The Dysfunctional Life of Hadena James

Going on vacation is very stressful.  Writing and publishing is very stressful.  And I am in shorts, which I also find very stressful.

Now, in the last six months, I have worked hard to monitor my diet better.  I have migraines and food can play a significant role in them.  I’ve always known that pork is very bad for them.  Cured meats are loaded with nitrates and nitrates trigger migraines (so is red wine, which I love and don’t drink as a result).  Recently, I discovered the grocery store sells uncured bacon with ZERO nitrate content.  Guess what I have started buying…

Also, hamburger, that ground meat that everyone loves, is higher in nitrates than other cuts of beef because it requires more preservatives.   Other cuts of beef are fine, only there’s a catch with beef, I’m mildly allergic.  So bring on the chicken.  I’ve been trying to eat more chicken and turkey when we go out as a result.  And because I’m mildly allergic to the entire cow, I’m also allergic to dairy (and cow dander).

Aside from migraines, I have been dealing with stomach issues for about five years now.  Several tests later discovered nothing.  My digestive system looks great, I know because they showed me pictures and told me how healthy it looked.

Wunderbar, but that doesn’t help with the problems.  I began removing more food from my diet: acidic fruit juices, peppers, Advil, fruits high in fiber (apples, bananas, etc).  I seem to have an ulcer that doesn’t exist.  My doctor finally came back and told me it was probably my anxiety disorder.  Huh?  Turns out, an anxiety disorder can create symptoms of an ulcer without actually having an ulcer.  That really sucks.  I like orange juice and pineapples and the hotter the pepper the better.

Progress made, but the problem still hasn’t gone away entirely.  Six months ago, he called me and told me to stop eating beef and dairy and the rest of the symptoms would go away.  I can give up beef.  Sure I crave philly cheese steaks, but in moderation, it should be fine.

Dairy is a different thing… I can’t seem to give it up.  I love cheese, milk, yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese, milk… about the only dairy I don’t care about is ice cream.  Did I mention I love milk?  Huge glasses of cold milk with breakfast, lunch and dinner and at bedtime?  If I could drink milk all day, I wouldn’t drink soda.

However, I can’t drink milk all day.  One glass is enough to bring on the stomach pains.  But I was eating more beef at that time.  So, now  I’ve made a choice between dairy and beef.  I can have one, but not both.

Let the great experiment begin.  I’m going to remove beef from my diet and see if that allows me to enjoy a glass of milk without worrying about the side effects…


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