Drink Up!

My dad sent me the following from Arnaldo Liechtenstein, a physician at the University of Sao Paolo. It’s something we all know and do with varying degrees of success. I didn’t realize that the sense of thirst diminishes by age 60. Sheesh. A word to the wise—stay well-watered.

“Whenever I teach clinical medicine to students in the fourth year of medicine, I ask the following question:
What are the causes of mental confusion in the elderly?
Some offer: “Tumors in the head”.  I answer: No!
Others suggest: “Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s”.  I answer again: No!
With each rejection of their answers, their responses dry up.

They are even more open-mouthed when I list the three most common causes [of mental confusion]: uncontrolled diabetes, urinary infections, dehydration.
It may sound like a joke, but it isn’t.  People over 60 generally stop feeling thirsty and consequently stop drinking fluids.
When no one is around to remind them to drink fluids, they quickly dehydrate.  Dehydration is severe and affects the entire body  It may cause abrupt mental confusion, a drop in blood pressure, increased heart palpitations, angina (chest pain), coma and even death. But there are more complications.  Although they are dehydrated, they don’t feel like drinking water, because their internal balance mechanisms don’t work very well.

People over 60 have a lower water reserve. This is part of the natural aging process. People over 60 years old dehydrate easily, not only because they have a smaller water supply, but also because they do not feel the lack of water in the body. Although people over 60 may look healthy, the performance of reactions and chemical functions can damage their entire body.

So here are two alerts:
1) Get into the habit of drinking liquids.  Liquids include water, juices, teas, coconut water, milk, soups, and water-rich fruits, such as watermelon, melon, peaches and pineapple;  Oranges and tangerines also work.  The important thing is that, every two hours, you must drink some liquid.  Remember this!

2) Alert for family members: constantly offer fluids to people over 60.  At the same time, observe them. If you realize that they are rejecting liquids and, from one day to the next, they are irritable, breathless or display a lack of attention, these are almost certainly recurrent symptoms of dehydration.”

 

Now, go get a glass of water.  Drink up!

 

How to Meditate

 

This is the most compassionate and most forgiving meditation instruction I have ever received:

Catch your mind wandering.
Bring your attention back to the breath.
Catch your mind wandering.
Bring your attention back to the breath.
Catch your mind wandering.
Bring your attention back to the breath.

This is most challenging  meditation instruction I have ever received:

Show up every day. 
Yes, every day.
Even if it’s just for five minutes.
Show up every day.

They call it meditation practice because that’s exactly what it. Like any practice, the more you do it the more familiar it becomes. The more familiar it becomes the more eager you are to practice. And so on.

 

photo courtesty of Martin Darvick.

Pasta alla Stanchezza (Weariness)

I can follow a recipe with the best of them, but when it comes to day-to-day cooking, especially through a year of day-to-day cooking, I’m more prone to open the fridge and look for what I can throw together into a quick, tasty and novel meal.  A week or so ago I sauteed some chopped onions, threw in half a jar or so of kalamata olives and a jar of  TJ’s marinated artichokes (setting aside the marinade for another night), swirled in some pasta sauce and let it all come to a bubble while I boiled water for the pasta.  A shave or two of Romano and we were set.  Buono appetito!

(Stanchezza — weariness)

 

Women’s Anatomy of Arousal

Sheri Winston’s Women’s Anatomy of Arousal picks up where Our Bodies Ourselves left off and carries it way past any goalpost you might dream up.

OK, what do I say next? This isn’t a family magazine but given the trolls out there I don’t want to invite unwanted attention.

So here’s what I have to say. Get this book.  Read it.  Give a copy to your daughter. Share it with your significant other whether male or female or non-binary. Learn about all the layers of pleasure sources we cisgendered women have right in our own bodies that we sure weren’t taught in Health Ed.

Winston’s language is frank, funny, factual. Did you know a woman’s clitoris is actually over 7 cm (over 2″ in length), most of it hidden within? Or that women have “herections?” Well, I actually did know that but I love her word. At times, the author’s language also made me uncomfortable; some diagrams made me squirm. Both reactions merit pause and consideration.

By this time in our lives, our bodies have prevailed over decades of change, trauma, miracles, and medical intervention.  Sheri Winston offers compassion for what has been lost and urges us to realize that it’s never too late to reclaim, or even claim for the first time, the wonder and power of our female body.

 

 

Golden Milk for Golden Dreams

Last week I mentioned a study correlating sleeplessness with the full moon. This week,           I share a recipe for Golden Milk.  Full moon or not,    I find a cup of this before bedtime comforts and relaxes me. This recipe, from simplevveganblog.com, is pretty standard. You can find endless others online as well as in any good ayurvedic cookbook.  You can mix it up a bit: maple syrup for honey; cow or coconut milk instead of almond milk. I always use ginger and pepper though Islone’s recipe below pegs them as optional. Vanilla is a creative addition.

Some recipes have you begin by heating a tablespoon or so of  almond oil (or coconut oil) and stirring in your spices, letting them sizzle for a few moments before adding your choice of milk. I always make it on the stovetop, not the microwave. If you really get into it, make up your spice mixture to have on hand and when you’re having a nuit blanche (a Frenchwoman’s sleepless night) Just heat up your oil, sizzle in the spices and milk and bon soir!

Golden Milk

ingredients

  • 2 cups plant milk of your choice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extrtact (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • A dash of ground black pepper

instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to a saucepan, stir until well combined and cook over medium heat until hot (about 3-5 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  • Serve immediately or keep the leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave until warm enough.

notes

  • You can make this recipe with almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk ,or even coconut milk instead of soy milk.
  • Although sweetener is optional and you don’t have to incorporate it to your golden milk, it will taste better if you do.
  • Feel free to use any kind of sweetener.
  • Ground black pepper enhances turmeric’s properties and absorption, but you can omit it if you don’t like how it tastes.
  • Incorporate, change, or replace all the spices you want. (Debra here. I don’t now why you’d want to do this but I’m including the author’s comments.)
  • I’d recommend you make your own vanilla extract at home, as it’s healthier and more affordable.
  • I used ground cinnamon, although you could also use a cinnamon stick instead. Just remember to remove it before serving.

 

Disclaimer: This recipe is for enjoyment, not to diagnose or in any other way offer as treatment for a medical condition.