Dental Hygiene: Have you tried a Water flosser

Today let’s talk dental health, have you heard of the Water Flosser? I accidentally came across the water flosser from someone I randomly follow on Twitter. His simple tweet “This water flosser is game changer #goals” got me very intrigued. I guess you can say I was influenced by social media….

Intrigued by all things health, I quickly googled the gadget. What I saw was enough for me to take the bait, it was advertised as a gadget that will blast the plaque and food debris between the tiny crevices of your teeth and mouth. I must confess my research was short, I restate that my research was mediocre, I clicked the first article I saw, read it and decided this would be an interesting dental investment.

Off to Amazon I went, I was stunned to see a vast collection of water flossers ranging from USD 30 to USD 150. Given this was a social inspired experiment, I knew ain’t nobody trying to spend a fortune here. I settled on a Zerhunt portable oral irrigator that had decent reviews and cost about USD 35.

Zerhunt Water Flosser (Oral Irrigator)

https://www.amazon.com/NEWEST-Zerhunt-Cordless-Flosser-Cleaner/dp/B079ZZMTS7/ref=sr_1_10?crid=33RG4FZ5XCP25&dchild=1&keywords=water+flosser&qid=1607494531&sprefix=water+flose%2Caps%2C418&sr=8-10

This flosser is cordless (very important) with a rechargeable lithium battery (I can attest to the longevity of the battery, charging even 2/3 months). It has five interchangeable heads and is used in three modes one (normal, soft and pulsing ). At the beginning I must say I was really into this gadget, however, over time it seems to be a relic in my bathroom that is used every now and then. Not a testament to its usability but one of my laziness (I am spending enough time in the bathroom trying to get glowing skin using the Korean skin regime, story for another day).

The above said, I can still give a good general review of its use and practicability. I do use the “will I replace it test” to gauge how useful something is it a want or a need in my life (the test is basically a what if scenario, if the item, thing, person etc is no longer present in your day to day life will you miss a beat). My conclusion, I will occasionally remember the good all times but not go running to a shop or online to buy another one.
My rating of this health hygiene addition (water flossers in general not the brand) is 6 out of 10.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Effective in removing forming plaque, I was able to reach areas of my mouth that would be hard to cover using my brush or dental floss string
  • Do not quote me, but I did find that when I experienced sensitivity as the water pulsed over certain cervices, it was time to visit the dentist and truly indeed it proved to be a timely visit to combat any forming cavities early on.

Cons

  • More expensive than your traditional flosser
  • It does not replace need for traditional flosser to get the stubborn pieces stuck between your teeth
  • Can by a no no for people with sensitive gums (In the beginning, I found using the normal mode to be too abrasive for my gums and it did cause some bleeding, I shifted to pulse mode to resolve this issue).

Have you tries a water flosser? Let me know!

Can you lose weight on the Daniel Fast?

After a very indulgent October (courtesy of my birthday), I decided to go on a Daniel Fast. The Daniel Fast is said to be a 21 day period where one refrains from any animal, caffeine or processed products whilst also taking the time for spiritual reflection. Is it a diet?

I saw the Daniel Fast as a good introduction into the Plant Based diet philosophy which is championed by the likes of Dr Greger. The Forks not Knives program on Netflix did indeed leave an imprint and I also joined a Facebook group of a similar name. I was intrigued by success stories of individuals reversing diabetes, blood pressure among other ailments.

To ensure compliance, I focused on key food for each meal (repetitive but easier to manage). My breakfast options consisted of (oats, millet/sorghum porridge, sweet potatoes/arrow roots or corn). My lunch/dinner options consisted of (potatoes (irish or sweet baked or mashed), beans and legumes (all kinds under the sun), quinoa, Ugali, vegetables, salads) and lastly my snacks consisted of (fruits and nuts) with water or strong cocoa drink.

I started the journey at around 69 kg, a figure that I was keen to reduce having added some pounds during this covid quarantine lifestyle. The first week was difficult and I had massive cravings which I managed to calm down by eating nuts and biting on fruits and berries. Ironically, it was not meat I missed the most but SUGAR!!

I am a sugar/sweet/chocolate addict and I practically had to hide all my sweet tooth temptations for the 21 days. Frankly, I am not sure how I managed the full 21 days but alas I made it to the end and was so proud of myself.

During this period, I also discovered a local organic food seller “Sylvia’s Basket”, and looked forward to grocery shopping every Tuesday when I received my delivery of fresh vegetables. Watching youtube vegans like Rachel Ama was a treat and an entry to a new culinary world I had all but ignored.

I also used the 3 week period to reconnect with the Word and went through the Bible book of Daniel and part of Mathew. I must say, I did not know how much future/revelation wisdom was within the book of Daniel. Sometimes hard to interpret the underlying meaning but very revealing.

Overall, this was a good experience (one I will repeat again), and here is what I learned/benefited from:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. Lower spending: Cutting out all the meat/processed items result in budget savings, I did not document exactly how much I spent, but I definitely shopped less and was very focused when I shopped.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

2. Marginally reduced my diastolic blood pressure: My diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) has been stubbornly edging up. During this period I noted the figure was marginally reduced.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

3. I lost 3kg: Yes I did, I was doubting that I would lose much weight due to insane nut snacking but alas, some weight came off! Might I add, with Zero exercise apart for a rare walk at the local Arboretum Park.

4. I am in control, I can conquer my sugar cravings: Ladies and gents, mind over matter, anything is possible with dedication and effort

Lastly, the 21 day rule: I am not sure why the fast was for 21 days (of course Daniel Fasted for 21 days) but I believe there is some mystical reason as to why 21 days The 21 day rule claims you can change a habit in this period. I am beginning to believe this, whilst 100% about turn may take longer but indeed 21 days of the Daniel Fast has taught me that I can indeed survive without meat and processed junk and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Conclusion: I am now embracing a moderate lifestyle of eating more whole foods with indulgences here and there on specific occasions. Not entirely plant based but a good start.

Who knows, I may soon transition to fully plant based, but hey…. Baby steps.

Gut cleaning enema experiences?

Sometime last year after experiencing long lasting bouts of constipation, I decided to try out an home enema. This is definitely one of the stranger health bandwagons I have jumped on……

The Kit: After googling various options, I settled for a non toxic silicon based enema kit from Aussie Health. This was a quick, affordable, discreet 🙂 bought from amazon. They do have a stainless steel bucket option which is more user and cleaning friendly. However, since this was an experiment, I did not want to fork out the $$$.

The Non-Toxic Silicone Enema Kit by Aussie Health

I will not preach about the general science & fiction about enemas, but focus on what my experience has been. Since I bought my unit, I have done two enemas, in no timed manner, just on impulse when I feel clogged and the need to clean.

Below are my key takeaways from the experiences:

  1. Comfort: Set the scene! Make sure you have everything you need and a comfortable layout to relax and lie down as you do the procedure. At a point you will have to battle the urge to immediately expel the liquid, so it helps if you add some music or pod-cast etc that will help take your mind away from the ongoing cleaning.
  2. Cramping: As the enema progressed and got to work, I experienced some abdominal cramping nothing too crazy but it can add some nerves to the already nerve wracking experience (especially if you have read about colon perforation risks)
  3. Lightness/Relieve: After the full evacuation of the enema fluid, I must say the relief was epic. That said, it is really similar to the relief you experience after helping yourself after a long bus or car ride. No glowing skin or clearing rashes as other seem to confess/experience or imagine days after this procedure.
  4. Soreness: I experienced some slight soreness or weird feeling down under but this only lasted a day or two.

Verdict: Will I be doing this again? Probably, but only when am severely constipated versus a religious routine. I would rather stick to my prune juice which works well to restart the colon pipes.

Is your blood pressure in check?

It is aptly titled the silent killer, creeping up and snuffing the health and sometimes life out of the unsuspecting man/woman. High blood pressure “BP” (Hypertension), as I have come to learn is a deadly but sometimes incognito ailment.

My hypertension was discovered very randomly. Ironically, when I would visit a general hospital for simple ailments, my blood pressure would be elevated, however, as my physic did not match the bio of a supposed hypertension candidate, it was brushed off as “White coat hypertension”. White coat hypertension is the spiking of BP due to the anxiety of seeing a doctor and visiting a hospital. A year down the line one physician I visited during a totally different check inquired further on my BP and asked me to buy a BP machine and track it at home for a month to confirm my status.

I bought myself an Omron machine and kept a daily log of my BP stats.

I used and have been using an app called “My heart”, it can be downloaded for free from Google Play.

A month down the line, alas, it was confirmed I had hypertension. I was put on medication, “5mg of Amlo Denk” and a journey to manage my BP began. In conjunction with my doctor, I mapped a plan to manage my condition.
Diet, exercise and zen was/is my new mission

Diet: There has been alot of attention on plant based diets, my new meal plan has not fully adopted the plant based diet, however, I have cut out milk, red meat. I do alot of grains and lentils as well as fish. I eat chicken from time to time but the high level of antibiotics in the chicken supply put me off Chicken. I also fully cut out salt and replaced it with spices and black pepper.

Exercise: Exercise is now a way of life, a minimum of three times a week is as important as my medication. Whilst running is a favorite, (seriously, i have traveled miles just to endure the torture of marathons), it is not gentle on my knees. As an alternative, I do a spin class now and then and swim.

A recent addition to my exercise regime, is cross-fit ( on a very moderate routine, though moderate does not seem to be in the vocabulary of most of my gyms cross fit trainers). That said, I was advised against exerting myself as supposedly cross-fitters may face risks due to intense spikes of the heart rate. I am currently tracking my BP for a month while I cross-fit. I will do a blog on the impact of a cross-fit routine on my BP levels.

Zen: Zen is being self aware of your stress triggers and employing tactics to manage it. Time out, yoga, me days and finding quiet solo activities that spark joy and bring serenity into my life have been key.

A year down the line, my medication has been adjusted downwards and whilst my BP is not perfect it is slowly edging to green.

“My Heart – One year results. Green = Optimal, Yellow = Normal, Dirt Yellow = High Correct, Beyond the dotted line = Hypertension Zone

Is your BP in check? Are you on a journey to manage it? What is working for you? Let me know!!!