There was the time I got MDF dust rubbed into my ears by the ear protection I was using while helping my dad do trim work when I was 19. My ears got so itchy. Then they started to swell to such a size that I looked like Dumbo. I can’t remember what I did to overcome it, most likely just rode it out. But it was weeks of suffering.

There was the time my boyfriend rubbed black hair dye into my scalp thinking it was funny, and the next day I started to feel that tell-tale itch. In no time I began to swell. Luckily the swelling stopped at my chin, but not before my eyes were completely sealed shut and I looked like the Good Year Tire man from the neck up. After the swelling came the oozing and intense itching beyond pain. I had to take steroids to get past that stage. It was my second year of Art School.

Then there were the years in Korea where I felt I had no control over the quality of the food I was eating. I couldn’t read the labels. I couldn’t ask the seller at the market where the food was grown and how.( All I could think of was the agricultural land we’d seen one day on a hike. The road we were on essentially cut though a hill and so we could see a cross section of the land, and right below the top soil in which all manner of vegetables were growing, was layer upon layer of garbage.) I had to surrender to not knowing. But I felt toxic when I finally came home. I also had eczema on my wrist from a cheap watch I’d bought and worn for a while there. Not to mention my immunity had taken a beating with countless illnesses throughout my first ‘adjustment’ year there.

Today I woke up itchy. Just a general itchiness all over, in all the familiar places: my fingers, my face and neck and now my ears and scalp. It is definitely bringing back memories. My body remembers the toxins and inflammation past.

I can only hope this dredging up of the past, so to speak, is the death throws of my toxic load. I have to hope that my body is working this out, and that this is not just an ever expanding problem that is here to stay.

I must say that I am someone who can get very easily discouraged. I know that I really must just stay the course. I just tend to have doubts. Like, today after getting home from a grocery trip to Whole Foods, all excited that I’d found a pasta alternative made from garbanzo beans, only to read the label and discover it had sugar. And then doing more research and realizing that if I really am to go entirely sugar free, I’d have to eliminate all the beans and legumes. I could fall down this rabbit hole and never return.  I was finally feeling like I’d figured out what I can eat…and I think I am doing well, but knowing this makes me feel like I am not doing it well enough (perfectionism?). Thus feeling discouraged.

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Was feeling all proud of the chick pea crackers I’d made. But now not so sure how much of the stuff I should eat.

Last week, when I realized this was going to happen, this extreme restrictive diet, I found myself lost as to what I could actually eat. If I weren’t a nursing mother, I’d have fasted while I did more research and figured it out, but that wasn’t an option. Quite frankly, I am still a bit lost. Without my eggs or toast, yogurt or any grain, I have no idea what to eat for breakfast. If I were to remove beans, I think I’d starve. I cannot survive on veg alone. Truly, the volume of veggies I’ve been eating is astounding, and yet I still feel hunger. Those beans and nuts really help.  So, I guess I will just stick with what I am doing and hope that it is having an effect.

Today was tough. But I soldier on.

As for my no shopping challenge, though it is not first and foremost on my mind, it is still in effect, and guides my days. In fact, I find myself feeling guilty that perhaps I am spending more than before merely because I am on this pure food kick and as a result am sourcing organic, non-GMO produce. Not to mention the colon hydrotherapy. Right now, I can reason that they are necessities for me, but I have never before allocated money in this way, so it is feeling…frivolous and spendy.

But, so long as I don’t buy that pretty organic cotton shirt with the elaborate Buddha print on it, hanging enticingly in the cosmetics aisle in Whole Foods, I think I am spending legitimately. And today I bought some seeds to grow my own sprouts (optimistic?) so that I don’t have to keep forking over the dough at the market.

Feeling discouraged, but this day shall pass and better, more healthful days are yet to come!

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