Amy asked me to be a guest blogger for Wellness Works, and to reflect on my experiences with our food and wellness lifestyle paradigm. I plan to post a new topic weekly, mostly musings about what it’s like to live with a food truth-seeker, my own experiences around food and wellness, and what it’s like to run the logistics behind all of this cooking!
I met Amy in June of 2007 and was on-board with her foodiness by August 07. For the most part, we eat very similarly, but I confess to getting frustrated with our program when I’m not feeling “great.”
The most recent experience of this was the spring allergy season, which is still on-going in Virginia. I had removed dairy products from my diet in late-2007 until recently, when I started getting concerned about the soy milk we make and drink. I’ve read that soy is the cause of everything, from cancer to dementia, two things I’d prefer to avoid – and so I thought using cow’s milk from a trusted source would treat me just fine. For the first few months, I only noticed a little bit more nasal mucus and sinus congestion at night, but no significant issues. And, this winter, I made it through with only one minor cold, so I thought the dairy was going to be just fine.
Then spring hit. My personal nadir was playing nine holes of golf with a neighbor, feeling fine during the round (except for my awful short game, a topic for another blog), but when I got home, my eyes swelled shut and itched horribly, my nose was impacted, and the roof of my mouth itched, too. I try to avoid conventional medications as much as possible, but if there had been Benadryl nearby, I would have taken the entire box. I slept for a whopping 3 hours that night and was quite useless and cranky that entire weekend.
I should also tell you that when I met Amy, I was receiving four weekly allergy shots for allergies to cedar trees, cats, gravity, EVERYTHING. I found that once I removed dairy from my diet, my need for allergy shots declined, and I stopped them in 2008. Since that time, each spring has been easy – no allergies, no itching, no congestion – UNTIL this one.
I like a good science experiment as much as the next person, and the only variable in all of this was dairy. I stopped drinking it (and eating the cottage cheese…and the parmesan cheese…and the cream in my coffee…and, well, you get the idea) and my symptoms disappeared in one week. The lesson for me, courtesy of my body, is as follows: you can have dairy as an occasional condiment, but if you have it as a main course, prepare to enjoy a nice side of Hay Fever with it. So I plan to go back on my program of dairy only once in a while, with only minor exceptions for the killer pizza in Northeastern PA and amazing desserts.
Because something worked for me does not mean it will work for you – but until you add and remove different things from your system, you’ll never know what works! That a great lesson I get daily from my personal wellness guru, who also happens to be my wife. Until next time…
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