Monday, November 10, 2014

Online Dating: How Long Do I Have To Do This?

Online dating - gosh, this has been going on for over ten years for me.  And yes, I've dated a few men but not for long.  Baggage, you say?  Yes, baggage can be a part of it but more than that.  What I'm finding out is a search for Old Mr. Right can't be a search for Old Mr. Perfect because there isn't such a thing and there never was such a thing.  Not when I was younger, not ever.  And, unfortunately, the older I get the more I wish for perfect or at the very least as close to perfect as possible.  For example, a little weight is acceptable but twenty or more pounds are not good.  Not good for the body, heart health or self-image.  Thinning hair is eventually inevitable in a lot of men but letting it grow long (picture Donald Trump) to compensate for the lack of hair is not attractive. 
I know what you're thinking "oh, my, aren't we Miss Hoity Toity?" but what I'm talking about goes for women too.  Most of us older people are retired and have an abundance of time on our hands.  So my question is:  how is it we don't have time to take care of ourselves?  Most of us are awake at least 12 hours out of the day so why don't we have time to exercise?  Cook healthy meals?  Take care of our skin?  Get regular haircuts?
Now that I've stated my idea of "more than just baggage" in my search for a guy is my idea of what I’m looking for negotiable at all?  Even the least little bit?  Well, maybe.  But wait!  There's more!
What about age requirements?  I've met men who are old and crotchety at 50 and some really active men at 80.  Hmmmmm, who would I pick?  I'm not sure I want to be taking my clothes off in front of a 50 year old so there's the answer.  So age is negotiable.  And then again, age is not always a reliable measure of a man (or woman’s) potential. 
I'm trying not to be so picky because I don't want to miss the chance to meet really great men.
Looking for love online is probably the most difficult I've ever done when it's come to trying to meet someone.  I do want to date so I’ll continue for as long as it takes.  But I'll still be a little "picky."
How picky are you when it comes to dating?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kale: The Worlds Most Potent Super Food

Brain Octane!

What bumps kale up the superfood chain is its abundance in phytochemicals, substances associated with the prevention of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension – four of the leading cause of death in Western countries. Phytochemicals are believed to help prevent cell damage, prevent cancer cell replication, and decrease cholesterol levels.

Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and rich in calcium. Kale is a source of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties.

Boiling decreases the level of sulforaphane; however, steaming, microwaving, or stir frying does not result in significant loss. Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Kale has been found to contain a group of resins known as bile acid sequestrants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and decrease absorption of dietary fat. Steaming significantly increases these bile acid binding properties.

I've always had a hard time with Kale. I've made chips in the oven and they turned out horrible tasting. I've tried to make smoothies (I have a regular blender, not a fancy expensive one) and I have to eat the smoothie with a spoon and I chew and chew and chew the chunks of Kale. Well, here is an article from a member of the Primal BluePrint Diet blog about how to get all those wonderful vitamins from Kale without a fancy blender. You can finally enjoy the worlds most potent super food without chewing!

Thanks Renegade Dad!

That’s right experts agree that Kale is incredible for improving health and I can’t think of a better way to eat Kale than in a Kale Smoothie! Kale smoothies are super quick and easy to make AND they taste great! But the problem is that Kale is a very tough plant. So when you try to make a Kale smoothie using an ordinary blender, you usually end up with a “chunky” not a “smoothie”.
That’s why most Kale Smoothie recipes and videos tell you to use a high-end blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec. But what if you’re not in a position to buy one of those high-end blenders right now? Does that mean you can’t benefit from Kale Smoothies?
Never fear my fellow Renegades because I have done a bunch of experimentation and I have finally come up with a simple system that will have you blending up Kale into a silky smoothie using an ordinary (low cost) blender!

Important Note About Blenders: I have used several different types of blenders over the years and there is definitely a difference between brands. The brand that I have found to work the best is made by Black and Decker. They also offer a 2 year warranty which I had to use once and to my surprise Black and Decker made it very easy for me to get a replacement blender. I am currently using this blender which is on sale right now at Amazon for just under $30.  Are you ready to learn how to make a really smooth Kale Smoothie with an ordinary blender? Alright then let’s do this!

Step 1: Buy the softest type of Kale
Green Curly Kale is the softest type of Kale. So use Green Curly Kale if it is available. If Green Curly Kale is not available, the next best option is to go with Red Kale. And if Green Kale AND Red Kale are NOT available then get whatever type of Kale is available. It will just take a bit longer to blend up than Green or Red Kale.

Note: Dinosaur Kale also known as Lacinato Kale is the toughest type of Kale. With a name like “Dinosaur” Kale it better be the toughest right?! This type of Kale takes a bit longer to blend until smooth but don’t let that stop you from making Kale Smoothies with it! The benefits will far outweigh the little bit of extra time it takes to blend it until it’s smooth.

Step 2: Remove the stems
The stems are too course and are less nutritious than the leaves, so don’t bother blending the stems. We just want the leaves in our smoothies. You can compost the stems, use them in stews use them as drum sticks.

Step 5: Freeze in plastic storage container
After you remove the leaves from the stalks, put the leaves into a plastic storage container or some other type of freezer safe container that is big enough to hold all of the leaves. I use a container like this one and it works great. I can fit all of the leaves from a full head of Kale in this type of storage container. Put all the leaves in the container and then put the container in the freezer!

Step 6: Cut out frozen Kale
When you are ready to make a Kale smoothie, just take out your container of kale from the freezer and cut out a chunk of Kale with a spoon or fork. Freezing the Kale actually helps it to blend up much easier and it’s also a great way to preserve the Kale. Kale goes bad very quickly in the refrigerator. So save money, preserve nutrients and make it easier to blend by freezing your Kale.

Step 7: Put kale in blender with Liquid First
Now this step is important. Put the frozen Kale into the blender and add your liquid (water,coconut milk, almond milk etc.) Add less liquid than you think you need and then turn your blender on low. This will keep the Kale from splattering all over the blender. Once the Kale begins to break down and everything is mixed well you can turn up the blender to the highest speed.

**Important** If you start off with the highest speed the Kale is going to splatter all over your blender and you will waste a bunch of Kale. Don’t waste! Start on the slowest speed and then go to the highest speed once the Kale is blended up pretty well.
Let the Kale blend until the pieces of Kale become really small or disappear completely. That means it’s completely pulverized so your smoothie will actually be smooth!

Step 8: Add other ingredients
When you see that the Kale is nice and smooth, now add the other ingredients and blend until smooth.  I like to throw in a ripe banana, 1/4 cup of Mejool dates, some coconut milk and a handful of ice!  Or just Google "kale smoothie" and wait for a myriad of wonderful recipes to pop up!

Although this process may seem like a lot, it’s really quick and simple because you only have to do steps 1–5 after you buy a new head of Kale. Once you have your Kale in the freezer container, the only thing you have to do when you want to make your Kale smoothies is take out the container from the freezer and remove a chunk of Kale. This should only take about 30 seconds.

So there you have it! A quick and simple way to make a really smooth Kale smoothie with an ordinary blender!

Would you rather drinks a lot of your veggies than cook them?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ebola: Are You Concerned?

There is so much in the news today about Ebola.  I asked myself, the other day, how concerned am I?
I'm going to be traveling quite a bit this winter, by air, and that is the part that concerns me.  I know so many people who, after flying on an airplane, get sick with different respiratory illnesses.  According to the CDC approximately 20% of all travelers incur an upper respiratory infection and it's the viral pathogen respiratory infection that's the most common.  Here is a list of causative agents:  Thinovirus, respiratory synctial virus, influenza virus, human metapneumovirus, adenovirus and coronavirus. Legionella pneumophila and coxiella burnetii can also cause outbreaks of a respiratory illness.  To make matters worse for us snowbirds the best (or worse?) time of the year to travel is December through February.  In the southern hemisphere the peak flu season is June through August.  If you travel to a tropical zone you are at risk all year.  This is a direct quote from the CDC:

Direct airborne transmission aboard aircraft is unusual because of frequent air recirculation and filtration, although influenza, tuberculosis, and other diseases have resulted from transmission in modern aircraft.  

To make this matter worse certain people, such as the elderly and people with asthma or COPD, are at higher risk for air travel illness. The CDC is telling us if we must travel to practice careful hygiene. Wash our hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. We should avoid contact with blood and body fluids such as urine, saliva, sweat and the like. Which brings me to ask the following question: What if I use the bathroom in the airplane and there is some urine or sweat or semen or vomit or feces anywhere in the loo? Now what? I'm supposed to not go to the bathroom for hours and hours?  

I'm still going to travel to Mexico and within the United States but I would be extremely concerned if I were traveling to Europe. I'm definitely not planning on going anywhere in Africa or Saudi Arabia (3 million Muslims pilgrimage to Hajj in Saudi Arabia from October 2nd to the 7th of every year.)

Are you concerned?  Could it become airborne somehow?  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Are You A Shopaholic?

One in 10 of us is and the ranks are growing.  New research shows compulsive shoppers have two things in common.  First, they don't think credit card debt is a big deal:  They may max out cards, skip payments, or only pay the monthly minimums.  Second, they often shop to feel happier.  The researchers suggest you can control your shopping by paying attention to credit card statements and asking yourself why you want to make each purchase.
It seems, at my age, I have everything I need but I still like to shop.  We hardly ever hear about men being shopaholics.  Why does this seem to be more of a *woman thing* and not more of a man thing? Is it because we may have more ups and downs than men?   Or is it because new things just, simply, make us happy?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Summer Is Coming -- Here Are Some Tips On How To Handle Heat Stroke

With the hot summer months approaching we thought this article about heat stroke might come in handy.

Heat Stroke: Symptoms and Treatment

Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is a medical emergency. If you suspect that someone has heat stroke — also known as sunstroke — you should call 911 immediately and render first aid until paramedics arrive.

Heat stroke can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. Although heat stroke mainly affects people over age 50, it also takes a toll on healthy young athletes.

Heat stroke often occurs as a progression from milder heat-related illnesses such as heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), and heat exhaustion. But it can strike even if you have no previous signs of heat injury.

Heat stroke results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures — usually in combination with dehydration — which leads to failure of the body’s temperature control system. The medical definition of heat stroke is a core body temperature greater than 105 degrees Fahrenheit, with complications involving the central nervous system that occur after exposure to high temperatures. Other common symptoms include nausea, seizures, confusion, disorientation, and sometimes loss of consciousness or coma.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

The hallmark symptom of heat stroke is a core body temperature above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. But fainting may be the first sign.

Other symptoms may include:

Throbbing headache
Dizziness and light-headedness
Lack of sweating despite the heat
Red, hot, and dry skin
Muscle weakness or cramps
Nausea and vomiting
Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
Rapid, shallow breathing
Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering

First Aid for Heat Stroke

If you suspect that someone has a heat stroke, immediately call 911 or transport the person to a hospital. Any delay seeking medical help can be fatal.

While waiting for the paramedics to arrive, initiate first aid. Move the person to an air-conditioned environment — or at least a cool, shady area — and remove any unnecessary clothing.

If possible, take the person’s core body temperature and initiate first aid to cool it to 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If no thermometers are available, don’t hesitate to initiate first aid.

You may also try these cooling strategies:

Fan air over the patient while wetting his or her skin with water from a sponge or garden hose.
Apply ice packs to the patient’s armpits, groin, neck, and back. Because these areas are rich with blood     vessels close to the skin, cooling them may reduce body temperature.
Immerse the patient in a shower or tub of cool water, or an ice bath.

If emergency response is delayed, call the hospital emergency room for additional instructions.

After you’ve recovered from heat stroke, you’ll probably be more sensitive to high temperatures during the following week. So it’s best to avoid hot weather and heavy exercise until your doctor tells you that it’s safe to resume your normal activities.

Article source:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Selfie

Did you know the first photographic self-portrait was taken by Robert Cornelius in 1839? 
Today the Oxford Dictionaries announced their word of the year for 2013 to be “selfie”, which they define as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” Although the rampant proliferation of the technique is quite recent, the “selfie” itself is far from being a strictly modern phenomenon. Indeed, the photographic self-portrait is surprisingly common in the very early days of photography exploration and invention, when it was often more convenient for the experimenting photographer to act as model as well. In fact, the picture considered by many to be the first photographic portrait ever taken was a “selfie”. The image in question was taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius. Cornelius had set his camera up at the back of the family store in Philadelphia. He took the image by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again. On the back he wrote “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”
I don't often see people in their 60's taking selfie's and wonder if I would take one if my kids or grandkids would be embarrassed if I took a selfie or two.  They don't seem to be embarrassed when I take a picture of myself and a friend.  So what might the real difference be between a selfie and a twosie?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Coffee Break

Sure, coffee and tea help us stay awake, but they may also help us stay alive.  Among nearly 2,500 people over age 40, coffee and tea drinkers died at lower rates over 10 years than those who abstained, a study shows.  Each daily cup of joe -- regular or decaf -- cut coffee lovers' risk of death by 7%.  Each cup of tea slashed the risk by 9%.
Source:  Nutrition