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Friday, July 16, 2010


From A to J cups, there’s never been a bigger selection of bras, but most women are still wearing the wrong size: 8, 9


Safety in the home for tiny tots: 4, 5


Summer beauty from inside out: 6


Man with MS trains for the Ironman: 11



2 News front Kate O’Reilly WHAT’S ON ■ SPIRITUAL TALK: There will be a free spiritual talk on The Key to Happiness, as well as a guided meditation and spiritual music with Indian monk Br Shubamrita Chaitanya, a disciple of Amma, next Monday at 7:30pm in The Gresham Metropole Hotel, Cork, doors open at 7pm. (Known as The Hugging Saint, Amma will visit Dublin later this year.) Shubamrita will also speak in Dublin this Sunday, July 18 at 5.30pm in St Brigid’s Parish Centre, Stillorgan. Both talks are free and children are welcome. For more details contact Brendan on 086-825 6110 about the Cork talk; or Liz on 087-945 0912 in Dublin. More information on ■ TRAIL TREKKER: “I’ve done it, so can you!” said Dr Mark Hamilton, who accepted the Oxfam Trailtrekker challenge in 2009 and hopes to participate again this year. The closing date is Friday, July 23, and already 100 teams are on board for the 100km trek which takes place over 36 hours through the Mourne mountains and Cooley peninsula on September 4 and 5. Last year participants raised more than F360,000, making it Oxfam Ireland’s top fundraiser. Dr Hamilton, who presents RTE’s Health of the Nation, said: “If you want to be part of something special, I’d urge you to get together a team of four friends, family or colleagues.” There will be a training walk for registered teams in Carlingford on Saturday, July 24. For more details visit ■ PRANIC HEALING: Pranic Healers Colm Scanlon and Helen Geary will give a Guided Meditation session, called Twin Hearts in Cork city, at Unity Yoga, 22 Patrick’s Hill, on the third Wednesday of every month at 8pm. Helen is offering a free taster meditation on the first night, Wednesday next. For qualified pranic healers, there is also the opportunity to practise with fellow pranic healers afterwards. More information is available on or from Helen on 086-1266550. ■ TOUR DE PICNIC: Join one of the most exciting cycling events in Ireland this year for the 2Wheels Tour de Picnic fundraising cycle to the Electric Picnic in aid of Temple Street Children’s University Hospital on Friday, September 3. By taking on this cycling and fundraising challenge you will be helping to raise funds for Temple Street and their current Neurosurgery Appeal to assist children suffering from serious brain and spinal conditions. In return, you will receive a ticket to the festival, as well as remaining true to the eco friendly philosophy of the picnic. For further information please visit ■ HEART CLINIC: The Irish Heart Foundation will hold a free blood pressure and cholesterol testing clinic at the Family Resource Centre, Faranree, Cork on Wednesday next from 2.30 to 4pm. For more details call their Cork office on 021-4505822, or if you have questions about stroke or heart disease you can contact the Helpline: 1890 432787. Items for inclusion in this column can be sent to




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Cheryl Cole is a high-profile victim of malaria, but there are many ways to protect against the disease, reports Arlene Harris

Serious strain


HEN Cheryl Cole bowed out of her X-Factor commitments earlier this month, no-one was surprised to hear that the singer was suffering from exhaustion. But just hours after the initial statement, a spokesperson for the star announced that she had been detained in hospital after being diagnosed with malaria. Having recently returned from a holiday in Tanzania with friend Derek Hough, the X-Factor judge was struck down with the potentially fatal disease. The past week was tense for her family and friends as a vigil was held by her bedside, but on Monday the 27-year-old was moved from intensive care and is now said to be recovering slowly. While she had a lucky escape, many others are not so fortunate, with more than a million people dying each year. In Ireland, between 90 and 120 cases are diagnosed each year. Professor Samuel McConkey, head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, says malaria is a very serious condition and anyone travelling to affected countries should take every precaution necessary. “Malaria is a life-threatening disease, but it starts off like influenza,” he says. “If not treated quickly it could rapidly cause kidney, lung, brain and heart failure.” The professor says Cole had been holidaying in an area notorious for malaria and is likely to have caught the most serious of the four strains of the disease — plasmodium falciparum. “I believe she was holiday-

STAR ILLNESS: Cheryl Cole who is recovering from malaria has put the spotlight on the disease. Picture: Zak Hussein/PA Wire

ing near Mount Kilimanjaro where the deadliest form of malaria is very common. Up to 50% of holidaymakers don’t bother taking their medication as they don’t think anything will happen to them, but I would advise anyone travelling to areas like this to ensure they take every precaution. “Malaria is a major world killer, but most people who die from the disease do not get

treatment quickly enough,” he says. “So if you experience flu-like symptoms after returning from sub-Saharan Africa, Asia or South and Central America, make sure you seek medical advice immediately. “Alert your doctor to the fact that you may have contracted malaria. And be vigilant as some forms of the disease may take up to six months to surface. “There is no vaccine for malaria. Several are in trials but are only about 50% effective at best. Many of us are working on research to try to improve on this rate but, in the meantime, it is vital for people to be aware of the dangers.” The Gates Foundation is currently working towards eradicating malaria in the developing world by helping to fund research for a safe, effective and affordable vaccine to be available by 2025. (For more information visit To minimise your risk of contracting malaria, experts advise you to: ■ Visit your GP and organise antimalarial tablets and take as prescribed. ■ Spray insecticide on netting over doors and windows of accommodation. ■ Make sure bed is surrounded by netting which has been treated with Deltamethrin. ■ Wear long sleeves and trousers tucked into socks, especially at night. ■ For more information visit ■ To help purchase treated mosquito nets for families in affected areas visit

HEALTH NOTES SPOON BLOW: Babies may no longer get a teaspoon of medicine if new research findings are followed through. A report suggests syringes deliver a proper dosage. Picture:

SKIN from people with Parkinson’s is to be used to grow the brain cells associated with the disease. The skin cells will be genetically reset to “zero” before being launched on a new development path. Scientists hope to use them to grow neurons that produce the brain-signalling chemical dopamine. Parkinson’s disease is said to be triggered when dopamine neurons die off, upsetting the control of muscle movements. A team led by Richard Wade-Martins, head of the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre, plans to recruit more than 1,000 patients with early stage symptoms.

PEOPLE with big heads may be protected if they develop Alzheimer’s disease, a study suggests. Scientists found that large-headed individuals with Alzheimer’s have better memory and thinking skills than sufferers with smaller heads. The difference can be seen even when the amount of brain cell death is the same in both groups. Study leader Robert Perneczky, from the Technical University of Munich in Germany, said: “These results add weight to the theory of brain reserve, or the individual capacity to withstand changes in the brain. “Our findings also underline the importance of optimal brain development early in

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life, since the brain reaches 93% of its final size at age six.” AN ESTIMATED 10% of the population suffers from tinnitus, with a growing number of young people presenting with the symptoms. The Cork Tinnitus Support Group has just launched its own website — The group meets on the last Saturday of each month in the Cork Deaf Association, MacCurtain St. It also runs a help-line on Wednesdays from 10am to 12.30pm. For details phone: 0214505944.

A SUMMER fashion show in aid of the Niall Mellon Township Trust promises the

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best of fashion and fun. The event takes place in St Finbarr’s Hurling and Football Club, Togher, Cork, on Wednesday July 21, 8pm. Tickets cost F20. For details contact event organisers Martha Phelan 086-0712562 or Thérèse Deasy 087-9210022. GIVING a teaspoonful of medicine to your children may soon be a thing of the past. According to US and Greek researchers household teaspoons vary widely in size and can lead to over and under dosing. In a survey of 25 households, the largest teaspoon was three times the size of the smallest. To deliver the exact dosage, the team urged parents to use syringes.

Editorial: 021 4802 292

Advertising: 021 4802 215



In profile

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Mary Coughlan

Mary full of grace


T’S an understatement to say Mary Coughlan has been through a lot. Off alcohol for 16 years now, there was once a two-year period when she went into hospital 32 times. “What got me through? I suppose the will to survive is the strongest of all. But when I stopped drinking, I did it for my kids. At the end of the day, they barred the door on me,” says the 54-year-old, whose children range in age from 34 to 13. “Something happened to make me stop the drink. The penny dropped. They say in AA that it’s a spiritual thing — I believe it is.” More recently, Mary has had her share of sunshine. She met John, her partner from New Zealand, while doing a Billie Holiday tour in Australia and New Zealand. “He was doing the lights for the show. That was that — love at first sight.” Mary plays Kinsale Arts Week on this Sunday, July 18, at Actons Hotel. (Log on to What shape are you in? I’m in very good shape. I’ve just done an MOT and I’m grand. My cholesterol’s normal. I’m a bit overweight, though I lost 17lb with Unislim over a period of six weeks. I go to Curves three times a week and I walk four times a week for at least an hour. My aim is to lose the next stone. Then I’ll be grand. Do you have any health concerns? No, the MOT says I’m good to go. What are your healthiest eating habits? I was a vegetarian for 12 years and ate a very strict macrobiotic diet at one stage. Then I found the rasher — it drove me crazy. Now, I eat a very vegetable-based, Mediterranean diet. I like fish, chicken and ethnic food. I cook a family dinner every Sunday, for up to 10 people.

What’s the best book you’ve read recently? Colm McCarthy’s Let The Great World Spin — it’s full of hope. What’s your favourite smell? I really like lime oil. Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. I wonder constantly about those two — what they do in the morning when they get up, what they think about.

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When did you last cry? About a week ago, about some family stuff. What trait do you least like in others? Small-mindedness and meanness of spirit. What trait do you least like in yourself? I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself. Also, I fly off the handle a little too easily but I’m really getting much better about that. Email

Do you pray? In my own way, I do — every day. What would cheer up your day? Last night, it was looking at the moon in the sky. Today, it’s just sitting among magnificent trees and butterflies. Helen O’Callaghan

What would keep you awake at night? Last night I don’t think I slept at all. We’re moving house and getting work done on the new one. So, I was worrying about the tiler and about when the plumber will come. I get very worked up about stuff like that, things I have no control over. My music is something I’m familiar with, so it doesn’t stress me — though I get nervous before gigs, I don’t fret unnecessarily about them.

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How do you relax? I read constantly.



What would you change about your appearance? I’d love to totally dispense with my glasses, though I’m not so pushed that I’d get an eye operation. I wish I was a bit slimmer but I’m working on that.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure? Chocolate — I don’t mean a square of chocolate, I mean a whole box. When I stopped drinking, I started on chocolate.

I was a vegetarian for 12 years and ate a very strict macrobiotic diet at one stage. Then I found the rasher — it drove me crazy


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Taking care

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An infant’s instinct to explore can be hazardous. Kya deLongchamps says


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simple measures and the right household devices can prevent a serious accident

Where tiny tots dare to wander B

ABIES and toddlers are equipped with an instinct to explore, to bravely go where no 18-month-old has gone before. Up on their hands and knees (even one will do) and levered to their feet, the infants’ curiosity is driving their little brains into increasingly perilous adventures. Every parent knows life becomes the spaces between head bangs and skinned knees, until their child’s motor and reasoning skills improve. Even then, older children see little difference between the clambering equipment in a playground and the high obstacles to be scaled around the house. It’s a challenge, and its enticement will outweigh every sternly-worded conversation or loud ‘no, no, no’, all filtered out of a still undeveloped brain. Simple safety measures, forethought, and good habits around the house protect child visitors to your home from injury or worse, but nothing takes the place of constant supervision.

Picture: Getty Images


POISONING ■ Everything goes straight to baby’s sensory central — its mouth. Bathroom products, unlike other household solutions, will not have any trickery to their lids. Put cosmetics, cleansing products and detergents out of reach. ■ All adult and child medicines and accessories should be locked in a medicine cabinet that is known by older children to be out of bounds, and a life-changing transgression if they ignore your wishes. ■ Every kitchen drawer and cupboard (bar a low, well-staged children’s cookery or crafting drawer) should be out of bounds. A blanket ban is better than expecting them to remember the no-go areas.

SCALDS AND BURNS ■ A baby’s skin is up to 15 times thinner than an adult’s. If you’re not sure your craggy adult elbow is up to a 46C reading (36-38C for babies), buy a thermometer to test the bath water. Ideal Standard Alto Ecotherm CRUSHED FINGERS AND TOES thermostatic control tap keeps the tap cool, ■ Doors are the finger-crushers and while the temperature-limit toe-snaggers par-excellence. stop control allows the water Their vice-like action can be temperature to be set to a cermitigated with hinge covers, tain level, F198. Don’t allow jams (put two on each side to small children to fill the bath. paralyse the door), and stop■ Never cook with a baby in pers in a variety of designs for your arms or in a sling. Place just a few euro from any DIY them close by, but at a safe shop. Clippasafe door stoppers distance from splashes or the just fold over the door edge, consequences of dropping hot and are priced at F2.50 per food, or heavy articles, while stopper. you work. ■ In new furnishings, look ■ Front-mounted cooker for soft-closing mechanisms controls must feature less likely to trap fingers. child-proof covers, and it’s Where you cannot lock drawwise to shut the cooker off at ers, drawer stops will interrupt the wall, when not in use. any sly infant explorations. A ■ Place pans at the back of six-pack of Clippasafe drawer the stove top and ensure all locks start at F2.95 for a hot, kitchen devices, from ketPicture: Getty Images three-pack. tles to toasters, are out of ■ Reclining chairs with reach, including that alluring pop-out foot supports have cord. The Lion Heart stove guard provides a strong mechanisms that can crush limbs and polycarbonate shield across the front of the trap a child’s head. Disable the handle and stove that only you can reach beyond. fold up when not in use. 61-91cm, and self-adhesive. F29.99. The Clevamama oven door lock is heat-resistant WATER SAFETY and attaches to that primary knob: F4.99. ■ It takes less than 5cm of water to drown a ■ Fireplaces, including wood- and coal young child. Letting children bathe together burners, are hot spots for gruesome accidents. is delightful, but don’t expect a toddler to A full surround and close supervision are the monitor a baby while you answer the phone. bottom line. Don’t leave fire-starting materi■ A shower tray can fill with a pool of waals, including lighters, matches and splinter quickly and the tray itself is perilously ter-laden kindling, where it can be reached. slippy. Supervision for children under six is ■ Central heating radiators can be very hot. critical, and even older children should be As they are intermittently hot and cold, a within earshot while bathing or showering. child cannot gauge their safety. If you can’t ■ Use a non-slip bath mat and forbid chilblock the children reaching a radiator, box it dren from standing in the bath. in with an attractive, DIY cabinet. ■ The toilet is a treasure chest of complete fascination. It can be kept closed with a simCHOKING HAZARDS ple safety latch. Back up with a potty, if you ■ Window blinds and curtains cords appear think your kids might be caught short in an so innocuous that it is only recent tragedies effort at self-training. that have brought their dangers into stark re■ Ideal Standard FIRST bath (from F430) lief. Cords should be fitted with a tassel, not has a lower step of just 48cm, 7cms less than a loop, and set at least 1.6 metres off the an average bath, making it easy for small chil- floor, unreachable from furniture. dren to get in and out. The lowered height Cut and clip up any blind or drapery that also allows easier access to the child when could be grabbed by a child from the height you are bathing them. of a sofa back, or other perches. The Nation-

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Picture: Getty Images

Simple safety measures, forethought and good habits around the house protect all child visitors to your home from possible injury or even death, but nothing takes the place of close, constant supervision al Standards Authority of Ireland has a handy tip sheet with advice on the new safety standards for blinds, and how to retro-fit any blinds that have a dangerous, continuous loop: at ■ Always note the age-appropriate tag for the toys and furniture you buy for your child’s room, and plumb your knowledge of your child’s individual maturity into the equation, adding years, if necessary, to ban their use. ■ Don’t allow dine-and-dash behaviour. A lollipop shoved down the throat after a fall could prove a silent killer. Ask your children to eat downstairs, while seated in full view, when they are very young.

■ The bed is not a trampoline or resting place for unsupervised babies. If you have to stop during changing, leave the baby on the floor. ■ Television sets have increased to enormous size and, as their profile has slimmed to chic proportions, they can be unsteady. Ensure the stands your television is supported by are rock solid. Use the designated wall mounting for your model of television, or pay for a professional installation.

SHOCKS AND FIRE ■ Don’t give tiny children plug-in toys connected to the mains. They may take out the plug or remove the lead, putting in their mouths and FALLS AND FELLINGS causing serious injury. ■ Tall, top-heavy cupboards, ■ Install a mains-operated including high-boys, dressers, smoke alarm with battery and wardrobes have been reback up on every level of sponsible for many accidents your home, including the with young children. bedroom areas. Test it at least The open bottom drawer acts once a month, replacing batlike a treadle, pitching the unit teries bi-annually, even if the forward or unbalancing the top alarm is working. A carbon section, sometimes with fatal monoxide alarm is best placed results. Bolt these pieces direct- Picture: Getty Images outside bedrooms to guard ly to the wall. against CO poisoning. ■ Most bunk beds and high sleepers, with ■ Cover all unused outlets with plug-in their wonderland of platform, ladder and hid- covers. Yes, they are a nuisance to prise out, ing cabins beneath, are not recommended for but cheap and effective, are a superb device children under six, and some standard beds to keep minute fingers and deftly-plunging feature bar spacings on the headboard and tools out of the current flow. footboard that could trap a toddler’s head. ■ Do a ‘hands and knees’ tour. Explore the Bunk beds must conform to the standard BS narrow alleys behind lumps of furniture. Tidy EN 747:1993. cables away using zip-up covers, strong ties or


wound into a cable tidy. As you work, examine the condition of cables for any breaks or loose connections. ■ Ensure any fuse box (if your house is old enough to have a real fuse box) has a residual current device fitted (RCD). A RECI qualified electrician can attach one to your mains board. ■ Keep drinks away from TVs, DVD players, stereos, speakers, computers, games consoles and other electrical items. Charger cords are ‘live’. ■ DVD slots are a favourite post box for babies to ‘feed’ the unit sodden biscuits. Lindam do a range of flexible play pens that can also be used to gate off vulnerable areas and open plan room spaces. F99.99, Argos.

70.5-109cm and comes in an attractive beech. F39.99. Pressure-indicator models start at around F68. ■ On hard flooring, bare feet have more traction than socks. ■ Babies should never be left, for even a moment, on a couch or chair. A wriggle sideways and they can have a significant fall. ■ If you are carrying a baby up the stairs, don’t carry anything else that will engage your free hand. If you fall, you’ll need it to grab the rail, or to stop you landing on your little one. ■ Don’t neglect window and door locks on landings and other transition zones, these distant areas can be the stage for less expected tragedies. ■ Infant walkers can walk a child right into danger, and many children are soon speeding across a wood floor like Michael Schumacher, launching themselves cheerfully off split-level platforms. It’s a supervised activity, if you read the small print on the box. ■ The hearth edge can be made safer in the event of falls, with an edge guard from CleverMama, which attaches with 3mm tape (46cm lengths)., F22.99. An enclosing fireguard is a must and Argos does a solid model that extends up to 152cm. F32. ■ Would you want your child strapped to a catapult and dropped from a height? Baby bouncers are intended for floors, not counters or seating.

CUTS ■ Appliances with embedded, sharp tools and blades can be quickly disembowelled by a curious child. Lock them away with the knives. ■ Take a close look at the way you place your furniture. Pieces set under windows can give handy access to a little monkey, and a lofty dresser with attractive ornaments on shelving can become a climbing frame when you dart to answer the phone. ■ Block single-pane, glazed internal doors with furniture or replace the unit with toughened FALLS AND TRIPS: glass. Walking is just a form of arrest■ Table edges can be ed falling, and simple trips acmade at least softer with count for the greatest number of the addition of corner accidents in young children. Circushions, bought in culation areas, often hurried packs of four. For slim through in by a head-heavy edges on, say, a glass two-year-old, are key areas to coffee table, try foam consider. Picture: Getty Images pipe insulation covers, ■ The stairs is not a play area which can be slipped on for toddlers. It should be kept across their open side free of all clutter and gated top and bottom and taped. when children are under two. ■ Paediatric first-aid training is available ■ Use screw-fitting gates rather than privately through a number of organisaself-supporting pressure gates at the top of tions, including, the stairs. Auto-close gates are more expenthroughout Ireland. sive, but shut by themselves for extra peace of Call Liza, at Clap Handies, on 087-919 mind. 6042. From F140 per place, for a The Baby Dan Flexi-gate extends from day-long course.

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6 Inner cleansing

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Nutritionist Rosie Shelley gives her top eating guide for inside-out maintenance

A to Z of summer beauty


OME or away, holidays are beckoning, and many of us are looking for a way to be at our best when we hit the beaches and bars this summer. So it’s good to know there’s a very simple and cost-effective way to get your skin, hair and nails in top condition — just by paying attention to what we put in and on to your body. So here’s the lowdown on glowing good looks this season and beyond…


is for apricots with their powerful antioxidant vitamins which help to protect and repair sun-exposed skin as well as giving a youthful radiance. Avocados are rich in antioxidant vitamin E and healthy fats for a moisturised, plump complexion.


is for berries, again for those antioxidants and especially for their wealth of vitamin C — essential for making collagen, the ‘mortar’ that holds skin together. Beetroot is very cleansing and dietician Nicky Hambleton-Jones says it’s “also responsible for increasing the cellular uptake of oxygen by around 400% — rosy cheeks mean youthful looks”. Biotin is a B vitamin found in yeast extract, brown rice and animal produce that is essential for healthy hair and nails. Beta carotenes (see below) are the precursors of vitamin A, which lubricates skin and scalp — eat plenty of liver, oily fish, carrots and watercress.


is for carotenoids, a particularly potent class of antioxidants found in orange/yellow fruit and veg as well as dark leafy greens. Scientists at Bristol University confirmed recently that most people “prefer the golden glow of a complexion nourished by fruit and vegetables to a sun-lover’s tan”.


is for deep conditioning, especially before and after sun exposure, treat your scalp to a coconut oil treatment. Just leave on wet hair for half an hour before shampooing. The face will respond equally well to cleansing and moisturising coconut or olive oil, with a little lemon juice to tone. Dark green veg also contain the nutrients necessary for the production of naturally conditioning sebum.


is for essential fatty acids, which nutritionist Patrick Holford calls “essential for smooth and supple skin”, glossy locks and strong nails. Eat oily fish or seeds every day, or take an omega supplement. Vitamin E, along with vitamin A, softens rough skin and locks moisture in. Exfoliate weekly: mix olive oil with sea salt for the body, with sugar or sesame seeds for the face.



is for fish, not only for the fats in the oily varieties but for selenium, a mineral available from any seafood that helps skin to neutralise toxins from the holiday perils of sunlight, smoke, fried foods and pollution. Folic acid, a B vitamin found in leaves and beans, gives great shine to hair.


is for garlic and all the sulphur-rich foods that provide keratin — a protein that nourishes skin, hair and nails. Also include eggs, beans, wholegrains, cabbage and Brussels sprouts (maybe not directly before a date). Goji berries are a cosmetic superfood — not cheap but bursting with amino acids, every mineral you could wish for and that collagen-supporting vitamin C.


is for honey, healing and cleansing inside and out. For the face, mix it with lemon juice, plain yoghurt and egg white. For another hair treatment, try it with juiced cucumber and yoghurt. Rinsing with chamomile/nettle tea or lemon juice will enhance blonde tones. According to Hambleton-Jones, hyaluronic acid in beans and lentils “effectively moisturises the skin from the inside and is also depleted by things including sunlight”.


is for iron, which many of us lack and is crucial for healthy hair and energy levels. Red meat and offal work here but so do beans and lentils, and (again) dark greens.


is for juicing: if you can’t chew through your five a day over the holidays, you can glug it down.

is for kale, one of the best sources of lutein. Holistic nutritionist Yinka Thomas points to research showing that this plant chemical “boosts skin hydration and elasticity”. Just 2oz of kale a day, she says, “can help the skin look younger in a few weeks”. Apricots are another great source of lutein, which also helps protects skin from the sun.


is for low GI. This popular weight- loss diet, which involves foods that release their energy slowly (think wholegrains and proteins), avoids the problem of glycation which causes break outs and inflammation, and attacks proteins like collagen with a directly ageing effect. Limit sugar and any refined carbs, obviously, and also alcohol, caffeine and salt. Avoid fried foods, fizzy drinks, trans/hydrogenated fats and smoking.


is for MSM, methyl sulphonylmethane. A bit of a mouthful, but a form of sulphur that is known as the ‘beauty mineral’. It’s easily destroyed by processing foods. A supplement is a good way to go. Or eat a mango — a summery treat that packs in more beta-carotene

than apricots, along with antioxidant vitamins for a youthful glow.


is for nuts, which are rich in all the skin, hair and nail nourishing nutrients and act as a filling snack that even, in moderation, work for weight loss.


is for organic, as far as your budget allows. Chemicals that your liver has to detoxify will also take their negative toll on your looks.


is for protein, consisting of the building blocks of skin, hair and nails. Choose from fish, poultry, meat, eggs, dairy, soya, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils.


is for quinoa, one of a raft of wholegrains that are much higher in protein, more digestible (and so skin-friendly) than wheat. Experiment also with millet, amaranth, barley and oatmeal.


is for vanilla. While not a lot of testing has been done on vanilla regarding any specific health benefits, it is classed as a vanilloid along with capsaicin — contained in chile peppers — which has numerous medicinal properties and health benefits. It also has a reputation of old, as being an aphrodisiac. Sip it in some tea made from vanilla pods infused in hot water and see for yourself.


is for water, which Patrick Holford calls “one of the most important nutrients for skin. Imagine a balloon filled with water — taut and firm to touch”. Again, dehydrating salt, alcohol and coffee are not your friends this summer. Two to three litres a day, and don’t leave those plastic water bottles out in the sun — the chemicals in the plastic end up in you.


is for rosehip oil, which Nicky Hambleton-Jones advises using internally or externally to protect against sun damage, “soothe, rejuvenate, moisturise and repair skin”. Yinka Thomas agrees that using oils “can have a profound effect on both the health and appearance of the skin”.

is for Xigua the Mandarin Chinese for a small watermelon. It, however, not only helps to quench your thirst on a hot summer day, but may also help quench the inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis. It is actually packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature and an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of vitamin A, notably through its concentration of beta-carotene.




is for strawberries, for “keeping our skins looking glowing,” says Nicky. And silica, says Yinka, is an essential nutrient for strong and healthy skin, hair, nails. Get it from those wholegrains, onions, potatoes and beetroot. Oh, and sleep.


is for tomatoes, brimming with antioxidants including sun-protective lycopene — which also increases cell turnover. The Mediterranean diet, remember, is the healthiest in the world. T is also for whiter teeth: try brushing (occasionally) with activated charcoal or bicarb, after that glass of red or coffee, crunch on some raw vegetables.


is for ugli fruit which like other citrus fruits is packed with vitamin C and makes a delicious addition to fruit salads or green salads. Eaten raw as a snack, it is best to peel the fruit and divide into sections like an orange, rather than the traditional way of scooping grapefruit from the segments after it is cut in half.

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is for Yams, most commonly known in its orange-coloured form here as sweet potatoes, are great for your heart health. The knobbly looking vegetable is a good source of vitamin B6 which is needed by the body to break down a substance called homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls. Since high homocysteine levels are significantly associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke, having a good supply of vitamin B6 on hand makes a great deal of sense. High intakes of vitamin B6 have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Yams are also a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure.


is for zinc, crucial to skin, hair and nail health, supporting levels of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Indulge in seafood, poultry and nuts. Whole grains are a better source of zinc than refined grains, but for the non-vegetarians, it’s worth noting the zinc you get from eating meat is four times more bio-available than in grain foods.



Psychology 7

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The absence of questioning by major players in Ireland points to their lack of responsibility

Much to ponder


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Tony Humphreys


IFE is a mystery — our presence is a mystery, and it is highly unlikely that we will ever in one lifetime find all the answers. Indeed, because the universe continues to expand all of the time, the mystery deepens and, so, in many ways will always remain elusive — somewhat like the search for one’s own soul. Is it better not to question, just live for today and not be concerned about the deeper questions? In my opinion, it is certainly wise to live for today, but I do need to question as if I am going to live forever. That a question arises in our minds indicates a state of not knowing and knowing. The not knowing is clearly evident, but no question could emerge if I already did not have a knowing. To put it in another way, you cannot ask a question unless you are aware that you do not know. To decide not to question — consciously or unconsciously — means you are blocking the emergence of the self and getting to know and understand the world we live in. A question indicates there is a knowing of an unknowing. Something is prodding you from the inside, saying, ‘There is something here that you need to know’. When we ignore that inner nudging, personal, interpersonal, societal and spiritual progress is jeopardised. In a previous column, I wrote that prior to the recession top line managers of banks and other financial institutions and politicians either knew what was going on and did nothing (failed to question), or did not know what was going on and were not in a mature place to question. The old saying ‘when good men do nothing evil thrives’ misses an essential point: that ‘good’ (‘mature’) men will automatically question and seek answers when they do not feel competent in their work. They would not turn a blind eye to the recklessness, avarice, greed and narcissism that are now so evident. During the Government’s summer recess and bankers’ holidays, I hope the individuals primarily responsible for the economic crisis will ask the ‘how’ and ‘what’ questions: “How was it that we allowed such a major crisis to develop?” and “What are the personal, interpersonal and professional actions that we need to take to remedy the situation?”. For those who claim that they did not know what was going on, the questions are: “How was it that I was not up to the job I was doing?” and “What are the things I need to do to increase my personal, interpersonal and professional maturity?” Personal maturity is the sine qua non of professional effectiveness. Recent revelations about financial institutions withholding information from NAMA regarding the extent of their debt, does not auger well for the future. Furthermore, some of the decisions of the Government with regards to cutting costs — like respite care for those with intellectually challenged children — are a very real source of concern. I wonder whether the person who devised such a cost cutting has been challenged on the insensitivity of his decision and I hope he has been offered the opportunity to reflect on the source of that heartless decision. It does not yet seem to have filtered down into the consciousness of those in possession of considerable economic and political power that societal progress and economic


Picture: Getty Images

During the Government’s summer recess and bankers’ holidays, I hope the individuals responsible for the economic crisis will take the time to reflect and to ask themselves questions prosperity are dependent on mature emotional and social processes. Money and wealth do not create stability or maturity but transparency, real responsibility, accountability and management that are head and heart directed do. The power of a question is that it touches you somewhere within your heart — if it did not touch you, no question would arise. In the light of what has happened over the last two years — religiously, politically and economically — the absence of questions, worryingly and sadly, indicates heartlessness in the actions of people (mostly men) in the carrying out of their responsibilities. When no questions arise then somehow you are stuck, static, not moving, and it can take a crisis to get you back on the enquiry trail and, sometimes, even the crisis fails to bring about that desired effect. When it doesn’t — and at the moment it seems very much like that — there are grave reasons to be concerned. ■ Dr Tony Humphreys is a clinical psychologist, author, national and international speaker. Books of his relevant to the above column are The Mature Manager, Work and Worth, Take back your Life and the recently published Relationship, Relationship, Relationship, The Heart of a Mature Society.

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

A DIFFERENT VIEW ON LIFESTYLE Your guide to fitness, health, happiness and lifestyle. Great writers and mentors. Where you come first. Phone: NIAMH O’CONNELL Tel. 021-4802215 Fax 021-4273846

Every Friday.




Shaping up

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Cover story

Most women are wearing the wrong-size bra. Getting properly fitted can make a huge difference, as Kathy Foley discovers

A BRAND NEW DAY There is a trend now in fashion of sizing to flatter the customer. What was a 14 is now a 12, but that is really not going on in bras. They are an engineered product

Picture: Getty Images



INCE she opened her lingerie shop five years ago, Clodagh Weber knows exactly how many women have walked in for the first time wearing the right-sized bra. It hasn’t been difficult. Of thousands of customers in that time, just three were wearing the correct size before being fitted by her. As she tells me this, I realise suddenly it’s statistically unlikely the 36D bra I am wearing is the right size. Weber asks me to try on a 34E. I do, although I’m loudly sceptical. The E cup doesn’t fit, but my gloating doesn’t last long as she hands me a 32F. To my utter shock, it fits. An F cup sounds enormous, but once I’m wearing clothes again, my bust actually looks smaller, higher and neater in the mirror. Through this encounter in Bramora, Weber’s shop on Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin, I have joined the rapidly increasing ranks of women wearing bras with small bands and large cups.. Ten years ago, the most-sold size in Marks and Spencer was 34B, but that’s now 36C and the company now stocks J cup bras in its stores. “We have seen a real increase in the sales of fashion bras in DD and above,” says Soozie Jenkinson, head of lingerie design at Marks and Spencer. “A quarter of our bras sold are DD+”. In Brown Thomas, the average has gone from 34B to 34D and far more E, F and G cup bras are sold than used to be. In Bramora, the most-purchased sizes are 32G, 34G, 34FF and 36F to H, although the shop stocks up to 50J. Carl Dearey, co-owner of the Ophelia chain of lingerie shops in Dundalk, Drogheda, Sligo and Malahide, has also noticed an increase in customers looking for larger sizes. “We would find greater demand now for larger cup sizes, up to J cup in certain brands. Pardon the pun, but it is definitely a growth area,” he says, adding that the general perception of what makes a big bust is misguided. “An F cup is not that big. It’s at the upper end of the mid-range.” Though an estimated 54% of Irish women are overweight or obese, this doesn’t mean they end up wearing bigger cup sizes. “As far as I know, there is no scientific reason why sizes are increasing,” says Margaret O’Riordan, a consultant plastic surgeon specialising in breast surgery at Aesthetic Surgery Ireland. “In the past, people may just have gone and bought whatever bra they could. They might actually have been a 36H, but couldn’t or didn’t get that

SIZE MATTERS: Clodagh Weber, owner of Bramora, says a woman’s posture totally changes when she wears the right bra. Picture: Nick Bradshaw NAKED TRUTH: Gok Wan has drawn attention to bras. Picture:PA .

size. They just got a 36E or a 38D and got on with it. I’m not sure the number of women with a slim build and large breasts has necessarily increased.” This year, the bra celebrates a 100th birthday of sorts. In 1910, a 19-year-old New York socialite called Mary Phelps-Jacob sewed an undergarment for herself from two hankies and a pink ribbon because she didn’t want to wear a corset under a sheer evening gown. She went on to patent her bra in 1914. The birthday is disputed, however, as Vogue magazine claims to have coined the word ‘brassiere’ in 1907 and bra-like garments were made throughout the 19th century. These days, women can choose from a dizzying array of styles including balcony, plunge, seamless, soft cup and strapless bras, along with sports bras and bras that hook closed at the front. The latest development is memory foam bras, which ‘remember’ your shape from wear to wear. Despite, or perhaps because of, the range

available, most women continue to wear the wrong size. Matters are improving, however. Irish experts believe one of the main reasons the average bra size sold is increasing is because more women are getting properly fitted. “Gok Wan, Trinny and Susannah, and of course Brendan and Sonya on Off The Rails, have been making such a big deal about getting the right bra and they have made a huge impact,” says Weber. Whereas bigger-busted women were once embarrassed (hence minimiser bras), big boob pride is growing. “Women are celebrating their curves and embracing the hourglass silhouette by purchasing push up and moulded cup styles which enhance the shape, instead of hiding it away,” says Jenkinson. Furthermore, lingerie brands and stores are now catering to bigger busts with pretty, flattering designs. “The bra companies are really aware what a big market there is for larger-cup bras,” says Mary Mullin, lingerie buyer for Brown Thomas. “They have reacted to what is happening in the market and spend a lot of money on development. Bigger bras now are prettier and have better fit, cut and shape.” While the increase in obesity may have had an effect on breast size, so has nutrition. “People of our generation are taller and broader than their parents, so breast sizes may be larger because our overall build is bigger than 50 or 60 years ago,” says O’Riordan. Furthermore, no one stays the same shape forever. “Women change shape and size throughout their lives, but they often continue to wear the same size bra they were wearing in their teenage years,” says Jenkinson. If you gain or lose more than 10% of your body weight, you need to be refitted for a bra as your size will probably change. Likewise, a woman taking the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy could find her bra size increasing by at least one cup size. And women need to persevere with fittings if they are buying from different brands. “You might be a 34DD in one range and a 36C or a 32E in another,” says Dearey, who says this is not down to vanity sizing. “There is a trend now in high street fashion of sizing to flatter the customer. What was a 14 is now a 12, but that is really not going on in bras. They are an engineered product that have to adhere to standards.”

STYLE ADVICE: Brendan and Sonya from Off the Rails say your clothes will look better with the right bra. FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

Having worn my 32F ‘engineered product’ with pride for a couple of days, I’m still sneaking glances in the mirror at my ‘new’ figure. A friend I meet for coffee exclaims immediately how much weight I’ve lost and is impressed when I let her in on my ‘diet secret’. It’s not been the most comfortable experience, however. The new bra feels tight and as it compels me to sit straighter and walk with a ramrod back and my shoulders back, I’m a bit worn out from it. I call Clodagh Weber to make sure I have the right fit. “Initially, it is going to feel quite tight, but it will be fine once you get used to it and have worn and washed the bra a few times,” she says. “I often hear this from customers and tell them to come back to exchange it if it is still too tight after a while and they never come back. Your posture totally changes when you have the right bra, because you are not taking the weight on your shoulders any more.”

BIG CHOICES ‘Ava’, Charnos, 32D to 38G, F38, Bramora and other stockists Grey striped bra, DD to G cup, F22, Marks and Spencer Black lace bra, up to E cup, F22, Marks and Spencer ’Artistry’, Elle McPherson, up to G cup, F45, Brown Thomas ’Cassiope’, Elixir, up to G cup, F68, Brown Thomas and other stockists ’Martha’, Elixir, up to G cup, F56, Brown Thomas and other stockists Spot lace bra, up to GG cup, F22, Marks and Spencer Red Bra, up to GG cup, F22, Marks and Spencer Plunge bra, up to GG cup, F24, Marks and Spencer ‘Lizzie’, Freya, 32D to 38G, F42, Bramora and other stockists, pictured left.

GET THE FIT RIGHT NOT only do badly-fitting bras do women no favour in terms of their silhouette — we all know the dreaded ‘four boob’ look caused by too-small cups – but they can also cause chronic back, neck and shoulder strain. For her health and her figure, every woman needs a properly-fitting bra. Traditionally, women were fitted for bras by being measured under the bust and at the bust’s largest point. There followed a complicated formula of adding inches to either or both measurements to figure out the band and cup sizes. Clodagh Weber of Bramora, who is also the ‘knicker picker’ for RTE’s Off The Rails, says women should forget the tape measure and worry about the fit. When trying on bras, work through the following checklist and you should find the perfect bra. Checklist ■ If the centre front part of the bra is not lying on the breastbone or the cups are cutting into the breasts, it’s too small. Go up a cup size (or two) and then down a back size if necessary. ■ If the straps are too far apart at the back, the band size is too small. Go up a size and then down a cup size if necessary. “There are two inches between the tightest hook and the loosest hook,” says Weber. “Always start on the loosest hook and when the bra has been worn and washed, you can bring the hooks in.” ■ If the back is riding up, it’s too big. Go down a band size. Likewise, strapless bras that slide down are too big. ■ If the bra is digging into your shoulders, it’s probably too small in the cup and too big on the band. Go up a cup size and down a band size. ■ If you have a fatty bulge under your arm, live with it and don’t get a bigger bra to hide it. “Every woman in Ireland has it, but it’s more noticeable in the wrong bra,” says Weber. “Women make the mistake of thinking they can hide it, but a bigger bra is just going to make it worse.” ■ If you have one boob bigger than the other, don’t worry — every woman does. Get the bigger one to fit right into the cup. ■ If it is too tight on the tightest hook, the band size may be too small. Go down a size, but remember you might need to go up a cup size. So if you were wearing a 36E, for example, you might need a 34F.



10 Medical matters

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MY 12-year-old daughter hates going swimming with her friends. She says her breasts are smaller than her friends’ and she is the only one that hasn’t started her period. She’s also worried that one of her breasts is bigger than the other. Is this normal at her age? She’s asking to have hormone tests?

Dr Niamh Houston



Dr Niamh Houston is a GP with a special interest in integrative medicine. If you have a question about your child’s health email it to or send a letter to Feelgood Irish Examiner City Quarter Lapps Quay Cork

A. It can be really difficult for girls to watch their friends grow and develop when the same is not happening to them. She may feel like she will never catch up. For girls puberty occurs between eight and 14 years. Breast enlargement is the first obvious sign and usually occurs between 10 and 11 years of age. For some, one breast may initially develops ahead of the other. Menarche (first period) tends to occur about two to three years after the start of breast development. For two years before puberty there is a rise in levels of adrenal androgens that sometimes results in the early appearance of pubic hair and spots. Delayed puberty may be suggested in girls with no breast development or pubic hair by 14 years and no period by 16 years. Puberty can be delayed for several reasons. Most often, it’s simply a pattern of growth and development in a family. You may find that the mother, sisters or aunts developed later than usual too. This is called constitutional delay and usually doesn’t require any kind of treatment. These teens will eventually develop normally, just later than most of their peers. Sometimes medical problems can cause delays in puberty. Having a chronic illness, such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, kidney disease, or even asthma, can make it harder for children’s bodies to grow and develop. Girls who are extremely active in sports may be late developers because their level of exercise keeps them so lean. Girls’ bodies require a certain amount of fat before they can go through puberty or get their periods. Not having enough food, proper nutrients or being malnourished can delay puberty. The eating disorder anorexia nervosa can cause so much weight loss that girls’ bodies can’t develop properly. Some girls who don’t go through puberty at the normal time have problems with their chromosomes. Turner Syndrome happens when one of a female’s two X chromosomes is abnormal or missing. This causes problems with how a girl grows and with the development of her ovaries and production of sex hormones. If there are any concerns about delayed puberty have your child assessed by her doctor. In most cases the doctor will be able to reassure you that there’s no underlying physical problem. He will chart her growth and also may order blood tests. A “bone-age” X-ray will see whether her breasts are maturing normally. If a problem is found her doctor can refer her to a paediatric endocrinologist.

TROUBLED WATERS: Concerns about small breasts are not uncommon among girls who experience late on-set of puberty. Picture: Getty Images Q. Are artificial sweeteners bad for you? I have a sweet tooth and have been taking sugar with everything for years. My doctor warned me that I could be at risk of diabetes due to high blood sugar levels. I now try and substitute sweeteners for sugar, but have heard that these are worse. A. We are born with a sweet tooth. Human milk is quite sweet, so as a child we make an early connection between eating, drinking and pleasure. Sugars are one form of carbohydrates and can differ in their degree of sweetness. Complex carbohydrates, such as starches, while being the least sweet, are the best for your body. They don’t cause blood sugar fluctuations the way simple sugars do. Fructose is one of the main sugars found in fruits and honey. It is often preferred to straight glucose and sucrose as an energy source, since it is absorbed more slowly and doesn’t produce the roller-coaster effect of refined sugars. But too much sugar can take its toll and adds extra calories, which can cause weight gain. Many people opt for artificial sweeteners or low-calorie sweeteners as a way to enjoy their favourite foods or drinks without as many calories. Artificial sweeteners are chemicals or natural compounds that offer the sweetness of sugar without as many calories. Because the substitutes are much sweeter than sugar, it takes a small amount to create the same sweetness. Products made with artificial sweeteners have a much lower calorie count than do those made with sugar. People with diabetes may use artificial

sweeteners because they make food taste sweet without raising blood sugar levels. But remember that if you have diabetes some foods containing artificial sweeteners, such as sugar-free yoghurt, can still affect your blood sugar level due to other carbohydrates or proteins in the food. Be aware of certain foods labelled “sugar-free” — such as sugar-free biscuits, cakes or chocolate as they may contain sweeteners, such as sorbitol or mannitol, which contain calories and can affect your blood sugar level. Numerous studies have shown that artificial sweeteners are safe for the general population. Aspartame isn’t safe for people with a rare hereditary disease PKU (phenylketonuria). Use artificial sweeteners sensibly. Alternative sweeteners include fruit concentrates, such as pear and apple. Cinnamon is a sweet spice and a little goes a long way. Instead of sugar in your tea or coffee, try a cinnamon stick. Try sweet herbs and spices such as mint, cloves, aniseed and ginger when cooking. Other ways to curb sugar cravings include regular exercise. Do this often enough and you’ll find yourself craving the exercise rather than the sweet snack. Eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of three high-carbohydrate meals a day or snacking on sugary foods between meals. Cut back on refined starches such as white flour, white rice and white pasta as these are more likely to turn into body fat. Whole grains or natural starches contain a high level of fibre, are digested more slowly and have a less dramatic effect on blood sugar levels.

NOTE: The information contained in Dr Houston’s column is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a doctor first

A Catherine Shanahan MUM’S WORLD Feelgood

DVISING your child on a choice of career is as fraught and as futile as trying to whip up the perfect meringue when an egg yolk has tainted the process. No amount of effort to beat it into shape will produce the desired outcome, and the harder you try, the stiffer the resistance. I wondered recently why I had been allowed pursue an Arts degree after killing myself for the Leaving. I could understand why, as a 17-year-old, I had lost all interest in further study, but my parents could surely see I was capable of more. My father looked stunned when I asked why he hadn’t shown more ambition on my behalf. “We did everything we could to dissuade you, but it was pointless as a kite without wind,” he said. I asked for an outline of his efforts. He had asked one of my more influential

school teachers to talk me out of my choice. “None of us could understand why you wanted to study English and Irish when teaching was the last thing on your mind,” he said. He sent me for career guidance counselling. He helped expand on the possibilities of a future in law. But my mind was made up. My days of studying were done and Arts would allow me get by doing as little as humanly possible. My sister, who worked in the university where I studied, came home with various tales. “She’s not doing a tap,” she would say. “She’s playing poker and smoking and basically having a ball.” My parents were appalled by claims they presumed false and prompted by sibling rivalry. I did have a ball. By the time I graduated, I was a dab hand at Don, smoked like a troop-

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

er and could boat race with the best of them. I also managed a decent degree, proving Arts is a faculty for dossers. My mother now tells anyone who asks that my degree isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Academically, she probably has a point, but she is nowhere near the mark if you consider the social and emotional development part of your education. I made friends in college that I hope are friends for life. I learned that a broken heart is not forever. I learned that there are several ways to skin a cat, and who’s to say which is the right one. And I learned that only I can decide which cards to play in order to win the game. Lughaidh and Dearbhail, on the other hand, will have the benefit of my hindsight. A toy gavel is as good as a hammer and a plastic stethoscope never went astray. “Don’t follow my path,” I will urge them, “it never works the same way twice.”



True grit 11 Dave O’Leary has MS and is tackling a triathlon, Helen O’Callaghan reports XH - V2

Beating the odds


AVE O’LEARY is going to ask a lot of his body this summer. Nothing less than a 3.8k swim, followed by a 180k cycle, followed by a 42.2k run — and all on the same day, August 1, in Regensburg, Bavaria. O’Leary, 39, who grew up in Ballintemple, Cork, is competing in the Ironman, the most rigorous and challenging of all triathlon events. “It’s a big ask,” says the man who works in a medical lab at University College Cork. All the more so because Dave has multiple sclerosis, a progressive neurological condition, in which the body’s immune cells attack the covering of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, leading to deterioration in functions, such as vision, speech and movement. Diagnosed eight years ago, from early on he made up his mind that MS wouldn’t take over his life, though he was naturally horrified when he discovered at the age of 31 that he had the condition. “In March 2002, I had a lack of sensation in my right leg, pins and needles, and I was very tired. The numbness got worse. It travelled up my body to my chest and it was in both my legs. I had very little sensation. That went on for three weeks. That was the only time I was really knocked out. It struck out of the blue.” Despite being pretty much on the flat of his back for three weeks, Dave initially thought he had something mild, but his doctor felt it could be MS. “I was referred for a lumbar puncture. My consultant said, very matter of factly, that it was most likely MS and I got full confirmation after a few days. “I was horrified, very shocked and surprised. Initially, I spent a lot of time analysing how I felt. Every little twinge I had, I’d think it was the start of a MS flare-up. I’d be thinking ‘is that twinge because I crossed my legs or is it MS?’ It took over my life for a while. Then I realised I couldn’t let it do that. I was writing my PhD when I got MS so I returned to college to finish it.” On weekly injections of disease-modifying drug Avonex (it reduces number/severity of MS relapses), Dave hasn’t had any flare-ups since 2002. “I’ve led a perfectly healthy life for the past eight years. I’ve had a couple of minor things that lasted a few days. If I get a cold or flu, it exacerbates MS symptoms. My left arm’s always slightly dodgy — it’s sensitive to cold. It’s like a kind of nerve pain.” His weekly injections sometimes give him 24 hour flu-like symptoms, but he controls these with paracetamol. “In a perverse way, MS has made me more health-conscious. I’ve changed my diet, cutting out junk food, eating less meat, more fruit, more nuts and vegetables. I go very light on alcohol. I eat less fats and I’ve been taking Udos Oil for the past eight years.” Married to Aoife, Dave was interested in triathlon events ever before MS struck. “I always kept fit. I always ran and I’ve been a swimmer for years. About two years after the initial shock of diagnosis, I said I’d give triathlon a go. I did my first triathlon — the sprint event, which is a 750m swim, a 20km cycle and a 5km run — in 2004. I’ve done between four and eight races a year since, but this will be my first Ironman. Such a long race always amazed me, so last autumn I decided I’d look into doing it.” A member of Cork Triathlon Club and coached online by a professional tri-athlete (“he makes out programmes for me”), Dave


In a perverse way, MS has made me more health conscious. I’ve changed my diet and go very light on alcohol

New theory offers hope

ACTION MAN: Dave O’Leary is training intensively for next month’s Ironman triathlon, he refuses to let a serious illness stop him in his tracks. Picture: Denis Minihane. has been training since January. “I train six days a week for between one to five hours each day. I swim twice a week, run three to four times weekly and do two weekly cycles.” Aoife, who works in organisational development at Pfizer, and who will accompany him to Germany, has been very supportive. “I couldn’t do it without her. And I’ve promised to tidy up the room I’ve filled with triathlon gear as soon as it’s over!” It was Aoife who first heard of the work of Italian vascular surgeon Paolo Zamboni, who began investigating MS after his wife was diagnosed. “He found in a large percentage of people with MS there seemed to be restrictions in the veins in the cerebral-spinal area. This leads to a build-up of iron in the body and he believes that’s related to MS.” As a scientist, he’s naturally sceptical until

further research is done. “The preliminary results are very promising, but more research is needed before the findings are proved correct,” he says. (See sidebar) While he has a keen interest in the latest research developments, Dave is happy, for now, to stay with his current treatment regime. “If it ain’t broken don’t fix it,” he says. “But if someone was to come up and ask me if I wanted to be tested for vascular restriction, then I’d probably do it.” Meanwhile, the Corkman is adamant that if he suffers a flare-up of MS, it won’t be because he hasn’t taken care of his health. “It won’t be because of something I did or neglected to do. And I know there’s life after MS — and, in my case, a very good life.” ■ Visit

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

CHRONIC Cerebro-spinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) is a new theory on the diagnosis/treatment of MS. Italian vascular surgeon Dr Paolo Zamboni has done research, which he believes shows MS is caused by narrowing/obstruction of blood vessels to the brain. This leads to a build-up of iron in the bloodstream, which can pass the blood-brain barrier, leading to inflammation and damage to the central nervous system. Dr Zamboni and his team used balloon-dilation, a surgical procedure that opens/widens veins, improving drainage from the brain. Research hasn’t yet proved the efficacy of the treatment and further studies are needed to examine how useful it is in treating CCSVI or MS. Because of the lack of clinical evidence, the treatment isn’t licensed by the European Medicines Agency or the FDA in the USA, outside of an approved experimental study. It is not used in Ireland to treat MS. MS Ireland believes Mr Zamboni’s theory is very exciting and may offer a new way of treating MS. A spokesperson says: “On behalf of the thousands of people with MS, we’re hopeful that the research will offer new, better ways of treating MS. However, all treatments need to be vigorously tested to ensure they’re safe and effective. “We encourage those with MS to monitor developments in CCSVI research but stress that research isn’t complete. There have been other theories and treatments over the years that haven’t proven successful, so we ask people to be cautiously optimistic about where the CCSVI path will lead.”


12 Healthy food


Roz Crowley

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T’S natural for us to reach for delicious and nutritious salads when the days are long and warm. Produce is at its best in four years (since we last had some good sunshine) so we must make the best of vitamin-rich leaves. Making a meal of salads means we can eat lightly, but satisfyingly, and adding a little protein, such as eggs and ham, makes a complete meal of them. Here are three I experimented with recently and another from a chef who knows how to enhance seasonal ingredients. You can add toasted or untoasted mixed seeds to just about every salad to increase intake of healthy omega oils and add more fibre to the diet. I dry fry enough together for a few days. Stale bread makes excellent croutons, which are delicious in salads to mop up tomato juices and dressings. Poached Egg, Bacon, Watercress and Endive Salad

This recipe comes from Flemings restaurant, Cork, which is celebrating 21 years in business this year. A chef with high standards, Michael Fleming has taken delicious crisp endive (chicory) and made a meal of it with smoked bacon and a few poached eggs. A perfect lunch or supper dish, with some chunky bread on the side, it has just about as many vitamins and protein as we need in one meal. Michael’s trick of preparing the eggs ahead is handy for a crowd. Serves 2 2 heads of baby Belgian endive, sliced crosswise 4 large eggs 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 bunch watercress 2 thick rashers smoked bacon cut into pieces 2 tablespoons sherry or wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons olive oil Squeeze fresh lemon juice Freshly ground black pepper Large beef tomato Pinch of salt Chopped fresh chives Poach the eggs, in boiling water with the white wine vinegar, carefully breaking the eggs into briskly boiling water. Cook until the whites are solid — about two minutes. With a slotted spoon transfer eggs to a large saucepan filled with very cold water. Or prepare the salad first and poach the eggs just before serving. Cover each salad plate with the sliced endive, then place the thinly sliced beef tomato on top, seasoned with a little salt. Place a cluster of watercress in the centre of each plate. Sauté the bacon in a pan until brown but not yet crispy. Lift onto a paper towel and cut into small, bite-sized pieces. Add the sherry vinegar to the bacon fat and stir over a high heat to blend. Stir in the mustard, then slowly whisk in the oil, the lemon juice and pepper to taste. Keep warm. Trim the eggs to a neat shape. Fill a large bowl with very hot water and immerse the


Salads don’t have to be boring eggs until heated through for about a minute, remove and drain. Place two eggs per portion on top of the watercress and place the bacon on top. Drizzle with the warm dressing and scatter chives on top.

salads for a barbecue. Without the avocado and herbs, well chilled, it will keep for a few days.

Couscous, Quinoa or Brown Rice Salad

Mozzarella can have quite a rubbery texture, so buy the freshest possible. When fresh it can be torn into chunks, while older and more processed is best sliced thinly. Blue cheese, or semi-soft goat cheese are good too. The croutons are lightly garlicky and soak up the delicious dressing. Make the chunky part of the salad as early as you like and add the lettuce, ham and croutons just before serving. The beans benefit from being softened by the acid of the vinegar and the lentils soak up the healthy olive oil. I use dried ham — Prosciutto, Parma, Serrano, Pata Negra — whatever is to hand. It adds a lively saltiness and a meaty sensation without too much fat. However, any leftover ham or rashers will do well. When cooking pulses add a few bayleaves, a chopped onion and carrot, and clove of garlic and leave them in for the salad. Leftover pulses keep for a few days and can also be frozen for emergency dinners. Great curried.

This versatile salad uses up whatever is fresh in the garden, along with some juicy fruit to provide a bitter-sweet freshness. Any of those listed maybe omitted, but all of ingredients together are an amazing explosion of taste and texture, vitamins and minerals. Don’t stint on the herbs, you really cannot have too much of them. Serves 4 300g couscous, quinoa or rice, cooked and cooled 1 orange, grapefruit or pomegranate ½ cucumber, cubed 3 spring onions, chopped, green tops included 1 stick celery, chopped finely ½ avocado, cubed 3 radishes, sliced thinly Handful broadbeans, cooked 1 minute and skins removed Handful each fresh mint and coriander, chopped 2 limes, juiced 1 tablespoon olive oil Peel and chop the peeled orange or grapefruit, or halve the pomegranate and tap out the seeds. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and allow to blend for half an hour if possible. Serve on the side with meat, fish, other vegetables, or as part of a selection of

Mozzarella, Bean and Lettuce Salad

Serves 4 200g mozzarella 100g green beans, boiled for 1 minute 200g chick peas or lentils, cooked 1 red onion, chopped finely 2 cloves garlic, grated 2 raw carrots or beetroot, grated 4 tomatoes, halved and grilled 4 slices dried ham Handful cubed bread 1 clove garlic, sliced 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice Crunchy sea salt and black pepper

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

Handful chopped chives, French tarragon, chervil or parsley Heat one of the spoons of olive oil in a pan and cook the garlic slices slowly so the oil is infused with the garlic. Remove the garlic after three minutes. Add the croutons and fry until golden. Set aside. Blend all the other ingredients together, except the ham and herbs, and top the pulse mixture with them and the croutons just before serving. The tomatoes may be kept raw, but the grilling enhances their flavour and gives a sumptuous moisture to the salad. Watermelon, Feta and Peach Salad Chilled watermelon is delicious in summer. Paired with salty cheese we can make an interesting starter or dessert. As there are such delicious peaches and nectarines available, they add a summery sweetness which contrasts beautifully with the salty cheese and is delicious as a dessert/cheese course after a light meal. The watermelon and feta idea came from Café Paradiso which had been inspired by Peter Gordon’s Sugar Club. Serves 4 Half a watermelon, skin and seeds removed 200g feta, crumbled 2 peaches, skinned and cubed Juice 1 lemon or lime Half a red onion, finely chopped Black pepper Fresh oregano or mint leaves 1 tablespoon olive oil Mixed seeds (optional) Cut the watermelon into chunks and mix with the rest of the ingredients, except the fresh herbs which should be sprinkled on top just before serving. Top with toasted mixed seeds.



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Male health


History on hand in emergencies


KNOW YOUR PATIENT: A Personal Information Pack gives vital information on medical history, medication, doctor and allergies.

F YOU care for someone in your family — an elderly parent, an ill spouse — you may be worried how they will cope if caught in an emergency when you are not around. Several years ago, one of the market leaders in the pharmaceutical sector revealed that in emergency situations, many patients were unable to convey their medical history and conditions to emergency staff. In some cases this lack of information became an impediment to proper care. As a result the Personal Information Pack (PIP) was devised with vulnerable populations in mind, such as older people and those with long-term illnesses, eg diabetes or asthma. The PIP contains all relevant information, including a brief medical history, current medication, next of kin, donor status, doctor and allergies. It is stored in the refrigerator, a common location for emergency staff to check and the least likely place to be compromised by fire. A notice is also put beside the hall door signalling that a PIP is in the refrigerator and emergency personnel will look out for this. “The PIP, when used correctly, is an invaluable aid for seniors to inform family and friends of their medical history and conditions, in case of an emergency,” says Danette Connolly of Home Instead Senior Care Waterford.

Deirdre O'Flynn MOSTLY MEN “The research conducted by Pfizer found that over half of children said their parents were on a prescription medicine but 77% did not know the name of the medicine. What is equally worrying was that one in five did not know the name of their parent’s doctor. “The PIP contains all of this crucial information about a patient and if the need arises for emergency services to be involved, they will have ready access to their medical history.” In a joint promotion with Mulligan’s Pharmacy of Tramore, Co Waterford, PIPs will be available free and there will also be advice on hand from Home Instead personnel and Mulligans’ staff about the most effective ways to use the PIP. “Any publicity that focuses the spotlight on the PIP is good publicity,” says pharmacist Niall Mulligan. “Many of our customers are prescribed a wide range of medicines. In order to keep track of that history and to guarantee the best medical care when needed, the PIP is crucial.” ■ For further information log onto

Tobacco industry needs Facts at a glance for 50 new smokers a day pensioners an carers IN IRELAND, the tobacco industry needs 50 young people to start smoking every day to remain viable. That’s according to speakers at a recent anti-tobacco conference in Dublin, for young people, which explored how the tobacco industry targets young people in subtle, manipu lative ways to make them customers for life. In Ireland, half of all smokers start before the age of 15, and 83% start before they are 18. “Approximately 6,000 people die from tobacco-related illnesses in Ire-


IN a recent inquest into the death of a six-month old baby, it was found she had suffered positional asphyxia due to slumping down in a car seat that was too big. While Irish parents invest in good-quality car seats for their children, statistics from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) show that three out of four seats are used incorrectly, posing a serious safety risk. So here are the main points to consider:


land each year,” says Norma Cronin, health promotion manager, Irish Cancer Society. “Tobacco legislation in Ireland is, in a global context, progressive, and avenues traditionally used by the tobacco industry to target youths, such as mass media advertising and point-of-sale displays, are no longer legal. Through tactics such as smoking in television shows and movies, digital media and clever packaging, the tobacco industry has not given up recruiting Ireland’s young people as smokers.”


THE RIGHT BRAND: Even if you choose a top-rated car seat it may not be compatible with your car. “It’s all about the make and model of your car and while manufacturers give detailed instructions about fitting, too many people make mistakes,” says Paul Kealy of Tony Kealys. “It is the responsibility of the retailer to ensure that every car seat in every car is comfortable and safe and fits the child.” As well as fitting seats purchased in their Dublin and Cork stores, staff at Tony Kealys are also happy to check the fit of your existing car seats.

IF YOU have older people in Home Instead Senior Care, your family, it may be useful the sponsor of the handto pick up the Irish Pensionbook, says: “The Irish Pener’s Handbook. It is a resioner’s Handbook is an essource for seniors, their famsential resource for senior ilies and caregivers that procitizens in Ireland. It is a vides information and advice valuable and easy to read on a range of sehandbook denior care issues. It signed for older also boasts a dipeople and rectory of older those caring for person’s organisaageing loved tions and other ones.” useful contacts. Speaking about ■ A free copy the publication of is available to KNOWLEDGE BASE: the new handdownload on book, Ed Murphy, Handbook helps older www.homeinchief executive of people to stay in touch.

DId you know...

Construction workers are under the highest levels of stress of all professions Source: UK healthcare cash plan provider Medicash

Children’s car seats


CHECK IT FITS: “As many as 80% of car seats have some problems with fitting and 60% have a serious problem,” says Brian Farrell of the RSA, which runs regular Check It Fits campaigns. “While parents want to protect their children with a good car seat, unfortunately they can totally negate their good intentions by not installing it correctly and, alarmingly, can even increase their child’s risk of injury,” says Mark Bennett, technical support manager with car seat manufacturer Britax, which has launched the new Britax King TS Group 1 car set, F149, designed to make proper installation as easy as possible.

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010


THE RIGHT SIZE: The correct seat is determined by the child’s height and weight. Group 0+ seats are for babies from birth up to 13kgs (usually around a year). Group 1 seats are for children weighing 9-18kgs (nine months to four). Group 2/3 seats are for children weighing 15-36kgs. All seats for babies up to around 13kgs in weight are designed to face backwards because a young baby’s neck muscles are not yet developed enough to support its head in an accident, say Maxi Cosi, manufacturers of the award-winning Cabriofix Infant Carrier, right, Mothercare’s best-selling car seat.


ISOFIX: Most new cars have Isofix points and the RSA is keen to promote the use of car seats which can be fitted by simply plugging into them. “Our message is to use Isofix, it gets rid of all the misuse problems,” says Brian Farrell. Maxi-Cosi has launched a new Isofix base — the FamilyFix Base, F175 — designed to be used with its Group 0+ seats (the CabrioFix and the new Pebble, F185) and with its new Group 1 Pearl seat, F210. ■ For more advice on choosing the right car seat and fitting it correctly see and


14 Beauty

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Scent of summer


The news on ... GLAM SHINE REFLEXION PERSONALLY, I’m a bit over the whole gloss thing, but I seem to be alone as the gloss phenomenon rages on. The latest Glam Shine Reflexion, F10.49 from L’Oreal delivers seriously glossy shine with an iridescent effect. The heart-shaped applicator is good for sweeping on a good amount of colour while the shades in the new range are bang on trend, with my favourite being No 172 — sheer watermelon.

Emily O’Sullivan

Banish stale odours and opt for some seasonal perfumes with coconut, jasmine and citrus


F YOU’VE spent any time on public transport over the last few weeks, you'd be forgiven for thinking that summer smells of feet, armpits and dodgy fake tan. But there is another summer out there. There is a summer where everything smells fabulous — where the scent of jasmine wakes you up in the morning, coconut greets you in the afternoon and balmy nights abound with the sumptuous fragrance of citrus. The problem is that so much conspires to make us smell quite foul during the warmer months — feet rot inside cheap plimsolls, skin gets slathered in noxious false tans that summon up the aroma of old boots, cheese and damp clothes, and nobody seems to use enough deodorant. But facing the day with the kind of smells that make our hearts sing in summer — freshly cut grass, lemons, the sea — can make an enormous difference to our mood, and brings the kind of joyous feeling to summer mornings that you’ll almost feel like skipping down the street. Nine or so years ago, Carthusia Mediterraneo entered my life and it’s become a summer staple ever since. Based on an old recipe used by monks on the isle of Capri in the Bay of Naples, this fragrance was updated by Italian nose Laura Tonatto in 2002. No other fragrance I know has the ability to transport you to a Mediterranean summer with its gloriously fresh, clean and fizzy citrus notes underpinned by green tea and light florals. The crisp, lemony notes inject a serious infusion

TAKE THREE AFTERSUNS Let this be the word: sunburn is bad. You should never allow it to happen. Yes, accidents do happen, and occasionally you can miss a bit while assiduously applying your factor 50. If you do, turn to one of these babies for a little help.

Picture:Getty Images

of sunshine, even if it’s granite-skied outside. If you like the Mediterranean, you’ll like this. Grass is an integral part of summer life for me — I sit on it, mow it, and wash its stains out of clothing ad nauseum. If you’ve a penchant for the stuff, you might like to turn to Lush’s new shower gel called Grass, which uses the scents of wheatgrass juice and citrus oils to make your bathroom smell like your favourite park. It’s a great way to start the day with a burst of freshness in the morning. Peppermint and all things minty are another excellent wake-me-up scent and really embody that fresh summer vibe. If you don’t want to smell like Wimbledon (the lawns rather than the sweaty players), then bypass Grass and made a beeline for another of our favourite shower gels — Original Source’s Mint and Tea Tree Shower Gel. The new Sweet Lemon range from The Body Shop really amps up the summer sensations with scent and colour. This range is well priced and has pretty much all you need

to get you through the summer, from simple soaps to lip butters to whipped body lotion. Part of what makes citrus scents so appealing is their ability to whip up an immediate sense of freshness, and most beauty ranges incorporate them into their lines for spring/summer. L’Occitane’s Verbena range is now verging on a classic, but it’s one I return to year after year. With verbena from Corsica, and lemon and grapefruit from Italy, this is summer zingyness bottled. According to Albrecht Von Keyserlingk, a distiller of aromatic plants in Corsica and the man L’Occitane sources their verbena from, “Verbena is the finest, most subtle lemony nuance there could be. A delicious and volatile freshness.” Finally, there could be no better embodiment of summer scents than sun-tan lotion. This scent can transport us back to childhood in an instant. For a smell of the ’70s, reach for a bottle of classic Hawaiian Tropic and go loco for the coconut scent that defined not only a summer but a decade.

coconut scent that really sets things going in your head. Thankfully, the range has been updated since the 70s and while you can still get the tanning oils, there are also high SPF creams and lotions to choose from.

Body Scrub, F6.99. Using lemon oil to get that super-fresh scent, this gentle exfoliating scrub is great for getting your skin soft, smooth and reasonably bikini-ready.

Piz Buin Allergy Aftersun Soothing Lotion, F13.93. Here’s an aftersun that amps up your skin’s own tolerance to UV exposure, thanks to a unique Calmanelle shield complex, if you don’t mind. It’s richly hydrating and definitely a good choice for sensitive skins. Soltan Aloe Vera Aftersun, F6.99. Soltan is one of the best suncare brands around and this aftersun is no different. Housed in a cooling blue bottle, the aftersun is easily absorbed and feels really lovely when applied straight from the fridge. It’s dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic, too. Clinique Sun Care Aftersun rescue balm with aloe, F24. You shouldn’t judge a beauty product by its packaging, but we love the way Clinique’s sun range looks with its bright sun-yellow shade. The lotion itself is a cool blue, enriched with aloe vera with a lovely gel-balm texture that deeply hydrates the skin.

STUFF WE LIKE Bobbi Brown beach Fragrance, F50. Yum, this is how summer should smell a la Bobbi Brown — a perfect light and nostalgic blend of sand jasmine, sea spray and mandarin. It’s an eau de parfum, but hits all the right light and fresh notes. Lush Grass Shower Gel, F6.50. Wimbledon may be over but you can summon up the spirit of all that Centre Court action in your very own shower with Lush’s Grass. A gorgeous choice for sunny summer mornings. Hawaiian Tropic Protective Lotion SPF 50, F14.45. Nothing quite screams summer like a bottle of Hawaiian Tropic — it’s that


Original Source Mint and Tea Tree Shower Gel, F2.99. If you need a bit of pepping up in the morning, then take the shower equivalent of three cups of coffee. It’s so zingy and energising, you’ll find it hard not to skip out of the shower. The new more environmentally friendly packaging means it also cuts down on the plastic.

Gloomaway Grapefruit Body Mist, F28. Using practically any product from Origins helps to put a smile on our face, but this one really does summon up the spirit of summer. It’s light and feels tailor made for those hot and sticky days when you need a fresh start.

The Body Shop Sweet Lemon

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

Carthusia Mediterraneo eau de toilette, F48. Elegant, refined and sophisticat-

ed, this perfume uses real essential oils to get its authentic citrusssy scent. The Mediterranean feels like it’s been distilled and poured into a bottle — the scent lasts a long time on the skin, too, thanks to the quality of the ingredients. L’Occitane Verbena Sorbet Body Cream, F36.95. Body creams are just far too sticky for warm summery weather. Try, instead, this lighter “sorbet”. It has a cooling and refreshing texture and hydrates the skin very well through the day.



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Natural health


HERE are many supplements and cosmetics claiming to slow the ageing process. But I’m interested in findingmore natural ways to help me feel young and vital. What foods would you recommend to slow the ravages of time?

Megan Sheppard Do you have a question for Megan Sheppard? Email it to or send a letter to Feelgood Irish Examiner City Quarter Lapps Quay Cork

contains a more complete EFA profile, including double the amount of GLA of that in EPO. GLA is an important source of prostaglandins, responsible for regulating the immune system, maintaining supple skin, and balancing the menstrual cycle in women. This is why blackcurrant seed oil is recommended for ailments such as dry skin disorders, inflammatory conditions, chronic pain, menstrual symptoms, and immune support. If you want to focus on immune support for children, then Elagen (; 00 44 1248 431057) is a great choice. It is a standardised extract of Eleutheroccus senticosus with 60 capsules costing £19. For allergies and hayfever, try Oralmat drops ( which are made from rye grass extract and cost around F25.80.

A. We literally are what we eat since everything we consume is broken down to rebuild and repair every cell, therefore how we age does indeed have everything to do with our diet. I have looked at many old health books written by people who lived long and healthy lives, seemingly unaffected by the ailments we have come to consider a rite of passage as we enter our golden years. There were certainly many dietary and lifestyle features in common, regardless of which Q. In a recent response you mention culture the individual was from. taking one or two tablespoons of psylliThe keys to longevity through diet um husks in a large glass of water twice and lifestyle appear to be eating small daily. A large glass of water is not meals, and eating slowly. Often these specific and your answer would be individuals would only eat one or two much more helpful if given in litres or small, simple meals daily — chewing millilitres. each mouthful until it is paste to unlock the nutrients within the food. All A. You are quite right, and I will enof the people I have read about, who deavour to be more clear in the future, as have lived with optimal health and ‘large’ when applied to a measure can vitality, have eaten living foods (fresh certainly be in the eye of the beholder. fruit, vegetables, sprouted and ferTypically, a large glass will be around mented grains, and raw dairy products 300-500ml, while a small glass indicates — typically from goats). Regular fast150-250ml. A recommendation of eight ing also seems to be a common event. to ten glasses of water daily, for example, The non-dietary aspects in common will often refer to 300ml of water. Some were daily meditation and appreciahealth advisors increase this amount to tion of life and loved ones, little or 10-12 (or more), knowing from experiWELL GROUNDED: Deep breathing, barefoot connection no stress, a strong spiritual connection with soil on a daily basis, plenty of quality sleep and other ence that most people will assume a with nature and/or religion, daily glass to be around 200ml of water. lifestyle choices including a good diet, are the keys to movement, deep breathing, barefoot longevity and good health. Picture: Getty Images When it comes to taking psyllium connection with soil on a daily basis, husks for intestinal health, I personally plenty of quality sleep, no electronic go for the largest available glass in our gadgetry, no personal or household chemicupboard, which is 500ml — but since this the most popular brands, and 60 capsules cal products, and working with the seasons size is a favourite in our household for typically cost between F9 and F12. It is and daylight hours rather than in spite of smoothies, I often have to substitute a 300ml widely available in health stores or through them. glass instead. Both work equally well, alonline suppliers. At the time of writing, the So, in short, diet is a great place to start, though I have to be quick to down the psylonline health store www.positivebut not the end of the story. Living foods lium combination in the 300ml glass as it offers the best value for certainly appear to be the key to providing goes very thick in a very short space of time. money if you are unable to source this supthe optimum nutrients for health and wellThe 500ml glassful can be consumed at a plement locally. Of course, it is always being. Keep an eye out for my feature next more leisurely pace and is more liquid than preferable to support local businesses, so do week where I will be discussing food and solid — however, I have met many people ask if you are unable to find it. lifestyle tips from David H. Murdock, an who prefer to down the thicker blend. It is Blackcurrant oil is high in essential fatty American whose appearance and health are certainly a case of preference, based on trial acids (EFAs), which cannot be made in the decades younger than his 87 years. and error. body, so must be sourced from the diet. For those who find this bland concoction EFAs are required for energy production, Q. I am trying to get hold of blackcurhard to swallow, you can make a thick blend regulating body temperature, maintaining rant oil for my toddler, but any health using one to two tablespoons in 250ml of tissue health, and insulating the nerves. food stores I have tried only have capwater and then blend this with 250ml of Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is the other sules at very high strength. Can you recfreshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice to well-known source of GLA (gamma ommend a brand name so I can order it? add flavour. Psyllium husks can also be sprinlinolenic acid), besides mother’s milk, but it kled on breakfast cereals such as porridge or has been proven that blackcurrant seed oil A. Nutri Blackcurrant Seed Oil is one of muesli.

Megan puts the spotlight on:


DMINISTERING vitamin K to a newborn is now routine practice. There is a perceived deficiency of vitamin K at birth, which can lead to a lack of the ability to form blood clots. This in itself is a concern, however, in most straight-forward births there is no risk to the baby. The key word is ‘straight-forward’. With instrumental and surgical birth on the increase, the percentage of babies who are at risk of haemorrhage is no doubt on the rise. Currently 0.05% of babies have a haemorrhaging issue due to lack of blood clotting ability. Extremely fast labours, prolonged labours, significant molding of the head of the newborn, birth trauma, surgical birth, forceps or vacuum ex-



traction, heart decelerations during late stages of labour and circumcision following birth are all factors which indicate an increased risk for haemorrhage, and vitamin K should seriously be considered by the parents and birth-care providers. The practice of separating newborns from their mothers coincided with the introduction of routine vitamin K injections. Separation naturally reduces the amount of time the baby spends at the breast. Colostrum, the rich fluid which precedes breastmilk, is very high in vitamin K, and a baby who is breastfed on demand following birth will get significant levels of this nutrient. Of course, this is also why instru-

VITAMIN K mental and surgical births often lead to the need for vitamin K supplementation, since they often disrupt the natural mother-child bonding process as mother and babe spend significant time recovering physically and emotionally from the birth process. The injection contains a high dosage of vitamin K, so do consider the oral dosage option which eliminates the need for overdosing and lessens the risk of haemorrhage and jaundice as a typical side effect, as well as the pain of the injection and exposure to harmful preservatives. Vitamin K is absorbed through the gut, and an intramuscular injection bypasses the gut, making it difficult for the body to absorb. Improve your baby’s chances for vita-

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

min K absorption by loading your diet during the last few weeks of pregnancy with vitamin K-rich foods and herbs, such as nettles, alfalfa, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, parsley, asparagus, okra, VITAMIN BOOST: Breast milk horsetail, yarrow, and contains colostrum which is high in vitamin K, essential slippery for blood clotting. elm.





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FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

Feelgood 16-07-2010  

Feelgood is a health and wellbeing supplement published by the Irish Examiner every Friday.