Dr Verburgh is keen to tell me about how important it is to look after my kidneys. He seems to know that I don't drink enough. One of the problems for me is that I rarely feel thirsty, His explanation however, helps me focus on the damage I do when I leave my kidneys short of fluid. Kidneys are complex. They are amazing filtering machines and in fact filter every drop of my blood 36 times a day. So I can see they work hard.
Kidney capacity decreases dramatically with age - now, as a fifty one year old woman, they have 20% less capacity than when I was thirty. The fluid I drink lubricates my kidneys like oil. I only need to remember the deaths caused by kidney failure in frail elderly people who don't get enough to drink during a heat wave to realise how important it is to keep well hydrated.
Dr Verburgh suggests drinking a glass of water on waking. This stimulates the kidneys and helps to prepare them for the work ahead. He suggests drinking mostly water, white and green tea, ginger tea, freshly prepared fruit and vegetable juice and nut milk. More on the benefits of white and green tea tomorrow.
Eating too much protein is harmful to kidneys, also some medicines, for example antibiotics and painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen. It's important to monitor our use of these medicines, and make sure that if we need to take them that we also drink plenty of water to help the kidneys filter out the harmful substances safely.
I've fed the rye starter today. I forgot to do it yesterday. It is bubbling away nicely and getting rather big, I had a slight disaster when I knocked the jar over and some of the frothing liquid escaped, but the recipe I am following tells me this starter is forgiving of error, so I hope it will still work ok.
Today the sun shone, so spurred on following my walk yesterday I pulled on my trainers and went out for a brisk walk in the late afternoon which I estimate was probably around 5 or 6 miles. I broke into a jog for a couple of short stretches. My knees and ankles seemed to find this rather shocking. Best to keep things gradual I think.