If you know me (if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you probably do), then you know I have a lot of issues with pain and food. For a few years now I’ve been trying to figure out what, if any, relationship exists between the two. So far it seems wheat causes me breakouts and stomach issues, soy does the same, and sugar makes me happy followed by really bad sugar crashes that are sometimes so severe as to be debilitating.
I love to eat. And unfortunately my favorite foods are made of wheat and sugar. Until the last few years, I managed to eat large amounts of both without too many issues other than ugly acne. However, after the past five or so years dealing with chronic “injuries” that were attributed to extreme exercise, I’m starting to think that acne was only a visible sign of food-related problems.
When I first had pain in my neck, it made sense to blame my choice of exercise at the time, as I was practicing the rather rigorous self-defense of Krav Maga. Punching, kicking, push-ups, burpies and pull-ups were part of my regular routine. When other issues later popped up- knees, hip, elbow, shoulders, lower back- it was all blamed on exercise. But really, many of the pains made little sense. They appeared and disappeared without any rhyme or reason. They still do.
After many visits to doctors, orthopedic surgeons, acupuncturists, chiropractors, etal, I started hearing about “inflammation.” It was suggested that my diet might be playing a part in the pain process. It made sense- wheat caused me acne and acne is inflammation. But could wheat be causing all my pain? That seemed crazy. But why? If wheat and soy can turn my skin into a nasty canvas of cystic pustules and my stomach into a roiling, bloated drum, why couldn’t they be causing my joints and tendons to get inflamed and painful?
It seems that inflammation is a hot topic these days, and food/diet is being looked at as a major contributor to that internal inflammation. As someone that has experienced “traveling” tendonitis in various parts of my body, I’m willing to look at my diet (finally) as a way to reduce these mysterious pains. The problem is how to determine what I CAN eat. So far it seems everything I love has been implicated as culprits in inflammation: sugar (the BIG one), wheat, dairy, soy, refined grains, bacon and other tasty, fatty meats, artificial sweeteners…
What the hell does that leave?! Oh, yeah, vegetables, lean proteins and some less sugary fruit. Oh boy. Oh joy.
On the other hand, I’ve also been told I may have fibromyalgia (for which I now have to go see a rheumatologist). Well that’s a really crappy illness to have. But hey, at least if that were the case, I could eat what I want, right? Apparently not. Not only are people with fibromyalgia prescribed lots of questionably effective drugs, but they’re also supposed to avoid many of the foods listed above.
So tonight I made a dinner that consisted of a large raw salad (ok), with avocado (actually tasty) and raw sashimi tuna (yum! But so expensive I could never afford it on a regular basis) and some miso soup with weird yam noodles, aka shirataki. Yes, miso is made of soy, but some schools of thought claim that fermented soyfoods are ok. I’ll take what I can get.
And if you ever wondered if those little packets of wasabi that you get with to-go sushi orders goes bad, the answer is “yes.” I don’t know what could possibly go bad in that stuff, but I learned tonight that whatever it is, does.
Edit: I just looked at the picture I took and now I know what’s in that wasabi! I bet it’s that rapeseed oil that went bad. Damn rapeseed oil. What can one expect from an oil with that name? It HAS to be bad.