Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Veggies Put Out the Fire

Do you think hemorrhoids are funny?

If you don't (or if you don't appreciate immature and crude humor), then read no further. Otherwise, take my word for it, based on harsh experience: when you're suffering from the bad kind of Fire Down Below, if you can make the pain go away, you feel so relieved you might start laughing!

Let me start on a more dignified note: our environment in general and global warming in particular are really important. Replacing a meat-centered diet with a veggie-centered diet is a helpful, albeit partial, solution to these existential threats, which we ought to persue for noble reasons. But, to be honest, I made the change for a less future-oriented reason: my bleeding ass was on fire!

I have been eating a high-protein, low-carb diet to manage my weight and stabilize my blood sugar. Combined with regular exercise, it worked great for that purpose, but there was a problem. I had assumed that, because meat looks fibrous, it contains dietary fiber. This mixes up two different concepts, and therefore I was consuming a disassssterously low amount of fiber. When my body began revolting, oh man, talk about burning down the house!

I assumed this was merely an unpleasant side-effect of aging, and treated the symptoms with a Soothing Ointment.
This was sub-optimal but adequate until, in a moment of painful inattention, I grabbed the wrong yellow tube.

That Tiger Balm: oh baby, it does ever bring on the heat!

After a long shower to get the flaming tiger off my butt, I resolved to get serious about solving the problem. With a little research, I found that most of the authorities recommended increasing dietary fiber, and the easiest way to do that was a good green salad. Iceberg lettuce is worthless (no fiber or any other nuitrition) but Red Leaf lettuce is easy and cheap, as is celery and various other stuff. I found chopping it up with my kitchen sissors to be a soothing, repetitive action, oddly satisfying. I added some tofu for protein, a little oil and some very flavorful balsamic vinegar. This was the tastiest medicine I have ever had!

Less than a week of adding a huge crunchy salad to my daily diet, the Bad Pain was gone.

And the megasalad had many other benefits. It's a one-bowl-meal, which is extremely convenient to anyone as lazy as I. It's easy to make. I throw in whatever I get on sale: tomatos, carrots, kohrabi, boiled eggs, cheese, sunflower seeds ... the combinations are nearly infinite so I never get bored.

Don't get me wrong; I still eat meat, I still enjoy it. But it's like alcohol; it's not something I need every day and I'm better off being very moderate. I can easily go all day or several days without a bit of meat (especially if it is to meet a challenge!)

Meatless days, and cutting back in general, means I appreciate it all the more when I have some. I just stay away from the every-day stuff that never was all that tasty anyway. This (not incidentally) saves a lot of money and (also not incidentally) means I can concentrate on higher quality.

Butt, as they say, do as you will, it all comes out in the end!


Small Footprints said...

Oh my goodness ... I nearly fell on the floor when you said you grabbed the wrong tube. LOL! Sorry ... I know you were in pain ... butt ... that was just too funny! :)

Glad that you were able to find the solution to "the fire". I knew a woman who didn't get the hint and ended up in the hospital because, without any fiber in her system, food basically sat around and rotted. This caused severe infections in the lining of her stomach! Not good!

Thanks for sharing your "delicate" story with us. It's a great reminder that we shouldn't "sit on" making a healthy change.

Take Care!

Small Footprints

Mel said...

Yay! I am so glad that you, er, found a balm that suited your problem.