Archive | February, 2017

Ten A Day 

24 Feb

You’ve no doubt heard about the recent study that recommends we each eat ten portions of fruit and vegetables every day. It was widely reported in the British press and TV (here for example). If, like me, your first reaction was “Don’t be ridiculous”, you were also probably further perturbed by the suggestion that only two of these should be fruit and canned or frozen was bad news.

Now, I’ve always thought we managed to get fairly near the five a day currently recommended, at least most days, but looking at what a portion actually is I’ve started to doubt it. Increasing this to ten portions would need a radical change in our eating habits and I don’t know if I’m prepared to do it, to be honest. Neil takes a lot of persuading to eat most vegetables as it is.

However, the reported analysis showed even increasing intake by small amounts had a health boon – obviously more is even better. One of the researchers mentioned by the BBC, Dr Dagfinn Aune, said: “Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system.”

I already have issues with cholesterol and hypertension. After initially totally rejecting the idea, particularly as I misunderstood that tinned tomatoes and frozen peas would have to be excluded (it’s just fruit they’re on about), I came to the conclusion that I’d have to give it some more thought and at least try. The local supermarket here in Spain has an excellent assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables and seems to be a lot cheaper than in the UK so really we don’t have any excuse.

So this morning I piled a selection into the trolley, much to Neil’s bemusement (I think that’s the right word) but he went along with it. Unpacking the shopping at the munchie time of around 11 o’clock I automatically cut myself a wedge of cheese. Now hang on, thought I. This is when I should be choosing vegetables not delicious Stilton. I duly cut some carrots and celery into batons (eating the Stilton as I did so – well, I’d already cut it) and spooned a dollop of guacamole onto the plate to dip into. Not bad. In fact really very good.

With no great expectations I offered Neil the plate. He rejected the celery, of course, but cautiously dipped a piece of carrot into the green glupe, then another. It wasn’t long before he asked for his own plate and gave the verdict that they were really quite moreish! Being hungry helped, I suspect. Round one to the vegetables. Now what am I supposed to do with this huge bag of Spinach?

Laura’s blog here 


Almond Blossom and Sanitoriums 

9 Feb

In all the time we’ve spent in Jávea over the years we’ve never managed to go to the Jalón Valley when the almond blossom is in flower. Less delayed than expected by this year’s unusual weather, as soon as we heard the blossom was out we changed all plans and drove to this lovely area away from the coast.

Finding a narrow, winding road almost by accident gave us the most beautiful views at every turn and so quiet that stopping to take photos wasn’t that difficult. In fact I wish I could have recorded a sound track: a dog barking in the distance, a cockerel trying to impress the ladies and, close to, the steady hum of bees. Of such moments are memories made.

Deciding to drive further afield into the Val de Laguar we came across Fontilles up in the surrounding hills. In such a beautiful location in the middle of nowhere, why did this small village seem to contain only hospitals and sanitoriums (sanatoria?)? A bit of Googling revealed that the original Sanatoria of San Francisco de Borja had been founded by a Jesuit Priest for the treatment and research into leprosy. Well, that makes sense, then.

If we learnt anything today it’s that there still so much more to explore in this area. We have to go back. Soon.