Total Pageviews

Saturday 30 April 2022

"Do You Know How to Properly Hydrate? It’s Not as Straightforward as You Might Think"


Sharing words from Mark Sisson writing on (his) Marks Daily Apple Blog-site*, he writes:

"Do You Know How to Properly Hydrate? It’s Not as Straightforward as You Might Think"

Hydration seems like it should be so easy: drink some water, go about your day, the end. Back in this blog’s* early days, and when I first published The Primal Blueprint, my hydration advice was simple: drink when you’re thirsty.

Over the years, however, my thinking on the hydration issue has become more nuanced. When I updated and expanded the most recent edition of The Primal Blueprint in 2016, I expanded on that basic advice to include more details about what we should be drinking and how much.

For the most part, I still think that “drink to thirst” is a sound strategy for the average person. Your body has a built-in, well-regulated thirst mechanism that will keep you from becoming dehydrated in normal circumstances. However, some folks, like the endurance athletes in the crowd, would be wise to take a more intentional approach.

Benefits of Proper Hydration and How It’s Regulated

Hydration is a critical component of optimal health. Digestion, muscle contraction, circulation, thermoregulation, and neurologic functioning all rely on having appropriate fluid balance in the body.

Your brain and kidneys are constantly working to maintain optimal hydration status. When you become even slightly dehydrated, several things happen. First and foremost, your blood osmolality (concentration) increases. Dehydration can also cause a decrease in blood volume and, often, blood pressure.

The brain and kidneys sense these changes and release hormones and hormone precursors designed to restore homeostasis. For example, the pituitary gland releases an anti-diuretic hormone called vasopressin, or AVP, which tells the kidneys to hold on to water. Blood vessels constrict. Most importantly, a brain region known as the lamina terminalis initiates the powerful sensation we know as thirst.

Pay Attention to Your Thirst!

For most people, proper hydration is as simple as 1, 2, 3.

1) Tune in to your body’s thirst sensations and respond accordingly.

2) Tailor your fluid intake to your individual needs. Rules like “drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water” or “drink half your body weight in ounces” are all well and good, but they might not be right for you. There’s not a lot of scientific support for those nuggets of conventional wisdom. Some days you might need less or considerably more.

3) Make appropriate adjustments for exogenous factors like climate and exercise. When it’s very hot, or you’re sweating buckets during some long endurance event, it’s best to stay on top of hydration rather than waiting for thirst to kick in.

Don’t Become Waterlogged

You can have too much of a good thing. While I’m all about the trend of carrying stainless steel water bottles everywhere we go for environmental reasons, there’s never any call to drink literal gallons of water. In fact, drinking too much can bring about the dangerous condition of hyponatremia, where excess fluid compromises the all-important sodium balance in your blood.

Hyponatremia can quickly become debilitating and even fatal. You may have heard the news stories of novice marathon runners losing consciousness after over-hydrating or radio station contestants drinking themselves to death in water-chugging contests.

By and large, your kidneys can deal with you drinking more water than you need within reasonable limits. You’ll just pee it out. Still, there’s no reason to force yourself to drink water beyond your natural thirst.

Salt: A Hydration Gamechanger

Maintaining proper fluid balance isn’t just about how much water you have in your body but also the concentration of key minerals, notably sodium. When you become dehydrated, you may experience not only thirst but also salt cravings.

Salt continues to get a bad rap, though thankfully the tide of conventional wisdom seems to be turning as more people recognize that salt is not the enemy. Salt—or rather, sodium—is essential in the truest sense of the word. Without enough, and without the right balance between salt and other minerals, our bodies literally cannot function.

Sodium helps transport water through the walls of your small intestines, where 95 percent of fluid absorption takes place. We Primal folks naturally consume less sodium than the average person since a large proportion of most Americans’ dietary sodium comes from hyper-processed foods that we avoid. For optimal absorption, I recommend adding a pinch of salt to your water, especially if you’re craving the stuff. You can also make a jar of sole (“soh-lay”) water and add up to a teaspoon to a glass of water."
Lots more to read, with all relevant links, here

Articles are provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider


A variety of articles, studies and recipe ideas are found within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Friday 29 April 2022

Rhubarb a symbol of Spring !

Rhubarb
Elegant stalks of bright pink rhubarb are a true symbol of spring. Rhubarb grows from a root that can live for up to 20 years, with some varieties growing stems up to 1.5m long. Choose firm, straight stalks that have a bright red colour. Avoid those that are limp or discoloured, or stalks that are very thick. Older stalks may be a bit stringy, like celery, but spring rhubarb will be tender, so there's no need to peel it.


~ How about trying ~
Roast Chicken with Rhubarb
something a little different - see details here


Rhubarb Fool
a delicious dessert - see details here


Looking through this blog you will find a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy ... but please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday 28 April 2022

Stress relief: How diet and lifestyle can help


Jo Lewin is a registered nutritionist and has written many articles, including this one which I now share with you.

"Stress is a common problem that we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. There are many factors that bring stress upon the body – external pressures such as work or family responsibilities, and internal influences – what we eat and how our digestive, immune and nervous systems are functioning.

The good news is that there are plenty of simple lifestyle changes that we can make to help us to manage our stress levels. However, if you're feeling overwhelmed, depressed or struggling to cope, help is available – visit the NHS website or speak to your GP.

How stress affects the body...

Stress triggers a set of biological responses including:
The release of stress hormones from your adrenal glands – adrenaline and cortisol
An increase in blood sugar
Rising blood pressure
Rapid heart beat

All these responses, known as ‘fight or flight’, are designed to help you meet physical challenges that threaten your survival when faced with stress (e.g. how your body would respond if you were being chased by lions). The trouble is, in today’s high stress culture, the stress response continually remains on full alert and the body does not have a chance to recover.

How hormones are affected...
The adrenal glands, nestled on the upper, inner surface of each kidney, produce the main stress response hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. Over time, the adrenal glands may become overworked and have difficulty producing the right amount of these hormones.

How diet can help
Eating a balanced and healthy diet is key to helping our bodies to manage the physiological changes caused by stress. An important part of any stress response includes identifying and reducing the causes of stress. Adrenal function is significantly influenced by blood sugar levels, therefore much of the dietary advice below aims to stabilise levels of sugar in the blood.

Choose whole, natural foods and ensure a minimum of five portions of non-starchy vegetables per day – and eat a rainbow!

Start the day with a balanced breakfast. Avoid sugary cereals, pastries and too much caffeine.

Prioritise protein. When chronically stressed the body has an increased demand for protein. Protein requirements are estimated at 0.7-1.8g per kg body weight daily. Choose lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds in each meal. Protein helps to slow the release of sugar into the blood stream.

Try not to skip meals. Ensure that you eat regularly, taking healthy snacks as necessary. Small, regular meals will help to maintain energy levels and mood, while decreasing tiredness and irritability.

Avoid highly refined foods such as white bread, pasta, chocolate, biscuits, sweets or foods with added sugars. Hidden sugars are also in many cereals, breads, tinned produce and processed or packaged foods. Note that excess alcohol can also cause imbalanced blood sugar levels.

Watch the caffeine. Stimulants such as tea and coffee may provide a temporary energy boost, but consuming too much may reduce energy levels and deplete nutrients in the long term. Aim to drink at least 1-1.5 litres of filtered water throughout the day and try incorporating herbal or fruit teas instead of caffeinated drinks.

Emotional eating. Try not to reach for food when you are in a stressed state. Stress diverts blood flow away from your digestive system, which you don’t want when you are trying to digest your food. You may experience bloating, gas and become prone to discomfort.

Key nutrients
Nutrients that specifically support the adrenal glands include:
  • Vitamin C found in most fresh fruit and vegetables. It is stored in the adrenal gland and is required to make cortisol.
  • Magnesium is dramatically depleted in times of stress, and symptoms of deficiency often include fatigue, anxiety, insomnia and predisposition to stress. Include plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds to supply adequate levels of magnesium.
  • B vitamins can help to support adrenal function, particularly B5 which directly supports adrenal cortex and hormone production. Sources include wholegrains, nuts and seeds.
Other ways to reduce stress
  • Meditation is a great way to calm your mind, plus it’s free and you can do it anywhere, anytime.
  • Yoga may help with practicing mindfulness – not only is it a great form of exercise but it incorporates meditation to slow down and calm the body and mind.
  • Get outside for fresh air and to connect with nature.
  • Good quality sleep is of utmost importance for long term health and regeneration. Few people can function properly with less than seven or eight hours of sleep per night.
  • Regular, gentle exercise is very beneficial for relieving stress and decreasing negative emotions such as worry or anxiety. However, for people with significantly depleted adrenal hormones, intensive cardiovascular exercise may further deplete adrenal reserves.
  • Regular relaxation needs to be built into daily life. Reading, having a bath, getting a massage or listening to music are great ways to promote relaxation.
  • Counselling or other therapies may be beneficial for those having to cope in the face of severe stressors. "
Words above and more can be seen here

The above is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. If you are feeling stressed and anxious, do not disregard it. Seek advice from your GP or health professional.


Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Wednesday 27 April 2022

Midweek Stew - also with a vegetarian or vegan option



This midweek 'stew' recipe suggestion is for an easy pork and chickpea stew that looks as though you slaved over it all afternoon but it only takes 30 minutes! It's full of hearty flavour and everything all in one pot! Don't you just love it when washing up is kept to a minimum!

See the tip at the bottom of the recipe for how to make a veggie version, too.

Ingredients
Serves Four
2 tbsp oil, ideally olive oil
250g/9oz pork fillet (tenderloin), trimmed and cut into small cubes
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 medium courgette/zucchini (roughly 185g/6½oz), ends trimmed, halved lengthways and sliced into semi circles
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½–1 tsp smoked paprika, hot or sweet
400g/14oz tin chickpeas, drained
400g/14oz tin chopped tomatoes
1 chicken or pork stock cube
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wide-based casserole.
2. Season the pork with salt and pepper and fry over a medium heat for 2 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
3. Add the remaining oil, the onion, pepper and courgette to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly.
4. Add the garlic, paprika, chickpeas and tinned tomatoes. Half-fill the empty tomato tin with water and add to the pan (roughly 200ml/7fl oz water). Crumble in the stock cube and add the cooked pork. Bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the pork is tender, stirring regularly.

Each serving provides
22g protein, 18.5g carbohydrates (of which 8g sugars), 12g fat (of which 2.5g saturates), 6.5g fibre and 1.3g salt.

Recipe Tips
For a vegetarian or vegan version of this stew, cook a large cubed aubergine/eggplant instead of the pork in the first step, adding an extra tablespoon of oil once it begins to fry.

See original recipe idea and video guide here

~ enjoy your day~

You will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Tuesday 26 April 2022

'Nearly 30% of US teens estimated to have prediabetes'


Sharing an article from Diet Doctor site
"In a worrisome trend, prediabetes among teenagers in the US has more than doubled over the last two decades to almost 30%, a new report estimates.

A research report, published in the medical journal JAMA Paediatrics, estimated that the rate of prediabetes among US youth aged 12 to 19 years climbed from 11.6% in 1999 to 28.6% in 2018.

JAMA Paediatrics: Trends in prediabetes among youths in the US from 1999 through 2018

This unprecedented increase puts young people at high risk of serious health problems in the coming years, the authors note.

“If we do not intervene, the children who have prediabetes have a higher risk of developing diabetes and also have a higher risk of all cardiovascular diseases,” principal investigator Junxiu Liu told CNN. Liu is an assistant professor of population health science and policy at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.

Dr. Bret Scher, medical director of Diet Doctor, also expressed concern in his DDNews video: “This is a troubling trend that will hopefully get the attention it deserves,” Dr. Scher said.

“We need to open our eyes to the failure of our current recommended lifestyle and nutrition approach. This is our opportunity to expand our lifestyle advice to find an approach that resonates with teens and young adults. If we don’t solve this now, we are all in big trouble in the near future.”

Prediabetes is a health condition with generally silent symptoms. Blood sugar levels rise above the normal range but are not yet high enough to be classified as diabetes. The condition indicates that metabolic health issues are developing, potentially including insulin resistance, fatty liver, abnormal blood lipids, and abdominal obesity.

The report analyzed data collected over those years from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), considered an accurate source of health data about the US population.

Previous studies of prediabetes in youth have found higher rates in specific subpopulations of the American public, such as those with less money or education, or among different ethnicities. However, this new data shows that the increase in diabetes rates was seen in all subpopulations of young Americans, regardless of income, education, or ethnicity.

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, the founder of Diet Doctor, called the findings “quite shocking.”

“I’d suggest fewer carbs and more protein,” said Dr. Eenfeldt. A prior study [Stentz 2020] demonstrated 100% reversal of prediabetes on a high protein diet.

How can you reverse prediabetes?

Indeed, one effective way to improve prediabetes is to prioritize protein and reduce the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates you consume. Sugar and carbohydrates digest into glucose, which, when eaten to excess, can contribute to higher blood sugar readings.

You can lower your blood sugar by changing the way you eat, exercising regularly, and making other lifestyle changes, such as improving sleep and reducing stress.

Children and youth usually do not need to eat a strict low carb or keto diet. Reducing sugar consumption, reducing carbohydrates to a moderate level (50 grams to 100 grams per day), and ensuring adequate protein intake can bring health and metabolic improvements."
Words above and more at Diet Doctor site here


"Here in the UK, at the moment, 13.6 million people are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes. If you’ve been told you have prediabetes, this is a warning sign that you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is you don’t have it yet, and with the right support up to 50% of cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed.

Type 2 diabetes happens because insulin can’t work properly, so your blood sugar levels keep rising. This means more insulin is released. For some people with type 2 diabetes this can eventually tire the pancreas out, meaning their body makes less and less insulin. This can lead to even higher blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes can come on slowly, usually over the age of 40. The signs may not be obvious, or there may be no signs at all, therefore it might be up to 10 years before you find out you have it.

That’s why it’s very important to know the risk factors," and you can read more about this here


Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles, studies and recipe ideas within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Monday 25 April 2022

Happy Monday To You !

Well the weekend came ... and zoom ... it went!
The weather was mixed, sunshine a few rain showers and quite breezy.
Not too bad for late April though and we enjoyed some local walks.


Now it's Monday again, and the last Monday of April 2022.
Can the days go any faster!
They simply zoom by - or so it seems to me.

Whatever you are doing, wherever you are, I hope you have a happy Monday.
Do find time to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee.

I know, why not enjoy a cup with a slice of ...

Pea, mint and cheddar frittata
it's so tasty
see recipe details here


will you have tea or coffee?


You will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues please take these into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Sunday 24 April 2022

Can a keto / low carb diet improve knee pain?

Sharing an article from Diet Doctor site that may be of interest to readers who suffer with knee pain.


"If you have aching knees, can a keto diet help? And if it does, is it simply because the keto diet helps you lose weight, taking stress off your joints, or is something more happening, such as reduced inflammation?

Diet Doctor medical director Dr. Bret Scher, in this DDNewsvideo, examines the findings of two studies, one from 2022 and the other from 2019. Both suggest that knee pain does indeed improve on a keto diet.

And the reason for the improvement is likely both weight loss and reduced markers of inflammation.

“Any weight loss is going to be beneficial for lower body arthritis symptoms,” says Dr. Scher. “But if you can eat in a way that also helps lower systemic inflammation, that’s probably beneficial as well.”

The 2022 study is from researchers at Virta Health. It is part of their ongoing series of research studies that have followed 262 patients with type 2 diabetes undergoing intensive online coaching and support to eat a low-carb ketogenic diet.

Virta compares these patients to 87 patients receiving the usual care for type 2 diabetes. (The Virta study is a registered clinical trial, but participants were not randomized into the intervention and control arms. You can find more of our reports about Virta’s ongoing findings here.)

Publishing in March 2022 in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, the Virta researchers report that they collected data from patients about knee pain and function as part of their two-year trial.

Compared to the group getting the usual care for type 2 diabetes, those on the keto diet had statistically significant improvement in knee pain and function, likely due to weight loss from their abdomen and reduced markers of inflammation.

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders: Continuous care intervention with carbohydrate restriction improves physical function of the knees among patients with type 2 diabetes: a non-randomized study

Diet Doctor wrote about an earlier study in 2019, which was a small trial that randomized 21 adults with knee pain to one of three diets for 12 weeks: low carb, low fat, or a control (no change) diet.

While participants on both the low carb and low fat diets lost similar amounts of weight, only those on low carb experienced improvements in knee pain and function. The researchers hypothesized that this was likely due to the low carb diet reducing inflammation.

While both studies are preliminary and more research is needed, it is an encouraging finding for the millions of people with sore, aching knees, Dr. Scher notes.

“Of course, it is not going to work for everyone. It is not going to be one miracle cure. But what’s the downside of trying if you’re suffering from arthritis? There’s data that suggests it’s beneficial,” he says."
Words above and more can be seen here


You will find a variety of articles, studies and recipes within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Friday 22 April 2022

The Fairy Trail ... another Grandma's tale !

I've been telling the Grandchildren I would make up a tale that once again included Koala,
and the friendly gnome, who live in their garden. So here goes!

~~ xx~~

Koala knew that a new fairy-trail was being created.
He hoped that Grandma would soon be able to meet up with the grandchildren
because he was sure they would enjoy the walk around the trail
looking high and low for the fairy doors. 


The meet up was arranged, and the weather was good.
We were all looking forward to searching for the fairy doors.


Grandson and Grand-daughter at the start of the trail


you needed to look down to spot this one


isn't this amazing - we thought he looked friendly - do you agree?


yes, that's me Jan (Grandma) having fun searching for fairy doors too 😊


I did like the ladder going up to this fairy door


this one was a little hidden, we liked the door decoration


a total of 29 fairy doors, and 9 fairy windows,
toadstools will also soon be seen along the trail,
along with some beautiful painted rocks.
Yes, we did enjoy our walk, a little bit of fairy magic
and a whole lot of imagination made for a fun afternoon. 

By the way, if you haven't already met Koala he first appeared in this post here
My love of fairies, and more, feature in this older post from 2013, see here 

The best things in life
are the people we love,
the places we've been,
and the memories we've made
along the way.

As regular readers know, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes!

However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday 21 April 2022

Japanese-style salmon and avocado salad : A low carb recipe

Doesn't this rainbow coloured salad look good, it tastes good too 😋 Flaky salmon tossed with creamy avocado, crunchy veggies and finished off with a drizzle of punchy ginger and soy dressing. I hope you may try it.


Ingredients
Serves Four
1 tbsp oil
500g boneless half salmon side, skin-on
2 avocados, cut into chunks
240g radishes, topped and quartered
bunch spring onions (scallions), sliced
85g watercress
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing
25g piece fresh ginger, finely grated
5 tbsp lemon juice
1½ tbsp soy sauce
1½ tbsp sesame oil
Method
1. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the salmon, skin-side down, and cook for 4-5 mins. Turn and cook for a further 3 mins, or until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate or board and remove and discard the skin. Flake the fish into large chunks.
2. Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients in a jug. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, toss the avocado, radish, spring onion and watercress.
4. Divide the salad mixture and flaked salmon between 4 bowls. Drizzle over the dressing and top with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.
5. Enjoy ...
Nutrition Per Serving
Carbohydrate 4.3g Protein 28.7g Fibre 1.4g Fat 41g
From original recipe here

~ enjoy your day~

You will find a variety of recipes and articles within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Wednesday 20 April 2022

Ya gotta larf.


Do they mean me and Jan!

Eddie


 

Courgette / Zucchini Linguini with Basil Pesto : Low Carb and so Tasty


Sharing a recipe by Rachel Morrow, she writes "Are you someone who tries and tries to be healthy but can’t get enough pasta? This recipe is for you. This greened-up take on a traditional dish will hit all the right spots, so stock up on those veggies and let’s get cooking.

Serves: 2
Yield: 3 cups
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Ingredients
4 medium courgettes / zucchini
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups baby spinach
Pinch of unrefined sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons Cashew Hemp Basil Pesto 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
Method
1. Spiralize the courgette/zucchini into noodles, or use a peeler to make ribbons.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
3. Lightly fry the courgette/zucchini, spinach, salt, and pepper and stir until the spinach has wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat, and add the Cashew Hemp Basil Pesto and tomatoes.
5. Sprinkle with the hemp seeds before serving."
Enjoy ...
If you need help with weight/measurement conversion see here

Have you made or tried Courgette / Zucchini Fritters? See details here

~ enjoy your day ~

You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas, within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Tuesday 19 April 2022

'Wearing many common types of face masks causes you to breathe in microplastics'


Investigating the current status of COVID-19 related plastics and their potential impact on human health. (Study published online 2021 Aug 13).

Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a sudden global increase in the production, consumption, and mismanagement of personal protective equipment (PPE). As plastic-based PPE such as disposable face masks and gloves have become widely used, human exposure to PPE-derived pollutants may occur through indirect and direct pathways. This review explores the potential health impacts related to plastic-based PPE through these pathways. Face masks release microplastics, which are directly inhaled during use or transported through the environment. The latter can adsorb chemical contaminants and harbor pathogenic microbiota, and once consumed by organisms, they can translocate to multiple organs upon intake, potentially causing detrimental and cytotoxic effects. However, more research is required to have a comprehensive overview of the human health effects.

Introduction
Plastics are one of the most ubiquitous materials used across the planet. In the last 60 years, global plastic production has increased 20-fold, reaching 368 million tons in 2019. However, the improper management of plastic waste and its environmental persistence has resulted in the accumulation of plastics in many environments. Plastic debris and particularly microplastics (herein referred to as MP; plastics smaller than 5 mm) are considered ubiquitous pollutants and have been reported in water, soil, air, living organisms, as well as in processed food and drinking water. Therefore, human exposure to MPs is inevitable, and it is imperative to determine their impacts on human health.

The global immensity and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were defined by the rapid and effective spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. This led to a global pandemic declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. The pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented surge in the production and consumption of single-use plastics (SUPs), including personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE are wearable items that protect the user against infectious diseases, such as SARS-CoV-2, and these items are mostly made from synthetic SUP. The monthly global consumption of face masks and gloves is 129 billion and 65 billion, respectively. This massive consumption of PPE has created an unbearable burden for conventional solid waste management worldwide, leading to the exacerbation of plastic pollution with new types of litter. Exposure to pollutants related to COVID-19 PPE (e.g. MPs, plastic additives, and viruses) may occur through direct and indirect pathways. We define direct pathways as ways in which individuals are immediately exposed to these pollutants during PPE use and management, while indirect pathways result in exposure over extended durations as PPE undergoes different processes. Given the health concerns related to plastic pollution, the unprecedented quantity of PPE being consumed and mismanaged into the environment worldwide, it is necessary to critically analyze the threats of PPE to human health. In this review, we present how PPE pollution is driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and how the direct and indirect exposure pathways of this pollutant can potentially implicate human health.
More to read with all relevant research links here
h/t Marks Daily Apple here

Covid 19 and it's many variants has not gone away. Many of us do still wear face masks, like the picture above, while others prefer a fabric type. Many people worldwide have suffered with MaskneLike it or not we are all still learning to live with Covid 19, and my mask is always with me ...  

As always many thanks for taking time to visit and read this blog. Please share your thoughts about this post/article in the comments section, but most importantly, stay safe and well and enjoy your day.


~ in the meantime some flowers for you to enjoy ~

All the best Jan

Monday 18 April 2022

Skillet Lasagne : A Low Carb / Keto Recipe

All the flavours you love from a traditional lasagne, but without the carb-heavy pasta and the time-consuming assembly. This quick low carb/keto lasagne may well become your new weeknight favourite.


Ingredients
Serves Six
Meat and cabbage mix
10 oz. green cabbage, shredded
1 tbsp olive oil
1 (4 oz.) yellow onion (also known as brown onion), finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs ground/minced beef or ground turkey
1½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 cup (9 oz.) crushed tomatoes
Cheese sauce
¾ cup heavy (double) whipping cream
3 oz. (6 tbsp) cream cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and ground black pepper
5 oz. (1¼ cups) shredded cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil as garnish (optional)
Help with weight and measurement conversion
Can be seen here
Recipe Tips
i) If you don't have an ovenproof skillet or frying pan, you can transfer the meat and cabbage mixture to a baking dish and top with the sauce and cheese before baking it in the oven.
ii) If you want a more traditional lasagne, you can boil whole cabbage leaves and use them instead of pasta—layering the cabbage, meat mixture, and cream sauce.
iii) Serve with a crisp green salad.
Instructions
can be see here

What is a Skillet?
The term skillet is used interchangeably with frying pan or fry-pan. More traditionally, however, it refers to a specific type of frying pan, with a flat bottom and flared sides that are relatively low in relation to overall diameter and that curve upwards gradually from the bottom. Old-fashioned cast iron skillets, which are still popular because of their cooking characteristics, generally have sides that gradually slope outwards but do not curve directly up from the bottom.
Read more here

Three other recipe suggestions showing Lasagne Cooked The Low Carb Way can be seen here

You will find a variety of articles and recipes within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Sunday 17 April 2022

Saturday 16 April 2022

Celery ... ten facts you may not know!


Did you know ...ten facts about celery

1. From classical times to the Middle Ages, celery was used as a medicinal plant to treat toothache, insomnia, gout, rheumatism, anxiety and arthritis.

2. Celery was first used as a food during the 16th century in Italy.

3. Celery was first mentioned in English in 1664 by the diarist John Evelyn, who spelt it sellery.

4. Celery is mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, where the horses of Myrmidon grazed on wild celery.

5. In 1996 fans of Gillingham football club were threatened with a life ban if they brought sticks of celery into the ground...

6. ...this was the result of fans singing a rude song about celery while waving sticks of it.

7. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed celery as a nerve soother.

8. The ancient Romans considered celery an aphrodisiac. They may have been right: it contains the pheromone androsterone, released by men’s sweat glands to attract females.

9. The town of Celery-Ville, Ohio, was founded by early 19th century celery farmers.

10. There is a celery museum in Portage, Michigan, called the Celery Flats Interpretive Centre.

Sharing two celery recipe suggestions you may wish to try

Poached Breast of Chicken with Celery
more details here


Celery Soup
more details here


Read about Five Healthy Benefits of Adding Celery to Your Diet here

You will find a variety of articles and recipes within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Friday 15 April 2022

Some Reasons To Eat Real Food


Franziska Spritzler RD CDE writes:

"Real food is whole, single-ingredient food. It is mostly unprocessed, free of chemical additives, and rich in nutrients. In essence, it's the type of food human beings ate exclusively for thousands of years. However, since processed foods became popular in the 20th century, the Western diet has shifted toward ready-to-eat meals. While processed foods are convenient, they also harm your health. In fact, following a diet based on real food may be one of the most important things you can do to maintain good health and a high quality of life.

Here are 21 reasons to eat real food

1. Loaded with important nutrients

2. Low in sugar

3. Heart healthy

4. Better for the environment

5. High in fibre

6. Helps control blood sugar

7. Good for your skin

8. Helps lower triglycerides

9. Provides variety

10. Costs less in the long run

11. High in healthy fats

12. May reduce disease risk

13. Contains antioxidants

14. Good for your gut

15. May help prevent overeating

16. Promotes dental health

17. May help reduce sugar cravings

18. Sets a good example

19. Gets the focus off dieting

20. Helps support local farmers

21. Delicious

The bottom line
Real food is just one component of a healthy lifestyle. It’s also important to get plenty of exercise, lower your stress levels, and maintain proper nutrition. But there’s no doubt that eating more real food will go a long way toward improving your health."

The above is just a snippet of Franziska's article, you can read it in full here


Dear reader - you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas, within this blog. It is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday 14 April 2022

Take Three Low Carb Dishes : Chicken or Pork or Vegetarian Option


Creamy Spinach Chicken
So Delicious and Low in Carbs

Perfect for a midweek or any-day dinner; cook your chicken breasts until tender in a thick, creamy sauce. Adding fresh baby spinach and zingy lemon juice just ups the flavour, why not try it and see! More details/recipe can be seen here


Rolled Pork Fillet with healthy herbs and mustard
Has Sunday or Easter Roast ever been better!

Got to admit that 'Pork and apple is a perfect pairing and this healthy, hearty main really makes the most of it. Try rolling succulent pork fillet with mustard, rosemary and sage served alongside sweet butternut squash, red onion, and nutty celeriac'. Has Sunday Roast ever been better ... 
More details/recipe can be seen here


Vegetarian bean and artichoke crown
for those readers who may like a vegetarian choice

We certainly eat a wide variety of food in our house, and sometimes we will take a vegetarian option. Leeks are a favourite vegetable of ours and as this recipe uses them, and this dish does look quite elegant, with Easter being so close, I thought it one to share! More details/recipe can be seen here 

~ ~ xxxxx ~ ~

You will find a variety of recipe ideas within this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan