Things to do with mushrooms

This article was written for Mushroom Day which is on the 15th of October.

It is mushroom season and mushrooms are full of the essential vitamins and minerals that we need. Here are some ways with mushrooms.

How to prepare mushrooms?

Mushrooms are really simple to do. With the dried Asian mushrooms that you buy in the Asian stores, you probably do need to soak them for a little bit in a bowl of water

There are many different types of mushrooms from the Japanese shitake, the Australian mushroom to the Chinese mushroom that we have during Chinese New Year

Mushroom salad

This is really easy to do and you can do it with just about anything you have at home.

Udon noodles with mushroom

This recipe is from Cooking with Chef Dai

Homemade mushroom pizza

Here you can use truffle oil for this. You can buy the pizza-making kit from supermarkets and I got the recipe from Heidi Larsen

Scrambled eggs and mushrooms

Just simply sauteed them in a pan and put it with scrambled eggs for breakfast. And then you add toast with your scrambled eggs and mushrooms.

Does Social Media isolate us

I got the idea from Unfuckwithable, who says that it does. We have many people around us during this pandemic, yet we are isolated in our own houses due to these lockdowns. This is partly how mental health problems have started and have increased in 2020

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Photo by Pixabay on

A study done in 2017 by Primack says that the more time you spend on social media, the more isolated you are. They try to use social media to increase their social circles.

On social media, we can make it all look pretty, but we are down in real life. We can have all these glamourous pictures of places that we went to and the things we did. Right now, I am feeling sad that I can’t visit loved ones and can only spend an hour or two on Zoom.

On Facebook and Instagram, we can have thousands of friends, but how many do you have in real life? Do you ask yourself that question?

For some people that want to lose weight, social media can affect the image, and people think that you have to look like that person to be happy. What they don’t realize is that they are airbrushed to look pretty.

Social media does not give you real hugs or warm soups when things are tough. In fact, it is the other way around- it distances us. Occasionally we get some love but not much.

In our 14 days of social media break, we learned that being kinder to people is a good thing. Whilst we can’t be going out right now, you should check in on your neighbors. Unfuckwithable says that it is possible to go on a detox, and they list all the benefits in their post.

Foodbank’s food insecurity report

Foodbank is a charity that receives food and distributes it to other charities in Australia. They receive donated goods. During Covid19 like many other charities, they have been hit hard. So when I got their report I wanted to find out more.

During COVID19 everything changed. There was no more social life within the charities and the demand for food went up by 47%. People had lost their jobs. It’s the women that bear the brunt of job and food insecurity. More than 1 in 4 women have experienced food insecurity in the last twelve months. Anxiety is one of the major concerns as a result of food insecurity. Mothers are likely to feel embarrassed because they cannot provide food for their families. Domestic violence is a factor of this food insecurity. They feel embarrassed about talking to their friends and family about it.

Single-parent households are likely to have food insecurity. These households may have a pension or they might have casual work.

What can food insecurity do?

  • It can result in a decline in mental health for someone
  • People do skip meals regularly because they cannot afford a meal
  • Results in malnourishment in children and adults
  • People cannot focus or concentrate on what they need to do
  • People can feel more tired or stressed

We should be donating to these charities to help those in need during these times. I know some of the businesses donated to them but we can do more. More and more free pantries would be a great idea to help those that are hit hardest. Hopefully, Good Food and wine shows in the future will feature Foodbank.

Now that the Jobkeeper and Jobseeker payments are being wound back more and more people will go hungry and charities will be quite busy. Christmas will be quite different this year with many families struggling. 

RSPCA cupcake day

We all can’t be there for cupcake day, so why not bake your own and post it online. The day itself is on the 26th of October and you can register here.

The RSPCA is a charity that looks after animal welfare and this year like other charities have been doing it tough due to COVID.

In Victoria and the rest of Australia you can have a picnic and post it on Instagram. This way you can get people to support the cause.  Or you can do a virtual cupcake party and everyone donates to you.

Baking your own cupcakes is easy as and it’s a good way to stay at home and get rid of the boredom blues. You can even get your kids involved in this. We got this recipe from In the Kitchen with Matt.

You can use some of the things in your Basics box such as flour, milk, and sugar. You could use the canned fruit if you have. But you still need eggs and butter.

This is a fun way to get the family involved during the lockdown. You could even do Halloween themed cupcakes.

Week 15 of frugal living

This week I found out that all the clothing stores will be hit the hardest due to the many clothing store workers who are laid off. They are mainly based in places like India and China.

The world’s trade has been severely disrupted by the pandemic, yet people still want to party out in St Kilda thinking that the pandemic won’t affect them. Well to those people I have news for you and its not pretty. One day you might not have anything left. One day the vulnerable people might have no food because everyone has taken it all.

This week has been really hard both mentally and moneywise. I am not eligible for Jobkeeper anymore because my industry is back up and running. So I have no idea when I’ll be paid. I still have money in my account, but I worry when the money runs out.

All the small businesses are feeling the pinch and they rely on people to keep them alive. They rely on people to buy online.

A family member has died and we can’t go to their funeral because they are in another state and they haven’t opened their borders to Victoria yet.

This week we had spag bol from the freezer, stir fried noodles, homemade vegetable soup with the canned beans that we had in the pantry. Oh and I had my English muffins with beans and sausages (poor Englishman’s food). The English muffins were from the freezer. We stockpiled on plenty when they were on special.  We’ve been growing our our own broadbeans and snowpeas so we had those for a few meals.

The key to Optimal health is to eat better not less

Sun Basket wrote about this issue on Healthkickny. We spend billions of dollars and months of research on finding the best ways to be healthy even though we already know-how. We want to be skinnier and lose weight so we eat less. But sometimes and for some people, less is not on option. Some people have super skinny genes that some say that they may need to put some weight on.

Some days I just want to eat more and its perfectly ok.

About $8 million is spent on research every year and its on the things that we already know.

There is an article about this by Jamanetwork which turned the research on its head and says that the quality of the food we eat is what matters the most. They did a study on 609 participants and they were instructed to maintain a low fat or low carb diet. They also had to maintain their exercise for eight weeks and they had to attend a few healthy eating sessions held by a Registered Dietician. There wasn’t a lot of weight loss due to genetics and other things but their blood pressure, insulin, and glucose were lowered and the lipids had improved.

They say that dietary modifications are needed to lose weight. It takes 12 months just to lose the weight and keep it off for good. Healthy habits take time to develop. Not one diet suits everyone. We should be eating low-fat foods and more vegetables according to the USDA.

Yep like we say you should eat better for optimal health not less. And don’t worry about that weight loss. It’s just a number on the scale. Your health is what matters to you.

Professional networking during COVID19

What is professional networking like now that COVID has hit? We wonder if it would ever be the same.

I remember going to many events pre-pandemic and going and seeing the stalls. There used to be many Friday after work drinks where we would network with people.

Not anymore. That’s changed now. Now we have virtual drinks where the drinks get sent to your home address and you do it at home online. It feels really weird and very lonely to do it this way.

In Dr Sharma’s Obesity notes he says that most of the networking will continue online. Pre pandemic they always were face to face at various drinks and meals. But now due to social distancing rules, it is more online. Technology helps with gaining new knowledge at conferences it does not replace the face to face meetings.

In Australia this may be a challenge for the older folks who are not used to technology. I believe that the local councils are running classes for seniors although that might be a challenge. Most older people own a smartphone but just figuring it out may be difficult. But again it might be a challenge for the younger people who don’t know anyone in their career and who are just starting out for the first time. The older people know people offline as they have been around for a while.

Nowadays everything is virtual with all the seminars and events going virtual and it will stick with us for a long time. But it does not replace going to a physical event. 

Self care with the Body Shop products

The Body Shop is a company that is known for its environmentally friendly products. During COVID times everyone has been hit the hardest.

Whilst the Body Shop stores are closed in Melbourne you can buy your products online.

Here they do great foot creams, bath bombs, and scrubs for a night in. A night in is important to relax the mind. A night having a foot bath is also important for the mind.

They have an amazing range of body butter. I love their mango flavor.

They also have face scrubs and other moisturisers and things. I have tried the hand cream a few times and enjoyed using it.

Here’s how to do a foot bath.

You’ll need about half an hour for the whole process and you’ll need to wear some loose pants. You’ll need thongs and a bathtub and bath salts to relax the feet in.

Some people like to have wine at the tub but I’m fine just without.

First, fill the bathtub with warm water. Take off your socks and roll the pants up. Next, sit on the edge of the bathtub and soak your feet for 5 minutes. And then you can use the Body Shop pumice stone to get rid of the dead skin. You will need to do this a few times. This will be a good chance to inspect your feet to see whether you have any spots or other odd things going on in there.  And then soak your feet for an extra five minutes.

Now get out of the tub and dry your feet. If your toenails need to be cut, do that first whilst its drying. Put your thongs on and go to another spot where you can put some moisturizer on it and let it dry. I love the Body shop’s foot cream.

Coffee cake for International Coffee Day

International Coffee Day was on the 1st of October. Whilst we couldn’t be together in a cafe (well in Victoria anyway- it’s still takeaway coffees) we thought of a coffee-flavored cake that you can enjoy with your coffee at home.

International Coffee Day is a celebration of the world’s most loved thing and that’s coffee. Its a day where we recognize the efforts of those that produced and made our coffees from the coffee growers to the baristas. It first started in Milan in 2015 and from there it has grown steadily. Many coffee chains give out free coffee. But we chose not to support them this year because of the Coronavirus and the fact that the small hole in the wall cafes are losing out. The hole in the wall cafes has already lost money due to the virus.

As Melburnians, we love our coffee and our cafes. We also love to sit and drink our coffee with our friends. Like the British, we enjoy it with cake and biscuits.

For those that have Nespresso, you can try out their recipe. I love their coffees and they are in Emporium. Whilst they are not open now you can buy their machines online. Their coffees are just like the ones made in a cafe.

We first heard about it last year when things were pre COVID 19. Its all about celebrating all things coffee. This cake is any cake flavoured with coffee. Earlier on this year we did do a chocolate cake. It is similar to that except you add coffee instead of chocolate.

How to save your marriage in a pandemic

Men’s health wrote about this and the number one thing that is key is communication and understanding. We all have to make sacrifices here. 

A relationship is a two-way street. You give some and you take some.

Maybe there is a food shortage that is stressing you out. Or maybe one of you has lost a job.  If so talk about it.

We all have to live together in our own home and with each other 24/7. Of course, living together and being at each other’s throats will have some common arguments. Domestic violence has gone up in many parts of the world. As we get out of lockdown we will see more and more people getting divorced and some people speaking up about domestic violence that they experienced at home.

A few ways to save your marriage

  • Go out for runs and exercise together. You are allowed some time to go out together.
  • Be thankful you have each other and express your love for each other. It can be done in many ways such as having a romantic backyard candlelight dinner. You can even order the many food hampers from restaurants just for couples.
  • Don’t forget online connections. Don’t forget to talk to friends and family about how you are feeling. Remember we are all in this together.
  • Do give each other some breathing space.
  • Do communicate your needs and wants with your partner and respect their needs and wants too.

After the end of the lockdown and you have tried everything then of course just go for that divorce. Divorce usually ends up in heartbreak.