In an attempt to take the edge off the raw hunger that start at about 9:30am (despite breakfast) and continues throughout the day (despite lunch), and in keeping with the Famous Weight Loss Plan I am paying for, which has successfully removed about fourteen pounds so far, I have turned to carrots as the healthful alternative snack. The Famous Weight Loss Plan says you can have all the vegetables you want, so I keep turning to them, and I turn to them all day long. Because they do not really squash my hunger (which is clearly not “real” hunger, but more habit), I tend to eat a whole lot more than I need to.
It’s just too easy. With fond childhood memories of both Peter Rabbit and my dad connected to carrots and carrot juice, it’s no problem to easily scarf down half a bag (or more) of those pre-peeled ones in a heartbeat. Sitting at my computer at work and mindlessly shoving them in my face has become routine. While this is happening, my brain is sparking these little subliminal signals saying “Healthy! healthy!” and “Thin! thin!” and “Good for your eyesight! I have been feeling robust and empowered and…well, not svelt, but definitely thinner.
However, about two mornings ago I looked in the bathroom mirror while getting ready for work and noticed I appeared a lot yellower than the usual olive-sallow that I happen to be. Not startlingly yellow, but there is a perceptible shift in that direction. The whites of my eyes are still white, so I don’t think it’s jaundice. And I know it’s really the color yellow and not just my imagination, because now that I have had one cataract replacement, there is nothing that is possibly filtering my perception – colors are very clear, bright and true. One of my children was visiting this weekend, so we compared our hands side by side. Granted, her coloring is in the white peach department, but when we checked hands while standing outside in the harsh daylight, there was no mistake. I am turning an orange-yellow. I have become The Carrot Woman.
Remembering that years ago one of my friends had turned slightly orange from indulging a carrot juice health diet, I realized this is probably the case happening here with me. So I looked it up. My first hit was The Carrot Museum, which heavily touts the benefits of carrots and pretty much tells you everything you never thought to ask and more about carrots. The yellow-orange condition is called Carotenemia, which is when there is an overabundance of carotene intake, which your liver does not process and thus releases into the skin. This site mentioned the possibility that perhaps it is a sign of the liver releasing toxins. Just reading anything about what my liver might be doing is a little unsettling, so I went further, looking for an MD, and found what one of my favorite guys, Dr. Andrew Weil, had to say about it:
“Without a doubt…. habitual carrot consumption is the cause of (your) yellowing skin. The same fat-soluble pigments (carotenoids) that account for the deep orange color of carrots are responsible. In general, carotenoids are beneficial to health and can protect the skin from sun damage…….The yellow or orange color you notice on your palms (called carotenemia) is often seen in infants when they start to eat solid foods and get too many that contain beta carotene – usually from carrots, pumpkin and other yellow and orange vegetables. The color change is harmless but has to be distinguished from jaundice, which also causes yellow or orange skin. Eating too much beta carotene doesn’t cause the whites of the eyes to yellow, while jaundice does…….(the) color change is not at all dangerous and will fade quickly when you reduce your consumption of carrots”.
A third medical site, one of those sites that is very serious and throws around a lot of jargon and stats, says that it can take months for the yellow coloring to fade from the skin.
Months. That’s just great.
So I guess I will be cutting back on my carrots (What might be considered a carrot substitute?)…………… and maybe adjusting my wardrobe to match with yellow for a while…….
Will keep you posted…..