Achoo! Cough! Sniffle…

By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health specialist,  Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

Español English Suomi * Dansk


 

It seems that all kinds of different winter viruses and bacteria from all the different countries—whether that be Spain, Denmark Norway, Finland, England, Canada, Ireland etc.—have come together on our Spanish coast, in an effort to attack as many people as possible.

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The language is international: achoo, sniffle, and cough. You can hear it everywhere. I even received a call from Mexico, for help with a winter cold.
It was my friend’s friend, who’d asked my friend to seek my advice about what could be done to relieve a stubborn cold. I asked which products he had in his house. A bit uneasily, he answered that he only had Omega-3 capsules left. Seeing as I was quite busy I told him, somewhat impatiently, “then give him some of those” and went on with my business.
I never heard whether or not the capsules helped with the cold, but I did receive a joyful greeting and news that the man discovered that when he takes omega-3 capsules, he doesn’t get a hangover. At least that way he could take care of his job after a bender, which I guess is also not a bad thing.

It‘s all about the immune system
All well-known winter ailments come down to strengthening the immune system, supporting the liver’s functions, and making sure to eat healthy and clean. Especially after all the Christmas and New Year gatherings, and the long-distance travelling all with coughing and sneezing people everywhere. If your energy levels are low, you are more susceptible to infections. Often you don’t need more than minimal contact with an average infection, to be at the risk of getting infected yourself.

Better to prevent than cure

Schools and pre-schools are a hotbed of infection. If you have kids in school or pre-school, there is a high risk of stomachaches, colds, sore throats, and the flu.
Many a running nose and sick days can be avoided and we all know it’s better to try and prevent than it is to cure.

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I recommend the following products for boosting the immune system of children in the winter season:

  • Bio Strath comes as an elixir, tablets, and taste neutral drops. Bio Strath is an old, well tested Swiss dietary supplement, which contains 61 different vital substances, in an easily absorbed form. It is 100% natural.
  • Vitamin-C 300 mg in chewable form, from acerola berries. It has a lovely taste that all children can enjoy.
  • A chewable multivitamin/mineral.
  • Omega-3 in liquid form, with a child friendly flavor.

The common cold

If you have contracted a cold, then it’s possible to relieve or even shorten it.
The common cold is caused by a virus. The mucous membranes swell, you cough and snot develops, and you may get a sore throat. In some unlucky cases, the cold might even spread to the lower airways and irritate the mucous membranes. It’s also possible that you rattle and squeak when you’re breathing, and you get a fever, and maybe have an accompanying painful cough. These symptoms can be a sign of bronchitis. If this is the case, you should consult a doctor to check for pneumonia, which might need to be treated with antibiotics.
Pneumonia often arises as a complication to a common cold. It could be an average common cold, slowly turning into pneumonia, so caution is advised.

Toddlers

Young children can often experience a very high fever. Obviously a child must be closely monitored. Be sure the child drinks and urinates properly, and if you are in any way unsure about the child’s condition, please consult a doctor.

 Teaching you to help yourself

It can be advantageous to mix and match different suggestions when it comes to relieving your cold, sore throat, or flu.

  • Echinacea is a natural remedy from the coneflower plant that stimulates white blood cell production and strengthens the body’s immune system. It is often used in treatment, prevention, and relieving of the cold virus.
    The product comes as drops, tablets, spray, and as an elixir, where echinacea is mixed with elderberries and enjoyed as a warm drink, for alleviating painful airways caused by coughing.
  • I am a big fan of Kan Jang. It is a fixture in my personal pharmacy, and I also bring it on my travels.
    The product consists of a Russian root and andrographis paniculate. It is well documented that it helps relieve the common cold and many other infections, and it is also tested with multiple positive results against the flu.
    I take the remedy at the very first sign of the flu, cold, or sore throat. I feel that if I take it early enough, then I can often completely avoid the infection.
  • If you have a runny nose, it can be a good idea to apply menthol ointment under the nose and on your chest. The scent penetrates the nostrils and eases your breathing.
  • It can also be a great idea to sleep with your head elevated.

Throat infection

A throat infection often feels similar to a cold. You should be aware that a throat infection is caused by bacteria, which often come in the form of a streptococcal infection. Your tonsils will be red and swollen and mostly coated by a white residue.

A streptococcal infection can be diagnosed by a doctor taking a swap-sample from your throat to see if it is a bacterial infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics since it might otherwise lead to more sickness later in life such as problems with valvular functions in the heart or rheumatoid arthritis.

Diet

  • Make sure that you drink plenty of water when afflicted by a throat infection. You can also drink a lot of elderberry juice or spoil yourself with a lovely (steaming) elderberry soup. It instantly eases the pain in your throat.
  • Gargle, for instance with saltwater, use half a tsp. of sea salt to one cup of lukewarm water.
  • Doing the time, whilst your throat is infected, avoid all dairy-based products as they are mucous forming.
  • Avoid sugary foods, they reduce the effectiveness of the immune system.
  • “Gone Tomorrow” are lozenges with peppermint and colostrum from Danish cows. It can alleviate irritation in the throat.
  • Oils with eucalyptus or menthol-oil terminates bacteria and eases nasal congestion as well as a sore throat.

Dietary supplements

  • Make sure to get extra vitamin-C. You should be taking 1000 mg 6 x daily, during the peak of the sickness. If you start early enough, then you may be able to prevent the sickness completely.
  • A strong multivitamin/mineral should be taken daily. Choose for instance, Longo Vital, with its specific combination, it makes it a great immune system booster. You should also consider taking double the doses, whilst your sickness is at its peak.
  • You can further strengthen your immune system by taking Astragalus. It is a plant which strengthens and boosts your immune system and improves your cardiovascular circuit. It is also great against feeling sluggish and tired.
  • Remember to take your daily supplement of Vitamin-D. If you are in doubt, as to whether you need this vitamin, you can have yourself tested at a laboratory.
  • Supplement with extra selenium, as it’s an important antioxidant.

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Coughing

I have unfortunately experienced that a cold always comes together with a cough, it is very tiresome and disturbs the night’s rest. When I was pregnant many years ago with my youngest son, I had a terrible cough. I was in the hospital and I was terrified of loosing him. I begged for codeine drops, which at the time was the only thing I knew that would help me with my coughing. The staff thought I was on drugs. They finally gave in, and they gave me the codeine drops that I wanted. I slept peacefully and kept my 3rd child, who now runs administration at Anni’s Vitalshop.

  • I have later learned to take care about my coughing. I take lemon from the garden and mix it with a couple of tea spoons of honey and a glass of warm water. It instantly eases my discomfort and I can repeat the procedure if I need to.
  • I love all kinds of honey. When I take honey for the coughing and the cold, then I usually spare no expense and go for Manuka honey. Manuka honey is a medicinal honey, which is made of bees that live off the Manuka bush, located in New Zealand, the honey has an antibacterial effect and tastes wonderful.
  • You can also get a natural cough medicine in spray form.
  • Remedies with licorice root and propolis can also help with many kinds of coughs.
  • Influ Zink is a lozenge which alleviates you cough. It consists of zinc and Vitamin C.
  • A piece of dark chocolate can also help, whilst also being refreshing.

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The flu

The flu is also an airway sickness, caused by a virus. Your entire body typically hurts as if you’ve been beaten, accompanied by a fever and a headache. The flu often arises in epidemics, where many people are afflicted at the same time. It usually lasts about a week and you should treat the flu with respect because it can cause a load of other ailments, such as inner ear infections, (which often targets children) sinusitis, lung infections etc.
The flu is spread through the air, and is often transferred through the nose, throat, lungs, or hands if they are contaminated with the virus from a cough or a sneeze. You can infect others with the sickness a day before your own flu starts to show symptoms, and until a day after your fever has disappeared.
The flu can be very dangerous for elderly and/or weak people. If you are infected with the flu, try to keep to yourself.

 The diet

  • Eat plenty of vegetables. In the old days it was said that if there was kale in the garden, then the doctor never had to visit due to a winter ailment.
  • Eat chicken soup. Not only because chicken soup is delicious, but the warm soup is also great for a sore throat, and the soup also prevents inflammations and mucous formation.
  • Drink tea with ginger and/or chamomile.
  • Colloid silver water has contracted many followers. It is said to be able to kill the flu and colds.
  • Eating garlic is also thought of as having a preventing effect on both viruses and bacteria.

Minor tips

  • Make sure to get a good night’s rest.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Keep your feet warm.
  • Forget your exercise program whilst infected.
  • Enjoy life and sprinkle it with laughter and delight.

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Photos by Tiina Arminen

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Cow’s Milk Substitutes

We can’t all drink cow’s milk. There are several reasons for that. Perhaps you are allergic to it, have lactose intolerance or you are a vegan. Fortunately there are alternatives such as oat, soya, hemp, rice, coconut and almond milk. These substitute milks are all 100% dairy free. These are called milk or just simply drinks – soya drink/milk, almond milk/drink etc.

almond milk

We have heard over the years that a glass of cow’s milk makes bones stronger. Milk with cookies, morning cereal and coffee are all combos everybody likes. If you cut cow’s milk out of your diet it doesn’t mean you need to start drinking your coffee black.

Some of us find cow’s milk difficult to digest, and blame symptoms like bloating, wind and diarrhoea on dairy. This may be because low levels of the enzyme lactase make it hard to digest the lactose (sugar) in dairy.

The milk alternatives vary in their levels of nutrition, flavour, colour and texture. Everyone can find an option best for their taste. It’s good to check that the drink you choose has calcium, Vitamins D, B2 and B12, because cow milk has those. The substitutes don’t have iodine, but you can get it from yoded salt, seaweed, and if you are not vegan also from eggs and seafood.

Here are some facts about different milk alternatives:

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a bean extract of soybeans. You can find it in sweetened, unsweetened and flavoured.

+ soy milk is nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk. It’s often fortifies with calcium, vitamins A & D and riboflavin and it usually includes 8 to 10 grams of protein per serving.

-Even a little soy milk can cause severe allergic reactions to those with a soy allergy.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is made from ground almonds and water. Sometimes sweeteners are added, so rather choose an unsweeten one. The texture is very cow milk like.

+ Almond milk contains lots of vitamin E.

– Almond milk has less protein thab daity milk or soy milk. It also doesn’t have the vitamins, and minerals,so it’s important to look for fortified almond milk.

 

Rice Milk

Rice milk is made of boiled rice, brown rice syrup and brown rica starch. It is a popular alternative to cow’s milk.

+ rice milk is the most hypoallergic of the milk alternatives. It’s free of soy, gluten and nuts.

-Rice milk is high in carbohydrates and low in protein and calcium. It is also thin and watery, which makes it not a good one for cooking or baking.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is a close alternative to cow’s milk, because its texture resembles of whole dairy milk.

+Coconut milk has far more potassium that dairy milk. It is suitable for many types of cooking and baking. It has less calories than dairy milk.

– Coconut milk lacks the nutrition value of dairy milk. It has less protein and calcium than cow milk.

 

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is made of hulled hemp seeds and water, sometimes sweeteners are added. It is a good choice for those allergic to soy, nuts and gluten.

+ Hemp milk provides more iron than cow’s milk. It is also very high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is very good for heart and brain health.

– Hemp milk is relatively low in calcium unless fortified. Its beany-nutty flavor may not suit some taste buds. Sometimes sugar is added, so read the label.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is made from oats and enriched with vitamins and calcium. It is low in saturated fat. The taste is creamy with a slightly powdery aftertaste.

+ Oat milk is a low-fat option with all the goodness of oats. It can be used in cooking as it won’t split when heated. It is cholesterol free and a good source of vitamin E and folic acid.

– Oat milk is high in sugar and doesn’t contain very much protein or fiber. Its texture is rather thin, so it is not the most ideal for baking. It is not a great choice if you are gluten-intolerant.

I started with soy milk, after that I used coconut milk and at the moment I’m using almond milk. I add it to my smoothies, to my granola bowl and also to my tea, especially when I drink black tea.

What is your favourite cow’s milk substitute?

 

Alcohol & Triglycerides

By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health specialist,  Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

EspañolEnglish * Suomi * Dansk


 

After all the holiday loveliness, everyday life has returned. For most of us, it is probably a good, to give our liver a much-needed break, because alcohol and triglycerides, along with a damaged liver, appears to be a world-wide problem.

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The inspiration for this months’ article came when I visited one of the many restaurants on the peninsula Yucatan in Mexico. We picked a restaurant in Chuburna, because the small village was the one we stayed in during our first visit, a couple of years back.

The restaurant looked like all the others in the area: Large, with a clay tamped floor, and plastic tables and chairs set in a delightful random mixture of red and white.

We chose this one because, unlike the other restaurants, it was surrounded by a luxuriantly sea of flowers and lush plants.

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We were the only customers, because we arrived outside of normal serving times. The food was absolutely wonderful. In my opinion, it could easily compete with any 5-star restaurant, in terms of presentation, as well as quality. Added to that, there was plenty of it. My guacamole, and my friends’ fishplate struck us all with awe. I called on the waiter—if you can even call him that, considering he was a young friendly-faced boy, wearing a pair of worn-out jeans and T-shirt, which had seen better days as well. I asked him: “Who on God’s green earth has prepared this lovely meal?”

He answered with a smile, telling me it was his mother who absolutely loved to cook, after which I asked to speak with her, of course. She appeared, all modest, and I told her how I truly enjoyed her food and admired her plants. In turn, she told me that taking care of her plants, and conjuring up wonderful meals for her customers, gave her the greatest pleasure.

This led to a long, pleasant talk, in which she expressed her curiosity about where such a red-haired woman like me originated from, and what I did for a living.

I told her about my life in Spain; that I’m a trained naturopath and owner of a small chain of businesses.

Afterward, she returned to her work, but came back shortly with pencil and paper in hand. She sat down at the end of our table and asked if I could help her.

“If I can, off course!” was my answer.

The problem: she had very poor liver numbers and heightened triglycerides, but she rather not take the medicine her doctor prescribed.

I guessed that I should probably stick to one product. In part due to their economic limitations, and partly because I didn’t think she was ready for more at the time. I recommended that she should take milk thistle in liquid form. She carefully wrote down how and when to take the product I suggested, gave me big hug and left us thankful and full of hope.

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Triglycerides and Alcohol

It seems that even small doses of alcohol can contribute to heightened triglycerides.

Triglycerides are fats in the blood. Almost all fats have triglycerides in them. If the number of triglycerides in our blood is too high, there is a higher chance of cardiovascular diseases and strokes.

Higher levels of triglycerides are often caused by a liver that isn’t working properly. It can also be a symptom of diabetes – which our Mexican cook denied having.

Besides recommending that she take milk thistle, we also talked about diet and lifestyle.

She wasn’t overweight, and even though she stands and walks a lot in the kitchen, I recommended that she take walks along the ocean—which was just around the corner—and dip her feet in the water every day. Also, to completely exclude alcohol for at least three months. Next I suggested that she steer clear of cola, which is an especially praised drink among the Mexicans.

Clinical trials on mice have shown liver damage, after consuming cola for just four weeks.

I think the exclusion of cola, seemed more troublesome to her than the exclusion of alcohol. Instead, I recommended that she drink 7 – 8 glasses of water a day, of the best quality available.

I’ve noticed that all the people that I’ve met in Mexico, consume enormous quantities of sugar. And personally, I have noticed that I started to get sugar cravings due to the immense heat.

Be that as it may, I still asked her to leave sugar, sweet drinks and sugary foods behind, and only got her sugar from fresh fruits…and even those in a moderate amount.

Lastly, I advised that she avoid all forms of bread, be it normal bread, tacos, or tortilla, which is a large part of the everyday foods in Mexico. It is impossible to enter a restaurant without being served a bowl of tortilla.

Her man is a fisherman, so I asked her to eat as much fresh fish as she could.

She listened with much interest, but whether she has the willpower to follow my advice, only time will tell.

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A good friend of mine told me that in Mexico, in the area where we were, there are three important days in the week: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Friday is a social day, where the men get together and drink “kaquama”, which are large bottles of beer that are passed around. If you don’t wish to drink, then you can’t take part in the social life, even if you just pay for the beer and sit there for company.

Saturday is sex day. Many Mexican men take lovers and even have kids outside of marriage.

Sunday is family day. This is a very important day to everyone. The entire family gets together and eats, maybe watch football, and enjoy each other’s company. They really care about their family days, which my friend and I noticed on a Sunday, where we wanted to buy a trip onto the flat waters to see the flamingos. We offered double the price, but despite the high levels of poverty, the answer was still no.

My friend prodded the man, quite provocatively, if he wouldn’t like to bring some extra money home to his family. The man answered: “yes, I would, but my wife won’t let me” (There was an important football match on the television that day).

I think it was a wonderful and thought-provoking experience that proved that not everything is for sale.

Dietary supplements that rejuvenate your liver

Obviously, you shouldn’t take all these dietary supplements at once. Instead, this is a selection of suggestions, which can help strengthen your liver individually.

  • Omega-3 fats, exists in many different forms both from fish, and now also in (vegetarian) seaweed. There is also plenty of omega-3 in linseed oil. Linseed oil can quickly turn rancid, so make sure to buy it in dark bottles, refrigerate it, and finish it reasonably fast. If the taste is harsh, then unfortunately, you must throw it out. Omega-3 oils are great for counteracting heightened triglycerides, and it also removes a lot of the cravings for sweets.
  • Vitamin-E counteracts the forming of fat cells.
  • Other noteworthy vitamins to treat the liver are all the vitamin-Bs including cholin. Cholin deficiency can result in the creation of fat deposits in the liver.
  • Lecithin, must not be overlooked, as the product can contribute to the removal of fat deposits in the liver.
  • It is good to take a daily dose of vitamin-C.
  • When it comes to minerals, then it’s especially important to take zinc and selenium.

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  • Milk thistle takes the spotlight when we talk of herbal medicine and the liver. Silymarin is one of the components in milk thistle. It’s a heavily liver protecting compound, and can help reinvigorate a fatty liver.
  • Artichokes contain some specific fat-active elements, which support the liver- and bile system, and stimulates fat digestion.
  • Effective herbal medicine can also be dandelion. It is diuretic and holds a large amount of calcium, whilst also stimulating the liver- and bile system.

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Tips

Alcoholism is one of our greatest problems all over the world, not just causing suffering for the alcoholics themselves, but also for their spouses, children, close relatives, families in general and even their friends.

I bought a newspaper in the nearby village of Chelem called “La Verdad”, which had an article about antidepressants, women and suicide. The article stated that 47% of women, which had been the victims of violence (often due to alcohol consumption), ended up buying antidepressants without a prescription, and that many of these women later committed suicide.

I discussed the article with my cleaning lady, who said it was true. She had a close friend who committed suicide after repeated abuse by her alcoholic husband. Said friend had also been taking antidepressants.

We hear the same sad tale when it comes to alcohol all over the world. Luckily, there are many great rehab clinics where you can get help.

Through the research I did concerning rehab possibilities, I found a beautiful prayer which is said to be used by many AA associations.

The prayer is called “The Serenity Prayer”.

Serenity means peace of mind, tranquility, and harmony.

As we are nearing the end of this article, I’d like to wish everyone a beautiful and merry new year, and recite this prayer, which I think we all, no matter age, gender, or challenges, can appreciate:

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

Festive food – watch out for those sweet treats!

 

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At this time of year, it’s very tempting to throw caution to the wind when it comes to what you eat.

From Christmas puds and yule logs to mince pies and candy canes, Christmas treats often come packed with sugar.

However, simple sugars are a source of calories that provide little in the way of nutrition or satiety (the feeling of fullness). As a result, it’s quite easy to consume sugar foods in excess, especially as they have an addictive quality and especially during the festive season. Simple dietary sugar can cause blood glucose highs and lows, the latter causing poor concentration, fatigue and of course sugar cravings, starting the cycle all over again.

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This overconsumption of sugars can lead to weight gain while being overweight or obese elevates the risk of type 2 diabetes development. Latest research has also indicated a link between higher levels of glucose in the brain and worsening symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
While sugar is not the sole cause of diabetes, it is a large contributing factor, but thankfully it’s something we can do something about.

Dietary considerations

The World Health Organisation has recommended that daily sugar intakes should be no more than 5% of total calorie intake (approximately 25g/day for an adult). Starchy carbohydrates (wholegrain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice ,etc.) are generally more slowly absorbed than their counterparts, making you feel fuller for longer and steadying blood sugar levels.

Adequate fruit and vegetable intake is vital, but the emphasis should be on vegetables. Vegetables offer a high density of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and typically low instrinsic sugar. Fibre-rich foods, healthy fats (such as oily fish) and lean protein are all healthy additions to a diet.

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Type 2 diabetes and obesity

If you’re overweight or obese, you may be at higher risk of type 2 diabetes, as the pancreas struggles to produce enough insulin for the body’s needs. Fat tissue stored around the abdomen especially contributes to diabetes risk as it is considered highly hormonally active.

This tissue has been shown to produce pro-inflammatory compounds known as cytokines, which can cause pancreatic issues including diabetes. Working towards reducing this excess weight through exercise and healthy eating choices can significantly lower your diabetes risk.

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What else can you do to reduce your risk?

There are natural steps that can be taken to control blood glucose levels and to ensure that we can make the most of available sugars in our foods.

Research published in Panminerva Medica in June 2014 showed that an extract of maqui berries (known as Delphinol) can assist in the control of blood glucose, by reducing the rate at which glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream from the digestive tract. The active ingredient delphinidin was shown to inhibit the sodium glucose co-transporter (SGLT), which facilitates the uptake of glucose from food into the intestinal tissue and the blood, thus avoiding the sharp spikes in blood sugar which can result following eating.

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Chromium and blood glucose

The role of the trace mineral Chromium (found in small quantities of green leafy vegetables, poultry and nuts) in blood glucose management is well established. High blood sugar can also be a sign of chromium deficiency, and it can even resemble diabetes.

Adequate chromium intakes are necessary for optimum function of insulin and therefore, blood sugar regulation. When choosing to supplement with chromium, chloride or picolinate forms are common and typically have very low bioavailability (0.5-2%), meaning poor absorption from tablet to bloodstream.

ChromoPrecise® (an organically bound chromium yeast) demonstrated up to ten times the bioavailability of chloride or picolinate forms and has been approved by The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) after extensive investigation. It has also been confirmed that ChromoPrecise helps maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Be sugar smart

Controlling blood sugar can have a massive impact on health, beyond reducing the risk of developing or furthering diabetes. Good sugar control can be useful for:

· The maintenance of healthy weight
· Stable energy and concentration levels
· Controlling sweet and sugar cravings

So while it’s tempting to sink your teeth into some sweet Yuletide treats, being sugar smart could help you enjoy yourself way beyond Christmas and into the New Year.

 

Photos by Tiina Arminen

The temptations of Christmas

julensfristelser

By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health specialist,  Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

EspañolEnglishSuomi * Dansk


December has arrived once again. Most of us associate the month of December with coziness, candles and delightful gatherings. Christmas initiates four Sundays before the 25th of December, where the lord and with him, Christmas can be expected. Advent Sunday is traditionally welcomed with advent wreaths, candle light, decorations and many lovely Christmas gatherings of different kind. Christmas is celebrated by Christians, as the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The church has placed the birth of Jesus on the 25th, but in Denmark we celebrate the birthday on the 24th, in the evening. The actual birthday of Jesus, has never been definitively proven, but authorities decided to gather the celebrations of the winter solstice and the birth of Jesus, into one event. However, it was not always like this. It was forbidden in England to celebrate Christmas. The English parliament adopted a law in 1647, which forbade Christmas. The leader, Oliver Cromwell, saw the celebrations as amoral. The Christmas days should be sacred. If any priests preached about the birth of Jesus, they could risk getting send of to jail. The law was only in effect while Cromwell was in power. December is in our era, a time where friends and family come together, and with the gatherings come indulgence and cozy times, with extra food and, often of the traditional kind, which doesn’t normally appear in our everyday lives. This can easily lead to overeating, however you should be aware of it, and still be able to enjoy the delightful Christmas foods.

Overeating
I love the traditional Danish Christmas food, and I think it’s wonderful to try other Christmas dishes than just the Danish ones. However, I certainly don’t enjoy feeling as if I have overeaten, and I have gradually figured out, that I don’t have to over indulge, just because I enjoy the food. I have for many years abandoned health and wellbeing in the month of December. This unfortunately came at a steep price, where the following months came with increased weight, a troublesome stomach, and blood sugar imbalances etc. By the help of some small tricks, can I enjoy Christmas and feel great afterwards. I am mentally present when I eat my food. When I have the food in front of me on the plate, I sit for a moment and look at it, and just enjoy it with my eyes. By doing this, my digestive system starts to prepare itself, and it becomes easier for the pancreas and the intestinal system to absorb the food. The food is eaten slowly, and every mouthful is enjoyed. Remember that there have been people, whom have put fort a great effort to make this delicious meal, so it would be a shame and a bit impolite, to just through the food in. Put down your cutlery, whilst you talk with the people at your table. When you eat, chew slowly, and you will easier feel full. When the first feeling of fullness arrives, then stop eating, even if there is still food left on the plate. If it’s possible, then think of the food that will be served and decide which foods and how much you want to eat, before you sit down at the table. That is a tremendous help to me personally.

Dietary supplements which can prevent overeating

Constipation
When you consume all this delicious food, which isn’t a part of your normal eating habits, such as duck, roasted pork, caramelized potatoes, risalamande, and Christmas cookies etc. not to mention the unusual drinking habits, then you can easily get constipated.

Prevention of constipation
It can make all the difference, if you make sure to take some long lovely walks in the fresh air, where you make sure to take in as much oxygen as you can, before you are seated at the table. If there is fruit and vegetables at the table, then make sure to eat plenty of it. Make sure to drink enough water, but not together with the food, that will just make you eat faster. Make sure to drink large quantities of water before and after the meal, it will make you feel full, and of course chew slowly.

Dietary supplements

  • Carbon tablets can be a great solution, if you know that you are going to eat different foods. The tablets work as a filter, that protects.
  • It’s important that your intestinal bacteria are functioning properly, and make sure to take a quality supplement of intestinal flora tablets.
  • You should also take a supplement of enzymes, to make it easier to digest the food. These are especially important if you feel bloated.
  • If you just cannot rid yourself of constipation, then try eating prunes, or drink prune juice.
  • Products that contain psyllium husks, can be a great help, but remember to consume large quantities of liquid afterwards.
  • Molkosan might also be a great help.
  • You should try your best to avoid dairy products and cheese, if you feel constipated.
  • Make sure to get your vitamin-B, and maybe even an extra supplement of B1.
  • Take omega-3 oils.
  • Extra vitamin-C is also important.

Alcohol
Alcohol addiction, unfortunately destroys Christmas for many families. If too much alcohol is consumed, then what should have been a lovely gathering, can often end in bickering or even in fights. If you know that you tend to drink too much at Christmas gatherings, then try your best to discipline yourself before you start. Even if you think that everything is more fun and that you feel happier when you drink, then remember that it doesn’t take much, before that all turns around. If you are an alcoholic and can’t control your drinking, but would still like a peaceful Christmas with the family, then take an Antabus diet. It can be the best Christmas present that you can give your family, who loves you dearly.

Useful supplements

  • Make sure you get a strong and high-quality vitamin/mineral supplement.
  • Extra vitamin-B. Make sure that you get your essential oils, preferably in capsule form, together with omega 3/6/9. Bring the oil capsules with you, and take them whilst you are underway, or as the last thing you do before bed.
  • Make sure you follow a blood sugar stabilizing diet.

Hangover
If you want to avoid being hungover, then it’s a good idea to stop smoking. Smoke and alcohol together, can have the effect of making you more hungover. If you don’t want to be hungover, then it’s important, that you make sure to consume sufficient water between drinks. Alcohol is highly diuretic, and dehydration can affect your hangover. 2 hours before you head home, you should start drinking nonalcoholic drinks – this makes it easier to wake up. It is important that you have had plenty of sleep and feel well rested, before you start drinking. if you are unlucky, and you wake up the next day with a massive hangover, then it’s always good to have some first aid ready. Again, I can’t stress how important it is with plenty of water, perhaps with some salt added. It might be a good idea, with a single beer, but stick to one, or you might start all over again. If you can eat something, then eat a good omelet with beacon or sausages. Do not workout the day after drinking too much, leading scientists have discovered that it’s unhealthy.

Dietary supplement that protects

  • It can be a really good idea to take a high-quality supplement of vitamins/minerals in times, where you know you are going to have a larger consumption of alcohol than usual. This helps absorb the alcohol better, and in turn reduces the hangover.
  • Take an extra supplement of vitamin-B.
  • Make sure you get enough selenium and zinc.
  • Different amino acids, such as cysteine and taurine, can be helpful. Lots of great oils, for instance omega-3 and/or coconut oil can be good to take afterwards, or as a preventive measure, if you have already decided that you are going to drink a lot.
  • Milk thistle, which is lever cleansing, is good before and after, is available both in capsule and liquid form.

Make sure to create great Christmas memories
I think that most of us are very bound by tradition, when it comes to Christmas. Christmas eve can almost seem magical for children. Christmas is a time that you never forget, you will always remember how Christmas felt when you were a child. I was a child of busy parents, that loved me dearly. The stores were always open until 16:00 on Christmas day, and I remember most of all how tired my mom and dad were on Christmas eve. When the days’ sales were finally done, they just wanted to pass out in their chairs. The Christmas decorations at home were quite poor, there simply weren’t enough money, however the decorations in the store, radiated and glowed with angels, candles, and elves. 25% of their yearly turnover, was generated in the month of December, so there were plenty of work to do. Therefore my most precious Christmas memories, are in the time leading up to Christmas eve, where we decorated the store, usually on the first advent Sunday. And when we have finished, we would celebrate, and all the local shopkeepers would gather in the middle of the night, to enjoy traditional Danish sandwiches and beer. There the atmosphere was happy, expectant, and cheerful. I would like to point out how important good Christmas memories are for the little ones. They will remember them for the rest of their lives and carry them on to their own children.

To everyone in all ages, I wish you a merry Christmas!

Anni

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Making the most of Winter

hygge

As the Winter’s cold sets in, you may notice that your appetite has increased. Like the black bear preparing for hibernation, our increased appetite is in fact a primitive instinct. Our descendants used to need to increase their calorie intake in order to survive the cold, harsh Winter months. Nowadays we have heated houses, cars and warm clothes to keep us warm and healthy, so it’s not as important.

Due to the chilly temperatures, our bodies are expending a little more energy than usual to adapt to the cooler air. This is why you may feel more hungry after being outside, or in a cold room. The cool air can induce non-shivering thermogenesis (NST).

Cold hands and feet. Blue lips. Dry skin. All Winter norms. Spoil yourself with a nice body lotion that has a nice fragrance. It’s often the small things that make a big difference. Lately I have been using coconut oil to keep my skin hydrated. I like adding essential oils to my coconut oil – at the moment it’s a blend of bergamot and lavender. Bergamot has a nice citrus smell which lifts your mood and can actually aid your digestive system. Lavender is calming and can improve cognitive function. Another benefit from using coconut oil and essential oils is that you are not applying loads of chemicals to your skin.

lavender

Our emotional well-being can also be affected by the cold, dark days. Some of us turn to cosier things to keep us content. In Denmark, we have a word called “hygge” – a term for well-being and is said to be the secret to happiness. Picture the soft glow of warm lights, candlelit dinners, chunky knit sweaters, reading a book in front of the fire with a lovely cup of tea or hot chocolate, snuggling with a loved one… this is hygge.

Comfort food is a welcome indulgence too. Try to keep your regular healthy daily diet routine, but allow room for the foods that will make the Winter season a little more cozy. Adding warm spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger to your food will help you to feel warmer and increase blood circulation.

Cinnamon is a natural antibiotic, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent so it helps you fight off sickness. Cinnamon also helps to balance blood sugar levels which is a bonus during the Christmas festivities.

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I like to enjoy Christmas goodies and lots of chocolate, and choose to do this without feeling guilty. When you make a decision (whether it is eating that piece of Christmas cake or something entirely different) be sure to do it wholeheartedly. Making a decision and then worrying about it or regretting it is simply a waste of good energy. We all need to focus more on the positives in life. Life is all about balance. Should you “accidentally” happen to have gobbled away on all the chocolates in the house – don’t fret too much. Eating smaller portions the following days and a few good walks will even it out. Be easy and speak positively to yourself.

I go to the gym more often during these months, to boost energy and serotonin levels, to produce more endorphins and to balance out my increased lust for comfort food. If you are lacking motivation – remind yourself that often the hardest part is getting yourself to the gym. Some of my best workouts have been on days where I’m tired and expecting the worst.

Long walks with the dogs are not only great for the dogs, but benefit you immensely too. Did you know that walking as little as 30 minutes a day can reduce our risk of heart disease by 40 percent? According to statistics from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – heart disease is the number 1 killer in America.

Even a mere 20 minutes of yoga at home can help to keep you fit, if you do it on a regular basis. It’s easily available online (there are loads of free youtube videos), and the feeling you get afterwards is so rewarding.

Enjoy yourself this Winter, and remember to “hygge”!

Hannah – Anni’s Vital Shop, Mijas Costa

Sex and impotence

By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health specialist,  Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

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Having an active sex life is important; for its health benefits as much as our sense of happiness.
Love, in my opinion, is what makes our sexuality such a great pleasure for our soul. After all, we are all created by sex. It is the root of our existence.
While I’m writing this article, I must occasionally take a break and a deep breath.
To talk so publicly about sexuality, is still a sensitive and tricky subject for many people, even now, in 2017.
I write this article today, because I feel that the subject is a problem for many, yet is often discarded as unimportant, or swept under the rug.

Sex is more important than a lot of people dare to admit. It’s vital that we accept our sexuality, and know that we are worth loving. It is my belief that we must love and be sexually active throughout our entire lives.

There are many benefits to a good sex life, so it’s worth it to make an extra effort to enjoy this creative and passionate power. Which brings us to the subject of the day: Impotence. All men know of impotence. Often it’s a problem that quickly disappears. But if it is a constant problem, then it needs to be addressed, seeing as it can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and trauma.

Some of the benefits of a great sex life that are worth mentioning:

  • Sex relieves stress.
  • It burns a lot of calories.
  • It Improves sleep.
  • Helps strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Increases intimacy between partners by creating joy and a stronger connection.
  • Can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. koen for prostata cancer.

The cause of impotence can be physical and/or psychological

For a man to lose his potency is often a great sorrow. Added to that, to him it may feel as the worst possible thing that could happen to him. Many men, as part of their identity, consider themselves great lovers, and find it important to use that gift to bring joy and pleasure to their women.
If you find yourself impotent, try to talk about it openly with your partner.
To keep seeing the humor in things, rather than tragedy, is also vital. Laughing together can be a great way or releasing a lot of internal tensions.
Be sure to examine your life and see if something is lacking; this may affect your potency.
For instance, do you get enough sleep?
Do you exercise enough?
In that regard, I would like to suggest that, if you choose to increase the amount of exercise you do, choose dancing.
Let your partner dance for you. Dance yourself. And dance together. Dancing provides an amazing amount of energy.

Factors that can have a negative effect on your virility are:

  • Too much alcohol
  • Bad/unhealthy food
  • Too much TV
  • Being stressed, angry, or irritable.

Perhaps there are physical reasons for your impotence like diabetes, or alcoholism. Or perhaps even synthetic medicine is the root cause. Blood thinners and antidepressants, can certainly affect your virility. Problems with the spine can also cause potency problems.
Many urologists believe that upwards of 50 percent of impotence can be traced back to a natural cause.
Just like we change with age, so does our sexuality, but I believe that change should only improve our sex life.
Massage is a wonderful supplement to lovemaking, and doesn’t even need to be a part of the act. You don’t need to be a trained masseuse to give a massage. Let your intuition guide you, and use your hands in a mixture of light strokes and deeper presses. If you would like to know more about massage and its effects, then there is a mountain of books written on the subject. A book, which I myself have learned a lot from, is called “Massage” and is written by Clare Maxwell Hudson. It is an age-old book published by Lindhardt and Ringhof.
Touch is important in all its aspects, even a slight stroke down the arm, a hug, a kiss, a loving look, or a little flirt with the eyes can be very important in daily life, when both of you are too tired, and just can’t manage any more than that.
If intercourse isn’t possible, perhaps due to some natural cause, then there are a variety of other delightful ways to have a great sex life. Your only limit is your imagination.
If you and your partner have been together for many years, it can be a good idea to have some time apart. Perhaps a small vacation to your own favorite location. I also believe that, if it is all possible, it can be beneficial to have sperate bedrooms. That way you can visit each other, or better yet, have a dedicated love room.
In any case, I believe it’s important to have a personal space just for yourself.

The diet and your surroundings

If you and your partner have the possibility to create a dedicated love room, that’s great. I strongly believe that the place where you have sex, should be cozy and comfortable, and feel safe. Without books, newspapers, TV, or cellphones. Keep the lights dimmed, maybe even candlelight and perhaps some soothing music to create the wanted atmosphere.
You may even want to have champagne on ice and a lovely bouquet of your partner’s favorite flowers.
Once, when my partner had been traveling and finally returned, I prepared a grand welcome for him. I know that he’s a hopeless romantic. I had flowers, candlelight, champagne, the whole shebang.
When he came and saw the champagne, he asked if he could get a whiskey instead.
I couldn’t hold back my laugh, and luckily found a whiskey in the back of a shelf, and the good mood was restored.

The daily diet and habits

A better potency can be achieved by following few very simple health routines.
It is important to eat lots of vegetables, olive oil, lots of fish, nuts, and whole wheat products. Be careful with too much red meat; it is not beneficial.
Watch your weight and make sure you get your daily exercise, but you don’t have to be an elite athlete of course. Make sure that your lifestyle is vivifying, without too much stress, and that you get enough sleep.

Supplements

  • Get your daily vitamins/minerals.
  • Korean red ginseng is known for its healing and strengthening powers. T
  • here are also natural remedies which can help with impotence. Ginkgo Biloba is one of them.
  • L-arginine is known to help in many cases of impotence.
  • Prelox is a world-famous patent supplement, which consists of Taurine, L-arginine, and pycnogenol.
  • Take extra vitamin-A and E. This is good for the entire body. Vitamin-E can significantly increase circulation, and is even called the youth vitamin.
  • An easily absorbable Vitamin-B supplement.
  • Lecithin can have a great impact on the brain and nervous system. A supplement of selenium and zinc could be considered.
  • Pomegranate juice, which also exists in capsule form.

Prelox

Advice

If you and your partner wish for a better sex life, there are many, many good, experienced sexologists out there. Perhaps it would be beneficial to have a chat with one of them, to see if they gain your trust, before proceeding with any further consultations. The sexologist will want to know what made you seek out their counsel, if the problem, for instance, involves feelings like rage or sorrow, and will then give personal guidance in any given situation.
Moreover, there are many wonderful informative books, which can contribute on the subject. Some of the books I strongly recommend are: “The sexual pulse” by Chia et al. and the “The multi orgasmic man” by Chia and Arva.
I also consulted a doctor who specializes in wholistic approaches, and he mentioned that there were many great results with chelation therapy.