Saturday, November 5, 2011

Grose Mold in the Pots

Two days ago I said I was experiencing weird neuropathies again, well, I think I figured out why! Ugh! I went to make some garbanzo beans in my crock pot and noticed a beautiful, filigree mold growing from the bottom of the crock pot. I was HORRIFIED! After every use, I let it soak a few hours and scruuuub it, but the stains have accumulated over time. Well, it's terracotta so somewhat porous ... I just figured with all my scrubbing that it would be OK. Not! I grabbed that baby up, poured bleach into it and let it soak in bleach-water for 2 days, and what a beautiful pot emerged, one without any stains! I had linked my neuropathy to when I ate the previous batch of beans made 3 days before, but didn't link the pot to the problem. In the next few days, I'm going to soak ALL my plastic container lunch boxes, even the glass ones, all of my silverware and cooking ware ... allll of my cooking stuff in bleach water.

At my parents' home, we always put a couple of squirts of bleach in the dishwater to minimize on bacteria because my younger brother has had severe dietary sensitivites for about 17 years. For years no one has been able to understand any kind of diagnosis for him, and we have all been inclined to believe it's one of the multiple new kinds of autoimmune diseases popping up so fast that doctors can't make diagnosis.

Both my brother's and my symptoms have been oddly similar [soy sauces messed both of us from the beginning, then peppers - bell peppers for him causing near anaphalactic shock and hot peppers for me with the skin in the tooth ridges sloughing off after pepper contact] yet uniquely different [I've been much more sensitive to sugars and foods on the higher glycemic index]. I don't know much about his early months with the problem because, as I lived here in Korea, no one wanted me to worry, but I do know that we both experienced a steady increasing of foods that bothered us and that we have just had to subsequently eliminate from our diets in order to feel somewhat decent. I don't have the acute food allergies or anaphalactic shock that he has, but when I got sick I immediately hit the internet and went to doctors to find the problem so that I could address it in its early stages and prevent the acuteness of my brother's "disease". Last year about Thanksgiving time I finally knew I had systemic candida because I decided to eat what I wanted one weekend. Ohhh, I was sooo sick afterwards, but that just clenched it: it was directly food related and nothing else! And the ultra strict candida diet made the pain and symptoms go away!

From that weekend, I could identify my problem and so how to eat accordingly. Since then, it's been uphill. I went to my parents' place for an extended winter break and told my brother that I had finally figured out his problem, too. He didn't believe me because why could I figure it out when doctors couldn't? After two weeks of cooking for me and telling him he could eat that food I prepared (he is ULTRA careful because of anaphalactic shock), he started to believe me. He was afraid of cumin, turmeric, cardamom and fennel, but I checked them out on the internet - they are anti-inflammatories and are NOT in the pepper family. He's allergic to pumpkin too, the pumpkin family and perhaps a few squash. I introduced spaghetti squash, a very low-starch squash so I can eat it, and we confirmed it is not any cousin of the pumpkin family so he cautiously tried it. What a tasty and versatile squash! It has since become one of his favorites! Wow, so my getting systemic candida has helped him better deal with a very restrictive diet, and also, now if he has a question on a certain food, he can search out whether or not that food is acceptable for the candida diet, of course also considering his acute allergies to certain plants.

But once I figured out that I had systemic candida, I knew that that was what my brother had too. Everyone experiences some differences in their candida symptoms and, from my readings, over time if left unchecked the bacteria wrecks havoc on the body and somehow DNA gets rewritten so that cells start attacking the host body, thus, an autoimmune disease. This is why I'm so fanatical about following the strict candida diet. I don't want to be forever compromised in some way like my brother who has not entered a restaurant for dining for over 10 years [and that last experience ended in an anaphalactic shock episode cementing the reason for never eating out.]

A-n-y-w-a-y, I didn't want to use bleach in my dishwater like my parents and brother because bleach is harmful to the environment ... but what are my choices now, because mold is harmful to my body?


Written several days later:

I filled the terracotta pot with strong bleach soak water and let it sit for 2 days, then scrubbed it out and let it dry. 2 days later, I noticed mold spots like sporadic raindrops on the bottom surface of the pot. I immediately started the bleach soak process again, but mold that is so aggressive and which withstands so much bleach is scary! What has that done to the inside of my body, especially since I can't take bleach to get rid of the internal fungi?! Absolutely I'm tossing the pot, but first I'm going to keep experimenting on how many times I have to soak it before the mold stops growing. But no way am I going to eat out of that porous thing again!

And then God answers unspoken prayers. Yesterday at Costco I just felt the urge to look, something I rarely do. And wah-lah! Costco had a small sized crock pot that had a glazed insert pot. While glazes can also be harmful on the body, especially when used in heat and for extended periods, I figured it's a whole heap better than the porous terracotta that traps and stores bacteria ... so I bought a new crock pot. It's oval and slightly larger than the infected one, but I'm quite happy with it because Korea only has 2 crockpots - the terracotta one I bought and one that can cook a whole stuffed chicken along with a mess of vegie trimmings, so my find at Costco is gold :)

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