The bakeoff trend: how long will this last?

We were inspired by NPR’s article to write our own.

During lockdown we baked a lot of things as people had time on their hands to do so. Some people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic so they might not have enough money to buy bread. We think this will last a while.

The New Daily says that the demand for flour has gone up and so has the cake mixes.

They were faced with the mandatory task of making breakfast, lunch and dinner when all the restaurants were shut in March.

Just before lockdown in Australia, the supermarket shelves were empty of baking products as people panic bought. Now that the restrictions are easing the baking shelves are full again. The other day I went to the supermarket needing to buy sugar and there was lots of sugar left. If I went during the panic buying season there would be none left.

Now that the lockdowns have eased people are contemplating whether to dine out or not due to the cleanliness of places. Hence baking is here to stay.

Just this week I heard that there was a second wave of lockdowns in Melbourne. I wonder if people will do more baking during that time at home. Its also school holidays in Australia so there might be a bit more baking action going on!

Could where you live be a risk for Covid19

The BMJ opinion says that people that live in low socio economic areas are more likely to get Covid19. In the past week alone we have seen an increase in Melbourne and the six hotspots are all low socio economic areas. In the world it is India, USA, Brazil and Peru that are the highest low socio economic areas with the highest rate of Covid19

So what is a low socio economic area?

That would be an area that is affected by people who are low-income earners (they mainly earn welfare). They would also have a lot of homeless people living in those areas. This area would be drug-affected. These areas have lots of fast food places due to everyone being able to afford these kinds of food.

Could obesity have a part to play in this?

The answer is yes. People from these suburbs are likely to be obese and are likely to access more junk food than those in wealthier places. Also exercise has a role in being healthy and if there are no walking paths and tracks then people will be more sedentary.

We see it in areas like Broadmeadows, Airport West, and the City of Casey. Wealthier suburbs have access to a walking trail or two.

So what should governments do to make it better?

The City of Casey said that they were looking at giving people more access to fresh, healthy food. But Governments could make access to fresh and healthy food cheaper for those that can’t afford it. Back to basics is a volunteer run programme in Melbourne where those that are disadvantaged can take some free food and other basic needs.

They should also put in more walking paths which are accessible. Then that way everyone will be a lot healthier.

National Wellbeing Week 2020

In such a devastating time where people have lost their jobs and their livelihoods, we will celebrate National Wellbeing week.

The Guardian wrote up about how one professor kept it together during the COVID19. We have been trying to keep it together but its been hard sometimes to do so.

This week we went out on runs and we tried to keep it together during these tough times. During these tough times my friend called me heaps on Instagram but I’ve been trying to block him out as I’ve been way too busy. Also he kept saying that he was bored at home.

That week I treated myself to a milkshake. Its important during these times to treat yourself to stuff every once in a while. I also treated myself to a sausage roll.

On Sunday it was really sunny so I treated myself to a run with lots of lovely buildings and sites to take in. I loved the views and gorgeous buildings.

Went to a few Les Mills webinars which has been uplifting. Also watched some What would you do scenarios. I love these scenarios as they are all about the human connection.

Axe the tax on period products

We should be able to manage our periods the way we want. Now more than ever due to the Covid19, people had to choose between paying bills or paying for their period. Periods are not a choice as it happens every month

We go through about 3-4 pads or tampons during the day. Some women go through more because they have had heavy bleeding. So all up in 7 days it would be 21-28 pads and tampons. Some days our period is lighter.

On top of that we also have to pay for pain killers to kill the period pain.

We shouldn’t have to pay for pads or go without them just because we have not got enough money. Pads in Australia are about $4-$8 a pack. And we go through about 1-3 packs per period.

But what about period products?

They are sustainable but they are a huge investment for women, especially those without an income. They are about $30-$60 per cup but some people can’t afford it.

So please if you can, ask your local MP or Government to make period products cheaper (or free for those that can’t afford it).

Or better yet, if you have lots leftover from your panic buying days, why not donate them to charity or a local pantry who needs them?

Autism and obesity

We talk about Autism and obesity and mention that the rate of obesity is higher for those with autism. We wrote once before about Autism and the Coronavirus. There is some doubt that the Coronavirus might cause them to put on weight due to health issues and stay at home orders. In 2014 there was a study done on autistic children and it is said that 34% of them (in the 10-17 years) are overweight. The rate of obesity for autistic people is higher than normal people.

We talk about why here!

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

What is autism?

Autism is a sensory and intellectual disability that affects 2.2% of adults in the US. It is usually started in childhood. Spectrum News says that autistic people often hate doing sports. They give one example, Nicholas who doesn’t want to go on family bike rides or long walks.

Autistic people hate not sticking to a routine and love the same foods. They love chocolate and other things. They are prone to overeating. Isolation is not usually a problem for them. It then puts them at an obesity risk.

Balance is often an issue for them. They hate heights.

There isn’t a lot of specialist trainers that work with people with disabilities and hopefully next year there might be some more in fitness industry. We recognise that these people are more vulnerable to some of the health issues that we face today. These people are more vulnerable to some of the discriminations at the gym because they act weirdly or they don’t want to try different things. Or they are paranoid that something will happen to them.

Moreover they have a lot of problems understanding what people want and the correct techniques.

Spectrum News said that some of them have sleep issues as well GI issues which contribute to their weight.

Doctors and stress during the pandemic

During the pandemic many people have put off going to their GP’s for routine checkups and other things that needed to be done.

Photo by John Finkelstein on

Doctors are trying to fight this pandemic and so they are feeling the stress of it all. In Germany doctors have had to deal with the influx of patients due to the pandemic. But they all had each other who motivated them to work hard.

Many are experiencing burnout at the moment. They don’t know what’s coming next. They work long hours just to keep us safe.

How can doctors and nurses manage their stress?

They can make sure that they are not working long hours, eat a healthy diet, exercise and get enough sleep. And no that does not mean in the waiting room in the hospital. It means a proper bed.

And doctors and nurses need to make sure that they get their rostered days off. If you don’t you should speak up about this.

How you can help doctors to manage their COVID stress!

We recognise that the pandemic is long and therefore we encourage everyone to be patient and not put off a routine visit or a normal visit. If you do that your chances of getting Covid19 would be higher.

Also do practice social distancing and staying at home when you can. I know this is painful but we will get through it. Just be patient. Don’t go out to the shops and buy unnecessary things.

Do go out for exercise each day. Exercise helps to soothe the mind.

Eat a healthy diet and don’t skimp on medications and other supplements that you need. The chemist is always open. If you skimp on the things that you need just because you’re trying to save money, you’ll hurt yourself in the long run and who knows? you might even get Covid19.

Penne pasta with tomato and bacon

This recipe is part of the $120 food challenge.

I love a simple pasta dish for dinner. Now you can use the penne pasta that you got in your Woolworths box or you can buy penne pasta for $2 at Woolworths and Coles. You can use the canned tomato sauce from the box if you like. You’ll also need some bacon.

Now you cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.

This recipeis from Inspired cooking


The WHO’s report on Mental Health

The WHO has published a report on mental health during the Coronavirus lockdowns. The report covers the extent of the mental health problem and gives some ways of mental health recovery. The global economy loses more than $1 trillion each year due to anxiety and poor mental health issues such as depression.

Covid 19

During the Covid19 pandemic so far there has been a lot of stress, not just from job losses but also from the virus itself. People are worried about getting it. The most vulnerable are at the highest risk of getting the virus such as the elderly.

In Australia we have been really lucky to have the parks and some of the beaches open during the pandemic. But we have also had our fair share of the mental health problems. The Government money that we receive has been very swift unlike Thailand who had to wait a while

The social distancing measures that each country has put in place has put an enormous strain on our mental health services. People are becoming more and more depressed and that would lead to suicide if not treated early.

Frontline workers such as those in hospitals face enormous stress. In Britain the stress was way before the pandemic.

Here the ways that WHO will tackle mental health in the weeks, months and years to come.

  1. Promote mental health more regularly. Governments should do more to include mental health in their COVID19 messaging.
  2. Ensure that all countries in the world have emergency support for mental health. This can be volunteer-run online to help those that are in disadvantaged communities (ie: third world countries). Also, people who are disabled or elderly or have chronic conditions should have their mental health needs met.
  3. Support COVID19 recovery by building mental health services for the future. Globally there is one mental health professional for every 10,000 people. Mental health should be included in health care benefit packages such as Medibank so that people of low incomes can afford them.

What the UN can do?

The UN will assist countries in research and development of mental health strategies as well as support and recovery. As countries emerge out of lockdown they will need all the help they can get.

Some music to listen to via Spotify

We talk about Spotify the free app!

Ever since the lockdown began we have been listening to music on Spotify.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Spotify is really easy to use and free to install. You can install it via Google Play or iTunes. It is free for all to use. But premium members can pay an extra price for more music. You can organize your music on there. They have some nice tunes on there, spite the times. There are so many tunes.

You can go premium for $36 for three months. You get a free trial to see if you like it. And then if you like it then you pay. You can listen to 80’s tunes on the go (though I don’t recommend this on the train and tram as you can’t see what’s going on), but a cafe with friends is ok. In solidarity is fine too.

If you don’t want to pay by credit card you can buy gift cards at your local convenience shops.

You can add your own playlist and its so much fun to do so. Here you just add the songs that you like. I love funky upbeat music but you can download whatever you want on there and go crazy.

They also have podcasts, but I hadn’t had a chance to listen to those yet.

Listening to Spotify music can be so relaxing even in lockdown.

High cholesterol

Too many us have diets which are high in cholesterol. High cholesterol is in things like butter, cream, deep fried foods and saturated fats. It is very common in Australia and other parts of the world to have this issue.

We also don’t exercise enough each day. We are too sedentary.

Your body needs cholesterol for many functions like a healthy heart. But it doesn’t need a lot. Your body can quite readily make its own.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is the fatty acid that you need to perform most functions in the body. There are two types of cholesterol, good cholesterol (that is all your good omega three fats) and the bad cholesterol (this is your from processed foods and trans fats).

What happens if you have high cholesterol?

High cholesterol happens when someone gets 3.6 mnol/L in their cholesterol levels. Sometimes its genetics that cause the high levels, but most of the time its our lifestyle (being overweight)

You could:

  • Have fatty liver disease
  • Have pulmonary disease
  • Heart and organ failure
  • Put on weight around the lungs and the heart

To avoid high cholesterol

  • Limit your servings of processed foods to just treat foods
  • Have meat no more than three times a week
  • Eat more fiber. The more fiber you eat the fuller you’ll get and it also helps to get rid of the bad waste in your body
  • Drink Apple Cider Vinegar. It is said to help lower cholesterol levels
  • Exercise. You should aim to get in 150-300 mins of vigorous activity a week. And for muscle building, you should include two strength sessions in a week
  • Be happy. Having too much stress is not good for you

NB: if you have high cholesterol, you should go and see your doctor and don’t wait.