For lunch today, I walked out on a limb and made an anchovy dressing for a salad. Normally, anchovies are bad, and anchovy paste is even worse. Not only does it have a lot of purines (the anchovies are concentrated), but it also contains a lot of salt. Which is neither good for your kidneys or your blood pressure.
But if you use it as a spice, not an ingredient, it will be allright as long as you are not way above 6.8 mg/dL uric acid. So my dressing was 2 large spoons of olive oil, and about 1 cm of anchovy paste. If you want a little more sting, add one drop of tabasco. It would probably be nice to add a little balsamic vinegar. You might find the tabasco spicy, I would not give it to the kids, but the cucumbers cool it off.
I had it with a cucumber salad (2 cucumbers, thinly sliced), but you can add lettuce and other vegetables as well. Celery should be good, but it was very nice with the cucumbers.
Breakfast: Fried rice, and yesterdays leftover garlic rice.
Lunch: Wakame (seaweed) soup, cucumber salad, tomato sandwich(es, because I had two). And of course, two large glasses of water.
Dinner: I finished the garlic rice from yesterday, and then we had the marinated gobou to the right (a Japanese root vegetable), with soy sauce, vinegsr, and fish flakes; and the tofu stir-fry to the left. And the kids had chicken cutlets. And cake for dessert. Yes, I admit, I had a small piece. Really, small.
If you have any background in project management, you know the adage "you can not control what you can not measure". Maybe you know it as "If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it".
The quote is usually attributed to management guru Peter Drucker, but I am pretty sure he did not have gout. Nevertheless, the quote applies to gout management perhaps more than other types of management.
If you do not know how much uric acid there is in your blood - over time - you do not know if anything you do to change the uric acid concentration is actually helping. This is why the doctor insists that you come back for a second visit when you get allopurinol. The doctor wants to check that the medicine has the desired effect by doing a second blood test.
However, if you manage your uric acid level by diet and water intake, there is no doctor to do the blood test. You have to be your own doctor. You need a uric acid meter. Using it involves the slghtly unpleasant part of pricking your finger, since it measures the amount of uric acid in your blood. but if you have one, you will know any changes you make to your lifestyle have effect.
Breakfast: Today I had fried noodles with mixed vegetables for breakfast. Yes, very unhealthy, especially with the amount of fat I used. But I went for a long bicycle ride with my son right after, so maybe I burned off some of it.
Lunch: Inarii-zushi, a kind of sushi made with a fried and marinated tofu shell.
Snack: Well, maybe late lunch. Or second lunch. A hotdog at Costco.
Dinner: Garlic rice and beef. Without beef.
Today we had a calm saturday around the house. Mostly cleaning out my office after the kids playing there while I was working during the stay-at-home order, before school finally started.
Yesterday I had a beer and yesterday evening I had a tingling feeling in my toes and feet. But it was completely gone by this morning.
Breakfast: Muesli and milk, and a cheese sandwich with the coffee.
Lunch: Japanese-style dumplings (gyoza), with a little ginger and melted cheese on top.
Snack (the kids insisted, it is Saturday): Potato chips (just a few for me), and guacamole dip (from Costco).
Dinner: Cold noodles with cucumber, omelet strips, and crab sticks (not for me).
My weight today: 124.5 kg. Yes, there is quite a bit to take off. When I weigh less than 105 kg, I never notice any gout-related symptoms.
Today was one of the hottest days of the year, which motivated some of the meal choices. And drinking lots of water. They keep warning against heatstroke on the news.
Breakfast: Sandwich with cheese and cucumber, coffee and orange juice.
Lunch: It is so hot that we went to a nearby South Indian restaurant. Lots of vegetables and vegetarian curry choices. They only have one dish of the day, though. Today it was egg curry.
Dinner: Mushroom, cabbage, and onion stir-fry (with calamari that the kids ate), carrot and dried daikon warm salad (hoshidaikon, you may not find it in your neighborhood grocery store), and tofu with onion, dried fish flakes, and ginger.
I actually had a beer with the meal, since it is Friday. Lots of water before and after, and my toes are tingling... but it was good.
People in gout support groups keep arguing that "everyone is different", and of course we are. But we share the same biochemistry, otherwise we would not be human (and my parents assure me that they are not aliens). That means uric acid crystallizes when the concentration is over 6.8 mg/dl, if you are male; and any purines you eat are added to the purines your body produces, since the purines are used in energy production and they quickly gets extracted from your intestines.
That is the basis for my approach to beating gout: Avoid foods that are bad for gout. And there is a second basis: What food is good for beating gout? Milk contains orotic acid which helps the body flush out uric acid - so milk is good. Vitamin C helps break down uric acid, so that is good. And vegetables in general make your urine more alkaline, which makes it easier for the uric acid to dissolve in it. Which means you should eat lots of vegetables, drink milk, and eat things which contain vitamin C but no fructose. So no fruit, but vegetables have plenty of vitamin C.
Breakfast: Sandwich with vegetables and cheese (thanks for the foccacia Costco bakery).
Lunch: Yesterdays leftover salad and soup, Korean toppogi (a kind of rice pasta in an incredibly spicy sauce).
Snack: I am not really big on snacks, having lost most of what I put on during the COVID-19 stay-at-home. But I had some nuts and raisins with the kids (actually trail mix but they ate all the chocolate).
Dinner: Warm carrot and corn salad, pork on a bed of Chinese cabbage (the kids ate all the pork), and a soup with haricot verts, carrots, and Japanese konnyakku cubes.
Today, we had sandwiches for breakfast (mayo and tomatoes, plus lettuce and cheese on mine). Lunch was yesterdays leftovers. And dinner was soup, salad, and the same bread as in the morning - foccacia from the Costco bakery. The kids had chicken in their salad, I did not. The kids had wonton soup, mine was without wonton. Unusually, I had a snack as well, popcorn. They are a bit too sweet but delicious.
Tomorrow I will have wine, steak, turkey, sausages and sushi. Not.
As you probably know, dehydration is bad for gout sufferers and drinking water is good. The reason, apart from your kidneys getting more to work with so they can expel more uric acid, is that when the body gets dehydrated, the amount of fluid in your blood decreases - and your UA readings go up since the concentration in the blood increases when the amount of fluid decreases.
I was challenged on this in the "Gout" facebook group by Lorene Seman. I have not tested it
myself, reading scientific publications and trusting them is usually how I work. But fair enough. I feel healthy enough to take ip the challenge, so as soon as the current heatwave where I live is
ovet, I will take UA measurements as I dehydrate myself to check if the theory is correct (and a warning ahead of time - those readings will be applicable to me only, if you really wanted to do a trial you would need a much larger number of participants). So wait for a month or so, and then I will take up the challenge!
I bought a UA meter today. I had a UASure before, but it seems to have disappeared in the move. We moved to Sendai in northern Japan a little more than a year ago, and after that I had my latest - and last - attack.
This one was one tenth of the price of the UAsure, though. Products from China have become really cheap since the coronavirus epidemic kept people out of stores (and in many countries, they have no money to go shopping). It will be interesting to see if it is going to break on me, because during our summer vacation, when I was away from my FootFit Plus, I felt a tingling in my toes that definitely should not be there.
So now I want to check my uric acid level, to see that I do not go above 7 mg/dL. Actually, it has been a few years since I checked, so it would be really interesting to find out what they are.
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Read more about me and how I am beating my gout here.