I intended to share this recipe next week or the week after. However it has a story to go with it that pertains to my health in the last week so I wanted to share both while it’s still lingering in my head.
Last week Tuesday I started itching near bedtime. I was scratching furiously and I thought it was hives. It started my brain whirling. What did I have to eat that is different? What have I used that is different?
I had it narrowed down to the beet salad or the comforter and European pillow shams I took out of a space bag which had last been washed when I still used scented fabric softener.
Two days later a rash developed. On my arms, my legs, and my hips. I realized that it was a familiar rash. The same one I had several times last year and drove me to urgent care where they just gave me a prescription for steroids and sent me on my not-so-merry way. This is the same rash I haven’t seen since removing eggs from my diet.
It was bad this time around. I caved and took diphenhydramine. Something I shouldn’t be taking because it exacerbates Sjögren’s symptoms. But when you’re scratching yourself raw so much that you can’t bear to sit still, lie still, or the feel of clothes against your skin, something has to give. I only took at at night for a few nights. It helped me sleep through the night, then it stopped working. I slathered myself with my Skin Soothing Mask every morning before my bath and let it dry before washing it off. It gave me some relief for a few hours. I dug out my Natralia Eczema & Psoriasis Cream that I used on the same rash last year. Again, some relief for a few hours.
Things got worse over the weekend. Waking up in the early hours of the morning with wild itching coursing through my body and unable to return to sleep for a few hours. It was so bad that I had to cancel my ophthalmologist appointment in Louisville on Monday, as well as visits to see two people while I was supposed to be in town.
I went in for my allergy treatment this morning (Wednesday) and let the doctor know what was going on and what I suspected. I didn’t think it was the beet salad, but it was the only thing different and I knew from the rash that it was definitely something I ingest. He played around a little to see what my brain was responding to. Surprise of all surprises, coconut oil. Something I used topically, for oil pulling, and to pop popcorn in. I like to use it in baking, but I haven’t been baking with all these food allergies going on.
Not only was my brain saying it didn’t like coconut oil, it was telling my body to have a full-blown IgE reaction to it. If it’s one thing I’ve learned about my body, it doesn’t do anything halfway. It likes to go big and hard. Forget going home. That’s for wussies.
So, he treated me for the coconut oil as well as some other oils my brain wasn’t liking (but not to the same degree). Cottonseed oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil just to name a few.
This is only the third time we’ve done a food related allergy treatment. Since the initial two visits where he treated sugars and food preservatives respectively, it’s been treatments for things like carpet, dust, dust mites, myself (yes, it IS possible to be allergic to yourself), flowers, etc. I cannot use any oils topically or ingest for the rest of today. I joked that it would make dinner interesting. Then I realized, how am I going to fix dinner without oils? I had my answer before I was two blocks from the office.
Now I know that it definitely wasn’t the beet salad I made, which makes me a little sad because I tossed some of the leftovers just in case it was the cause. I am definitely going to be making it again. I intended to make it with just the beets. While I was pulling the produce out of the fridge for my mise en place I wound up tossing the apples to make my Gingered Apples (to go with the pork chops I was making) next to the beets on the counter. The sight of the beets and apples next to each other gave me pause. A long pause. Why cook apples on a hot night when you can grate them and mix them in with beets?
I used some raw local honey because I used lemon juice in the dressing and to keep the apples from oxidizing. I wanted to make sure the lemon didn’t overpower the rest of the salad and it didn’t. I think the sweetness of the apples was enough to cut the tartness. You can omit the honey or use another sweetener if you are vegan.
Sweet Beet Salad – serves 6-8
4 Fuji apples, grated (skin on)
3 beets, peeled and grated
1/2 lemon, juiced, divided
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon raw local honey (optional, or use another sweetener of choice)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Coat grated apples with the lemon juice except for 1 tablespoon set aside for the dressing in a large bowl. Add the beets and mix well. In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, grapeseed oil, sweetener (if using), and ginger. Add the dressing to the salad and mix well to coat. Serve room temperature or cold.
This post is linked to Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs.