Monday, March 28, 2011

Death by...... Carrots?

This is neither running, reading, or resolution related, but I felt I should share my new found knowledge as a public service announcement...

The last few weeks, I've been having a lot of stomach aches. I get to the point where I think it is the norovirus, and just wait for the hurling to begin. It doesn't progress to that. I get terrible stomach pains, to the point that I'm sweating and doubled over in pain, and then it goes away about five hours later. Yes, five. Sometimes longer.

After staying home sick from work on two days, two different weeks because of the pain the night before, I just assumed it was that nasty bug everyone had been talking about. Then it hit me Friday at work, just after I ate my soup at lunch. At this point, I knew it was likely something I was eating, but I couldn't trace it. I'd eaten stew for lunch that I made myself, and other bowls of the same batch of stew didn't bother me. I sat at my desk, in pain, all afternoon and finally, by 6:00, I felt ok. Must have been something in the stew... What did I do differently? Cilantro this time, more ginger. That's it. Maybe it was the cilantro?

I was talking to my mom on the weekend about this, since we tend to have sensitivities to the same foods. "No, I don't think anything in that soup would bother you," she said, "what else did you eat before the soup?" Well, just carrots... And I don't think those would bother me. I've been eating carrots my whole life with no issues. My mom said she doesn't eat raw carrots as they make her cough. Huh.I did also eat carrots last Tuesday, in the afternoon, and then my stomach ache started on my way home from work. I told my mom how I was really loving the organic carrots cut up as a snack. They were so tasty and crunchy! Up until recently, I didn't realize how good carrots could be. I was eating those little baby carrots, which really don't have much flavor. So I'd eat a couple, here and there. But I didn't really care that much for them. Once I started getting them in my veggie box, I realized how yummy they are.

So last night, I'm making today's lunch and I start peeling carrots. I cut up enough for two days worth of snacks at work (about six small organic carrots), and ate a couple pieces while I was cutting them. Nope, no pain. I knew it wasn't the carrots.

At work this morning, I was feeling a bit hungry, so I grabbed my carrots. I usually eat them in the afternoon, but skipped the grocery store this weekend and didn't have a morning snack and would get an afternoon snack while out at lunch. I munched away on the large container of carrots as I was working, and next thing I know, they were all gone. Ah, they're good for you. It's a good way to avoid snacking on junk, to eat veggies! About a half hour, forty-five minutes later, I heated up my soup for lunch. On the first spoonful, I started feeling those familiar pains starting again... But this is a different soup! This isn't that same stew with the cilantro! This is my old faithful (homemade by me) squash soup! It doesn't bother my stomach! 

I start thinking of common ingredients in the two soups. Onions. But, it can't be onions. I had onions in my meal last night with no issues... I know, I should have made the connection by now, but I didn't.... I headed out to Pete's to get some snacks and figured a walk would help my newly paining belly*. As I'm walking to Pete's in the lovely sunshine, I nearly stop dead in my tracks. "CARROTS!" I think to myself. It has to be the carrots. I ate a ton of carrots before my soup. I ate carrots last Friday before my soup. I ate carrots for an afternoon snack last Tuesday before running home. I don't recall eating carrots the weekend before, but maybe it was another veggie. I did have lots of celery and red peppers raw that night. Or maybe that one actually was a virus. 

I got back to the office, doubled over, but pleased with my discovery and asked my go-to office mate about pains from carrots. I always go to her when I have health questions as she does a lot of reading about holistic stuff, and organic stuff, and all that new-age good for you stuff. She said, "how many did you eat?" I told her, and she confirmed that raw veggies are hard to digest, and she would expect that six carrots would do it. I asked Dr. Google, and yes, this is a common issue. 

I headed home for the afternoon after sharing my knowledge with the other ladies at work. Turns out, they all knew that carrots could do that. Maybe I'm the only one who did not. But, just in case, I thought I'd share my new found knowledge with you. I'm hoping that I've spent my last afternoon curled up in the fetal position from the evil veggie known as carrots. Now to find another crunchy, yummy snack for the office that won't hurt me. 

*In case you want a description of the pain, I coined a phrase in university to describe it... It's the gremlin-in-the-microwave feeling. You know, from the gremlins movie where the gremlin is in the microwave, then he explodes. That's how it feels, like I'm in the microwave, just about to explode.)


  1. Oh man! That sounds rough. I had no idea that enough raw veggies could do that. BTW, the offer you made stands for us as well. If you're ever sick and need anything, let us know!

  2. Thanks, Laura! Ya, not good. I guess too much of anything is a bad thing, even veggies! Glad I know now, though!

  3. The more veggies you eat the better your digestive system gets at handling them. Tho it's best to increase in small increments. Things like Beano (before eating) or GasX (after eating) help immensely.

  4. I eat a lot of veggies, just not all in one sitting.