Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Nightshade Intolerance - Tip Toeing Through the Potato Field

Several years ago when I completely flipped my diet to a paleo way of eating I avoided potatoes. Part of my research had led me to the nightshade variety of vegetables/fruits and how they are problematic for many folks in terms of allergies or intolerances.


Over time my diet has evolved from a strict Paleo world view towards a more balanced simple traditional approach to nutrition based on the foods that work for you and those that do not. It evolved into a long term process that used experimentation and trial and error to determine foods that suited me. I do not adhere to cookie cutter nutrition but rather believe each person is different and needs to develop a personalized way of eating.

The potato was one such food that I determined did not really work for me. I am not allergic per say to the spud but definitely have a tipping point.; a proverbial "line in the sand" where too much leads to intolerance and subsequent physiological symptoms. Here is the dilemma - I like potatoes. I like them baked, boiled, mashed and as chips. I like them in stews, with meat, especially steak. It is a comfort food akin to a food opiate.  As a result I do consume potatoes on occasion but always aware to tread cautiously through the potato minefield. Sometimes I become weak or complacent...or both.

Thanks to a great buy on strip loin steaks this past weekend I found myself enjoying grilled meat with sides of potato. On Saturday and Sunday. It was glorious. Medium rare beef with potatoes garnished with real butter, sea salt and pepper. Washed down with red wine.

Add to it the baked ham I roasted up on Sunday for the family with a big pot of mashed tubers and a couple bags of kettle cooked chips over the last few days and well, I did not only cross the line in the sand, but sprinted beyond it.

On Sunday evening heading to ball hockey I began to experience the onset of symptoms. It usually begins with muscle stiffness and aching. Soon followed thereafter by an itchy skin and blotchy scalp.. Once full blown the intolerance manifests as acne like skin irritations, specifically a few painful blemishes usually located beside or just under the corners of my mouth, on the chin and/or scalp. Initially they look more like blisters rather than blemishes or pimples.

Ugh! It usually takes a few days for the symptoms to resolve themselves. I treat the blemishes with some frankincense and lavender essential oil blends, avoid inflammatory foods and double down on hydration in an attempt to flush out potential toxins and/or allergens.

Potatoes - a definite love/hate relationship. I really need to quit you!

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