Your fork is your best defence against aging & sickness
True change is an 'inside job'
Welcome to Your Healthy Self!
I believe that if we all make small healthy changes to our daily habits they will eventually become second nature to us and we can work towards a healthier and happier future. My suggestions are just that, suggestions, some may work for you, some may not, we are all different. But give them a shot and work with the ones that do!
I don’t know about you but my hands always get a little dry when the seasons change, I take my oils every day, wear my gloves most of the time and use handcream when I remember but still sometimes I need to smooth them off a bit!
The other day when I noticed my hands were catching on everything I remembered my little hand rescue trick and treated myself to a quick treatment.
The idea came from a Crabtree & Evelyn product called the ’60 Second Fix,’ but my version is cheaper and just as effective, using a couple of store cupboard ingredients plus a little hand/body cream to finish off.
Do this over your kitchen sink so that you can rinse your hands afterwards and there is less mess. Cup one of your hands and pour in approx 1 tsp of olive oil, on top of the oil add approx one tsp of granulated sugar. Rub the mixture thoroughly into your hands, top and bottom until you’ve had enough. Rinse in warm or cold water, pat dry and apply a small amount of moisturizer to lock the oil in…. I told you it was easy! Give it a try, my hands always feel so much better after doing this.
It works on your feet too although is not so easy to do over the kitchen sink! Try it before you have a bath or shower, the oil and the sugar will dissolve in the warm water and of course your hands get a treatment too! Don’t forget to moisture afterwards though to lock in the moisture.
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It was National Arthritis Day this week and with around 10 million sufferers in the UK alone, I reckon it’s justified its own ‘awareness’ day. That is a lot of painful joints.
Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the two main types. The former being an inflammatory reaction affecting the cartilage and the latter an autoimmune condition. Both are debilitating in their own right but both are also treatable.
Osteoarthritis is by far the most common with around 8 million, mostly female sufferers in the UK, however it could possibly be avoided or even stopped in its tracks if a few simple lifestyle changes are introduced.
The Medical Solution
Put it this way, medical treatments are either minimal or very drastic. Painkillers are prescribed to start with and if the situation gets really bad, joint replacement surgery may be offered (although this is of course only appropriate for knees and hips and definitely not for spines and hands where osteoarthritis is fairly common.)
So simply put there is no actual medical treatment for the symptoms of arthritis, and taking pain killers long term brings with it a whole series of other health problems. Don’t get me started!
Natural Alternatives that work
Thankfully there are some natural alternatives that you can try, especially if you have recently been diagnosed and there is minimal joint damage. Sadly it is not reversible but it could be stoppable which is more positive than major surgery followed by weeks of recovery.
Firstly, and this really goes without saying, keeping your weight down will reduce load bearing on joints, especially hips and knees which take the brunt. If there was ever a good reason to lose weight, here it is.
Of course not everyone who suffers with arthritis is overweight, so there are a number of other factors to consider. Here are some of the most important ones.
The Importance of Staying Hydrated
The cartilage that protects the joints is mostly made up of water so staying hydrated is of utmost importance. You may feel that you drink plenty and are always hydrated but what you may not know is that drinks like tea, coffee, alcohol and fizzy pop are all diuretics. Whilst they may quench your thirst, internally they are drawing liquid from important areas of the body like your cartilage causing it to become dehydrated and ultimately shrink, leaving your bones unprotected.
It is important to drink plenty of fresh, filtered water daily, plus introducing good quality and beneficial herbal teas, like peppermint, ginger or nettle could make all the differernce. Even an occasional hot chocolate would work as cocoa contains magnesium, which is good for both bones and muscles.
Are you Intolerant?
Now that your liquid intake is sorted we need to look at food Intolerances. These are often linked to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as they can create inflammation in a number of places around the body. To find out if or what you are intolerant to, it is important to carry out a food intolerance test, whereby the 4 main culprits, dairy, wheat/gluten, yeast and eggs are avoided for a week or two and then re-introduced individually. I have more information on this if you are interested.
There are additional foods that may cause problems specifically for arthritis sufferers, like foods from the deadly nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, aubergine, potatoes and tobacco,) acidic fruits and red meat.
Eating a healthy wholefood diet, including plenty of antioxidant rich fruit and veg will not only help with weight loss, if necessary, but will provide you with an abundance of beneficial nutrients too.
The Wonder Spice
Turmeric is a wonder spice, amongst other things it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory so should be included into your daily routines as should Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) which will help lubricate your entire body, including your joints. Whilst these can both be gained from diet, I would advise taking good quality supplements unless of course you are eating lots of oily fish and plenty of curries.
More to Come
These tips should hopefully get you started, however I am currently writing a more in-depth eBook about this subject, which includes more diet and lifestyle options. If you are a sufferer or know someone who is suffering then please email me and I will send you a copy when it’s completed, hopefully in the next month.
Did anyone watch the UK docu-series The Doctor Who gave Up Drugs? Part 2 was last week.
I have to be honest I did watch it and at the end felt both disappointed and sort of encouraged at the same time.
What No Diet Advice?
Last week you may remember reading about my shock that there was no mention of diet in the first programme at all, I was hanging out for the second programme but it was no different.
He did prove undoubtedly that there are alternatives (mostly exercise based) to many medicines, which is what he set out to do; so on that front is was absolutely brilliant.
And just maybe, if it had been a longer series he would have got onto the subject of nutrition, but seriously not to mention it once was worrying to say the least, especially when covering subjects like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure which can all be helped through changes to your diet.
The Miracle of Exercise
He based a lot of his alternatives on exercise, which is great. Exercise is so important for pretty much every health issue there is but it should be combined with other lifestyle changes, diet being one of them!
Cinnamon for instance is known to balance blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure and is so easy to incorporate into your diet, sprinkle on your toast, cereal or porridge for breakfast or even add to your coffee (if you must drink coffee) just before you go out for your exhilarating walk!
The Low Down on Sugar
Cutting down on sugar and refined carbs is a must for everyone, ill or not, it will definitely help with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, in fact any problems relating to the heart will benefit without it.
Contrary to popular believe sugar does not give you energy, it actually has the adverse effect and can spike blood sugar levels leaving you feeling much more drained shortly afterwards, and long term is a different story altogether.
Eating a wholefood diet will fill your body with the nourishment it needs so these ailments are not ever a problem to you. It doesn’t mean being righteous all of the time but trying hard most of the time is what counts.
So Dr Chris Van Tulleken, The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs, well done but please come back with a series about nutrition next time.