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Events and Life Food and Drink Miscellany

Kicking off my Summer vacation

Today is the first day of my Summer vacation, and I’ve started it with an unexpectedly appealing drink in a park with our daughter while we wait for our son to finish a lesson nearby.

Categories
Food and Drink Mindsets

When the sound of chewing drives you crazy

I’m definitely one of those people who find the sound of chewing infuriating. I have moments when it’s tolerable but, for the most part, it drives me crazy. Irrationally so. It turns out, this may be as much of a biological thing, as it is a psychological thing (and yet another thing to add to my list of Things). According to Mike McCrae’s article titled “If You Can’t Stand The Sound of People Chewing, Blame Your Brain”

The sound of people chewing, slurping, tapping, or humming can drive some people into a rage, and scientists have actually discovered the neurological wiring responsible for this strange condition.

Called misophonia, it describes the unreasonable emotions that well up inside some of us when we hear certain repetitive noises being produced by those around us. People with this condition experience annoyance or even anger at the clacking of a keyboard, the rustling of a chip packet, or the smacking of lips.

Mike McCrae

It doesn’t seem like there’s a cure. Well, there is. People can chew with their mouths closed. Just a thought.

Sadly for those with misophonia, the discovery doesn’t come with an easy fix. It might help the rest of us sympathise, however, and consider chewing with our mouths closed.

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Khamkhor
Categories
Events and Life Food and Drink Wellbeing

Diabetic for 6 years

Today is the sixth anniversary of my Diabetes diagnosis. I remember the morning I received the news from my doctor. I had gone for blood tests because I was feeling thirsty almost constantly, and I noticed that my vision was a little fuzzy.

I discovered that these are two typical symptoms of Diabetes later. At the time, I was in a state of shock. I was only 37. I thought that life as I knew it was over. It was, just not how I thought at the time.

Being diagnosed forced me to lose weight, and start eating far better. Much of the credit for eating better goes to my wife who’s found great, Diabetic-friendly alternatives to common ingredients in the years since then. I remember that she basically went out and replaced much of our kitchen inventory with healthier options almost right away.

Since then, my control has been mostly ok.

The thing with Diabetes is that it’s a progressive condition. You need to work at it, every day, for the rest of your life.

That means you need to be mindful about what you eat, and when you eat it. I haven’t found that depriving entirely is the way to go, at least not for me. I cheat now and then, and focus on keeping that urge under control.

I’ve slipped many times. My levels were way too high for most of 2018, and I’ve started to bring them back down in the last couple months with more regular exercise. When I spoke to my doctor after my latest blood test results, she said that she’d formally prescribe exercise if she could, it’s that important.

I started running at the beginning of the year. I aim for 20 minutes, five times a week. I can’t say that I enjoy running, but I’m getting stronger, and 20 minutes isn’t that much time. It’s enough to get my heart rate up to where it needs to be (frequently even higher), and I can see the results in my routine blood tests.

I can also see what happens when I take a break from my running.

For now, my goal is to get my levels down enough for a “normal” HbA1c test in a month or two. That’s only going to happen with regular exercise, better discipline with what I eat, and a focus on the positive benefits of all of this effort.

At the same time, I’m also thinking about doing a race or two this year. The city conducts a running race in November each year. Gina and Aaron ran last year, and I think I’ll join them this year, and run the 5km race.

It’s been a challenging 6 years, and I’m sure there will be more challenges in the year ahead. The point, though, is that there will be years to look forward to.

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Brian Metzler*

*FYI, this isn’t what I look like when I’m running. It’s what I imagine when I’m gasping for breath, lurching up a hill on my usual route.

Categories
Events and Life Food and Drink Music

This song goes well with the smell of apples and cinnamon

My wife baked an apple crumble for us this cold and rainy afternoon. As the smell of apples and cinnamon filled it apartment, this song, Mountain Air by Cody Francis, was playing on Spotify:

As song and smell pairings go, this is a good one!

Update: Here’s what that smell was all about:

Categories
Events and Life Food and Drink

Rest In Pieces, my favourite mug

One of the disadvantages of having a bigger dog with a tail that does its own thing is that items on coffee tables are suddenly vulnerable.

Today, our puppy’s tail casually laid waste to my favourite tea and coffee mug.

Rest In Pieces, dear mug. You will be missed.

Categories
Food and Drink People Science and nature

There is no perfect diet for humans

Many people are almost fanatical about their “perfect diet”, so much so that you’d think diets are new religions and we’ll one day see wars fought over disputes about carbs. Jabs at some of these diets aside, it turns out there is no perfect diet for humans.

Professor Eran Segal gave a talk at TEDxRuppin in July about research he and his team have been conducting at the Weizman Institute here in Israel into this notion of good diets and bad diets. As he pointed out, dieticians tend to work on the basis of standardised dietary information and recommendations to advise their patients.

It turns out that you can’t apply a standard model to everyone because our microbiomes are so different. What works for one person, puts another person at risk. So, perhaps, diets like Banting are good for some people because their bodies are compatible with the diet and terrible for others because they aren’t.

On a side note, when I think about Israeli hi-tech I’m proud of, this is a great example of how Israeli innovators are doing work that could change the world for the better.

As a diabetic, this kind of research is really interesting to me in a very personal way. I am still learning which foods tend to aggravate my diabetes and which help me manage it better. I can just imagine how beneficial a completely personalised dietary recommendation would be based on my unique biology.

For now, I’ll just stick with my current plan, though.

Image credit: Pexels

Categories
Food and Drink Mindsets

Women driven to drink

This week must be feminism week. No sooner had I published my post about feminism from my perspective as a tone-deaf male, I read Kristi Coulter’s revealing article titled “The real reason why women drink” on Quartz.

I have a feeling the topic of why women drink as a coping mechanism is more complex than it seems to be. I definitely think I need to read this article again. In the meantime, a couple sections stood out for me in my first reading (and justify reading the article at least once).

I mentioned in my feminism post that the concept of “mansplaining” eluded me. I think this quote from Coulter’s article may fill in that conceptual gap for me:

What’s a girl to do when a bunch of dudes have just told her, in front of an audience, that she’s wrong about what it’s like to be herself? What’s a girl to do when a bunch of dudes have just told her, in front of an audience, that she’s wrong about what it’s like to be herself? I could talk to them, one by one, and tell them how it felt. I could tell the panel organizers this is why you never have just one of us up there. I could buy myself a superhero costume and devote the rest of my life to vengeance on mansplainers everywhere.

This next quote took me right back to Gretchen Kelly’s article (which inspired my previous post) and the outrage that fuelled much of my little essay:

Is it really that hard, being a First World woman? Is it really so tough to have the career and the spouse and the pets and the herb garden and the core strengthening and the oh-I-just-woke-up-like-this makeup and the face injections and the Uber driver who might possibly be a rapist? Is it so hard to work ten hours for your rightful 77% of a salary, walk home past a drunk who invites you to suck his cock, and turn on the TV to hear the men who run this country talk about protecting you from abortion regret by forcing you to grow children inside your body?

Coulter’s article is definitely worth reading. I plan to read it again in the next day or two while my mind is still primed. I’m not really a drinker and I’m definitely not female so I am more of an outside observer.

It would also be unfair to suggest that only women drinking points to some or other problem. I am pretty sure there are plenty of men who drink for equivalent reasons and could relate similar stories. At the same time, this article adds another, much-needed, dimension to my understanding of how women see the world I live in.

Image credit: Splitshire

Categories
Food and Drink People Photography

Revital Cahani – one day at a time

I enjoy meeting new photographers and I recently became a fan of Revital Cahani who does some great food photography. Her photos are striking and minimalistic. Definitely worth following if you enjoy food photography.

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She shares her photos on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. Follow her, you can thank me later.

Sometimes viewing her work can be a little challenging as a Diabetic. Everything just looks delicious and I am more than a little envious of her kitchen. My wife also makes amazing food in our kitchen. My photos never seem to do her creations justice, though.

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Featured image credit: kaboompics