It only matters what works for you.

Archive for April, 2012

Constant Vigilance

Constant vigilance can be tiring. But you can’t stop.

I have (had) some protein bars that were perfect for emergency¬† travel food. Gluten, soy, and diary free with a decent protein count and they’re tasty. On my recent trip to visit my former home in Colorado I took a lot of¬† these so I would have travel food, and safe snacks for between meals or evenings.

I thought they were safe snacks.

By the time I returned home I was pretty wired, but of course I was with traveling and stress and exposure to high altitude. But that wasn’t it.

It turns out about a year ago the formula on my lovely bars changed. I buy in bulk so it was a while before I noticed a difference, and even then I didn’t eat a lot of them so I didn’t notice a problem right away.

If I’d been paying more attention, or more suspicious, I’d have connected the bars with my problem back in February with high blood pressure and really bad edema. But I didn’t.

There was no sign on the product that the formula had been changed. If only the packaging had said ‘new’ or ‘improved’ I’d have know that really meant ‘you can never eat this again’ but it didn’t, so I didn’t notice.

Until I was having the same problems again.

And now I know that my lovely bars now contain flaxseed oil. To which I am, predictably, highly allergic. They don’t add much to products, its the very last of a long list of ingredients, but my reaction is pretty dramatic. I also can’t eat a number of brands of otherwise excellent gluten free bread because they include flax meal.

The point I want to make is less about whinging about losing one more item from my limited food supply. Its about making sure you’re paying attention to the world around you and how you interact with it. If I’d been paying a little closer attention, if I hadn’t just been going along in my usual round of things, I might have noticed sooner that I had a non-standard problem. It might have occurred to me to review my eating habits and go back and check the ingredients on the relatively few things I eat that even have an ingredients list. But I wasn’t paying attention.

If you’re going to manage your own health issues, you have to pay attention.

Even if it does make you tired.