Friday, March 22, 2013

What did your ancestors eat?

I'm freezing! And I have no idea why. It's not all that cold outside, and it's not all that cold inside. But for the past 3 days or so, I've been bundled up like an Eskimo -- down to wool cap or thermal balaclava on my head. Weird.

I have to once again send kudos and thanks to HP. I was using the computer the other day when the screen blipped and then gave a message to the effect that a problem with a display driver had been caught and recovered. My first thought was this old Dell monitor I'm using, but then I forgot about it for another 10-15 minutes until it happened again and this time I got the dreaded blue screen with lots of computer-talk I don't understand, stuff scrolling at the bottom as it dumps stuff. I did, however, note at the top that the problem was a display driver. Didn't take long before the machine shut down, came to restart screen asking whether I wanted to start in regular or safe mode, etc. I opted for safe mode, then once it was up and running promptly called my wonderful direct line to a real live tech here in the good old US of A. By then I'd begun to put the brain in gear enough to realize that the display driver was part of the HP system, not part of this Dell monitor. Since I was able to tell the tech what the problem was, he sent me to download a new driver from the HP site, told me how to check and be sure it was working once it was downloaded and installed and that there were no further problems showing within the system. Then he said he'd call me back today at 4:30 to be sure it was still working well. I forgot about that until a few minutes ago when he actually called. And answered another question I'd come up with regarding the new driver -- which actually has separate settings similar to the usual display settings offered by Windows. For all of us who have been shunted off to India to a 'tech' who doesn't know any more about the system than you do, who puts you on hold while he uses a few words he heard out of those you used to describe the problem so he can look up totally irrelevant 'solutions' in the online knowledge base -- you know how great this is. In and out and fixed in 5 minutes. Hint: to get this service, buy an EliteBook, or one of the other high-end HP business computers. Trouble is, I'm not sure how you'd know which other ones offer this special phone number. EliteBooks do.

I was listening to a woman MD/ND on my late nite talk show early this morning talking about magnesium deficiencies. Once I got up I checked her website, signed up for her newsletter and got a free ebook on the subject. One of the things she suggested was 'eat like your ancestors' -- not cave men, just the way people ate in the general region or country of the world where your ancestors are from. What was available to them? Varied greatly by climate, for example. Her theory is that whatever our great-great grandparents had available to eat locally was the kind of food my DNA was predisposed to tolerate and thus what I should eat. Most, if not all (I'd have to check my database to be sure) of my great grandparents lived right here in North Georgia by the early 1800s, as did their offspring who became my nearer ancestors. Before that (over 200 years up to 300 years ago) most of them were in this country but migrating down through Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas. Safe to say they all had access to the same food -- aside from the great variety of shellfish around Chesapeake Bay. She said 300 years was far enough back -- but if you want to go further, most of my ancestors were from England, with a bit of Wales, Ireland and Scotland mixed into the fray here and there, although my knowledge of what they ate is limited or non-existent.

What would my ancestors have eaten 2-300 year ago in this country? She said it was probably what your grandmother cooked. I remember that well -- fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, pork in any and all forms (chops, roasts, ham, bacon, sausage), cornbread, game of all kinds -- quail, dove, deer and such --  freshwater fish from rivers and lakes, eggs and milk and butter, and typical veggies grown in farm gardens. Beans, peas, corn, squash, okra, potatoes and the like -- plus plenty of native fruit trees -- presumably peach and apple, at least, and certainly pecans and blueberries, blackberries. Things that still grow wild in this part of the world. Definitely the food I grew up on, and loved. My body certainly tolerates and thrives on those foods -- although as I've grown older the battle of the bulge precludes eating much of it. The body thrives too much, it would seem!

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