Editorial Columnists

  • Let Inga Tell You: The happiest years of your life

    Let Inga Tell You: The happiest years of your life

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Some months ago, AARP Bulletin ran an article about happiness and cited a study that maintained people reached the peak of happiness in their lives between 65 and 70. This, of course, immediately piqued my interest since Olof and I are both in that demographic. Some of this happiness...

  • Kitchen Shrink: For cold season et al, zinc's a real zinger

    Kitchen Shrink: For cold season et al, zinc's a real zinger

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Like Hippocrates, I'm going to "make food my medicine," by amping up a store of zinc-rich treasures in my diet to kick any blossoming cold viruses under the bus. Keep in mind, zinc levels have to be kept in a delicate balance like Baby Bear's porridge — too little will cause deficiency...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Dawn's way too early light

    Let Inga Tell You: Dawn's way too early light

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Finally I'm living the life I was meant to live. I just had to wait 65 years for it. I've always been a night person, or more specifically, NOT a morning person. But until I retired a few years ago, circumstances maliciously forced me to live the life of people who were compelled...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Getting an 'A' in Uber

    Let Inga Tell You: Getting an 'A' in Uber

    LET INGA TELL YOU: I recently saw an article on MSN about how you can find out what rating Uber drivers have given you. There wasn't any doubt in my mind that it would be a perfect 5. I only get A's. I do not do B+. I am also an Uber driver's dream: I'm standing out front when they arrive, regardless...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Smart tips for the inquiring foodie

    Kitchen Shrink: Smart tips for the inquiring foodie

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Readers are constantly e-mailing this Kitchen Shrink for advice on assorted culinary crises. I recently received one from a panicked cook who was hosting a holiday gathering. When she inserted a first generation-style meat thermometer into a crown roast of lamb — and it snapped...

  • Let Inga Tell You: We shouldn't have done it

    Let Inga Tell You: We shouldn't have done it

    LET INGA TELL YOU: I just want to say, there were extenuating circumstances. And if you're an art collector, please read no further. When my first husband, a physician, finished his two-year commitment to the Navy and opened his private practice, we were really short of money. We'd bought our home...

  • Let Inga Tell You: So what's the worst that can happen?

    Let Inga Tell You: So what's the worst that can happen?

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Every family needs a family worrier — a person who worries about everything from world peace to whether we're out of lunch meat. Someone, after all, has to worry about whether the house will get robbed, sea level is rising, or one of you will get sick the day before you leave...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Name that Food — An Interactive Quiz

    Kitchen Shrink: Name that Food — An Interactive Quiz

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Before going on vacation, my neighbor recently brought a bag of mysterious fruits and vegetables to my home so they wouldn't go to waste. There were some vibrant pink pitaya or dragon fruits, ruby-fleshed Cara cara oranges, prehistoric-looking Romanesco broccoli, and a pear-shaped...

  • Let Inga Tell You: An Explosive Tale

    Let Inga Tell You: An Explosive Tale

    LET INGA TELL YOU: All right, our home can now officially be certified as weird. I've written about this phenomenon before: the phantom street light in front of our house that both SDG&E and the City claim does not exist. (You can only imagine what it takes to take a burnt-out non-existent street...

  • Natural La Jolla: It's a new year and a new migration season!

    Natural La Jolla: It's a new year and a new migration season!

    NATURAL LA JOLLA: Spending an afternoon in La Jolla at the seaside just watching for wildlife can give you some calm after a hectic holiday season. Many of the animals in our area are gearing up for migrations, breeding seasons and spring. January is when we start to see southbound gray whales...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Going Nuts Over Seeds — Part 2

    Kitchen Shrink: Going Nuts Over Seeds — Part 2

    KITCHEN SHRINK: When I was growing up, chia pets were all the rage. As a gag for my Sweet 16 birthday, one of my friends gave me a kitschy chia dog that magically grew a luxurious "fur" coat after I placed hundreds of tiny chia seeds on the canine's bare body, and watered them religiously for several...

  • Let Inga Tell You: The holiday hostess

    Let Inga Tell You: The holiday hostess

    LET INGA TELL YOU: After the holidays, I love to collect stories from friends who were hosting large crowds of picky eaters. Seriously, these women qualify for sainthood. Unless it's a genuine allergy situation (verified by a note from the guest's doctor), I tend to go with my mother's philosophy,...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Big game hunting, La Jolla-style

    Let Inga Tell You: Big game hunting, La Jolla-style

    Let Inga Tell You: Given how frequently I have written about our rat problems, never mind the possum that maliciously died under my kitchen the day before Thanksgiving in 2015, it is not surprising that friends contact me when creatures of the rodential persuasion take up residence on their property....

  • Kitchen Shrink: Going Nuts over Seeds — Part 1

    Kitchen Shrink: Going Nuts over Seeds — Part 1

    KITCHEN SHRINK: It's funny how we find some seeds annoying and unappealing like the bitter ones we accidently bite into from oranges and lemons, the black ones we embarrassingly spit out from watermelons, and the tiny ones that get stuck between our teeth from blackberries, while other seeds are...

  • Frontline Cancer: It is time to better understand pre-cancer

    FRONTLINE CANCER: Although the war is far from won, modern medicine knows a lot more these days about how to fight cancer. Our weapons are more numerous and more precise, from laser surgeries to proton beam radiation to new drugs like checkpoint inhibitors that boost the immune system's own remarkable...

  • Let Inga Tell You: The 12 Days of Christmas

    Let Inga Tell You: The 12 Days of Christmas

    LET INGA TELL YOU: On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me A big box of French pastry.   On the second day of Christmas, my colleague gave to me Two chocolate cheesecakes.   On the third day of Christmas, my neighbor gave to me Three dozen Christmas cookies.   On the fourth day of...

  • Natural La Jolla: Willets, whimbrels and godwits forage winter shores

    Natural La Jolla: Willets, whimbrels and godwits forage winter shores

    NATURAL LA JOLLA: On almost any walk along the beach, particularly at the Shores, you'll see foraging shorebirds with long legs, wandering along the tideline and into the water halfway up their legs, probing in the sand with their long beaks to find buried prey like insects and invertebrates. There...

  • Kitchen Shrink: These are a few of my favorite (holiday) things

    Kitchen Shrink: These are a few of my favorite (holiday) things

    KITCHEN SHRINK: It's the season when supermarkets transform into giant candy stores for adult foodies. Aisles overflow with sugar and spice and edible vice, including uncured bacon jam, chocolate chip panettones, gingerbread houses, and tubs of duck fat. Here's my A-list of seasonal gems that come...

  • Let Inga Tell You: The Christmas Dinner from Heck

    Let Inga Tell You: The Christmas Dinner from Heck

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Friendships can be tested in many ways, but nothing really compares to a 5-year-old with a violin. A close friend's three boys were good friends with my two, and our families dined together frequently. My friend had always wanted a daughter, and in what I am speculating was the...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Naughty and Nice Culinary Questions

    Kitchen Shrink: Naughty and Nice Culinary Questions

    KITCHEN SHRINK: You better watch out! This holiday season, foodies are more discriminating than ever, reading labels judiciously, making healthier choices, buying sustainable and organic ingredients, and painstakingly preparing treasured recipes from scratch (and with love). That also means more...

  • Let Inga Tell You: When your house is the same age as you are

    Let Inga Tell You: When your house is the same age as you are

    LET INGA TELL YOU: Olof and I and our house all came into existence in 1947. As the three of us slowly deteriorate, we can only see this as a sign of inanimate solidarity on the part of the house. While the house still has the same footprint it did in 1947, the interior has been substantially upgraded....

  • KITCHEN SHRINK: Themed Thanksgiving Shindigs

    Tired of preparing the same old Thanksgiving meal year after year? Become an intrepid culinary trailblazer and borrow global recipes to celebrate family, friends and football.   Southern Comfort Faves: Southern cuisine is a blend of gustatory influences from the Emerald Isle, Scotland, Africa,...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Culinary voyage exploring seafood sustainability

    Kitchen Shrink: Culinary voyage exploring seafood sustainability

    KITCHEN SHRINK: The jaw dropping Marine Room of La Jolla recently hosted its second annual Ocean-to-Table luncheon, a pescavore's paradise as part of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. The Captain of the gustatory expedition, Chef Bernard Guillas with first mate Chef Ron Oliver conceived the...

  • Let Inga Tell You: The year of living deafeningly

    Let Inga Tell You: The year of living deafeningly

    LET INGA TELL YOU: The day after my next door neighbor's seeming-endless remodel was finally finished recently, I took my newspaper out to the patio on a beautiful Saturday morning to celebrate, only to be greeted by chainsaws. The neighbor on the other side of him was doing an all-day tree job....

  • Frontline Cancer: Thankful for enlightened scientists

    FRONTLINE CANCER: "Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain." —Bob Dylan,"Not Dark Yet" Here's a doctor's confidentiality: I'm a huge Dylan fan. My admiration for the singer and songwriter is deep and abiding, no matter how much the times they are a-changin.' I've read possibly...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Crash course in Thanksgiving leftovers

    Kitchen Shrink: Crash course in Thanksgiving leftovers

    KITCHEN SHRINK: A friend recently confided in me that she purposely buys a skimpy turkey, usually under 10 pounds even if she's hosting a crowd so that she doesn't have to deal with leftovers, especially day-old breast meat that could double for Styrofoam, and a bulky carcass that takes over the...

  • Let Inga Tell You: How to be a professional listiclist

    Let Inga Tell You: How to be a professional listiclist

    LET INGA TELL YOU: This is going to sound like sour grapes, but it seems more and more that online media has jettisoned articles requiring actual writing skills in favor of "listicles" or articles that begin with a number: 7 steps to better cardiac health. 5 reasons your daughter-in-law hates you....

  • Natural La Jolla: Acrobatic Pacific White-sided Dolphins move into our area

    Natural La Jolla: Acrobatic Pacific White-sided Dolphins move into our area

    NATURAL LA JOLLA: They had long been on my list of marine mammals to see. A few weeks ago, I was able to check Pacific White-sided Dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) off that list. Sometimes referred to as Lags because their scientific name is a mouthful and their common name is long, these...

  • Let Inga Tell You: It Takes a Village — Saving Moo

    Let Inga Tell You: It Takes a Village — Saving Moo

    LET INGA TELL YOU: On Aug. 15, as I was picking up allergy medication for our foster dog at La Jolla Veterinary Hospital on Fay, I couldn't help but notice the flier for a found Shih Tzu on their bulletin board. He looked like the identical twin of our previous foster dog, Percy, who, freshly rehabbed,...

  • Kitchen Shrink: Flour Power; Fall Baking Primer (Part 2)

    Kitchen Shrink: Flour Power; Fall Baking Primer (Part 2)

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Prior to the Neolithic period, humans had a steady diet of meat, wild game, seeds, nuts, berries and vegetables, while wheat and other grains containing gluten weren't cultivated until 9500 B.C. Relative newbies on the evolutionary food block grains were foreign to the cave dweller...

  • Frontline Cancer: Exercise can lower your cancer risk

    FRONTLINE CANCER: We all know physical activity is important to health. For decades, it has been strongly linked to lowered risk of heart disease (the nation's leading cause of death at 614,000 deaths annually), but the full benefits of sufficient exercise are much broader and more profound. Nowhere...

  • Let Inga Tell You: The best news I've ever heard

    Let Inga Tell You: The best news I've ever heard

    LET INGA TELL YOU: The news only gets better and better. In addition to chocolate's many positive health benefits — foremost among them making life worth living — it has now been proven that it dramatically improves brain function. I should mention that I have been collecting articles on the benefits...

  • Kitchen Shrink: 31 ways to use pumpkin

    Kitchen Shrink: 31 ways to use pumpkin

    KITCHEN SHRINK: Whether it feels like autumn or not, the calendar gremlins herald the season with the invasion of pumpkins. The mighty squash, which is 90 percent water and zero cholesterol, has a load of potassium to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, Vitamin C to boost the immune system,...

  • Natural La Jolla: A delicious fruit that can be found growing wild

    Natural La Jolla: A delicious fruit that can be found growing wild

    NATURAL LA JOLLA: The prickly pear, in the Opuntia genus, is a group of cactus with many uses. It is native to this area, and throughout the Americas, where it grows wild along roadsides and on hillsides. It's a great forage fruit for many animals and for us, too. Indian fig (Opuntia ficus-indica)...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Eat your heart out, NSA

    Let Inga Tell You: Eat your heart out, NSA

    LET INGA TELL YOU: People think telephone surveillance is a new thing but then, they're not old enough to have grown up with a party line. Eat your heart out, NSA. Sixty years ago, the entire country was listening in on each other's phone conversations. Back in the Pleistocene Era of telephonics,...

  • Frontline Cancer: National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Council (C3) combine efforts in San Diego

    Frontline Cancer: National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Council (C3) combine efforts in San Diego

    FRONTLINE CANCER: When it was first announced three years ago, the San Diego National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Council (C3) was described as a new way to leverage the combined powers in local cancer research. San Diego is among just a few places in the country home to multiple National Cancer...

  • KITCHEN SHRINK: The crowning glory of broccoli

    Broccoli is finally making a culinary comeback after it got a bad rap from Papa Bush, who repeatedly announced his aversion to the crucifer, along with childhood memories of scarfing down mushy camouflage-green stalks that our mom’s overcooked as if they were trying to destroy trichinosis in pork....

  • Frontline Cancer: Inflammation and the development of cancer

    Frontline Cancer: Inflammation and the development of cancer

    FRONTLINE CANCER: When you have diabetes, your body cannot produce enough or effectively use the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels. The resulting complications are widespread and notorious, from stroke, blindness and kidney failure to nerve damage, skin problems, dental issues...

  • Let Inga Tell You: Dating among the elderly

    Let Inga Tell You: Dating among the elderly

    LET INGA TELL YOU: When you see a newspaper photo of happy nonagenarians at their wedding, the first reaction (aside from being happy for them, and wondering what their scheming children think) is "Are they really going to 'do it'?" Society in general has a true aversion to the concept of old-people...

  • Let Inga Tell You: The year of the dog

    Let Inga Tell You: The year of the dog

    LET INGA TELL YOU: When we'll look back on 2016, I'm pretty sure we'll refer to it as The Year of the Dog. The first two months of the year were spent in a constant battle to solve the ever-more-severe allergy issues of our beloved English bulldog, Winston. Just when it looked like we were making...

  • Natural La Jolla: The Cove is home to thousands of cormorants

    Natural La Jolla: The Cove is home to thousands of cormorants

    NATURAL LA JOLLA: In the early morning and early evening at the beach you can often see a line of hundreds of black birds (that look a bit like ducks) flying parallel to the coast, sometimes heading south in the morning and back north in the evening. These are cormorants that make La Jolla Cove...

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