Thursday, August 30, 2012

Traveling with Canned Beans

I absolutely do NOT like eating foods out of cans for the main reasons : the foods are processed in ways that I do not approve ... with additives I do not want in my body, with trace additives that are considered too small as to merit being added to the food (case in point, red pepper is occasionally added to tomato paste in order to achieve a redder color but is considered too small an amount to merit labeling the container - my bro is deathly allergic to peppers of any kind so this is lethal to him!), with the likelihood of contamination by industrial cleaners and factory what-not, contaminated with the aluminum tin itself, and then overcooked under high pressure and therefore killing the nutrients that were originally in the food. Sound pretty pessimistic? Well, maybe it is, but it's also reality.

Anyway, I just had a stopover in Hawaii and figured I could survive on my careful diet if I could just get to a grocery store and get a pile of vegies. I had a knife and vegie peeler packed so I wouldn't have to worry about food preparation, but I only eating vegies doesn't give a person much energy. So I looked around for something, and ... wahlah, I spied a brand of black beans that had no labeled food additives, namely citric acid. Citric acid positively makes me sick, but unfortunately and to my knowledge, almost all beans with the exception of some black beans are processed with citric acid. The evil stuff is in tomato anything, sauces, seasoning salts, yep, just about creepy everywhere. So, it was my lucky day! I left the store with a can of black beans (ingredients: black  beans and salt), a package of tuna with the fewest additives, and tons and tons of vegies! Yum, I made a power salad to go with my washed and dried walnuts and almonds, my stack of black rice waffles (they travel really well), and some quinoa-millet energy bars.

Ah, what a salad!
I had a problem with my diet though. I was in Hawaii for three days and lived off a humungous black bean and vegie salad plus the other items mentioned. But oh no, Something was missing in my diet during that time because I started exhibiting signs of "lack of nutrition". For years (since 1998 for sure) I've noticed my arms get bald when I don't have at least one very good balanced meal a day. I know hair loss is a result of insufficient thyroid activity, and I have had a history of Grave's disease (hyperthyroidism). What I didn't expect was that as the time in Hawaii progressed, I started feeling a bit of tension in my right lower jaw in addition to the hair loss on my forearms. A couple days after arriving home, the tension had gotten so great that I thought I would munch on some Brazil nuts because they are extremely rich in trace minerals and sometimes give me a boost of well-being. I was cleaning my mom's freezer so popped three Brazil nuts in my mouth to chew while my hands were busy.

Oh, oh, oh, what pain! The pain in my jaw had been increasing for the past several days but when I popped those Brazil nuts in my mouth, my right jaw dislocated! It stayed dislocated for the rest of the day and only got better when I really forced myself to bite down, and bite down, and bite down, and gradually and painfully the upper and lower sets of teeth were able to kind of fit back together. What happened? Well, for the next couple of days my jaw would pop in and out and the trend I noticed was based on my diet. I desperately needed something beyond vegetable smoothies. I found that beans and brown rice (a complete protein) were good for easing the jaw pain, and I made some wild salmon dishes and they helped a bit too (not as beneficial as the brown rice and variety of beans but I was trying to get a wide variety of nutrition to eliminate nutritional deficiencies. I never did figure out EXACTLY what it was I needed, but eating a wide variety of green smoothies WITH brown rice or quinoa and some legume did work well.

Snack food for the plane. It's OK to travel with vegies, even internationally, as long as the vegies aren't taken off the plane or taken through immigration. Cabbage slabs travel even better!
Written in hindsight - Even for the next few weeks I would get a bit achy in the right jaw on days when I didn't eat two well-balanced meals. Wow! Whoever heard of a jaw dislocating from malnutrition, but there you have it. That's what happened. The good thing about this experience was I found an awesome chiropractor that is extremely savvy about nutrition. She tried to adjust it but there were difficulties of over-correction because my ligaments were very loose and she said she'd never encountered anything like that before ... and she'd been treating dislocated jaws for years. After she said that, I really paid closer attention to my diet, and then realized the connection between my reduced nutrition intake from traveling and having dietary limitations and how I was feeling. Yikes, my system is very sensitive.

As for chiropractic care with this particular chiropractor, wow, she gave me huge amounts of advice and feedback on candida from a very informed nutritional perspective! I think God was instrumental in coordinating our meeting because she raised my awareness on issues that I hadn't really been addressing (blood pH, the merits of raw organic apple cider vinegar for treating candida) ... but more on those later!

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