Friday, January 21, 2022

The 21-Day Salad Challenge, A Liver Saturation Issue, and The Healing Process

Today marks Day #21 of the 21-Day Salad Challenge that I chose to take up. 

The rules were simple...a salad a day for 21 days, any kind, big or small...they all count. For accountability, I checked in with my aunt each evening, sending her a photo of each day's salad.

Most, if not all, of the salads that I chose to eat, started with a bed of romaine and spinach. To that various other ingredients would be onion, green pepper, cucumber, grape tomatoes, grated carrot, feta cheese...perhaps shredded cheddar, a boiled egg, bacon bits, and/or garlic and cheese croutons. 

Some salads were a meal in themselves; others were served as a side-salad. All were enjoyed with Ranch dressing, which was a complete joy! 

You see, due to a liver saturation issue, back in 2016 I had developed an allergic reaction to anything with vinegar in it...ANY thing!!! Before figuring out what was causing the problem, the allergic reaction had become so bad that I ended up in an emergency room with anaphylactic shock. My heart rate was over 200 beats per minute, I had a raised and itchy rash from head to toe, and could not breathe. Thank God I was less than five minutes away from the hospital when the incident occurred. Otherwise they said I wouldn't have made it. I left the hospital with an EpiPen and strict orders to follow up with my regular doctor and an allergy specialist. The reaction had been caused by eating one bite of a taco containing one package of taco sauce on it at Taco Bell. I've never eaten there since.

It took a while to figure out what the underlying problem really was, but, once it was (a liver saturation issue due to too much Vitamin A), the allergy specialist at Springfield told me to stay away from anything with vinegar in it and warned me that places like Subway could prove deadly (open salad bins and so many sauces being used and distributed directly over top of them).

For over five years I have had to give up everything with vinegar completely and, for the most part, stay away from restaurants. If I did eat out somewhere, or at somebody else's house, I had to choose foods with no possibility of vinegar in them. (You would be surprised at what all has vinegar in it!) 

The issue pretty much eliminated salads of any kind even at home. Who wants to eat a bowl of raw vegetables with nothing to give it some flavor? 

For the past five-plus years I have had to stick with very plain food...cheeseburgers with nothing on the bun but meat and cheese, a plain grilled chicken breast with a baked potato, etc. I even had to be careful with meats (ground chicken contains vinegar) and luncheon and deli meats. Most are clearly marked as to containing vinegar and some just say that they are packaged in an "acidic solution"...that's code word for vinegar. It was cRaZy!!!

Anyway...long story short...I have only just recently been able to start adding things back to my diet that contain vinegar without incident. The first thing that I was able to add back in was mustard; then, Miracle Whip. Just within the past month or so I have been able to add ketchup back into my diet, A-1 Sauce (which I love and have missed soooo much!) and, yes, miracle of miracles, RANCH DRESSING! 

I tried ranch dressing a year or so ago on a chicken ranch salad and, nope, couldn't do it! I only had a small amount. I didn't have the breathing issues, but I did break out in welts that itched like crazy all over my ears, neck, and back. That was one of the mildest reactions to anything with vinegar that I've had since this ordeal started. Without the breathing issues and the welts from head to toe I knew I was on my way to recovery!

Praise God! Within the past few things seem to be normalizing completely. I'm still not ready to tackle apple cider vinegar and don't know that I ever will be again. THAT is what I was using regularly when all this started and sparked everything off, but, the point is, I am finally getting to a place that I can once again enjoy so many things that I've had to give up for so long and salad with Ranch dressing is one of them!

I cannot even begin to express the joy I have in, not only completing the 21-day challenge, but in knowing that this liver saturation issue is behind me, and that my body is healed! Praise the name of the Lord for His blessings are many!!! 

Until next time,

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