Flying high and full of energy
Health is Alpha and Omega for Claudia Schmid
By Cecilie Gamst Berg
One of the worst things about my infinitely grey and traumatic childhood in Norway, was the large spoonful of cod liver oil I was forced to take every morning. I hated even the sight of that bottle in the fridge, and every day was the same fight to try to wriggle out of taking the rancid goo that kept repeating on me throughout the day.
But in this as in so much else, I should have been thankful to my mother. It turns out cod liver oil is what keeps Norwegians alive through the endless winters.
It took a private air hostess from Austria to remind me of this.
But hang on, it’s probably not called ‘air hostess’ anymore?
“No, the term is corporate cabin attendant,” says Claudia Schmid, smiling in the winter sunshine of Santa Catalina where we sit sipping drinks, me café con leche and her something super healthy and light green.
For Schmid is all about the health, and in particular the importance of getting enough Omega 3 (fatty acid) which we get from plant oils, nuts and seeds and fatty cold-water fish, such as salmon. And of course - cod liver oil! Who knew it was actually Omega 3?
“The owner of the planes I work on always eats sushi and other fish. He has unstoppable energy and gets straight back to work after only four hours of sleep,” Schmid says.
“But for myself, I’d rather take a supplement once a day so I won’t have to think about my Omega 3 balance the rest of the day.”
She explains that a lot of people have an Omega 3 versus Omega 6 imbalance. Wait, I’m confused! Omega 3 good, Omega 6 bad?
“No, you need both, but too much Omega 6 can be bad for you and cause inflammation in your body.”
“I have been working on corporate planes for over 10 years now, and even during Covid we are zipping all over the world, crossing time zones and getting very little sleep. But I feel healthier and stronger now than I did when I was in my twenties, and I think it’s all because I take this Omega 3 supplement religiously every day. In fact, I’m so convinced that it works, that I have become a distributor for Zinzino.
Zinzino? A Swedish company making Omega 3 supplements? No! I wanted to hear about the plane zipping and the life aboard the corporate jet!
“Yes, sorry, I’m not really allowed to talk much about that,” Schmid explains, taking out some Zinzino products.
I’m intrigued to see that the liquid, which is essentially cod liver oil (shudder), has delicious flavours like Orange, lemon and mint. Oh, how different my childhood could have been.
“The thing with cod liver oil bottled or in capsule form is that the fatty acids quickly oxidise,” Schmid says.
“When you take some of these Omega 3 products you can feel a fishy aftertaste. That means it has oxidised and is no good. It’s actually worse than not taking anything.”
“But the Zinzino products are scientifically developed not to oxidise, by “wrapping” the fatty acids in a blend of olive oil and Vitamin D. And you can take them in liquid form, mixed in with drinks, or as capsules.”
Normally sceptical to anything people try to sell me, I have actually been taking Omega 3 supplements for years. I had a bad inflammation in my left thumb from taming a wild village dog in Hong Kong – he kept yanking on the leash until my thumb was in tatters. But after two weeks of Omega 3 capsules the pain went away. So… is she saying I might still be deficient?
“You can take a test! It’s an anonymous test you send off to an independent lab in Norway.”
Norway, eh? All right! Go ahead, prick my finger, you beautiful cabin attendant minx. Drain out my blood, why don’t you, and send it off to Norway. Because, dammit, now I really want to know if I have any deficiencies.
“People from the Nordic countries are known for taking Omega 3 supplements all their lives,” she continues when she has finally squeezed the required two drops of blood from my miserly veins.
Now I’m waiting for the result. Even if I’m not deficient in Omega 3 I will still keep taking it. Why doesn’t want smoother skin, improved brain function and a well-functioning immune system?
Call me old-fashioned, but instead of sitting at home twiddling my thumbs and waiting for a vaccine that may or may not work, I prefer to have an immune system that can take on viruses, corona and otherwise, and bash them until the die. Bring on the 3!