Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wine with no added Sulfites

One more blog about MSG and then I'll go on to other things.

I came down to Harry's in Sawyer and I was almost recovered from the last MSG attack. I was careless and simply did not read the labels. I had no heaviness of the limbs, little mental confusion (getting better) and generally was feeling OK. Then I ate a danish roll which had calcium caseinate and Bam, I was back with MSG Poisoning, because that's what it is. I know I wrote about this before, but I want to stress - read the labels. Now I'm back here again in Sawyer for a few days and I have another list for you to read and save if you want to be healthy. I'm feeling good and want to stay that way.

Names of ingredients that often contain or produce processed free glutamic acid:
Carrageenan (this will produce symptons for me), Bouillon and broth (look for the free
Any "flavors or flavoring". Maltodextrin. Citric Acid (this is often made from a mold, Aspergillus niger and can be obtained synthetically from acetone or glycerol.. not citrus fruit as it used to be. It is in almost everything. Anything "ultra-pastuerized". Barley malt, Pectin. Protease. Anything "enzyme modified". Anything containing "enzymes". Malt extract. Soy sauce (Look for the MSG free). Soy sauce extract. Soy protein. Anything "protein fortified". Anything "fermented". Seasonings.

Incidentally wine can have (and usually does) sulfites which can affect you. However "Frey" wine does not have any added sulfites. Only naturally occurring ones and is made from organic grapes. It is made in California.

As we eat out often, I go only to restaurants which I know are MSG free. Even then I avoid soups whose broth may contain MSG and some sauces. Plain hamburgers are OK. Fruit juices are usually good. Some salads, but some are dipped in a preservative to keep them fresh. Steaks are usually OK but not in some popular restaurants which use tenderizers.

There are some other no nos for highly sensitive people but unless you ask for them I won't include them. I can't tell you how much better my health is without MSG. And I can think. My writing has gone downhill but I hope to gain that back eventually.

Monday, July 11, 2011

MSG again. Visiting Sawyer

I haven't blogged for some time because of MSG and all the names it hides under. I was doing pretty well, all symptoms were gone, and then I had a half of a danish roll. In a half an hour my arms and legs were heavy, I couldn't think-my brains were scrambled, and I felt miserable. I didn't read the label! But who would have thought a danish? Anyway I'm feeling better once again and devoted to reading labels thoroughly. At the end of this blog I'll post a list of all the names MSG hides under. And you can read more about it on the internet.

I spent a week in Sawyer with Harry over the 4th. It is not a quiet little town anymore. The new micro brewery is a big attraction. In fact they ran out of beer and had to close for a few days. The garden center gets bigger every year. It has both fresh veggies, flowers, wine, sprays of all kinds for plants, etc. It's always crowded but well worth the time.

There's the Scarlet MacCaw, a gallery of paintings, jewelry, and photos. You can even see some artists at work.

A grocery store, antiques and wig wams for sale can be found.

And a restaurant, Fitzgerald's, is attracting attention. Dave is the new chef and he is really good. The hamburgs are soooo juicy you don't even have to dose them with catchup or mustard. I like the smoked salmon and the crab cakes, too. On week ends there's always something special. Best of all, Dave uses no MSG.

Names of ingredients that always contain MSG: Glutamic acid, Monosodium glutamate, Monopotassium glutamate, Calcium glutamate, Monoammonium glutamate, Magnesium glutamate, Natrium glutamate, Yeast extract, Anything "hydrolyzed", Any "hydrolyzed protein" Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate (this was in my Danish), Yeast food, Yeast nutrfient, Autolyzed yeast, Gelatin, Textured protein, Vetsin, and Ajinomoto.

In the next column I'll include the names of ingredients that often contain or produce processed free glutamic acid.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New micro brewery, good food, art gallery in Sawyer

Good Grief! It's February all ready - almost March. I've been remiss about blogging but I've been wrestling with MSG again. Apparently I had such a big dose, over a period of 12 days, that it's taking me weeks, months, to get it out of my system.

Anyway, I spent 10 days down at Harry's, my significant other, and had a restful time. Of course than I had to drive home, 100 miles, so I'm exhausted again, but maybe not as bad as before.

Lots of interesting stuff happening in Sawyer, MI these days. A micro brewery is going to open around March 2. It is called the Greenbush brewing co. and Scott Sulllivan is the Brewmaster. There will be 12 beers on tap and 35 more that will be for sale.

Scott took the old laundry building and has completely renovated it with a brick face, new windows, and brand new equipment. I expect that it will be the start of a whole new chapter in Sawyer.

Next to the brewery is Fitzgerald's. It's a bar and grill. You'll find good food here. I especially like their smoked salmon which is listed on the menu as an appetizer but it's enough for a lunch.

They have many home made salads, chicken pot pie, crab cakes, etc. Everybody eats here. You can drop by the Greenbush brewery and sample a brew, then go next door for a meal. For Valentine's Day Fitzgerald's served a full lobster for $30 and on Sunday for brunch there was a musical group. What next!

Across the street is the Scarlett Macaw, a gallery with a variety of art work and beautiful jewelry. It opens April 1. You can even take art lessons there.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Romance of Helping Animals

There are many kinds of romance other than the romance with another person. There is the romance of travel. There is the romance of helping people. There is the romance of animals...taking care of animals...and one animal in particular....elephants.

Sangduen Chailert known as Lek was born into a remote mountain community in Northern Thailand in the 1960s. Her maternal grandfather was a tribal man of the forest and Lek's jungle forays with him led to an early and organic understanding of the wonders of nature. It also led to a deep and abiding love for elephants. Despite her early years and the struggle to stay in school, she was able to obtain a university education, she married, and she managed to found Elephant Nature Park with her husband Adam in 1996.

News of this Park eventually has made it around the world and especially to the United States. Elephant lover Sandra heard about it and prepared to volunteer. She enlisted her mother-on-law Susie to go with her. This then is their story.

Susie didn't want Sandra to go alone so she decided to go with her. She didn't believe that she could travel with so little. She took only a small carryon containing basic makeup, a change of shoes, and some light clothing, figuring they could buy anything they needed. They had to change planes four times in order to get to the elephant center.

The Elephant Nature Park, is an elephant sanctuary which Saengduen, better known as Lek, founded 15 years ago. Located in Chiang Mai's Mai Taeng Valley, this 350-rai (56-hectare) plot of land is now home to almost 40 elephants that were once abused, overworked,or abandoned. When Susie and Sandra arrived, they were met by a van and driven about 1-1/2 hours to the nature park. There was tropical foliage, lush greenery, bamboo huts, and elephants...lots of elephants to roam around the park.

They were to stay in the bamboo huts which had thatched roofs, walls and floors of

wood and modern facilities, remembers Susie. "Our hut was built around this one huge tree. We ate two times a day."

Lek's mission was to undo the culture of braking. Elephants can be trained by positive reinforcement. And it's catching on. "Incidentally, all elephants do not look alike," said Susie.

"Sandra and I signed up for one week to feed these huge animals, bathe them, and enjoy them. Or you can go on a day trip guided tour."

Volunteers pay $300 a week. Day visitors pay per day plus lunch. People come from all over the world. Only 40 people a day are allowed in the park and there are no elephant shows. There were a couple from London, another couple from Paris and Thailand, a teacher from Australia, a student from Japan, two guys from Southern France, two girls from Jakarta. There were more females than males. All spoke English. As a matter of fact, all Thai speak English.

"Each day we'd bring the herd of elephants to the river, then get a bucket to fill with water and to splash them. They'd roll around and blow water out of their trunk. Then they roll in the mud.

"It was so far out of the ordinary - a different world. All the things you think you need, you don't," Susie said. "But you can bathe any time. It was hot, never cold. We gave up on hair and makeup. Also Lek told us to dress appropriately; no short shorts, no low necklines.

"There were wonderful buffets out of the little, ill equipped kitchen. The food was like you'd get in the best hotels. I worked in the kitchen a couple of times."

The elephants came from many places. The mahouts used them to beg with on the city streets. Sometimes the mahouts and their charges would sleep under the bridges. They were pokes and prodded to control them although Lek has shown that that was not necessary. She would find the elephants and then buy them.

Would Susie go back, I asked her. "Yes," she replied. "I'd go back for one week and then spend another week touring Thailand which is quite beautiful. I will never have Sandra's passion for elephants. But as far as romance, if you can call falling in love with elephants and their great capacity to teach us how to forgive, live in harmony, show compassion for those brutally handicapped by man, and enjoy life in the simplest form, I guess you can call that my love story. I had no idea what a learning experience this would be. I admire Lek. What an amazing person she is."

The first thing Susie did after entering the United States was to buy herself a hamberger.