Fluoride – not my choice

I want to add my support to Paul Carr’s excellent letter to The Cockermouth Post on the public health issues related to water fluoridation in Cumbria (February edition).

I encourage people to drinkS/W Ver: 85.83.E7P water rather than fizzy drinks, juice, alcohol etc.  We’re blessed with very good water here and I don’t want people to feel that their water is tainted.

Fluorine is not a nutrient; it is a toxin and it builds up in your body over time (dependent on your age and kidney function). It’s added to water to improve teeth but with European coverage of only 2%, is it necessary? Too much may lead to fluorosis. Possible symptoms include:

  • Bone and joint pains

  • Muscle weakness

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Lowered thyroid function (fluoride is used in medication to slow over-active thyroids)

  • Lowered child IQ, dementia

Ironically, too much fluoride can also stain and damage your teeth!

Many of us do the best for our bodies by exercising choice.We can avoid pesticides and herbicides by buying organic. We can avoid chemicals by using natural care products. We can avoid additives by cooking our own food. We can filter chlorine out of our water (NB most standard water filters don’t remove fluoride). We can look after our teeth with simple regular brushing.

When I had anaemia once, it was my choice to take the iron my doctor prescribed. Doctors cannot force patients to take medication. They certainly cannot force a general group of people to take drugs that they do not need as individuals. Where is our choice with fluoridating the water supply? It’s like a blanket prescription made compulsory on the whole population, to help the teeth of a minority, at the cost of possible health detriments to everyone.

The world is so polluted we sadly cannot avoid all contaminants but I don’t accept that we have to meekly drink water that has been deliberately dosed with a toxic chemical. Communities around the world are halting this practice by campaigning. You can join Cumbria’s petition here:

http://councilportal.cumbria.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=24

Even if you don’t live in Cumbria, it’s worth supporting the campaign – if we lose, you might be next!

Not such a sweet smell!

One of the sessions on my Eat for a Better Life course is devoted to the subject of toxins (poisons). It’s is a timely topic for this column with the surge in promotion of highly processed party foods for Christmas. You can avoid herbicides and pesticides by buying organic meat and veg. You can cut down your intake of antibiotics and steroids by buying free-range meat. You can avoid chemical additives and damaged fats by buying fresh ingredients and doing your own cooking.

The huge number of chemicals now in our lives is causing many problems. A lady I know suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and can be laid low for several days if she goes near people who wear perfume or who have used the new long-lasting fabric softeners. I accidentally bought this type of softener when my usual brand was changed (no doubt ‘improved’). The new scent was not only nauseating but clung relentlessly to my clothes, my skin and whatever the clothes had laid next to in the drawer or wardrobe. I got rid of it pronto and sought a less toxic alternative.

Perfume is a major theme in the Christmas adverts. There is great secrecy around the recipes for famous fragrances so they do not have to list the ingredients. That doesn’t mean they are harmless. Other ‘smellies’ sold in abundance at this time of year are room fresheners, scented candles and bathing products. Natural essential oils are fine but commonly the scent is created in a lab from chemicals and can be irritant to the respiratory system.

Many beauty products contain chemicals but there are some good companies around that use natural ingredients.  I like Neal’s Yard, Weleda and Burt’s Bees.  There’s also Pure Lakes, a family company in Cumbria, with a great ethos and gorgeous products.

Top tip – take care when buying presents – or do your loved ones some good with a Learn to Eat Well gift voucher.

Make these nifty little boxes out of old Christmas cards!

Make these nifty little boxes out of old Christmas cards!

I wish you all a very merry chemical-free Christmas!

Inner Beauty

Hairdressers, beauticians and nail bars are getting busy in the run-up to Christmas. Everyone wants to look their best for lunches out with colleagues and parties with friends. Magazines and TV adverts add to the hype. Don’t you think it’s strange (and a little sad) that even though we all know that every image has been touched up and improved, we still crave the unreal visual perfection we are now used to seeing.

There is another approach to improving your appearance. Research shows that we are attracted to people who look healthy; it’s rooted in reproduction for strong offspring! Even without classical facial features, you’ll look good with a healthy glow and an energetic spring in your step.

It’s easy to see who has that spark and who doesn’t. If your body is clogged up inside with processed food, bad fats, sugar and toxic drinks, it shows. By giving your body good nutrients, you can have strong lustrous nails, clear bright eyes and smooth, soft skin that glows with health. Better than a temporary veneer, lasting beauty starts on the inside. A lady on my summer group noticed after just a few weeks that her skin felt gorgeous.

Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand for your body and your face. Have you tried face exercises? (Check out Jack LaLanne on YouTube.)

Food is the most important factor so I’m offering readers of the Learn to Eat Well blog a pre-Christmas Eating Habits Make-Over for just £23 instead of the usual £35.  We all get into habitual ways of eating.  If your habits are good, you’ll be in great shape.  If you think there’s room for improvement, keep a diary, I’ll take a look at what you eat and drink for three days and send tips for building better habits. This is an email service.  Quote Blog23 when you contact me.

And while you’re thinking about Christmas, why not buy someone a Jackie Wilkinson Nutrition Coaching Gift Voucher as a present?

Top tip – Feed your inner beauty.

 

Party Time!

It’s advent now and we’re in the run up to the party season.  Christmas and New Year can mean meals out, buffet lunches and more alcohol than usual.

The November issue of The Cockermouth Post is available at www.thecockermouthpost.co.uk.

Here’s my piece on protecting your waistline during the madness (or see TCP page 14).

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – but don’t lose your waist!

We may hate the darker evenings and cold, wet autumn weather but looking on the bright side, we’re in the run up to Christmas and New Year and that means parties!

It’s easy to get so carried away enjoying ourselves that we lose some of our better judgement about food. It’s tempting to eat far more than usual, drink more, buy more sweets, biscuits, chocolate, cakes, mince pies and on and on. And when you lose your head, you can also lose your waist. In a way, the whole season should carry a big yellow health hazard warning triangle.

The biggest danger as always is sugar. Having a good breakfast which includes proteins, carbohydrates and fats will set a good pattern for the day and protect you from random cravings. Packet cereal, toast and jam contain little goodness and only last a few hours leaving you wanting yet more sugar.

Food manufacturers and retailers are in a frenzy of advertising. Perhaps they even helped to create the culture of excess. Messages of goodwill and generosity mean they’ll rake in large amounts of our money in exchange for making us fat and ill. Bought seasonal treats are usually full of sugar and made with vegetable oil, both of which you’d do well to avoid. Consider spending your money on good ingredients and taking a little time in the kitchen. There’s nothing to compare to home made mince pies and your grandmother’s recipe Christmas cake.

Top tip: Enjoy the festivities and don’t lose your waist!

Sexy Summer Body

The summer is almost upon us (well hopefully soon) and many of you will be taking some time out to go on holiday and relax in the sun. This is the time of year when we suddenly remember that our bodies are important. As we strip off, we realise that everyone can see us!

This is a shared Survival Guide for the Skint and Nutrition Coaching blog post.  I’m passionate about food and health. The great news is that you can save money in your quest for a great bod.

Processed food is laden with additives and chemicals that your body has to work very hard to get rid of (or to store as fat). You pay mainly for all the preparation, packaging and advertising so the ingredients are rarely good quality. Buy real food and make your own meals to save money and improve your health.

Drinks can add up to a sizable percentage of your weekly shop. Fizzy drinks and alcohol cost loads and only do you harm. Fruit juices are better if taken in moderation. I like to dilute juices. The cheapest drink of all is water and the good news is that your body enjoys water much more than anything else. It’s even better if you filter it; jug filters work fine and are inexpensive.

The cheapest exercise is walking – guess what? Yes, it really is great for your body. It’s low impact so it’s kind to your joints. You can go when you want, for as long as you want and you put in the amount of effort to match your ability. Getting fresh air and sunshine is good for your lungs and skin. Good mental health goes hand in hand with good physical health. Being close to nature is good for you mentally (there are studies proving it’s good for you to be among trees). Walking is a pleasurable experience too. I’ve noticed that runners often look harassed or miserable but people on walks smile and say, ‘hello’.  You’re more likely to exercise if you find something that you really enjoy.

So eat, drink and exercise merrily, 

for tomorrow you don your swimwear!

Wishing you well

Jackie