Thursday, 5 May 2016

Still Smoke Free, Still Craving and Taking A Break

Today, I have been smoke-free for three years and looking back I honestly don't know how I made it this far. The cravings are still as intense as what they were 30 minutes after I finished my last cigarette just after 5 PM on the 4 May 2013. I sat down with a cappuccino at 5 pm on a Saturday and smoked my last cigarette. Strangely, I knew that day I was giving up for good. That was also the last day that I enjoyed coffee/cappuccino as well. No coffee that I have had since that day has tasted even half as good as that cup with my last cigarette. Quitting smoking was tough and although I am still craving cigarettes, right through my smoke-free months, I have been determined not to give into that one cigarette that will take the craving away.

Typing this is making the cravings even more intense and I know if I had access to cigarettes now, I would not hesitate to light up and start smoking again. So I have to shake myself off and not be stupid and let all those months of suffering and illness go to waste. I wish I was that determined with my eating habits, but sadly food is a source of comfort. Even feeling ill from eating far too much stodge and junk hasn't stopped me from eating and putting on weight over the past 6 months. I need to get my head right again.

I have also made a decision that this weekend I am unpublishing my blog. I don't know if it will be forever and I don't know how I am going to get around the 404 errors. I unpublished my course blog and removed all the search descriptions and haven't had any 404 redirect messages, but it was only up for two months so maybe that is why.

I am not sure if I will ever publish Chad Life Us again or maybe it will be down for less than a month, I can't say - for now, all I know is that it is the right decision to take it down now. I will still be on Twitter and Instagram (I think), but I won't be doing the photo a day challenges.

I may still blog but unpublished to get stuff out of my head and I am not sure how that works for anyone subscribed via email if the emails are still sent. I will have to figure that one out. However, I will still be available on my email address for those who have my email address and want to stay in touch from time to time. I will still be reading the blogs I follow.

I won't be giving up the online or blogging world totally and you can find me over here. I am running this blog for a bit. It is not blogging as such, but a Social Sharing site and I don't know how long I will be doing it for. I helped set it up initially (you can see by my love of playing in Photoshop) and have been running it since Feb or March this year. Don't even ask why I am doing it considering it is a Social Sharing site and I am all about that Social Life - NOT.

For now, I will say So Long and thank you for reading and I will still be stalking your blogs. Right now the time is right and coincidentally I made the decision on the anniversary of my smoke-free journey. I am, however, leaving it up until the weekend so that I can remove the last of the search descriptions.


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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Helicopter Parenting - Except In Sickness - TMI

About a month ago (actually it was exactly a month ago, I checked on my medication box) I woke up on a Sunday, lay around in bed, showered around midday and then felt so exhausted I went back to bed. I felt very tired and my eyes were burning they felt so fatigued. I thought nothing of it and just thought I was extremely tired and needed a good sleep.

That night I watched TV and during the Sunday night movie, when everyone else was complaining about how hot it was, I started feeling really cold. Just before the movie ended, I started shivering and I was really freezing cold. I went and had a quick shower because my whole body was shaking I was shivering so much and hopped into bed and put the electric blanket on.

During the night, I woke up with a bursting bladder and as I climbed out of bed my legs were so weak, I collapsed. My whole body was aching, my head was spinning and felt like a weight on my shoulders. I had to get to the bathroom to empty my bladder and after that, I spent the night going from burning hot to freezing. I went to the Doctor on Tuesday, because my body was still aching and I was feverish. When I bathed my body ached when I touched any part of it and I started with Gastro. The Doctor told me she had treated 20 patients all from different families with Gastro the day before. She treated me for Gastro as well and for Sinusitis and Reflux. The Reflux was so bad it had affected my vocal chords so I had to go back onto Ulsanic and she gave me Nesopram. She wasn't quite sure if I did have a bug or if my throat caused the Gastro and Sinus or the reflux caused everything.

I was so sick for the whole week but went to work but came home early. I then heard my brother had the same symptoms and he thought he was either developing Diabetes or had food poisoning because he was so weak and his head was exploding. He had been told previously by a doctor that his sugar was high and he needed to keep a check on it as he could develop Diabetes. He was very worried and then when he had heard I was sick we realized it was just a bug and strange no one else got it.

Two weeks ago, I made Cottage Pie for dinner and for some strange reason we hadn't had it for over a year or longer. Chad thoroughly enjoyed it and had seconds, thirds and more. That night I went to bed quite early and was woken up by Chad making a noise. Usually, I struggle to fall asleep and if I am woken during the night I don't get back to sleep. I was annoyed with him for making a noise, but I fell asleep again. I get woken up again, by Chad making such a noise and it sounded like he was rearranging his room he was making such a noise.  I was angry and got up to see why he was making such a noise.

Turns out I did not fall asleep for 5 minutes, but for over an hour and Chad was so sick he was hurling everywhere. He kept waking up feeling like he was going to be sick, but he was feeling so weak he kept going back to sleep until eventually he really did get sick and it was too late to rush to the bathroom.

He was angry with me because he was making such a noise and I clearly "ignored" him when I heard he was so sick. I felt so bad because although he is almost 19 and I shouldn't be getting up for him when he is sick, I knew exactly what it felt like having an aching body, feeling weak and burning with fever and a headache so bad it felt like it would explode and I wasn't even puking.

He was up for the rest of the night with bad gastro and vomiting but in his anger and stubbornness, because I clearly did not care, he refused any medication I wanted to give him or help and of course after that I didn't sleep either. Eventually during daylight hours, he accepted my offer of medicine and sympathy and asked me how I could not hear him vomiting and making such a noise for hours. It was weird that I did not hear a thing and fell into a deep sleep after the initial noise that woke me. I told him that it would be very weird if I jumped out of bed because I heard my 18-year old get up at night, surely he must have realized that I didn't hear him getting sick. He has always accused me of babying him and being a helicopter parent surely he should have known that if I had heard him I would have gotten out of bed even if it meant to tell him to be quiet if he had continued to make a noise and kept me awake. I would not have just lay there. He should have woken me up and called me to help him.

He thought he had over eaten and let's just say we won't be having Cottage Pie again for a very very long time. It wasn't the food it was definitely a bug and the same bug I had except I wasn't vomiting. His ears and eyes were also burning and his body ached and he could hardly lift his head off the pillow. Fortunately, it was only a 24-hour bug or taking Pectrolyte straight away helped. I just reminded him the next night that if he is sick wake me up - don't just assume that I have finally given up being a helicopter parent.

Last Sunday, I woke up again feeling weak and exhausted and I was feeling so nauseous. I was feeling more and more sick as the day went by, I just could not deal with having the same bug again. I took Valoid throughout the day and it wasn't helping. As I fell asleep that night, I also had to rush to the bathroom and was hurling my lungs out, but fortunately, the next day I was fine. My GERD is back in full force and the Doctor gave me a months supply of Nesopram, which turns out has the exact same ingredient as Nexium. It doesn't help the reflux at all. I will admit, though, that I am eating very badly which is just making the reflux worse, but the only noticeable difference is my nails are back to peeling and not growing.

After stopping the Nexium and rubbing coconut oil into my nails every day, they started to grow again after months of not growing. They were so hard and strong, I took a photo of them on the 2 April, strangely the day before I got sick. Now after a month of being on Nesopram, the generic being Esomeprazole, which is also the generic ingredient of Nexium, my nails are back to peeling and breaking and they look like they have been bitten down to the quick. Neither Nexium nor Nesopram literature mentions that the medication can affect your hair and nails but I am even more convinced of it now than before that it is the Nexium/Nesopram. At one stage I thought maybe from dieting and juicing, I was lacking something in my diet causing my nails to stop growing and my hair to fall out - there is nothing that I am lacking in my diet now nor for the past six months - It is the Esomeprazole or Nexium/Nesporam.

I am now hoping all the bugs and germs will leave for good.

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Monday, 2 May 2016

Yellow Rice Recipe

The only time that we eat Yellow Rice is when we have Bobotie. We don't eat long grain White Rice often and prefer Basmati Rice and on occasion Jasmine Rice. However, Bobotie cannot be eaten with any other Rice, but Yellow Rice. OK, there is no hard and fast rule about that, but it just does not taste as good with any other Rice. The flavours of Yellow Rice and Bobotie just work wonderfully together into a plate of aromatic awesomeness.

The first time I made Yellow Rice, I thought you just put Tumeric into the water with the Rice and voila, there is your Yellow Rice. That failed dismally so the next time I wanted to make it, I searched for a recipe. There are so many different recipes for Yellow Rice and most have raisins in them and you know how I feel about raisins!!! So I took the best of all the recipes I found and made my own version.

This is how I make Yellow Rice and you can get the Bobotie Recipe over here. If you are an anti-sugar Serjeant then step away, because Bobotie and Yellow Rice is not for you.

Yellow Rice Recipe

Serves 4 to 5 with Bobotie

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Yellow Rice
Yellow Rice is an Aromatic Rice served with Bobotie.
  • 1 Cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 2.5 Ml Salt
  • 1.5 Ml Tumeric
  • 3 Tablespoons White Sugar
  • 1 Tablepoon Butter
  • 2.5 Cups Water
Wash Rice In Cold WaterAdd Rice, Tumeric, Sugar, Salt and Butter to Saucepan of WaterBring To BoilSimmer for 30 MinutesRinse Rice and Steam For 5 to 10 MinutesFluff with a Fork and Serve
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 to 5 Servings

Yellow Rice can also be served with Roast Meat, Veg and Gravy and is simply delicious with Bobotie. Don't forget to get the recipe for Bobotie over here


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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Bobotie Recipe

Bobotie is a Traditional South African Cape Malay Dish made with minced beef and an egg "custard" topping. There is some folk who dispute the fact that it is a Traditional South African Dish, but whether you agree or agree to disagree it IS a Traditional South African Cape Malay Dish. Everyone has their own version of the recipe, but I can almost guarantee the ingredients are all the same and only the measurements and cooking time differ {ever so slightly}.

I never used to eat Boboti because .... raisins!!! I absolutely hate raisins and they remind me of squashed flies so I don't eat them and they taste vile. Funny that, because the other day I was eating a Hot Cross Bun which I absolutely love, whilst making Boboti and skipping the raisin part and this {massive} penny dropped. Hot Cross Buns are FULL of raisins!!! I have never thought about it whilst devouring dozens and dozens of them. So barring Hot Cross Buns I don't eat raisins.

Bobotie was a complete no-no until we went to Cape Town in 2009 and had dinner at a Restaurant that served Traditional South Africa Cuisine. I decided to have Bobotie forgetting the reason why I didn't eat it. I don't ever recall there being raisins in the dish but it was so good. I made it once or twice after that and never made it again until about two years ago and at one stage we were having it almost once a week. Everyone loves it. I don't add raisins because Chad and I both dislike raisins - see above. Sometimes my custard topping comes out perfectly, other times not so perfectly, but there is never ever even a teaspoon left over. Chad always goes scratching around the kitchen and the fridge late at night looking for leftovers and is always disappointed because there is never any Bobotie leftovers. The photo below is not the best example of what it should look like. It works better with a smaller baking dish - smaller but deeper so the topping is thicker. I can't credit the origins of the recipe as I don't know where I found it and I have changed it over the years to suit us.

Bobotie Recipe

This recipe serves four to five (but remember we are a family of adults with HEALTHY appetites. Adjust accordingly.

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Bobotie Is a Traditional South African Cape Malay Dish made with Mince Meat (Ground Beef) with an Egg Custard Topping, traditionally served with Yellow Rice
  • 1 Kg Lean Beef Mince
  • 30 ml Cooking Oil
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 20 ml Curry Powder (Medium)
  • 30 ml Sugar
  • 3 ml Black Pepper
  • 30 ml White Vinegar
  • 125 ml Seedless Raisins (Optional)
  • 35 ml Chutney (Mrs Balls Hot Chutney)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Slices Thick White Bread
  • 300 ml Milk
  • 5 ml Tumeric
  • 3 Medium Eggs
Preheat Oven To 180C Peel and Dice OnionHeat Oil in a Pan and add Onions. Cook over a medium heat until transparent. Approximately 2 minutesAdd the Curry Powder, Fry for 1 minute and then add the Mince Meat.Cook until lightly browned and crumblySoak the Bread in the Milk. Gently squeeze the Milk out the Bread and mash the Bread with a fork in a separate bowl. Set the Milk aside.Add the Bread to the Mince and StirAdd the Sugar; Raisins (optional) Tumeric; Vinegar; Pepper and Chutney to the Mince. Stir Well and Simmer for 5 MinutesPut the Mince Mixture into a Greased Baking Dish and put the 2 Bay Leaves on top of the MixtureBake For 20 Minutes in the Oven to dry out the MinceWhilst the Mince is in the Oven. Beat the Eggs with the remaining Milk.When the Mince Mixture is ready, remove from the Oven and pour the egg over the Mince. Removing the Bay Leaves first.Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the topping is set and Golden BrownServe with Yellow Long Grain Rice and Extra Chutney
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Have you ever made Bobotie - do you manage to perfect the custard topping every time?? What is your favourite traditional recipe??


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