A few years back I discovered the “joys” of ice munching! I think it started when we owned a pub for a short while. The supplier’s ice tasted fantastic, not like the ones in your freezer’s ice-trays which is very hard. The worst thing about home-made ice is often when it tastes like the freezer or left over food. Yuck! Not being much of a drinker (water or alcohol) it was very refreshing to crush a few blocks when I was on shift and munch it. It cooled me down from the inside out.
After giving up the pub, I continued buying and crushing ice. It served two purposes in my mind; one, I’m finally getting good clean distilled and purified water into my system and two, nothing cools you down from the hot South African summer heat like a huge glass of crushed ice. My absolute favourite time for eating ice is upon waking in the mornings. After the first few mouthfuls my mind is alert and I feel wide awake.
The first time I realised that I might have a problem was when winter set in. The first couple of cold mornings I had this gnawing that I’m forgetting or missing something. My ice of course! So now there was no going back. Winter or summer, it is an absolute essential start to my day. I have this huge stainless steel cup that I fill to the brim (and sometimes past the brim) and if I have not finished it by the time I have to take my son to school it goes with in the car – spoon and all – as the last few shards is a watery mess.
In summer months I go through a 2 kg bag a day, in winter that same bag will last me 2 days at least. I go into a flat spin if I forget to stop for ice on a busy day. Especially now that I’ve become somewhat of a connoiseur on ice brands … and here’s a bit of free advertising for my ultimate ice block … Eskimo Ice Tubes (not cubes) … which at present I can only find at Pick ‘n Pay (in Western Cape) … darn just gave them some free advertising!
Ok, coming back to the health aspect. Everytime I’d discuss my ice eating with someone, the first reaction would be “Oh that’s unhealthy!”? I’ve never had the guts to ask why, in case I did not l like the answer … Anyway a while back I finally googled this bizarre habit of mine. Turns out I’m not alone! My delight soon faded though. Apparently ice eating falls in the same category as some other non-nutritive eating habits, like chalk, sand etc. The name for it is Pica (hmmm, quite appropriate for me, as that’s an old measuring unit used in the printing trade – see my about page.)
Well, measuring unit or not, it is a very real sign or symptom of possible iron-deficient anemia. Ok …
Reading up about anemia and taking my platelet history into account and hearing the health store owner’s word from a few years back ringing in my ears, it could very well be so! Also explains a whole lot of symptoms I’ve been having (of course I googled anemia too). Now I just need to build up the courage to get tested for anemia, but until then I’m happily munching on my crushed ice. I’ll leave my results here – once I’ve done the test of course!
To all the other ice-munchers out there, it might be worthwhile checking out?