Why can’t I Buy Bread in Stores that is as Good as I can Make Myself?

In yesteryears, there was a popular bread named WonderBread. Nutritionists said, “It’s a wonder it doesn’t kill you!” And there was a saying about the miracle of sliced bread. Today you can buy a variety of tasty and nutritious loaves—sliced or unsliced–from competent bakers or at farmers’ markets. But even those loaves don’t satisfy as much as ones that you have made yourself. We grew up next to our grandparents, and we loved it when our grandmother gave us a still-warm loaf (which was raised next to a wood-burning stove) for our next meal. In our case, we purchased a bread machine (ours is the Zojirushi), which does most of the work and ensures that our timing of the mixing and raising are correct. Most of our value-added is in choosing a recipe (we refer to The Bread Machine Cookbook, by Donna Rathmell German), assembling the ingredients, making sure that it is behaving properly in the early stages, and carefully removing the loaf from the machine (it doesn’t surrender its bounty without effort). The pandemic underscored the benefits of home baking.

 

Podiatrists Either Do Too Much or Too Little

We’ve had both types. We have a bunion on our left foot, which was inherited from both parents, which is common.  For several years we did nothing except buy full-foot custom orthotic inserts. Then for several more years, we went to a podiatrist (at a multiple-doctor practice) who did nothing except confirming that I had a bunion. After that, we went to a podiatrist who did slice a narrow chunk of flesh and nail off a toe on our right foot. He told us that he does a lot of surgery, and one day he offered us the alternative of surgery or a cortisone shot. We chose the shot. Then we went to a different multiple-doctor practice for three years, with a different podiatrist each year. The first two podiatrists did nothing, the third prescribed a small, simple, inexpensive orthotic which was all we needed.

Forest Fire Smoke Can Kill from Outside and the Coronavirus Can Kill from Inside

The forest fires in California and other Pacific states not only burned down a lot of trees and residences but also killed people by either being burned to death or poisoned by the smoke.  The air quality has become so bad that knowledgeable people have been checking a dedicated webpage before they venture from their homes. And they have recently have purchased some sort of air purifier.

Simple Exercises for Staying Fit During the Coronavirus Era


Many people have lots of time and need to stay fit. Some are walking every day. But they also need to do things to maintain their strength and flexibility. Pushups and situps are ideal because they don’t take much space or time. How effective they are depends on how many repetitions they do and how they do them. Pushups are simpler and the main technique consideration is how wide apart their hands are. How many one should do depends on their age and gender.  Situps use different muscles and there is a wider range of positions of one’s arms. How difficult it depends on where you put your arms. It’s basic engineering. Your body is like a bunch of chunks of meat: head, arms, torso, abdomen, legs. If you extend your arms over your head your situps will be a lot more difficult than if you keep them along your legs. Some people are fans of “crunches”, which are shorter and harder motions. Your choice is like choosing a religion.

 

Could Stay-at-Home Orders Cause an Increase in Alcoholism?

There are multiple reasons that people may increase the number of alcoholic drinks they consume. The overall stress of the current pandemic leads people to turn to alcohol for relief. The absence of one’s numerous healthy alternatives, especially social ones that have been discontinued because of the pandemic can result in drinking with your spouse or other members of the household. And sitting in front of a TV set longer than in the pre-pandemic days expands the opportunity to drink. Examples are numerous.

Inaccurate Coronavirus Case and Death Counts May be Leading to Bad Decisions by Leaders That Are Likely to Result in Higher Numbers

Perhaps April 2 was too soon to expect precise counts and estimates, but in Massachusetts, there were actual counts of only 7,738 cases but the state’s estimates were in the range of 47,000-172,000 for the course of the epidemic. And of course, if a second wave of the virus occurs, the numbers could be significantly larger.

Reasons for the miscounting, are numerous. One is that states are not counting cases and deaths consistently, as specified by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). But the conventions for counting are changing.  And the counts depend on who is doing the counting and their methodology.

The numbers of cases and deaths are worse for men than for women. Women make better than decisions about health, so they live longer (which gives meaning to our website name).

President Trump’s beliefs and actions may be causing more deaths than would have otherwise occurred. He continually pooh-poohs the danger of the Coronavirus and almost never wears a mask (though he did on July 11). And it may cause him to lose the coming election. He apparently is joined by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos who supports school openings in the fall.

Who Else is Annoyed by (Unnecessarily) Overweight Wine Bottles?

We don’t drink a huge amount of wine, but every time we hoist an extra heavy bottle we wonder if the winery is so misguided that they think that their customers are so naïve as to believe they are getting more wine for their money. And we also think about the extra cost of shipping and the effect on the environment.

 There are other containers that could be used, including Tetra-Paks, boxes, and plastic bottles, but those are so inelegant that people would never use them for dinner with guests. Even a screw-top bottle is infra dig, though we like it for more casual meals because it avoids the time and struggles with a stubborn cork.

 It seems to us that an attractive non-traditional-looking bottle would be both a marketing coup and a conversation piece when one is entertaining.

 A quick Web search finds that people are more concerned about THEIR weight than their wine bottle’s weight.

Staying Fit Carefully in the CoronaVirus Era

The millions of people with time on their hands can use that extra time to stay fit. We have noticed a big increase of runners and walkers in our neighborhood. We are fortunate to live in California, where the weather is usually good, whereas people living in areas with poor weather need to do their exercise indoors. Those who are already disciplined to do exercises like Pilates or Yoga may not need any extra gear, but others need equipment such as stationary bicycles. Whether or not you use such equipment, you need to be careful.

Being Overweight or Obese Makes You More Likely to Get Covid-19

Elderly individuals are more susceptible to dying from a variety of causes. These days it has become common knowledge that they are more likely than younger people to die from the Covid-19. But people of all ages who are overweight or obese have a greater chance of getting ill, and dying, from Covid-19.