I’m making a conscious effort to consume less processed foods and MSG.
It is hard, very hard.
Growing up, lunch staples were salted fish, luncheon meat and pickled lettuce from a can. Frequently it was instant noodles, topped with a sunny side up. Until a few years ago, my mother’s favorite cooking companion was The Gourmet Powder (佛手味精). I’m not saying that my grandmother and mother were bad parents because I’m in love with those foods myself and made no effort to avoid them even in adulthood. Potato crisps, bacon, Sichuan pickled mustard, salted egg, hotdogs bought from the frozen foods section – such are the foods that provide comfort and keep my spirits up. So you can understand when I tell you that it is terribly hard to steer myself away from these bad foods.
I’m so heavily addicted to sodium and MSG that around Day 7 or 8 into my diet, I encountered withdrawal symptoms. I was unaware they even existed! There were butterflies in my tummy and an unexplained anxiety nagged me. I was on the verge of hysterics when my mother drilled me to no end over a darn piece of chicken. I had trouble sleeping. My mouth felt bland (not dry - just bland). I needed a drink of water every hour!
The colleague sitting next to me has 3 bottles of homemade cookies lying on the desk. I couldn’t keep my eyes off them! She politely offered them to me and I courteously declined but each time she left her desk for a few minutes, I would think, “If I take a cookie now she wouldn’t notice.” Oh the temptation!
Today at Day 10, I feel decidedly better about myself. For one thing, my skin complexion has improved. I have fewer hunger pangs. I no longer feel bloated and aged. Most importantly, the pain in my left knee seems to have forsaken me!
I’m on the right track.