How to stay on the wagon
by Kimberly Johnston, Tofino
January brings with it, the irrefutable hangover. Reeling from too much food, wine or partying, we emerge from 2006 with a whole promise of resolutions. Whether they be to exercise more, quit smoking, eat less carbs, or to actually go for those runs on the beach; January nags at us to adhere to our promises. Facing 4:30 pm sunsets, grey skies, and never-ending showers; these resolutions may seem harder to follow. Due to the rather tempestuous whether here in Tofino, both locales and travellers stand trading in their healthy resolutions for unhealthy habits. The question therefore becomes not, "What are your resolutions for the New Year?" but, "How do you plan on sticking to your resolutions?" This brief guide will help both travellers to Tofino and locales stay on their dedicated path.
It seems that just by standing on the beach on a winter day, one could soak up enough water to become fully hydrated. I suppose this is why so many of us cut our water intake by more than half in the winter. Unfortunately less water means less energy. Running on the beach, surfing, or any other physical activity becomes twice as hard when we are dehydrated. Katrina Peters, a Tofino local studying holistic nutrition, suggests consuming water at different intervals throughout the day, in the morning and between meals to ensure proper hydration. We are privy to delicious (and sometimes rare) tap water, so drink up!
Vitamins and Supplements
If you are visiting Tofino and forgot to pack them, you can purchase an array of vitamins and supplements at Blends for Friends in town. The purchase of vitamins and supplements can be an overwhelming experience. You might enter the store to buy one brand and leave with a variety. This is not an unfamiliar scenario as one "must-have" vitamin usually leads to another one.
This is the skinny: If you are not used to taking vitamins, Katrina recommends keeping things simple --"A good multivitamin (free of allergens such as dairy, soy or wheat) is a good place to start. Make sure the vitamin is complete with the B's, Zinc, and Vitamin C." She adds, "It is important to take all the B's together as they are vital for regulating stress and energy levels."
Vitamins and supplements can never replace the nutrients one receives from food. Unfortunately, we tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables and more complex carbohydrates during the winter. It is human nature to seek out "comfort" foods in cold weather which usually means loading up on refined flour. To avoid this habit, Katrina suggests eating more brown rice and quinoa, as well as taking Chromium which regulates glucose and blood cholesterol.
Eliminating our Vices
Quitting anything addictive such as alcohol, nicotine, or coffee invariably leads to withdrawal symptoms. The most apparent withdrawal symptom is that of depression. To deal with these symptoms Katrina suggests a B complex vitamin, especially B3, B5, and B6 (for cravings and stress) and Vitamin C (hypothesised to decrease withdrawal symptoms).
So now your insides check out. You are a hydrated machine of health and well being. You are running on the beach, doing yoga, eating organic food, and purging yourself of harmful toxins. It seems like this would be enough but experts say that you should examine your home life in the same way that you scrutinise yourself . Household cleaning products contain more harmful toxins than the additives in food. They are equally as toxic as some of the chemicals added to cigarettes; so if you are giving up smoking, then why inhale a variety of carcinogenic cleaning agents? Though Tofino does not have an abundance of non-toxic products, it still boasts quite a selection of products that can be purchased at The Co-op, 4th Street Market, and Beaches. Should there be something specific that you need, ask the store to order in your desired product. If your health is important, put the pressure on; chances are there are many like you who all want the same thing. In the interim, it is very cost-effective to make your own cleaning products and re-vamp your
Replace ammonia-based window cleaners with a solution of half-vinegar and half-water. Use a fan while cooking to blow away combustion by-products (such as carbon-monoxide) from your gas stove. Change your polyester sheets (which can emit formaldehyde) with untreated cotton or flannel sheets.
A healthier body living inside healthier home stands a better chance of being happier -- even if that wasn't one of the resolutions.