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The Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Better health is a few sips away

Emma Edwards
By Emma Edwards, Thursday, February 7, 2019

After last week’s column, several of you mentioned how much you like tomato aspic gelatin salad.

So I decided to check its history. Believe it or not, it dates to the middle ages, with recipes written as far back as 1375. Back then, making gelatin was an incredibly time-intensive process that required boiling animal bones and hooves to extract collagen. Longer cooking turns it into glue. The broth had to simmer for several hours until it was “protein rich and velvety.” Then it was clarified, cooled and eventually turned into gelatin as we think of it today.

American industrialist Peter Cooper patented a powdered gelatin in 1845. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that aspic recipes were popular.

After learning about making gelatin, I will forever have a new respect for that amazing little box of Jell-O. And you don’t want to know what it takes to make today’s gelatin!

I’m still making tomato aspic salad for my next occasion.

By the way, a recurring problem for us seniors is dehydration. The simple cure is to drink more water. Wish it could be that simple, really!

Actually, two common ailments diagnosed during trips to the emergency room for us elderly folk are dehydration and/or anxiety. Surprisingly, our daily habits and lifestyle can result in both dehydration and anxiety.

Some causes are skipping meals, consuming too much caffeine, drinking alcohol and smoking. A simple formula for warding off dehydration is to take one-third of your body weight in pounds and drink the equivalent number of ounces of water daily.

For example, a 150-pound person would need 50 ounces of water daily, or about six eight-ounce glasses of water. Most of us are pretty good about watering our plants and seeing to it that our pet’s water dish is full, but we neglect to water ourselves.

And if we haven’t been drinking enough water, we need to gradually build our intake up to the recommended ounces.

There seems to be debate about whether we can count ounces of coffee as water, but in reading several pros and cons, this is the conclusion that makes most sense to me: Coffee is a diuretic, causing more trips to the facilities than necessary and so we need to drink more water to compensate.

Of course, ask your doctor if you suspect this will affect you in the wrong way.

There’s so much to learn and so little time.

Voltaire is famous for this statement: God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.


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