Author Archives: Carrie @ Season It Already!

Friday 5: Books on Acid Reflux & GERD

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Yesterday I shared the pain I’ve been dealing with over the past month or so with Acid Reflux/GERD. It took me about a month, but I strove to put my acid reflux at bay with minimal set backs.

When you are in pain, you will do just about anything to find relief! During that time, while taking Prilosec, I also followed as many common dietary and lifestyle recommendations which I have also listed in this post.

Still, I tried to learn everything there is to know about Acid Reflux / GERD and how to treat and manage it. Symptoms of heartburn, chest pain and bloat and burping don’t go away by popping antacids. Medications can take a few days to kick-in, so there is generally no instant relief. But once the relief started, I wanted to be armed with the information of what needs to be done to prevent this in the future.

I knew I didn’t want to just treat the symptoms. I also had read in online articles about the dangers of being on medications long-term. But there is so much conflicting information out there! Below are the books I turned to during this time. In this post, I included the year each book which published because that can sometimes matter when it comes to medical information.

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The 7-Day Acid Reflux Diet:
by Robert M. Fleischer (2013)

This was a quick Kindle purchase for $2.50. The publication is only available as an e-book. I rated it a 2 out of 5 on Goodreads. That basically is the rating for “it was ok”. Why did I rate it as such? One Amazon reviewer indicated:

“No new info here – very overpriced. Just a rehash of info you can find on the web for free.” 

That might be the case, but I tend to agree with another Amazon reviewer whose quote I now cannot find that indicated that this may include info that you can find on the web; but here you’ve got it all in one place without having to do the research yourself, especially if you are experiencing acid reflux for the first time.

I haven’t tried any of the recipes. In fact, I forgot about them until now.

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Acid Reflux:
How to Treat Acid Reflux
How to Prevent Acid Reflux
by Ace McCloud (audio, 2017)

I downloaded this audiobook from my library because it was only a 56-minute book. There were no reviews on Goodreads at the time. I rated it a 3 (“I liked it”) and someone has since rated it a 2 (“it was ok”). This was written by a guy who has suffered from acid reflux, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to give it a listen. There is not too much new here that you can’t find online, but again may be worth a listen if you are experiencing acid reflux for the first time.

However, since listening to this book I found that author Ace McCloud has written 400 different works ranging from cookie recipes, to habits, to money, to Miley Cyrus. Doesn’t sound like much of an expert, now, huh. He advertises some of his books throughout the audio – like “checkout my book for managing stress” or something to that affect, which may be helpful; but some may find the shameless plug annoying.

Still there was one new nugget of information I did take away:

  • Aloe Vera Juice

I didn’t know this stuff existed or if drinking it would actually work. It’s a cheap purchase at Walmart in the pharmacy section. I listened to this book early on in my stages and I was willing to try anything. It tastes just like you’d think – like aloe vera gel smells, but slides down like a liquid. Not very tasty, but you only drink about 1/4 cup at a time before or with meals. I added some to my smoothies! Who is to say this works or doesn’t work with all of the other things I was trying at once!

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Acid Reflux Diet
by Maria A. Bella (2012)

I haven’t read a Complete Idiot’s Guide to anything since… the 90s? But it was available at my library, so why not?! You’ll get a lot of info on how the stomach and esophagus work in this book. It’s got a lot of very detailed information for anyone new to acid reflux, including foods to avoid and friendly foods.

I wasn’t in love with the recipe suggestions, however. Many acid reflux cookbooks will suggest avoiding foods, but then put them in their own recipes! Also, although I know there is a correlation with high fat and acid reflux, I don’t like when low-fat and fat-free products are pushed so heavily.

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Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Acid Reflux (Revised Edition):
Nutrition You Can Live With
by Elaine Magee (2008)

I loved the title of this book because when one has acid reflux and starts to do some research, one learns all of the foods to avoid. It gets to the point where you start thinking, “Well, what CAN I eat?” It’s a pretty well laid-out and straight-forward kind of book.

New nuggets for me:

  • Chew gum. This was the first time I heard this suggestion, but it makes sense:
    • “The saliva stimulated by chewing seems to help neutralize acid and force stomach fluids back where it belongs.”
    • Generally speaking, this seems to be working for me, but I started doing this way into my treatment that… who knows!
    • I quit gum years ago; but now I may have a new gum addiction. Whoops.
  • High-protein diets are NOT more healthful that high-carbohydrate diets
    • I loved this nugget of advice. People often give up carbs to lose weight (weight loss is a big suggestion to combat acid reflux); but ignore the saturated fat that often comes with eating a high protein diet. Too much saturated fat with exacerbate acid reflux. It’s a high fiber diet that’s more important.
  • Health, NOT Weight Loss
    • This was an aha! moment for me!
    • Focusing on losing weight puts you into a dieting mindset where are you more likely to fail. All diets “work” if you work them, but they aren’t always healthy.
    • Instead, “change your focus to being and feeling healthy.” The weight loss with follow naturally.

I wasn’t in love with the recipe suggestions in this book. I did try one for Green Sauced Chicken Enchiladas. They were a little cumbersome and tasted okay, not great. It did make me think of this Lazy Girl’s Chicken Enchilada Casserole, though, and that I should make that again soon and can use green (tomatillo) salsa if I feel like tomatoes and I should continue our (sad) divorce.

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The Acid Reflux Solution:
A Cookbook and Lifestyle Guide for Healing Heartburn Naturally
by Jorge E. Rodriguez, MD (2012) – MUST READ

This is the one book I would read if you want some good information on the whys, hows and what-to-do-nows of acid reflux. I checked it out from the library and have since purchased it on Thriftbooks. It’s written by a doctor who had experienced acid reflex himself for many years.

I like how Rodriguez addresses the medication situation – that it is useful to treat symptoms in the short-term; but that by no means should it be continued for long term use. PPIs (proton pump inhibitors), like Prilosec, should not be “prescribed longer than 50 days”. PPIs stop the production of the stomach acid so that there will be none to reflux up the esophagus. This is why it often takes 24 hours to three days to feel any relief of symptoms.

However, you do need that acid to break down food and absorb important nutrients in the long term! Without it, you will have trouble absorbing calcium, magnesium, iron and maybe even B vitamins, as well. Even if you think you are getting enough of these nutrients, you may not be soaking them up, which can affect your bones, red blood cells and heart in the long-term.

Rodriguez also addresses the usual list of trigger foods, indicating that that list may not be as long as we think! There is really only a short list of what foods may cause the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax, causing the reflux to occur in the first place. The other items may irritate an already inflamed esophagus, which is why some people can and some people cannot tolerate certain items. Maybe tomatoes, garlic, onions and I can all get back together and become one happy family?! In any case, real food that’s high in fiber and eaten in controlled portions is best.

There is much, much more to this book and I found it to be the most informational and liberating of all the books I read – the reason why I purchased it.

Some of the recipes in the book have longer ingredient lists and include complicated methods, but not all. At first glance, I thumbed through the recipes, skipping over many. But giving it a closer look, I found reasons to try some things I may normally swept under the rug, like Fennel-Scented Lentil Soup. (Fennel is a natural digestive aid!) I would have loved photos of each recipe as well as the nutrition facts. That may have made it a 5-star book for me.

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Eating for Acid Reflux:
A Handbook and Cookbook for Those with Heartburn
by Jill Sklar & Annabel Cohen (2003)

This bonus 6th book on acid reflux isn’t really a bonus. I honestly didn’t read this book thoroughly, just thumbed through it. Frankly, I was quite sick of reading the same stuff about acid reflux and I felt like I got the information I really needed out of The Acid Reflux Solution.

This book goes very in depth about common causes and all the medical issues surrounding acid reflux. That part looks very detailed, but I did not read that lengthy section. It also goes over treatment and medication options, listing PPIs as part of “maintenance therapy”, which after what I’ve read about long-term use, makes this book seem dated!

What I did found intriguing in this book, though, were the recipes. I think I’d like to try every soup in the book despite the fact that there are no photos for any of them! And I found very few recipes touting the importance of low-fat or fat-free items. I may have to get a copy of this book just for the recipes!

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In the end, any of these books could be helpful if you are suffering from acid reflux or GERD. However, if you don’t want to weed through everything out there, I’d recommend The Acid Reflux Solution.

I don’t have the pain that I did back at the end of April, but I can tell that my esophagus is still somewhat inflamed and irritated. Some days I make good choices, other days I don’t and pay dearly. But at least I have the tools to move in the right direction.

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Do you have any favorite cookbooks or recipes for acid reflux sufferers?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Oh my GERD!

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After a stressful April at work (including an IT debacle that made doing work very difficult), a much-needed, almost-perfect vacation of overindulgence, I revisited a health issue that once struck me in my 20s – ACID REFLUX.

Now when I say acid reflux, most people think heartburn, which is something with which I can totally deal. But acid reflux is something that is persistent and never seems to go away no matter how many antacids one takes. And even changing the diet takes a long time before relief is found.

My symptoms were similar to, but not exactly like those I found when I was diagnosed in my 20s – after college when I returned to live my parents, was stressed-out trying to figure out what to do with my life while working a temp job.

This time, it was the tightness in the chest and dizzy spells, however, that sent me to Urgent Care rather than making an appointment with my doctor. After many tests to rule out anything heart-related, I concluded with the Urgent Care physician that this was an acid reflux situation or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).

And I basically knew what to do – get on some PPIs (aka Prilosec) and change my diet. STAT. (That night, I did begin to experience the same symptoms as I did in my 20s – heart attack-like chest pains so severe that I could feel it under my breast bone right through my back, like someone stabbing me.)

So, I made one of the healthiest, somewhat bland throw-together bowls ever and really enjoyed it:

This bowl included kale, rice, black beans, butternut squash, avocado and pepitas. I may have a drizzled a bit of olive oil over the top, too. (And yes, that is a picture of restaurateur Jamie Malone from the 2018 Restaurant of the Year edition of Food & Wine magazine. I’ve been reading all about Grand Cafe and am hoping to visit soon!)

But I wanted to learn more about treating my esophagus, not just the symptoms. There is so much conflicting information out there! So while I tried to adhere to many of these recommendations…

  • Avoid trigger foods/irritants:
    • Citrus fruits
    • Tomatoes
    • Garlic & Onions
    • Spicy foods
    • Coffee (caffeinated and decaf)
    • Most Teas
    • Chocolate
    • Alcohol
    • Fried foods
    • High-fat foods
    • Mint
    • Carbonated Beverages
  • Manage Stress
  • Lose weight
  • Don’t lie down until 2, preferably 3 hours after eating
  • Limit portion sizes
  • Sleep on your left side
  • Don’t take NSAIDs, like aspirin and Aleve
  • Eat a diet high in fiber

…while I tried to adhere to all of that, I got on the interwebs and checked out books to learn more. What of all the conflicting information is correct?! Well, if you are experiencing Acid Reflux, GERD or even persistent heartburn, I’ll share with you which books and information was worth my while and which ones you can SKIP. I hope to have this post up and info reviewed in the coming week or so!

When talking with people about my acid reflux, I’ve learned that a quite surprising number of people I know have been on PPIs for years. They are treating the symptoms, which I understand. It’s painful and hard to concentrate when you are feeling pain. But for years? In my reading, I learned why one shouldn’t be on medications like Prilosec for long-term use; yet, doctors are prescribing it over and over again anyway.

Changing diet and lifestyle is hard, but I’d rather give that a go than create future complications! More to come…

Do you have any favorite books, tips or recipes to help combat acid reflux or GERD?

Cheers~
Carrie

5 for Friday: 5 More Soups

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It’s been a couple months, but I did try 5 more soups from The Soup Cleanse Cookbook. You can read about this cookbook here. It’s more about what you are putting into your body on a daily basis than any real type of crazy cleanse.

Here is what I learned and an account of what soups I’d make again (or not):

Recipes I’ve tried from each category:

  • Purees
    • Butternut Turmeric – This one called for roasting a whole butternut squash. To save time, I bought this big bag of frozen cubed butternut squash from Costco.
    • Turns out I didn’t quite need this much. 🙂  Just one package inside was enough:
    • This is nice warming soup to sip on a cold winter or early spring morning.
  • Beans & Lentils
    • Chickpea Stew Last post, when I didn’t remember the Lentil & Kale Stew, it was because I didn’t eat it yet! (I did this time around and it was good, though not great.) Instead, I had the Chickpea Stew Last time. I do remember that I didn’t like that we pureed some of the chickpeas and it gave it a gritty texture.
    • Here is a photo of the Lentil & Kale Stew, which could have been a bit more flavorful:
  • Sweeter Spoonfuls
    • Creamy Cocoa with Sweet Potatoes – Here is a recipe that illustrates how forgiving these recipes are. I had 4 recipes this week that called for either cubed butternut squash or sweet potato. When I was half-way through one of my soups, I realized I put in the wrong one! Oh well. So I don’t know what actually went into this one, I’m thinking butternut squash. But I loved it. This was always always a treat in the morning or after work. And the the black rice at the bottom was such a nice addition.
  • Stews
    • Winter Root Vegetable Stew – The author raves about this recipe and I have loved all the stews so far, but something about this one didn’t jive with me. It was a little… sweet? I could argue it was the sweet potato, because I really don’t like them very much because of their sweetness; but who knows if it was the butternut squash that went into this stew instead? The celeriac was much more difficult to find than I thought. I really thought I’ve bought this in the past without any trouble. It took me 4 tries and my final destination was Byerly’s.
    • BRIGHT SIDE – I didn’t use all of the collard greens that went into this dish. So instead, I used them as a bed in place of rice in this Saucy Moroccan Chicken dish. Greens FTW!
  • Restorative Broths
    • Pumpkin and Mushrooms with Star Anise Broth – If you remember, Centeno’s broths are not strained, so you get all of the nutritional goodness of the veggies used to simmer the broth. They also are filling and warming in the evening when you think you may need a snack. This soup recommended pumpkin, kabocha or butternut squash (probably because they are all hearty) and I believe this is the one (along with the Creamy Cocoa soup above) that I accidentally swapped the butternut and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes seemed to disintegrate a little bit… and while I absolutely love fresh mushrooms, they tended to get a rubbery texture on reheating. I found myself sipping this as a true broth and not chewing on or eating the vegetables.

All in all, some success… But I may hang my hat up on souping until the chill of the fall now that spring and summer is finally here!

Cheers~
Carrie

5 for Friday: What I’ve Been Reading (Not Doing!)

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Whoa! Where did the time go?! Well, a lot has been going on; but before I dive in, I wanted to share this last list of books I found in my drafts. I sure do have some catching up to do!

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This is probably my most diverse reading list yet. Okay, so there might be two cookbooks in here, but we’ve also got fiction, nonfiction, audio and a… play?!

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Weeknight Cooking for Two
by Kenzie Swanhart (nonfiction, cookbook) – worth a read

I love that all of these recipes serve just two people and have only 5-ish ingredients. I now own the cookbook and have flagged a dozen recipes, but I have yet to make one single dish. I’m still in the market for the best, flavorful tomato soup. So the Creamy Tomato Soup will be up first to bat.

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Overwhelmed:
Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time

by Brigid Schulte (nonfiction, audio) – worth a listen/read

If you are a mom, especially a busy mom… or one that feels guilty about anything for any reason, you should read this book. Don’t have time to read it? You should listen to it.

But this book isn’t all about motherhood, it’s about life… and work-life balance and our busy culture in America. There were times when this book made me downright mad. Because I listened to the audio, there was no way I could flag all of the pieces I wanted to.

But I love the perspectives and the bright spots. And there are good chunks of information at the end on what can be changed to ensure a more happy, fulfilling and less crazy-busy life!

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These is My Words:
The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine 1881-1901

by Nancy E. Turner (fiction) – must listen/read

I believe this book was on a list of books that all women should read. I honestly thought it was a true story until I got about a quarter through the book when U thought that it couldn’t be and had to look it up! It’s not entirely true, but inspired by diaries from one woman’s ancestors.

Think Oregon Trail, but in the Old Southwest. Arizona Territory to be exact. Covered wagons? Check. Snake bites? Check. Dysentery? Check. Only it’s So. Much. More.

I absolutely loved it and since the only way I could listen was via the downloaded audio on my phone, it kept my earbuds in and me cleaning up a storm! I’m thoroughly interested in listening to Sarah’s Quilt so I can remain in Sarah’s world for a while longer. (Not that I would have been able to successfully live in her world by any means!)

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Les Belles Soeurs
by Michel Tremblay (play, fiction) – SKIP

I don’t think I’ve ever read a play before… except maybe Romeo and Juliet in high school? Still, I think the written form of this script was lost on me, perhaps the English translation, too, since this was orginally written in Qubecois French in the 60s. I found the piece because it ended up on a list of Quebecois books before we went to Canada. I also read Tremblay’s The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant, which I didn’t really love either.

The women in this play were just nasty to each other and I didn’t really get anything out of the story. I had to look up other reviews on good reads to see if I really missed something. Those reviews are definitely mixed!

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Great Bowls of Food
by Robin Asbell (nonfiction, cookbook) – Skip

I am a sucker for a good bowl as shown here, here, here, here, here, and here. For me, it’s like healthy comfort food. What I did like about this book is that I discovered a few sauces to add to my bowl repertoire, such as the Creamy Goat Cheese and Tomato Sauce. What I didn’t like was that all of the bowls made four servings and weren’t always easily scale-able down to one. I also would have preferred the ingredient lists to be broken down a bit. You know, when a recipes shows “for the sauce” or for the “roasted vegetables” or when there are different pieces of the dish made separately, which often happens in bowl meals. I think that would have made them seem less overwhelming. I do think I may put the Cure a Cold Brothy Bowl in the rotation though, if I should have enough energy (and all the ingredients on hand!)

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Have you ever read a play??

Cheers~
Carrie

5 for Friday: What I’ve Been Reading

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I have found a way to bring even more reading into my life… I’m not much of an e-reader person. I don’t own one nor a tablet and I’ve tried to read a bit on my phone, with little success. (I’m easily distracted.) So, generally, I read traditional books at night before bed. I listen to audiobooks on CD in the car on my commute. And now, I listen to e-audiobooks downloaded from the library onto my phone while I’m working around the house.

For some reason, with this round of books, many have been made into movies! With a few exceptions, I usually find the book better than the movie. But consider how many hours you invest in a book versus a movie!

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Evidence Not Seen
by Darlene Deibler Rose (nonfiction) – worth a read

Even if you know me pretty well, you probably don’t know that I don’t subscribe to any one particular religion. I do believe in a greater power; but how can we believe that one religion is right and all others are wrong? I find that sometimes individual religions get caught up in the details. That being said, I will tell you that this book is one that I would have never picked up in my life if I would had known just how much specific religious beliefs were entwined in the story…

I chose it because it was on a list of books every woman should read… and my local library only offered it as an e-audiobook. I started listening to it while I was doing housework – washing dishes and putting away laundry all with earbuds in my ears! (I have found that if I just put it on in the background, I don’t listen to it as closely and it becomes just that – background.)

But this memoir is truly a wonderful account of a woman as a WWII POW in New Guinea. This was a part of World War II of which I had no knowledge and I felt enriched both mentally and spiritually afterward.

Shhh!!! Don’t tell my mother-in-law, I bought this book for her for Mother’s Day. I think she will love it.

~

A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L’Engle 
(fiction) – worth a read

My fourth grade teacher read this book out loud to us, but even though I was a good student, I didn’t pay attention. To be honest, I don’t know why. Maybe it was a time in my life that I got easily distracted. Maybe the book didn’t capture me at the get-go. I don’t think of myself as one who easily gets into fantasy or sci-fi novels. But it took the movie coming out for me to be inspired to read it on my own.

Better 30 years later than never, right?

It still took me some time to get into. While a few of the characters and little blurbs did come back to me, I still kept thinking, this is a children’s/middle grade book?! I read an article where one of L’Engle’s granddaughters read it at seven years old! I can’t even imagine that. I still felt lost by much of the symbolism and parallels within it. I felt like deep within, I was missing so much of it. Although, I’ve read several accounts of readers getting something different out of it each time they read it.

But in the end, it tells so much… and in so many ways. I can see why this book stands the test of time. (Pun not intended.)

I have not yet seen the movie. Would anyone recommend it?

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NOW EAT THIS!
150 of America’s Favorite Comfort Foods All Under 350 Calories

by Rocco DiSpirto (nonfiction, cookbook) – Skip

Rocco DiSpirito is a Celebrity Chef who has learned how to lose weight by adapting recipes using his culinary skills. I appreciate his ability to create adaptations to America’s comfort foods; but this book wasn’t really for me. So many of the dishes are ones that I don’t really crave or eat often. And sometimes, he substitutes reduced-this and sugar-free-that items that are loaded with chemicals and fake foods.

All of that being said, I did flag an Onion-Garlic Puree in the Sauces section which consists of just onion, garlic, water and S&P. He says that it “is designed to be a base ingredient and is a great way to build flavor and texture without adding fat.” I’m intrigued. It’s recommended in making mac and cheese without a lot of butter or cream or in stirring into sauces or soups. It also goes into the only other recipe I flagged in this book: Creamy Parmigiano-Reggiano Sauce.

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EVERTHING, EVERYTHING
by Nicola Yoon (fiction) – worth a read

I sometimes think I’m not into YA novels, but then I realize I devoured ones like The Hunger Games. After picking this book up from the library after being on hold, I almost took it back with the intent to read something else. I’m glad I didn’t. I needed something like this. While the themes of the book are not light, the reading was quick and easy. I loved looking at life from a new {and perhaps more grateful} perspective.

Sometimes I need a quick, easy ready to even out all of the other books in my life.  Apparently, this book is a movie, now, too.

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Being There
by Jerzy Kosinski (fiction) – worth a read?

I pulled this book off my TBR shelf after seeing the movie. The book was written in 1970, but the movie filmed almost a decade later. I do like the concept of the novel – a man with no background getting ahead in society just by uttering very few words, despite his upbringing and education (or lack thereof). But I still didn’t get any closure or understanding of the ending. I kind of wanted to throw the book up against the wall!

I haven’t read many books from the 70s. Was this the style?

~

Do you prefer to read the book before seeing a movie adaptation?
If you’ve seen a movie, would you go back and read the book?
Why?

Cheers~
Carrie

5 for Friday: 5 Movies I Watched Last Week

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Usually, when my husband goes out of town I post about all the fun food I cooked that he can’t normally eat. (I did that here, here, here and here.)

Instead, this week I’m posting about 5 movies that I watched during the eight days my husband was on vacay. Normally, my husband is the one who is in search of the movies for us to watch, whether it be at home or in the theater. I just like not having to think. But in my library account a couple of weeks ago, I found a “list” I created some time ago. It was probably collected from movies recommended on a blog.

And it’s not that my husband wouldn’t watch any of these movies. In fact, I think he would have liked almost all of them. It’s just sometimes the timing has to be right. Some of these movies I checked out on DVD from my local library, one or two I found on Netflix, and I believe one I found on Amazon Prime for free.

These are most likely movies the mainstream has not seen! If you click on the title, you can get a description and sometimes a trailer of each movie at imdb.com.

In no particular order, here they are:

Hector and the Search for Happiness
2014

This movie almost has it all. A feel-good movie at it’s best, it has love, humor and even adventure. Highly recommended.

~

The Grocer’s Son (Le fils de l’épicier) 
2007

I love foreign films, but especially French ones so I can brush up a bit. This one is quintessentially French, not in the upbeat, romanticized way that Amélie feels to the outsider (although I adore that movie!); but in a more rugged, real sort of way. In any case, I enjoyed it. So should anyone who has a family member who is an outcast or feels like an outsider. Recommended.

~

Madame Bovary
2014

This is probably the 6th version of this story ever filmed. This adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s novel is entirely in English. It made me realize that I had never read the book or saw any of the prior films. How can this be? It was time. It’s a classic tragedy that, although set in the 1800s, stands the test of time. Recommended.

~

Being There
1979

I have no idea where I found this film and what inspired me to put it on a wish list! I was a child when this film with adult themes debuted, so there was probably no other way I would have ever watched it. Oh how movies have changed in the past 30-40 years! I felt it a bit slow-moving; but that can just be what I’m used to these days. Interestingly Peter Sellers, who played the main character, was nominated for an Oscar in this role and won a Golden Globe for it as well. He died about six months later.

I did like the movie, but I didn’t quite understand the ending. (I also didn’t like the title. Just a simple The Gardener would have sufficed.) The screenplay was adapted from the book, by the author, so it prompted me to look it up. It was on my list of “short” books (under 200 pages) and on my (literal) TBR shelf. It ended up being the next book I read. (More on that in a book post!)

And although the protagonist is not autistic, because of the movie Rain Man, I pictured Dustin Hoffman playing this role within the first ten minutes of viewing this movie. Interestingly, he narrates the audiobook version!

~

The Hedgehog (Le hérisson)
2009

When I first slipped this French movie into the DVD player, I forgot to adjust to English subtitles. Then I realized, I was understanding nearly every word the girl was reciting! (As long as they speak clearly enough, I usually can get the general gist in most movies, but often put on subtitles when Rob is around or for extra help.)

Then I realized that I had seen this movie before! I don’t know when or where, but I had a vague recollection of the characters.

I didn’t remember everything; however and actually gasped?! shrieked?! out loud during the main turning point in the movie. It was an excellent rewatch. And while the thought of an 11-year-old planning a suicide attempt sounds dark, it’s not as depressing as that. It turns into a feel-good movie of sorts, highlighting many aspects of the human condition, in the most French way possible. Highly recommended

~

I guess I was in the need for a few feel-good movies this week!

What kind of movies do you like to watch when you are alone?
What are your favorite feel-good movies?
I’d love to add them to my future watch list!

Cheers~
Carrie

5 for Friday: What I’ve Been Reading

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Well, it’s been a while since I’ve updated on what I’ve been reading. {Well, other than soup cookbooks or books about hygge!} Still, I have been reading a good mix of fiction, non-fiction, print and audio that it’s about time to let you in on what else I’ve read so far this year.

~

The Art of War
by Sun Tzu (nonfiction) – skip

This one came up on a list somewhere. I thought maybe it was one that included classics or texts that everyone should read. But truthfully, I think I found it on a list of “books you can read in a day”. Well, I didn’t because it really didn’t capture my attention. Yes, it’s great that we have a piece of this history available to us, but reading about strategies of war is not exactly my idea of a good time.

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Good Karma
by Christina Kelly 
(fiction) – worth a read

With a photo of dog on the cover, I thought this book was going to be more about a dog than it really was. My hardest part was getting past the beginning – mostly the reality of the transition into retirement not being what one expects. Probably because I could see myself thinking entirely those things. But with a Savannah backdrop, a happy ending and a book including a dog, the read was a nice little escape.

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The Perfume Collector
by Kathleen Tessaro (fiction) – worth a read

This book was handed to me by my mother-in-law last fall, who enjoyed it and encouraged me to read it. My TBR pile is quite large, but I wanted to make sure I’d read it before we visit again. She knows I love stories that take place in Paris! I also loved the historical context, a little empowerment of women along the way as well as the beautiful descriptors of scent as an art!

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Madonna in a Fur Coat
by Sabahattin Ali (fiction) – worth a read/listen

I came across this book on a list of underrated books. The only way I could get my hands on a copy was by downloading it on audio from the library. For some reason, I am unable to get the volume high enough when I try to play books in the car connected via bluetooth, so this one is one I’d listen to at home with my earbuds in while I was doing dishes or putting the laundry away.

I really enjoyed it and it kept me cleaning! I knew nothing about the book in advance, which may have been why I read it. But I will tell you that it takes place in Turkey and Germany in the 20s and features a woman whose quotes I would have highlighted often if I had been reading the book in print! I guess you could say it’s a love story… but I feel that sometimes that is what turns people off from reading. It’s much more than that.

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The Power
by Rhonda Byrne (fiction) – must listen

I’m a huge fan of The Secret, The Power, The Magic books. After I first read The Secret, I started keeping a gratitude journal. It changed my focus on what was going wrong on a daily basis to what was going right. Back when I was doing in-home wine tastings, a woman on my team said that she not only read the book, but had the audio version that she’d listen to in her car. I found it genius to listen to positive practices on repeat!

When The Power came out, I never bought it in print, only on audio. Unfortunately, I lost the CDs in our car accident two years ago because they always stayed in my car. On a side note, perhaps it was because of gratitude that we walked away from that event because if you read my post, the words “thank you for our safety” went through my head during each turn of our rollover.

Still, I recently found a used library copy of the audio version of The Power on Thriftbooks {<–referral link} and I once again have my own to listen to whenever I desire. It felt really good to listen to it again. It’s like it came back into my life at the right time. Which means that the universe is always responding!

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What is the most underrated book you’ve read?

Cheers~
Carrie