My digestive system AFTER Rupture...
Maybe I can just let it out silently... It won't be so bad.
I gradually eased the tension on my abdominal muscles and silently released the painful ball of gas into the couch. I felt the cushion recoil forcefully under my backside. I discreetly glanced over to my left, out of the corner of my eye, wondering if I'd displaced the cushion on my wife's side of the couch.
Uh ohhhhhhhh... it burns... badly. That's not a good sign.
Mookie was still sound asleep on my lap.
Good boy... take one for the team.
I looked down at our other cat, Indy, who was snoozing on the couch between my wife and I. His nose was buried in the crevice between my backside and the couch cushion.
Oh dear... Sorry, boy.
After a few moments, he jerked his head up and glanced around with a startled, panicked expression.
No... stay there. STAY THERE!
Hastily, he hopped down and made a beeline to the sliding glass door, which I'd cracked open a few inches when I came downstairs.
"What's his deal?" my wife wondered.
"Um, not sure... Maybe the chipmunk ran across the deck again. ... Hey LOOK! The WEATHER is coming on next," I remarked enthusiastically, pointing to the TV.
"Um... Dave, what's that smell? Was that...? Did YOU... ?"
"Yeah, that. Um... my stomach doesn't feel so hot right now."
"Honey, maybe you should--"
"AUUUGGHHH!" I screamed, as I lurched forward without warning, ripping a second ball of gas into the couch.
Did you just... ?
"It burns," I wailed. "It BUUUURRNNNNNNNNNNNS!"
My entire digestive system from duodenum to anus was afire with rage.
"Dave, that's DISGUSTING!" my wife scolded in disgust.
"NO MORE ICE CREAM... EVER!"
"Holy SHIT! DAVE-- THAT REEKS!"
"I'M SORRY HONEY! I COULDN'T HELP IT!"
"IT SMELLS LIKE ROTTEN EGGS AND BURNING GARBAGE!"
"I KNOW! I KNOW!" I roared, grabbing my cramping mid-section in pain. "IT WAS THE ICE CREAM!"
The knots in my lower bowels were getting worse. I knew that I only had about twenty seconds 'till zero-hour. I leapt from the couch and sprinted across the family room towards the bathroom door.
"DON'T YOU DARE! UPSTAIRS NOW!" my wife barked. "USE THE UPSTAIRS BATHROOM!"
"NO MORE ICE CREAM!" I screamed, sprinting through the hall towards the front entryway. "NEVER AGAIN!"
As I grabbed the railing and rounded the corner, a third missile blasted from my burning anus, followed by a fourth. The force of the final blast sent me careening sideways into the wall, propelling me the rest of the way up the stairs.
"THE CATS ARE UNCONSCIOUS!" my wife yelled out from downstairs.
"SORRY!" I screamed, stumbling into the bathroom.
I slammed the door shut and...
Ahhhhh... Just in the nick of time...
I'm not going to describe the unpleasant details of the twenty minutes that followed. Let's just say that those are twenty minutes that I'll never get back.
They're gone forever.
But the lesson I've taken from this harrowing experience is one that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Cow's milk is nature's most perfect food... if you're a growing, baby cow who needs enough protein and growth hormones to put on hundreds of pounds within several months.
Last time I checked between my legs, I didn't have an udder.
As far as humans are concerned, we would probably be better off getting our calcium from beans, leafy greens, and whole grains.
It's true that humans have adapted and evolved over millions of years to survive on a number of different diets. And yes, we can drink milk, and dairy does make certain foods taste good.
And milk does contain calcium. But milk is not a health food... not by a long shot.
Why would you do that to me?
How is this possible?
Again, the answer has to do with the specific proteins found in milk. As with all other types of animal protein, dairy protein makes our blood very acidic. To neutralize this acidity, calcium from our bones is released into the bloodstream and eventually excreted in our urine.
People who eat more dairy, meat, eggs, and other animal products need more calcium.
The typical American diet, which includes lots of animal products like meat and cheese, actually creates a calcium deficiency within our bones.
In other cultures where dairy is rarely consumed (and meat is used sparingly), the average daily calcium intake may be less than half of what it is in the United States. And yet, the incidence of osteoporosis in these cultures is so low that it barely registers.
Here in the United States, we've Super-Sized our daily calcium requirements by saturating our diets with animal protein.
Now that I've all but eliminated animal protein from my diet, my daily calcium requirements are much lower than they were just over a year ago. I can get all the calcium I need from beans, whole grains, leafy greens... the occasional serving of soy milk in my smoothies.
But I don't need to review endless numbers of medical literature to know that dairy is not good for me.
All I need to do is listen to my body.
And what my body is telling me is that I function much more comfortably and efficiently without milk. Ever since I've drastically reduced my dairy consumption, my stomach feels better, and I have quite a bit more energy.
This has made a significant difference in my running, as I feel lighter and faster on my feet, and am also able to recover more quickly from my longer workouts.
And I no longer feel like I'm wandering around with an assault helicopter lodged into my gut.
For some reason, beans have gotten a bad rap... unfairly pigeonholed as the culprit responsible for unruly flatulence.
Actually, I'm now eating beans in some form or another at least four or five times a week... much more than I have in the past. And yet, not only do I have less gas, but that which I do have doesn't send loved ones running for the hills.
I used to average two to three full servings of dairy every day. Now, the only dairy I consume is in extremely limited quantities... a tablespoon or two of half 'n half in my coffee every day, or a small amount of buttermilk in my pancakes once a month. My digestive system has adapted to dealing with these small amounts.
But when I want to enjoy the occasional bowl of ice cream for a treat, my body is no longer used to handling the larger serving.
I end up paying for it dearly.
Again, all the scientific data wouldn't make a bit of difference if I didn't feel better. But after giving up most dairy, I do feel better... MUCH better.
That's proof enough for me to stay away... for the most part.
With summer approaching, many of us are looking forward to heading down to our local ice cream joint to enjoy a triple pooper-scooper-sized chocolate ice cream cone dipped in chocolate sprinkles.
While that certainly sounds delicious, I'm afraid I'll have to pass. I was fortunate enough to escape Rupture Day with only minor injuries, and I don't want to press my luck.
However, I have been experimenting with quite a few smoothie recipes recently, which are made with frozen fruit, soy milk, and a liquid sweetener like maple syrup or agave nectar. What I've found is that proportionately decreasing the amount of soy milk in the recipe will yield a delicious, frosty treat with a consistency similar to ice cream or frozen yogurt.
In a future post, I'll share some of my favorite combinations.