Ba dum bump. Why the orange pun? Well, I’ll tell you, starting with a little backstory. So, about 8 months ago or so, I had a tangerine for the first time in my life. (I’ll explain that later.) Oh man, immediately tangerines became one of my top five favorite fruits. I ate several, then got more. About the fourth or fifth time I had one, I was distracted because I was talking to a co-worker, so I didn’t notice until I finished the tangerine that my mouth was on FIRE.
It felt like I had eaten jalapeno peppers. My lips and tongue were burning. My throat was burning. Everything was burning. So, I look it up, and hey, look at that, I’m apparently allergic! So, that’s a big thumbs up right there. Thankfully a mouth full of fire was the only reaction I had at the time.
Fast forward a month or so, and I decide to have some orange juice, my favorite kind of juice. Didn’t even think about the fact that tangerines and oranges are related. And lo and behold, my mouth is on fire again! So, no more orange juice. I am worried that I’m allergic to all citrus, but I haven’t found out yet. It’s such a new thing to me that I will probably find out the hard way. Someone will hand me a lemonade, and I’ll go, “Yay!” then “AAAAA!” It really is crap because I LOVE citrus.
So fast forward again to yesterday. I was feeling really good after feeling like crap the day before. So, I thought, “Hey, you know what would be grand idea? Let’s do something moronic to cap off the day!” Obviously, I didn’t really think that, but it seems like I did subconsciously. I have these little Welch’s fruit snacks that I eat a snack-size bag of if I am really hungry in the afternoon. Well, guess what? There are orange ones in there. Didn’t even think about it. I ate them all, then my mouth was on fire. Well, this time the reaction had an added perk: I WAS SO ITCHY! I was itchy all day and night, and my mouth had a mild burnt feeling until late that night too. So, I will not be eating those snacks anymore. I mean, that’s the goal, anyway. Apparently I’m a moron, so we’ll see.
A little fact about me: I was probably in the top 10 for the world’s pickiest eater when I was a kid. I liked pizza, PB&J (only if it had my mom’s jelly in it) and … drumroll, please … a cheese sandwich. Not a grilled cheese. But a cheese sandwich, not toasted. Just two pieces of white bread with cheese in the middle and an unfathomable amount of ketchup. I still eat one every now and then, and my family thinks I’m weird for doing that. So, because of my pickiness, I kind of ended up believing as I got older that I really didn’t like a lot of foods.
Finally, when I was in my 20s, I started trying more foods. And I really hate my bratty childhood self for being such a pain in the butt when it came to eating (and other things), because I found out that I like so many foods. Someone would offer me some kind of food that I said I didn’t like as a child, and my first instinct was to refuse the food. Then I would remember that I just said I didn’t like it when I was a kid, and I’d try the food, and most of the time, I’d love it. So many wasted years! My mom still gets upset when I eat a pile of vegetables in front of her, because vegetables were a big no as a kid. So, bratty me is why I didn’t have a tangerine until I was 37 years old. Sigh.
Well, I got to enjoy about five years of eating so many different kinds of food. Then I started developing food intolerances, and I had gallbladder issues and all that. I have five main things I cannot eat, and each causes a different reaction. Sodium gives me high blood pressure and makes me just sick in general. Sausage gives me heartburn and indigestion. Soy sauce makes my hands and lips swell up. Oranges set my mouth on fire and make me itchy. And garlic powder give me phantom gallbladder pain.
I’ll tell you, it’s very difficult to get used to a new dietary thing later in life. About 10 years ago, I started having blood pressure problems. I decided to go on a low-sodium diet, which really helped for many years. I have high BP now — I take medicine for it, so it’s under control — and now sodium really is just awful for me. Part of it is that I don’t have great kidneys.
Did you know that pretty much everything has sodium in it? Did you know that there are ungodly amounts in so many things? Did you know that “light” and “low-fat” foods probably have more sodium than the regular version? It’s horrible the amount of sodium in so many foods. So, I have stuck to (or tried to stick to) staying away from the three F’s: fast food, fried food and frozen food. Some frozen foods are OK, but, for the most part, just no. It’s easier to stay away from it all. Fried food is not good for you anyway. And fast food is INSANE. (Random fact: I wanted to try the Impossible Whopper at Burger King. Gotta be healthy-ish, right? Oh no no no, it has MORE sodium than a regular Whopper. No, thanks, Burger King.)
And now on my newest diet, I am staying away from junk food altogether and am trying to cut back on any sugar. I stopped using creamer in my coffee. I actually didn’t drink a lot of soda to begin with, but now I don’t drink any. I drink mostly flavored seltzer water and unsweetened tea. I have been drinking more water as well to cut back on caffeine. I really hope I can keep this up, because I do feel better after losing 25 pounds so far, and the exercise is becoming less arduous. It’s only been 3.5 weeks since I started, though, so I have a long way to go. One step at a time.
Until next time! And hopefully I won’t eat anymore oranges. Sigh.