Tip of the Day – The Mini-Chopper

I’ve had one of these in my cupboard for many years. I did not utilize it much. That has changed. I’ve found it pretty effective for the following: chopping nuts, grinding cooked meat (for sandwiches), and mincing garlic. The chopper has also worked well for cutting fresh herbs – a rather painful task with just a knife. I’ve used parsley and cilantro in recipes lately and the mini-chopper handled them quite well – small bunches at a time with trimmed stems.

mini chopper

mini chopper photo Mr. Fly.ca

It’s small but it’s mighty.


Tip of the Day

For the past two months I’ve been working part time, 20 hours per week. It has taken almost all I had to do that. My husband, who works full time and sometimes full time plus, helped out as much as possible. I was seriously contemplating using paper plates and plastic cutlery to assist in cutting down on what needed to be done at home. Why I didn’t do it, I’m not sure. It’s not like I need to impress anyone–it’s just my husband and myself after all. So, my tip of the day is:  if it’s going to help you out, just do it!   Use paper plates, plastic cutlery, paper cups,  etc. to help ease workloads.  You might not need or want to do this all the time but it’s definitely something to consider when you’re in a flare.

Holiday Eating Tips

Decorated evergreen outside our home

This was sent to me in an email:

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare… You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand and wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”

Merry Christmas!

Snacks and Tips for Christmas Shopping

Shopping, Carrying and Organizing

This time of year, there are extra demands on everyone.  The additional shopping and cooking can put a strain on the most energetic of persons.   I find it really takes a toll on me, it’s difficult to pace, and I start to loathe this time of year.

Some of these tips might help all of us.

  • Use larger joints when possible (e.g. carry bag on arm instead of using the wrist to carry the weight.)
  • Shop online as much as possible and have items delivered.
  • Plan your day to run errands at less busy times of the day (to limit time standing in queues, to decrease time to complete tasks, to find more availability of benches / seats to rest in between if needed, and to find more availability of parking stalls closer to the door.)
  • Be realistic about your abilities; don’t have unrealistic or overwhelming expectations of yourself. [This one is extremely difficult for me to ascertain; as one friend said to me “in my mind, I can do anything.”]
  • Alternate light and heavier tasks.
  • Store items together that are used together (e.g. cleaning supplies in one area.)
  • Plan activities to avoid extra trips – i.e. assemble everything before starting
  • Carry heavy items close to your chest.

Snacks for Shopping

This snacks will fit into your purse or backpack or “man-purse”,  keep well for two hours, and keep your energy up:

  • Cheese strings and whole wheat crackers
  • “Gorp” – combination of raw or dry-roasted nuts and seeds, pretzels or small crackers (low sodium if possible) and dried fruit in a small ziploc bag
  • Baby carrots and hummous dip
  • Small container of yogurt – a plastic spoon should be available from the mall’s food court
  • Peanut butter and banana wrap – spread one T. peanut butter on a small wrap, place sliced bananas on top and roll up


Tip of the Day

On a “good day” when symptoms are stable, or your pain is less, you may want to consider big-batch cooking:

• When cooking, cook in larger batches and place leftovers in freezer containers in individual servings (or more depending on the number of people) for future meals.  When your symptoms are flaring, having freezer meals to  pop in the microwave or re-heat on the stove, will be appreciated.

• Use freezer-to-microwave dishes.

Tip of the Day

To fill a pot with water to use on the stove:

  • Install a sprayer nozzle with a long hose at your kitchen sink that will reach to your stove.   Place the empty pot on the stove and then fill it with water from the spray nozzle.  Alternatively, have your plumber put in – where money and space permit – a faucet directly above your stove, in between your stove and range hood.  You can place an empty pot under it and fill it directly without having to carry a heavy pot full of water from the sink to the stove.
  • Or, put the empty pot on the stove.  Use a smaller item (such as a measuring cup) to fill it with water from your kitchen faucet.
  • To drain, slide it on a potholder (if convenient to your kitchen’s set-up) along the counter from the stove to the sink then empty by tipping into a colander that has been placed in the sink.