Diet sabotage and a body breakthrough

I had the pleasure of going out on a spontaneous mini date with my husband last night after we had spent a good chunk of the day apart, running errands here and there. As far as dates go, I think that spontaneous is really the way to go as those kinds of dates usually come at just the right time, when you are in need of a good chat and some refreshment. We popped into a local pub to grab a snack and a pint and to rest our feet. Gabe ordered a lamb sausage, served over some well prepared israeli couscous, grilled peppers, and an apricot chutney. I ordered the house fries with a (dairy-free) chili aioli. The dip I received was creamy, white, and tasted of onion and garlic. I’m fairly certain that what I got was a buttermilk ranch dressing. However, I’m not sure what more you can do to convince a waitress that what you are eating tastes nothing of chili, lime, or aioli when you’ve already asked her twice whether she is certain that what you received is indeed what your ordered and not the other dairy-licious dip being offered on the same menu and when her answer is a resounding “yes.” Although being unconvinced of this fry dip’s dairy-freeness, I ate it nonetheless. I mean really, it tasted so so good with those hot, salty, hand-cut fries, and, well, you gotta trust sometimes, right?  To my friends with dietary restrictions who like to eat out, I feel for you and some of the toes that you must feel you step on by making requests or being inquisitive about ingredients. I felt bashful having to even ask for the second time whether she was positive she knew what I was eating. I was tempted to have her taste it for herself. So, in conclusion, I’m pretty sure that I unwittingly cheated on my diet. Oh well. You win some you lose some, I suppose. It’s nothing that another few weeks of on-track eating can’t fix, right?

On the subject of winning, I had a major breakthrough with another one of my bodily oddities that, until recently, I’ve been convinced was something I would have to live with for the rest of my life – Earaches. Now, I only get these under very specific circumstances: 1) I must be jogging or hiking and 2) I must be outside. It starts as a dull ache in the back of my shoulders and neck and rapidly moves into a sharp pain in my ears and a pounding in my head. I can only describe it as that feeling that you get when you dive too deep under the water and the pressure makes your ears pop or you are descending in an airplane and your ears won’t pop. Times that by two and add in a migraine and that’s about how it feels. It’s rather debilitating and has made me hate jogging with a passion. However, on a whim and at the beckon of an invite from a friend I have recently signed up for The Color Run, taking place in August in Tacoma, WA (woohoo!). I was authentically excited about this opportunity, but the thought of getting another stabbing to the ears and head was making me reluctant to even start training.

My first trial jog occurred a few weeks ago, and I’ll just say that it didn’t end pleasantly for me. I had tried and failed to glean any useful information from the internet regarding this issue with my ears. From what I had read, many people get these headaches, but none have received many answers from either doctors or physical trainers on what the true cause is and what they can do about it. However, in chatting with a fantastically fit and talented runner friend of mine, I learned that some people (like herself) just have sensitive eardrums and that even the wind passing over your ears while jogging can make them ache. She suggested that I wear a headband over my ears to keep the wind out. I am now happy to report that on jog #2, armed with a soft band over my ears and with consciously relaxed shoulders (at the recommendation of another fantastically fit and talented runner friend) that I experienced no (ZERO!!!) earaches. My jogging style is not pretty, mind you. I’m about as fast as molasses out there and am wiggling my arms and shoulders around like wet pool noodles every five minutes to ensure that I’m staying loose, but NO MORE EARACHES!! is all I care about. I was able to go for a third “run” (and by run, I mean walk, jog, walk, jog, pant, walk, jog, sweat, and so on) and was just as successful in the ear department. I am hopeful that this will be a lasting development in my life and that I can continue to push myself forward into new realms, even to those that I never dreamed possible. Thank you for sharing in my joy with me!



Time to say goodbye

Well, the time has come. It really breaks my heart to say this, but I must share this news now or I will never accept it as truth. My husband and I are embarking on a six week hiatus…from dairy. I know. *Gasp. How could I possibly deny myself the pleasure of a late night wedge of sharp cheddar or a poached egg smothered in hollandaise. Oh, hollandaise. I forgot about that one. This may be harder than I thought.

Yet it is all too true, I’m afraid. After hearing many a tale on the horrors of hormones in dairy and the negative physical reactions of some who are exposed to lactose of any sort, organic or not, we have decided that a full elimination diet is the only way to know for sure what dairy does to our bodies. We are hoping that this experiment will provide us with at least a little bit of insight into some of Gabe’s epidermal woes and my digestive curiosities. Once our six weeks are up, we will begin to integrate small amounts of organic/hormone-free dairy products back into our lives to see if we have any reactions. Until then, it is “auf wiedersehen” to one of my great food loves. I’ve written a short poem to commemorate this moment.

Goodbye Dairy

Goodbye butter
Goodbye cream
The gooey cheese that’s in between
Goodbye gouda
Goodbye chevre
Goodbye brie on rounds of bread
Goodbye curds
Goodbye whey
“You’ll feel so good!” is what they say

….We shall see…