I’ve been receiving offers of help for the lobster claws. Marlene Gardiner, who sells, Arbonne, says they have “lots of new amazing products that work”. My daughter Randy asked me if I’d heard of “oil-pulling”. You pick the best oil you have – B buys 100% Pure Cold Pressed Extra Virgin oil. But you could go to one of those exclusive new oil shops and get oil made from freshly crushed olives. I poured a tablespoon into a small glass and then swished it around in my mouth for a minute (well, actually 47.5 seconds). I tried to gargle, but it’s really gross. I guess you’re supposed to do this every day for at least a month to see results with your skin, but I can’t bring myself to do it again.
And honestly, I didn’t think I’d be dealing with skin problems since severely altering my diet earlier this year. A scaly patch on my left palm was threatening to take over my whole hand so I decided to take a friend’s advice.
“We tried everything for our daughter’s eczema when she was a baby,” he said. “We were desperate. Someone suggested iridology, and I know it sounds hokey, but we went. She said eliminate this, this and this from her diet. In three days it was gone.”
Hmmm. I love food so much, I’d always ignored this kind of advice. I teach Jazzercise four times a week, for godsakes! Can’t I eat what I want?
But I was desperate too. I took myself to an iridologist, who plunked a belt around my head – they don’t actually look into your eyes anymore – and explained “leaky gut” to me. Wiki says this syndrome “is not a recognized medical diagnosis”, but my iridologist told me that the numerous foods I’m allergic to were leaking from my leaky gut and that’s why my hands, which she had no desire to look at, had become red claws.
It was hard to dispute that her machine must know something because while she watched her computer screen, she kept saying, “Oh, there’s your seafood allergy, and there it is again. And again.” Seafood makes me puke.
There were the obvious suspects – dairy, sugar, gluten. And the not-so-obvious, like corn, baker’s yeast and . . . overhead projector fine point pens? “This machine is very accurate,” my iridologist explained.
When I was done copying down the page-long list, I said, “Well, at least you didn’t say ‘chocolate’.” I believe chocolate is the fifth basic food group.
And she said, “I did say sugar!”
“You know, for some people,” she went on, “sugar, chocolate, candy, well it’s like cocaine. Perhaps you’re one of those.”
Perhaps. She talked me into a zillion supplements and I took myself to Sobeys, whining to B on Bluetooth about how I couldn’t eat anything anymore.
B said calmly, “Send me the list when you get home. This is going to be so much fun.”
If you’re going to severely alter your diet, B is the type of guy you want in your corner and your kitchen. He watches the Food Network, reads – who does that? – reads cookbooks.
I studied labels at Sobeys and sadly realized that more than three-quarters of the stuff on the shelves was poison for me. I found a dense bread without wheat and baker’s yeast. My mouth watered as I asked at the new and beautiful bakery counter, “Does, by chance, anything not contain gluten?”
“No,” she said, and pointed me toward a small display of frozen undesirables.
I went back to the produce aisle and loaded the cart with vegetables and fruits, picked up some fish and chicken – red meat was on the list – then made my way to the snack aisle. My iridologist did not say “potatoes”! I studied those labels too, eventually landing on plain Kettle Chips. Ingredients: potatoes, safflower and/or sunflower and/or canola oil, sea salt. Yay! Nothing that can’t be pronounced and nothing I’m allergic too.
I munched the chips all the way home, which, thankfully, is not that far. I hid the remainder of the bag when I got home – B thinks chips are poison. And then for a month I took the supplements and avoided everything on the dreaded list, even coffee, which I adore. Instead, I drank beTeas MarketSpice Cinnamon-Orange Spiced Rooibos, which tastes sweet but contains absolutely no sugar.
And guess what? Even though I now occasionally indulge in a piece of dark chocolate (okay two), a piece of fine cheddar (okay three or four) and a piece of steak, my weight is twenty pounds less than it was for many years. And that patch on my palm? Gone.