Ok, I hold my hands up - accused as charged. Yes, I did have a Chinese take away last night. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And No, I didn’t feel guilty.
I still don’t feel guilty this morning, but what I do feel is extremely tired, despite going to bed at my usual time. But don’t dare tell me I can’t eat Chinese food again. Because I love it with a passion and I won’t listen. We go way back see.... my first job was at a Chinese take away when I was 16 and I was eating Chinese food or chips at least three times per week.
At around that time there was an ‘incident’ when I was rushed to hospital with suspected brain damage. I remember talking rubbish, and being rude to the teachers – not me at all (at least not the last one - lol). I knew what I was doing but I couldn’t stop it – I had no control. I was sent home that evening with the diagnosis of ‘migraine’ and was advised to avoid cheese, chocolate and red wine which I did to a large extent for the next 20 years. I wish I had also been told to stay away from chips, romantic infatuations, MSG, stress, hormones and lightening! Although a migraine never caused me to be hospitalised again, I got very used to 3 days in a darkened room until they would pass.
Like most people, I accepted that I would just have to live with them along with several other health problems, and it and it wasn’t until I was in my early 30’s that I started to realise I might have more control than I thought. I’d started avoiding all sorts of ‘triggers’ by that time and it was hard work. By my late 30’s I’d gone back to university to study nutrition properly. Considering food triggers led to stress triggers, toxins, water, sleep electromagnetic waves, hormones, even inhaling jet fumes from all the travelling I did. You name it, I investigated it. Each change had only marginal effect. And then it dawned on me – it was everything together – an overload that my body just couldn’t cope with. But how could I possibly make the changes I thought were necessary all at the same time – way too difficult!
They say that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change and for me it was very true. I started to think differently. And my actions changed without force. I started to listen to my body and what it needed, to understand how powerful foods can be, to notice habits I’d never realised before that were keeping me stuck in ‘stress mode’. I’d always loved cooking as a teenager and I began to cook fresh, living food again, pretty much kicking my sugar, salt and fat addictions overnight. My energy came back. I started to think more clearly, my mood improved dramatically and life just seemed to get easier. In my old life, challenges wore me down. In my new life, challenges strengthened me.
Essentially, I’d say I’ve just had a ruddy good detox. Of food additives. Of junk. Of habits. Of my thoughts. And I don’t breathe as much jet fuel either. It’s all reduced the burden my body now has to cope with.
So was it the Chinese take away that made me tired this morning? Well yes and no probably. MSG and I don’t get along too well but I can tolerate some when I’m on top of my game. When my systems are overburdened or undernourished however, the MGS in one meal can push me over the edge. It’s not normal to feel that tired – even though I accepted it, and much worse symptoms, as ‘normal’ for so many years.
And to stand by the love of my life, let me just be clear about my allegiance: Chinese food (without the MSG) can be amazing. How many other food cultures can provide your 5-a-day by the close of breakfast? And that's just the green leaves. Have you any idea what those B vitamins are capable of?!