I’ve treated my body like a step-child,

With the subtle abuse of polite neglect –

Dealt with it like some unknown garage band

Opening for the main event, my mind …

Joanne Hart (2007)

My conscience has been plagued – a gnat constantly buzzing in the background of my mind – for a long time: I am neglecting my body.  Of small build, I have never had to diet, and I’ve never given much thought to taking on an exercise regime.  And there’s the smoking …

An untimely bout of flu hit me yesterday; a frightful nuisance at this busy time.  I self-medicated and got on with my work, but this morning I felt too dreadful; shaky, chest pains and a burning sensation in my left arm.  I rang old Doctor Neighbour and he told me to come over right away.

A thorough examination and an ECG (which he announced was EXCELLENT!) revealed that I was not on the verge of a heart attack; instead he  uesed some fancy name that means a back and neck muscle have been compromised/stressed and they take it out on the muscles of the chest and left arm.  The kindly man then proceded with a lecture; said I needed to walk for at least 25 minutes a day and that it was time to toss the cigarettes.  Good fellow that he is, he stressed the benefits of red wine…

 … and so to lunch …

My five ingredients this week were:


Cherry tomatoes



Elephant garlic (see below)

I made the simplest spaghetti Marinara, and added a splash of wine (not truly an ingredient, I wanted to take the afternoon off, have a glass and eat outside).  In accordance with Tandy’s rule that “these 5 ingredients do not include the pasta, olive oil or seasoning”,  I used salt, pepper and dried oregano to season.


Elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) is a plant belonging to the onion genus. It is not a true garlic, but actually a variant of the species to which the garden leek belongs. It has a tall, solid, flowering stalk and broad, flat leaves much like those of the leek, but forms a bulb consisting of very large, garlic-like cloves. The flavor of these, while not exactly like garlic, is much more similar to garlic than to leeks. The flavor is milder than garlic, and much more palatable to some people than garlic when used raw as in salads. – Wikipedia.

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54 Comments Add yours

  1. Lawrence C says:

    I am glad it was just strain and not a heart attack, like it is is for some of us…

    I definitely relate to the poem, and to the non-thinking ‘neglect’ of my body. At least you respect your body by giving it delicious food!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I would imagine it is terrifying finding oneself ‘inside’ the heart attack experience, Lawrence.

  2. MissChris says:

    Eish Cin – scary stuff – glad you are ok and that lunch looks devine!

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was simple and tasty, Chris.

  3. aardvarkian says:

    Yup! Ditch those fags, Cindy. I did it and I haven’t looked back since.

    1. theonlycin says:

      For the moment, I will refer to myself as a smoker who is choosing not to light another cigarette.

  4. Nzwaa says:

    Glad you are ok.

  5. klrs09 says:

    So glad you’re okay. Heart attacks are nothing to fool around with. Good for you for getting to a doctor right away — many won’t, supposing it to be heart burn, or that ‘it will just go away’. Your lunch sounds lovely. Enjoy today.

  6. Tandy says:

    so glad that all you need is a massage 🙂 A good walk to visit a neighbour for a glass of wine every afternoon should help. Thanks for a lovely dish, I enjoy using the elephant garlic when I can find it.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Problem is the walking home after the wine ;p

  7. Jo says:

    I’m so glad that you’re ok!! Lunch sounds lovely – I enjoy a decent marinara. And thank you for using the poem..

    1. theonlycin says:

      I sent you an email (your Polka addy) asking your permission before I posted, glad you don’t mind; I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it since I read it 🙂

  8. suzicate says:

    And the good news is he stressed the benefits of red wine….now, I have an excuse to indulge. Thank you. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    1. theonlycin says:

      The meds kicked in immediately, both the stress and the pain are gone 🙂

  9. nrhatch says:

    Glad that it was just a “wake up call” for you and nothing more serious.

    I’ve been on the fence about attending an aquatics class this morning. I’d rather sit at the keyboard, drinking coffee. But . . . I’m going to do it.

    And that poem is awesome. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I also love it, the writer is a friend and her poem made enormous impact on me when I first read it.
      So, have you phoned the aquatics people yet?

    2. nrhatch says:

      Yup. One mile bike ride to the pool. 70 minute aquatics workout with strength, flexibility, and aerobics. One mile bike ride home.

      I feel POWERFUL! 8)

  10. Witch Twin says:

    Gosh that food looks too devine. Why wan’t I invited for lunch? LOL
    Much better than reading boring old CV’s today.
    So glad you’re ok Cin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks WT, we must get together soon.

  11. leigh says:

    Perfect poem, great relief, get a water-filled jug with a tumbler on board to drench the cravings 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      And carrots, carrots and more carrots. I believe they stain the skin if ingested in great quantities … I shall look like Donatella Versace soon.

    2. nrhatch says:

      My sister has been drinking carrot juice (48 oz a day) since October.

      She is slightly orange, but not FREAKISH looking. 8)

      Are carrots good for cigarette cravings . . . or is it just something to munch on and keep your hands busy?

      1. theonlycin says:

        I’m not sure, Nancy, I Googled carrots and stopping smoking and didn’t find and good links. I did find this interesting one though:

        carrots to help stop smoking It squashed the rat against Trask’s leg, and Trask fell off his bunk with a stiff thump.

        I think that’s worth writing a story about …

      2. nrhatch says:

        Oh, my!

        Rats and carrots seem an odd combo ~ shouldn’t it be Rabbits and carrots? LOL

      3. theonlycin says:

        The ‘stiff thump’ alarms me even more than the rat …

  12. gospelwriter says:

    Hey, so glad you’re ok, Cindy! just a little wakeup call… Love the poem; had never heard of elephant garlic – thanks for explaining; and what you said in your reply to aardvarkian’s comment sounds very powerful somehow:

    a smoker who is choosing not to light another cigarette

    Yes, I like that!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, gospelwriter 😀

  13. rosa robinson says:

    I always fight with you about those fags, but know that it is hard for you. We do love you alive and well my Darling, take care and eat lots of sardines, avos and olive oil… you always…Rosa

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Rosa, it means the world to me when you visit my blog. Love you.

  14. adeeyoyo says:

    Nice poem, it describes my attitude too. We do tend to take our health for granted, Cin, and as we get older we start to pay… I’m so glad it was nothing serious! Rosa is right about the sardines, avos and olive oil.

    1. theonlycin says:

      All staples in my diet, thanks adee.

  15. halfp1nt says:

    Thank heavens for that, Cin. I also need to give up again, but my mind needs to be right again first.
    Nibble on sunflower seeds; they really do help and they’re good for you 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks for the tip Shorty, this gets harder every time.

  16. Jamie Dedes says:

    I am so, so glad it was not a heart attack. I am so, so pleased that you took yourself in hand and went direct to the good doctor. Take no chances. Dr. Oz says that if we found a cure for cancer we would save about three percent of the population…that the real life saver is exercise. If you have to forgo healthy habits or routines, this is the last one off the list … Okay, no more lecture … It’s so easy for us as writer’s to be content with pen, paper, and books or their tech equivalents and to forget all else. It’s the good and bad of it …

    Happy, healthy days ahead, Cindy. Breath. Smile. Have a glass of wine…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Jamie, I will walk tomorrow, I hope I can say that I won’t smoke tomorrow.

  17. slpmartin says:

    Do hope that you take some of the good doctor’s advice, I had been given similar advice and did start following it two years ago and it has made a significant difference. Heart attacks in women are quite common and I believe more common than in men…so take good care my friend.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I promise to try my best, Charles. Have a good day.

  18. souldipper says:

    Found in local weekly: “A black belt in Feeding Family Well, The Only Cin, has stubbed the butts, and announces her new sin: Wine marinaded Carrots.”

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh, that is witty, you make me smile 🙂

  19. So sorry you’re feeling poorly. Your words are uncanny, I have been thinking the same thing myself. I have let myself go to rack and ruin because the life of the mind is so compelling.

    Get well very soon.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Good for you, Kate, you went on a run last night. Thumbs up!

  20. Artswebshow says:

    I hope you’re recovering ok.
    I would tear that meal up if instead of mussels i put in some form of meat.
    Truly an interesting ingredient, that garlic

    1. theonlycin says:

      Might be an option to use something smoky, like bacon?

  21. buttercup600 says:

    I am also so happy to hear you’re ok my friend…I promise the walking does help so much, it changes your whole outlook and energy levels rises soooo much!! Half an hour is good, and take the doggie with, that makes it so much more fun!! I send you loads of love and know how stressful deadlines can be!! At least they can’t take our red away!! 🙂 Hugs and more hugs xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      I can’t do the dog thing, because Lulubelle is too strong for me to handle and she’d sulk terribly if I only took Diski. Love and hugs 🙂

  22. Kavita says:

    Glad to see you are okay, Cindy…
    I am no doctor, but I like the idea of the 25-minute walk!
    Take care, sweetie… Treat yourself to all the goodies (cigarettes excluded!)


  23. suzicate says:

    Absentee Landlord – never heard that quote, love it!

  24. Naomi says:

    Brilliant poem, Cin, not to mention gorgeous images! Sorry to hear you’re laid low, but glad it’s not too serious…and that you have a Doctor Neighbour – how handy 🙂

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