Friday, February 6, 2009

The Learning Curve

Yesterday a friend left a comment on another post: " is a journey, not a destination."


And here is what I learned during my journey yesterday:

Legumes (dried beans, peas, etc., that we rehydrate and cook up into chilis, soups, and all kinds of wonderful Mexican and Asian recipes) are prebiotics. This means they are the "food" that probiotics (the good bacteria--flora--in our small intestine) need in order to live and thrive, so that the rest of our food gets digested and used properly. Without prebiotics, any probiotics we consume in fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha tea, acidophilus, etc., just enter our intestines to starve and die and cause more work for the organs responsible for waste-removal.

I learned all this because as we slowly rebuild my diet following a fairly strict detoxification regimen, looking for allergens as we go, legumes are once again causing the typical intestinal discomfort/side effects they've caused all my life (which, in turn, has caused me to avoid them!). Since allergens can affect us with an almost infinite list of symptoms, I wasn't sure if I should stop eating legumes or keep going.

"Keep going," my doctor said, "There's a war going on in there right now, between the good guys and the bad guys.  But the good guys will win.  It'll get better."

Keep going.  What an apropos description of --and prescription for--this season of life's journey...

"Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us nothing but vegetables and pulses [legumes] to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance be examined. [The steward] consented and tested them... And at the end of ten days, their features appeared better in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king's delicacies."  Daniel 1:12-15 

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