My dear friends,
What a terrible experience I went through this weekend. My husband and I took the boys to the falls to get their haircuts and decided to stop at Los Ranchos for dinner. I ordered the mini churrasco (steak) because I don’t eat red meat very often. I figured it would be a nice treat. My husband ordered chicken fajitas. When the meal came, I asked if they could give me some black or red beans alone with the meat. I was told they only serve “gallo pinto” (rice with beans). I don’t eat rice so already I was disappointed. I decided to eat the steak alone with some of the vegetables my kids got and plantains. The moment my tongue touched the steak, I felt uncomfortable. The steak didn’t taste good to me. It was tough, super hard to chew, and I didn’t like it. I expressed this to my husband and he tasted it and told me it was fine. I started to complain to him. I wasn’t happy with the steak. Orlando, in an effort to make me happy, offered to make me a fajita with his steak. He put some guacamole and sour cream and put it in a fajita. I ate it but I wasn’t happy or pleased. That experience got me thinking about the last couple of days (since Thanksgiving) and I realized I just wasn’t eating as clean as I’m used to. The holidays are a happy, lovely, time but they sneak in a host of temptations and deviations from your regular lifestyle that can really creep up on you if you’re not careful. I didn’t have this problem last year, I seemed to be more well centered. But maybe because of my grandmother’s passing, and my pregnancy, I have been more out of whack this time around and so have my decisions.
I digress… in order not to be a total downer, I ate the steak and the fajita but I was down about the whole thing. When we left the restaurant at around 6:30pm I turned to my husband and said, “I don’t like this place, I don’t like that food, I just don’t feel well about how I ate.” We went home, I bathed the kids, put them to bed, and by 7pm I was feeling a little queezy. I laid down to rest, and by 8pm I was vomiting. To spare you of the horrible details, I will fast forward to 3:30am when I called my father to drive me to the hospital so my husband can stay with the children and avoid waking them up. By the time I arrived at the hospital I had lost about 5lbs, was severely dehydrated, and was having contractions. I had food poisoning. I’m 30 weeks pregnant now and my main concern was the health of the baby. Luckily he was unharmed by my sickness and a few iv’s stopped my contractions and made me feel better.
So the bottom line? I was right about the steak. It was bad. Orlando tried my steak- didn’t eat the whole thing just a few pieces. As I returned from the hospital he entered the bathroom with a milder version of my symptoms. My children did not eat the steak and thankfully did not get sick. We were contaminated on Saturday. On Monday we still could not eat.
So the reason I opted to title this post “Follow Your Gut” is because I learned quite a lesson from this experience. My body was telling me not to eat the steak. My tongue knew something was wrong. Its not like I could taste the bacteria but I just knew. And instead of returning it or not eating anymore, what did I do…I put it in a fajita to disguise it. I’m the one to blame! We need to trust ourselves.
I think this food poisoning was actually a blessing in disguise for both Orlando and I. I’ve said this before, but I can’t help to reiterate it because this is all part of our journey… sometimes we forget why we eat healthy. Its so incredibly easy to start making exceptions to your lifestyle because of the food culture we live in. This experience threw both of us in recovery mode and re-centered us. It made us realize why we eat the way we eat…because it makes us feel good!!!!!!!!! And to be honest, being sick isn’t fun. And I don’t only mean being sick to the extreme like I was. I also mean the general ill feeling that often accompanies eating poorly. Feeling stuffed, lethargic, loss of energy, overweight, headaches, body aches, depression, fatigue…a lot of our symptoms are related to food and we don’t realize it.
Inevitably, the Holidays will lead to some dietary exceptions but hopefully my experience will make you think twice before you eat something that you know is not good for you. Just ask yourself the question… is this worth it? You’d be shocked how many things you’d normally eat that you really don’t care to eat.
As for us…we are on the road to recovery again and tomorrow I will post some recipes that helped us get there.