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Posts tagged “Diet”

Early Summer is the time of the Elderflower, those lovely frothy white flowers that festoon the hedges in late May and early June. A welcome sign that Summer has arrived, along with Swallows, House Martins and Swifts; making it hard not to wax lyrical about them! 
 
As an established part of the English countryside, Elderflowers mark the turning of the farming year, from late Spring into early Summer. They also play an important part in Celtic folklore, associated with the Flower Bride. And making it easy to see where the inspiration for all those traditional white frothy bridal dresses and bouquets came from… 
 
These days, Elderflower is usually thought of for its culinary uses. Elderflower cordial – more about this later (!) – or, for the more adventurous, Elderflower Champagne. Perhaps sprinkled over summer fruits, such as gooseberries or raspberries, or added to smoothies. 
 
However, Elderflower also has many herbal and health giving qualities, making it a valued medicinal herb. 
A few weeks ago – goodness, it was mid February (!) – we had a look at susceptibility. Why there is no bogeyman – with your name written on them (!) – out there waiting for you. If you need a quick reminder, you can find the post here
 
As so often is the case, this has led on to various conversations with clients, friends and family about what actually determines susceptibility. In other words, the Risk Factors. The things most likely to tip the odds for you in the wrong direction. 
 
Before we go any further, there’s one very important thing to bear in mind. That we’re all completely unique. In every way. There’s never been another person exactly like us and never will be again. So, however similar we may be to another person – or people – our own particular make up, circumstances, life and medical history are unique to us. 100%. 
It’s always good to have something to mull over and give the “little grey cells” a gentle workout. So, this week, we’re going to take a look at a little conundrum that’s been intriguing us in recent weeks. And that’s people’s shopping choices in the run up – and during – the current madness. 
 
Here in the UK, we’re used to milk and bread flying off the shelves at the first mention of snow. Well, let’s be honest, even at the mere thought of snow. Which, in reality, usually means a couple of inches max and the country grinding to a halt for a few days. It’s one of those unwritten traditions we’ve all learnt to expect... 
 
This is in stark contrast with a lovely comment we heard years ago from a Canadian. When asked whether she was worried about it snowing – and having to drive back to her hotel in London (!) – she said there wasn’t “proper” snow in the UK. Her definition of “snow” being that she couldn’t find her car in the morning. It certainly gives a very different perspective! 
A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned “greenwashing”. It’s the latest tactic being used by companies to make their products appear more natural – greener – than they really are. Even if you haven’t come across this particular term before, you’ll have noticed the plethora of different “green” labels appearing on your favourite products. All those pictures of flowers, rolling green fields and the like. It’s fast becoming another fact of modern life, not just products related to health in some way. 
 
So, what is greenwashing and why is it such a concern? 
While it’s something we all take for granted – well, until there’s a power cut (!) – it’s easy to forget that mains electricity is a relatively new phenomenon. Or how much it’s changed the way we live our lives in a relatively short period of time. And continues to do so. 
Not surprisingly, we often see this change in terms of all those technological comforts and gizmos electricity brings us. A greatly improved standard of living. 
 
However, there’s another fundamental way in which electricity has changed our lives. One that it’s easy to overlook. It’s all to do with artificial light and how we spend the dark hours of the day. 
There are some topics that come up again and again with clients. And, what always strikes us, is just how creative they can be when trying to justify a less than positive choice they’ve been making. Both to themselves and to us (!). 
 
Sometimes it’s down to a simple lack of thought.  
 
More often there’s a rather blind eye being turned in that particular direction… 
 
Top of the list must come diet. And, as we learnt many years ago, we never ask a client whether their diet is healthy. To date, no one has ever answered this question by saying that, perhaps, it might not be. However, a quick follow up question or two has provided a somewhat different – and often very imaginative (!) – answer… 
 
And, regardless of what the advertising may say, baked beans don’t count as fresh fruit and vegetables. Nor is the salad in an all too popular takeaway beef burger one of your five a day. Top marks for creativity, zero points for nutritional value! 
 
So, what are we going to focus on today? 
Mention Adrenal Fatigue to a conventional practitioner and you’ll probably receive a very short answer. That it’s complete rubbish. A myth. How the – often vague – set of symptoms being experienced are probably all in your mind. Oh and there isn’t a specific blood test to diagnose it. Sadly, this isn’t a joke but something we hear all too often from Clients. 
 
At best, another label may be put on the symptoms. Depression. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Glandular Fever (which, ironically, may not show up on a blood test depending on the virus concerned). However, as this means that a deeper underlying cause isn’t identified, any improvement tends to be short term at the best. 
 
Why is this? 
In this modern world of ours, with the emphasis on “less being more”, it’s easy to forget that the human body was designed to be active. And, yes, we know it’s a cliché but that doesn’t stop it from being true! 
 
Added to this are the demons many of us still have with us from the dreaded games lessons at school. However, exercise doesn’t need to be a dirty word – or dreaded activity – and can easily become an enjoyable part of your life. Yes, really. And if you need some very good reasons – and simple ways to do this – they can be found in a post we did last year. Just click here
 
While regular exercise brings benefits to all ages, this week we’d like to focus on the ways it can help those of more mature years. In particular, how it can help to stop – and even reverse – age related muscle loss and strength, known as “Sarcopenia”. 
Eating a healthy diet – along with drinking plenty of water – are, to us, such obvious things to do. Not only are they simple, they’re one of the cornerstones of good health. After all, if we don’t put the correct “fuel” in our tanks, how on earth can we expect our bodies to function in the way we would like? 
 
Despite this, many people still seem to find the subject of what to eat completely overwhelming. As a result, they’re all too easily swayed by the latest “scientific discovery” or scare story in the media. Not forgetting the perennially persuasive advertising and confusing labels. “Healthy”, “natural”, “low fat”, “low sugar” and the like. 
 
Given all of this, it’s hardly surprising that many fall back on the offerings of their local shop, whether a supermarket, 24 hour garage or convenience store. But, sadly, there’s always a price to pay, although it may not become apparent for many years – or decades… 
With a real nip in the air for the last few mornings and everyone back at school or work – grown ups as well as children (!) – this week we’re looking ahead to the autumn. Not only to glorious September days – where it’s too nice to be indoors (!) – but also to the less welcome start of the Colds and Flu season. 
 
And, yes, we can hear a collective groan at the mere mention of another winter. Let alone the start of another school – or work (!) – year. But, please, bear with us there’s a very good reason for us mentioning it now. 
 
There are so many simple things you can do now that will pay dividends later. Not only in avoiding the lurgies doing the rounds but also to improve your overall health. As so often is the case, if you get these right then everything else falls into place. 
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