A Guttural Reaction
Yesterday I felt unwell.
Waking up late, my leisurely morning routine (although, December has thrown this quite out the window....) was discarded for mild chaos and a foregoing of my morning coffee, of which I am unfortunately addicted to, at least I think so. To add to the stress of waking up late, it was Wednesday so I had to be at work by 9AM and this Wednesday was our Christmas party which I had signed up to bring something sweet, my favorite food item to whip up in the kitchen. And, unsurprisingly, I decided to try a new recipe--Chocolate Coffee Cake. Sounds irresistible, right? That's why I picked it! Thankfully, it is also good for you because it involved soaking the whole wheat flour to release all of the nutrients and I substituted half the table sugar for honey and used butter instead of oil (yes, I think butter is good for you...gasp! Ask me later, if you're interested.) Anyway, I am getting off track from my story.
All that to say, there were many obstacles that morning and my routine got thrown off. Miraculously, though, I made it to work and got my cake done in time for our 11AM party. Success!
Oh, the party.
We had planned a potluck brunch and a scrumptiously decadent brunch it was. I indulged unashamedly and uninhibitedly. I tried a little (or lot) of everything. I am really not shy when it comes to food--particularly brunch food. However, in the middle of my meal I was starting to feel ill. A headache was assaulting me across my temples (even though I was drinking coffee to make up for my missed meeting with it earlier). Nausea was beginning to swirl around in my stomach as were other intestinal activities and I was beginning to regret eating so much of my meal. I was still under the impression that the bodily reaction I was having was related to my caffeine dependency and eating a little more than I should have was only contributing to that uneasy feeling in my powerhouse (the term my pilates instructor uses to refer to one's midsection).
When I got home, I scurried the kids off to naptime and then began to check email and some of the blogs I follow. In the process, I happened upon this article updating me on more harmful effects of the plastics that hold so many of our food products. More than just the estrogen mimicking hormones, the toxins in plastic are helping to erode the lining of our intestines. Great.
After reading this article, I was intrigued by the author's comment about "our guts" and followed the link to read about the connections between our gut and our mental and physical well being. In brief, our overall health is related to our gut health which may already be weakened by chemicals leached into foods we are eating. Fascinating and sickening!
All was not lost though because the author gave some easy steps to counter all these attacks to our health and here's a few I plan to implement, slowly but surely.
1) Replacing refined sugars like table sugar with natural ones like Stevia, rapadura, sucanat, or local raw, unfiltered honey
2) Soaking grains to increase nutrient absorption and decrease difficulty digesting them
3) Eliminating unhealthy oils (the yellow ones!)--I plan to begin using unrefined and virgin coconut oil for baking and high heat cooking and EVOO for all other uses, along with butter (I wish I could afford to buy butter pastured!)
After reading all that within hours of my brunch infusion, I had quite the aha! moment and the "duh" moment. I mean, I guess the fact that eating decadent baked goods makes you sick is no secret. However, I learned the why behind it and plan to be a little more judicious in the future.