Saturday, March 25, 2006

Another one of those crazy converts


It's not enough that I eat whole grains and have things like tofu and miso and nutritional yeast in my house. Not only do I have them in my house, but I eat the stuff joyfully, without making a grimacing expression. Not only do I eat the stuff but I like to eat the stuff. Now, not only do I eat things like brussel sprouts and baba ganouj on purpose, I've added a new addition to my bizarre, sure-to-drive-my-friends-and-mom-nuts diet. I have now gone over to the dark si.... oh, wrong vice. I have now gone over to drinking soy.

I mean, a few like minded souls are thinking "Yeah? And your point is....?" But a lot of you are shaking your head and having sympathy pains for my husband and son. Although, you don't have to worry about William - he manages to get his daily requirements of fried and carbonated fast foods despite his wacky health food mother. I've long ago given up trying to control stuff like that. And Jeff, we'll, he's the cause of this newest radical choice.

It all began....... (can you see the room suddenly start to swirl around you as you step back in time?).......

Jeff had a terrible post nasal drip. For years. And years. He would sniff, even occasionally snort, to keep from actually dripping the post nasal drip drippages. It drove me nuts. I mean, on some occasions, it drove me to distraction. And yelling. I suggested to him that he might have a dairy allergy. And I suggested that to him with the conviction of someone who had once suffered a similar overflowing of allergic symptoms, and a sudden curing of said symptoms by a week long, dairy-free hike into the wilderness. It was an unintentional and unexpected discovery and cure all rolled into one, but I was grateful for the lesson. Since that time I learned that if I kept my use of dairy to a minimum, I was mostly symptom free.

So, I suggested to my dear husband that he might cut dairy out of his diet and see if it cured his drip. I suggested he try it. For a week. Just,
try it. It couldn't hurt. And it might possibly save him from being chased by someone, not mentioning any names, moi, with a baseball bat when I heard one sniff too many and suddenly snapped. I mean, Billy Flynn doesn't come cheap, y'know. It would be a lot less messy and expensive if he'd just give the suggestion a try.

Wellll! You would have thought I suggested he give up breathing! He growled and barked and snapped (sounds sort of angry doggish, huh) at me until I jumped back beyond the length of his chain (just kidding). I pointed out that his overreaction to the suggestion was a strong clue that he was, in fact, "addicted" to dairy products. (We often crave something we're allergic too because our body learns to adapt to it and doesn't like going through the adjustment of withdrawing it from the diet.) He assured me that he was NOT addicted to milk and I was obviously insane.

Once or twice I even got him to agree to give up dairy but by the second or third day, when it was like living with a smoker trying to quit, when he'd stomp around the kitchen ranting that I'd left him absofrigginothing to eat, I'd happily give him his milk and cheese back. Finally I gave up. I threw up my hands and said "Fine!" And mumbled under my breath "See if you get any!"

This went on for years. Every few months or so I'd try suggesting a dairy free trial. Every few months he'd snap my head off for suggesting it. And then one morning, completely out of the blue, I woke up, went to my refrigerator, opened it and discovered that overnight someone had filled it full of ........

Soy milk.

Hubby woke up a while later that morning and explained to me cow's milk was evil. No, not evil. Evil. With a capital E. And, he was no longer drinking it. He had discovered this fact by listening to some nutca.... I mean,
expert on The Art Bell Show. You know, Coast to Coast AM. What? You've never heard of it? Although they have really brainy people on their like Michio Kaku, they more often have experts on aliens, crop circles, ghosts, Area 51, and conspiracy theories of all kinds. I'm not saying they're allll crackpots, but it is an interesting and entertaining mix. Let's just say, it's like getting your medical advice from Bozo the Clown, okay? But, y'know, other then the infuriating what-my-wife-says-goes-in-one-ear-and-out-the-other, whereas what ANYONE ELSE-says-must-be-true.... other then that, I was just glad he was finally gonna give it a serious try. Of course I had to explain to him that cow's milk was also hidden in things like yogurt, cheese, and half-n-half. Eventually he had it somewhat sorted out and guess what happened? Yep. His sinus drip went away.

So, for some time now we've been a two carton family. Soy for Jeff and regular milk for William and I. Until, that is, this last round of winter germs, six weeks of miserable coughing and hacking and blowing of noses. I usually swear completely off dairy whenever I have a cold, except for a tiny bit perhaps in my coffee, but this was such a long drawn out illness, and the coughing was so bad, that it was hard to avoid altogether. Yet, every time I did use some milk or cheese, I thought I'd lose a lung I would cough so hard. In desperation one morning I used hubby's soy milk in my coffee and discovered.... hey, that didn't taste bad at all. In fact, it was downright satisfying. Of course, with my sinuses stuffed up, maybe I just couldn't taste anything, but hey, I didn't care as long as it wasn't adding to my suffering.

So I started using a dollop of it in my coffee every cup. Then, I started asking for soy in my Starbuck's latte. By then I was starting to get better and I could taste the difference, but I didn't actually dislike it. After awhile, I even liked it. And best of all, I didn't feel all stuffed up and fuzzy headed after drinking one. Next I used it in my oatmeal. Finally, one brave morning, I used it on my cold cereal, and that was that. When we came back from San Diego recently, we didn't have any cow's milk in the house, and I didn't buy any to replace it. Eventually William asked for some, but it took about a week before he missed it.

The irony is, all those years I was trying to convince my hubby he had an allergy, and I was so smug of how well I handled my own allergy. I really didn't think I used that much dairy. I didn't realize how much I was consuming until I gave it up. Of course, the reason I kept at it wasn't because I found I could "tolerate" the taste. It was because the coughing went away and I felt so much better then I had in a long while. I thought maybe it was simply that I was over the long draining illness and was just generally feeling better. So I've tested that out by having milk or cheese products since then. Each time, I've had unpleasant symptoms or felt crappy afterwards. The reward of feeling better has made me a convert.

Of course, like any true convert, I'm now annoyingly fanatical about it, raving to all my friends (and YOU) about it, assuring everyone it will cure their every ill, reduce their insurance rates, give them thicker, more luxurious hair, and assure them the best parking spaces for the rest of their lives. I'm assuming this enthusiastic stage will eventually wane and I will become sane and balanced once again. In the meantime, you'll just have to put up with the new and improved me.

3 Comments:

Blogger kristen said...

i switched from soy to rice milk -- i also drink moo juice, and i can't drink rice OR soy milk all by their lonesomes b/c ---- well ---- eeeeew ;)

and art bell -- oh my.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Kate West said...

I use soy milk and have for years. I also like almond milk in cereal. I don't ever just sit down and drink a glass of any of it, but I do use it on cereal, in my tea, etc. I've been allergic to cow's milk since birth. For years I'd suffer through using just a bit on cereal, but I finally gave that up when I tried vanilla soy. :-)

1:58 PM  
Blogger Diana Troldahl said...

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6:44 PM  

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