Although we’ve had our cold spells (especially right now!!) and some heavy frosts here on the river bank, this Winter, so far, has been milder than last. I remember this time last year with less than fond memories. We had just moved off the farm into a house that was not finished yet, so builders invaded our privacy daily and to add to our misery it turned out to be the coldest winter in decades. I underwent a complete character change and still wonder how Ken stuck with me because I could hardly tolerate my own company! But all that has changed and I’m thrilled to say Ken and I now know what to expect of Winters here on the water’s edge and are more than happy campers in our new surroundings.
Speaking of Winter, do you also find that you tend to drink less water in Winter? What follows is an article I wrote last year for the Waiting Room magazine. Perhaps get yourself a glass of water to sip on while you read this.
The Importance of Staying Well-Watered in Winter
If you thought you could cut back on or forego the water drinking during the Winter months you have been gravely misinformed. Although in Winter we do not perspire as much or get as thirsty as we do in Summer, there are many other reasons why we still need to take in adequate amounts of water no matter the season. Read on to learn why we are actually at great risk of becoming dehydrated in cold weather. Water is critical to health You probably have heard that two-thirds of your body is water. This is why humans can go for forty days without food but cannot survive more than a week without water. Three quarters of your brain is water. Your blood is 82% water and your muscles are 70% water. Water is an important structural component of skin, cartilage, tissues and organs and is used by the body to carry out almost all bodily processes. Water improves oxygen delivery to the cells, transports nutrients, cushions bones and joints, lubricates and absorbs shocks to joints, regulates body temperature, removes waste and flushes out toxins, and much more. So what happens if we don’t get enough? The first sign that you’re not drinking enough water is thirst but did you know that by the time you experience thirst, or a dry mouth, you are already under-hydrated? Taking in too little water can also result in headaches, dizziness, lethargy, muscle weakness and cramps, loss of appetite, constipation, depression, and brain fog. Waking up not feeling refreshed and with aches and pains in your legs may also be a sign. Little or no urination or dark yellow urine is a sign of more serious levels of dehydration. If your urine is clear you know you are hydrating your body sufficiently. Dangers of dehydration Continuous water loss over time will speed up aging as well as increase risks of some serious health conditions. Symptoms of the body's deterioration begins to appear when the body loses 5% of its total water volume. In a healthy adult, this is seen as fatigue and general discomfort, whereas for an infant, it can be serious. Reductions of 15% below our healthy hydration levels could be fatal. In an elderly person, a 5% water loss causes the body chemistry to become abnormal, especially if the percentage of electrolytes is overbalanced with sodium. High blood pressure, rapid ageing and disorientation may result. Even moderate dehydration can result in nasty conditions such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, eczema, acne, sinusitis, gout and arthritis. In Winter, lack of water and the dry air will dry out the mucous membranes of your lungs, nasal passages and gut, Since these are protective barriers against bacteria, viruses and pollutants, allowing them to dry out leaves the body susceptible to colds, coughs, flu and sinusitis. The reason allergies abound in Winter is probably due to increased dehydration. Water is essential to the functioning of the digestive tract and the removal of toxic waste. If your intestinal transit time (the time it takes for food to enter and leave your body) slows down, then more toxins are retained. Higher levels of toxic waste products in the bowel, lymph, and bloodstream is a proven contributing factor to many illnesses such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and psoriasis. How do we become dehydrated in Winter? The average adult loses about 2.5 litres water daily through perspiration, breathing and elimination. One may argue that water loss should then be less in Winter because we do not perspire much. But have you noticed that we urinate more frequently in cold weather? As a temperature control mechanism our bodies have to get rid of the excess fluid and since we don’t perspire much, our kidneys take over and get rid of this excess through increased urination. The breathing process uses water to moisten the oxygen we breathe in and breathing in cold, dry air actually takes up more water. But there are more factors which come into play in Winter and can leave one considerably dehydrated.
In cold weather, most of us will increase our consumption of warming drinks such as coffee and that glass of sherry or red wine in front of the fireplace is exceptionally comforting and warming. However caffeine and alcohol act like a diuretic causing us to urinate more frequently.
Fireplaces and heaters dry the air in the room and as such draw moisture from our bodies too. Being outdoors in the cold, dry air will also dry out your skin causing overall water loss from your body.
Our change in diet in Winter is also a factor. Raw fruit and veggies such as cucumber and lettuce contain as much as 95% water. So if you eat these you can drink less water. However in Winter we ditch the cold raw salads for more warming foods which have lost their water in the cooking process.
How do we stay hydrated? The unfortunate fact is that we just don’t feel as thirsty when the weather is cold. That is why we need to make a conscious effort to ensure we stay hydrated.
Start your morning with a large glass of water before breakfast.
Your day’s supply of 2 litres water needs to be within easy reach so you can sip at it all day. Take it to work with you in a glass bottle and keep it on your desk or wherever you spend most of your time – not in the fridge where it will be out of sight out of mind.
Take water with you on your travels – preferably in glass bottles or a flask.
Make an effort to eat some raw foods with your meals. Salads and fruits are very hydrating as are fresh vegetable and fruit juices made in your home juicer.
Reduce your intake of caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages or at least have a glass of water with each drink.
In a heated room keep the air humidified by placing bowls of water here and there.
If you have to spend a lot of time outdoors in the cold, dry air, drinking more fluids will help as long as they do not contain additions such as sugar, caffeine and carbonation. The infamous fizzy drinks contain all of these so stick to the best source of hydration for your body, water.
What kind of water is best? Drinking 2 litres a day of poor quality water could cause more harm than good. Remember water is only needed for hydration of our cells and to flush our organs of excess minerals and toxins and for this reason it needs to be as pure as possible. Do not look to water to supply your mineral needs and do not add inorganic minerals to pure water. Your body can only assimilate minerals delivered to us in organic form which we can only obtain from plants and whole-foods. Of course rain water was always a good option in the past but unfortunately is less safe now what with all the atmospheric pollutants in the air. Tap water presents a variety of inorganic minerals which our body has difficulty absorbing and may also contain a variety of metal and other contaminants suspect in a wide array of degenerative diseases. To turn this into safe drinking water a filtering system or counter top distiller could be the best investment you make in your health. Contrary to what some people believe, while pure water helps to remove harmful minerals from the body that cells have eliminated or not used, it does not "leach" out minerals that have become part of your body's cell structure. Stay well-watered this Winter and enjoy good health.
Cordless handsets 100 times worse than mobiles, say experts.
(Thanks to Peter Lowe of Salt of the Earth who sent me this article:)
Having a cordless phone in your house can be 100 times more of a health risk than using a mobile. The popular phones constantly blast out high levels of radiation - even when they are not in use. Landlines are widely thought a safer option than mobiles. But researchers in Sweden now warn cordless phones are far more likely to cause brain tumours than today's mobiles. Emissions from a cordless phone's charger can be as high as six volts per metre - twice as strong as those found within 100 metres of mobile masts. Two metres away from the charger the radiation is still as high as 2.5 volts per metre - that's 50 times what scientists regard as a safe level. At a metre away the danger is multiplied 120 times - and it only drops to a safe 0.05 volts per metre when you are 100 metres away from the phone. Because of the way cordless phones work, the charger constantly emits radiation at full strength even when the phone is not in use - and so does the handset when it is off the charger. The most common cancers caused by such radiation are leukaemias. But breast cancer, brain tumours, insomnia, headaches and erratic behaviour in kids have also been linked. Those with chargers close to their beds are subjected to radiation while they sleep. Phone watchdog Powerwatch, using a testing device called the Sensory Perspective Electrosmog Detector, even found electromagnetic fields as strong as three volts per metre in a bedroom above a room holding a cordless phone. The group's director, Alasdair Philips said: "As ill-health effects have been found at levels of only 0.06 volts per metre, this is very concerning. It's likely everyone in a house with a cordless phone will be constantly exposed to levels higher than this." The shock Swedish report - by scientists Lennart Hardell, Michael Carlbery and Kjell Hansson Mild - is backed up by many medical experts who believe cordless phones are a health risk. Harley Street practitioner Dr David Dowson said: "Having a cordless phone is like having a mobile mast in your house. I'd recommend anyone who has one to switch to a plug-in phone." But BT's health advisor, John Collins, disagreed. He said: "There's no conclusive scientific evidence linking the radiation to any of the symptoms experienced. The evidence is that it doesn't do us any harm. We're a responsible company and abide by all the guidelines set down by recognised experts."
Well folks WHO DO WE BELIEVE? So here at Avon View we prefer to play it safe and not have a cordless phone in our home. On all our other appliances that emit electro-pollution such as computers and cell phones we have attached Fusion Excel Quantum Shields and this is what my kids all got for Christmas last year too- to stick on their cell phones. Apparently they work by strengthening the body’s biofield preventing electro-magnetic waves from affecting one’s health. Hey, I’m willing to try anything if there is a chance it will help and at the same time do no harm.
More on CoQ10
Last month I called CoQ10 one of the most vital nutrients for your heart. Here are some more reasons why supplementing may be necessary:
Our standard diet often lacks the nutrients needed to produce enough of this enzyme and many prescription medications (eg statins) can interfere with the process.
Also toxins damage the mitochondria (the cells powerhouse that produces ATP), making them less efficient at using CoQ10 to generate energy.
People with severe heart and cardiovascular disease tend to be deficient in CoQ10 and correcting the deficit seem to help. Studies show that the use of supplemental CoQ10 prevents formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Heart attack patients treated with CoQ10 can exercise more, improving their chance of recovery. It also lowers blood pressure and aids revascularization of the damaged heart.
Statins are designed to lower cholesterol but they also inhibit the production of CoQ10. These medications work by blocking an enzyme involved in the production of both cholesterol and coenzyme Q10, so as cholesterol falls, so falls CoQ10. The most common side-effects of statin drugs – including muscle pain, weakness and fatigue – occur due to lowered levels of CoQ10 in the body. Without enough CoQ10 you simply run out of juice. If you are taking a statin, then supplementing with CoQ10 is non-negotiable.
If life throws you a lemon - freeze it!
In my September 2011 newsletter I wrote about the many health benefits of lemon juice in hot water. But I must say I never ever thought of freezing lemons whole and then using both the lemon and the peel. Thanks to Mia who sent me this idea, we need never waste a scrap of lemon again.
Simply place the lemon in the freezer section of your refrigerator. Once the lemon is frozen, get your grater, and shred as much of the whole lemon as you require (no need to peel it) and sprinkle it on top of your foods, such as vegetable salads, soups, fish dishes, curries, boboties, the list is endless. Apart from not wasting, and adding a new fresh taste to your foods, you will also be deriving more health benefits. Lemon peels contain as much, if not more nutrients, than the lemon juice itself. Knowing this tip about frozen lemons will come in very handy in the Summer months when lemons are scarce or cost an arm and a leg. Let’s put some in the freezer right now!
Recipe for Fruity Butternut Soup
Add a touch of healthy class to your next dinner party. This is so quick and easy and soooo delicious. 2 cups diced butternut, 2 chopped onions, 3 cloves garlic, 3 tbls butter, 1 large apple, 3 tbls flour, 1 teaspoon medium curry, 3 cups chicken stock, 1cup milk, 1 teaspoon orange rind , 1/2 cup orange juice, salt and pepper, pinch nutmeg. Saute butternut, onions, garlic and apple in butter till soft. Off heat stir in flour, nutmeg, curry powder. Add stock, milk, juice and rind. Simmer veggies till soft 20-30 minutes. Blend, taste, and season. You could add 1/2 cup cream at this point - optional. Serve with a dusting of freshly ground nutmeg and lots of finely chopped parsley. Bon apetit! BTW: Flavour improves after 2 days.
Drug Companies under the spotlight - How do they get away with it?
GlaxoSmithKline is the world’s fourth largest drug company, and in 2011 made $9 billion in profit. But just recently this drug giant was found guilty of a range of misdemeanours by the US Department of Justice. Here are just 3 of the many:
Illegal promotion of the anti-depressant paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat) in individuals under the age of 18, even though the drug was not licensed in individuals of this age.
The creation of “misleading” articles in medical journals claiming that paroxetine was effective in the under-18s, even though the cited study failed to find benefit.
The hiding of relevant trials that had negative findings (so what’s new? They all do it)
GSK has been fined $3 billion and will be monitored by the US Department of Justice for the next five years. So with just a financial slap on the wrist, regardless of how many individuals they may have harmed, GSK can now move on and continue with their criminal activities.
DHA Essentials is back and better than ever!
For too long I was out of stock of this fish oil supplement while I waited for Nutratec in Canada to produce a new improved version but it was worth the wait. The new capsule is still small enough for kiddies to swallow and tastes good enough for them to chew if they so wish but it now contains 219mg of DHA which is 19mg more than our regular fish oil capsules.
I call our one and only grandchild, Emily, my DHA Essentials baby but since she turned 2 in June she is no longer a baby, as you can see. Mom Liesl, took DHA Essentials throughout her pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Then the contents of the fish oil capsule were squeezed into her bottle and now Emily happily chews the capsules, calling them “Grandma’s shweeties” and she is always asking for more. Needless to say she is also highly intelligent for her age, perhaps more so than other grandchildren …..teehee (OK Grandmas around the country, I expect to hear from you…LOL..) because as we all now know, DHA, the essential fatty acid in fish oil, is needed for the support of cognitive health, eyes and brain function in the foetus and in growing children. Credit for Emily’s good health also goes to Junior Vibrance, which she loves, as do most children. When she visits me she knows the only sweets she’ll get here are dates, pecan nuts and dried cranberries but she asks for them as she walks in the door. You see you can treat your grandchildren (and children) with much healthier things than sugar- and colourant-laden sweets which are actually not a treat to their health at all. Emily is looking forward to the arrival of her baby brother, Matthew, at the end of August, and so are we!
The Winter Promotion on Omega-3 supplements ended on 30 June but to thank you for your support I am offering free postage on any fish oil supplements purchased before 31 August.
On Vice-Breaker I’m running the following special until 31 August: What I have learned while dealing with over 300 smokers is that many smokers find it a lot easier to give up when their spouse or a friend or colleague quits with them. So this promotion is to encourage the “buddy system” and the discount is on bulk buying. If you buy 2 bottles of Vice-Breaker you get 10% discount off the total so instead of R1994 you pay R1794. But it gets better….for more than 2 bottles you get a whopping 20% discount. But wait, there is more. All Vice-Breakers ordered before 31 August, even if it’s just one, will be speed posted at no extra charge! Yip she has definitely lost it this time. But spread the news before they come to fetch me or I regain my sanity. I’m just so excited about the results we’re getting, I would give these Vice-Breakers away if I could. Imagine a smoke-free South Africa and all South Africans living healthier lives!
When we chat again the days will be considerably longer (thank goodness) and hopefully warmer. In the meanwhile take good care of yourself, drink lots of pure water and: "Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"
Nutritional Therapist (BSc (Hons) HDE, Dip Clin Nutr) The Orchards Nutrition Centre - Somerset East Tel: 042 243 0339 Cell: 084 531 0786 Email: email@example.com