Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Balanced Diet and Other Bad Health Decisions (Richmond, VA)

I was recently reminded about the "balanced diet" I used to follow many years ago, when I lived, loved, and labored in Manhattan. Twice a day, I would consume a double scoop of some kind of chocolate ice cream -- balanced on a cone. I lost my appetite for other foods and I lost a lot of weight. Eventually, I lost my taste for ice cream, as well as all feeling in my lips and throat. I got pretty ill.

You will be pleased to know that my taste for ice cream has been restored and the ice cream diet has long been shelved. In fact, you can often spy a gallon (or what's left of it) of Edy's Slow Churned Chocolate-Something Ice Cream on my freezer shelf -- or on my hips.

During that same period of my life (or as I like to call it, The Ice Cream Age), I was drinking about 9 cups of coffee a day. One morning, as I made my way through a pedestrian tunnel, I thought the subway train was in the passage with me. When I stopped shaking (from fear? too much caffeine? both?), I resolved to cut down to one to two cups of Joe per day. Which I have continued to cut down to almost every day in the blankety blank years since.

Now older but, apparently, not much wiser, I find my hands reacting painfully to cold temperatures.(Raynaud's Syndrome? Lost Glove Disease? Hypochondria?). If I am, indeed, suffering from Raynaud's, one of the "simple" treatments is to completely cut out caffeine. In my finite wisdom, I have decided that I will just have to endure the occasional "my-fingers-are-going-to-fall-off feeling," not because I always need something to complain about (because I don't -- not always, anyway) and not because I am contrary by nature (although some would argue with me about that), but rather because I do not wake up until after I've downed a rather (translation: very) strong mug of java each morning.

What? You're suggesting that I become a walking zombie, stumbling through life in a foggy-headed ... fog? I don't think so! I need every wit about me, and will even take half of them, to get through the pressures of my existence.

I could try biofeedback, another remedy for Raynaud's, which might help me to control my stress, blood pressure and other bodily function levels. An intriguing possibility: anything with the word "feed" in it sounds like something I could sink my teeth into. Let me have a cup of coffee, a scoop of ice cream and the time to consider it. I'll get back to you....

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