So far this year I had been making a concerted effort to eat less meat, bread, and low-fat dairy. As I’ve written about before, I’m a fan of doing things ‘naturally’ but equally not the biggest planner in the world. And believe me, I was cursing myself for that recklessly dangerous combination while I lay on my bathroom floor at 3am the other week, removing the contents of my stomach in whatever my body decided was the quickest way possible.
Let me explain.
Like probably the majority of sub-fertile women and people just trying to be healthier all around, I’ve been trying to modify my diet this year. This was brought on by reading choice materials such as The Fertility Diet and Omnivore’s Dilemma as well as countless other anecdotal stories of people “just removing gluten” from their diet and miraculously getting pregnant the next month. I fancy that I eat pretty healthy anyway, as we don’t eat out a lot and prepare almost all our meals from scratch so I know exactly what’s in them, but I had never tried to remove things from my diet before. My strategy was more: moderation is best.
However, in seeking to eat a more vegetarian diet I came across the delightful idea of eating sprouts. Apparently, merely soaking beans for a day or two can turn a nutritious yet hard to cook food into an even better source of vitamins and enzymes by making them even more bio-available (just don’t talk to any supporters of the Paleolithic Diet). And given the fact that I had now removed (or was at least trying to limit) almost every other major food group from my diet due to potential concern for my fertility, I was going to need to figure out better ways of cooking and incorporating beans into my meals.
So, to cut to the chase, it turns out there’s a very real reason that no one beyond fringe groups have ever heard of sprouts.
In short, the sprouting process is perfect incubation for the proliferation of bacteria that will make you deathly ill and in a different time, has probably led to many an actual death. But please, don’t take my word for it internet, do the research yourself! That was my major fault. I read some reports of it causing digestive issue but I mistakenly thought they just meant gas. I can deal with gas! Having to hug a toilet for 30 hrs is a little too much.
While it may seem that sprouting is a great way to return to the Earth and do things more naturally and healthily (and cheaper!), nothing is healthy about not being able to digest any of the nutrients that were made more bio-available and making yourself sick. In fact, I found it rather hilarious that I had in turn created my own “omnivore’s dilemma” by trying to outsmart the omnivore’s dilemma.
I’ll stop there, before going into too many unnecessary details, but suffice it to say that if you’re planing on making any drastic dietary changes, research is a good idea! (And yes, I see the obvious irony to this story as I was so consumed with doing my own research in a different area of my life that I failed to do a thorough background study in an area of my life that could have really used it! More proof that getting a PhD. isn’t because you’re innately talented, but just because you work hard for a long time!)
Although I couldn’t eat for a while after that, when I did eat, all I wanted was a fried chicken sandwich. While it may not have been the healthiest thing for me, it sure wouldn’t make me sick! I hope to one day revisit sprouting, as I already had dreams of getting my own glass jars and yada, yada, yada, but that won’t be happening anytime soon. Hopefully in 2012, but just talking about sprouts brings back horrific memories, so maybe that’s even pushing it.
Apparently there are communities of people that eat sprouts out there and live happily ever after (although I personally would like to see how much toilet paper they buy a month) and I’m not doubting that it can be done in a healthy manner, but it is important to note that it isn’t as easy as it looks folks! Careful preparation is necessary lest you end up like me, terrified of the tiny bean.
Anyway, I hope this post helped some sub-fertile pondering ‘healthy’ dietary changes, some fertile mommy trying to lose the baby weight, or random male blog reading lurker (are any out there??) from an undesired self-induced food poisoning session based on the whimsical idea of returning to nature. Do your research and follow good guidelines (not blog guidelines) before trying sprouts.
End sprout PSA.