Pantry Provisions — Sensitivities by R. Ann Parris
Whether it’s age, illness, injury or “just” fatigue and stress from our circumstances, we have to be aware of foods that already aggravate our systems and can further aggravate preexisting conditions.
Two that immediately spring to mind are serving chamomile tea with raw late-season honey to somebody who sometimes suffers from hay fever (I oopsed that one personally, trying to help somebody sleep and boost their cold-fighting capabilities), and the amount of sodium and some of the anti-caking agents found in everything from powdered stevia sweeteners to baking mixes that cause some people’s feet and joints to swell and can cause headaches and blue-tunnel “blackout” conditions when they’re straightening from toweling a dog, putting dishes away, or glancing over a shoulder to check a traffic lane (I was not responsible for that one).
Others can be minor gluten or lactose intolerance that normally aren’t a big deal, controlling sugar swings, and inclinations toward indigestion and bowel issues from some foods.
When we’re already at a low ebb, we’re more susceptible to any sensitivity.
Reactions to those sensitivities are rarely fun, but can be especially problematic when they’re compounding issues we’re already dealing with, even if they’re fairly minor — like the aggravation of arthritis-swollen hands having to deal with pants buttons more, or hopping to a bathroom more often on a bum leg, or having a migraine or asthma turned downright torturous with sneezing fits.
We might also want to consider running searches and considering foods that hamper healing (even the ones that apply to now, such as carbonated sodas).
We know that some things also swing out of whack when we’re sick, and some of our cures actually swing other things out of whack — women who take antibiotics and then end up with a yeast infection being a famous example — so we can be on the lookout and plan to account for that, too.
And we always want to check foods and supplements for contraindication with medications and other supplements.
Usually, there are ways to work around things in our pantries that might create or exacerbate issues, but we have to be aware of the issues in the first place … And take them seriously.
Remember, our bodies become more susceptible to negative reactions under stress, whatever form that stress may be taking — temporary “stressful” situations, or physical stressors from illness and injury. Just suddenly switching to different foods can stress our digestions, and be felt throughout, not just in our guts, but also in the form of headaches, our energy levels, swelling and bloating, and the flexibility or achiness of our joints.
Our bodies process differently as we age, and things that didn’t bother us in our 20s can make itself known even in our 30s and 40s. As we continue adding gray hair, those sensitivities will increase and expand. Make sure that that once-tested emergency food really will still meet our needs.
When we’re already seeing diminished returns from one thing or another, the last thing we want to do is compound the issues. Double check the pantry and any supplements and meds we’ve got stashed back for minor and major emergencies, and make adjustments if necessary. The effort will pay off if we ever need those provisions.