Yummy veggies, yogurt, and shredded wheat

I just invented this and it is jam-packed with healthy fat and carbs, low protein, lots of calories for those of us who need them and no added salt.

I cut up some veggies and put them in a pot. Bell peppers, mushrooms, green onions, those white round purplish tuber veggies (forget name), zucchini, garlic, and I don’t recall what else. I doused these in olive oil and let them cook a while.

Then I poured some shredded wheat into a bowl. Not the big kind of shredded wheat but the little mini-kind. I doused this with MHT oil. Yeah, MHT oil is all the rage but I think there’s some truth behind the rage. I poured some plain, organic, whole milk yogurt over the shredded wheat.

Now, I poured the entire pot of cooked, simmering hot veggies over all that, and spiked it all with fresh ground black pepper. I stirred it all together. It was very good.

What did you have for dinner?

I’ve been enjoying nuts lately. All kinds. I discovered unsalted pistachios. These are not easy to find since most are poisoned with salt and even dyed red. Ick. Real pistachios are seriously good.

Don’t eat more than two Brazil nuts a day. If you do, you will overdose on Selenium. Two is what you need! Two Brazil nuts is a perfect Selenium supplement, and is great for both your thyroid and your kidneys.

The cost of nuts is insane. Nutty. I think it’s best to mail order them rather than fight over the prices in the supermarkets. Go online and cost-compare. Maybe a food coop. If you’re lucky. Our local food coop, which is in the East End (not near here) is a snob store so I avoid it. I was really shocked when I discovered that upon my arrival in Pittsburgh. They cater to the same ole Whole Foods crowd. Fellowship Foods is even sadder. They jack up their prices way too high. $5 for a dozen eggs….. If you really want decent specialty foods you can go to the Strip and browse the Chinese shops and maybe luck out, but the last time I went to one of those, I noticed one of my items had rat bites in the package. (Later, they didn’t pass inspection, I heard.)

That said, I miss the food coop in Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. That place didn’t cater to rich people. Their prices weren’t always perfectly low, but at least it wasn’t in a wealthy neighborhood and it was right in a great place to pick up the bus or subway. They bent over backwards for food stamp recipients. You could get all kinds of things in bulk. The clientele weren’t snobby and they didn’t turn up their noses at people they considered lesser than they were. I wasn’t too impressed with the produce section, but you can’t have everything you want, folks……

We don’t really have a real coop here, and I miss that about Boston. I’ve looked around and we really do not have one. We do not have one in this county at all…and if anyone thinks Fellowship Foods is a coop, they don’t know what a coop is. Fellowship Foods is a grossly overpriced food delivery service. I cannot stress more how overpricing of something as basic as food is a human rights abuse.  It’s not true that good food should cost more, or that better parents should pay more to feed their kids. This is total bullshit elitist crap.  Since when should a dozen eggs cost $5? Since when should chicken livers cost $6 per pound? No, it isn’t a mark of a better parent who is tricked into paying these prices. It is a mark of a fool. Especially when supermarket prices are much lower…..

We do have a good produce store so I go there whenever I can. I have noticed also those places called “Farmers Markets” are also overpriced. I don’t understand how they can get away with it. Maybe there are small fruit stands out in the country that don’t reflect the flashy farmer’s market prices, little holes in the wall places out of the way that I might find someday. I miss the places I used to go to in Uruguay, too. I used to fill up a bag full of veggies and bring that home. I miss that.

Same struggle, winter after winter

Every winter I struggle to stay warm. No matter how high I turn up the heat I cannot get warm enough! Do you have the same problem? It seems like the winter cold gets inside of me and won’t come out! It’s in my bones and sometimes the only solution is to curl up with Puzzle under the covers to warm up. Right now I’m wasting electricity blowing a blower on my freezing cold feet, and I haven’t even stepped outside. They’re still cold, numb, and hurting bad because of the cold. This is not arthritis, just cold, cold cold. My hands are like icicles and I often wear gloves to bed even though my heat is now working. I don’t dare take my hat off. Are you like this too? I wear a hat to bed, tied to my head. What the fuck?

I was always the cold one. Always the one who insisted that someone please turn the heat up…I’m FREEZING.  This is the case even if I go running in the morning. Two hours later, I’m freezing all over again.

What is the solution? I pray for a hot flash and I don’t even get that. When is summer coming round again? How about that global warming? I want some! Send some my way, please!

This embarrasses me, too. Those do-gooders out there who claim that people who turn up their heat are wasting planetary resources. To you who claim that, please, please, UP YOURS! How many television sets, washing machines, cars, and microwaves do you have? Go to hell and stay there!

Oh that felt good and warmed me up just to say that.

I looked for a foot-warmer at Walmart but it seems to be mis-filed on their website. They don’t really have it at my local Walmart and it’s overpriced at Amazon. Walmart’s was $20 and I refuse to pay $50 for one. It’s better to use an electric foot-warmer than to blow air on my feet which is more costly. Maybe I should burn kerosene again which actually warms the house better than the central heating. It just seems so freezing all the time. Maybe the air pressure isn’t right or the humidity is too low for the heat to distribute. It feels constantly cold in here and the heat turns on so much I fear I am throwing my money away on the central heating unnecessarily.

I’m not sure a humidifier is allowed on the lease. Even if it isn’t I can boil water on my hotplate and the steam might help the heat distribute through the air better. I read that when the humidity is too low or too high you can heat the heck out of the place for naught. Remember in Uruguay when my place was too humid in winter and the wood stove did jack shit to heat my home? That was because the humidity was too high for ideal heating conditions. I kept running the wood stove and the heat never left that corner. Ever. I think I need to run a pot of water on the hotplate and then, see if that helps.

It really is very dry here. This part of Western Pennsylvania is closer to Ohio and we’re close to Appalachia and West Virginia. People even commute from WV to Pittsburgh to go to work. It is extremely mountainous. We don’t get the Lake Effect here the way Erie does. Central and Eastern PA are much more humid, being closer to the ocean. In the higher elevations, parts of NC or the mountains of Virginia it’s so dry it’s a serious fire risk, especially in fall. I’ve noticed my clothes dry in an instant. My hair dries fast in winter, too.

I’m tired of struggling to stay warm every winter. Some days I wear my heavy winter boots all day indoors just to make sure my feet don’t freeze. If I keep only my shoes on my feet will get like icicles and I have to thaw them out. I don’t like having to do that because then my entire body gets a chill.

Well, this is trivial, so……I think I’ll go feed Puzzle which is far more important.

See you later.

Heart test you can do yourself: no-brainer

Why pay for an expensive “stress test.” This one is a no-brainer. This is how you do your own!

Get on a treadmill and walk on it. Now if you can’t keep your balance on one, try an exercise bike. These machines have heart rate monitors. You can find it by holding onto the metal parts. These metal parts sense your heart rate when you hold your thumb around the metal part. Your thumb has a pulse, so you want to hold you whole hand around the metal sensor, and hold both hands on the metal sensors. Now that will get your pulse. Some exercise machines are not accurate and this is not exactly scientific. Well? Western medicine “stress tests” are extremely expensive…so what do you expect? Try a few of these machines and you’ll find one that isn’t screwy. You can’t expect miracles, after all. A few docs are screwy, right?

Now, start going on that treadmill fast. As fast as you safely can. Please do not give yourself a heart attack. I don’t want to be sued. You want to see your heart rate go up.

Now…If your heart rate goes up over 200 and stays there, I’d say your ticker is not in very good shape. It’s time to reconsider your lifestyle and make some changes. Let’s assume for now that it doesn’t do that. It’s okay if it goes up to 200 momentarily. Just for a moment, but it shouldn’t hang there. No no no.

Now hold your fast pace for a bit, as long as you aren’t straining yourself real badly. Then, I want you to slow down. Don’t suddenly stop, but slow down from a run, or fast walk, to a slower walk. Keep monitoring your heart rate. Did it go down right away, or is it still racing at the same speed?

If it went down fast, like in a minute, I’d say you can safely forego any stress test out there. Mine does! But if it’s still racing five or (yikes!) ten minutes later I’d say you need to take care of your heart. It shouldn’t be racing like that.

Older people definitely need to COOL DOWN when exercising. You shouldn’t just suddenly stop after exercising vigorously. Gradually slow down. So when running, walk for a bit, then stop. I’m also concerned about those who start suddenly. That, too, strains people’s hearts. It might be unavoidable during times of excitement, like if you’re running a road race or if you just couldn’t help but run real fast out of the nuthouse. If you anticipate such a thing, try to warm up beforehand. Maybe secretly jog in place in the bathroom when no one’s looking before you make the big run for it.

After all, freedom’s great but we want to be alive to enjoy it!

Tests you can have done without a doctor

If you have back pain you can get your gait assessed for free! Here is how you get it done. Go to your local running store and tell the store associate you’re interested in purchasing a pair of running shoes. Which store should you go to? NOT a mall store! Not a brand store such as Nike or Reebok. You might have to go to Reddit or a runners forum to find out where the really classy running store is in your area. I would suggest going to the city. Don’t go to some rinky-dink store out in the country. Go to the classiest running specialty store in town. This store is likely to be mobbed the day of your local city marathon and thereabouts. Good! That’s the store. In Boston, it’s Marathon Sports. So you want to go to a store like that, where the store associates really know runners’ feet.

They will ask to see you walk, likely barefoot. They’ll ask you to walk back and forth and they’ll examine your gait. Congratulations, you are getting a better exam right now than you did in six years of ortho appointments, wasteful surgeries, and pain killer addiction.

The store associate is likely to tell you you have a certain type of gait which means you need a certain type of shoe. Also they’ll tell you you need a certain fit of shoe. They might tell you the source of knee and back pain is that you’re wearing the wrong shoes and have been for years…or decades.

The store associate might suggest inserts even. Take this advice very seriously. Do you want back pain and knee pain, or do you want relief? Have any of the fools you’ve seen in the past few decades even looked at what you wear on your feet (say what? high heels? Flip-flops?) and asked you to wear something healthy and sensible? Of course not! If you did, they wouldn’t be making money off of you!

Now, try on the various pairs of shoes they offer. You don’t have to purchase. Make note of the types. If they say, “support” take note of that. Memorize the model numbers and take note of what they say about your gait. This is key, the test results are in!

Do you pronate? Do you have high arches? Flatter feet? Is one foot longer than the other? All of the above will tell you why your back and knees hurt. All of these things are connected.  Congratulations. You’ve just solved your back problem.

Free test #2…..

In most states you can get your blood tested without a doctor. You can do your own sugar testing. You can purchase sugar testing equipment and it isn’t even expensive anymore. That is, if you really care about that stuff. Why bother with a doctor if you can find out for yourself! Skip the checkup and the demeaning lecture.

You can get most blood tests unless you live in certain states. I found this out. Here in PA I can get most any test I want without a prescription. Many people get drug tests so that they know ahead of their employers whether they’ll pass the screenings. Or they pay for a pregnancy test that their parents don’t find out about. I get kidney tests and I don’t want any doctor (or the local hospital system, or my insurance) knowing my creatinine level. Just use a search engine and look up “blood test without prescription” and you’ll see what I mean. If you live in one of those states that doesn’t allow it you can do this via “home testing.” I am not sure it’s as accurate, though.

I would not want to get a blood test and then suddenly get a call from the prescribing doctor demanding that I go to a hospital. That would be a privacy invasion. I would rather look at the results and make a decision for myself. You alls know what that decision would be.

Do I really want them taking away my ability to decide for myself? Do I want them giving me drugs without my consent via IV? Do I want them giving me unnecessary or dangerous drugs? Do I want them fudging my records if they make an error? I cannot risk these things, as any of these mishaps could kill me.

This is why I have blood tests done privately without a doctor. For my own use only. For my own information and access only. No one can threaten me based on these tests. I didn’t see anything about police accessing them, either, and I don’t see why the cops would care about my creatinine level…why should they?

You can get a home blood pressure monitor. Are they accurate? Some are. They make them better all the time. Now if your doctor tells you he/she wants you in for a “blood pressure check” I keep wondering why the waste! Just check it home and cancel the appointment! Save yourself some bucks.

You can weigh yourself on a bathroom scale. If your doctor insists on a “weight check,” that, too, is a waste. Weigh yourself at home and cancel the appointment. There is NO MAGIC to the doctor’s scale except the insane doctor bill. Nowadays a bathroom scale is just as accurate and you pay a lot less to use it yourself. If you want to know kilograms, use an online converter or better yet, do the math.

Know what I do when a doc schedules an appointment for me? I write it down and say nothing. Then when the reminder comes I tell them I can’t make it. “I’m sorry, I was called into work that day. Okay, I will call you and let you know when I can reschedule.” Then, I just don’t call. I’ve never had them call and pester me. They just never call again. Sometimes I return the call and tell them I relocated, which will ensure I don’t get pestered. What are they going to do? Track me down via Facebook or try to drive by my place to see if my car is in the driveway? Good luck! My car drove off some 30 years ago……

What are doctors good for? They have a few uses, so listen up. They’re really good at removing bullets and setting broken bones. If you’re ever hit by a drunk driver and you smash something, go see one and see to it that putting you back together is ALL they do! No extras. You can do without the flu shot, extra checkups, wellness tips, vaccines, lectures telling you to lose weight, drugs for your invisible illnesses you didn’t know you had, anticoagulants, antacids, muscle relaxants, antidepressants because they claim you are depressed after the accident, extra xrays, mammogram, testicle exam, sleeping pills and psychotherapy and day treatment just because it’s all covered. You’ve already been hit by a drunk driver. Do you want to be killed, too?

Point made. Good night.

Costco….boo……

I tried to join Costco. Thankfully, I stopped before I joined. You have to walk into the store to pick up your card. They don’t mail you the cards. My nearest store is totally inaccessible to anyone who does not have a vehicle, in the snobby town of Cranberry. Cranberry took down its bus system, refusing to allow bus riders to have access. That’s how snobby they are there. I have no desire to set foot in Cranberry, though I went through there once…it is very ugly there, bunch of concrete, all stores and shit.

I called up the store and they were rude and snobby. They refused to budge, saying they would not bend their policies. After all, I might be some fraudster. Of course I am! They told me I can go to Cleveland, after all! Sure I can…..

Two hours by bus into Pittsburgh, wait for that once-a-day Amtrak, then, take the Amtrak to Cleveland (how many hours is that, five or six?), go to Costco, then, pay for a hotel in Cleveland, then, take the Amtrak back, then, take a two-hour bus back home. Will Costco pay for the dog sitter, night in a hotel, Amtrak fare, and time off of work? Why doesn’t Costco pay for a bus system to Cranberry, too?

Bye, bye, Costco. Much as I hate Amazon and Walmart, I’m stuck with them. I’m looking into Target too. I hear they deliver.