest your eyes every 20 minutes. To rest your eyes, it is best to look 20 feet into the distance away from the computer or device. The next step was to get up every 2 hours and take a 15 minute break, to rest your eyes away from the screen.

A simple way to balance all that is required for eye health is to follow a few simple health tips. Twice a week, have fish in your diet along with five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. When not eating fish, make sure you have protein every day. 

Take time to not only rest your eyes by looking away from a computer or device but take time to look around. Really look around. Answer this question. What is the colour of your front door? Could you answer the question immediately or did you have to think about it? What do we really see when we look around? Do we quickly glance and not take in that what is around us! There is so much to see, to really see, colours of the sky, buildings, clothes, watching children play or looking at another sunset. Give your eyes a gift and truly see what is around you. 

‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” by Marcel Proust

Health and Happiness

Karla Walter

www.5seasonsliving.com

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

In Part One we discussed many different foods that can be included in your diet for brain function and memory improvement. Along with food, there are also activities, that you can do that will help your brain and memory abilities. In California at UCLA Longevity Centre, participants take part in a programme designed to help find a baseline memory score. From that score they can determine how your memory and brain function are performing. Once they have evaluated your situation a 2 week programme is developed for your needs. They have worked with over 18,000 participants and the results are very encouraging. Not only do they advise of a healthy diet, but also other activities such as memory games and puzzles to challenge the brain. The importance of learning or stimulating our brain with new information is so important. The old saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, is wrong. You also don’t have to be elderly to learn new information. Learning is all ages and is important. Recent research is showing that memory loss is now prevalent in 40 year old men and women. Dr. Gary Small who heads up the programme at UCLA has written a book on hoping to increase memory called 2 Weeks to a Younger Brain. The book focuses mainly on research mainly, however there are exercises in the back of the book that are very helpful for helping your memory. 

 

In our technological world and also the world of printed material anyone can find puzzles, crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, number games, word games that will help in keeping ones memory active. Many specialists in Alzheimer’s and Dementia encourage people with the conditions and those without to help improve or in some cases prevent the onset of these diseases. It doesn’t matter your level of skill set when it comes to problem solving with puzzles. 

 

The famous Mensa Quiz is well known around the world. You can go online and take short test of questions to see how you fair. This prestigious organisation has on its website, a short 30 minute test. Mensa was founded in 1946 by Roland Berrill, a barrister and Dr. Lance Ware a scientist and lawyer in England. Their goal which continues to this day is the following:  “Mensa states its purpose as, “to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity, to encourage research in the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence, and to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members.”


Mensa has members in 100 countries, in 7 continents. Their ages range from 3 to 103. They are from all walks of life and educational levels and include janitors, doctors, scientists, artists, actors, carpenters, chemists, politicians, farmers, computer programmers, authors, police officers, hermits, firemen, musicians, the long-term unemployed, educators, millionaires, firefighters, bankers and bus drivers. Members tend to be curious and have widely varying interests. They are quick to grasp concepts. They are often humorous, talkative, quirky, but the only characteristic they share across the board is a high IQ.”   www.mensa.org

How else can you help your brain health and start the journey to improve your memory.

Herbs and spices have also played an important role in brain health.

 

  • Sage, this wonderful herb comes fresh, dry or drops. Small studies have shown that it has improved memory in low doses and elevated mood in larger doses. It’s high in anti oxidants and not only supports brain function, it lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • Turmeric, this spice contains cur-cumin which has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Used for thousands of years in Ayurveda, we now can understand its ability to stop nerve cells in the brain from breaking down. This wonderful spice can be found in curry powder or added to soups, casseroles etc., 
  • Ginkgo Biloba, used in Chinese medicine for improving memory. It helps to stimulate blood flow to the brain, which may help with cognitive function. 
  • Ashwagandha. another Ayurvedic herb, which has shown benefits on the brain reducing oxidative stress.
  • Ginseng, a popular Chinese herb used now by some Alzheimers patients as it may reduce beta-amyloid in the brain. Beta amyloid is a protein fragment snipped from an amyloid  precursor protein (APP). … Amyloid plaques are hard, insoluble accumulations of beta amyloid proteins that clump together between the nerve cells (neurones) in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients.
  • Lemon Balm, used to ease anxiety and insomnia has also been found to improve cognitive function. Study published in the Journal of Neurology, 2003. 
  • Bacon monnieri, used by Ayurvedic practitioners for improving memory, reducing anxiety and treating epilepsy. For example, bacosides, the main active compounds in Bacopa monnieri, have been shown to neutralise free radicals and prevent fat molecules from reacting with free radicals. When fat molecules react with free radicals, they undergo a process called lipid per-oxidation. Lipid per-oxidation is linked to several conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders 

 

These are some herbs and spices that may help to improve brain function, memory, cognitive function etc., As always these are not the only items to concentrate on. A healthy diet overall and moving the body with plenty of exercise is such an important role in mental health. Harvard Medical School is publishing papers on research being conducted of 150 minutes of exercise a week that is contributing to the health of the brain and mental function. Is it one type of exercise? The answer is no. Aerobic exercise helps blood flow to the brain, however we see improved brain function with those in gentler forms of exercise such as Tai Chi which is about mind body exercise. Find something that you enjoy and get moving, that is the first step. Keep up your nutrition health and may you remain mentally sharp.

 

Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think,  by  Ambrose Bierce 

 

Health and Happiness

Karla Walter 

[email protected]

www.5seasonsliving.com

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
Brain food

When you think about your health and your body, do you think about the health of your brain?

It is possibly the most powerful and important organ we have in our body. There are endless diets, detox programmes, gym workouts, so many steps per day for our organs, however do you think of your brain as an organ? The brain controls our thoughts, memory and speech, movement of the arms and legs, and the function of many organs within our body. The central nervous system (CNS) is composed of the brain and the spinal cord. What we eat, what we think, how we relax, what we watch on TV or our phones, computers, books we read, conversations we have, the words we speak.

All of this has a cause and effect on our brain which in turn has a cause and effect on our health. Around the world there appears to be increasing problems with mental health, from anger, sadness, social recoil, anxiety, mood swings, depression, etc., Many of these conditions can be prevented or reversed with changes to our food consumption, lifestyle and choices that we make on a day to day level. If we think about our brain as one of the three vital organs in our body that we cannot live without, why is it that we pay it very little attention. Are you feeding your brain with information that can stimulate your ideas and help to broaden your horizons? What are the useless thoughts that you have each day that do nothing to help your brain be healthy? What brain food do you eat each day to help combat memory loss, anger, distraction, drifting thoughts etc.

There are a few restaurants in the USA and UK that are now asking customers to place their phones in little buckets or a vase placed in the centre of the table while they have dinner. You are only able to retrieve the phone when you leave the restaurant. This is one way of feeding the brain and keeping it healthy with conversation. All the technology and distractions collectively have an effect on our brain and not always for the better. A small caveat, there are times when being able to access information from a handheld device takes a lot of stress out of a situation. For example, finding where you want to go with the least amount of effort with “maps”.

We require a healthy brain for the millions of functions that happen in our bodies, most without us being truly aware of them. We must not become complacent about the many automatic processes that the body moves through each and every day The internal balance is one that never switches off. It is always doing its best to maintain its balance if we feed it. Eating certain foods have shown that our memory function and concentration can improve. Around the world certain spices, herbs, plants are being tested and researched for answers in Dementia and Alzheimer’s. The list below is only the beginning of many wonderful foods that can help to keep our brains functioning in the best possible way.

Green leafy vegetables

Green leafy vegetables – The variety around the world is exceptional, from kale, spinach, collards, bok choy, pad choy, Choy sum, broccoli, bad po, Phak bung, Phak kat honge, Phak kat khao, Phat kat khiao also known as Mustard Greens, (by far my favourite green vegetable). There has been research (published in Neurology US and the study was done over 5 years), to show that these vegetables help to slow cognitive decline. Broccoli contains Vitamin K and other compounds that give it anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may help protect the brain against damage.

Fatty fish

Fatty fish – the source of Omega-3 fatty acids and healthy unsaturated fats we now know are linked to lowering the protein that forms clumps in the brain of people with Alzheimers. These proteins are called beta-amyloid. Once or twice a week is better to help your brain with salmon, trout and sardines. One study found that people who ate baked or broiled fish regularly had more grey matter in their brains. Grey matter contains most of the nerve cells that control decision making, memory and emotion.

Avocado is a fatty fruit, is a monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow. Our blood is our lifeline, healthy blood flow means a healthy brain. Berries – also called super fruits. I think all food is super, however, in a study in 2012 berries were shown to not only help improve memory but slow memory loss down in another study group. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries which are full of antioxidants (which means reduce oxidative stress on cells) and flavonoids. They improve blood sugar levels, insulin and are high in vitamin C, vitamin K1 and Manganese.

Walnuts

Walnuts – excellent protein and healthy fat for your brain. Walnuts are high in a type of Omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which helps lower blood pressure and protects arteries. That’s good for both the heart and brain. Some foods look like what they are good for. This is called Doctor of Signatures. If you look at the nut of the walnut it looks just like the two halves of the brain.

 

coffee and tea

Tea and coffee – in excess to stay up all night to crunch for exams, I would not be recommending it. However, looking at properties of caffeine in studies your morning cup of coffee or tea might offer more than just a short-term concentration boost. In a 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition, participants with higher caffeine consumption scored better on tests of mental function. Caffeine might also help solidify new memories, according to other research. Investigators at Johns Hopkins University asked participants to study a series of images and then take either a placebo or a 200-milligram caffeine tablet.

More members of the caffeine group were able to correctly identify the images on the following day. Just as there is no magic pill to prevent cognitive decline, no single almighty brain food can ensure a sharp brain as you age. As a nutritionist the first place to start is with a strategy of a healthy balanced eating pattern. Always include a variety of vegetables (daily) along with fruit. Next on your dietary plan is legumes and whole grains plus protein. Never skip protein. Do your best to eat protein from plant sources along with fish. Choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, canola, peanut, flaxseed, sesame seed, sunflower or walnut to name a few rather than saturated fats.

Feed your brain and cherish this amazing organ, to be continued.

‘The brain is wider than the sky’ by Emily Dickinson.

Health and Happiness
Karla Walter
[email protected]
www.5seasonsliving.com

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
flower

The festive season will soon be upon us. It can be one of excitement and fun or tension and expectation. You may be deeply connected to your religious beliefs at this time, or feel that you are part of something greater than yourself or simply time to have a break and a holiday. It is a time for many to travel, visit with family, friends, and enjoy the celebration and connection. One area that I love during the festive season is decorating my home. It is always done on the first day of December and I take time to look at the objects that I place around the house to remember the person who gave me the item or where I was when I bought it. It brings me great joy and I smile all day with such fond memories. As an expat and also work that I have done in that past, there have been times when I found myself on my own at this time of the year. That may be true of many people. When I was on my own, I would always reflect on what the year had been like, where I had been, who I had met and there was a feeling of being connected to others.

Chrismas There has been excellent research done over many decades on how people feel with acts of kindness. The Christian festive season and other religious festivals have times when it is important to be in touch with those less fortunate than yourself or to open the doors of your home and invite others to share meals with you and your family. Did you know that we have chemical changes in the body when we are pleasant, happy, and joyful, plus, when we have “acts of kindness” to others? This can and has been measured medically and scientifically. One study by Emroy University in UK, Ron Breazeale PhD in Psychology Today.

What are these chemical changes and hormones and what do they do?

There are four primary chemicals in the brain that affect happiness: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. By designing gamified experiences that activate these chemicals, you can increase happiness and loyalty. According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a “cardioprotective” hormone.

Pain – kindness releases endorphins in the brain.
Stress – kind people age slower and have lower stress that the average person.
Anxiety and depression – kindness improves mood, depression and anxiety.
Kindness stimulates the production of serotonin which heals wounds, calms and increases happiness.

If we are all connected, which I believe we are, all 7.7 billion of us on this beautiful planet we call earth, our home, how can we help each other. One way is through acts of kindness and acts of kindness come in many and varied ways. It can be overwhelming to think about it, however, it may start with smiling at someone a total stranger, to helping someone with a grocery bag, helping someone with a pram, or listening to someone and not offering any advice. Giving them your full attention. I’m sure most people reading this article are part of wonderful acts of kindness, from smiling at someone, or giving an older person a seat on the train or bus, but there has to be more than that.

Girl

A few days ago, I was in a store and a young child about 4 years old was very excited about the purchase her mother and her were making. The self-checkout was not working, and the mother told the girl they would have to go to the counter. The women behind the counter spoke with the mother, then made eye contact and smiled at the child. They engaged in conversation about the purchase, all the while, the child was asking can she make it happen so she could take the item home. When the women behind the counter said, “all done, you can take it home”, the child was very excited. As they started to walk away, the child stopped, turned kissed her hand and then  blew the lady a kiss of thank you. The child was not prompted, not encouraged, just a smile and a kiss to say thank you from a child who knew that meant something special. For those of us watching it was a moment, where everyone was smiling and there was definitely a reaction in our bodies, of delight and also calmness, that everything for that moment was OK. This got me thinking. If the scientist is right and we in fact change (which we do) on a chemical level with an increase of serotonin and dopamine, we then have the potential to tap into that at any time.

What might happen if we pursued more of this in our daily lives? There have been hundreds of books, articles and scientific papers on these changes in the body. I am now asking who, through this festive season, wants to be a part of simple acts of kindness. Around the world there are organisations that promote these acts.

Calender

One item I have in my home which I just love is an advent calendar. I have been known to email many people around the world with advent calendars leading up to Christmas Day. This year something different. Start with the 1st December and for 25 days what will your acts of kindness be and the gift you give yourself and others in return. Each advent calendar has an opening for each day from the 1st to the 25th December. At the end of each day write down what you saw was an act of kindness and also what your act of kindness was. Place it into the pocket or space provided in your advent calendar. The most important piece here is “not” what you did, but what you “observed”, was an act of kindness. That way it is not about your ego to say, “look at me”, but from a genuine giving from yourself to another. When we observe someone else’s act of kindness it stimulates us in a way that we want to be apart of that feeling. When we see others and their acts of kindness it starts the change chemically in us and then we may have a clearer picture of doing something for someone else. At the end of the 25 days, you may like to reflect on how you feel and what took place through the weeks. You may want to leave them there for next year and instead of writing out new ones, take them out for each day and perform them again.

The most profound thing here is most acts of kindness don’t cost anything or very little.

It is lovely to have a stranger pay for your coffee at a coffee shop for no other reason than they wanted to, and you may not ever see them again. I have had my toll paid by the car in front of me when I was driving on a freeway and never knew who it was. It certainly made me feel great and then of course I paid it forward. It was not about me, nor should it be. It is about “US”. Those who live on this most beautiful blue planet. Check into my website mid-November to read the blog if you would like to be part of the the advent calendar this year for acts of kindness over the festive season.

Health and Happiness
Karla Walter

http://www.5seasonsliving.com

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
Breathing for a better health

Recently I was on the receiving end of an accident, (not car), where my intercostal muscles have been severely strained and bruised. I have been reading and practicing breathing techniques for many years and thought how pertinent to write on the subject now. We take our first breath when we are born and from that moment on, it is totally automatic. During our life, accidents, ailments, illnesses, anxiety, sadness, elated emotions can change that, however let’s talk in general first. We never truly have to think about our breathing. We wake each day and the breathing continues but more importantly it continues in our sleep state. It’s sad to think that the first thought when one wakes up is what is happening on their phone, not that their diaphragm is working. The rhythm of our breathing at night changes, depending on our sleeping position, back, front, side or nasal obstruction which may cause snoring or other breathing concerns, such as sleep apnea.

We wake each day and we don’t think about it. Our breathing will change during the day depending on our activity. Exercise potentially increases our breathing pattern, along with anxiety, shock, anger, laughing, fear, sadness, delight to name but a few changes in breathing habits. However, we rarely think about how it changes, when in that state or how and when does it change back to its normal rhythms. The majority of people don’t think about the action of breathing until something happens. So let's go over what the body is doing for each inhalation and exhalation. When you breathe in, or inhale, your diaphragm contracts and moves downward. This increases the space in your chest cavity, and your lungs expand into it. The muscles between your ribs also help enlarge the chest cavity. They contract to pull your rib cage both upward and outward when you inhale. As your lungs expand, air is sucked in through your nose or mouth. The air travels down your windpipe and into your lungs. After passing through your bronchial tubes, the air travels to the alveoli, or air sacs.

The lungs bring oxygen into the body when breathing in and send carbon dioxide out of the body when breathing out. Carbon dioxide is a waste gas produced by the cells of the body. The process of breathing in is called inhalation. The process of breathing out is called exhalation. During this process, the chest wall expands out and away from the lungs. … Upon exhalation, the lungs recoil to force the air out of the lungs. The intercostal muscles relax, returning the chest wall to its original position. During exhalation, the diaphragm also relaxes, moving higher into the thoracic cavity. There are many names for the process of breathing or what it may be in this invisible form from different cultures around the world. The breath may be referred to as Prana in Sanskrit text, Ruah from the Hebrew and Pneuma from Greek which means breath or spirit in their translation. Chinese call the energy of life itself, Qi or Ki. The very breath of life that flows through everyone. In this extremely busy manmade life of ours people are getting even more shallow with their breathing.

Over time we have moved away from full deep breath, to only the top third of the lungs get filled and now I see more and more people breathing even less, just short gasps. People are holding their breath when they read their phone or play a video game. When we hold our breath or do not fill the body with oxygen it starts to send the body into a shock state. All modern day phenomena such as computers, emails, phones, driving, moving through the day to “the next thing” always in a hurry. The body is always in flight or fight mode which in turn is putting our sympathetic nervous system on high alert. When we are in this state, the body releases cortisol and adrenaline which causes blood sugar and fats to move into our flight or fight mode. At the same time these hormones raise our heart rate and blood pressure, decrease our immune system and causes the energy that we need for digestion, reproduction and elimination to be moved away from those functions.

Inhale deeply

All of these process of computers, emails, phones, driving, moving through the day to “the next thing” always in a hurry. The body is always in flight or fight mode which in turn is always putting our sympathetic nervous system on high alert. When we are in this state, the body releases cortisol and adrenaline which causes blood sugar and fats to move into our flight or fight mode. At the same time these hormones raise our heart rate and blood pressure, decrease our immune system and causes the energy that we need for digestion, reproduction and elimination to be moved away from those functions. Not only are people having neck problems because they protrude their head towards the computer screen, the shoulders are rounded and the lungs cannot expand.

In scientific research now being conducted and explained by Technologist Julian Burschka there is breakthrough science of breath analysis. This is the screening of volatile organic compounds found in your exhaled breath. We tend to assume that we breath out carbon dioxide. However we breath out a lot more than that. This research is looking at the potential of what we breath out that may be either causing an illness or setting us up for an illness. It’s centred on screening the volatile organic compounds in exhaled breath. There is a very long way to go, however once again, if we listen to the body and pay attention it is always sending us messages. What can be done to improve our breathing patterns? There are endless videos demonstrating, techniques to help everyone come back to the simplest of action, taking a breath and exhaling out what we don’t need.

In the passage of The Anapanasati Sutra this beautiful writing is about the path to mindfulness and how right in front of us, “at the tip of our nose”, breathing. The chapter is a wonderful explanation of awareness, mindfulness and of course breathing. In the many variations of yogic breathing there is, Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing, Sama Vritti or Equal Breathing, Abdominal Breathing Technique, there are guided breathing meditations where you breath into each part of the body and relax each part. One of the breathing techniques that I like is the 4-7-8. This I first saw in a TEDx talk by Max Strom and he had the entire crowd breathing in this rhythm. To use the 4-7-8 technique, focus on the following breathing pattern: empty the lungs of air. Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds. Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.

What is the message here for everyone? Breathing techniques are to calm us down, bring our overall body to a calm and quiet place to work from to help heal our body when angry, upset, anxious or frightened for example.

When you breath with intention during a mediation and focus on your breath, you cannot have a thought. That is why breathing techniques for meditation have always been so important. Anyone guiding you through a meditation, will always say, “if your mind wanders come back to your breath.” This is something that one needs to practice, not only in mediation but during many times of the day. Your body, mind and spirit will be happy. The following quote from C. Joybell C. gives us all something to think about as we are all connected through breathing.

“I am never alone wherever I am. The air itself supplies me with a century of love. When I breathe in, I am breathing in the laughter, tears, victories, passions, thoughts, memories, existence, joys, moments, and the hues of the sunlight on many tones of skin; I am breathing in the same air that was exhaled by many before me. The air that bore them life. And so how can I ever say that I am alone?” C. JoyBell C.

Health and Happiness
Karla Walter
www.5seasonsliving.com

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
Picnic in the summer

How do we know our elderly folk are taking care of themselves nutritionally? This can be a sensitive subject to discuss with parents and grandparents alike if not approached with care. As time goes by, we seem to lose our appetite and skip the odd meal. Over time, this can escalate into several skipped meals and the nutrition level goes down as a result, particularly if living alone.

In cultures where we see many generations living under the one roof, mealtimes are shared by all. There may be a watchful eye observing how much people are eating. As expats, parents and grandparents are only seen during holidays and visits home or abroad. As lifestyles change for raging people, I am sure you will have noticed that when older folk move in with family members or into care facilities, they generally put on weight and this is because the diet of many of our older folk is not very nutritious and they tend to eat irregularly.

When we ask ageing parents or grandparents “Are you eating?”, “can I get you something?”, “Do you need any shopping?” the majority will say, “Oh don’t bother, I’m fine. There is plenty of food in the cupboard.”  How many of us go to the cupboard to check? We don’t normally because we do not want to get involved in an argument or make a person feel that they are not in control. The fact of the matter may be that there are not foods in the cupboard for good nutrition. A packet of cracker biscuits, canned soups and a box of sugar cereal with a few potatoes or canned corn is not what one would call nutritious. It is a very delicate issue when we start to enquire into people’s eating habits. Having seen what a lot of young people and parents eat, the aged concern me greatly. They never want to be a bother and will do anything to remove the thought of being a burden to someone. They will also insist that all is well, often for fear of being moved into care facilities.

Healthy foodWhy is it the older folk have such an independent attitude? Well, we must not forget many of them grew up through vary hard economic times and this gave them a sense of values based on overcoming hardship. On the other hand, their offspring, the “baby boomers”, have a very different attitude to life. Moving now more in Gen X, their parents, the baby bombers, are now ageing and a different type of independence is now visible. They love the thought that someone comes to clean the house each week and the thought that someone would come and cook their meals is what many of them work for. However, to some elderly people, this creates the idea of not coping and not being of use in the family and society. Another question that we may need to ask ourselves is how forceful must we be. No-one wants to alienate themselves from parents and grandparents, but genuine concern and the need to be aware is very important.

Let me tell you a little of my story.

My father, who had lived on his own since he was 66 years of age, was a man who ate extremely well. He taught me about eating properly. Interestingly, the biggest meal of his day was breakfast followed by smaller meals throughout the day. These were generally a few snacks, often snacks of fruit. However, he always ate 5 – 7 vegetables every day along with meat or fish and at the age of 93, when he passed away, never took any medication. However, as Dad got older, my brother and I had to make the difficult decision to plan for him to be assessed for cared facilities. The wonderful doctor who came out to see him truly was wearing wings, a real angel. I have never met a man so passionate for the elderly in all my life. My brother and I, plus respective partners, had made arrangements years before for cleaners to come to the house each week and this grew into someone shopping for him once a week as his driving was decreasing. We worked around this by asking his doctor to tell him that this needed to be done. (Funny how everything sounds fine from the doctor but not the family). He agreed and we were all very happy. My father was still cooking his own meals. Then we increased the shopping days, as my father liked everything fresh, but we noticed that his weight was decreasing even though he told us he was cooking every day. Not realising the subtleties of dementia for some people, I now feel my father was forgetting whether or not he had eaten.

After he was made comfortable in the aged facility, his weight increased and he looked wonderful. My family members and I have talked about the signs that we may have missed earlier to assist with his nutrition. We tell our children every day to eat their vegetables and fruit and we know how important it is for ourselves not to skip meals, so let’s keep an eye on our elderly folk and make sure that they are not going without.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
beach

There is an endless list of diets and an endless list of people trying them. We can read about it in magazines, books, online, social media, anywhere people can get a message across. The themes change from weight loss to beautiful skin, thin thighs, long flowing hair, strong nails, improve your eyesight and on and on the list goes. 

There are also the schools of thought plus many books and articles that all you need to do is take supplements, or protein powder, a new pill for this or that. The varying schools of thought range from almost entirely synthetic supplement foods based on daily allowances for various vitamins and other nutrients, verified in a science laboratory, to the increasingly popular whole foods school, based on traditional patterns and verified by hundreds to thousands of years of practice and observation. So many of these schools have valuable information and ideas to share, which leaves the health-conscious consumer navigating and weaving through the claims and counterclaims, theories and facts, to arrive at a dietary system that suits their individual physical needs and personal philosophy.

Holism

The holistic view is not a new one, but has existed since the dawn of mankind’s history, and is still the prevailing philosophy of all societies. However, I see what we call the Western world caught between holistic and laboratory. A fundamental premise is that of personal responsibility for self, based on self-awareness, accepting that as we are the cause of our illness, we are also the author of our own health.  For that, we need information, both theoretical and practical, and it comes from many unexpected sources. Holistic thinking, by its nature, draws on all aspects of the scientific and medical spectrum.

We see how our outlook of the holistic view of the body is different from a more modern medicine approach. The holistic approach may take into consideration both internal and external factors. These may be food, drink, exercise, emotions, stress, home, work, etc., rather than singling out a specific organ or two that are in a state of ill health and perhaps not involving the rest of the organs or external influences. Therefore, holistic approach sees the organic function.  Thanks to the precise and powerful aids of perception developed as a consequence of scientific development, physicists are finding out what the great mystics have always insisted upon, namely that the universe is more than the sum of its parts, and that the reality is a complex web of relationships, where the observer is never totally separate, but involved simply by the act of observation.  All traditional and holistic medicines place a strong emphasis on the largest “system” being in balance, the harmony between body, mind and spirit, as the basis of enduring health.  Perhaps the summary below will help:

balancing-calmHolistic overview

*        Each person is generally aware and has a sense of whether they are in a good state of health or not. The sense that something is wrong is usually correct.

*        Malfunctions of the organism can stem from physical, psychological or spiritual events. Finding the underlying cause and correcting it, allows the body to make certain changes; the immune system takes over from there. The physical and non-physical are equally real.

*        A healthy organism will tend to correct its own minor imbalances, if allowed to do so; medical treatment may often interfere with that self-healing ability.

*        Symptoms are a message from the body about its condition and its function. The same condition may give rise to symptoms of different kinds; conversely, different conditions may cause similar symptoms. Symptoms are the way the body communicates with us. Our problem is, we don’t pay attention or we don’t know how to listen to the symptom.

*        Healing of major diseases may occur because the immune system is sufficiently strong, perhaps supported by a change in diet or by psychological or spiritual renewal.

*        Food can be a direct cause of the proper or improper functioning of the organism.

*        Quality, quantity, stored energy, taste, colour, aroma and texture of food all have psychological and physiological effects on the organism.

*        The organism reacts to and interacts with its natural environment; climate, season, altitude, and weather all affect it.

Our health is a work in progress and one that can bring great joy and excitement as you learn more about who you are and what your body is telling you.

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself and avoid becoming afraid of “bad” foods. There are people who enjoy a strict regime, for others it only results in excessive bingeing. If you are prone to bingeing, loosen up your allowances slightly until you feel comfortable, a little self-discipline notwithstanding! The most important thing of all, when eating your own food, or food cooked for you, is to be thankful, grateful for the efforts of the planet and people to provide you with nourishment. Chew well and you have immediately improved the quality of the food and your health.

Modern medical philosophy or holistic wellbeing

* There are medications that are needed and are responsible for people leading amazing lives.
My question is on medication that is prescribed when it may not be necessary. I’m not anti medication,
I’m against the ease and abuse of it.

Karla Walter Nutritionist www.5seasonsliving.com

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
Ginger

The Thailand and Asia region have a long history of using some of the most wonderful vegetables, herbs and spices grown for medicinal purposes. One such vegetable or spice is ginger.

The discussion at times debates if ginger is a spice or vegetable. Ginger is a vegetable according to the University of California Davis because it is the root of a ginger plant. In 100 grams (g) of fresh ginger root you will find: 79 calories, 17.86 g of carbohydrates, 3.6 g of dietary fibre, 3.57 g of protein, 0 g of sugar, 14 mg of sodium, 1.15 g of iron, 7.7 mg of vitamin C, 33 mg of potassium, other nutrients found in ginger are: vitamin B6, magnesium , phosphorus, zinc, folate, riboflavin and niacin.

Fresh or dried ginger can be used to flavour foods and drinks without adding unnecessary salt or sugar. Since it is often consumed in such small amounts, ginger does not add significant quantities of calories, carbohydrate, protein, or fibre. Whichever way you look at it, ginger is something that all kitchens must have! One more thing to add, when you crystallise ginger, you now turn it into a candy. That is another category all together, in this article I am going to focus on the health benefits not the sweet/sugar product.

Indians and Chinese are believed to have produced ginger as a tonic root for over 5000 years to treat many ailments, and this plant is now cultivated throughout the humid tropics, with India being the largest producer. Ginger was used as a flavouring agent long before history was formally recorded. It was an exceedingly important item of trade and was exported from India to the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, where it was especially valued for its medicinal properties. Ginger continued to be a highly sought-after commodity in Europe even after the fall of the Roman Empire, with Arab merchants controlling the trade in ginger and other spices for centuries. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the value of a pound of ginger was equivalent to the cost of a sheep.

By medieval times, it was being imported in preserved form to be used in sweets. Queen Elizabeth I of England is credited with the invention of the gingerbread man, which became a popular Christmas treat. Ginger was mentioned again in Asian medical books 2,000 years ago and we know that is has been incorporated in about half of all multi-item prescriptions in oriental medicine for thousands of years. Fresh ginger, among oriental physicians, is reputed to be a good remedy for vomiting, coughing, abdominal distension and fever, whereas the processed (steamed and dried) ginger is used for abdominal pain, lumbago and diarrhoea.

healing remedy ginger

Africans drink ginger root tea as an aphrodisiac; women in New Guinea eat the dried root as a contraceptive. In India, children are given fresh ginger tea for whooping cough. In oriental medicine a distinction is made between fresh ginger root which is said to be better for treating colds and causing sweating and dried ginger thought to be more suitable for treating respiratory and digestive disorders. Be careful not to increase ginger when you already have strong cold/flu symptoms, the properties of ginger will prolong the cold as it locks it into the body. Use at the very first sign of a cold/flu. Ginger is frequently used in conjunction with other foods to harmonise and blend the ingredients in cooking which might otherwise be rather hard on the digestive system.

At least 115 constituents in fresh and dried ginger varieties have been identified by a variety of analytical processes. Gingerols are the major constituents of fresh ginger and are found slightly reduced in dry ginger, whereas the concentrations of shogaols, which are the major gingerol dehydration products, are more abundant (Jolad et al. 2005) in dry ginger than in fresh ginger. At least 31 gingerol-related compounds have been identified
from the methanolic crude extracts of fresh ginger rhizome.

The recognised modern day uses of ginger are as a culinary root, especially in far eastern cuisine’s and the stems crystallised in candy. Medicinally it has been traditionally used by many cultures for indigestion, flatulence, nausea and poor circulation. Ginger is warming and stimulating, promoting gastric secretion and aiding the absorption of food. It is excellent for easing indigestion, colic and flatulence. A piece of ginger chewed (crystallised stem ginger will do as well) is effective for travel sickness. A little ginger may also help morning sickness. It also has a stimulating effect on the heart and circulation, so it is good for cold hands and feet. It has a warming expectorant action on the lungs, dispelling mucus and phlegm.

Ginger tea

Ginger tea is good for colds and flu; it causes eliminative sweat. It is even thought that ginger juice or tea massaged into the scalp stimulates hair growth. Researches have proven that ginger is better than Dramamine, a common motion sickness drug, at suppressing motion induced nausea. In several tests conducted on people it has been proven to be more effective than Dramamine with an added bonus that ginger does not make you drowsy, because it works in the gut and not in the brain. It is not an uncommon sight in Hong Kong, the people whose livelihood is on a boat, to see them chewing on some preserved ginger.

It has also been proven that ginger is a more potent anticoagulant than either garlic or onion. It more efficiently inhibits blood cells’ synthesis of a substance called thrombozone that signals blood platelets to stick together as a first step in forming blood clots. The more ginger used, the greater the effects, even though extremely small amounts also worked. The anticoagulant, or blood thinning compound, in ginger is gingerol which has a chemical structure amazingly like that of aspirin, the “modern” drug containing the anti- clotting compound. Through further investigation and research ginger may also bring down drastically high blood cholesterol levels over the long term. The spice strongly offsets the cholesterol- raising effects of a high fat diet.

As with all herbs and spices a little goes a long way. The body requires so little of these amazing culinary delights to aid in our overall health. Used in normal day to day cooking, know that you are giving yourself a gift of health.

As a side note: I am so pleased to advise that finally, after a long period of time, my web site is now up and running, there has also been a name change, www.5seasonsliving.com is available for my global audience. Thank you for your long-term patience. I look forward to hearing from you.

Health and Happiness
Karla Walter
www.5seasonsliving.com

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
Cheers

I love this topic about travel as I take myself back to some of my first.adventures and how they have shaped the way I travel and eat today. My early memories of travel are in a car, not sure where we were going but I can still see myself sitting in the back seat. Other memories that come to me are going to visit my parents friends, again sitting in the back seat of the car or walking around our neighbourhood. When you got to the destination, the children would be given a sandwich and drink and then it was outside to play.

I am a great traveller and love the adventure no matter where I go. Also in my early years it was fishing with my father in the local dam for perch. We only caught the few fish we needed for dinner and then it was time to go home.Also I have been so blessed growing up in a country environment and having eaten and caught marron. Marron is a freshwater crayfish with the most delicious flavour. As I write this I remember the laughter from my friend JR and I when my father would catch them. As we grew older it was our turn when we visited him, to go and catch the marron. Memories that warm my heart. I remember crossing Australia at the age of 12 on my way to Sydney from Perth on the Indian Pacific train. I was with my best friend JR, her mother and her Aunt and a cousin.

World

I was going on a cruise to Fiji and New Zealand. I was so excited I don’t think I slept for the 2 weeks that we were away. I remember the food was endless and cruises today are no different. All the smells and colours of foods from around the world. “Something for everyone” is always the saying. From that experience I was then hooked, thinking that I needed to see the world. A little young at the time so the world would have to wait, but Australia and New Zealand were right there. In my late teens I sailed from Fremantle to Sydney crossing the Great Australian Bight in what was supposed to be quite calm waters for that time of the year. The food was again a vast array of colours and flavours. One of my more adventurous moments was hitchhiking across Australia with friends. Not something that I would recommend now, nor would I ever do it again. When one is young, one feels fearless to the world. After that adventure I adopted a few rules of travel, which I still abide by today. 

My first backpack was bright yellow and bigger than I was. I headed off from Australia to see the world for a few months as so many of us do. Some go for a lot longer than a few years which is what has happened to me, but many years after my first adventure. Back to the rules of travel for myself. No matter where I go, if I have not booked accommodation before I leave, my rule is to have somewhere by 3.30pm the day I arrive. If I arrive at night I will always have accommodation booked. I never wanted to look for accommodation at night. In my early days of travel, I was usually a lonear went to places that my friends didn’t want to go. The other rule, which is more in line with how life turned out with my nutrition business and that is I only eat cooked food where possible.

Having been in so many countries in remote areas where refrigeration was non existent, eating meat, fish or chicken was not an option. I often chose a more vegetarian option. I know my love of travel and eating healthy brings me into contact with so many restaurants around the world and they all have something that intrigues me. As I eat for my health and not my emotions most of the time, my choices are always more seasonal and local. I choose meals that embrace the five flavours and give me a feeling of being balanced once I’ve eaten. In Thailand the food is so delicious and the variety across the country, one can only marvel at all the combinations of flavours that are included together. Many Thai salads will also have cooked ingredients, noodles, rice, dried shrimp, grilled eggplant, minced pork, with lime juice, coriander, chillies and sliced tomatoes, depending on the region.

Indian Chai Masala

Travelling to India you find salads are small accompaniments to most main dishes, called kachumber. The ingredients of these salads vary around the country however, I always love the combination of tomatoes, radishes and carrots with a little vinegar. The vinegar is the cooking method. Lemon juice and fresh mint in these dishes are so refreshing. Seasonings of ground cumin or garam marsala are among the variations. Depending on the region chilli peppers or a little cayenne pepper may also be used in the dressing. The majority of Indian food is cooked which gives way to curries that can vary from one village to another. The southern part of India is where you will find the fiery hot curries. Too hot for me. Hot spicy curries make you sweat to keep the body cool. There is always a reason the ingredients are combined together in traditional recipes. Most of the time you will find it has health benefits. Drinking chai that is boiling in a large pot on the streets in Calcutta near Kathleen’s cake shop has the perfect chai aroma.

Travelling through Europe most traditional meals are cooked and accompanied by pickles, and the famous sauerkraut in Germany. Homemade sauerkraut is truly a gift to your taste buds. The accompaniments are all part of helping with digestion. Italy is known for their long lunches and great discussions over meals. This again is all part of the digestive process. We are not supposed to be eating our food so fast that we don’t register the flavours that are in the dishes. Plus everyone knows I am the“chew your food lady.”One of my other loves for food of course, is France.

La Caverne is Greoux les Bains must be on your list if you are in the Provence region. The only person who spoke English was the owner and chef. It was such a delightful evening and the food was superb. All local, seasonal and delicious. When in Paris and you like oysters, head straight for The Cafe Capucine-Opera, not far from Galleries Lafayette. They will not disappoint. My list of restaurants and experiences with food could go on and on for days. This is just a few places that certainly bring great joy to my heart when I think about them. I can taste the food from each one of these places as I write. Think about your favourite places to eat and the wonderful memories that come to mind. Anything that fills you with joy is a great day with food.

Health and Happiness
Karla Walter mail: [email protected]
5 seasons linving

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail
Newer Posts