Thanksgiving Greetings!

November 20, 2012

So Thanksgiving is only a couple of days away! Can you believe how fast the time flies? While your family is hustling and bustling, we’d like to take a few moments to just take a look at the holiday itself . . . and maybe even offer some delightful recipes for your feast.


Thanksgiving is one of those iconic American holidays, one where we travel to spend time with family, where we give thanks and celebrate the bounties in life, and where we feast. It’s around this time that our children spend their last day before the holiday learning about Pilgrims and Indians, and making colorful hand-traced paper turkeys. We all know the legendary beginnings of the Thanksgiving celebration as surely as we know our own birthdays. But let’s go over the history a little bit as we peer past the Macy’s parade, and the cornucopias of leaves and pumpkins.


Thanksgiving, as we all know, began with the Pilgrims as they celebrated their first harvest in the early 1600’s. But, unlike our modern version of the event, their Thanksgiving lasted 3 days! Can you imagine cooking for that long? Still, this little event fast became a tradition, and during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress made a habit of appointing several thanksgiving days a year. But the holiday we know today didn’t come about until the Civil War, when President Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day. He chose the final Thursday in November, as the year was drawing to a close.


So why is Thanksgiving not on the last Thursday of the month this year? Well, you can thank good old F.D.R. for the change. In 1939, Roosevelt decided to push back the holiday – as that year also had five Thursdays in Thanksgiving, and he wanted a longer holiday spending season. This decision didn’t necessarily go over well, especially when Roosevelt tried his act again the next year – pushing Thanksgiving even farther back, to the third Thursday. Half of the states decided to go against his executive order, while Texas – unable to decide between the traditional date and the new one – took both days as a national holiday (two weeks in a row!)


Growing tired of the dispute over which day to celebrate (or maybe simply unwilling to cook huge feasts twice in one month), Congress switched Thanksgiving back to the last Thursday of the month. And then promptly changed their mind and declared Thanksgiving to be on the fourth Thursday of November. Thankfully, it wasn’t changed again.


So, now that Thanksgiving is right around the bend, we’re all no doubt looking forward (or not) to the arduous yet rewarding task of preparing Thanksgiving Day dinner. The following are some ideas and recipes that you might find useful for your Turkey Day.



Bacon-Stuffed Turkey

So what if, no matter what you do, your turkey just doesn’t come out right? What if it’s always dry, despite the fact that you have a basting timer set for every ten minutes? Well, a good solution is to stuff your turkey. With bacon. I know, you might be thinking, “I’ve already got the stuffing, the veggies, the dressing, etc.!” But really, you should consider this tasty twist. It may not be the healthiest variation, but if you’re looking for a fantastic taste (and are already devoted to an after-holidays cleanse), this is the way to go. Plus it’s simple.


So, just prepare your turkey like normal, and stuff some bacon in the cavity (uncooked; it will crisp up in the oven). Make sure to poke some holes in the turkey to help further moisturize your bird (this helps the juices that you baste with to really sink in). And then stick your turkey in the oven and wait.



Berry-Sauce Pork Loin

If you’re looking for a holiday alternative to your normal turkey option (or a backup plan), this is the perfect thing!



Pork Tenderloin

Red wine





Minced garlic

Onion Powder

Italian herbs


First thing, you’ll want to prepare that Pork Tenderloin. Place it in an oven-safe dish and add a ¼ cup of water. Make holes all over the top of the tenderloin (as many as you can without mincing the meat). Rub the garlic, onion powder, and Italian herbs onto the tenderloin. Pour a liberal amount of red wine (it can be cheap!) over the loin. You’ll want the liquid to go halfway up the side of the meat. Leave to marinate.


Pour berries into a small pot (as many as you’d like), add a splash of wine, and enough water to cover all of the berries. Bring the berries to a boil and stir for five minutes. Take the berries down to a simmer. Allow to simmer until berries are soft, stirring occasionally. Take the concoction off heat and let stand for fifteen minutes. Pour over your pork loin and cook at 400 degrees until done.


Sweet Potato Pecan Pie



1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes

2 eggs, beaten

¾ cup light brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup dark corn syrup

1 cup evaporated milk

1 ½ cups chopped pecans

2 cups heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

¼ cup hazelnut liqueur

¼ cup pecan halves


1.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

2.     Prepare dough for one 9 inch pie. Refrigerate until ready to bake

3.     Blend together butter, sweet potatoes, eggs, brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, corn syrup and evaporate milk. Pour filling into crust and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

4.     Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until inserted knife comes out clean. Set aside to cool

5.     Beat together whipping cream, sugar, and liqueur until soft peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream and pecan halves.


Recipe obtained from


Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:



Welcome Back Enota Readers!

September 23, 2012

Our mornings here in the North Georgia Mountains are getting brisk; autumn is in the air! And since now is the season to gather around the welcoming warmth of a cozy campfire, today’s topic is about campfire safety.


Some quick guidelines

–         Always check the weather conditions. Campfires are especially bad to have when conditions are far too dry (keeping a watch out for wet weather isn’t a bad idea either!).

–         Never build a campfire on a particularly windy day. Stray sparks or embers can travel far and create serious trouble.

–         Build your fire away from anything flammable (this includes overhanging tree branches or dry grass).

–         If at all possible, build your campfire in a fire pit.

–         NEVER use gasoline to “help” your fire along.

–         When using lighting fluid, be cautious and do not pour directly onto an open flame

–         Keep the environment clean; don’t burn garbage!

–         Don’t leave your campfire unattended.

–         Keep water and/or a shovel close by to douse the fire.

–         When putting out your fire with water, stir the embers and apply more water.

–         When using dirt or sand to put out a fire, use water. Still-burning coals still retain a good portion of their heat when buried.


Firewood Safety

Believe it or not, there are guidelines for firewood! Of course, these guidelines can vary from state to state, so you might want to brush up on some of these rules before going camping. The following guidelines, however, regard Georgia and the movement of wood across county or state lines.


Firstly, don’t move firewood! At least, be cautious about transporting it. Tree-killing insects, fungi, and diseases can hide in firewood. When the infected firewood travels, it takes those problems with it and even cause infestations in other areas. Even if you can’t see anything and the firewood seems fine, there could still be microscopic spores in the wood. And, because certain forest pests can occupy specific parts of the state, even moving wood a few miles or so can impact the new environment.


So what can you do? Well, you can use local firewood to start. However, if you’ve already brought your own firewood, the safest thing to do is burn ALL of it on-site before you leave. This helps to minimize potential distribution of pests. If you’re wondering how far you can transport your firewood, the answer is easy: don’t move firewood outside of the county it originated from.

For more information on Georgia firewood guidelines, please visit

For information about your own state, you can visit your state’s Forestry Commission website.


And now for some campfire fun! We all know the campfire s’more classic: Hershey’s chocolate and marshmallow smashed between two graham crackers. But your campfire can help with so many other treats with just a bit of dedication.


Campfire Cherry Cobbler

Empty two 21-ounce cans of cherry pie filling into the bottom of a greased Dutch oven and cover with Bisquick shortcake batter. Put the lid on and place the pot directly onto the smoldering coals of the campfire, avoiding any intense flames. Cook for about thirty minutes, rotating every few minutes.


Banana Boat

Slice an unpeeled banana lengthwise without cutting all the way through the bottom peel. Pull it open and fill with marshmallows, chocolate, butterscotch, or chocolate chips, caramel, peanut butter, etc. Press the filling into the banana flesh and wrap it tightly in foil. Cook in the coals of the campfire away from the flames for about 10 minutes.

recipes obtained from


Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

Snake Safety

September 7, 2012

Hi! Today’s topic is a safety topic. Because our mild winter here in the North Georgia Mountains has made our snakes a little more aggressive this year, we’re going to talk about how to identify those poisonous snakes you should avoid, and what to do if you are bitten.


Now, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and just leave any snake you see alone. Many snakes you find are harmless garden or water snakes. Sometimes, however, you can stumble across some venomous ones. This guide will hopefully help in steering clear of the more dangerous snakes.



Now, the snake you’ll hear the most about in the North Georgia Mountains is the Copperhead. It is also, however, one of the most mis-identified snakes. Most copperheads have a light brown or tan color overlaid by darker bands. These bands can look like hourglasses or Hershey Kisses. They will not, however, have a copper-colored head. These snakes can reach up to 2 or 3 feet in length and have rather thick bodies.

Copperheads don’t mind other snakes and often nest together. So if you see one copperhead, watch out for more nearby. Still, copperheads aren’t naturally aggressive. While they can sometimes move towards you or strike out when frightened, they more often prefer fleeing. Most people are bitten simply because people don’t see them and get too close.

If bitten, you MUST go to the nearest medical facility as soon as possible. Don’t stop to try to catch or kill the snake; even a moderate copperhead bite could cause damage sufficient to lose a limb. So if you think you’ve been bitten, seek medical attention. A doctor can then treat you accordingly, based on the symptoms you describe. Even if you aren’t bitten, don’t try to handle the snake in any way; simply call a professional to remove it. They have the proper experience and tools to safely remove the snake. If you check with your local wildlife professionals, your county may have a free snake removal. Remember: be safe!



Here in Georgia we have our fair share of rattlesnakes and you can find a particular variety here in the North Georgia Mountains: the Timber Rattlesnake. It can have several variations on the background, although the ones you’ll find in the northern part of Georgia will most likely have a gray or yellowish brown tone. It also sports black chevrons (or cross bands), and of course, it has that distinctive rattle. The average length for the Timber snake is between 3 and 4 feet.


First Aid for Snake Bites

If you are an hour or more away from the hospital, there are ways you can limit the damage from a venomous snakebite (though these methods are not completely effective, so you MUST see a medical professional for care).

Firstly, do not cut or suck the venom from the bite area. This is just dangerous for both parties. Attempting to cut the bite site could result in further damage, while sucking out the venom could cause problems for the other person involved. It is better to simply put that myth out of your mind if you ever suffer a snakebite.

Don’t apply a tourniquet or pressure bandage, or even apply ice or heat to the bite area. For obvious reasons, applying pressure or ice can restrict blood flow and will most likely cause additional damage to the surrounding tissue. So, even if swelling occurs, do not apply pressure, heat, or ice to the wound.

Do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. This type of antiseptic can effect coagulation and possibly do more harm than good. On that note, do not drink any alcohol, as it can work to thin the blood.

At last, don’t try to kill or catch the snake; you lose precious time that way and waiting to seek medical attention can do permanent damage.

What you can do is move away from the snake. Call 911 or get to the ER as soon as possible. Try to limit movement from the limb (or digit) affected and remove any watches, rings, bracelets, belts, show laces, etc., as they can restrict blood flow once the body begins to swell. Also note the time and location of the bite; this will be useful later when professionals attempt to administer to you. Also, keep the bitten limb in a neutral position to the heart—in other words, don’t elevate it. At last, try to stay as calm as possible. Fatalities from snakebites are less than 1% in the U.S. Just get to a medical facility as soon as you are able to make sure you are taken care of.

Well, I hope this makes your hikes and camping trips a little easier. Just watch where you step!



Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

With our many sparkling and pristine streams, Enota is blessed with a fantastic supply of fresh spring and uncontaminated water. So what are the benefits of spring water? And how, in a world now full of fancy bottled water, can you tell which water is the best? In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of fresh spring or mountain water and how certain popular brands of water compare.



As expected, spring and mountain water is not laced with chemicals or deliberately processed. For instance, most tap water is processed with chlorine in an effort to clean contaminated water (this is especially the case in more urban areas). There have even been traces of arsenic, benzene—a highly flammable and colorless chemical—and even prescription drugs. While these levels are very low and often have no immediate effect on the body, studies show that long-term exposure can nominally contribute to the development of cancerous cells in the body. Spring water, on the other hand, is not processed, but you should still be careful to research just where your “spring” water is coming from.


Though spring water does not contain the more dangerous or unwanted chemicals that tap water possesses, natural spring water does contain some chemicals. However, these are normally limited to health-restoring minerals like lithium, calcium, and magnesium. And, though spring water can often contain sulfur, you shouldn’t worry; sulfur is purported to have a therapeutic effect on skin diseases and infections. Besides that, the added boost in calcium you can find in spring water can help reduce risks for hypertension, kidney stones, and colon cancer.


Still wondering if spring water is all that great? Well, besides the obvious benefits of keeping away from dangerous chemicals and introducing restorative minerals into your system, spring water can also serve as a detox to help flush out toxins. This is especially helpful if you’re just getting over an illness, or simply want to begin introducing yourself to a healthier diet. Not only will you begin to feel better, but you’ll find yourself revitalized and energized by making a switch to spring water—especially if you’re looking for an end to a love-affair with sugary drinks.


Bottled Water



Did you know that a healthy (or not so healthy) percentage of bottled water is produced from municipal water sources—tap water? So how do you tell your favorite bottled water brands apart? Simply look at the wording on the bottle. Each brand will proclaim and pronounce its water as the best, touting wonderfully confusing descriptions such as “purified,” “spring,” “artesian,” or “mineral.” To make it a little easier to understand exactly where that bottled water is coming from, we’re taking a look into what those lovely descriptive words truly mean.


Spring Water

This generally means that the water you just bought came from an underground water source, from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Spring water must only be collected at the stream—or by way of tapping the underground water which feeds the spring. In the end, it has to have all the same properties—before any treatments—and be of the same quality as the water that would naturally flow from the spring. In other words, if your bottle says “spring water” on it, that means it should be the same as if you went to the spring and bottled it yourself. Of course, many companies often treat the spring water after collection, to remove any particles or debris that might be found in the water.


Purified Water

This is the water most likely to have come from the tap. However, that does not necessarily mean you should scorn it. After all, in order to be labeled as “purified,” the water indeed has to go through a purification process. This could mean the water was produced by distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis. In other words, “purified” water is perfectly safe and healthy to drink, but often times lacks the natural minerals present in spring or mineral waters which help the most to keep you healthy. For those who pay attention to the subtle tastes of water, purified water can sometimes seem bland. Because of this, many companies add a mineral or two for taste.


Mineral Water

Mineral bottled water is defined as water not containing less than 250 parts per million total dissolved solids. This basically translates out to a water packed with minerals. Don’t fear the bottling company has meddled with your water, however, as no minerals can be added to this type of product.


Sparkling Bottled Water

“Sparkling” water is far simpler than it might seem. “Sparkling” simply means that the bottled water—after treatment, of course—contains approximately the same amount of carbon dioxide it had when it first emerged from the source. This type of bottled water might also be referred to as “sparkling mineral water,” or “sparkling spring water.”


Well Water

This one is rather uncomplicated in terms of collection and fact. Well water simply comes from a hole—bored, drilled, or otherwise constructed—in the ground, which taps into the water aquifer—an underground layer of rock or sand that holds water.


Artesian Water

Artesian water is a type of well water taken from water standing a bit above the top of the aquifer.


So which brand is the best to drink? It’s hard to say, as each brand offers a different taste, mineral content, or purity than another. All in all, it’s best to try different types and brands to discover which is more suited to you.


Of course, nothing beats being able to draw directly from the source. Bottled water can be expensive (as opposed to the cost of tap water), and the plastic containers used also pose a problem in a world that can barely support all of its inhabitants. For the most part, the best water is what’s most natural, but in the scheme of things, any water is good. Water is a healthy alternative to the sugary juices, soft drinks, or caffeinated concoctions we as a population imbibe daily. Truthfully, water is the best most natural drink for you and the benefits it provides the body are astounding. By simply replacing artificial drinks with water and natural juices, you can lose a little weight, gain a little energy, and feel a lot healthier than if you rely on drinks full of sugar or caffeine. So take the time to stop and look. Try different types and brands of water to find one that you find the most thirst-quenching, and make it a permanent part of your life.



Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

To Our Enota Readers

August 1, 2012

One of the many vegetables growing in our organic garden this year is the jalapeño pepper. The jalapeno is a vegetable—or, more properly, a fruit—that can be grown either in a simple garden or in the home. Besides this, jalapenos can be used for a variety of recipes and mixtures.


Like all capsicum peppers, the jalepeno comes naturally from the Americas. The jalapeno in particular originates from Mexico, and is named after Xalapa, Veracruz. A mature fruit normally ranges in size from 2-3 ½ inches and is normally picked while still green. The juice of the jalapeno has long been used as a remedy for cardiovascular problems or even allergies. Incidentally, the chipotle is a just ripe jalapeno that has been smoked.


Jalapenos have a good source of Iron, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Niacin, and Magnesium. Also, if you’re looking for a good source of Vitamin C, jalapenos can help. 1 cup of sliced jalapenos contain as much as 66% the Daily Value of Vitamin C, along with 14% the Daily Value of Vitamin A.

Jalapenos are also thought to have a beneficial effect in Alzheimer’s disease—mainly by limiting neuronal damage in the brain.

Most people automatically assume that jalapenos are very hot. In all actuality, the seeds are the hottest part of the pepper. And if you’re eating the pepper raw rather than pickled, you’ll find a little less heat. If you’re looking for a challenge, the jalapeno is definitely not one of the top peppers. The habenero is better for intense heat or—if looking for a touch of true fire—the ghost pepper can feed the flames.


So what gives jalapenos their heat? Well, the capsaicin flavonoid gives many peppers their characteristic heat, and this is especially true if peppers have been pickled or cooked. Also, if you’re looking to add a little bit of fresh jalapeno to your stir-fry or other dishes, be careful in cooking these peppers on the skillet or grill: the compounds released can be a big irritant to the eyes and lungs if not careful. Food chemists believe this is because the capsaicin evaporates and expands.


If you’re eating jalapenos and feel the heat is a little too much, eating cold yogurt can help cool you down. Don’t try to drink a lot of water; this only causes the capsaicin to spread around. The yogurt (ice cream can also help) dilutes the capsaicin and helps to keep it from touching the lining of your stomach, which helps in soothing any burning pain.

DON’T get any portion of the pepper near your eye. If dealing with the peppers, wash your hands before getting your hands near your eyes or nose. If this does happen, rinse your eyes out thoroughly with cold water to reduce irritation.

Of course, eating a large amount of spicy foods over a long period of time can cause ulcers. If you are experiencing any pain after eating spicy foods, give your doctor a call and put the spicy adventures on hold until you know the cause.


Jalapeno Relish

1 lb. Onions

½ lb. bell peppers

1 tsp salt, optional

½ cup of white vinegar

½ lb. jalapeno peppers

1 large can tomatoes, 16 oz.

1 tsp. garlic powder

Cut stems and remove seeds from jalapeno peppers. Chop fine, wear gloves when handling jalapenos. Chop all vegetables, including tomatoes, and place in pot with other ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and sauce is slightly thickened.

To get sauce a little hotter, leave in all jalapeno pepper seeds

Bottle and refrigerate, or may be put in jars and canned. Makes about 3 pints.


Best Ever Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 (8 ounce) package shredded cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon bacon bits

12 ounces jalapeno peppers, seeded and halved

1 cup milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup dry bread crumbs

2 quarts of oil for frying

In medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits. Spoon this mixture into the jalapeno pepper halves.

Put the milk and flour into two separate small bowls. Dip the stuffed jalapenos first into the milk then into the flour, making sure they are well coated with each. Allow the coated jalapenos to dry for about 10 minutes.

Dip the jalapenos in milk again and roll them through the breadcrumbs. Allow them to dry, then repeat to ensure the entire surface of the jalapeno is coated

In a medium skillet, heat the oil to 365 degrees F. Deep fry the coated jalapenos 2 to 3 minutes each, until golden brown. Remove and let drain on paper towel.

Recipe obtained at

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

To Our Readers,

July 22, 2012

Today will be a continuation of our discussion on lung health.

While most people think about outdoor pollution as the most common and dangerous type of pollution, this sometimes is not the case. Indoor pollutants tend to irritate us more so than outdoor pollutants, if only because we spend so much time indoors!

So what constitutes as an indoor pollutant? There are many types and triggers, with the most obvious being tobacco smoke or dust. But also aerosol products, household cleaners, and even houseplants can be sources of pollution. Cut down on these pollutants by keeping your house free of dust and mold, and by keeping smoke outside. If you need to use any chemicals while cleaning, make sure you do so in an open or well-ventilated room.

As for your houseplants, you don’t have to get rid of them. But, because plant soil is usually damp, it can allow for the spread of mold. So just be sure to keep your plants well potted and check for creeping irritants. Still, definitely don’t get rid of your green friends. They can actually help in the improvement of air quality in your home—as long as you take care of them properly.


Of course all plants help to filter the air, simply by existing. Plants take carbon dioxide and release oxygen. However, some plants can help to eliminate significant amounts of benzene and formaldehyde, as well as some other respiratory irritants.

NASA—as part of the NASA Clean Air Study—recommends that you use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in an 1,800-square-foot home in order to help improve air quality in your home. The following is a list of beneficial plants to keep an eye out for when looking to bring in new greenery. Of course, always research each plant well to make sure it is a right fit for you and your family (including pets!).

Dwarf date palm

Boston fern

Peace Lily (toxic to cats)

Chinese evergreen (toxic to cats)

Bamboo palm or reed palm

Broadleaf Lady palm

Spider Plant

Snake Plant (toxic to cats and dogs)

Red-edged dracaena (toxic to cats and dogs)

Warneck dracaena (toxic to cats)

Gerbera Daisy

Pot Mum (poisonous if eaten or chewed by dogs, cats, and horses)


Now, a big irritant—besides smoke—to anyone with asthma or other related lung difficulties is mold. While most people take mold as the first sign of a derelict or dirty house, that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, there are two common types of mold: mold growing from an overabundance of moisture, or mold growing due to natural substances such as pet dander or pollen. Keeping an eye out for any mold and eliminating it as soon as it’s noticed, however, is the best route to go with keeping your air quality in check. If you react badly to mold exposure but don’t have anyone else to help, you can protect yourself with a medical mask and covering up your skin and hair as much as possible while cleaning. If you begin to notice a reoccurrence of mold in a certain spot, be sure to investigate the possible cause.

Moisture can build up from anything—water leaking into the home, plumbing leaks, condensation from faulty ventilation, or even from ground moisture. And, because mold can propagate rather quickly and release allergens into the air, you need to eliminate these underlying problems if at all possible. Keeping the humidity in your home below 50% can help further prevention of mold growth. While this is difficult in certain regions, dehumidifiers can certainly help.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

To Our Readers,

July 20, 2012


Here at Enota Mountain Retreat, we enjoy an abundance of clean, fresh mountain air. This is never more noticeable than when our guests arrive from large, bustling cities such as Atlanta, where the air quality can sometimes be less than perfect. Unfortunately, escaping to pristine atmospheres can sometimes be a challenge. So today’s topic is all about lung health and how you can better prevent—or keep in check—lung-related illnesses.  The first portion of this topic is related to Ozone Pollution.


Ozone pollution—or outdoor pollution—is the most commonly talked about form of air pollution. Though the ozone layer helps protect us from the sun’s harmful rays (as well as some other bad radiation), it is not the healthiest thing to breathe in. So, first of all, what is ozone? Basically, ozone is O3, an oxygen molecule with 3 oxygen atoms. Normally, you’d think that the more oxygen the better, but this isn’t exactly the case. Ozone serves as a powerful oxidant and can cause damage to mucus and respiratory tissues.

Thankfully, the ozone layer is far above the Earth’s surface, but it can gather near the ground when greenhouse gases collect—though don’t think ozone comes directly from your car! Ozone forms from a reaction of sunlight on air containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. Because of this reaction, ozone is very much a daytime problem, rather than a nighttime hazard.

Cities and other urban areas that are plagued by heavy traffic are especially hard hit by high ozone levels. And when there are high temperatures and little to no wind, the problem only gets worse. So if you live in an urban area and are plagued by lung ailments such as asthma, it’s best to take proper precautions on especially hot or humid days. Pay attention, too, to the EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) to keep tabs on local outdoor pollution problems.


So what exactly can ozone do to the body? Well, ozone can irritate the respiratory system and cause coughing, throat irritation, or even an uncomfortable sensation in the chest area. Ozone can reduce lung function, which makes it difficult to breath deeply. Of course, because of this, ozone is considered an irritant for those suffering asthma or other related problems. Another concerning side effect of ozone is the inflammation and damage of the cells lining the lungs. This can also lead to difficulties in fighting off lung or respiratory infections, or could even cause permanent damage to the lungs in children and adults through repeated exposure.


When ozone levels are high, it’s best to simply stay indoors as much as possible and limit any necessary activities to the early morning hours or even after sunset. If this can’t be avoided, please try not to exercise vigorously outdoors. Try to keep away from high traffic areas—if at all possible and avoid using gasoline-powered tools or lawn equipment. Of course, it’s not always easy to follow such rules and stricture—especially if a job or responsibility includes any of these types of activity. The best thing to do is simply use caution on high level days and keep away from any unnecessary exposure.

That’s it for today, though more information and advice will be coming soon. In the meantime, try to think about any potentially harmful areas or activities. Remember, keep safe! And if you can’t run to the mountains to escape the pollution, keep inside and think of a cool summer breeze.

Enota Mountain Retreat

1000 Hwy 180,  Hiawassee GA 30546

(706) 896- 9966      email:

official web site:

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