10 things you can do with water (that are great for diabetes):
Brush your teeth – People with diabetes are at an increased risk of periodontal disease and oral health issues
Drink until you’re hydrated – Dehydration can lead quickly to an emergency situation during ketoacidosis
Make hummus (soak chick peas, cook them, achieve desired consistency) – The fiber, protein, and other nutrients in hummus make it one of my favorite diabetes power foods
Wash your hands – When you have diabetes, infections can cause inflammation in the body that elevates blood sugar levels, which in turn makes it even harder to get well
Mop the floor – Clean floors are a vital part of happiness
Flush the toilet – Sanitation, obviously important
Wash your clothes – Although, I read on a tag of one of my ‘Toad&Co’ shirts that ‘clean is the new dirty’ and we should wash our clothes less often
Wash your dishes – Along with the next one, cooked meals are typically healthier than meals out. Keeping your kitchen free of foodborne bacteria is important to avoiding gastrointestinal illness
Clean your (non-starchy) veggies – My favorite diabetes superfood group!
Take your Vitamin D – there’s some promising research out about the importance of maintaining healthy Vitamin D levels for people with diabetes (and all people)
Interestingly enough, this is also a list of 10 things you can’t do without water. In my town this past weekend we were under a state of emergency for over 24 hours because of over-fluoridation and a water main break (two separate incidences). I had a friend visiting for the weekend, so she and I went to stay at another friend’s house in a neighboring county. We all had a great slumber party and then the ban was lifted.
It worked out so well for me that it was particularly sobering to realize how blessed/privileged I am – in terms of this country and internationally. I was able to afford bottles, access them, and also have a nice place to stay because of my social network. Then too, thinking about the world, how bizarre that we declare a crisis and state of emergency after an hour of reduced water when in some countries people live every day with no expectation of running water in their homes. Why don’t we think about how lucky we are to have clean water that we can access almost anywhere by turning on a tap? If clean drinking water is something you don’t think about every day, chances are you’re privileged in comparison to many people in the world. Worldwide, more than 1 billion people still lack access to improved drinking water. And in many places, global warming and industry is causing water sources that entire communities depended on to dry up completely: Climate Change Claims a Lake, and an Identity (this is a great NY Times article about Lago Poopó in Bolivia).
So I know you may be wondering, what’s the call to action here? Well I’ve got two for you. The first one is to sign up for your town’s Public Health Reserve Corps (PHRC) or another similar organization that will alert you to volunteer opportunities during crises like the water shortage we experienced. The second is to challenge yourself to discover one thing that you take for granted in your day-to-day and learn about what life is like in regards to this element, whether it be water, clean air, reliable transportation, or something else, for people living in another part of our world. Please feel free to add your thoughts, experiences and/or calls to action in the comments below!