|When did they change the definition of delicious to rancid, vomit inducing, and foul?|
One day I should like to meet Chairman Bob. You know, that lovable little Corporate Raider who gives what passes as food at stores around the country the “Roundy’s Quality Seal of Approval.” But rather than punch him in the groin, which is what he deserves, I’d like to shake his hand instead.
You see, if it wasn’t for his disgusting food type product, known in Science Labs as Roundy’s Barbecue Chips, I might never have found out about Gluten.
Please allow me to explain. In July 2009 my husband and I decided to experiment with our food, seeing just how cheaply we could stand to eat. That week Roundy’s Quality Brand Barbeque Flavored Chip’s were on sale 3 for $2 or some such and so three bags of the toxic sludge made their way into our cart.
For the next few days I could eat little else. Despite the fact that they tasted like something a dog had “aged” in the backyard since last April. But what they lacked in basic decency they made up for in addictiveness. I would eat them until I had no more room, wait a half hour for space to open up, and continue in the shoveling. In between I’d pop a pizza in the microwave and take my vitamin pill so I didn’t just fall over dead right there on the spot.
In short, I was firmly on the SAD. Standard American Diet.
Three days and two bags later I felt like a giant, greasy MSG laden spud. And for all intents and purposes I was. Mustering the strength and the fortitude to look at the ingredient label on those rancid chips it read more like a chemistry experiment then anything a living creature should be consuming. I’m not even sure that potatoes were the first ingredient?
Through my starchy haze something in me finally snapped and I decided then and there that if I couldn’t pronounce it, it had no business going into my body. I had a known addiction to refined sugar and resolved to kick that habit as well. It helped that earlier in the week I had found it more than a little screwed up that I wouldn’t feed my peanut butter to the dog because it had sugar in it…but it was ok for me to eat…
And then a funny and strange and wonderful thing happened…I stuck to my resolve. From that day forward I switched my diet to more whole foods, organic when possible, and no refined sugar. I was just sick and tired of food controlling my life. Not off gluten yet, as I was still eating my “healthy” wheat bread, but certainly greatly reduced.
I should note that for ease of my sanity there were two exceptions made to my vow. Beer and pizza. After all…I was only mortal and I only had these things on occasion as it was.
For three days after giving up the junk I gained a new appreciation for what heroine addicts must go through. There were times when I was literally in the fetal position and shivering for hours as my body detoxed. Thankfully I had done the research and knew what to expect or I might have thought my shakes were a result of being low in Butylated Hydroxytoluene.
Over the next 6 months the weight came steadily off me at ½ a pound a week, though for the first time in my life weight loss wasn’t the goal, and my energy level became...well...existent! I felt on top of the world and the world could see me way up there, what’s more is they took the time to shout hello and tell me how glowing I was with no provocation whatsoever. Inevitably they wanted to know WHY cutting out sugar had done this to me. And I didn’t rightly know myself. But I’m a smart little biped and I could learn.
If you have 90 minutes and like Scientific lectures you can check out some of what I found out in Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It fills in part of the dietary picture as to what is at the heart of the obesity epidemic. If 90 minutes is too long you can opt for the 11 minute Underground Wellness recap.
Sugar: The Bitter Truth (90 min)
Sugar: The Bitter Recap (11 min)
In my internet wanderings I came across a link between low magnesium levels and Migraines. My cousin Michelle, who is like a Sister to me and one of my very best friends, had been suffering from this flaming pencil in your eye type pain for decades. Pills did little to nothing and the frequency/severity just kept getting worse. I suggested she try eating some almonds every day and damned if they didn’t get a little better.
A small bit of relief after a decade of torment. She had made the connection. Food influences how we feel. Such a simple truth that has gotten buried beneath a mountain of cream filling, topped with an artificially flavored cherry drop. Michelle did her own internet wanderings and in the process stumbled on something bigger than all of us.
Three days was all it took for her to find relief that no doctor could give her for decades, simply by cutting wheat, barley, and rye from the menu she found respite from her migraines. To go from wearing sunglasses inside because the 60 watt bulb in the corner hurts to be around to…well…normalcy in such a short time…was nothing short of miraculous. As her gluten free trial week went on she began to notice strange, seemingly unrelated things begin to clear up. Her balance was better, sleep less disturbed, and those weird little itchy red bumps on her arms and shoulders began fading away.
Weird little itchy bumps that were a lot like the ones I had on my back…
I don’t know…
There just might be a connection…
Continued in Part 2: