Keeping healthy is too technical and dangerous - Argus Friday April 1 2016

Posted Wednesday 6th April 2016   By Ericka Waller

So Easter has been and gone. According to my eldest daughter it was 'eggcellent', and according to my middle daughter, 'Cheesus died on Happy Monday nailed to a hot cross bun'. She's been here before that one. As promised, I ate far too much chocolate, so was relieved to read that eating a portion of pulses a day will prevent me from piling the pounds. This is partly because they are nigh on impossible to digest and leave one too full of wind to want seconds however. No doubt next week there will be contradicting evidence about the benefits of beans. In the last week alone I've read that Rosemary could help you live to 100, a vegetarian diet raises the risk of heart disease, then that 'pulling' coconut oil through your teeth for twenty minutes a day can cure all of the above, and more. In fact there is nothing coconut can't do. Everything from cancer to candida can be cured by cracking open a hairy brown shell. Just as well they are more easily available these days, and in a handy oil based form.

The only chance of getting your hands on one when I was a kid was by using all your pocket money up on the Coconut Shy, or hoping the boy you liked would win one for you in a show of machismo.

"What the hell am I supposed to do with this?" my mother would moan when I donated it to the family fruit bowl alongside a grapefruit (which was the 'in-fruit' at the time), two shrivelled Granny Smith apples, and a giant orange, nestled on some dried-up leftover dates left over from Christmas.

My dad drilled a hole in one once, but went too deep and the coconut water shot out the bottom. We were all gutted as we’d invited neighbours over for a taste of paradise like the adverts for Bounty Bars promised. Mum made us all coconut ice instead, so out of the darkness...

Now coconut is in everything. Butter, water, flour, sugar, milk, oil, moisturiser, shampoo.

It makes you lose weight, kills bugs, fills you up, stops epilepsy, reduces cholesterol, turns hair into tresses, gives you fresh breath, and cures Alzheimer’s.

I’ve been dutifully adding it into my morning Nutribullet, along with spinach, pomegranate seeds and blueberries (again, unheard of in the 80’s) and the other big must have - Chia seeds.

No-one warned me how these ‘seeds’ swell to quadruple their size when wet. It wasn’t till I’d got through a ‘Chia-charged power-bar’ that I realised. Lumps of frogspawn started growing in my mouth, between the cracks in my teeth.  It was awful. I looked like one of the French peasants in Les Mis. Swilling (with coconut water of course) didn’t help, they just kept expanding. I was driving at the time this happened. The shock almost made me crash into the car in front.

Being healthy has become dangerous, and technical. I’ve witnessed people walking out in front of buses, or into lampposts, too consumed checking how many steps they had done on their FitBit to look where they were going. Again, I remember when the first Casio digital wristwatch came out, with ‘world time’ on it. How we marvelled, like the simple fools we were.

My biggest health danger is wetting myself. Three 9lb children mean my pelvic floor is more of a bungalow. Trying to get through the requisite 2 litres of water a day means I spend most of the time running to the loo. Lord knows what I’ll do if the council are successful in their bid to close down the public toilets. I’ll have to squat over a drain, or stop a policeman and use his hat. Apparently it’s only allowed when pregnant, but I’m so bloated from all the Chai-seeds and pulses I am sure no one would question it.

And finally, Since Storm Kirsty blew down all our fence panels; I’ve quite gone off the name. In fact, I don’t know why we need to name storms at all. We don’t name new strains of cold or flu each year. Can you imagine it “Colin cold ruined my Christmas” or “Felicity Flu wiped me out”. We’d sound like a load of pre-school teachers.

According to The MET office storms are named to help raise awareness and make them easier to follow on radio and social media. They alternative between girls and boys names from a pre-selected list.

I wonder if naming sexually transmitted diseases by the person who started them would help raise awareness. It would certainly strike a few names out of baby-naming books.

The list of names for future storms include Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank, Gertrude, Henry, Imogen, Jake, Katie, Lawrence, Mary, Nigel, Orla, Phil, Rhonda, Steve, Tegan, Vernon and Wendy.

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