Saturday, January 5, 2013

Maybe I'm Part Vampire!

Back in September of 2010 I wrote about how I was coming to believe (against my will) that garlic really was causing pain/imflammation in my body.  At the time, I had already had a blood test (an ELISA test) which showed garlic to be one of several foods that cause an immune reaction in my body.  I didn't really want to buy it.  It's interesting, the idea that food was the root of the pain I had been feeling gave me power over it, but I didn't honestly want that power.  Actually, the more honest thing would be to put that in present tense, I don't want that power.  That power means I have to change doing something I really like, in order to have something I really want.

So...here I am over two years later.  I really do avoid those foods on the list...until I don't.  Thanksgiving and Christmas this year ended up being a free for all for me diet-wise.  I went nuts and actively sought out all the foods I "can't" eat.  I did this knowingly and prepared for the revolt my body would go into.  The day after Christmas I ratcheted down and believed I would be back to normal (diet wise...and "normal" for me) by New Year's.  (It usually takes a good week of clean eating to get back to feeling good again.)

To my shock, I woke up on the 1st swollen up like a puffer fish.  My body felt like it did after a food "binge" ((keep in mind, I'm not talking volume, I'm talking kinds of foods that cause me to have certain reactions in my body))...but I thought I had been eating "cleanly" for a week.  That should have been plenty of time to rid my body of the ill effects.  ((Imagine waking up a full week after a drunken weekend party* hungover worse than you were the very next day.  *Okay...maybe not everyone has done that, but I trust you get the picture!))

My first thought was I had been wrong the last couple of years...it wasn't specific food after all.  Maybe I'm getting arthritis.  Maybe I have cancer.  (Yes, my mind generally does make that leap, and it usually is that quick...)  I mentally reviewed all I had eaten the night before...it was all "good".  Chicken with a spice blend of rosemary/basil/sea salt, roasted sweet potatoes with the same spice blend; tofu smoothie with almond milk, spinach and banana....normal stuff. 

Okay...combine that feeling with the fact I've been suffering for a while now (3-4 weeks I think) with shoulder tendonits....and the fact it seemed to be getting worse (even on Steroids).   I haven't been able to swim or run or do anything other than ride a bike...and even that has getting harder.  New Year's Day, not only was my shoulder was KILLING ME, it seemed that every joint in my body was joining in the "fun"....namely my knees.  I'm falling apart.  I have an IRONMAN in NINE MONTHS and I'm freaking falling apart.  If it wasn't food (how could it be, I'd been eating well...and even taking a prescription for steroids for my shoulder...if it were inflammation from food, the combination of removing the food and taking the meds should have taken care of the problem).  

Maybe I really am a big ole sissy?? 

Well...night before last I went to put some chicken on the grill and reached for my new favorite spice blend (Rosemary/Basil/Sea Salt)...and something hit me.  Wait, did that label say "blend"?  I read that label, right?  I read it before I bought it...I wouldn't buy it without reading to make sure there was no garlic in there...would I??  

Well...apparently I would...right there...like the third ingredient--GARLIC.  I don't know why I didn't see it.  I don't know what I was thinking--it's a spice BLEND...pretty much every BLEND has garlic in it.  I've used that darn spice BLEND almost every day for three weeks!!!!


In the last two and a half years, I have come to understand (but not like) that different foods really do have various effects on my body (dairy causes respiratory issues--sinus stuff, makes it harder to take deep breaths, coughing; wheat seams to cause me to retain water and bloat; and garlic especially causes inflammation in my body).  You would think that connection would be enough for me to cut all those foods out for good.  But my taste buds still WANT them!!  Not only that, it's HARD--REALLY HARD-- to not eat all those foods all the time.  You trying going to a restaurant and find something that doesn't contain ANY of the following:  eggs, dairy, beef, garlic, dill, peanut, coconut, avocado, or wheat/gluten (other than plain salad, hold the croutons, any nuts, cheese, anything breaded or that has been grilled in butter or pre-seasoned, and the dressing since most dressings contain egg, dairy or garlic).  Combine that with the fact I don't WANT to believe it's true and I wind up choosing to have "just a little" of the "bad" food.  Even when I make the conscious choice to eat "cleanly", I sometimes forget to read a label and wind up sabotaging my efforts.


It's not like I'm being faced with eating veggies or candy.  It's not like I'm choosing whether or not to put drugs into my body.  These aren't overtly, inherently BAD foods.  In fact, garlic is a natural ANTI-inflammatory food!!  ....maybe I'm part vampire? 

Well...I'm SO glad I found what I think is the problem...it's been 2 full days since the last time I used the spice.  The swelling is going down (quickly), my knees feel better and my shoulder isn't as bad today as it was the 1st.  ...to be clear, garlic wasn't the CAUSE of the pain in my shoulder, it merely amplified an issue.  I overused my shoulder so when the inflammation hit my whole body, it was like pumping air into a tire with a weak spot (I did that once...).  The air will fill the tire, but will make that weak spot POP..if you over-fill the tire, the weak spot will blow out.  The air didn't CAUSE the weakness to be there in the first place, but it was the spotlight.  So...once the inflammation goes down I have to work on getting that shoulder stronger.  ...but, one step at a time.  First, no more garlic!!  :D

Thanks for stopping in.  Come again soon!

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