Gathering the straws of life together

Tag: grow your own food

Possum or Quail for dinner?

Possum or Quail for dinner?

When you are planning your weekly meals do you have possum or quail for dinner? Those of you who are my “vintage” – a good age, like a good wine, will remember the TV Show The Beverley Hillbillies. Grandma Clampett’s favourite recipe was possum stew. […]

The Garden

The Garden

I really like the garden at this time of the year – Winter. We live 691 metres above sea level and with this comes cooler weather in the winter. Also, we are able to enjoy the changing of the seasons – the deciduous trees lose their […]

Too Much Apple Pie!

Too Much Apple Pie!

Who is eating too much apple pie? Not at our house. These days we prefer or our digestive system copes better with savoury food. This is working in our favour, keeping us healthier than we would be if we ate apple pie. When I was growing up apple pie was often on the table and even today it is popular. As we grow older the better option is to eat fresh wholefoods, when we can. My continual mantra is – where we can, we should grow our own food. At least, some of our food and certainly herbs.

When I see a person in the supermarket with herbs in their trolley I want to take them aside and have a little chat. On second thoughts, maybe this is not the best way to approach the subject. It is so easy to grow herbs. Even if I did not grow anything else, I would have to grow herbs. I remember back to my first attempt at herb growing when I was much younger! I did not have great success. The reason is I did not give them enough water – enough said!

Eating too much apple pie will put on the kilos and potentially create obesity. There is a large (word chosen carefully) obesity problem in the western world. Over half of the population in Australia is overweight. Too much apple pie or too much fast food or the wrong food, will increase our weight.

We have plenty of sweet basil at the moment. I used this and other herbs to make another batch of tomato and herb sauce. This sauce gives a wonderful aroma to our Sunday night pizza and adds great flavour to a pasta dish. Maybe throw in a few prawns and bellissimo!


Tomato, herbs, onion and garlic together with a touch of red wine make a great home-made sauce. Mix with a hand blender after cooking and bottle.

I am no different to many others, in that I need to lose a few kilos. Although, my weight gain is not caused by too much apple pie! I thought I was at a healthy weight for my height but I find that I am not as tall as I used to be. Or should I say that I am shorter than I was? Therefore, to be healthy, I need to lose the weight. Losing weight is not easy. This probably explains why so many people are overweight.

Being overweight is not without its health dangers. Through our eating habits we create a lifestyle. What we eat, drink and/or smoke can result in a lifestyle disease. It is entirely up to me to make sure I eat healthy food, to have a healthy lifestyle. No one else will do it for me. Hence, setting up our Mediterranean garden so we can grow more of our own food, even in a small space, is a good start.

Our Meyer Lemon has fruit!
Our dwarf Valencia (seedless) orange tree is flowering profusely.
It will not be long before we are eating our home-grown Tahitian Limes.

If you are thinking of growing some of your own food don’t put it on hold, start this weekend. Buy a punnet of lettuce, a tomato plant, a few herbs and put in a planter at your backdoor. Keep watering and before long you will have your very own mini Mediterranean garden. Apart from being rewarded with watching your plants grow you will be building a better and healthier lifestyle. No one wants to be weighed down with a lifestyle disease.

Lifestyle diseases include heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, hypertension and premature death. These are all the things I want to avoid. I think we made a good start by giving up apple pie. While some of these diseases have a genetic cause, most of these diseases can be prevented through modifying our lifestyle. This is much easier said than done. It takes time and effort to overcome lifestyle habits.

Our way forward is to:

  • Eat breakfast (when starting the day with breakfast we are less likely to fill up mid-morning with unhealthy snacks)
  • Eat more fruit, vegetables, whole grains and nuts
  • More fish and less meat
  • Cook more meals at home
  • Cook meals from scratch (avoid packaged sauces and canned food, apart from tomatoes!)
  • Reduce our daily intake of sugar and fats
  • Drink more water (a little soda from our soda stream in the water and a twist of lemon or lime helps)
  • Find healthy snacks
  • Exercise more

If we do all the above we will improve our chances of keeping healthy and limiting disease. Being within our healthy weight range is a serious matter, even a life changing matter.

If you want to find out your healthy weight range click here!

The Naked Retiree, Depression and the Mediterranean Garden

The Naked Retiree, Depression and the Mediterranean Garden

The Naked Retiree, getting older, tired and depressed should now be creating a Mediterranean Garden. There is more than one reason that the naked retiree must get out in the garden. Already, many retirees have felt the heavy hand of the Federal Government changes to […]

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