Lifestyle, nutrition, health: Fibre battle: apple vs orange

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor researches which fruit – apple or orange – has more fibre.

Just before bed I tend to eat fruits and/or vegetables if I haven’t had enough during the day. One reason to eat fruits/vegetables is for fibre.

I’ve been wondering which fruit has more fibre – apple, or orange?

Apparently, they are dead equal, both averaging 2.4g fibre per 100g.

Oranges can be much easier to eat, though, especially when you’re not hungry but need to consume your daily allotment of produce.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: how to cook pasta

Yet more lifestyle self-tutoring shared by the tutor, who wondered yesterday if he was cooking pasta correctly.

When I was a kid, someone told me to add oil to the water when cooking pasta. My wife, however, says not to.

Apparently, my wife was right. (When is it else-wise?) Here are some tips I picked up, yesterday, from my research about cooking pasta:

  1. Don’t add oil to the water.
  2. Don’t put in the pasta until the water is boiling fiercely.
  3. Add salt when the water starts to boil.
  4. Cook the pasta in a big pot, with abundant water. (My wife says so as well.)
  5. Don’t rinse the pasta after it’s cooked.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: stainless steel pots and heat conduction

Yet more lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares a find from cooking.

I don’t like getting burned, so use oven mitts whenever something might be hot.

Yesterday, I was boiling water to cook pasta. I used a higher-quality pot than I usually do: Normally I just use the ordinary pots, leaving my wife to use the “better” ones.

I had the lid on the pot so the water would boil faster. When I could hear the water boiling, I looked at the lid – specifically, at its metal handle.

The lids of the pots I normally use have wooden handles, so are safe to grab even when hot. However, since this pot’s handle is metal, I wondered if it would be safe to touch. Beneath it, of course, was boiling water – would the lid burn me?

Reaching out, I gave the handle a light touch and found it to be safe. Surprised, I lifted the lid off, added the pasta, and continued cooking. Yet I wondered how the handle could be cool, when in contact with a lid above boiling water.

Today, research tells me that stainless steel has poor heat conductivity – meaning its temperature doesn’t rise or fall easily, even when around ojects hotter or colder.

I placed the lid back on the pot after reducing the heat. The handle did become noticeably warmer later, but still safe to lift the lid off quickly.

The pot doesn’t say its metal on it; I surmise it must be stainless steel.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: hamburgers in the oven?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares a quick fix he tried a few days back.

Being the house-husband, I cook the dinners most weekdays. I tutor right after school, so try to have the kids’ dinner ready to serve when they get home. In addition, eating dinner right after school prevents them from having after-school snacks, which I’m not convinced would be as healthful as a meal.

The result is that I try to make dinner so it will be ready just before I leave to pick them up from school. It’s risky, since time can run short, which happened a few days back.

I had the burgers shaped, then went to put them on the grill, which I’d left to heat up. However, after ten minutes, it still wasn’t hot enough to cook the burgers. I didn’t realize that, with winter weather here, the grill needs more time to prepare.

What to do – collect the kids with no dinner ready, or improvise? I wondered if the burgers could be baked in the oven. I quickly found this recipe, which I didn’t follow. However, I took from it the idea of baking the burgers for about half an hour at 330F. Hastily I turned the oven to 330F, lined a pan with foil, laid the burgers in it, seasoned and sauced them, then put them in the oven.

The burgers turned out well. The only “complaint” I received was that they were harder to eat because they weren’t flat like they would have been from the grill. The flavour was approved, though.

Good luck with it, should you decide to try:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: why North Americans refrigerate their eggs, but many Europeans don’t

Cooking means constant self-tutoring. The tutor researches why some Europeans don’t refrigerate their eggs, while here, we do.

In the UK, for example, hens are vaccinated against salmonella so that it doesn’t contaminate the eggs internally. With no salmonella to incubate, the eggs needn’t be refrigerated.

For eggs in the US, however, the general case is that refrigeration is depended upon to prevent salmonella’s incubation to dangerous level, in case it’s present.

I don’t know for sure which side Canada is on, but at you are advised to store eggs in the fridge.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: agoraphobia

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares some reflections about his new favourite phobia, and his own possible ensnarement therein.

To some degree, I assume, we all face anxiety. Some people truly don’t seem to, but perhaps that’s just poise. I freely admit that I do get anxious sometimes, for no reason at all.

Agoraphobia I’ve heard of, but only today did I finally look up its meaning:

agoraphobia: tendency to avoid particular settings for fear of trouble or embarrassment that may happen there. The trouble typically means social difficulty, such as being trapped in a line-up.


I find it hard to imagine someone who doesn’t try to avoid situations of trouble or embarrassment.

I’ve got a bad case of agoraphobia. My family particularly notice it; here are some of my symptoms:

  1. I typically avoid travelling because I don’t like long waits, line-ups, being stuck in a plane for 6-10hrs, etc.
  2. I avoid parking in crowded lots, choosing instead to park further away where there’s more room. (This tendency my family really notice. My wife and younger son think it’s lame.)
  3. I try to avoid grocery shopping at peak times. (I went up one time during lunch break – I learned my lesson.)

In a given situation, agoraphobia can self-generate. Suppose, for instance, you go to a store at peak time. Naturally, you get trapped in a line-up. If you’re like me, now you feel embarrassed, standing there in line, because I should have known better than to shop at that time. If I’d been just a little more agoraphobic, I would have thought twice and planned the shopping better, so it happened outside a busy period.

In a way, it’s embarrassing to talk about this, but it’s also liberating. I’m just glad it’s out in the open:)


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Nutrition: what does vitamin K do?

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares a few facts about vitamin K.

I didn’t hear much about vitamin K as a kid. It can be found in multivitamins and I notice it in literature.

Vitamin K is fat-soluble. It promotes proper blood clotting and also helps movement of calcium.

Vitamin K deficiency is uncommon among people who eat a healthful diet.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Coffee: caffeine content, light roast vs dark

Tutoring, I consume a cup of coffee every hour. The tutor shares a fact about caffeine content vs roast.

About twenty five years ago I was told that roasting coffee beans destroys caffeine. Therefore, the logic continued, the darker the roast, the less caffeine would remain. Hence, a cup of dark roast is less caffeinated than a cup of light.

The person who told me that seemed knowledgeable, so I believed them. However, I’ve read today that, in fact, caffeine content is changed little by roast, because at the temperature coffee is roasted, caffeine is durable.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: bread machine gingerbread

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares his experience making gingerbread with a bread maker.

I’m a gingerbread fan. It’s a comfort food, for me. With Christmas approaching, gingerbread is perhaps even more topical.

Some weeks ago a thought came to me: “Gingerbread. Does that mean you can make gingerbread in a bread maker?”

I went to the internet to find out. Sure enough, many recipes appeared. I used this one from

The loaf I got was gingerbread – less like cake than I’d imagined. However, it didn’t last long; I have no doubt it will quickly disappear when I make it again.

Good luck to anyone who tries it:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, health: MSG (monosodium glutamate): is it best avoided?

Engaging in more lifestyle self-tutoring, the tutor shares his findings about a topic he’s long considered: consumption of MSG.

MSG, I was told as a kid by a cook, can intensify the taste of food. Another kid, sitting at the table as well, said he’d been advised to avoid it.

For decades I’ve followed my old friend’s counsel (although I haven’t seen him for decades): I’ve tried to avoid consuming MSG. Often, one food will have it but a similar food won’t, so I pick the one without.

Today I checked the mayo clinic as well as healthline. To me, they both render the same opinion: MSG has been suspected to cause problems, but there’s no hard evidence it does. Some people may be sensitive to it.

Joe Leech at healthline points out that MSG is often used in processed foods, the likes of which are best consumed sparingly. Someone who eats a good diet, therefore, doesn’t likely consume much MSG, so probably needn’t worry unless they find, in their own case, that they’re sensitive.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.