Obscure Foods for Your Grill

We all have our favorite go to foods for our grill, the ones that have been with us for years and always delight the family. We also have the staples, those that are always good to have in supply for big BBQ get togethers. People need to be fed, and those ones always ensure that they leave your grilling session fully satisfied.


But then there are the other ones, the ones that don’t get a regular airing on the grill. You might not have thought to grill the foods we’re listed below before, but give it a go – you might be pleasantly surprised. And if you’re not, then no bother – variety is the spice of life and you’ll have had your heat for the day.


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Animals from Down Under


We all know that Australian’s know what they’re doing when it comes to setting up a barbie’. They’re the masters of it. After all, this is a nation that spends Christmas Day having a BBQ with friends and family! What you maybe didn’t know was that Australian animals can also be cooked on the grill. Think you’ve tried everything? You will be once you try a kangaroo burger, kangaroo fillet, or a crocodile burger. Some people will recoil (remember Skippy?) but those that do give it a go will have stepped outside of their comfort zone and had a meal that is utterly unique.


Straight from the Cow


If I offered you the chance to try a cow’s stomach lining, I wouldn’t hold it against you if you backed away slowly and uninvited me to every BBQ you’ll ever have. But you would be wrong, because tripe meat tastes much better than it sounds. Throw the tripe on a skewer, marinated in butter and sprinkled with breadcrumbs and scorch over high heat. Hurray, you have grilled tripe! We’re sure it’ll become a fixture on your BBQ menu for years to come.


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From the Sea


Seafood tastes delicious when it’s grilled, and we’re not going to lie – we’re pretty comfortable with you trying anything, because you won’t be disappointed. Salmon, shrimp, scallops…none of them will let you down. But every now and again you might want to get a little bit adventurous with what you put on your BBQ. Need suggestions? How about an octopus? They look ridiculous, have no business in being anywhere other than the sea..and they taste delicious, especially when they’re properly prepared. You can also grill clams, which are small enough and quick enough to grill that they make for a delicious pre-meal appetizer. Simply throw them on the BBQ, cover, and in two minutes you’ll have a tasty clam ready to be eaten.




Essentially, what we’re saying here is: go nuts with what you’re eating! There are no rules as to what can taste great if they’re grilled in a smart way. Spend a little bit of time learning how to prepare your obscure meat and you’ll soon have an extensive menu that’ll be the envy of your BBQ buddies.

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Chronic Pain Never Has A Gain – So How Should You Talk About It?


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Chronic pain. In some ways, it’s such a simple term. Chronic means the condition has been going on for more than three months and has no obvious end in sight. And pain – well, pain we all understand.


For something that should, on the surface, be obvious – why do so many people have trouble understanding it?


The truth is, if you’re non-disabled and free of pain, then you can’t understand what life is like for chronic pain sufferers. You can try to empathize, and sometimes, you may even succeed.


Perhaps you can recall a time when you were injured, and you can tap into that emotion – and sharing that experience may show you’re trying to understand. But the reality is: you can’t. You can’t measure a temporary inconvenience with the feeling, knowledge and misery that comes with a condition that is guaranteed to hurt every single day.


If you have a friend or family member who suffers from a condition that causes constant pain, it’s difficult to know what to do. There is no societal survival guide for doing or saying the right things – not until now, anyway!


It doesn’t matter if you have done any of the “don’ts” on this list. It’s a tricky situation that few people know how to navigate correctly. All you can do is switch your behaviour and ensure that, in future, you’re not going to be putting a foot out of place.


DO: Understand Pain Is Relative


If you have a high pain threshold, then understanding someone else’s suffering is more difficult. The same applies if you have given birth, which is widely recognised as one of the most painful experiences a human can go through. (The TV show Mythbusters actually proved that women who have experienced childbirth have a higher pain threshold, so keep this in mind.)


What you need to try to focus on is that:


  1. a) Pain is relative. We are all wired individually, and a 2 on the pain scale is an 8 for someone else. Neither is “correct”; it’s just subjective. The pain they feel is still very real and very distressing, so you shouldn’t be comparing your own experiences with what they’re going through.




  1. b) They go through this every day. It’s not a one-off inconvenience. It doesn’t have a beautiful ending like childbirth. It’s just their life; something they live with every single day, and there’s no end in sight.


Instead, treat their issue as their issue and nothing more. If they’re having a bad day or turn down social plans to their discomfort, then that’s all that matters. You have to let their perception of how they are experiencing the problem be your guide.


DON’T: Offer Suggestions For Pain Relief


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This is something most of us reach for when we are trying to empathise or comfort someone. It’s a natural impulse. We read an article or see a TV show suggesting some miracle cure, and we want to bring it up.


It’s not welcome. The only exception would be if your advice is deliberately solicited, along the lines of:


“Hey, friend, have you heard anything about ways of curing pain recently? My back has been so bad, and my ankle isn’t great either, I need some advice!”


And you reply:

“Yes I do, I heard of this amazing treatment that can help with your back and bring some relief!”


Chances are, this conversation isn’t ever going to happen. If it does then sure! Go for it! But in reality, it’s not going to.


Why? Because a chronic pain sufferer knows more about handling pain than you do.


If there’s some new inventive treatment or just an old wives’ tale you want to share, they’ve heard it. They’ve heard it from other people, from their doctor, from their own late-night Google sessions as the pain stops them from sleeping. It’s not new information to them.


All you do is force them to smile and thank you politely for something they had already known. The conversation, if you strip the politeness away, is actually more like:


“Hey,” you say, “I know your back is bad, have you tried a heat bag on it?”


To which the honest response is:


“Of course I have tried a heat bag. I’m not an idiot. Why are you making it sound like I don’t know the basics of caring for my own issues? Do you think I’m incapable of knowing what might help or running my own internet search?”


DO: Sympathise


Although often used interchangeably, there is a difference between sympathy and empathy.


Sympathy is feeling sorry for what another person is going through. You have no idea what it’s like to go through what they are suffering with, but you care and understand on an intellectual level why it’s difficult.


Empathy is when you have also experienced the same thing another person is going through and can relate to it.


A perfect example is period cramps. A man can sympathise with what it’s like to have period cramps, but they can’t empathise with it.


We often reach for our own experiences in an attempt to empathise. It’s such a natural thing, such as in the above example: “I’m sorry about your period cramps, I had a really bad stomach infection a few years ago, and it hurt all the time…”


You’re trying to say that you care; that you’re sorry they’re going through this. It’s an attempt at empathy. But what it sounds like to the sufferer is: “stop whining about this! Everyone goes through painful things – and also, can we please talk about me now?”


Be content with sympathising. You don’t know what it’s like to live with chronic pain, but that doesn’t mean you can’t intellectually understand how draining it must be.


DON’T: Be Offended If They Cancel Plans


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If someone you know has a pain condition that’s well-managed, it can be easy for you to forget. You make plans together, you look forward to it for weeks and then the morning of the meeting arrives… and they cancel, citing their pain levels being too severe.


It might feel disheartening, but try to think what it’s like for the sufferer. Not only are they having to let down someone they care about (causing emotional discomfort), they are also suffering on a physical level.


Be patient, be aware that plans are subject to change. If you feel frustrated – and it’s understandable if you do – then try to vent it away from the person themselves.


DO: Treat Every “Bad Day” Seriously


“How are you feeling?” You ask, knowing it’s a loaded question to a chronic pain sufferer, but you still want to ask. It’s only human to query after someone’s health, after all.


“Bad day today,” they respond with a forced smile.


“Oh, I’m sorry. How are the kids doing anyway?”


If the above sounds eerily familiar – don’t worry. Everyone does it. When you become used to the idea of someone being in pain frequently, it has less meaning on an emotional level.


The danger here is that it makes the person you care about feel unrecognised. If someone who didn’t have a chronic pain condition complained of being in a dreadful condition one day, would you immediately respond, change the subject or not linger on it? No, chances are, you’d ask for more information and if there is anything you can do to help. You’d see it as a big deal.


Try and frame all references to “bad days” on the same scale as if your friend/family member were otherwise well. They might be more prone to experiencing pain, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. It doesn’t make it hurt less.


DON’T: Tell Them What They Can and Can’t Do


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Say you want to go on a hike. Your friend/family member expresses a desire to join you.


“Oh,” you shake your head, “I think it’d be too much for you.”


You think you’re being understanding; perhaps even advising them for their own good. What you’re actually doing is being patronising.


Chronic pain comes in waves. They will have good days where they feel almost normal, followed by days where they wish the earth would swallow them whole. It’s not up for you to judge what they can do on the good days. You don’t know their body – they do. They may be perfectly capable of hiking for 10 hours one day and then a week later be in agony for hours.


If someone is prone to overexerting themselves, then all you can do is show them the possible hazards. If you frame this in a general discussion, just you making them aware of potential issues, then it won’t come across poorly.


On the other side of the coin, don’t assume they can do something if you judge it to be acceptable. If they say they can’t walk a distance or sit through a three-hour theatre show, it’s not your place to contradict them.


Navigating all of the above may feel like a minefield, but it does become easier with time.

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Mr Blanding Built His Dream House And So Can You!

That title’s a reference to a 1948 Cary Grant film about a man who buys what he thinks is his dream home. He then discovers that the home is a disaster and sets about rebuilding it. It’s a ridiculously funny film that has been remade several times. You might know The Money Pit with Tom Hanks or Are We Done Yet starring Ice Cube. Each film shares the same conclusion. The house is eventually rebuilt and it’s a dream come true. It looks stunning and would be a place that anyone would love to buy. I’d be willing to bet that outcome has encouraged quite a few people to buy and build their own dream home. But is there a way of avoiding the hell they go through first in these films before they get the final result? There sure is!


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It’s Expensive So…


Cut costs elsewhere because there’s no getting around the fact that building a brand new home costs money. You might have heard that it’s cheaper to build a home than buy one brand new. Not if you’re trying to a build a dream come true it isn’t. If you don’t believe this, just remember it’s the one percent that usually build their own homes. As such, it’s important that you cut costs as much as possible in other areas. For instance, you should make sure that you’re getting the best price for the move team. Local movers often vary their prices dramatically so it’s worth shopping around for the cheapest deal. This isn’t the only area you can cut costs either. You’re also going to need the help of a solicitor. Again, you should be looking for the one offering the best price for a quality service.


It’s Difficult So…


Choose your building and design company carefully. Back in 1948 building your own home was quite common. After all, there was still plenty of land in the suburbs of the biggest towns and cities. Families would buy it and then set to work building a beautiful house there. This idea has become more popular recently, thanks mainly to the reduction in cost of home builds. It’s now possible for a building company to offer a private service like this with a price tag that middle class families can afford. But you do have to make sure you get a great team. With so many to choose from it would be easy to fall for a scam business or one that doesn’t care about providing a quality building.


It Will Take A While So…


You’ll spend a few months completing plans for your home and up to a year getting it built. You don’t want to rush this process because that will lead to issues with quality. Remember, at some point, you probably will want to sell this house to someone else. It’s not just you that’s going to be living there and needs to like it so don’t cut corners. Otherwise, you can end up with a property that is virtually unsellable, and you don’t want that.


Once you’re finished, I’m sure you’ll be thrilled with your new home. It could be everything you’ve ever wanted.

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Face to Face or Face to Screen: Are the Best Doctors Now Online?

Ever found yourself feeling too weak and weary because of an illness (that, if anything, seems to be worsening) to even go and get it checked out at your local doctor’s surgery? But at the same time you find yourself thinking about how many more of those lemon paracetamol drinks, that you’ve hated since you were forced to drink them by your mother, you will you have to force down your throat before this hell-on-earth ends? If so, maybe it’s time to take matters into your own hands, literally. An increasing trend in health care provision is that of the online doctor format, where advice and even diagnosis is given. But is it a viable option, in comparison to seeing your GP in person? Here, we take a look at the ins and outs of the new format.


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Platforms such as this online doctor app offers users the chance to seek medical advice quickly from leading UK doctors, therapists and medical specialists on your mobile phone. The fact that is it so quick has to be an instant positive, doesn’t it? If the hypothetical situation mentioned at the beginning of this article was to unfortunately transpire for somebody, then the speed and accessibility of such a service could only be a good thing. Internet sites such as this symptom checker to offer a service that greatly speeds up the finding and subsequent diagnosis of any potential ailments or illnesses.


But with this kind of power that the internet offers, also comes a lot induced self-doubt. For example, is what you’re reading entirely true? Does that spot you’ve got really mean you’re dying? Some medical websites are run on relatively simple databases, which means a lot don’t offer definitive answers and merely a nod in a direction due to the fact that it cannot handle or recognise so many different symptoms at once. If the direction a site leads you in isn’t one that is particularly nice, then this itself may lead to hypochondria or over-worrying about the seriousness of what you’re being told you may have. Doctors warned of online communication risks, and when you think about it in this sense, you can see why. Some other problems with online doctors include the fact that if a patient becomes to comfortable with an online format of seeking health help, then they may run to it in a time of need, when really emergencies are best dealt with in an A&E department.


But all of this isn’t to say that there aren’t positives; the previously mentioned accessibility to all (those who have the internet, of course) means that everybody can seek putting their mind to ease, simply with the click of a button. And you can click here to see six online doctors sites tested by leading professionals in the health giver field, or click here for advice on how to deal with everyday problems such as headaches, back aches and depression.

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