Friday, July 27, 2007

Those damn cravings

I read an article in a medical publication once that basically stated cravings are our bodies way of telling us when we need something. For example, a pregnant woman will crave salty things like pickles and chips because her body needs the sodium. Or ice cream because she needs the dairy or protein. They also suggested that babies and children who will only eat certain foods or request the same thing over and over do so because their bodies are telling them that food has what they need. Furthermore, as we age our tastebuds change and mature to protect us from things that are more likley to make us ill or cause harm at that stage in development. Babies dislike bitter foods and prefer sweet foods. Rapid growing means they need all the quick energy resources they can get, and bitter foods with a tonic effect may cause their little organs more work than they can handle at that point. Growing children need energy and protein. They have little need for fiber at this point, so vegetables are often snubbed. As adults we need to eat a wider range of foods to guarantee enough calories when working from a nomad diet of mostly grains, seeds, and vegetation with the occasional meaty meal. Tonic foods are more useful to help our bodies cleanse themselves of toxins and because of our larger size and maturity of our organs this can be done with lower risk of poisoning ourselves. In fact, we may crave these tonic foods according to the illnesses we have. Wild animals with upset stomachs have been seen eating leaves of plants that are known to have carmitive, laxitive, or other helpful effects. Who hasn't seen a sickly looking dog eating grass to make themselves heave and feel better? Monkeys have been observed eating sour or bitter berries when they don't feel well - berries that are edible but not tasty that are usually ignored. Berries that are full of vitamin C and antioxidants. And so on. Basically, our tastes and cravings are a wonderful evolutionary advantage to us and may help explain how we have survived all these years. I wonder what wonderful, evoluntionary, and healthful compounds are to be found in the chicken soo gai (with WHITE rice), deep fried spring rolls, and butter pecan ice cream I have been craving? I guess I should just go with it and plan lunch and dinner accordingly. After all - far be it for little old me to throw a wrench in the wheel of evolution! That is my story, and I am sticking to it. Now leave me alone with my chinese food and ice cream before I remember I hate ice cream and it makes me feel ill.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bad, Bad Dances!

I know I have been delinquent. Forty lashes with a wet noodle. I have been very busy. Dh is back to work but DD is home and frankly, she is making me crazy. Very needy child. It's hard to get things done with her here. By mid-afternoon she is whining "There is nothing to DOOOOOOOOOOO" while standing in a pile of toys, games, and craft projects. I keep telling her she can clean her room if she is bored, but she only rolls her eyes and says "Mo-om! That's not what I meant!". Sheesh. Next week? Day camp for sure. I don't care how much it costs. At this moment I would sell a vital organ to give her something constructive to do for the week - at least more constructive than watching tv in her pj's eating chips and whining about the dearth of fun in this house while I try to write complex code. Ruby went for a grooming this week, and I have to call back and ask what conditioner they used because she is so soft and shiny! She feels like a puppy again. And she still smells so nice. Any minute now she will start smelling doggy and puggy again, so I will sniff while I can LOL. They clipped her nails short then ground them. I love when they do that. Ruby however does NOT love when they do that, but the groomer tells me she was good as gold this time. Of course, the groomer is a pug owner too and Ruby's "grandmother" so she might be biased LOL. When an owner says a pug "was good as gold" for a nail trim it usually means she only screamed like a monkey for MOST of it and only bit the handler about a hundred times. Those pugs can pinch HARD when they want to. And they are quick. You get pinched like ten times before you even know it is happening. Soft squishy face and PINCH. It's like being pinched by a warm, damp mitten. After a long knitting hiatus, I have picked up the needles again. Every christmas we do this exchange game where the women bring a "generic female gift" and the men bring a "generic male gift". It involves choosing a present and unwrapping it, or stealing a present already held by somebody else. Contrary to my former experience where knitted gifts weren't always well received, they go over like gangbusters in that game. This year I want to bring a lighweight shawl. I love the yarn, but I have tried starting three shawls so far and couldn't find the best pattern to showcase it. A garter stitch shawl just makes it look messy, tangled, and fuzzy. A complex lace pattern was lost in it (and impossible for me to manage). A basic feather and fan rectangle was okay, but I wanted something a bit more - well just more. So I have found another pattern and we will see how it goes. So far the colours are working out nicely, the pattern really brings out the sheen of this yarn, and it isn't so hard to follow. Mistakes are also easy to hide ROFL. I have also promised my niece funky socks for her birthday (November 1st) and fluffy slouchy socks for christmas. It is never too soon to start, and I already have the yarn for those in the "stash". I also have a test sock on the needles - I am "mating" two different patterns to come up with a frankensock LOL. In all honesty it has been on the needles for a while but I have to get back to it soon or I'll have no idea where I was. Who am I kidding, even when I am sitting knitting I often forget where I am - tee hee. I want to make DD gloves for winter, and a pair for myself as well. I bought the cutest pink and green 'camouflage' yarn to make myself a new purse. I still love my cat in the hat striped and felted purse, but I want something a bit different in shape and a tad bigger. More structured as well. I am thinking of lining it with plastic canvas then tacking fabric to the canvas on the inside. Or something like that. As far as butts go, mine better get in gear if I don't want to lose out this canning season. I planned on making several jars of bread and butter, baby dills, and mustard pickles to give as gifts this year. And jam as well. My dad used to make these sweet pickle chunks that looked like pieces of beach glass and were very crispy and sweet like candy. We all loved them. Relatives used to visit and STEAL jars of these pickles. They are just so different from an ordinary sweet pickle. I found a recipe that MIGHT be it, and I am dying to try it. I think my dad would be thrilled to get a jar of them for Christmas. When I try it I will post the recipe for sure. Guess what I am having for lunch today? Toasted tomato sandwich, with the FIRST RIPE TOMATO from our garden. Envy me. Tee hee!