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Yesterday I suddenly thought I would start taking my pulse at intervals, to check on the correctness of what I was eating. I did that many years ago after a massive gall bladder attack, and I didn’t know what was making me sick again. It worked very well, but at that time, I did it very scientifically, according to instructions I’d read on the subject (of course now I can’t remember the names of the book or author!). The scientific approach is as follows:
You take your pulse for a full minute, not less. You do this when you wake up before you get out of bed, to obtain a resting pulse. Then you take your pulse just before eating each meal, and then 30 minutes, 60 minutes and 90 minutes following the end of the meal, and one last time just before going to bed. (Yes, 14 times throughout the day, if you eat three times a day.) If there is a difference of more than 12 points between the pulse rate before you ate and any of the three checks, something you ate is not good for you. It is good to record these results for your own information, and if your pulse rate goes higher than 12, to record the food items you ate at that particular meal so you can pull it apart to find the culprit. This includes what may be hidden ingredients in a sauce or dressing.
Yesterday was most unscientific, but it brought me face-to-face with an important fact I have been trying to avoid for a very long time. I missed the whole routine, generally, but found that throughout the day my pulse ranged between 59 – 61. My waking pulse tends to be around 53, or was, the last time I checked, so the range of 59 – 61 while walking around is within completely acceptable limits, and since I didn’t do the control check before eating anything, it was probably very good indeed.
Now we get to the sad part. I like coffee. I like the smell of coffee, and I like the taste of coffee, even though it is an avoid for this B non-secretor. So most days I make a cup of coffee using my tiny expresso coffee pot, warming goat milk with a little honey in it simultaneously to receive the coffee when it is done. Voilá! Home-made latte! It’s very delicious. But almost immediately after drinking it, my pulse shot up to 80 and stayed there an hour later. I have to admit that along with the higher pulse, I could detect a slight amount of not feeling great, which didn’t stop me from doing what I needed to do.
This experience made me really rethink my desire to drink coffee. I can justify it on the basis that I have little to live for in the way of treats (at least the way I used to have them), I don’t drink alcoholic beverages (I just get red in the face and soon after that, tired), I don’t smoke, and I’m a really good person, morally speaking. Also, being a pastry chef’s daughter, I’ve managed to stop eating a huge variety of sweets because they really do make me sick. So having something that is an avoid that still allows me to function really isn’t all that bad, is it? Except…ingesting avoids on a regular basis is an invitation to (a) slow down my healing process (b) speed up my aging process and (c) turn me into a liar of sorts when I talk about following the BTD. None of these makes me feel good.
SO – here’s my plan. The little Italian coffee pot makes two demi-tasse cups of expresso coffee. I can first of all only have coffee every other day (to lessen withdrawal symptoms), but when I do it, I can put only half the amount of coffee grounds into the pot. This would have the immediate effect of having only one-quarter of the amount of coffee I’ve been drinking. I can then, after a week or two, stretch out the days between the cups of coffee until there aren’t any. I think it will be easy to quit following this system, and if I ever slide into thinking I need to drink coffee again, I can remind myself about the greatly increased pulse rate and what that means to my overall health picture.
The problems I can think of with this plan of action are that I usually use coffee as an occasional headache remedy since none of the regular over-the-counter headache cures work on this body of mine (it most often works), and sometimes, if I am going to a class in the evening and feel a little sleepy, a cup of coffee helps me to stay awake. I think, at this point in time, that I’ll have to make these decisions as they occur, based on careful assessments. In the meantime, if anyone has discovered a non-coffee solution to headaches or drowsiness, I’d be most happy to know about them!