Are Pulmonary Oedema triggers a myth?

Well, last night I put the last of my Pulmonary Oedema food triggers to the test.

For those who missed previous posts on the subject, Pulmonary Oedema is a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs, and is potentially fatal. It damned near killed me in August last year and has settled in as a chronic condition which usually strikes at around 04.00. The Mayo Clinic covers it in depth.

Over the last few months I’d identified various foods which would trigger an attack, by far the worst being chocolate. That’s what put me in hospital (pigging out on Jaffa Cakes), and other forms of chocolate have done much the same, but less severely. All fatty foods have triggered attacks too, as has Croft Original sherry.

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A Recipe for Bean Soup. . .

Bean soup

What’s that you’ve got there?

It’s bean soup.

Yes, I can see that, but what is it now?

(Very old verbal joke!)


So I was making this soup today (it’s actually another bottom of the fridge soup, scrabbled together on the spur of the moment), got as far as sweating off the onions in a little oil and butter, and when they were soft, stirring in the paprika, when the nurse arrived, enthusing wildly about how wonderful it smelled, and could she have the recipe – so this is it. Tempting to give her a recipe for Continue reading

Diet time again – Oh joy!

My diet started today as I’ve gained 5kg and discovered that my “snack lunch” is around 1,300kcals! Of the 2 small pork pies, a couple of pickled eggs and some home-made pickles (beetroot, cucumber, red onion), the damage is done by the pies which account for over 1,000kcals.

On a different, but not unrelated note, I weighed Continue reading

Can this veggie be a vegan?

Having recently reverted to vegetarianism, and found my veggie recipe book and notebook from the eighties, it reminded me that many, if not most, of my recipes are actually, and accidentally, vegan. For example, while my current veggie sausage recipe contains egg and uses collagen sausage casing** so not veggie either (this was a test batch, and with a suitable binder, the skins wouldn’t be necessary; I’m looking at using porridge as a binder, or vital wheat gluten), the recipe on which that’s based, for bean burgers, is vegan.

**About Continue reading

Countering drug-induced constipation – linseeds update…

In my previous post I mentioned the problems of taking crushed linseeds, with water, to counter the constipation caused by opioid analgesics and enforced inactivity. As there was also a risk, given my respiratory problems, of at some point inhaling these, I needed to find a alternative delivery system. I have. (NB: Some people add them to food whole, but that does nothing for me.)

Today, as an experiment, I mixed 40g of Smash (any other instant mash mix will do just as well), with Continue reading

Countering drug-induced constipation…

I realise that for many people this is a distasteful subject. If that’s you, then spare a thought for those of us for whom this problem is purgatorial!


As regular readers may be aware, a side effect of my array of chronic illnesses is drug-induced constipation, the worst offenders being opioid analgesics, though others contribute to the problem, as does enforced inactivity.

The only solution to that problem, for many years, all else having failed,  has been beer, in sizeable quantities – a gallon or so is needed to break the log-jam, so to speak. Needless to say, that’s not doing me any good, especially as, now my heart is so comprehensively screwed, the sheer volume of fluid is a health hazard, causing Continue reading

The problem with vegans…

What is it with vegans?

A mercifully brief article, by a vegan, in the Guardian Weekend magazine, opens with the words “When I eat with one of my carnivore friends…”. The title of the article, which flirts briefly, and mostly pointlessly, with a different issue each week is “What I’m really thinking: The Vegan” Why vegan is capitalised I have no idea, and it’s quite clear that Continue reading

What to believe…

For years we were told that fibre protected us against heart disease and colon cancer, likewise the alleged immunity to heart disease conferred by red wine. We were also told that exposure to sunlight can cause skin cancer – in fact the hysteria reached such dizzy heights that even a few minutes sun could cause irreversible damage – allegedly (that panic spread from Australia, where the risk is real – I don’t think it really translates to often-rainy Britain!).

Recently, though, fibre has been shown to have little or no affect on anything very much, red wine , and any other alcoholic beverage, has been pronounced virtually lethal in even the smallest quantity and, today, we’re told that sunlight is good for us. The question is, what – if any – of this contradictory cobblers should we believe?

As for today’s recommendation to get out in the sun (because it produces vital vitamin D, of course and, apparently, a study has shown that people with higher levels of vitamin D are more likely to survive cancers such as those of the colon, breast and lung), it takes us right back to the fifties when, as a sickly child in murky Manchester, I was sent for twice-weekly “sun-ray” treatments, where I’d be stuck, along with other kids, in front of a huge bank of u-v lamps for half an hour.

Again, today, comes the news that cutting out fags (yep – I’m all for making smoking a capital offence), and booze (boo-hiss!), eating 5 portions of fruit and veg a day (for which there is zero scientific evidence), and exercising will make us live 14 years longer. Or maybe it’ll just feel 14 years longer! And isn’t that a remarkably precise figure – can you really quantify something like this so precisely? I very much doubt it.

On the subject of fruit and veg, the ideal diet is one based on veg, grains (as bread, pasta or just as grains), fruit and meat – more or less in that order. There is no evidence anywhere that says we need 5 portions of fruit and veg a day – it’s complete bollocks and, just like many other figures (8 glasses of water, for example, or the permitted units of alcohol), is a work of fiction churned out by this ever more nannying government of ours (who’d do better to focus on the important things, like extricating this country from a war it should never have got involved in). Of course, it’s supported by the fruit and veg industry, who are busy filling our media with propaganda, but the figure itself is meaningless. Eating fruit and veg is undeniably beneficial – how much you eat doesn’t really matter an iota.

One last thing to think about – I picked up a seed catalogue a couple of weeks ago (I used to be a keen gardener), and practically any vegetable you can think of (except the humble spud), is now being bred for sweetness (I do NOT want sweet Brussels sprouts – they’re supposed to be a little bitter – that’s the point!), how long before veg is declared bad for us due to the high sugar content?