Weighing In: It ain’t all about weight

ImageOn Wednesday Atticus came down with a fever and Persy started throwing up. Bracing myself for the expected onslaught of a stomach bug, I prepared for being covered in vomit, poop, breastmilk and boogers. I knew that I would most likely be throwing up and/or running a fever by the end of the week. For some reason I decided to ditch my healthy eating until the plague was over. After all, no one wants to throw up quinoa, blackbean, kale casserole. I reverted to “safe” food. White bread, bowls of rice or pasta, applesauce, coca-cola, french fries, ginger ale…..

Surprisingly, I wasn’t infected with either of the illnesses. I was a bit nauseated, but I think that was because I spent about 30 minutes covered in Persy vomit and that will make a tummy queasy.

I did get really really ill and nearly went to the hospital on Friday with the worst migraine I have ever had in my entire life. It started with a dull thud around the temples before bed on Thursday night. I drank some water and went to bed. Friday morning Sam took Persy to daycare and I stayed home with Atticus. Atticus was still running a fever on Thursday so he couldn’t go to daycare on Friday and as a result I spent Friday morning in pain, with sparkles in front of my eyes, throbbing in my head, and bile bubbling up my throat all while playing Dinosaurs, zoo, playdoh, and watching Hotel Transylvania 900 times. And nursing.  Loads of nursing.

Sam came home at noon, I took some medication and went to bed.

At four pm my head was pounding.

I choked down some plain pasta and attempted to drink some Coke.

Then I got really dizzy and laid down on the floor with my head buried in the couch.

I drank a ton of water and Sam went to the store and brought me some Excedrin Migraine. By 11pm I woke up feeling better.

Now let me tell you I think I have had less than five migraines in my entire life. I don’t think it was the gluten, because I regularly eat whole grains — it was the processed food that did me in.

I swear on my book collection that this migraine is from the amount of processed foods I consumed. I didn’t eat a single “natural, whole food”. Grease and sugar may have been a factor, but the sting of additives, preservatives, flavors, coloring, etc was a shock to my body.

If anything has underscored the importance of what I am trying to do by eating healthy it has been this experience. Exercise and calorie control are not the answer to better health. Putting healthy foods in healthy portions is the way to health. I think a treat once in awhile is fine, but eating like crap for 48 hours had serious consequences. It is Monday and my headache is gone, but I am still retaining water and feeling sluggish. It will take a lot of water to flush this crap out of my system! 

Have you had a similar experience? Let me know if processed foods have played havoc (or not) with your health. I’ll be interested to see if anyone else has had a similar experience.



  1. Totally. For two weeks back in January there was a lot going on in our lives and we were eating out and eating junk and we felt terrible for the two weeks that we did. And after we all got a horrible funky flu that knocked us on our asses. I still blame the crappy food for making us feel like we had a weird food hangover and the lack of real food for weakening our bodies and our immune systems. When we eat junk we feel like junk. And when I remember that it always makes that kind of food way less tempting. Now if only I could get my kids to realize it and stop asking for Fruity Pebbles!

  2. YES! I discovered a year ago that if 20% of my calories for the day (or more) came from processed sources, I will have middle-of-the-night insomnia, even if I’ve been otherwise sleeping well. I get headaches with processed foods, and all the bloating and digestive issues. Honestly, I don’t believe I could really go 100% clean food, but I try to stay 85% clean just to keep away the headaches and insomnia. There’s something in most chocolate out there that’s the worst. I spent years thinking I was allergic to chocolate (but kept eating it anyway), only to discover over the last few months that it’s some sort of additive. Soy lethican? Palm oil? Not sure exactly what, but I *can* say that, for example, the day I broke down and let myself eat a Tastykake version of a Ding Dong, I had a migraine for two weeks straight. It started within two minutes of my first bite, and I couldn’t make the damn thing go away. It didn’t help that I ate a second tastykake the next day. I’m (slowly) learning to avoid all processed chocolate. Dove Milk Promises seem to be okay if I don’t eat more than 2-3, and I can put cocoa in things without a problem, but everything else is unpredictable, and the more processed it is (donettes, ding dongs…), the faster and worse the migraine. Just not worth it.

  3. Absolutely. I have found that the less processed food I eat, the less I can eat. The same goes for my husband. I don’t get migraines but I get severe nausea, stomach cramps, bloating, etc. It’s just not worth it.

  4. Absolutely. I recently was told to go GF for the sake of my RA. I was skeptical at first, but I’ve had an amazing reduction in my inflammation AND am losing weight with very little effort (TRULY amazing for me!). What they say about gluten and belly fat appears to be true in my case as my “pooch” has definitely been shrinking — and no sit ups were required! 🙂
    Eating healthier overall this summer – more fruits/veggies less processed garbage has everyone feeling better. Keep it up!

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