Too Much of a Good Thing

19 Feb

We are fickle, fragile, frivolous beings. Yes, yes we are.

We crave novelty, yet we fear change.

We desire security, yet we’re unwilling to take risks to move toward it.

We want intimacy, but we’d like to forget the vulnerability that goes along with it.

Try to Get Less ExerciseIs it ever good enough? We’re always searching for what we don’t have, yet when we find something we like, that feels right, and that seems to “fit”, we latch onto it. Can there be too much of a good thing though?

I pride myself on having a somewhat open minded nature (although some of you might disagree– if you’re reading, SHHH!). I work toward being flexible and not getting locked into having to do things a certain way. And I mentor others in recognizing the frailties of the human mind and its tendency to gravitate toward the familiar and routine and consciously challenging that paradigm to live more fully and less rigidly.

Inevitably, however, I catch myself getting sucked into the vortex of categories and dichotomous thinking, pushing to have it my way and believing that if it isn’t the world will crumble. More often that not it isn’t a catastrophic feeling that accompanies the merger toward the familiar; it’s just an “A-ha! I’ve caught you doing it again!” revelation and subsequent change of direction.

A few weeks ago I was grocery shopping and was standing in my favorite section of the store– the produce aisle. If you were to ask me where my “happy place” is– that image I’d use during a visualization exercise to attain a relaxed state– I would describe the space between the avocados and the zucchini. Gourds make me happy. So do cruciferous vegetables.

On this particular day I was enamored by the large bulbous heads of cauliflower …my heart skipped a beat when I  felt the firm, fresh, crisp flowerettes beneath my fingers. I gently placed one head in my cart but turned back quickly to grab four more. One head would last me one day. No, one was not enough. I quickly made my way home, excited about steaming up a storm.

cauliflowerThe following week I consumed all five heads of cauliflower. I was in a pillowy dream world of steamed, roasted, mashed, sauteed, and rice goodness. More than half of my meals each day was cauli-loaded heaven! The only downside was I would come home to what smelled like an unflushed toilet. Meh–  inconsequential in light of my amazing culinary adventures.

Prior to flying out for a work trip I made sure I had eaten every last morsel of my fiberful friend. Gone. I’d have to restock when I got back, I thought.

I noticed something different in the days just before I left that made me pause.  The fingers of my right hand, particularly the joints at the tips of them, were red, swollen, and incredibly painful. I’d wake up in the morning and barely be able to make a fist. Strange, I thought. Maybe I was eating too much beef. I had a 1/4 of an organic cow in my freezer and 3 of my 5-6 meals a day were beefalicious. Gout? I Googled for information. Family history of RA? Check. But how odd for it to pop up now, right? And only in 3 finger of my right hand? Hadn’t changed my vitamins lately or made any big changes to my nutrition. I’d give it a few days and see if things changed.

By the time I left for my trip, ironically the ends of my fingers looked like heads of cauliflower! I had club fingers! I wondered if the change in weather had something to do with it and thought it positive that I was going somewhere else to see if that made a difference.

I arrived home with normal sized phalanges. My nutrition had been different while I was away, no doubt. Less food all around because of the travel, less gluten I realized too. But it would be hard to pinpoint what my finger fiasco was all about without removing one food at a time. And it if was the beginnings of RA symptoms, it wouldn’t be unusual for it to rear its head and then remiss. Whatever it was, I was just glad to be able to make a fist– cauliflower can be tough to separate after all.

After arriving home I threw myself back into my work as is customary. My mom continued to ask me how my fingers were. “Fine,” I would say. I was documenting anything I’d notice, but there had been nothing to note. Another trip rounded the corner, and when I arrived home this time, and opened my frig to get some meals together for the following day I realized it had been at least a few weeks since I’d been to the store. “Man, I wish I had some cauliflower to just throw in a tupperware,” I thought. So easy.

CautionAnd it was then that it hit me! “A ha! I’ve caught you doing it again!”

CAULIFLOWER! I had become a uric acid cesspool!

Since my trips I had not purchased any cauliflower. And since my trips I had no club finger phenomena to speak of.

More Googling commenced, and I reached out to a friend who is a veggie maven. I posted a note to her on Facebook, and social media came through. Into my messages appeared a link to a medical website detailing how cauliflower and a few other choice veggies (all of which I happen to love), if consumed in copious amounts can cause a backlog of purines that increase uric acid accumulation!

“So what does your penchant for purine-loaded veggies have to do with anything?” you’re asking. Nothing if you look at it from the perspective of Kori just ate too much cauliflower. But if you put it in the context of life, it’s a funny and much less damaging (although my joints beg to differ) example of how we can easily get locked in a categorical conundrum just to feel good. This way or that way. Good or bad. Have to have a goal or if I don’t I’m hapless. On or off. Good diet day or bad diet day. Great workout or sucky workout. Wrong or the right side of the bed.

You get my point. But where does going all categorical get you?!

comparison is the thief of joyCategories prompt comparison and comparison far too often leads to dissatisfaction (read my previous blog for more info!). For some reason we think that if it isn’t like it was before then it’s not right. And if I don’t get the same or better results this time, then why do it at all? Except, what about what we just experienced?

Confused yet? Don’t be. Just remember to start approaching your circumstances with greater consciousness through a reduction in comparison to enhance your ability to create exploration to avoid categorical conundrums.

And for good measure, watch your cauliflower consumption.


2 Responses to “Too Much of a Good Thing”

  1. T February 19, 2013 at 5:55 PM #

    Happy to hear your fingers are better. Now go THROW some iron around

    • kpropst February 19, 2013 at 5:59 PM #

      😀 Ha. NOOOOOOO Problemo!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: