It’s Friday people!! And I’m kicking caffeine…really.
August 28, 2009

Goodbye my love, my French Roast....thank goodness Zekes makes it in decaf...

Goodbye my love, my French Roast....thank goodness Zeke's makes it in decaf...

Yes, and this particular Friday is starting off with no coffee…, ummmm…let me restate that. No coffee that really means anything to me today, as in ….no caffeine. Did you hear me? I said NO CAFFEINE!!! That means by this afternoon, perhaps earlier, I will feel as though my forehead was in a vise, that keeps tightening, tightening….yeah. I’m really looking forward to that. And if this afternoon on 11 News at Five, I look like I’m thinking about a cup of coffee from Zeke’s in Baltimore, it’s because I am. Thank goodness they make a French Roast in decaf.


Why on earth have I decided to go cold turkey on caffeine? Because my doctor told me to. Simple as that. I was having some not happy feelings in my chest, like feeling my heart beat too fast, which if you’ve never experienced, is not a good feeling. More like a bad feeling.  So the verdict…no coffee, no tea, no alcohol…and the coup de grace…no chocolate.(sound of crickets)

Come on!! I stared at him in disbelief….many of  the little things that make life enjoyable? You just slice them out of my life? Why not just reach inside and… take another little piece of my heart, now baby…oh, sorry, that was Janis Joplin. Anyway, I offered weakly, “I have cut back on caffeine…this morning I only had a half a cup of coffee.…”. He stared at with a look that said , “oh, you little ignoramus, you just don’t get it, do you?” And then actually said, out loud, “I didn’t say cut back, I said NO caffeine.” I don”t smoke thank God, because I’m sure he would have snatched that too, if I did.

So, this morning, without any urgency at all because what difference does it make,  I brewed some decaffeinated coffee. That’s a sad thing. I’ll have some deffeinated tea mid-afternoon(but will be gobbling Tylenol for the headache no doubt). I won’t eat any chocolate, even though I make a mean dark chocolate sauce that is so fabulous over vanilla ice cream.  I won’t have any wine even though it is Friday night people!!! I have a big pitcher of decaffeinated iced tea in the frig instead. Yegads. There it is …my sad  little tale of woe. I know, count my blessings, you’ll get over the coffee thing, things could be much worse . All this I know, but I’m allowing myself one day of wallowing in self pity. OK, maybe half a day. And then I’ll move on to my caffeine free existence. Sigh. Have a good weekend, play nice, and come home safe.

Walnuts Slow Cancer Growth??
September 25, 2008

 I love walnuts, let me just say that right up front.  I eat them every day on cereal, and occasionally sprinkle them on salads with goat cheese and apples…fabulous.

And I love the fact that they’re healthy… in fiber, b vitamins, magnesium, plant sterols, and Omega-3 fatty acids.  Here’s what the FDA finally said about them….

Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 oz of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”

 How about that? And now a new study from Marshall University that was published in Nutrition and Cancer, says wait, there’s more! They took mice with breast cancer, and fed one group a diet in which 18.5 % of the calories , the equivalent of two servings for humans, came from walnuts. The other nice ate a more typical American diet(not sure what that consisted of…pizza and burgers, maybe?). Anyway the tumors in the  walnut-fed group took twice as long to double in size  as those in the control group. They say more research needs to be done….but my thought is, I like, walnuts, why not eat them every day?  Oh and here’s an idea I saw on one website that I had never thought of…..sprinkle walnuts on pizza instead of say, pepperoni. You know, it might be good…especially on a pesto, fresh mozzarella pizza….yum. Or, here’s a recipe for Grilled Pizza with Pears, Pecorina and Walnuts…..from Bon Appetit. What’s not to like?

And I found a good place to gets walnuts for less, if you have some room in the freezer to store them….believe it or not, at Amazon Grocery! I ordered some a couple months ago, after the prices had gone through the roof (or so it seemed) at the regular supermarket, and they were fresh and wonderful.  Here you’re getting 6 pounds of walnuts for just a little over 6 bucks a pound…check the per pound price at the store? Let me save you the time…it’s about $12 a pound. So just store the rest in the frig or freezer, and that’s where you should keep nuts anyway, to preserve their freshness….and use as needed….and from the above article…eat a couple of handfuls a day…in place of that unhealthy snack you used to have!

The Cat/Heart Connection….
March 6, 2008

OK did you see the same article I saw? The one in the Baltimore Sun, (but originally came from the L.A. Times), about the effect a cat has on your health. Get this….cat owners have a lower risk of dying from a heart attack!! Seriously, I’m not making this up, non-cat owners have a 40 % greater risk have dying from a heart attack than cat owners do.

Why? No clue. No clue at all.  Personally, I think cat owners are more discerning and intelligent than everyone else….oh, did I just say that? OK, not really…but cats are very intelligent animals, and often quite picky. muffyMuffy, my lovely calico cat, likes her cat food the chunky kind, not ground. I have to vary the flavors…she likes it warmed for 9 seconds in the microwave, then sprinkled with dry cat food over the top. Now some of you will say, “You don’t know she wants her food warmed, that’s just some strange thought in your own head.” Maybe there is bit of projection there, I won’t deny it.  But she eats delicately, a nibbler and often…that’s healthy, I think.

baby girlNow Baby Girl…there’s a different story. I don’t know if she was starved as a kitten…hope not…but when I put her food down, and it could be anything really, (haven’t found something she doesn’t like), she scarfs it uplike a vaccum cleaner. More like a dog eats. Now you see it , now you don’t. Seriously, when I put down dry cat food, she grabs for the box as I take it away. I don’t think she even chews . That can’t be good for her, but I don’t know how to slow the process.

The lead researcher said about their study, “There isn’t enough evidence to recommend [getting a cat] as a standard practice. ” Yeah, but it can’t hurt! Save yourself a heart attack, and save a cat at the same time!!

Cats rule!

P.S. I thought later, it must also be said that cats do have the power to break your heart. For those of you who have lost a beloved pet, you know what I mean. I still miss Wild Kitty. Oh, and the only reason dogs weren’t included in this study, was there were too few people in this particular population who owned them. I would guess they have the same heart-healthy effect. So….dogs rule too.