Icarus

It turns out you can’t just affirm anything you want into existence. Psyching myself up to write more and submit to other publications is seemingly more attainable than my quest to eat more vegetables. I was not able to manifest better health.

I love vegetables and have watched several documentaries that extol the virtues of a plant based diet, but telling myself, “hey girl, you can do it! Eat more ruffage to save the earth!” didn’t go as I’d hoped. I didn’t actually forget I have an autoimmune disease of the gut, but it’s so frustrating to have your body punished for eating vegetables. That’s like pulling over to help a stranded motorist and getting robbed at gunpoint. I am the good Samaritan here!

I committed the unforgivable sin of eating cauliflower. We had tacos for dinner and along with the grilled chicken I roasted some cauliflower and squash to mix it up. I already know fiber is my enemy, so I cooked them to death, let me tell you. What was left of the veggies practically fell apart when I ate them. But alas, something got caught, and I suspect it was the cauliflower. It happened a few years ago, and before you say BuT wHy WoUlD yOu EaT iT I will tell you that I eat it all the time and it’s usually fine. Also between making foods the kids will eat, making food my husband likes, not eating the same meal every day, and eliminating things that don’t agree with me, we are running low on options. If I only ate foods that never did me wrong, I’d have scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and fast food.

Yes. I tolerate fast food just fine. You know what’s not in fast food? Vegetables. I don’t particularly like it, but I know it won’t send me to the ER. Foods that have tried to kill me include: popcorn, kale, brussels sprouts, edamame, walnuts, almonds, apples, potato skin, wild rice, and of course cauliflower, and that’s only the ones I could pinpoint. The rest of the time it’s a mystery.

It does seem like it often coincides with a period of optimism, when I’m grabbing life by the balls and getting into a good routine. It’s been a wild few weeks of new recipes, too, so maybe I was all keyed up from other food and the cauliflower was just the last straw. Who knows.

I had committed myself to a live bike ride today to celebrate my 200th ride, but it was a battle. A night of pain leads to a day of feeling like I was hit by a car. Muscles hurt that I don’t remember using because of the anxiety and stress a little piece of vegetable can cause when it’s creating a traffic jam. My tubes are narrow, stiff with scar tissue, and covered in what feels like canker sores, so any disturbance in the force is fairly dramatic.

Shavasana selfie

I was probably due for some strength work today, but like every day for the last few, I was spent after the ride. I just have nothing in the tank. I probably need more nutrients in my diet. Like…vegetables! Yes, I take vitamins. I settled on slow flow yoga, which is basically stretching with a friend, and it felt more my speed. The instructor said to, “let go of any tension your body is holding on to…anything that feels stuck…” and all I could think was, “fucking cauliflower.”

Texture is important in cooking, and it kills me to have to cook things to mush and then still have a problem. My doctors say the only way to fix my gut is to cut the worst pieces out, and the small bowel is not the same as the large intestine — you can’t live without it. That’s where you absorb things (like nutrients from vegetables) and you can’t cut it all out. It also doesn’t grow back, which it should because that would be super helpful, like a lizard’s tail. And, there’s a massive chance your disease will come back exactly where you cut it out, so it’s not even a permanent fix. Unfortunately, I don’t just have one bad spot. It’s more like polka dots, ha. There’s a visual for your nightmares.

It’s hard to remember progress is not linear. Just because I don’t have the energy to work hard today doesn’t mean slow flow yoga is a waste of time. I move for my mental health more than my physical health, because I am not really the boss of my physical health. Sometimes I can eat raw broccoli, and sometimes my body pitches a fit when I eat whole wheat bread. She’s a moody bitch.

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