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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What on Earth Can I Eat? Now out as an eBook!

When I reached my '50s I mistakenly thought that my learning years were long behind me. 

How mistaken I was. My double diagnosis in 2002 led to a whole new world where I was a naïve ignorant student learning about a host of mysterious things neglected from my education in my various earlier stages of life. Things like carbohydrates, insulin, blood glucose, lymphocytes and all that.

Some of those subjects were vital to my continued health. In many of those fields I will be a student for the rest of my life.

Other things I had to learn were less directly important but still necessary to assist my search for knowledge; thus I became net-savvy and learned how to use the web and usenet to get the information I needed. Later, further learning was needed to allow me to find ways to pass on to others the knowledge I had gained. As a consequence I spent a lot of time in 2010 researching self-publishing;. That led to me eventually publishing What on Earth Can I Eat? late last year.

Originally that was going to be the only form of the book, but after publication I received many requests from people to produce an ebook. That involved another learning curve, as I tried to re-work the manuscript for the various e-reading options. I floundered around until I was directed to Smashwords. That made it so much easier.

So now, responding to popular demand, the ebook is out there on the web!

I have to admit I'm still an old fogey and tend to prefer printed books, but for those modern people who prefer to download and read on their Kindle (or any other ebook reader) please click here: What on Earth Can I Eat? Food, Type 2 Diabetes and You. As a service to my blog readers, a $1.00 discount is available if you  include coupon number JP52U when you get to the checkout.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Discovery of Insulin

A couple of years after I was diagnosed I spent a fascinating few hours reading a Canadian web-site titled “The Discovery of Insulin”. Recently I went looking for it again and was sorry to see it was no longer directly available on the web.

However, all is not lost! The marvellous way-back machine was able to find it again for me. I don't know how long such archives are kept, so I suggest you don't delay if you are interested in reading this wonderful story.

Begin here: The Discovery of Insulin

Use the site as you would any other, clicking on icons as appropriate. The way-back bar at the top is not too intrusive. I suggest you start by clicking “Enter” then click on “Introduction” before reading the rest. Click on the “Home” button at the top or your “back” button if “Home” is missing to return to the index page after you finish each section.

The dLife web-site also has a three-part video series on the discovery of insulin. I was unable to find the code to show them directly here so you will need to click on the links. The "non-intrusive" ads for Novo-Nordisk are worth wading through for the story.

The Story Of Insulin, Part 1

The Story Of Insulin, Part 2

The Story Of Insulin, Part 3

For those in the Tampa area tomorrow or in the Tyler, Tx, region next month, this exhibition may also be worth attending: Breakthrough: The Dramatic Story of the Discovery of Insulin

After reading and watching all of that information I was reminded again how remarkable this achievement was and how close it came to not occurring. There are millions of diabetics alive today as a direct consequence of the discovery; the story of Dr Lois Jovanovic's grandmother gives the perspective of those living under a death sentence back in the 1920s. As a lateral thought, one has to wonder whether it would have ever been discovered if there had been the same strict rules for using animals like dogs in lab experiments then as there are now.

At the moment I do not need insulin, but I am very grateful that it is available for that possible day in the future when I may need to.

Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia

Everything in Moderation - Except laughter

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kitchen Essentials: Steamer Saucepan

For those who are discovering cooking as a survival skill for the first time this is the first in a short series of tips for new cooks.

I first started using a steamer saucepan set when I was wandering around in a caravan in 1997-98. I discovered a set in an op-shop while we were wandering and found it to be a wonderful tool for cooking a full balanced meal with several vegetables on a tiny two-burner caravan stove.

After I was diagnosed I found it became an essential tool in my kitchen as I increased the range of vegetables on my menu. I use it daily; often cooking five or more different vegetables at a time. I believe in the KISS rule (keep it simple) in most things; for cooking there are few things simpler than steaming. You really have to try hard to over-cook steamed veges, so you can concentrate on other foods where timing is more critical.

Apart from the obvious advantages of steaming vegetables to retain most of the vitamins and minerals, a steamer takes a lot of the work out of cooking regular meals.

I thought about polishing mine up for the pictures, but decided to show it as it is, because this battered old saucepan set has been in constant use for many years now:

Over the years we have added bits to it; not all match:

We use those extra sections for big family dinners. Usually we only need the base and one steamer section when cooking for three or four. For example, for dinner last night I put potato and Aussie pumpkin (Winter Squash) to be boiled in the bottom in just enough water to cover them; in the steamer section was 1/3 cob corn, peas, sliced carrot, broccoli and cabbage with chopped bacon. Each vegetable was placed separate from the others so that they could be easily served later without mixing together excessively. Here is how it looks with the boiled veges moved to the top section to keep warm while my fish cooks beside it and my wife's chops cook under the griller:

Some tips when using one.

1. Put root vegetables that need to be boiled, such as potatoes, in the bottom section and leafy/watery veges in the top for steaming.

2. If the veges in the bottom section cook before the rest of the meal is ready, transfer them to the top section to remain warm without over-cooking.

3. If the veges are cooked before your other foods are ready, remove the steamer set from the heat and transfer any veges in the bottom section to the steamer section. The residual heat in the hot water will act as a bain-marie and keep the veges warm without over-cooking them.

4. Don't overfill the base with water; use just enough to do the job with a little extra for safety so that you never boil dry. When the water comes to the boil, reduce the heat until it is just simmering. Retain that water after cooking for an excellent stock if you like to cook vegetable soups or stews.

5. As you gain experience, don't restrict the concept to just vegetables. Experiment with other foods, especially fish and seafoods.

Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia

Everything in Moderation - Except laughter