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Here’s a thought. We should learn to embrace feeling a little hungry, if for no better reason than the alternative is way more scary.

If we eat every time we feel the slightest hunger it is ridiculously hard not to over consume, so we need to recognize the feeling of mild hunger and understand it as a positive feedback that we have not overeaten and that all is well with our system.

As opposed to ….hmmm….I’m feeling hungry and something bad will surely happen to me if I don’t eat right away? Will low sugar levels trigger a temper tantrum, low salt levels trigger a bad mood, will I have a hypoglycemic incident, will I have some kind of sugar rebound, maybe I will pass out, become dehydrated, get an ulcer or be ostracized for starving myself? The answer is NO …bearing in mind that moderation is always a good approach.

Parents have it very tough in this area. Is it child neglect if you don’t have your kid satiated at all times? Is it socially acceptable to tell your whining hungry kid that being hungry is ok, normal and healthy. Again I would suggest that the alternative is way worse and that teaching kids that they should never go hungry is unrealistic training for life and a recipe for an endless cycle of dieting, weight gain and anxt.

It’s good for business to keep everyone afraid of being hungry, think of the big food companies, the fast food chains and then add to that the massive healthcare and diet industry that results from us all over eating. There is a lot of money stacked against us embracing the feeling of hunger and so much of our economy is based on us over-consuming I wont be surprised if we don’t make big headlines

I thank a good friend for being the inspiration for this story and I respect his efforts to help his little girl live a more healthy life.

Whilst shopping in Girona I noticed Nespresso coffee machines are everywhere.

Yes, they’re spreading like Marmite on toast, I swear they are more popular here than Barca, actually I know Nespresso coffeezero about football so I don’t really know if Barca are still popular but Nespresso Coffee machines sure as heck are, and its got to STOP.

My earlier post entitled Nespresso Coffee Machines are Not good, has not yet managed to slow the stampede of customers. Being the tenacious one that I am, I will not give up until A) Nespresso machines have become extinct or B) recyclable Nespresso coffee pods are available in all countries and not just Switzerland.

There’s something else, I have a confession to make.

No it is not some weird deviant fetish, it is way worse. Here goes…I was very tempted to buy one of these demon Nespresso machines. A mere 149Eu and I too could become a Barista and wow everyone with my perfect espresso shots.

No No NO. Just because everyone else is doing it does not make it right. I desire but I will NOT buy.

ThursdaysGirl

Changing the world one coffee pot at a time

Next week we are off to California and will be working hard on our surfer dude Beach Boys impersonations. US FlagThe trip is inspired by a wedding, MBH’s little girl has grown up and is tying the knot with her long time love and very own surfer dude.

Its 6 years since I lived in the US and I’m wondering how the US and I have changed. A lot has happened to us both, maybe we wont recognize each other, maybe we wont get along like we used to, or maybe we will be like old friends and take up exactly where we left off. Clearly I have questions.

-Will I meet a Super Delegate and what do Super Delegates look like?

-Have all Americans turned into pulpit screaming crazies or is this just an image portrayed by CNN?

-Might I be renditioned? If so please do not rendition me to a ship, as I get seasick.

-Do all women in the US now wear pantsuits that don’t fit around the tummy?

– Will I be finger printed, retinal scanned and phone tapped?

And the big question, what if I no longer fit in?

The Butcher At Carnisseria SeliEarlier today in our local butchers shop in my very best Spanish Catalan hybrid language…(dos is 2, Botifarra is sausage and dolca is sweet)

Me Dos botifarras dolcas, por favor

The Butcher No?

Me Si, Dos botifarras dolcas por favor!

The Butcher No?

The Butcher then tries to give me 2 regular sausages and smiles.

Me No …Dos botifarras dolcas por favor!!!!!

The Butcher Huh?… esta? He points to the sweet sausages No?

Me Si, Dos por favor

The Butcher Es no normal!!

So now it is official, even The Butcher knows that I am not normal.

Sweet sausages are exactly that, a regular pork sausage with sugar, cinnamon and lemon added and they are absolutely heavenly. Fry them up and serve before, during or after dinner. All the sweet stuff melts, caramelizes and makes its own gooey sauce. They are Catalan, I don’t know much more about them or why they have not spread worldwide. From The Butcher’s reaction I am guessing that I am the first non-Catalan to buy them.

Note to self. I really must improve my Spanish/Catalan skills; it is very disappointing that The Butcher figured out that I am not a local.

The shop is called Carnisseria Seli in Torroella De Montgri, and is way more than a butchers shop, it should be called Deli Seli.

Another rainy day in Catalonia, time to indulge my own private travel porn fetish. I recently heard the phrase food porn used to describe a TV cooking show and travel porn works for me as a term to describe travel websites, shows and magazines where the destinations are very much in the realm of fantasy.

My favourite beach in the world is Injidup Beach in Western Australia and it falls head first into the travel porn category. It is a 4-hour drive South of Perth in the Margaret River Wine region of Western Australia.Injidup Beach

We found it when we were searching for a surf break that I had read about, which is exactly how many great things are found, when you are actually looking for something else. If you don’t look you wont find.

Injidup is totally unspoiled, there is one mega mansion being built by a Brit (bloody typical) and a small low-rise unobtrusive spa retreat.

The sand is clean, pure white and fine with a massive dune in the corner, excellent for working off some excess energy or doing Lawrence of Arabia impersonations. The water is crystal clear, there is no pollution and in the summer it is warm.

There is no café; no hotel and no gift shop only the most magnificent natural beauty that you could imagine.

There is a car park with steps down to the beach or you can sit at the top of the steps in the lookout area and watch the dolphins playing in the surf, the humans playing in the surf or on a no swell day simply lap up the natural beauty.

Many days you will be alone on the beach unless the swell is up and you will have a bunch of laid-back surfers for company. The surf break is a point break and needs some swell to get going, it is usually uncrowded.

Flies can be a problem in the summer, more specifically if you do go on a day when there are flies they can be unbearable. Luckily most days are no fly days and the Aussies are working on a dung beetle program that apparently should reduce the number of flies?

If you are in search of natural beauty this is the beach for you.

PS I will post some more photos on the photo link.

Mediterranean FlowerMany food labels here in Spain don’t have basic nutritional data such as calorie, salt, fat, protein and carb. content. How come? How do Spanish people keep track of what they are eating? Maybe a better question would be ….do they keep track of what they are eating? I hear that the Spanish children are rising quickly up the obesity ladder and I wonder if these 2 issues are linked. The old Mediterranean diet is disappearing fast, losing to the high calorie, fat and salt diet honed to perfection by the US of A (and Australia and the UK). I am sure it was hard to over eat on tomatoes and fresh fava beans hence no need for calorie labels in the good old days of the Mediterranean diet.

Here’s the scoop. I am working on losing a little weight, a few pounds that mysteriously appeared when I wasn’t paying attention. What actually happened was that when we were in Australia we didn’t have a weighing scale, and even though I am careful about what I eat I clearly was unable to self regulate without weighing myself. Yesterday I made us what I guessed was a low calorie snack of cottage cheese with crackers (beautifully decorated with fresh basil and chopped chives for added low calorie, low salt flavour) and I wondered how many calories there were in this snack as compared with peanut butter on crackers. None of the products had calorie info on the packets so I was left guessing. This online, free, no need to register calorie counter works quite well.

Also, I try to run a low salt kitchen, mostly because it makes MBH’s heart work better and I am all in favor of stuff that makes his heart beat in good time. Our refrigerated package of Gazpacho also has no label and I suspect it has lots of salt although probably very low in calories. Hence the problem, I will probably end up overweight and salty with a broken heart. My only option is to buy foods with good labeling and start a boycott of poorly or unlabelled products. Note to self …no more boycotts this week…Nespresso coffee and unlabelled products are enough for now.

By the way the photo is from Pals beach earlier this week.

Nespresso Coffee Pods

They are not good for our planet or for us, here’s why.

How can it be a step forward when the latest status symbol in the developed world is an espresso machine whose unique feature is a single portion single use Nespresso coffee pod which is not biodegradable?

If Nespresso and George Clooney (the star of their advertising campaign) have their way every shot of espresso made in the developed world will produce one metallic pod of non-biodegradable waste. (The aluminum pod could technically be recycled if you disassembled it and separated out the paper and coffee grains?)

Why the usually politically correct Clooney has chosen this non-environmentally friendly product to attach his name to we can only assume is linked to vast amounts of money.

Even if it does make a good cup of coffee, is it worth the cost to our planet?

When I fancy a really good cup of coffee I head out to a coffee shop. We have tons of excellent non-chain cafes here in Catalonia and I love the ambience, the company, the community, the sense of occasion, the cakes and pastries that make up a coffee shop outing. Or if I fancy a special at home treat I can make a pretty good cup with my cafetiere and frothy milk wizzer. To me coffee and tea making are very wound up in the ritual of the process and abbreviating the ritual to dropping a polluting pod into a machine just doesn’t do it for me.

Another warning sign is that Nestle have a crappy business ethics track record, in the 70’s their marketing of baby formula to developing countries led to a boycott. They are smart and wealthy, ($84 billion revenue in 2003) and are capable of having a very big impact especially when combo’d with a guy we all love. All the more reason to question the product.

If my opinion makes me a Luddite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite I accept the label proudly, we all have to define our boundaries and mine are made up of lots of used Nespresso coffee pods.

By Thursdays Girl. Changing the world one coffee pot at a time.