For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Feb 24

Your Questions About Gardening

Robert asks…

Can guinea pigs have a leash on them and taken out for a walk in the garden?

I just saw this leash thing at a pet store made for guinea pigs so i just want to know people’s thought/comments on this?

GardenersCardiff answers:

Well I wouldn’t recommend it. There would be a high risk of your piggy escaping and we don’t want that. I would suggest that you get a playpen. I actually found it easier to build my own. I just found 4 peices of scrap wood and hammered them together.

Lisa asks…

Best / easiest way to make latex mould support ?

I am making garden ornaments outa sand / cement using latex moulds, what is the best and easiest way of making supports. I am finding sand is not strong enough. Also, I havent access to tools to make wooden frames etc.

GardenersCardiff answers:

Do you have the original the mold was made from? If so, put the rubber mold back on it, then build up a supporting “mother mold” over the rubber, using plaster of paris and strips of burlap. The mother mold will need to be multi-piece, and figuring out where the parting lines should go can be tricky. This is the traditional method of supporting a rubber mold, and the best way I know of. You can also make mother molds of fiberglass, expanding spray foam, etc, depending on size, but plaster is the easiest for a beginner without access to tools.

This is really just a hint to head you in the right direction–you need better information than I can give here. I usually spend 1-2 weeks teaching beginning sculpture students mold-making, and even then some of them have problems. Try to find a good book on the subject, or if there is a university or community college in your area with a sculpture program, see if the professor or one of the advanced students can give you some guidance.

Sharon asks…

What would happen if large dinner meals were saved and eaten for breakfast instead?

If a person was overweight but addicted to their diet and currently ate large portioned meals 2 – 6 hours before going to bed, what would happen if they changed their habbit and instead saved that meal in the fridge, had it for breakfast, and then ate nothing or VERY LITTLE in the evenings or at night?

Clearly such a person could do many things to lose weight and become more fit, but if this was the only change made to their life, what change, if any, would be expected in their weight, fitness or wellbeing in the following weeks and months?

To be clear, the only change is that their dinner, usually their largest meal of the day is saved overnight and eaten in the morning. The person usually skipped breakfast so they don’t eat two breakfasts. They eat what would have been their dinner from the night before as their breakfast, and then eat nothing or very little in the last 6 hours before sleep.
If you agree that this change in a person’s eating habbit would be beneficial to their weight loss goals, can you please also explain why this would be? Isn’t it true that in order to maintain or lose weight the energy value of the food taken in has to be equal to or less than the energy value of the energy and effort expended? Or is that merely a general rule finnessed in some way by variations such as that mentioned in the above scenario? If so, please explain how this could be. Many thanks. P.S. I read all answers thoroughly so don’t be put off by existing answers.
Supplementary question: If the person did change their habbit as explained above so that they were saving their generously portioned dinner in the fridge over night and then eating it for breakfast first thing in the morning and fasting in the evening, what would be a better time for that person, given their new eating habbit, to exercise at the gym?

Assume they alternate between weight training/muscle building exercises versus cardio exercise on each alternate day. i.e. day 1 cardio, day two muscle training, day 3 cardio, day for muscle… etc.
i.e. when I say “what would be a better time to exercise at the gym” I meant to ask “what would be better – before work, or after work, i.e. in the morning less than an hour after eating the meal, or in the evening several hours before bed but without much food left to be eaten that day.

GardenersCardiff answers:

I have advocated this very thing on line a number of times. You will be delighted to learn that the French have a saying, “Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, and supper like a pauper.”

Having the big meal in the morning and a smaller one at lunch would supply you with the energy and nutrition to work your day. When the day ends, you need less energy, so a small, light meal is all that’s necessary.

It is quite telling that there are fewer obese French people than found elsewhere in the West.

In the past I sometimes had porkchops for breakfast. Recently I acquired a slow cooker and sometimes have stew for what passes for breakfast these days.

In the past, when a larger part of the population were engaged in farming, they usually got up before dawn and worked two or three hours at chores before eating a huge breakfast.

{added }

You asked: If you agree that this change in a person’s eating habit would be beneficial to their weight loss goals, can you please also explain why this would be?

A body only requires a certain amount of energy during a day. I think the bulk of the calories should be eaten during the early meals (not all cultures eat 3 meals a day. I read somewhere that some Caribbean Islanders have 5 smaller meals a day. I can’t point to any citations to this, though, since it was nearly 30 years ago that I read that. )

The non-caloric nutrients (vitamins,proteins, enzymes, etc.) should be spread out more during the day, and these should probably be more concentrated in the latest meal so that they can be used during sleeping hours for maintenance and repair. An easy and tasty way to do this would be to have a blended fruit cocktail drink made from slightly concentrated blueberry-, cranberry-, grape- juice, and so-on (sugar free) and perhaps blend in something like a banana or rose hips. (Sorry, I can’t give a calorie total for that right now.) Or a raw vegetable-based juice, (with the solids saved for adding to other recipes made for the earlier meals.. Frozen if necessary for a few days, or even added to a bread recipe.)

Most people burn up most of the energy the consume during the work day, and use less relaxing after work. Overall, the average amount of energy used by most people to get through the day is probably less than it was prior to us taking up more sedentary forms of work: we spend a lot more time on the computer, a machine that didn’t exist in the workforce anywhere 50 years ago.Television occupies more of our recreation time as well, and that doesn’t burn up much radio. In the past, people tended to do more work after work hours, to walk more, and to engage in more physical types of recreation.

Getting back to being more active would certainly help prevent a lot of diseases.
The kind of eating patterns we generally have come from the earlier times. It is likely the ‘recommended caloric intake’ guidelines should be reviewed with this in mind and lowered.
People should be more active. Simply walking for a half hour a day is a great, gentle exercise. As is dancing and gardening.
Even volunteering for some community service group would add to the average daily activity somewhat, as well as divert a person from less healthy pastimes.

Unfortunately, most of our modern communities aren’t designed for walking or cycling, and gardening is even problematic in some places: try turning your suburban lawn into a food and/ or wildflower/ butterfly garden and be prepared for the grief which could follow.

I don’t know about going to gyms, so I can’t comment on that.

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