One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

September 7, 2008

Energy and Dedication

I’ve had some kinda food allergy for the last five years or so. More likely it’s some kinda chemical sensitivity. In the last six months, I narrowed it down to one of several food additives, and so I spent some time researching food additives and variously thinking, “eww, it might be for the best if I’m allergic to that.” In the last couple months, I think it’s also become more acute.

One of the first big things I’ve concluded is this: never get the low fat or the low calorie version of something. They fill them so full of the right chemicals to make sure they still have a nice “mouth feel” even though they’ve removed some oil. And for what? To save 20% of the fat from your salad dressings? You could just use 36ml instead of 45. Or, consider that consuming 10 extra calories or 1 extra gram of fat per tablespoon is a small price to pay for keeping some of that crap out of your system.

Anyhow, I think I’ve nailed it down, finally, to sodium benzoate. So now I’m swearing off a lot of soft drinks, marinades and sauces, etc. Sodium benzoate seems to be a very, very good thing to cut out of one’s diet. It’s the chemical that, in combination with certain food dyes has been linked to ADHD and when combined with ascorbic acid can form the carcinogen benzene (oh, but it’s frequently used in highly acidic foods because that’s where it works best).

Of course, swearing off sodium benzoate and soft drinks containing it has not prevented me from sipping a morning Monster, as I write this — ’cause that just contains benzoic acid, yo. We’ll see if benzoic acid affects me, though I suppose I should be concerned with health aspects other than the itchy, swollen soft tissues that started this whole search. But this is my first monster in two years, since before I got pregnant. I needz it.

Anyhow, yeah. That whole, ‘other health aspects’ thing is giving me pause. I don’t eat a high-in-convenience-foods-diet, really. We did last year when we were dealing with movingrenovatingworkingfulltimefreelancingandanimpendingbaby. But since Hannah was born, I measure the improvement in our diet by the fact that we’ve gone from having an overflowingly full garbage can each week (and panics when, in winter, the garbage schedule changes to once every two weeks) to having one bag of garbage per week (in a family of five!)(and just wait’ll we kick up our recycling efforts!). Still, once you start looking at things like preservatives and colorants that you might like to avoid, well, that complicates things. Even if you make your own soups and granola bars, you’re still all “wait, what’s in my jam? Wait, how did they preserve this can of whole tomatoes? Wait, what’s in my fucking margarine?” (Yeah, most things are clean, but not my fucking margarine.)

Having realized that it’s in my margarine, I’m thinking that when I have a noticeable reaction, it’s not so much because I ingested it, but because I ingested more than a certain threshold. Which makes a person wonder how regularly ingesting low amounts of this stuff has been affecting me. And so, on reading that sodium benzoate allergies are more common in asthmatics, I wondered to Ian if maybe cutting preservatives out of my diet would improve my overall breathing and reduce my incidences of gross bronchial coughs.

Oh man, that would be such a good experiment if I actually had the energy and dedication to police my diet.

Speaking of energy and dedication, this is a really good monster.

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