Smorgasbord Health Column – What causes your Cravings – Part Three – Salt and Trace Minerals by Sally Cronin


Welcome to the series on a sensation that has been blamed for our consumption or over consumption of certain foods since we were old enough to make excuses! How often do we tell ourselves or others that ‘we crave’ chocolate, crisps, cheese, soda, fried food or even something non-food related… such as dirt or coal?

We tend to assume that our craving is a form of addiction that only one food or drink can satisfy, but in fact it is more likely that it is our body reacting to a lack of an essential nutrient absent from our regular diet. Or that we are under stress and that has resulted in a imbalance in our hormone production.

During this series every fortnight, I am going to be looking at some of the causes of a craving, whether it is a need for an essential nutrient or is down to a habit that has formed or because we are stressed. I will also give you the food fix that will supply that nutrient or suggest some strategies to cope with an unreasonable expectation for a food by your body and your mind.

Last week: Need Chocolate?

Salt cravings and trace minerals.

Women in particular can be hit by a salt craving as they experience more hormone fluctuations than men.

We sometimes forget that certainly during ovulation, your body is preparing for pregnancy. It requires the optimum environment for egg fertilisation, and then safe implantation in the womb. If you are deficient in essential nutrients, even those that have a less major role in our body’s health, there will be a nudge to ingest what is required.

Trouble is there are mixed messages. Our brain signals what it needs but it gets lost in translation, so when we get a craving for salt, diving into a bag of chips smothered in table salt is not exactly what the message contained.

This also happens when you have a chemical imbalance that has disrupted your healthy PH balance in the body and this can happen during stress events, after a crash diet, or following an illness where eating has been irregular.

It can also result from dehydration which I covered in the first of this series.

Recently I wrote about some of the myths surrounding salt which has been demonised to the extent that some people are actually deficient in sodium. Here is a reminder of that post and then a look at the trace minerals that your body is asking you to find to restore its balance.

I originally shared this post two years ago and I wanted to update it with any new reports to support this surprising perspective on the salt we consume in our diet.

One of the first points that I want to make is that I am not suggesting that you consume industrialised foods that contain not only high levels of sodium but also many other additives that do not do your health any good at all. I am very much in favour of a ‘Cook from Scratch’ philosophy when it comes to our food, especially when cooking for young children, in which case you are the person who controls how much salt is consumed through cooking and supervising what is added to meals.

I have been a nutritional therapist for over 20 years, and one of the essential elements of my work has been to remain informed of new research as it becomes available. This has sometimes turned previously held beliefs on their head, and a number of experts and research studies do make us reassess our position on salt in the diet.

I have always watched my salt intake as high blood pressure has been a family health concern. I have also been obese for a great many years of my life and certainly have always struggled to maintain a healthy weight. I do not take any medication of any kind and I have worked to keep my blood pressure at normal levels.

However, if this research is to be believed, I may well have been going about this the wrong way by reducing my salt levels too far.  I have read several articles written by Dr. DiNicolatonio and I am sharing excerpts from two that I suggest you read and consider.

I am not suggesting that you suddenly dive into the salt pot and certainly not to stop taking any medication. I am however excited to discover more about this line of research and will be keeping an eye on other studies.

Top scientist says all you’ve been told about salt is WRONG: It won’t give you a heart attack – while having too little will make you fat and ruin your sex life

You can read the rest of the post especially if you have a sugar craving!: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-health-column-food-myths-do-you-have-enough-salt-in-your-diet-overweight-sugar-cravings/

Apart from drinking plenty of fluids to ensure that you are not dehydrated, you do need to include foods in your diet, that are not industrially manufactured with additives, including an imbalance of nutrients.

What are Trace Minerals.

You will see a great deal of information on the need to take in sufficient calcium for healthy bones and nails, and magnesium to prevent cramps and to improve energy, but there are other trace minerals that are equally important, even though we do not need in huge amounts… these include chromium copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc.

If you do not include sufficient trace minerals in your diet then this could be the reason that you reach for a bag of chips plastered in salt!  Or even that bar of chocolate!

Here is a list of the minerals the body needs and the foods where you can find them.

If you are eating a varied diet with foods from the list, you should be getting sufficient without supplementation. If you are over 50 you may find that you do need additional support in the form of a high quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. However, first make sure you are getting from the best possible source which is fresh food.

Go through the list and make a note of any of the minerals that you may not be getting sufficient off based on the food groups that contain them.  And questions please ask.

Calcium – dairy, sardines, canned salmon, green leafy vegetables.

Chromium – Whole grains, potatoes, onions and tomatoes – liver, seafood, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb and pork

Copper – olives, nuts, beans, wholegrain cereals, dried fruits, meat, fish and poultry.

Iodine – cod, mackerel, haddock, eggs, live yoghurt, milk and strawberries.

Iron– shellfish, prunes, spinach, meats, cocoa.

Magnesium –dairy, seafood, apples, apricots, avocado, brown rice, spinach.

Manganese – beans, brown rice, spinach, tomatoes, walnuts, fresh fruit.

Phosphorus – poultry, whole grains.

Potassium – most fresh fruit and vegetables but in particular bananas, apricots, Brussel sprouts, kiwi, nectarines, potatoes.

Selenium – halibut, cod, salmon and tuna, mushrooms and Brazil Nuts.

Sodium – the best source of natural sodium is fish and shellfish, plainly cooked without batter.

Zinc seafood, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, egg yolks and tofu.

If you are looking for an alternative salt that has a balance of trace minerals and is more beneficial than table salt… Himalayan Pink Sea Salt... and here is an extract from an article that you might find interesting. It is more expensive than table salt but you don’t require as much and it provides a package of minerals as a bonus.

As scientific research has pointed out, “US Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily sodium intake 2300 mg, but evidence linking sodium intake to mortality outcomes is scant and inconsistent.” (1) The right salt in the right amount is actually very good for your health. Pink Himalayan sea salt contains over 84 minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron, so it does more than just make your food taste better. Let’s look at why you may want to make the switch to pink Himalayan salt for the its impressive health benefits. Instead of skipping salt all together, why not give it an upgrade?

Read the complete article: https://draxe.com/pink-himalayan-salt/

I hope you have found useful and please don’t hesitate to ask a question about the post. Thanks Sally.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in and please help spread the word by sharing..Sally.

Advertisements

Smorgasbord Health Column – Major organs of the body – Part Three – The Heart and Stress – Foods and nutrients needed to support you by Sally Cronin


Last week I looked at the impact on the heart of acute and chronic stress, and some strategies to combat the effects including a link to my breathing exercises.: Heart and Stress Connection

This week I am looking at how including certain nutrients in your diet can support the body and the brain during stressful events.

A healthy diet is absolutely necessary whatever lifestyle we have but if we are under excessive levels of stress then it becomes critical.

Make sure that you are hydrated. Dehydration is a leading physical cause of stress and you need at least 2 litres of fresh, pure water per day and more if you are on holiday or living in very hot climates. I recently posted about dehydration as a cause for food cravings and you can check that out HERE

Seven good reasons to drink water

  • Your body consists of between 60% and 75% water.
  • Each day our body loses 2 litres of fluid through urination,
    Breathing and through our skin.
  • We require even more fluids in warm climates or if we have a higher activity level.
  • Not drinking enough fluids puts a great deal of stress on the body. Kidney function particularly will be affected and there is a danger of kidney and gallstones forming. Immune function is impaired leaving us more prone to infection.
  • Lack of water causes a number of problems that we tend to shrug off. Headaches, irritability (especially first thing in the morning and in children) aching legs, water retention, poor skin tone, circles under the eyes, dull and lifeless hair, lack of energy and poor emulsification of fats.
  • Drinking water helps prevent water retention. Your body knows that it will die very rapidly without fluids so it tends to keep as much as it can in reserve.
  • If you are taking regular medication basis you need to make sure that you flush your system daily to ensure that there is no build- up of toxins in your cells, kidneys and liver.

There are some vitamins and minerals which the body needs to handle stress especially as during a stress interval the body will use up additional reserves of many nutrients. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables are necessary and here are a few of the particular nutrients that will help you handle the stress in your life.

Vitamin A mops up the toxic residue of elevated stress hormone levels. (Liver, fish oils, butter, cheese, Free range eggs, oily fish and Beta-carotene that converts to Vitamin A from carrots, green leafy vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli, orange and red coloured vegetables such as apricots)

Vitamin B1 improves your mood and is vital for nerve function. (Whole grains, seeds, peas, beans and nuts.)

Vitamin B3 helps you regulate your sleep patterns. (Liver, brewer’s yeast, chicken, turkey, fish, meat, peanuts, whole-grains, eggs and milk.)

Vitamin B5, better known as Pantothenic Acid, controls the action of the adrenal glands, which play a vital part in the stress response. (Liver, yeast, salmon, dairy, eggs, grains, meat and vegetables.)

Vitamin B6 is essential for the manufacture of the brain chemical serotonin, which is also called the feel good chemical. (Potatoes, bananas, cereals, lentils, liver, turkey, chicken, lamb, fish, avocados, soybeans, walnuts and oats.)

Vitamin B12 is necessary to help produce brain chemicals such as serotonin (dairy, eggs, meat, poultry and fish, for vegetarians in Miso and Tempeh both fermented soybean products)

Vitamin C is one of those vitamins that is used up very quickly during a stress reaction and needs to be replaced immediately as a deficiency leads to increased levels of anxiety and irritability. Smokers should take in Vitamin C in their diet and under the supervision of a professional should also take supplemental Vitamin C. (found in all fruit and vegetables but best sources are blackcurrants, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cherries, grapefruits, guavas, kiwi fruit, lemons, parsley, peppers, rosehips, potatoes, tomatoes and watercress.)

Minerals necessary to help the body manage stress

Calcium helps you relax and studies have certainly shown that for women it can help reduce the symptoms of stress related to their periods. (Dairy, sardines, canned salmon with the bones, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and soy products such as tofu.)

Magnesium works with calcium and also helps to reduce stress. (Whole grains, beans, seeds, wheat germ, dried apricots, dark green vegetables, soybeans and fish)

Chromium stabilises blood sugar levels that create stress. (Brewer’s yeast, onions, whole grains, shellfish, liver and molasses)

The aim of a healthy diet is to provide your body with the necessary fuel in the right proportions to enable it to achieve homeostasis, or balance. If you are living a very stressful lifestyle then you need to ensure that you address that balance as quickly as possible. If you suffer from low to moderate levels of stress you will find that by adopting relaxation techniques and giving your body the correct fuel to deal with the situation will have long lasting and very beneficial effects on you now and also years ahead in the future.

Don’t allow your stress levels today creep up on you unawares in 20 years time, deal with it today.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you find useful.. Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Cruise ships, Italian Cookery, Weights and Measures and a Badger in the Rose Garden!


Welcome to the round up of posts on Smorgasbord you might have missed this week.

Eureka!  The back garden ground works are completed and the side gate has been attached to the house again. It looks so much better and David is now levelling the rest of the garden which was very deeply sloped. This involves stainless steel cages about four foot in length, filled with stones to form a platform for the top soil.. when they arrived from Germany, and the first one was assembled, I did have a moment of wondering if this was my punishment for over using the debit card!  Then I saw there were several others which was a relief…

One final job is to install a new fence between our house and our neighbours and across to the hedge to enclose the back garden. Even though we have electronic gates we are sure that the next owners are likely to be a family and we wanted to provide a safe and secure place for them to play. Also if they have a dog it too is secure with plenty of space.

Not sure we will be completely finished by the end of the summer as so much is weather dependent.. but certainly by next spring when the next house selling season comes around we shall be. We are currently exploring the coastline further south and to the west looking for our next home, with a sea view.. and dare I say, less to do!

Twitter

One of the ways I try to support people on Twitter is retweeting their pinned tweet when they follow me, and also to zip around regularly to my friends to share their pinned tweet too. There are still quite a few people who are not taking advantage of this additional promotional feature that extends your profile of 160 characters by another 280 characters.

I currently use my pinned tweet to promote my Cafe and Bookstore and it is the first thing new followers see when they visit my account. And it is also usually the first thing that they will retweet out to their own followers.. I do change from time to time. If I have a new book that has been released, or a new series beginning.

It is very easy to use.. Prepare your tweet – edit it so that you are getting the maximum bang for your 280 characters..

  1. What are you promoting?
  2. If it is a book, what are the key words you should be including… along with one or two relevant #hashtags #Romance #Thriller #offer  etc.
  3. Have you removed unnecessary words such as that, and etc and used commas instead.
  4. Would it sell the book to you.
  5. Perhaps you are a blogger looking for guest posts.. what can you offer those submitting and what do you need from them.
  6. You might have a post that you particularly want to promote – don’t forget to add a couple of # and think of a way to hook them that encourages them to read your post.

Once the tweet is edited… next step – easy as 1,2, and 3

  1. Click on the downward facing arrow to the top right of your tweet.
  2. You will be offered several options including Pin to your profile page.
  3. Click and you will then be asked if you would like to view.

I am always very happy to share your tweets… pinned or otherwise but if you would like to tag me when you change your pinned tweet next time.. @sgc58… I will be delighted to share.

Time to get on with this week’s posts you might have missed….

My thanks as always to the contributors, guests and to you for dropping in this week.. you keep me motivated.

Last time Debby Gies (D. G. Kaye) shared some important information on cruise lines, the various standards of cabins available, and the best place on the ship to be if the weather is a bit choppy.  Here is the link to Part One

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-rewind-with-d-g-kaye-cruises-part-two-ship-tips/

With our global obsession with food and recipes, it can sometimes get a little confusing with measurements and the differing names for the foods we are familiar with. This week Carol Taylor clarifies a few things for us. Cooking terms, weight conversions and foods names

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-cooking-terms-weight-conversions-and-foods-names/

A wonderful multi-coloured appetizer or light meal from Silvia Todesco in this month’s Italian Cookery post..

IMG_3441

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-italiancookery-with-silvia-todesco-summer-italian-flag-colors-sandwich-an-impressive-appetizer-by-silvia-todesco/

My guest this week is Debby Gies D.G. Kaye talking about her heightened 6th sense, which has forewarned her on a number of times about coming events.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-my-sixth-sense-ias-inner-alert-system-d-g-kaye/

On centre stage this week……

As the night drew to an end, the lights dimmed and the music changed tempo from the rock ‘n’ roll to a more romantic vibe… the oldies were placed on the turntable and we were chaperoned..loosely by the likes of Frank Sinatra… Ole Blue Eyes himself. Who conveniently looked away from any shenanigans going on…. Here are some of my favourites.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-the-crooners-part-one-frank-sinatra/

Time of the week to respond to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 135 and this week the two prompt words are ‘Pretty and Ugly…. And I have selected the synonyms ‘Fair and Unsightly’ Etheree – Fairy Tales by Sally Cronin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-tanka-challenge-etheree-fairy-tales-by-sally-cronin/

The first of this weekend’s chapters from Tales from the Irish Garden Last week we met the foxes who had been changed from their human form by the evil goblin, the female was the Storyteller’s daughter.  Summer: Chapter Twelve – The Storyteller to the Rescue

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/13/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-summer-chapter-twelve-the-storyteller-to-the-rescue-by-sally-cronin/

The Storyteller arrives for his daily nurturing of his imported roses when he finds the garden in ruins.. and who might be the culprit?  Chapter Thirteen – Trouble in the Rose Garden.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-summer-chapter-thirteen-trouble-in-the-rose-garden-by-sally-cronin/

This is the second post from the archives of writer Sherrey Meyer whose blog is titled Life in the Slow Lane. Although Sherrey posted this in the spring of 2018, I am always behind with chores like this, as I am sure are some of you… so no time like the present. Time for Cleaning and Decluttering 2018 by Sherrey Meyer

messy desk, clutter, disorganization

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potlucktime-for-cleaning-and-decluttering-2018-by-sherrey-meyer/

This is the second of the  posts that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty. We are currently pet less, but certainly the one dog that we did have made a huge pawprint on our lives and did inspire a book all about himself. Do you have a pet that lies across your keyboard or has inspired you to write? Llamas and Labradoodles 2017 by Janet Gogerty

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-writerspets-llamas-and-labradoodles-2017-by-janet-gogerty/

This is the second post from the archives of Laura M. Bailey who blogs on a number of subjects including history, family, horses, Southern lifestyle and cookery. I selected this post as we love frittata or quiche for breakfast… great recipe thank I know you will enjoy. Barefoot In The kitchen: Breakfast For Dinner? 2018 by Laura M. Bailey

20170726_184348-01

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-barefoot-in-the-kitchen-breakfast-for-dinner-2018-by-laura-m-bailey/

This is the second post from the archives of author Stevie Turner who has an extensive and eclectic archives and it is easy to get yourself lost in there for an hour or so. I selected this post from 2016 as I was always fascinated by Eva Peron and her extraordinary life. Haddon Musings’ Feminist Friday – Eva Peron 2016 by Stevie Turner

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-haddon-musings-feminist-friday-eva-peron-2016-by-stevie-turner/

This is the second post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher.. or perhaps I should say Pearl and Millie do…sadly Millie has now passed on over the rainbow bridge, but as you will see she was a wonderful companion. This post is from 2016 and introduces us to some of the pack. Brother from Another Mother by Annabelle Franklin

No, you’re not seeing double – the one on the left is Tommy, Snip’s new BFF.

https://annabellefranklinauthor.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/a-img_20151016_161604448.jpg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-pets-brother-from-another-mother-by-annabelle-franklin/

This is the second post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them. I selected this post from 2016 because I love eggplant or aubergine and always keep an eye open for recipes.  Eggplant Napoleon 2016 by Dolly Aizenman

Eggpl Nap 8.jpg

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-kosherkitchen-eggplant-napoleon-2016-by-dolly-aizenman/

This is the third post from author Christa Polkinhorn who has been blogging since 2010.. This gave me access to her extensive archives. Christa is also a poet and I fell in love with this particular one that she wrote in 2000 and posted in 2016…The Old Man and his Memories by Christa Polkinhorn

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-the-old-man-and-his-memories-by-christa-polkinhorn/

This is the third post from the archives of poet Dorinda Duclos…and for something slightly different, some wonderful photographs from a Wordless Wednesday post in 2016. A Family Affair by Dorinda Duclos

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-nature-wordless-wednesday-a-family-affair-by-dorinda-duclos/

This is the third post from author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week I have selected one of the over 100 book reviews in her archives from 2015. This book is by another author in the Cafe and Bookstore Nicholas Rossis.. for Runaway Smile.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-book-review-my-kyrosmagica-review-of-nicholas-rossiss-runaway-smile-by-m-j-mallon/

This is the third post from the archives of a regular contributor to the series and wonderful supporter of us all, apart from challenging us each week with photo and Haiku prompts Sue Vincent wanders the land..in search of the ancient and modern to share with us. This week a post from her Muse and constant companion and contributor to her blog.. Ani. Notes from a small dog – War and peace 2017 by Sue Vincent

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-notes-from-a-small-dog-war-and-peace-2017-by-sue-vincent/

This is the third post from Amanda Reilly Sayer and because Amanda has only begun blogging recently, the posts are from 2019. There is plenty to share in poetry, prose and wonderful artwork. I am sure you are going to enjoy. This week I have selected a poem to share with you…Snow Day by Amanda Reilly Sayer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-snow-day-by-amanda-reilly-sayer/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-ages-8-10-pixie-and-the-green-book-mystery-by-coraline-grace/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-july-22nd-the-magic-carpet-by-jessica-norrie/

Author Updates -Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-laura-m-baird-rachele-baker-dvm-and-jacquie-biggar/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-annette-rochelle-aben-barbara-silkstone-walter-rhein/

One of the leading causes of heart attacks in men and increasingly in women is stress. It is a silent killer that lies in wait and pounces when you least expect it. It is not helpful that the stress that we experience is as unique as our own bodies.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-of-the-body-part-three-the-heart-and-stress-connection-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/09/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-digitally-enhanced-random-thoughts-on-life/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-or-two-from-sallys-archives/

Thank you very much for dropping in and all the support that you offer each week, it is much appreciated…

Smorgasbord Health Column – Major organs of the body – Part Three – The Heart and Stress Connection by Sally Cronin


Over the last three weeks I have been looking at the heart, its structure, function and some of the more common health problems associated with the organ. Also the food that provides the nutrients necessary for the organ’s health: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-heart-is-only-as-healthy-as-the-food-we-eat-by-sally-cronin/

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to our heart health, as whilst there may be some factors beyond our control, our diet and lifestyle is usually our responsibility, as is the management of the stress in our lives.

One of the leading causes of heart attacks in men and increasingly in women is stress. It is a silent killer that lies in wait and pounces when you least expect it. It is not helpful that the stress that we experience is as unique as our own bodies.

What is Stress?

You need stress in your life, does that surprise you? Perhaps so, but it is quite true.

Without stress, life would be dull and unexciting. Stress adds flavour, challenge and opportunity to life. Too much stress, however, can seriously affect your physical and mental well-being. In recent years several high profile personalities have died suddenly and we recognise that most of them lived highly stressful lives, which finally took its toll. But how many times have we been surprised by the premature death of someone we know, a friend or family member, who on the outside seemed to be healthy and active with a good diet. Unfortunately, what is going on with major organs inside the body tell a different story. Stress is silent and can be deadly.

What causes a stress reaction?

Stress is the modern day equivalent of our ancestral ‘flight or fight’ mechanism that was necessary in the highly competi­tive and predatory world throughout our evolution. There may no longer be sabre-toothed tigers or mammoths in our world but the modern day alternatives can be just as daunting.

A threatening or tense situation triggers this stress response demanding that we take physical action. Unfortunately most modern day stress involves situations that we cannot run away from; such as relationship issues, a demanding job and boss and not forgetting the traffic jams on the way home.

There are two types of stress, Acute Stress and Chronic Stress, and both have very distinctive patterns.

Acute Stress is a short-term response by the body’s sympa­thetic nervous system and the response may only last for a few minutes or a few weeks. How many times have you said that your heart stopped or your stomach lurched during a moment of intense stress such as an accident? We have all heard stories of mothers and fathers who have been suddenly infused with superhuman strength and able to lift cars and other heavy objects off their trapped children. They are empowered to do this by the actions of their body in a moment of crisis.

Blood sugar levels rise and additional red blood cells are released to carry strength giving oxygen levels a boost. The pulse quickens, blood pressure rises and the digestive process stops to enable the focus to be entirely on regaining safety.

Chronic Stress is when this acute stress response is repeated on a continuous basis. Whilst the body, after a hundred thousand years, is well able to handle the occasional stress response and in fact uses it positively, if the response becomes a normal way of life, other parts of the brain and body become involved leading to long term damage.

For example, ongoing stress causes the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, which are the master controllers for the body, to release a chemical called ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) which stimulates the adrenal gland to produce and release cortisol which disrupts sleep patterns leading to increased levels of stress.

Our bodies are simply not designed to live at high alert for sustained periods of time; it just wears it down leading to illness.

How can we manage this modern day stress that is going to be a part of our lives in one way or another?

A major challenge in this stress filled world today is to make the stress in your life work for you instead of against you. Stress is with us all the time. It comes from mental, emotional and physical activity. It is unique and personal to each of us because we all handle it in a different way. So personal in fact that what may be relaxing for one person may be extremely stressful to another. For example, my husband loves the challenge and rush of downhill skiing on the most difficult of runs. When I tried skiing I created so much stress and fear for myself that I lasted about two days. I was terrified and it made me feel physically sick.

Another example might be a busy high level executive who can find ‘taking it easy’ at the beach on a beautiful day extremely frustrating, non-productive and upsetting. You can be stressed simply doing nothing.

Too much emotional or mental stress can cause physical illnesses such as high blood pressure, ulcers and heart disease, whereas physical stress from work or exercise is not likely to cause these problems. The truth is that physical exercise can help you relax and to handle your emotional and mental stress. Following a healthy diet that provides you with all the essential nutrients to help your body manage stress is even more important.

Symptoms of stress can be subtle such as fatigue, insomnia, depression, headaches, back or neck pain, irritability and sudden weight loss or gain. The less common but more damaging are heart palpitations, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, nausea, panic attacks, inability to concentrate and chronic fear.

Many people resort to stimulants such as smoking, alcohol or even drugs in the efforts to calm themselves down but in fact they are merely stoking the fires and increasing the levels of stress on the body, which can lead to disease.

Others create stress for themselves and those around them. They love the drama it creates and they rarely know how damaging this behaviour is for all concerned. We have all had drama queens in our lives and knowing how to handle them to prevent a knock on effect on your own health is essential.

Here are some basic techniques to help you manage whatever stress you do have in your lives.

It would be a perfect world where we had absolutely no worries whatsoever but I am afraid there are only a few people who live in that serene an environment.

It is easier said than done, but you must find a way to relax that suits you. Think carefully about what makes you feel alive but calm, that gives you satisfaction and creates a feel good factor.

For you as an individual it could be skiing down a mountain or it could be walking along a sandy beach at sunset. For me it is sitting in the garden, in the sunshine with music.

As unique as the causes of stress are, so are the ways that we find to counteract the tension. It might be that you have several physical, mental and emotional activities that you find distracting and calming. Perhaps a game of tennis, followed by doing the Sunday crossword and then watching a weepy movie.

Certainly you will find it very beneficial to learn some deep breathing techniques. Counting to ten before blowing your top can actually be very effective.

You will find some excellent breathing exercises here that only take a few minutes at the beginning and the end of the day: Breathing exercises

If you really cannot think of anything on your own then find yourself a professional advisor who can help you find your bit of space and peace. It is always a good idea to find someone who has been referred by a friend or family member but your G.P should also be able to recommend someone.

Keep to a regular sleep pattern, although people do need varying amounts of sleep the average is seven hours. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time even at the weekends. Lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of stress. After several nights of less than your normal quota you will begin to feel stressed and also very tired.

I am afraid that stimulants such as cigarettes and alcohol and recreational drugs are absolutely the wrong things to rely on during a stress episode, as hard as it may be, avoid these at all costs.

When other people are the cause of your stress.

I mentioned that others can induce both acute and chronic stress on you and your life. Sometimes it is difficult to manage if the person is someone dependent on you; an elderly parent for example. In my experience a lack of reaction is probably one of the best strategies in those circumstances as a calm response is no fun at all! Walking away is not always an option but if you are to remain both physically and mentally healthy you need to fix the situation or ask professional advice.

Next Time: foods and nutrients that are vital when your body and your mind are under stress.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you find useful.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Making Hay, Getting your Blog Promoted, Guests Galore, Music and a Good Laugh.


Welcome to this week’s round up of posts you might have missed here on Smorgasbord.

Image Pixabay.com

Summer arrived finally, and for nearly a week the farming activity has been in overdrive. After the drought and poor harvest last year, the farmers are naturally very keen to get their hay made while the sun shines… This means that getting to town has been a bit slower behind tractors and other harvesting equipment, but nobody really cares as it gives us all a chance to enjoy the scenery.

I have spent my week pleasurably reading through the blogger’s archives who have kindly granted me permission to share their posts. This was an overdue attempt to get to know more about the people who support this blog and to promote them and their blogs. I had no idea that it would create such a wonderful windfall of interesting and entertaining posts. Normally when I issue an invitation to submit posts from the archives I might get 10 to 15 responses.. So far I have 65 bloggers on the list and I am half way through showcasing their posts.

This had me wondering what the difference was between the response. And the answer I believe is natural reticence. It is one thing to put yourself forward and perhaps wonder if your posts are acceptable, and another when someone actually selects posts to share. Whatever the reason, I am grateful, as I have discovered some wonderful posts and in fact am hard pushed to share just four.

It will depend very much on the reason why you write a blog, but one thing I am absolutely sure about is that there those who write blogs should promote themselves far more than they do. Also I do recommend that you open your doors to guests in every form including articles and interviews, as not only does it promote them, but it brings you readers for your own work.

On that subject, and something that I often repeat. For the majority of us our blogs are a full-time or part-time job, even if it is not monetised. If you add up the hours per week or month that you spend writing posts, and sharing them on social media, you will find how they add up.

I have been promoting authors and bloggers now for seven years and whilst delighted to share here and on social media, I do have some tips for those who are guests so that they get the most from the experience.

  1. Answer all comments individually. If people have taken the time to respond to the post then it is only courtesy to respond.
  2. If you are tagged on social media such as Twitter and Facebook with the name of the person who has shared from the post, then it is a good idea to respond and follow that person if you do not already do so.
  3. After a few days, reblog your guest post to your own site, just in case your own readers missed.
  4. Check on the post for a week at least every couple of days if you have not clicked the button that informs you of new comments.
  5. Go through your earlier posts and share again on your own blog. Like me I am sure you will find that your readership has grown year after year, and you have a completely new audience for your work.
  6. And when someone offers you the opportunity to share your work on their site, take them up on it. With me it is just a link needed, but you can also sent complete posts to anyone requesting guests and reach their audience. Great sites that are looking for guests are massive promoters of authors and bloggers – Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape, such as this post from Traci Kenworth – https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2019/07/02/writing-for-yourself-guest-post-by-traci-kenworth/  or Sue Vincent who has a wonderful collection of guest posts: https://scvincent.com/guest-posts/

As an example of how enjoyable an experience it can be as a guest of another blogger…

This week I was the first guest of Patty Fletcher for her new series Author of the Week.. I hope you will head over to read.. and also to sign up to be interviewed.. either answering the questions individually or in essay format.

https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/author-of-the-week

Lecture over… time to share some of the posts you might have missed this week. As always huge thanks to regular contributors who provide such informative and helpful content… and to all of you who have taken the time to visit, like, comment and share.

It is over a year since D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies began writing a Travel Column for Smorgasbord, and as she is up to her hollyhocks in work projects at the moment, I am repeating her first two posts on Cruise ships with part two tomorrow.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-rewind-with-d-g-kaye-cruising-reports-and-tips-part-one-d-g-kaye/

This week my guest is author and poet Joy Lennick. Joy has often entertained us with her tales of her long and very interesting life. Now in her young 80s, she lives with her husband Eric in the warmth of the Spanish sunshine.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-poetry-loyal-senses-by-joy-lennick/

Over the next nine weeks I am going to be sharing a range of music for jazz, pop, rock, country and classical fans. Unlike most music festivals, the sun will always shine, there is not camping or glamping…this week three summer favourites, including this one.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-summer-music-festival-summer-songs-to-get-you-in-the-mood/

In Touch with the earth.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-tanka-challenge-in-touch-with-the-earth-by-sally-cronin/

Time for this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills and this week being July 4th, it is in celebration of Charli’s part of Michigan, and its history. She asked us to check out the micro history of the Keweenaw National Historic Park from the 1840s and write 99 words no more no less about an aspect of that history.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-escaping-the-famine-by-sally-cronin/

The queen and her new husband are honeymooning for a month, having left her two daughters under the surveillance of the Storyteller.. however, when there is a music festival in town, girls with be girls, even when they are princesses.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-ten-summer-after-the-festival-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/07/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-chapter-eleven-summer-the-foxes-by-sally-cronin/

This is the first post from the archives of writer Sherrey Meyer whose blog is titled Life in the Slow Lane. If you are planning on tracing your family history or bringing together research for a memoir, I am sure you will find this post very helpful. Family History – 5 Ways to Excavate Memories 2015 by Sherrey Meyer

Sherrey Meyer, Blog Owner, Writer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-family-history-5-ways-to-excavate-memories-by-sherrey-meyer/

This is the first of the four posts that I have selected from the archives of author Janet Gogerty about keeping a journal, and the value to us as writers and as we get older.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-journals-into-infinity-by-janet-gogerty/

This is the first post from the archives of author Stevie Turner who has an extensive and eclectic archives and it is easy to get yourself lost in there for an hour or so…Last week Stevie posted a wonderfully entertaining visit to the Download Festival in 2010 Camping Under the Stars and so I decided to share one of Stevie’s early posts from 2014 about another music festival…. Stevie and Sam go to Sonisphere 2014 by Stevie Turner

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-music-stevie-and-sam-go-to-sonisphere-2014-by-stevie-turner/

This is the first post from the archives of Laura M. Bailey who blogs on a number of subjects including history, family, horses, Southern lifestyle and cookery. This post caught my eye as I have been sharing our stories of South Padre Island in Texas in my series set in 1986. 1919: Lost In The Storm (2018) by Laura M. Bailey

Screenshot_20180927-193936_Google-01

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-history-texas-1919-lost-in-the-storm-2018-by-laura-m-bailey/

This is the first post from the archives of children’s author Annabelle Franklin who lives in a lovely part of South Wales. She blogs from the Literate Lurcher..or should I say Millie and Pearl do….Millie has sadly passed away now, but in this post from January 2019 it is clear that she is still very much in the hearts and minds of those she left behind.

pearl barking

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-greyhounds-sorry-im-late-2018-by-annabelle-franklin/

This is the first post in this series from the archives of Dolly Aizenman, who not only shares amazing recipes from around the world, but also shares the history behind them.  July 4th – Fireworks on the Beach 2016 by Dolly Aizenman

Fireworks 12

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-july4th-recipe-for-fireworks-on-the-beach-by-dolly-aizenman/

This is the second post from author Christa Polkinhorn who has been blogging since 2010.. This gave me access to her extensive archives. This post from 2013 is about the research into wine making for Christa’s series set in a vineyard. The Art of Winemaking and Writing by Christa Polkinhorn

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-the-art-of-winemaking-and-writing-by-christa-polkinhorn/

This is the second post from the archives of poet Dorinda Duclos…and another poem that made me smile… having met and married in six weeks… we heard the same phrase.. ‘It will never last’… Dorinda celebrates 30 years of marriage in 2015.

neilmecove2015

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-thirty-years-by-dorinda-duclos/

In this post Sue Vincent reminds us how we tend to breeze through much of our life on auto pilot, missing a great deal of wonderful sights and events in the process.

sunday 060

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-green-light-2017-by-sue-vincent/

This is the second post from author Marjorie Mallon (M.J Mallon) and this week I have selected a wonderful short story that Marjorie wrote in response to one of D.Wallace Peach’s monthly speculative fiction prompts which I enjoy participating in too.  The Old Man of Snow and The Snow Snake by M. J. Mallon

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-shortstory-the-old-man-of-snow-and-the-snow-snake-by-m-j-mallon/

This is the second post from Donna W. Hill who has let me loose in her archives. I would say it is a fair bet that you are a writer if you are reading this post. In 2015 Donna explored this form of expression and communication that we have chosen to make such a key part of our lives. Writing: the What & Why of It 2015 by Donna W. Hill

Donna W. Hill in Hazleton, PA from Behind Group of Kids: photo by Rich Hill.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-writing-the-what-why-of-it-2015-by-donna-w-hill/

This is the second post by Bill Hayes who blogs at Matterings of Mind and there is definitely a treasure trove of posts to be found covering many subjects. This week the subject is photography and an exploration of the ‘selfie’. From O’Connell Street to Instagram 2014 by Bill Hayes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-from-oconnell-street-to-instagram-2014-by-bill-hayes/

This is the second post from Amanda Reilly Sayer and because Amanda has only begun blogging recently, the posts are from 2019. There is plenty to share in poetry, prose and wonderful artwork. I am sure you are going to enjoy. This week Amanda shares her move into working with acrylics for her art. A shifting definition of good work by Amanda Reilly Sayer

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-painting-art-a-shifting-definition-of-good-work-by-amanda-reilly-sayer/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-poetry-photography-my-maine-by-bette-a-stevens/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-books-on-the-shelves-sci-fi-steampunk-short-story-this-could-change-the-world-by-richard-dee/

Author Update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jan-sikes-balroop-singh-vashti-quiroz-vega-annika-perry/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-lorinda-j-taylor-d-wallace-peach-and-hugh-w-roberts/

Each of our major organs has its own requirement for nutrients, and you need a varied diet to keep all of them happy. This is true for the heart as well.. and here is a recipe packed with heart healthy ingredients.

dsc_1207aw

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-heart-is-only-as-healthy-as-the-food-we-eat-by-sally-cronin/

There are some very good reasons why you feel you need chocolate?  And some are related to your body not getting sufficient nutrients.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/03/smorgasbord-health-column-what-causes-your-cravings-part-two-need-chocolate-by-sally-cronin/

Escherichia Coli 0157:H7 (E.Coli) – Strong toxin in raw meat and uncooked food

Escherichia Coli is a group of bacteria that normally live in healthy humans and animals. Like any population there are dissidents and in the E.Coli family this particular strain produces a very powerful toxin that leads to severe gastric illness and in some cases has proved fatal. The numbers 0157:H7 distinguish this strain from the other E. Coli bacteria and refer to specific markers on its surface. As this June 2019 report from CNN shows, there are over 95,000 E.Coli 0157:H7 infections reported annually.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/smorgasbord-health-column-foodsafety-escherichia-coli-0157h7-e-coli-strong-toxin-in-raw-meat-and-uncooked-food-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-10/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/07/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives-2/

Thanks again for being part of the magic and the fun ….

Smorgasbord Health Column #FoodSafety – Escherichia Coli 0157:H7 (E.Coli) – Strong toxin in raw meat and uncooked food by Sally Cronin


Escherichia Coli 0157:H7 (E.Coli) – Strong toxin in raw meat and uncooked food

Escherichia Coli is a group of bacteria that normally live in healthy humans and animals. Like any population there are dissidents and in the E.Coli family this particular strain produces a very powerful toxin that leads to severe gastric illness and in some cases has proved fatal. The numbers 0157:H7 distinguish this strain from the other E. Coli bacteria and refer to specific markers on its surface. As this June 2019 report from CNN shows, there are over 95,000 E.Coli 0157:H7 infections reported annually.

“Some kinds of E. coli cause disease by producing Shiga toxin. The bacteria that make these toxins are called “Shiga toxin-producing” E. coli (STEC). The most commonly found STEC in the United States is E. coli O157:H7.

The symptoms of STEC infections can include stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Some infections are mild, but others can be life-threatening. 

The CDC estimates that 265,000 STEC infections occur each year in the United States. E. coli O157:H7 causes more than 36% of these infections

Most infections are the result of eating undercooked, contaminated minced beef, and drinking raw milk. There are some cases of person to person infection in families, in childcare centres, schools and also in people who have swum or drank sewage-contaminated water.

The symptoms are very painful and distressing with diarrhoea and abdominal cramps and on occasion a slight fever. Most patients recover in 5 to 10 days. In very young children or the elderly the resulting infection can cause a complication called haemolytic uremic syndrome in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail. Children are the most likely to pass the infection on, as they do not unless reminded tend to wash their hands regularly. This is why childcare centres and schools are potential hot spots for the infection.

How does the bacteria get into our food?

Unless you buy your minced beef directly from the farmer, there is no way that you can trace the source of your meat back to the original animal. This means that you are in the hands of the immediate supplier, which is either the supermarket or the butcher.

Ignore for the moment that you are also reliant on their hygiene protocols and that the meat may have become infected during handling. This particular strain of E.Coli can live in the intestines of healthy cows. Meat can become contaminated by contact with the intestines during slaughter and bacteria can be mixed into beef when it is minced. Not forgetting that hamburger meat is not necessarily made from pure steak and is usually mixed with any other part of the animal including its organs. Contaminated meat does not smell and there is no way to tell if it is dangerous to eat or not.

Cows may also contaminate their udders or equipment in their vicinity, the bacteria is then passed to raw milk.

Vegetables such as Brussel sprouts and lettuce have been found to be infected and there are two ways this might happen. One is contamination from ground source water, which contains sewage, and from infected animals in the same area as the plants.

A recent study showed that wild rabbits are likely to be infected with E.Coli and when they are in the same vicinity as cattle, they become infected too. If the land is a recreational park for example, humans can also come into contact with ground that is contaminated by rabbit droppings and become infected with the bacteria.

How do we avoid contamination?

Never drink un-pasturised milk unless you are absolutely sure it is uncontaminated which is very difficult.

Do not raw beef particularly minced beef. If you must insist on eating Steak Tartare then take a high quality piece of prime steak and mince it yourself having carefully washed your hands or worn gloves first.

Do not eat your hamburger under cooked, the entire burger must be cooked through. If you are served a rare hamburger in a restaurant, sending it back and also ask for a fresh plate, bun and salad as that may have become infected too.

Be aware that your own hygiene and that of your children are a cause of infection. Always wash your hands before preparing food for your family and educate your children as early as possible about washing their hands after going to the toilet.

 

Always wash your cutting boards and utensils in very hot water with anti-bacterial soap and do not put cooked meats back on the plate that contained the raw meat.

Do not swim in rivers or ponds that you do not know for a fact is not contaminated with sewage and never drink water from the same source.

If you are having a picnic in the country be aware that rabbit feces are contaminated and that you need to take anti-bacterial wipes or have water and soap for washing before you eat your food.

Raw food is very nutritious, as it has lost none of the vitamins or minerals in the cooking process. However it may harbour unwanted bacteria so it is very important that you wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating.

If you have pets you can contaminate their food if you do not wash your hands and they are as prone to the infection as we are.

Food is wonderful but we have to be careful about what comes as part of the package.

Bacteria are the most prolific form of life on the planet and they are all around us in the air, water, soil and consequently in the food that we eat. Simple hygiene and efficient cooking practices can prevent you and your family from suffering from most common infections.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you find useful.. Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – What causes your cravings – Part Two – Need Chocolate? by Sally Cronin


Welcome to a new series on a sensation that has been blamed for our consumption or over consumption of certain foods since we were old enough to make excuses! How often do we tell ourselves or others that ‘we crave’ chocolate, crisps, cheese, soda, fried food or even something non-food related… such as dirt or coal?

We tend to assume that our craving is a form of addiction that only one food or drink can satisfy, but in fact it is more likely that it is our body reacting to a lack of an essential nutrient absent from our regular diet. Or that we are under stress and that has resulted in a imbalance in our hormone production.

During this series every fortnight, I am going to be looking at some of the causes of a craving, whether it is a need for an essential nutrient or is down to a habit that has formed or because we are stressed. I will also give you the food fix that will supply that nutrient or suggest some strategies to cope with an unreasonable expectation for a food by your body and your mind.

Last Week: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/smorgasbord-health-column-new-series-what-causes-your-cravings-part-one-dehydration/

Part Two – Need Chocolate?

Chocolate is delicious, and I am partial to a good Swiss milk chocolate bar, with a large glass of milk in front of a good movie… or to be honest anywhere. There was a time when I would eat not just one bar, but several during the day, and would always have a stash in my office drawer. The taste of the chocolate and its sweetness were not the only reason that I craved it. At that time my job was extremely stressful, I was working 14 hour days, getting hassle from above and below with zero exercise, and little sleep. I was also drinking seven or eight coffees during the day, a couple of glasses of wine in the evening, and meals were definitely more take away than cooked from scratch. I also weighed 330lbs (150kilos, 24stone) which was not doing my general health any good at all.

Something had to give, and in 1995 at age 42, I was told that I was a heart attack waiting to happen and getting to 45 years old was unlikely. Everything that could be elevated was; dangerously so.

It was then that I decided that being good at your job was not worth damaging your health, and when my husband was offered a job in Belgium, I took the opportunity to put my future first. I studied nutrition and the human body to find out what had driven me to such lengths to self-destruct, and you might be surprised by the answer.

As were most of my clients who were very overweight when I told them they were suffering from it too.

Starvation and nutritional deficiency syndrome (my term for long standing voluntary food deprivation)

The body is a complex and highly sophisticated piece of machinery, with many moving parts and chemical reactions that are off the charts. As an entity it requires a constant daily intake of fuel in a form that it recognises, and can process to extract the nutrients it requires. Each major organ and operational system requires its own cocktail of vitamins and minerals to function at optimum capacity, and if they don’t receive what they regard as essential, they will begin to fail.

Think of your body as a formula one race car, with a very finely balanced chemical formula to extract every last inch of performance from the engine. If you put fuel in that has been contaminated with sugar, bad oil, additives that clog the engine and chemicals, the engine will seize up.

That is essentially what millions of people are doing to their bodies each day, as they eat a manufactured industrial diet, that is far removed from the initial food ingredients that you can get.

The body is being starved. And it reacts by urging you to eat and drink to obtain what it needs. But if you are only feeding it rubbish with minimal nutritional content, it will urge you to eat more of it,so it can extract even a small amount of what it needs, and it craves.

It needs fuel and the fastest way to get that is by eating sugars, it is absorbed quickly and burns fast, so you need more and more to satisfy the craving.

Add in a few more elements to your body’s state of health:

  1. Chronic stress, which is relentless day after day. Work, commuting, money, relationships, lack of sleep, poor eating habits, too much of the wrong foods and fluids, ill health.
  2. A decrease in organ and system efficiency. Your digestive system does not know if it is up or down. It is trying to extract gold from a landslide of mud and certain components are running out, such as stomach acid needed to digest the food in the stomach before it is passed to the gut to extract nutrients. You start to suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), hormonal fluctuations, bone and joint problems, allergies, frequent infections. You become host to pathogens as your immune system fails to kill invaders, and your skin, hair and eyesight begin to age rapidly.
  3. Your brain like any computer is working overtime to find a solution to the problem and other functions begin to suffer such as healthy hormone production, already compromised by low nutrient intake. For a woman, this might mean a complete cessation of her menstrual cycle, for a man it might mean a loss of sex drive.
  4. You begin to take supplements and over the counter medications such as pain killers and multivitamins to counteract you lousy diet. Combined with a few too many glasses of wine or spirits, this further impairs your liver function, which is struggling to fill your blood stream with healthy cholesterol which is necessary for hormone production.

But, for a short time at least you and your body are satisfied because you just had a bar of chocolate, filling your blood stream with sugars and calming that craving. Until an hour later when you need another hit.

Calories are not all created equal.

A bar of milk chocolate (100gm) is 540 calories and high in sugar fats, over 50%, dark chocolate does too! Admittedly that with both milk and dark you are going to get some antioxidants, some calcium, magnesium, potassium, some vitamins A, D, E, B6, B12 E, and some zinc, iron and sodium. But just a couple of squares will be sufficient, you don’t need a whole bar.

I have covered the amount of calories the body needs each day and you can find more posts on this in the Health directory

N. B.. the body has an average daily requirement of nutrient dense calories of 1500 for women and 1800 for men. That is to run all the operating systems including the brain and immune system 24 hours a day. This will vary according to age and activity levels.. This also applies to moderately active children…

Girls -1000 calories age 2 years old, 2 – 4 years 1200 – 4 – 7 1400, 7 to age 10 – 1600, 10 – 12 1800 and 12- 18 years 2000 calories.

Boys – 1000 calories age 2 years old, 1200 at 3, 1400 4-7 1600 7- 10, 1800 10 – 12, 2000 12 – 18 years old.

For the purpose for comparing the difference in quality of calories ingested, I am going to use three chocolate bars, vs. a day of nutritionally dense foods. (about the amount of calories that a moderately active person would lose weight healthily eating.

That is 1620 calories for three 100gm chocolate bars, milk or dark with more antioxidants contained in chocolate over 70%.

Approximately 54.21 saturated fats (unhealthy fat) and 12 grms of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated (healthy fat)

Here are the same calories but in a high density nutritional daily menu.

Breakfast – A poached or lightly scrambled egg on wholegrain toast, with tomato or spinach with a scrape of butter, small glass of orange juice, cup of green tea.

370 Calories

Lunch – Roasted chicken breast skin off, 100 gm cooked wholegrain rice, Carrots or sweet potato, plenty of broccoli or other green vegetables, and a small amount of gravy.

450 Calories

Dinner – grilled 150gm Salmon, large mixed salad, medium jacket potato or mashed potato and herb oil dressing drizzle.

500 calories

This leaves 300 calories for healthy snacks – half an avocado, plain natural yogurt, an apple, a banana to make up the 1620 calories.

Approximately 10gm of saturated fat but 45gms of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated (healthy fats).

If you were to put yourself in the skin of your body for a few minutes, what do you think the body would prefer you to eat each day.

Three bars of chocolate or the full menu I have shared, with all the nutrients that it requires to be replenished every day?

This is not to say that you should not eat chocolate.. I would be very grumpy if I couldn’t have the odd bar from time to time. But I no longer crave them because my body is getting what it needs from the wide variety of foods that I eat each day.

Apart from general nutritional deficit, there are some nutrients in chocolate that you body may need.

This includes magnesium which is high in chocolate and is a common deficiency particularly as we get older. Also Chromium, B-Vitamins and essential fatty acids.

There is a clue to be found in these particular nutrients that identifies why it is women who seem to crave chocolate more than men!

During ovulation, menstruation and the menopause, our hormones have their own agenda leading to a more intense range of PMS or menopausal symptoms.

If our diets are deficient of the above nutrients, possibly because of repeated dieting, narrow range of foods daily, or stress then these vitamins and minerals are mainly to blame. At these times in particular, our craving for chocolate increases, and coming in handy sweet packets, make a bar or two easily accessible and comforting too.

What you need to include in your diet are these foods rather than increased amounts of chocolate.

These are the foods that have the best sources of Magnesium.

The best food sources for magnesium are to be found in dark green vegetables such as spinach also in fish, meat, seafood, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, whole grain cereals such as brown rice, beans and nuts.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/04/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-the-body-needs-magnesium-deficiency-alert/

Foods rich in dietary chromium.

vegetablesBroccoli has the highest levels of chromium followed by other dark green leafy vegetables, romaine lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Wholegrains, potatoes, oysters and other seafood, liver, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef and lamb also contain good amounts. As you can see even in the sample menu you would be getting the chromium you need without reaching for the chocolate.

B12 is present in beef, offal like liver, eggs and dairy.. also mackerel, shellfish such as clams and crabs, fortified cereals and tofu, Marmite and cottage, feta and mozzarella cheese.

It is better to drink a cold glass of milk than to eat yoghurt as the fermentation process destroys most of the B12 as does boiling milk.

There are very few sources, if any of B12 in plants, although some people do believe that eating fermented Soya products, sea weeds and algae will provide the vitamin. However analysis of these products shows that whilst some of them do contain B12 it is in the form of B12 analogues which are unable to be absorbed by the human body.

Essential fatty acids

Omega 3– flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkinseeds, avocados, dark green vegetables, poultry and seafood such as salmon.
Omega 6olive oil, eggs, dairy and some of the above.
Omega 9
avocado, olives, almonds.
Amino Acids
dairy products, fish, meat, poultry, soybeans, nuts and seeds.

I know that this has been a long post, but I hope that if you have been drawn to the sweetness of chocolate on more than an occasional snack, you may be deficient in one or more of the nutrients I have mentioned or generally.

Keep a food diary for a week and circle the foods that you were drawn to in particular.. a sudden urge for eggs, onions, potatoes… and also the times that you wanted a bar of chocolate!

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments or if you wish email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you find useful.. Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Major Organs and Systems of the body – The Heart is only as healthy as the food we eat by Sally Cronin


I appreciate that many of you who have been kindly following the blog for a long time will have seen this post before. However, if you are new to Smorgasbord, I hope you will find interesting.

Last week I looked at some of the common conditions of the heart including angina: Part Two

The Heart is only as healthy as the food we eat…

Healthy Eating for the Heart.

The aim of this eating plan is to help maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of diabetes, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure all of which are contributory factors to heart disease. Ideally you will combine this plan with an exercise programme to maximise the benefits, and you will find ideas on exercise in the Turning Back the Clock programme in the Health Column Directory:https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/smorgasbord-health-column-news-nutrients-health-conditions-anti-aging/

Firstly, it is more than likely that you already know that certain lifestyle choices you have made may be contributing to heart disease.

  • If you are a smoker you are at a higher risk of developing arterial disease and a heart attack.
  • If you eat too many junk foods, high in saturated fats and sugars, you are risking high cholesterol and probably diabetes.
  • If you drink excessive amounts of alcohol then you are again taking chances with your heart health.

The good news is that eating a healthy heart programme need not be boring. In fact it will mean that you get to spend more time in the kitchen experimenting with all the wonderful alternatives to fats and sugars that are available everywhere. You need not compromise on taste and after a few weeks you will wonder how you managed to eat food that was so fatty, salty and sweet.

The aim is to eat all natural, unprocessed foods that have been touched by no other human hands than the one who picked it, packed it and yours.

I am going to give you a list of foods that have a specific role in preventing artery damage and heart disease. In that list are some foods that are high in potassium, along with the minerals Calcium and Magnesium. Potassium is a mineral that is essential for heart health and calcium and magnesium are essential to balance the potassium in the body.

You should be careful of supplementing with potassium if you are on heart or blood pressure medications but eating fruits and vegetables that contain this mineral in moderation once or twice a week should not be a problem. It is also important to balance their intake with calcium and magnesium rich foods and I note those in the list.

It depends on the medication so always check with your doctor or a qualified nutritionist.

The foods to EXCLUDE in your healthy heart diet

It is easier to detail the foods that you should not include in your healthy heart eating plan as you can eat everything that is natural and unprocessed limiting any other foods to a maximum of 20% of your daily diet.

Notice that I say avoid – this does not mean cut out all together as that is impractical – but there is a huge difference between having two biscuits each time you have a cup of tea and having two once or twice a week. Ice cream is delicious and having once a week is not going to be the cause of a heart attack – but it will be if you have every day in combination with bacon, ready meals, cakes, sausages, processed sauces, biscuits etc.

These contain extremely high levels of salt and phosphorus, as well as harmful additives and colorants.

White packaged breads tend to have a great many additives, cheap brown bread that comes wrapped in plastic has probably been treated to a caramel colour rinse as well as having a white flour base.

In house bakery whole grain bread is about the best option if you do not want to spend the time making yourself.

Although some margarine may be low fat they contain hydrogenated fats and additives and it is better for your health to have a little butter on your bread and potatoes.

Do not drink fizzy or condensed fruit drinks as they have extremely high levels of sugar and colorants. Also Aspartame is still raising its ugly head despite manufacturers wishing it into the healthy column. There have been some comments from people that they have it on good authority that it is harmless and that it is just hype. My philosophy is to follow the money. There is no financial gain to be made with the argument that artificial sweeteners including Aspartame are harmful to our health. But there is a great deal of money at stake for those who use it across the board in their products.

You can find out more about industrially processed foods: Industrially Processed Foods

Moderate your intake of alcohol to no more than two average size glasses of wine per night or one spirit. Better to restrict to a couple of glasses when you are out for a meal at the weekend.

Take a close look at the labels on any mineral water that you drink and ensure that the sodium levels are below 1.0.

Foods that help your heart stay healthy

I am a firm believer in eating foods that are packed with nutrients. If you need to lose weight you need to eat less calories, but that should not be at the expense of nutrition. I have already introduced you to several of these foods in previous blogs. The following ones in particular contribute to a healthy heart and help prevent high blood pressure and elevated and oxidised LDL cholesterol levels. Combined with lean proteins such as eggs, fish including some oily fish and poultry, these foods will help maintain your healthy heart.

dsc_1207awBrown Rice Pilaf packed with heart healthy ingredients: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/smorgasbord-health-multivitamin-supplement-or-brown-rice-pilaf/

  • All vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants, which remove free radicals from the system and also promote the growth of healthy cells and tissue. They can all be eaten freely on your healthy heart diet, but here are some in particular that are very beneficial.
  • Avocados with their healthy fat that actively helps to reduce cholesterol. They also contain potassium.
  • Dried apricots are high in potassium and fibre.
  • Banana has fibre too, which helps clear the system of debris and keeps the arteries clean. Also it contains potassium so important for a healthy heart provided you are not on a potassium restricted diet. Don’t forget to include calcium and magnesium rich foods that help balance the potassium.
  • Beans for fibre to keep arteries clear, potassium, low fat protein and magnesium.
  • Broccoli contains calcium and magnesium to help balance the potassium in your blood stream
  • Brown rice helps keep your cholesterol down and your arteries healthy with its fibre.
  • Brussel sprouts for their antioxidants and potassium
  • Figs for their alkaline effect on the body and potassium levels.
  • Green tea with its antioxidants, which inhibit the enzymes that produce free radicals in the lining of the arteries. This not only prevents plaque from forming but also improves the ratio of LDL (lousy cholesterol) to HDL (healthy cholesterol)
  • Kiwi fruit for Vitamin C and potassium
  • Oranges with their fibre to help keep arteries clear and their Vitamin C which prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Oranges are also high in potassium.
  • Oats with their fibre called beta-glucan which helps lower cholesterol and prevents plaque from forming in your arteries.
  • Olive oil for essential fatty acids.
  • Onions in particular which contain sulphur compounds that along with B6 and chromium help lower homocysteine levels in the blood- homocysteine causes platelets to clump so that they can attach themselves to the walls of the arteries and block them. One of the major causes of high blood pressure.
  • Pears for fibre and potassium
  • Potatoes for kukoamines to reduce blood pressure and fibre.
  • Prunes and prune juice for antioxidants, potassium and fibre.
  • Raisins for potassium.
  • Salmon, halibut, sardines and scallops high in Omega 3 and B6 – has the same effect as walnuts. Also contain calcium and magnesium.
  • Skimmed (semi) milk and low fat yoghurt for calcium, potassium, low fat protein and its possible ability to reduce blood pressure.
  • Spinach for many nutrients but also potassium and calcium.
  • Shitake mushrooms that have so many therapeutic benefits apart from their definite effect on heart health
  • Tomatoes for antioxidants and potassium
  • Tofu as a vegetarian option for low fat protein, calcium and magnesium.
  • Walnuts, most unsalted nuts and seeds with their monounsaturated fat which lowers lipoprotein in the blood. Remember, Lipoprotein causes platelets to clot which in turn can lead to strokes or a cerebral aneurysm. Walnuts also contain B6, which is very important for a healthy cardiovascular system in general.
  • Wholegrains in the form of unprocessed, fresh baked bread and natural cereals, without additives, to provide B vitamins, fibre and magnesium.

As always if you are on prescribed medication check the fine print but it is also important to do your research. Sodium and potassium are very important for the body and you should not or must exclude completely.

Our bodies are designed to extract the nutrients that they need from natural food we consume. It is the additional and hidden levels in industrial foods that are the problem.

Eating a ‘cook from scratch’ diet which is richly varied is the best approach to a healthy heart.

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse by health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you find useful.. Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Music, Numerology, Vitamin C, Guest Posts and funnies.


Welcome to this week’s round up of post you might have missed on Smorgasbord.

It has been a good week for works in the garden with two days in a row of dry weather to do the final cement pour. This coincided with a visit from an old friend from Hampshire for a couple of nights, ending with a lovely dinner out last night.

There is still work to be done over the next few weeks but we will see about getting the house on the market earlier than anticipated whilst the paint is still fresh.

Today is the first of the Human in every Sense of the Word and my first guest is author Paulette Mahurin who shares a poignant and thought provoking memory that involved the senses…I hope you will join us.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-human-in-every-sense-of-the-word-with-paulette-mahurin/

William Price King is taking his usual summer break and will be spending time with his grandchildren in the mountains, hopefully a bit cooler than the rest of France and Europe is at the moment. Since this is the season of music festivals, I will be taking the opportunity to share some of the music William has posted over the last four years in a summer music festival.. In William’s last post before his break he shares the music of Arturo O’Farrill

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-arturo-ofarrill-jazz-musician-pianist-and-composer/

Thank you for all the support this week and you lovely comments. Always love waking up in the morning and logging in to read and respond to them. Summer tends to be a little quieter as children go on holiday and vacations are taken, but always grateful to see you when you drop in.

Better get on with more posts from the week…..

Vitamin C is necessary for so many functions of the body that it is one of the key nutrients, along with Vitamin D that should be made a priority in food and sometimes in supplemental form. Vitamin C is not stored in the body, so if you do not eat regularly in your diet you can become deficient. Carol Taylor and I share the benefits, key food sources and recipes to ensure you are getting sufficient.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-vitamin-c-ascorbic-acid-and-l-ascorbic-acid/

This week, not only do we find out what our universal energy is going to be gifting us in July, but also I am showcasing Annette Rochelle Aben’s latest poetry collection, hot off the press this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-your-universal-energy-for-july-by-annette-rochelle-aben/

Two more chapters from Tales from the Irish Garden.. the first Spring: Chapter Eight. The royal banquet with a magnificent menu created by Chef Marcel and wine and champagne contributed by the Storyteller.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-spring-chapter-eight-the-royal-banquet-by-sally-cronin/

In Chapter Nine – Prince Ronan gives Queen Filigree a wonderful betrothal gift that all of us girls would love to have in our gardens!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/tales-from-the-irish-garden-serialisation-spring-chaper-nine-the-betrothal-gift-by-sally-cronin/

 

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 133 and this week the prompt words were ‘Plan and Spend’ and I have chosen ‘Intent and Squander’ as my synonyms. The Magpie’s Prize.. a double Etheree.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tanka-poetry-challenge-133-double-etheree-a-magpies-prize-by-sally-cronin/

My response to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills This week, Charli has asked us for 99 words, no more no less… on the subject of painting

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-white-washing-by-sally-cronin/

In this week’s letter to my parents in July 1986, I share our weekend away with our friends from the complex to San Antonio, river rafting and battling Mariachi bands..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-july-1986-rafting-on-the-guadaloupe-and-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-by-sally-cronin/

Author Linda Bradley takes us to Montana and share the research for her series Montana bound..saddle up… and there is also a FREE book offer for Maggie’s Way until July 2nd on Bookbub..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-m-bradley-bookpromotion-montana-bound/

Authors Helen and Lorri Carpenter explore the ability of the birds in their garden to predict weather.. we have sparrows who will feed differently when bad weather is coming in.. as if they know to stock up before the storm hits.. have you noticed this in your garden?

Image Source: HL Carpenter

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-essay-summer-weather-forecasting-is-for-the-birds-by-hl-carpenter/

John Rieber loves books and this is one of his very first blog posts from 2011… I am sure having looked as his recommendations that these are as valid now as they were then.. 7 Great Books For Gifts!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookrecommendations-7-great-books-for-gifts-by-john-rieber/

This is the final post from the archives of Frank Prem for this series. In this poem he lays bare the wonderful wood that lies beneath layers of paint..

Clean Board

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-stripping-by-frank-prem/

A lovely tribute to motherhood.. from Marian Wood..

Our roots are deep just like my thoughts

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-the-love-of-a-mother-by-marian-wood/

Lorinda J. Taylor shares a recipe for a deliciously moist fruit cake.. for Christmas or any time of year.. Bishop’s Cake.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-recipe-bishops-cake-lorinda-j-taylor/

Tasker Dunham with his last post in this series. I have selected a post about an eccentric but forgiving neighbour (when there are three young boys either side of your garden) who became an adopted grandmother.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-memoir-mrs-quackworth-by-tasker-dunham/

Dorinda Duclos with a poem about camping that has got everyone chiming in with their camping stories.. no wonder hotels do such good business!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-poetry-camping-by-dorinda-duclos/

This is the first post from author Christa Polkinhorn and she shares her thoughts on book reviews.. great for novice reviewers and those of us who may need a refresher..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-some-thoughts-on-book-reviews-by-christa-polkinhorn/

The first of the posts from fantasy author Marjorie Mallon who shares her experience of her gallbladder operation, which I am sure will be very reassuring to anyone facing this procedure.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-health-my-gallbladder-operation-by-m-j-mallon-2014/

The first post from the extensive archives of Sue Vincent....a lovely trip to the west… Wild Things from 2016.

Wales 297

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-going-west-wild-things-2016-by-sue-vincent/

A new contributor to the series with his first post, Bill Hayes.. I know the Wembury and Plymouth area reasonably well and this post caught my attention.

mewstone1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mewstone-and-starfish-2013-bill-hayes/

The first of the posts from the archives of Donna W. Hill…her review of a wonderful book for dog lovers..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/29/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-bookreview-the-big-new-yorker-book-of-dogs-by-the-new-yorker-by-donna-w-hill/

New to the series, artist and writer Amanda Reilly Sayer, with her submission for Diana Wallace Peach’s speculative fiction a couple of months ago…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-potluck-shortstory-empty-promises-by-amanda-reilly-sayer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/smorgasbord-book-reviews-psychological-thriller-hope-by-terry-tyler/

 

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-pre-order-for-august-7th-racked-grafton-county-series-4-by-sue-coletta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-j-p-mclean-sally-harris-marcia-meara-and-barbara-ann-mojica/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-james-j-cudney-james-j-cudney-teagan-riordain-geneviene-jane-risdon-lynda-mckinney-lambert/

The second part of the heart health series… and some of the more common symptoms to keep a look out for.

Plaque build up in arteries

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-heart-part-two-angina-arrythmia-and-valve-disorders-by-sally-cronin/

Toxoplasma Gondii – Pets are a joy but they also harbour unwanted visitors

Handling food safely is of vital importance to our health. As children it is instilled in us that we must wash our hands after going to the toilet, and also before eating, but it is one of those rules that every generation learns, but is seldom explained in detail.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/smorgasbord-health-column-food-safety-toxoplasma-gondii-pets-are-a-joy-but-they-also-harbour-unwanted-visitors-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-life-lessons-from-the-archives-and-a-joke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-comedian-in-residence-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-sallys-archives/

Thank you very much for dropping in this week and for your ongoing support.. It is much appreciated.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Safety – Toxoplasma Gondii – Pets are a joy but they also harbour unwanted visitors by Sally Cronin


Toxoplasma Gondii – Pets are a joy but they also harbour unwanted visitors

Handling food safely is of vital importance to our health. As children it is instilled in us that we must wash our hands after going to the toilet, and also before eating, but it is one of those rules that every generation learns, but is seldom explained in detail.

As a living organism we are host to parasites. Whilst we might like to think that it is only animals and particularly our pets that have worms and harmful bacteria, we provide just as welcoming an environment in our own bodies.

The real danger occurs in the very young and the elderly who tend to have either immature or repressed immune systems. The parasites or pathogens are able to take hold and overcome the bodies weakened defense systems.

Toxoplasma Gondii

There is one particular parasite that can not only cause problems for children and adults but also to an unborn foetus as well. This is Toxoplasma Gondii and the condition is called Toxoplasmosis.

Anyone who has been pregnant, will have been asked by their doctor if they have a cat, as this is the main source of this parasite. Cats are predators and they catch and eat infected rodents and birds. The parasite is then carried in the cat’s faeces and out into a litter box or soil. Kittens and young cats are the most likely to be infested with the parasite and it is estimated that over 80% of household cats carry the organism, with no signs or symptoms of the parasite infestation.

The parasite is then passed to the human through contact with the cat and then touching a hand to the mouth or by emptying the litter box without protective gloves. Also gardening without gloves, if you have a cat, it can expose you to the risk of infection as you work in soil they have contaminated.

If food is then prepared, the parasite will be passed onto the rest of the family. This is not the only way that we come into contact with the parasite. Most feral cats and even our own domesticated pets roam in other gardens and also in the surrounding countryside.  Grass and other feed crops are then grown in contaminated soil, and then fed to pigs, sheep and deer, which become infected with toxoplasmosis. We then handle and eat raw or under cooked meats becoming infected ourselves. We can also come into contact with the parasite on unwashed vegetables that have been grown in contaminated soil and then eaten raw in salads.

Symptoms of Toxoplasmosis

The great majority of us carry the toxoplasma parasite, but very few of us have the symptoms because the immune system, when healthy, keeps the parasite from causing illness. Some people who have toxoplasmosis may feel as if they have the ‘flu’ with swollen lymph glands or muscle aches. These symptoms can last for about a month. If you are concerned then do go and see your doctor and he may suggest a blood test to check for the parasite.

If a mother is infected before or during her pregnancy, she may not show any symptoms and neither will most babies at birth. However, a small percentage may be born blind or with some brain damage, but these symptoms usually develop over a period of time.

How to protect yourself from Toxoplasmosis.

In the first instance it is about maintaining a healthy immune system. This comes from eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, protein with some carbohydrates most of which should be unprocessed. Industrially processed foods, including refined sugars, should really only make up about 20% of your diet. There are a few basic hygiene guidelines that can minimise your chances of becoming infected with any parasites.

1. Always wash your hands with hot water and anti-bacterial soap after any exposure to soil, sand, litter trays, raw meat or unwashed vegetables.

2. Cook your meat completely so that there is no pink and the juices are clear.

3. Freeze any meat that you buy for at least three days before cooking as this will help kill any parasites.

4. Wear gloves when gardening or emptying litter boxes and always wash your hands afterwards.

5. Wash all surfaces such as cutting boards, knives and utensils used in the preparation of raw meats and unwashed vegetables in very hot, soapy water.

6. Make sure that you thoroughly wash, and if possible peel, all fruits and vegetables before consuming. This especially applies to salads and it is something worth considering when you are eating in a restaurant. Most will be complying with health regulations, but if you are in any doubt about the cleanliness of an establishment, then perhaps better to eat a cooked item on the menu. Also beware of a salad buffet where many hands may be touching the serving spoons before you.

If you are owned by a cat!

  1. It is not necessary to give up your pet if you get pregnant, but if possible get someone else to change the litter box every day, as the parasite does not become infectious until 24 hours after elimination.
  2. Your cat’s chances of becoming infected are reduced if you feed it cooked home prepared food or high quality tinned food.
  3. Do not be tempted to pick up stray kittens or cats if you are pregnant and wait until after the birth to get a new cat. Keep all your pets as parasite free as possible by using one of the number of natural products available. Check with your vet if you are at all concerned about the health of your cat

©Sally Cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2019

My nutritional background

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines and posts here on Smorgasbord.

If you would like to browse my health books and fiction you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/my-books-and-reviews-2019/

As always delighted to get your feedback and questions. This is not intended to take the place of your doctor’s presence in your life. But, certainly in the UK, where you are allocated ten minutes for a consultation and time is of the essence; going in with some understanding of how your body works and is currently functioning can assist in making a correct diagnosis.

Some doctors believe that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. However, I believe that understanding our bodies, how it works, how we can help prevent health problems and knowing the language that doctors speak, makes a difference.  Taking responsibility for our bodies health is the first step to staying well.

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you find useful.. Sally.