Hey Everyone! I wanted to introduce myself. I am Dr. Emma Neiworth Petshow the naturopathic physician at Powell Valley Wellness. Given the weather we have been having in Oregon, I wanted to take a moment to talk about ways to stay cool and stay safe in this heat wave!
Drinking enough water seems like an obvious tip for this heat wave, but waiting until you are thirsty might be too late. A good rule of thumb, is to keep water or an electrolyte drink on hand at all times and drink throughout the day.
Most adults should try to aim for 64 oz of water or fluids per day (coffee, alcohol, and black tea do not count toward this goal), but always check with your doctor prior to making a major change in your hydration habits.
Electrolyte drinks include sports drinks, Pedialyte, and Dr. Emma’s at electrolyte elixir:
- Combine 1 quart of water with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey, and a pinch or two of high quality sea salt.
Symptoms of dehydration and early signs of heat-related illness can include muscle cramps, confusion, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and more. See below for what to do if you have some of these symptoms.
Stay Indoors if Possible!
Try to stay in air-conditioned buildings and vehicles as much as you can. Libraries are a great option on hot days. You local county health department should have a list of cooling shelters open as well, which is especially helpful if your home does not have air conditioning. Try not to rely on fans as your main cooling device during extreme heat.
Check out the most up-to-date list on cooling centers and libraries in Multnomah County: click here!
Avoid cooking on the stove or oven, because it can make your house more hot! Instead, use this time to try some non-cooking recipes like my favorite chocolate protein bars.
Coco Non-Bake Protein Bar Recipe (makes 24 bars)
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
- 1 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 cups carob ships or dark chocolate chips**
- 1 cup peanut or almond nut butter
- 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
- A pinch of salt
- Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
- Mix together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Melt together carob/chocolate chips, nut butter, and butter/coconut oil and a pinch of salt over a double boiler (or in microwave) stirring occasionally
- Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of melted ingredients and stir until mixed.
- Press into baking pan. Top with extra shredded coconut or chopped nuts.
- Chill for 15 minutes in the freezer or 1 hour in a fridge until the bars are solid.
- Cut into 24 bars.*
- Store in a fridge for 5 days or freeze for 1 month.
*1 serving is 1 bar, they are very energy dense, no more than 1 per day.
**May add 1/3-1/2 cup maple syrup for sweetener if using unsweetened carob chips or chocolate.
If you must go outside…
- Limit your activity outdoors especially midday when the sun is at its hottest!
- Wear and reapply sunscreen OFTEN.
- Pace your activity, start slow, and pick up the pace gradually. Check in with yourself often to see if you feel overheated or have any symptoms of heat related illness (see below).
- Drink more water than usual and do not wait until you are thirsty.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Use a cooling towel or ice vest if you have one available, especially if you are engaging in physical activity.
- To cool down quickly, place a cool wash cloth on your wrists, back of your neck, armpits, and/or inner thigh.
Be on the look out for symptoms of heat related illnesses.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms in the left hand column, then follow the instructions on the right hand column. When it doubt seek medical assistance.
Have health questions you want answered? Comment below and Dr. Emma might feature your question in her next blog post. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Emma by calling the Powell Valley Wellness team at 503-661-5090 or online through Simply Book Me.