Food & Drinks, Health, Simplify

Red Beet Goodness

This morning, I harvested a few bunches of red beets from the vegetable patch. The beets and their leaves were promptly washed and cut up. They went into a small pot along with a few cloves of home grown garlic, a couple of potatoes, water and some spices. These were then simmered for about an hour. After enjoying a lovely bowl of red beet broth for lunch, I used a hand-mixer to turn the leftover broth into a creamy red beet soup. Looking forward to some warm and yummy soup this evening.

Flashbacks, Health, Human Nature, Simplify

To Not Be…

What do you want to be when you grow up?

That is a question that I have been asked countless times in my life. When I was a child, my answers had been a medical doctor, then a dentist, and later a veterinarian, because I loved all my pet dogs, cats, fishes, a turtle and a monkey. When I get to understand matters such as finances and rights, I realised and accepted what the world has in store for me and have thus carved my paths accordingly. I went off to business school and half a decade later, to design school.

When one has matured into a semi-stable personality, the real challenge is to distance oneself from the sort of people that can possibly mould you into the person you do not want to become.

What do you not want to be when you grow older?

Health, Jibber Jabber

Sweet Slumber

When I glanced at the clock on my night stand this morning, it was 8.17am. Oh glorious sleep… how have I missed you in the past week!

Today’s temperature stayed below 20°C. How wonderful it that?! I can finally think straight and function like a normal person again. Without being enveloped in a heat haze, I was able to get a lot of things done at a healthy tempo. This body simply cannot tolerate high temperatures.

Note to self: sleep in a tent in the backyard next time.

Belgium, Flashbacks, Health, Jibber Jabber

Warm Bedroom

D got up earlier than I this morning! We were unsure of the exact reason, but the most probable culprit was the increasing warmth in the bedroom. Welcome to the first day of this year’s first heat wave.

I have to admit that I slept relatively well last night. The comforter was taken out, leaving behind the cover as a light blanket. Our bedroom window was kept opened till 5am, I wore loose fitting cotton outfit to bed, I prepared an ice baby, and have followed some logic pre-bedtime procedures.

The temperature will be rising these next few days, making the bedroom uncomfortably warm. A good night sleep will be sort of a blessing for people without air conditioning. My backup plan and final option will be sleeping in a tent, like I did last year.

Health, Simplify

Calming Temperature

It had rained the past two evenings. This resulted in a drop from last weekend’s summer heat to today’s comfortable springlike temperature.

A good time to tidy up the lawn a bit. So armed with a small potato knife and an empty bucket, I cleared the front lawn of unsightly weeds. The sunshine and fresh air also helped in sorting out my thoughts and plans.

Food & Drinks, Health, Simplify

Real Food

D and I went out to buy food this afternoon. We did not go to a grocery store but to three different places to get meat, potatoes, fruit juice, butter, mushroom, and some fruits. All the running around made us both very thirsty so we sat down to have a drink at the Lokaal in Deerlijk after we were done with our grocery.

I spent about €90 for this afternoon’s food purchases. It was not an expensive trade off because my fridge and pantry are now loaded with real food which will last me for weeks. The objective is to cook and eat decent healthy meals so that we do not have to spend our old days paying the doctors’ salaries!

Food & Drinks, Health

Parboiled Rice

A few weeks ago, I bought a bag of parboiled rice. I do not know what it was then but was eager to try it out because of the price. A kilogram of jasmine rice from the Asian grocery store costs two times more.

As I always do with unfamiliar subjects, I did some on-line research to gather necessary information. To my surprise, parboiled rice are actually more nutritious than the usual white rice I consume.

Yesterday, I cooked this atypical rice in my steamer. At the end of the cooking process, I found that the water was not entirely absorbed by the rice kennels. Despite the harder texture, the rice actually tasted sort of familiar to me. Maybe I have eaten this at the university cafeteria a long time ago?!

Next time, I shall cook this rice in a pot on the stove-top. And I will probably cook it a bit longer than the typical 20 minutes. I might even pre-soak the rice as suggested by some websites. Cooking experiments, I never get tired of them…

Health, Jibber Jabber

Turtle Neck

When the temperature dropped last week, I started wearing a turtle neck sweater in order to keep myself warm. I would even layered up with a fleece jacket when it got really chilly. My outfit choice has led to a significant reduction of coughing and sneezing.

I am no longer coughing today. Wearing a turtle neck sweater for almost a week has cured me from my illness!



No one looks forward to medical examinations. Who in their right minds will skip and jump joyfully into a medical research facility?

Adhering to the advice of my gynaecologist, I am to go for a mammogram this afternoon. My last one was 7 years ago. And I do know enough people who did not survive cancer. The memory of them helps me face any necessary preventive care procedures with calmness.

The two medical staff I encountered were friendly and did their work very diligently. I have to admit that this thoroughness made me worry and uneasy at times. Thankfully, I was told right away that everything is in order. Those were the loveliest Dutch words of the day! Amen!