Deskbound – Book Review

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Have you heard the catch phrase that sitting is the new smoking?

Recent studies have found that sitting for more than two continuous hours at a time increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, back and neck pain and other orthopaedic problems. This isn’t reversible by going for a twenty minute walk or a gym session. Americans spend an average of thirteen hours a day sitting.

Kelly Starrett says we are not moving enough, not moving well and we are not performing basic maintenance on our bodies. His book is a mobility system aimed at turning you in to a healthy, productive and fit deskbound warrior.

The book explains the consequences of poor posture and is full of easy to understand diagrams and full colour photographs showing different postures, concepts and exercises. The book describes ways to optimally move, for example squatting, walking and carrying a bag.

There’s a whole chapter on setting up and using a dynamic workstation (more often called a standing desk). Kelly advocates using mobility tools to perform basic maintenance on our bodies, like foam rollers, battlestars, balls, double balls and exercise bands.

The last section of the book is the most useful as it contains prescriptions or exercises targeted at specific body parts.

Highly recommended.

Ekka Launch 2016

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I had a blast at the Ekka Media Launch. I munched my way through freshly cooked beef sliders, a dagwood dog, chips and a strawberry sundae. While I was provided with a taste of the exciting entertainment and new things to do at the 2016 Ekka.

The Ekka 2016 will be held over ten days from Friday 5th to Sunday 14th August 2016. The Ekka show day falls on Wednesday 10th August 2016.

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If you’d like to find out about what’s new at this year’s Ekka, head over to the article I wrote for Weekend Notes.

For more information and to purchase tickets head to the Ekka website.

 

Book review: Maggie’s Christmas by Maggie Beer

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I was pleased as punch when I got myself a copy of Maggie’s Christmas by Maggie Beer.

The book is divided into sections and includes crabbing at Port Parham, Pre-Christmas Drinks, Carols Buffet, Christmas Eve Supper, Christmas Day Lunch, Boxing Day Leftoverss and then New Year’s Eve Lunch and Dinner as well as Food for the Beach House.

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The book is illustrated by full pages of colour photography for most of the recipes.

Some of the recipes contain unusual ingredients such as burrata, vino cotto, and verjuice which you can find at a good deli or online at Maggie Beer.

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The only drawback to the book is most of the recipes serve 8 people, which is ideal if you have a big family, but not so good for the every day. But these are really recipes for special occasions so it is appropriate.

I cooked the warm brioche and ice-cream sandwiches and since it was my first time at brioche, I was comforted by Maggie’s reassuring instructions that the mixture would be moist. They were delicious.

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Be tempted by seasonal recipes such as pickled fig-glazed leg of ham, pavlova with lady finger banana and passion fruit topping, and Christmas pudding with cumquat brandy butter. For Christmas day lunch choose between roost goose with marmalade and cumquat stuffing and goose fat roasted potatoes, roast turkey with prune and orange stuffing and Cumberland sauce, or roast pork loin with verjuice and grapes.

Maggie’s Christmas by Maggie Beer is a beautiful book you’ll want to cherish for special occasions with family.

Maggie’s Christmas by Maggie Beer – available on Fishpond.com.au

Moving to a new garden – The vegetable plot

Guest post by Dee Young

After 24 years of struggling to grow a variety of plants in an area of impoverished sandy soil, thinly covering bedrock of sandstone, I looked forward to enjoying a better relationship with my new garden. This is situated on an ancient flood plain that has a rich, thick layer of dark, alluvial soil over a heavier clay base.

But, should you think this an easy task, I must disappoint you as, even though the soil is potentially rich, it has been neglected for years and allowed to fall into disrepair structurally and nutritionally and in places the clay sub-soil is evident.

Unlike the sandy soil, however, this can be remedied with good, deep digging to break up and aerate the soil, whilst removing unwanted plants and their root systems.
I began with the abandoned vegetable plot behind the shed.

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After digging and weeding and before re-planting, I forked in plenty of well decayed cow manure, which helps break up any clay deposits and makes the soil friable.

The presence of many, large, healthy earthworms as I dug indicated an ideal growing pH of 6 – 7.5, therefore, after planting I was sparing with the gypsum (calcium and sulphur). A light application on the surface of the soil adds minerals for the plants and penetrates the clay particles to loosen the soil structure in compacted soils.

Finally, I added a good handful of pelletised complete fertilizer all over the planted area, which will break down over time to release nutrients into the soil.

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The lettuce, capsicum, tomato and yellow button squash plants have now been in the ground for 3 weeks and I am delighted with their progress. I picked lettuce leaves for a salad today.

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So far, so good, I have rediscovered the joy of gardening, which is, essentially, seeing one’s plants thrive.

Written by Dee Young