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Sustainable Eating September 21, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Sustainable Living.

3D-CowThe best and fastest way to break out of a rut is to try something new.

Sometimes the something new we choose moo-ves us to greater simplicity and sustainability, saving us time and money.

With a few easy tweaks we can benefit ourselves AND the planet by changing our diet, our buying habits, and even how we vacation.

By way of example:

Donald-Duck-DrivingEating vegetarian meals is better for the planet.

In fact, what we eat has more impact on the environment than what we drive.

PLUS going “meatless” is better for our health, our wallets, and for the animals we would otherwise be consuming.


When we moved from “meat” to “meatless” (circa 1997), we started small by swapping out the meat in our favorite recipes.

  • Instead of chicken curry, we made broccoli curry.
  • Instead of beef tacos, we made veggie tacos.
  • Instead of lasagna with meat sauce, we made veggie lasagna with broccoli, spinach, and grated carrot.

We found that the food tasted better and we felt better.

AND we saved money by shopping for fresh produce instead of meat.
AND cooking was less messy (without worry about cross contamination).
AND less time consuming ~ I’ve cooked Thanksgiving Dinner in an hour.

2014-06-16 12-23-23_0003

“Every time we sit down to eat, each of us can make the world a better place simply by leaving animals off our plates.” ~TryVeg.com

To request a FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide, visit  TryVeg.com

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more menu ideas:  A Month of Meatless Meals

Make Mine Kool-Aid August 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor.

Woodstock-&-Snoopy3After a partial hysterectomy, my doctors recommended a colonoscopy.

I agreed and did all the nasty messy prep work.


Drinking the Drano (a/k/a Colon-Aid) made me throw up.  Several times.  It got me coming . . . and going.

In the morning, they put me under.  Part way.  Despite the anesthesia, I moaned and writhed in pain.


All for naught!

They couldn’t finish because their periscope wouldn’t go past the sigmoid.

Sad-TigerWhen the anesthesia wore off, I had a headache the size of Montana. I could barely breathe.

But they weren’t done with me.

They sent me for a barium enema (which stopped up everything I had just cleaned out).


It wasn’t fun. I will NEVER do it again.

And . . . I’m not alone:

Only one in six Americans over age 50 get the American Cancer Society’s recommended screening for colon cancer: a colonoscopy every 10 years, or a flexible sigmoidoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, or barium enema imaging every five years.

Surveys suggest that patients find the preparation – required for both colonoscopy and traditional virtual colonoscopy – to be the worst part of screening.

“A number of folks, who currently aren’t being screened because they fear the prep or aren’t willing to go through it again, may be willing to have screening if they’re told they don’t need to take laxatives and can still get a potent test,’’ said Dr. Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colon cancer for the American Cancer Society.

Good news!

There’s a new technique on the medical horizon which does not involve the dreaded laxative preparation to clear the colon:

The new technique works by using a contrast agent – a tiny amount of dye is ingested two days before the test – to highlight fecal matter in the colon, which can then be digitally erased from the scan using a software program, making it easier to see polyps.

In the study of 605 patients, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the virtual colonoscopy was able to identify more than 90 percent of suspicious polyps that were 10 millimeters or larger, compared with 95 percent identified when the same patients later had a standard colonoscopy.

To read more:  New Kind of Virtual Colonoscopy (Boston Globe)

Tigger-BouncingIf larger studies confirm the findings, the technique could serve as a first-line screening tool for colon cancer for people who avoid screening.

Like me!

And now for a laugh out loud moment . . .

Aah . . . that’s better!

Danger! Danger! July 27, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor.

Mountain-BikingA few months ago, the Sierra Club sent me a link to 6 of America’s Most Dangerous Hiking Trails.

Reading the list did NOT make me want to strap on my hiking boots.  Heat, cold, thin air, ice, bears, and snakes knocked all 6 hikes out of contention for a coveted spot on my Bucket List.

At least until I’m ready to kick the bucket.

I prefer to avoid falling rocks, unexpected blizzards, and encounters with wild and savage beasts while hiking.

At the Arch

Despite my survival instincts, I enjoy hiking to waterfalls and mountain tops.

As the path unfolds before me, I embrace movement, air, light, sound, and glorious vistas.

These days, most of our “hiking” (if you’re being charitable) takes place on the beach.  Air, sunlight, splashing waves, turquoise seas ~> BLISS!


And nary a snake in sight!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  When Is A Step Not A Step (My Year of Sweat) * Rock Climbing in YosemiteAn Appalachian Adventure * Would You Answer This Ad?

Tigger Goes To The Dentist January 17, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Health & Wellness.

Lion-RaaarYesterday, Tigger went to the vet for a much needed dental cleaning and probable tooth extraction.

We couldn’t feed him due to the pending surgery.

He is used to eating breakfast as soon as he gets up.

By 7 am, he was HOWLING HUNGRY.

Once he got to the vet’s office, he got very, very quiet . . . in a “if I don’t make any noise, maybe they won’t notice me” sort of way.

Since Tigger is diabetic, the vet needed blood work done before the surgery to make sure that Tigger would survive the anesthesia.

“If his blood work looks good, we’ll do the surgery and you can pick him up at 3 pm.”

Holding our collective breath, we were sent home to wait by the phone.

For the next 7 hours, watching the clock occupied my attention.  Abandoning all attempts to be Zen, I filled the dragging minutes with unfounded fears, tears, and dreaded “what ifs?”

Woodstock-&-Snoopy3At 3, we called.  All of Tigger’s blood work had looked great except for glucose (still high).  The vet had extracted four teeth and cleaned the remainder.

We paid the bill with a happy exhale and returned home with our little guy.

“Just keep him on wet food for a few days and bring him back in 2 weeks for a re-check of the gums.”

If you had stopped by yesterday afternoon, you would never have guessed that Tigger had been in for dental surgery that morning (except for the shaved area on his right foreleg from the IV).

Lion-Side-ProfileI guess Tigger didn’t get the memo that he was supposed to be groggy.

He came home, ate his l-o-n-g overdue breakfast, drank some water, and then, instead of curling up for a cat nap, headed to the door for a walk.

He marched out the door on his leash . . . with a happy tail flying high.

I love a tail with a happy ending.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Too Soon To Mourn January 3, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, People, Poetry.

170px-Maes_Old_Woman_DozingThey’re already gone
In so many ways that matter

It’s too soon to mourn
They’re still on life’s stage

We sit in the audience
Watching the curtain fall

How much will be left
When nothing is left at all

Of the way they were?

 * * *

A hint:

Aah . . . that’s better!

The New Alphabet November 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Joke.

Donald-DuckaA is for apple and B is for boat, that used to be right, but now it won’t float! Age before beauty is what we once said, but let’s be a bit more realistic instead.

The New Alphabet

A’s for arthritis. B’s the bad back. C’s the chest pains, perhaps car-di-ac?

D is for dental decay and decline. E is for eyesight, can’t read that top line! F is for farting and fluid retention. G is for gut droop, which I’d rather not mention.

grumpy_thinkingH is high blood pressure – I’d rather it low. I for incisions with scars you can show. J is for joints, out of socket, won’t mend. K is for knees that crack when they bend.

L ‘s for libido, what happened to sex? M is for memory, I forget what comes next.

N is neuralgia, in nerves way down low. O is for osteo, bones that don’t grow!

Grumpy gusP for prescriptions, I have quite a few. Just give me a pill, I’ll be good as new! Q is for queasy, is it fatal or flu? R is for reflux, one meal turns to two.

S: sleepless nights, counting my fears. T is for Tinnitus, bells in my ears! U is for urinary, troubles with flow. V for vertigo, that’s ‘dizzy,’ you know.

W for worry, now what’s going ’round? X is for X-ray, and what might be found.

Y’s for another year I’ve left behind. Z is for zest I still have . . . in my mind!

I’ve survived all the symptoms, my body’s deployed.  I’m keeping twenty-six doctors fully employed!

 Aah . . . that’s better!

E-mail from unknown author (sent by Granny1947)

The Danger of Handshakes October 29, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, People.

Woodstock-&-Snoopy3A few years ago, at the Suncoast Lifestyle Expo, we met Dr. Z who invited us to his office for a FREE consultation, chiropractic exam, and massage.

We accepted the invitation, went to his office, listened to his dog and pony show, and agreed to return in two days with the completed new patient paperwork for our FREE adjustment.

After considerable debate and two days sitting on the fence, we completed the paperwork and returned for the rest of the FREE consultation.

We spoke with Dr. Z and the woman responsible for billing about the cost of future adjustments and treatments and decided not to schedule further visits.

At check out, we paid for a reusable ice pack.

Two months later, out of the blue, we received a $257 bill for BFF’s FREE consultation and exam.

I called the office and Maria agreed that there had been a mix up.  She promised to clear BFF’s account.  I had her check my account too . . . sure enough, a bill was on its way.

A few days later, I called Maria back to make sure that the accounts had been cleared.  She said, “we’re “working on it.”

The-Pink-PantherIn due course, the accounts were cleared.

It’s good to trust others, but handshake agreements can be problematic.  Memories fade.  Mistakes are made.

Next time . . . I’ll get in IN WRITING!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Top Tips for Tuesday October 28, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor.

Tuesday’s Top Tips for weight control:


1.  Eat things you love at every meal, in moderation, rounding them out with filling, high fiber, nutritious fruits and veggies.

2.  Write down what you eat.  I lost 10 pounds in 12 weeks this Spring by jotting down what I was going to eat BEFORE eating it.  I didn’t tally up fat grams or calories, I just recorded basic quantities and food types.  It kept me focused on my desire to lose weight.

3.  Drink lots of water instead of drinking calories or diet sodas.

4.  Move more ~ walk, bike, swim, or dance in the living room.  But try to do 20-30 minutes of something every day.

* * *

Speaking of veggies, whenever I have LOTS of greens. I saute them with oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper to wilt them down and reduce the volume. Then I freeze in 2 cup portions for soups, stews, and sides.  Delicious stirred into mashed potatoes, rice, or other grains.

I do the same thing when I have lots of peppers and onions.


* * *

Bonus Tip (for Road Trips):  Bring a bucket of cat litter for “emergencies.”

Perfect when traveling in a blizzard with no bathrooms in sight.  Easier than aiming at an empty coffee cup (or trying to stop the flow when the cup threatens to overflow).

For more tips on “going with the flow” ~> When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go (My Years Of Sweat).

And, now, you’ll have to excuse me. I am laughing too hard to “contain myself.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Even The Grin Of An Ordinary Guru October 23, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor.

Happy Birthday to my Ordinary Guru

Life often conspires to teach us what we need to know.

Some lessons seem negative because our vantage point is limited.

We are lost in the trees.

Once we move farther along the path, we see more of the forest.  Our changed vantage point provides clarity.

With expanded cognition, we find that the “negative events” we resisted resulted in valuable lessons and navigational aids:

* Perhaps we learned to be patient and allow life to unfold.

* Or we shifted our perspective from malignant thoughts of certain doom to benign thoughts of light and laughter.

* Maybe we gained proficiency with a valuable life skill, such as living in the midst of uncertainty without gravitating to worst case scenarios, wild imaginings, and dire predictions.

Anything, even the grin of an Ordinary Guru, can be a nudge in the right direction.

A shortcut to becoming who were were always meant to be.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Four Glitches & A Tumor ~ Part 2 October 22, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Life Balance.

Continued from Four Glitches & A Tumor . . .

Two months later, I arrived in pre-op for surgery at 5 a.m., wearing a green hospital gown. Despite the early hour, I was peaceful and chipper . . . even without my customary cup of coffee.

The nurses urged me to focus on the serious nature of coming events. “We need you to read this Release carefully. It addresses the risks of surgery.”

I nodded. “I know all about the risks. I’m a medical malpractice attorney.”

“Really? And you’re not worried?”

“Nope.” Then I gave them my best grin. “If I’m going to die, I’m going to die laughing.”


After deciding I hadn’t left my marbles at home on the bedside table, they had me sign the requisite forms and continued to prep me for surgery.

Glitch #3: Picture a tree with a single trunk and many branches. Most parotid gland tumors are located at the base of the trunk, along a major branch of the facial nerves, making it fairly straightforward to excise the tumor without damaging the nerves. With a well-placed tumor, surgery lasts 1-2 hours. My surgery lasted 6 hours because the tumor was hanging around the branches of smaller facial nerves.

The surgeon (for whom we had waited patiently) worked patiently on his patient patient.

Due to his care and concern, I am not a drooler. I emerged from surgery with all facial nerves intact. He even did a fat graft to pad my face to ensure it would not look lopsided. He was worth the wait.

But the waiting wasn’t over yet.

Glitch #4: Once out of Recovery, my surgeon admitted me to the Intensive Care Unit. The next day, after restless morphine-induced sleep, I asked about the tumor. “Was it benign?”

“I don’t know.”

“What? You don’t have the pathologist’s report yet?”

“I have his report. But you had an atypical tumor. Given the unique cell make-up, the pathology department’s not sure whether it’s benign or malignant. They’ve sent your slides to teaching hospitals around the country for additional input.”

“My tumor’s on tour?”

He grinned. “Yup. It’s gonna be a star.”

After 3 days in the ICU, I went home.  No report.

A week later, I went to the surgeon’s office for follow-up.  Still nothing. “Once they reach consensus, I’ll let you know.”

Two months later he called with a verdict worth waiting for . . . Benign!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Concludes tomorrow with . . . Even The Grin Of An Ordinary Guru


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