August 19, 2009


Posted in But I am... le sick, nutella at 8:51 am by Dagny Taggart

Whilst in the Bahamas, I was introduced to a book.  And yes, I know I’m drinking the Kool-Aid here (how delightfully ironic!), but after having also seen Food, Inc., I became more convinced than ever that 90% of what’s on most supermarket shelves is making us ill.

Now, I mostly shop at Trader Joe’s anyway – I get these little preservative-free apple-cranberry bran muffins, cage-free organic eggs, protein-fortified skim milk with no growth hormone, and 1.5-liter bottles of water.  I also pick up produce from time to time – this is one area where most Trader Joe stores don’t excel – but oddly enough, the 24-hour Shoppers Warehouse at Seven Corners tends to have pretty nice produce – must be the high turnover or something.  So my diet mostly needed just a little tweaking.

And then, I got sick.  I’m still sick, and I’m 90% sure it’s E. Coli poisoning.  From what, you ask?  Well, the bitch about E. Coli is that it can take a week to show up, and a week before I got sick I was eating off buffets in the Bahamas.  And then I think I picked up some cottage cheese from a salad bar here at work.  And so on, and so forth.  I’m pretty sure that the Indian food is completely innocent, here – but it could have been pretty much anything I had from August 9-August 13.

So anyway, while writhing in pain every 30 minutes or so as my internal organs decided to practice wrestling holds on each other, I started researching what I should and shouldn’t be eating.  And lo and behold, pretty much anything processed was off the list.  No fake sugars, nothing too fatty or spicy, but definitely nothing overly processed.  Just simple crackers, a juice/water mixture, bananas, blueberries, and when I’m ready for it, yogurt. 

And decaffeinated tea with honey.  Because apparently, honey has antiseptic properties that are nearly doubled when the honey is diluted.

So later on, when I’m done packing up the reports I need at the office and am back at home, working on the couch, I can feel virtuous in between bouts of debilitating pain, as I consume half a jar of honey in a single day.

But no Nutella, just yet.  Sigh.



  1. Alias Faux said,

    See, this is what happens when you skimp on the preservatives.

    Hello, PRESERVATIVES! They preserve your health!

  2. Velvet said,

    Yeesh. Sounds horrid. I’m already a freak about what I eat, I’m not sure that watching that movie is a good idea…but still…I’m clicking the link…

  3. Beach Bum said,

    I know that in Brazil, even when I eat things that should be much worse for me than here, I never put on weight in my vacations, even though my only exercise is the 10 minute walk from my parents place to the beach. So I’m a big believer that processed stuff is bad for you, but so hard to get away from it here, specially when you have a tight budget.

    Even produce is nicer in Brazil — none of that waxy coating on it. Things do not travel far, or god forbid, from other countries, in order to land on your plate, so you’re not really eating fruit and veggies that were picked green and got ripe during the long truck ride (or however it is these things are shipped). Oh, and the variety of fruits… Yum yum!

    Can I borrow the book? I’ve been curious about it, and would love to read it when you’re done.

  4. Jen said,

    😦 I hope you feel better soon. I haven’t heard of anyone else getting food poisoning on the trip, but I’ll keep my ears open….

  5. Hammer said,

    The gas pump finds your lack of faith in Snickers bars and Slim Jims disturbing.

  6. Hammer said,

    Yeah, delete that first one – the gas pump can’t spell for shit.

  7. Brian said,

    A while back, I read about the BRAT diet for when the digestive system revolts. Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast.

    Of course, when I was a kid it was pretty much saltines with grape jelly, and the brat was me.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon. 🙂

  8. Alias Faux: Haha. I think it’s telling that all of the remedies are preservative-free, no? Maybe preservatives preserve the germs?

    Velvet: It was definitely a wake-up call, and made me want to do more research. A little scary, but worth the read. And in the DC area, we have enough farmer’s markets and such – this made me want to take advantage of those more.

    Beach Bum: I’d definitely check out the book – one handy feature is a list of “organic priorities” – basically, a way to choose your organic purchases to maximize the health benefit. I’ll let you know when I’m done, but you’ll probably wind up wanting your own copy for reference!

    Jen: I’m starting to feel more human again. And it could just as easily be something I ate right when I got back – that’s one annoying thing. There’s no way to tell, really.

    Hammer: Hm. Well, you can tell the gas pump that I have a weakness for Snickers bars, and have been known to make exceptions for them more regularly than I should.

    Brian: Of course, at this juncture, I see “brat” and think “bratwurst” and am sad. But yes, that’s pretty much been my diet for the past couple of days… hope I can eat at the grownups’ table soon!

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