Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Learning a Valuable Lesson Part I

Garlic Fights Viruses. Garlic Prevents Heart Disease. Dr. Andrew Weil Recommends Garlic.
It was headlines like these that fueled my quest to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle. Because my mother rarely, if ever, cooked with raw garlic, these potent little pouches mesmerized me. 

Eventually, I saw firsthand how garlic stopped the flu virus dead in its tracks. When my daughter complained of flu-like symptoms—chills, aches, fever, and a dry cough--I suggested she eat a clove of raw garlic. I watched this poor little child agonize over the strong taste. Her molars struggled to attack the powerful little pouch, and with every bite, a flaming fire radiated from her tongue, to her cheeks, to the roof of her mouth. Brows knit together, I leaned in to get a closer look as she swallowed the pulp. It stung her throat, ripped through her esophagus, and smoldered in her stomach. The task was so daunting she had to lie down immediately after her battle with the little pouch. But when she awakened within a couple of hours, all the flu-like symptoms had departed. I was amazed! I was so amazed that I conducted more research and discovered more wonderful benefits of garlic, such as its ability to lower blood pressure.

I began putting raw garlic cloves in everything—salads, dressings, soups, sides, and main dishes. And I recommended garlic for everything.  My whole family was amazed at the power of these potent little pouches. 

During our Garlic Era, my son came home from school and told me one of his friends said he smelled like a pizza. “Oh, reaaally?” I asked, but quickly dismissed the thought that we had not had pizza for weeks. 

At the time, I was a substitute teacher. While I was interacting with my middle school students, I began to notice that some kids covered their little noses while others quickly turned away from me. And some kids just blatantly stared me down (that was kind of scary).

Eventually, I realized that while our family was interested garlic, everyone with whom we interacted was disinterested in us.

For a while, we tried eating parsley or drinking lemon juice to make the odor go away. But the odor is not only in your mouth, it is also in your lungs. Later, I learned that eating garlic and drinking whole milk is helpful because milk fat absorbs the odor.

Eventually, our obsession with garlic waned. We now limit its medicinal use to treating the flu. 

In retrospect, I feel embarrassed. I feel embarrassed about not being able to feel embarrassed amid the garlic odor episodes because I was unaware there was a problem. And shame on people for recommending garlic without recommending a remedy for its stench. Enough of that. I would like to apologize to all the people I may have offended, especially the middle school children with whom I came in contact as well as the people I sat next to in church. 

I take comfort in the idea that we all have had and will have embarrassing moments. Sometimes we wonder about what others have said about us and what others will say about us. When those thoughts come, I think about something positive or something for which I am thankful. That helps.

(I still recommend raw garlic, especially to ward off the flu. But in remembering my own experiences, I am quick to also recommend a glass of whole milk along with a 2-day separation from society.)

What was your most embarrassing moment? How do you feel about it?  This is the story in you. Share it.


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