Now, more than ever, we must strive to stay the healthiest we can. We already know what food groups are most beneficial for us, however we don’t always look into the science behind why that is. Thought it would be of interest to share the science behind An Apple A Day – taken from Edible (the magazine for Vancouver food & wine country).
What role does the proverbial apple-a-day have in keeping the doctor away? The fruit is rich in bacteria, and some of those are highly beneficial to human health. A single apple can carry more than a 100 million microbes, according to a July 2019 article in TheGuardian.
Once in your gut, those bacteria colonize and improve your personal microbiome, which research suggests is linked to overall health, including mood and cognition. In Gut feelings: How food affects your mood(Harvard Health Publishing), Dr. Uma Naidoo reports that 90 percent of serotonin receptors are found in the gut.
Diversity is an important factor for a thriving biome, and organic apples reportedly have a greater range of microbes – yet another reason to choose organically grown apples if you can afford to. Most of the bacteria will be killed by cooking, so eating the raw fruit will make your biome happiest.
This is a departure from my usual posts, but life has changed and I’m learning to deal (as we all are) with life’s little mishaps. Here’s the latest..
Let’s say you notice raccoons made a hole in your roof overnight. Why? To find a warm place for birthing their young of course. And when it happens, they have no qualms about ripping out cedar shingles and digging into your delicate pink fiberglass insulation.
Then let’s assume you call Wildlife Control (and they know you by name but nevermind that little detail) and they send a guy pretty quickly (who also remembers you but nevermind) to patch up the mess.
After that, let’s say your boyfriend decides to make it harder for the little culprits to come back (because they do) and decides to nail some wire mesh over the area most likely to be torn up (again) .
Then let’s say you aren’t aware that there was tar all over the area the wildlife guy patched up.
You will most likely get a good laugh out of seeing the back end of the person doing the re-repair who is oblivious to what the back of his shorts looks like. The only funny thing about all of this actually.
Worse if the pants or shorts happen to be his favorite pair. So you quickly google how to take tar out of clothing. Which brings me to the solution (I love finding solutions)…
Soak the clothing (in this case, cargo shorts – hardly worth saving but anyway) in olive oil. Yes; that’s correct. Olive oil softens the tar. We used half a bottle of cold organic first-pressed but you don’t have to use the finest. Best done in a bucket you don’t care about.
After at least one hour of soaking, if the tar does not come out this way (and of course it doesn’t) then you take it one step further. You take an old cloth, dip it in gasoline (if you have a scooter handy you can just take it from the gas tank) and begin the process of dabbing the area (s) that has tar. Bit by bit, all the tar will come out. Trust me on this. It’s a bit of work but if you want to salvage the piece of clothing, it’s what you do.
Then you wash the piece of clothing on it’s own. Do it in a machine preferably that does not belong to you, because the smell of gasoline will linger a little longer than you like. I know about this for sure. You might want to wash the item a second time.
To lose the gasoline smell completely, try airing it out in fresh air for at least a day… a week… or month after washing.
But just to be on the safe side, make sure your boyfriend doesn’t go near anyone who’s smoking (a good idea at the best of times)… unless you were hoping to get rid of him in a flash. ;o)
My best solid advice would be this: Unless this is a very special item of clothing, just go out and buy another (preferably online at this time of Covid but maybe not on Amazon).
And Finally…..I leave you with an uplifting mask-free photo to show a bit of freedom. But right after this was taken, the mask went back on (especially inside my place which smelled of gasoline). Unlike Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now, I don’t love the smell of Napalm in the morning.
It’s finally here! Very Good Friday indeed. Not only a holiday, but the day my 14 day mandatory stay-at-home Covid-19 quarantine finally ends. Of course I’ll still stand my distance when outside, but I can now go for long walks in fresh air. I promise never to take walking along the beach right outside my home for granted ever again.
The past two weeks went pretty smoothly with my two dogs and my boyfriend, all things considered. We kept quarantine quarreling to a minimum although I cannot pretend we didn’t have a few trying moments. Shades of a shot-gun wedding!
For dog walking a good friend of mine who lives around the corner walked Layla as she requires more exercise than Jia Jia. Then she sent me the pictures to prove how much fun they had while I was holed up at home.
Actually to tell you the truth, it wasn’t too bad. Fourteen days goes by fast even when you don’t have any plans. I started getting used to not having any reason to get out of my Pajamas. I started cooking again and getting creative with ingredients. Some of the things I made turned out pretty good considering the ingredient substitutes for some of the meals. Things like using Chinese vegetables for making Mexican, etc. Using vegetable rice to make Risotto and smooth peanut butter to make peanut butter cookies. Crunchy is much better. I cooked a lot and the not having to go out to get groceries myself meant having to be more creative with what I already had in the house.
Luckily the weather has been mostly sunny, so we’ve been able to get some natural Vitamin D by sitting on the upstairs deck. For exercise, moving plants and furniture around have helped to a degree.
But the icing on the cake was taking part in an on-line choreographed dance class from The Dance Lab (a London, England based dance studio) via Zoom. Courtesy of my good friend Masako who lives in London. The lesson was 8:30 pm London time, 12:30 pm Vancouver time.
I joined Brazilian Samba lesson which was lots of fun. Our instructor Brian Dibnah was excellent.
Brian has a good sense of humour too. He went slowly at first with the moves while we watched and then tried to copy bit by bit until it was formed into a dance routine set to music. We could see the other dancers on the split screen gallery view of our computers. Little dancing icons.
Brings social distancing to a new level. We were social distance dancing.
Well we made it to day 7 of our 14 day mandatory self-quarantine of a New World Disorder. And everyone is still alive and somewhat sane.
What a trip this has been, and still is. We drove from Palm Springs to Vancouver and we arrived one day after a newly enforced Canadian government order that stated all Canadians returning to Canada from anywhere abroad had to do mandatory self-isolation for two weeks. Before this it was voluntary quarantine. Timing is everything they say. However we still had to (and still have to until further notice) maintain 2 metres (6 ft.) distance from one another.
When we arrived at the border, which by the way, was empty, our border officer read us the new rules and told us in no uncertain terms that if we were to leave our place of isolation (where we had to head straight for, with no stops whatsoever) we could be fined anywhere from $1,000 to $1,000,000. Yup; that’s up to 1 million dollars! Needless to say I’m not gonna let that happen. If so, is there anyone who can bail me out for a million? Didn’t think so!
So we had to bid adieu (for now) to simple everyday outings like getting our own groceries and walking our dogs. Although I do let mine just outside the house several times a day. A good friend and neighbour is nice enough to walk Layla (who needs more exercise). We’ve been ordering takeout (my new safe word) and having groceries delivered since then.
Still, it’s strange to be on “house arrest” when we have no symptoms, although I do understand it’s to help keep the possibility we have it from spreading to those who are more vulnerable. We all know by now what we’re supposed to do to help get everything back to normal. Remember normal?
Here’s what I was not expecting… coming home to find my fridge conked out for the first time due to a power outage and dealing with the stench of throwing everything out including the melted frozen berries that made a mess in the freezer. Luckily for me I have a backup fridge in the garage. Who has a back-up fridge? I do! But then no food because all was tossed. And forget about getting a service person. I tried. Once they found out I was in California… forget about it.
Then, my phone died. Aaaarrrggghhh! Can phones contract coronavirus? Nah. It may only need a new battery. But how do I order groceries with no phone? And why do I not have a back-up phone? Next best thing – to email someone you know with your essential list. Then they deliver and after they’ve left, you find out that you forgot to add that one critical item on your list that you needed to make your meal complete. It’s like having a bagel without the cream cheese or bread without butter. You get the idea. So you make do.
Next up: let’s say you need to print out a document and fax it to someone? Under normal circumstances if you’re out of printer cartridges you get in your car and drive to Staples, get more and that’s that. But when you’re under house arrest you can’t go anywhere, let alone drive. So you have to ask someone (via e-mail because no phone remember?) to print it out for you and put it in your mailbox. No one wants to be near you…just in case. No one!
Here’s the good news: not having to get dressed, more time to make soup and cookies, no excuse to not clean house, cannot think of anything else at the moment.
So here we are. I’ll let you know how we made out next Friday. Which is Good Friday. Which will be verygood Friday for all in this house. In the meantime a friend sent me this timely poem:
Suddenly, we slept in one world and woke up in another.
Disney has no more magic and Paris is no longer romantic..
Suddenly, in New York everyone sleeps.
And the Great Wall of China is no longer a fortress.
Suddenly, hugs and kisses become weapons.
Holding hands and walking the parks become outlawed.
Suddenly, not visiting aging parents and grandparents becomes an “act of love”.
Suddenly, our bombs and machine guns, our tanks and artilleries begin to gather dust.
Suddenly, we realized that power is with faith
And that money has no value when it can’t even buy you toilet paper.
Suddenly, we have been put back in our place by the hands of the universe. And we’ve been made aware how vulnerably “human” we truly are, when faced with a microbe so powerfully inhumane.
Keep the hope alive, be well & stay safe everyone!!