Tool;s for cooking

Spoon and spurtle

These last few days New Zealanders have been feeling the first bite of winter, and taking it bad having been spoiled all these long summer months of 25 plus temperatures. Being used to coming out if the shower and getting into shorts and Tee Shirt, lately its been a quick trip back to the bedroom for an additional sweatshirt and joggers.

This now a time for a warm breakfast of toast, bacon and eggs with a cup of hot tea, but hey, I am a Scotsman I was reared on Porridge, the food of the gods, and you can’t get better, as long as it’s made right.

Porridge or Bacon and eggs

I suppose being a Scotsman I’m a snob when it comes to porridge. Really its a simple meal as long as you remember one simple rule. You never, never ever; put sugar on your porridge, it total ruins the flavour. And it makes you fat.

How to make porridge the Scottish way:.

In a pot put half a cup of porridge oats, (rolled oats, steel cut oats or oat meal), add a cup of water ¼ tea spoon of salt (Himalayan salt or sea salt) is preferable to table salt.

Bring to the boil stirring all the time with a spurtle or a second choice would be a wooden spoon, the oats will absorb all the water. Now the test, stand you spurtle/wooden spoon vertical in the centre of the pot, take your hand away and if the spurtle/wooden spoon remains standing, your porridge is ready, put some on your plate, add a wee drop of milk and maybe an extra pinch of salt, sit down at the table and enjoy. Life doesn’t get any better than that, unless of course you go back for a second plate.


Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Photo of lady suffering heartburn.
Trying to look as if I don’t have a problem.


Have you ever suffered from heartburn or even acid reflux? It is not really a very pleasant experience I can assure you as I have suffered from this in the past. Not so much these days though I am happy to say, but occasionally depending on what I have had to eat it does still raise it’s ugly head.

I do have to say though that it is not something that I have given much thought to over the years until this article from GreenMedInfo popped into my mail box this morning.

I do remember when I was much younger and during my pregnancies, I suffered quite badly and my mother’s remedies were always the best, I was never one to take any Antacid products, always headed down the natural way.

By the natural way I mean, ginger or peppermint tea or some charcoal or even a small amount of Bicarbonate of soda in some water.

As I said above, I have not given this very much thought recently, but after reading these articles this morning I do also realise that since I have been Gluten Free that indeed the heartburn challenge certainly has not been as prevalent as it used to be.

I would suggest to anyone reading this post that they click on the links I have supplied and read what has been said by other more knowledgable people than me.

Please also remember I am only commenting here on my own experiences due to my own health challenges.


Gluten Free Diet Is it for Everyone?

Fruit bowl and smoothie

These are Gluten Free

As I have mentioned before on this site, I am Gluten Free, not by choice but by necessity. It does concern me that many people are going on a Gluten Free diet for all of the wrong reasons.

Some people are using the Gluten Free diet to lose weight, this is not the way to go, if you wish to lose weight, look at your overall diet not just at one part of it (bread,cakes, muffins etc.)

Now I am not saying don’t cut down on the Gluten as I know of many people who although not “Allergic” to Gluten, do find that when they restrict the intake of “Gluten Foods” that they feel better in general.

A healthy diet will include eating whole grains like brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and oats (marked gluten free). I have to say though that personally I have never managed to find gluten free oats, but I have learnt to live without my porridge (being a Scot this was a bit difficult) I do though make a good buckwheat porridge see my book.

I received a very good link to my mail box this morning and I would suggest that you have a look, as it is not a case of “one size fit’s all” we are all different but we should all be looking after our health in whatever way suits. Listen to your body, it does tell you what it likes and what it doesn’t.


       A Gluten Free Diet

Coconut Oil Benefits

CoconutHello to all my followers, so sorry I have been a bit neglectful of this site but one thing and another has just taken me away.

I don’t know how many of you realise the powerful benefits of Coconuts. I remember as a child just after the war that we would get a bit of a treat by having a coconut and being able to drink the milk, then smash it open and eat the lovely flesh from the inside.

Now as I say, when I was a child in Scotland, a coconut was a luxury, we would to try and win one from the Coconut Shy at the fairground (this was not always that easy) and then we would share it round all of our friends.

In some parts of the world, particularly the South Pacific, the coconut is a dietary staple that people have thrived on for many generations.

As a child I did not really think about the benefits of a coconut or coconut oil benefits for that matter, it was just that I liked the taste and I still do.

 10 Proven Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Now as an adult I am very much more aware of the benefits of eating coconut, using coconut oil for cooking and also using it as a skin moisturiser.

Just this morning I received into my mail box the following article The Coconut Oil Miracle so I decided that it was time that I shared this information with all of you. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.


Strawberries 8 Reasons to Eat Them

Strawberries, do you grow your own or purchase them at the store?

Just this morning I was out in the garden watering the Strawberries before the sun came on to them. I have always grown strawberries in my garden and loved being able to go out daily and pick them fresh.

As we all know,(or should know) fresh is best and it is always best to eat fruit and vegetable in season if you can.

The beauty of growing your own is that you know exactly what has gone into the ground for them to grow in, and that they have not been sprayed with any harmful chemicals.

The person at Palmers says that Strawberries can still be planted now for a summer harvest and work well planted in hanging baskets, and to make sure you have enough for everyone to enjoy, they recommend at least five plants per person in the household.

In my previous home, I used to have my Strawberries in a big tub, this way they would hang over the side and not get all messed up on the ground. If you are planting on the ground, it is advisable to lay straw under your plants to make it easier for picking and keeping your fruit clean. (My young grandson informed me that is why they are called Strawberries, he says they are berries and you put straw under them) We always got a good harvest from them, enough to keep us supplied in fresh Strawberries on a daily basis, our biggest challenge was getting them before the birds or the grandchildren.

My daughter-in-law has just recently put her plants into a length of guttering pipe which has been attached to the fence at the back of her vegetable patch, this way her plants will hang down as they grow, I think she picked up the idea from a post on Pinterest.

Strawberry plants

Strawberry growing

You are now thinking after reading this blog to here, that I have not mentioned the eight reasons for eating Strawberries yet, well when I opened my e-mails this morning the first email I saw was from GreenMedInfo with the title 8 Juicy Reasons to Eat More Strawberries now after reading this I was prompted to write this blog but as I have no intention of re-inventing the wheel I will leave you to read the eight reasons from the above link.

I will be honest though and tell you that although I have always loved Strawberries and knew that they were good for me, I did not know just how good.

Enjoy the read and enjoy your Strawberries when it is the season to eat them.


Laundry Soap

What’s in your laundry soap?Washing machine

This is the heading of an article that I read online this morning, I read through the article and although I knew about what they were mentioning in it, I did not know about Soap Nuts which is part of the article.

I have known for many years about the dangers of chemicals in our Personal and Home Care products which unfortunately many companies are still putting in to these products that many of you will be using every day, I say many of you rather than many of us as I do not use any product that contain harmful ingredients and it is a great pity that more people do not shun the dangerous ones.

Chemical based laundry detergents, household cleaners, soaps, and shampoos that you use in your day to day life contain carcinogens, neurotoxins and envirotoxins.

Everyday, all day long, you are surrounded by and in close contact with chemicals that are known to cause acne, allergies, cancer (melanomas), eczema, psoriasis, premature aging of your skin, rashes, and neurodegenerative disorders in children.

I have also watched the video about a baby in Florida who died after ingesting the liquid from a laundry soap capsule. (a liquid laundry packet) on this video it is recommended that all parents store laundry soap and other detergents high up out of the reach of children,(this should be automatic) my thought on this is why are these companies still using toxic ingredients when there is at least one company that I know of who is manufacturing household and personal care products that are non toxic and I have been using their products since the year 2001.

My challenge to you, is vote with your dollars or pounds or francs whatever currency is used in your country, the more of us who do not buy these toxic products the better chance for future generations and ourselves of living long and healthy lives.

To purchase healthy non toxic products in New Zealand click here.

To purchase healthy non toxic products in Europe click here.

Cholesterol – Medicate or not?

A Cholesterol low meOne of the first things I saw in my Facebook page this morning was a post from Credence, it was an article about Cholesterol lowering drugs, the possibility of statins being given to “Millions of healthy Britons” as a preventative to anyone who may have a risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke due to either having a family history of heart complaints or due to their lifestyle.

Apparently there are about seven million patients in Britain who already are on statins to lower the cholesterol in their blood.

As I was reading the article it took my mind back to 1999 when I visited my doctor for a lump in my leg, (I was going on a long haul flight to Scotland and did not wish to take any chances with a DVT) as my doctor was away on holiday, it was a locum that I saw, and to cut a long story short I was sent for some blood test which came back with a result that my Cholesterol was high. Well not the result I was wanting to hear.

Heart disease and Cholesterol is often a family matter.

I was then referred to a heart specialist at our local hospital, and the first thing he said to me was that I was definitely a product of my ancestry, I am 5 foot 2 inches in height (sorry I am no good with metric) I was at this time also very overweight for my height. He asked what my mother and my grandmother looked like and yes there was a strong gene pool there for women in our family and yes heart problems there too.There are certain features of a family history that may be signs of a genetic heart disorder.

The information I received at this time from the Dietitian at the hospital is as follows:

CHOLESTEROL levels to aim for;

  • Total Cholesterol 5.3 mmol/L  st European countries measure cholesterol in millimoles (mmol) per liter (L) of blood. 
  • Triglycerides 1.1 mmol/L
  • HDL Cholesterol 1.6 mmol/L
  • LDL Cholesterol 3.2 mmol/L

Doctor’s Advice:

The heart specialist I saw informed me that there was nothing wrong with my heart, but due to the high Cholesterol levels he would like to put me on Cholesterol lowering drugs and monitor my progress, I did not give him time to tell me which drug it would be as I refused to go down this road as I did not wish to take any drugs. He informed me since I was overweight, if I was to change my lifestyle and work on becoming a lighter me, that maybe it could be done by diet, if though when he saw me in two months time there was no improvement in the Cholesterol levels, I would have to give in and take some drugs.


Being the determined person that I am, I set out to prove to both myself and this Heart Specialist that I could get my Cholesterol levels down without the aid of drugs, when I first saw him my levels were as follows;

  • Total Cholesterol 8.4 mmol/L  This needed to drop to 5.3 
  • Triglycerides 2.98 mmol/L       This needed to drop to 1.1
  • HDL Cholesterol 1.1 mmol/L    This needed to increase to 1.6
  • LDL Cholesterol 5.6mmol/L      This needed to drop to 3.2
  • My weight at this point was 101 kg’s  (15 stone 12 lbs) far too heavy for my height

My husband was very supportive, and between us we made a plan, a completely different diet for me and back to doing more exercise (exercise is required to increase the HDL)

By the time I had my next appointment with the Heart Specialist my total Cholesterol had dropped to 6.91 and I weighed in at 98.4 kg. The specialist was pleased and told me to keep doing what I was doing as he was impressed. Every visit to him after this I continued to drop off the kilos and my Lipid profile was improving too.

By August 2001 I weighed in at 86 kg (13 stone 7 lbs) and my Total Cholesterol was 4.54 which is when the Heart Specialist informed me that he did not need to see me again, and that whatever I was doing keep doing as he had never seen anyone do what I had done without the aid of drugs, he also asked me if he could use me as an example to others, which of course I agreed to.

I am writing this blog not to boast but to let others out there realise that if I can do it so can you.

I have continued to this day with the same lifestyle change (diet etc.) and I know I benefit from it, I have also continued to lose a bit more weight but tend to be stuck at 75 kg.

To read the full article that I read this morning click here.

More information about Statins and what they do click here.

Credencegroup online store






Gluten Sensitivity A Myth

Cropped chocolate cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

This morning when I opened my inbox to read my emails, this article was one of the first things I read it came from GreenMedInfo and has a title of:

The Mainstream Media Declares: Gluten Sensitivity A Myth — Who Cares?

I sat and read this article and I must say got a wee bit annoyed at the Mainstream Media who are knocking the need for Gluten avoidance.

‘Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity’ 

I am one of those people who many years ago had many tests for what ails me. I was never diagnosed as a Celiac but was diagnosed as having a gluten sensitivity or allergy, whatever you may like to call it.This is now being called ‘Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity’  Personally I do not care what it is called, I just wish that those who do not have this “Sensitivity” would stop knocking those of us who do.

Gluten free diet:

I have been been on a “Gluten Free” diet since the year 2000 and have had symptoms of Gluten Intolerance for many years before that. Even though I stick strictly to my diet I still have times when I am rather unwell, this is probably due to some items having Gluten in that has not been declared on the packaging. I feel that all food items should be labelled with all ingredients as this would help people like me to have less of a problem with hidden “Gluten” I do not agree with those who go on a gluten Free diet as a whim just because it is fashionable, but please leave the people alone who really do need to avoid Gluten.

Gluten Free Cooking with Granny Kate

Honey, Ginger and Superbugs

Honey & GingerI was just ten minutes ago reading an article in GreenMedInfo about the power of Honey and Ginger beating antibiotics in the war against the SuperBugs.

I found this article intriguing as when I was a small child and a chronic asthmatic, when I was having an attack, the first thing my mother would reach for was the jar of honey.

It never fails to amaze me that the world today feels that the only way to cure anything is by drugs, now I mean the drugs that are dished out by the medical profession for the slightest little thing.

As many of you will know, even when someone visits the doctor for a viral problem as sure as apples they will be given an antibiotic. I have even known doctors to prescribe an antibiotic for the common cold. I have come across families who when taking a child to see their local GP have been informed “oh it is a viral thing, but I will give you an antibiotic anyway even though it is useless on viral” Now is it just me or is this pure stupidity?

One of my own children had a challenge with Adenoids when he was very young, they were infected so he had lots of antibiotics, he then became immune to the antibiotics due to the number of times our doctor had prescribed this treatment for him.

I must also add that this was before “The Superbug” was ever heard of and “Antibiotics” were in their infancy.

I have to be honest and say that as a young mother I just accepted the treatment the doctor was giving, but looking back on this situation now, I wish I had been more aware of what the antibiotics were actually doing. (hindsight and knowledge is a wonderful thing)

I was 36 thousand miles away from my mother at this time, so did not have her wise counsel to assist me. I am sure that if she had been near me she would have been able to suggest some of the old more traditional cure.

The benefits of Ginger are many, and I would advocate using fresh Ginger rather then powder, as fresh is always best no matter what the item is. The article I was reading was by Case Adams who is a Naturopath and I really do feel that we need to look to Nature more for our cures rather than synthetic drugs.

The photograph on this blog is a Honey that we have been using for some time now which has ginger in, it has a great taste I must say, and anyone who has a cough or a sore throat can easily have a hot drink made with this.

Mineral Deficiency Is this You?

Do any of the following apply to you?

Many people nowadays are taking a multi-vitamin supplement, do you? I ask this question as although you may be taking a multi-vitamin you may still be missing one vital ingredient which is minerals. Therefore you may be suffering from a Mineral Deficiency.

Have a look at the following list, if you can relate to 3 or more in any group, you may have the indicated deficiency.

Please note the following is meant to be used as a guide ONLY.

Calcium Deficiency:

  • Achy joints
  • Kidney Stones
  • Heel or bone spurs
  • Gingivitis
  • Insomnia
  • Spinal curvature
  • PMS
  • Osteoporosis
  • Paget’s disease
  • Painful Tendons
  • Leg or menstrual cramps
  • High blood pressure
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Arthritis (Rheumatoid)

Magnesium Deficiency

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Cold extremities, or just cold a lot
  • Constipation
  • Heart disease
  • Hyperactivity
  • Chronic tiredness
  • Dizziness upon standing or getting up
  • Frequent urination
  • Always (or never) thirsty
  • Infertility
  • Liver problems
  • Menstrual distress
  • Digestive difficulty
  • Alcoholism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure

Chromium and/or Vanadium Deficiency

  • Chronic tiredness
  • Dizziness upon standing or getting up
  • Frequent urination
  • Always (or never) thirsty
  • Infertility
  • Liver problems
  • Menstrual distress
  • Digestive difficulty
  • Alcoholism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney failure

Copper Deficiency

  • Premature greying of hair
  • Anaemia
  • Wrinkles
  • Sagging skin
  • Thin skin
  • Pale and anaemic
  • Chronic  tiredness
  • Recurrent yeast infections/candida
  • Family history of cystic fibrosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cancer
  • Liver problems (cirrhosis)
  • Muscular weakness (imbalance)
  • Low resistance to infection
  • Smoking

Selenium Deficiency

  • Pale and anaemic
  • Chronic  tiredness
  • Recurrent yeast infections/candida
  • Family history of cystic fibrosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cancer
  • Liver problems (cirrhosis)
  • Muscular weakness (imbalance)
  • Low resistance to infection
  • Smoking

For optimum health the body requires over 90 different nutrients. this is made up with

60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids, 3 essential fatty acids.

Mineral deficiencies have been linked to the following:

  1. Strokeimage001
  2. Diabetes
  3. Osteoporosis
  4. Arthritis
  5. Alzheimer’s





Is there a Mineral Deficiency in our food? How much nourishment is in your food? 

People tell me that they have a good diet, but you may be interested to know how much food value is lost in the processing of our foods. Check out these figures:

  • Early harvesting                 Up to 25%
  • Transporting                      Up to 25%
  • Storage                              Up to 50%
  • Cooking                              Up to 50%
  • Freezing                             Up to 83%
  • Canning                              Up to 83%
  • Over processing                 Up to 100%
  • Refining                               Up to 100%
  • Pasteurisation                     Up to 50%

Reference: Consumer Alert Publications – “Tired of being Sick by Kare Possick”

Mineral Deficient Soils lead to Mineral Deficient plants and Mineral Deficient Plants lead to a Mineral Deficiency in YOU!

Every living organism needs dietary minerals to sustain healthy living and support the function of vital body processes. Your body cannot produce some necessary minerals on its own, and most people don’t get enough of what they need daily, even with a healthy diet. According to a study published recently in the Journal of Horticultural Science, the average vegetable in today’s supermarket is anywhere from 5 percent to 40% lower in minerals – including magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc – than vegetables harvested just 50 years ago.

A daily dose of a good quality Mineral Supplement has become a requirement if we wish to stay healthy.

Click here (New Zealand readers) to purchase a good quality Mineral Supplement that also tastes great or here (for Europe)