The wheeling seagulls, breezy salt air, and just enough warmth from the winter sun, coupled with the spectacular view of the ocean from the bike lane on the Bay bridge, contributed to LJ’s sense of exhilaration.

“This must be heaven,” he thought, shifting into the gliding gear on his bicycle. He glanced back at Annie, who was right behind him, radiating an energetic euphoria. Tapping the walkie-talkie app on his watch, LJ asked, “how are you doing, babes?’

“Great! This is the perfect day to ride bikes to Yerba Buena Island. I am so pumped!”
As she was exclaiming, Annie realized her scarf was getting ready to sail away; she tried to grab it, lost control of her bike, crashed into the bridge wall, and fell to the ground, landing on her side. LJ and the other riders circled back to her, yelling not to move. Dazed, she pushed up into a sitting position.

“Annie, stop, don’t get up!” LJ was running to her. “Let’s see what’s going on before you try to move.”
“I’m okay. It looks like I have some scrapes and small cuts but nothing more. I did not hit my head. I’ll probably have a big bruise on my side, but really, I’m okay.”
After checking her over, LJ and Ian helped her stand-up. “It looks like there’s no permanent damage to your bike either. Do you think you can ride it? It’s a couple miles to the picnic area.”
“Yes, let’s go. One mishap is not going to ruin this perfect day; besides, I took all my vitamins this morning, so whatever bruising happens, it won’t last long.”

LJ helped her on the bike and checked her gears. “Okay, everything is working, so go ahead, I’m right behind you.”

The small band of bikers rode on to Clipper Cove Beach. They choose it because, at this time of year, there would be few at the site. The six arrived and began to unload blankets and backpacks of picnic food.

“Brenda walked up to Annie with her first-aid kit. “Hey, let’s have a look at your scrapes and get them cleaned up.”

“Thanks. My hands took the brunt of the fall, but my wrists don’t hurt.”

As she cleaned her hands and applied bandages, Brenda asked, “What vitamins are you taking that help lessen bruising?
“I take a daily multi-vitamin and eat an apple every day, mainly for the vitamins K and E, which help with wound healing. I also try to eat food containing zinc because it will have healing properties too.”

“I thought zinc was good for colds,” said Brenda.
“You’re right most people are familiar with taking zinc when you start developing the symptoms of a cold. It is known to mitigate the effect and lessen its length. Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays a key role in our body’s ability to grow and stay healthy. It is also important for maintaining good eyesight, as low amounts can cause vision loss in the retina. As humans, we do not store zinc, so it is important to have a daily source of it either through the food we eat or with supplements.”

As they talked, they walked over to where the picnic was set-up. “Wow, this is amazing. Good thing I’m hungry,” said Brenda.
The hot carrot soup was a delicious start, followed by shrimp po’boy sandwiches, a spinach salad that included sauteed mushrooms, hardboiled eggs, and pecans.

As the group settled down to eat, Ian asked, “What other foods contain zinc?”
“Foods with high zinc levels are red meat, oysters, shrimp, crab, lentils, chickpeas, beans, and hemp seeds. Pumpkin, sesame, and flax seeds also contain a decent amount. It’s always better to get vitamins and minerals from food rather than supplements, but there are several types of zinc supplements. Zinc gluconate seems to be easier for the body to absorb. However, nasal sprays containing zinc should be avoided because they can lead to a loss of smell.”

The conversation died down as everyone enjoyed the food. LJ noticed Annie hadn’t started eating and was looking at the dessert.

“Annie, are you actually going to eat a brownie first?”
“Well, right now, I feel like I should because if anything else happens to me before I get to, I’ll never stop thinking about the brownie that got away. Besides, I consider this to be part of self-care,” she laughed. “And, surprisingly, dark chocolate does contain zinc, which, as you can imagine, will help my wounds heal.”
LJ passed her the brownie.

Annie and LJ are a fictional couple introduced on the Healthy Healing Eats blog in January 2020. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.


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