And then...I had a revelation!
I'll backtrack a little, because after searching my blog archives, I can't find another place where I've posted about this before... So, it's about my allergies. I have this sort of weird thing that happens to me everyday. Everyday, no matter where I am (home, vacation, my mom/dad's houses, etc.) I wake up and have to blow my nose first thing. And then for the next 3-ish hours, I blow my nose and sneeze. And then I stop and don't do it again until the next morning. (Warning: GROSSNESS AHEAD!) Now this nose blowing, it's not just a small, minor amount of normal snot. It's a large amount of super watery snot. Such that (this is really gross - not kidding around) it will start to drip out of my nose if I don't blow it every few minutes. But it's just so strange, because it's almost like, right when I wake up, I'm turning on a faucet or something and letting it run for a few hours, and then turning it off. Because it stops.
And the sneezing is abundant. In fact, the guy who works in the office next to me also has bad allergies, and all morning we yell "bless you" across the hall probably 10 times. But another super weird thing about it all: it's completely unrelated to the weather outside. So, I could see if this happened every year around Spring and Fall - then I would probably just assume my mold/pollen/dust allergies are really bad (I haven't been to an allergist since I was a kid). But it's all year. And it's also all locations - so again, if this only happened at my house, I might think I have an allergy to something specific to our house. But no.
Now come back into the present. I was alone with my thoughts on the 4-hour drive to St. Louis and something dawned on me: I haven't had the drippy nose/sneezing for probably 2-3 weeks! What an incredible revelation! So I thought long and hard. What have I been doing different in the past 2-3 weeks.
And the revelation (simultaneously sad and happy): I've not eaten dairy.
We switched awhile ago to drinking soy milk for Jonathan's cholesterol. And once we did that, I realized how much easier it was to buy soy milk/almond milk/coconut milk at the store than cow's milk (because it doesn't have to be refrigerated until it's open). And I also realized how delicious all these milk alternatives are and how lovely they make the texture of my oatmeal! So we haven't had cow's milk in the fridge in months.
But then, I was still eating cheese and Greek yogurt and frozen yogurt in quite some abundance. Well, I decided a few weeks ago to drop the dairy and see if anything happened to my body. I always had trouble with portion control when it came to cheese, so I thought it might be a good thing to cut it out. I still ate it a little (like mixing parmesan in with veggies or having some cheese samples at Whole Foods or YoLo every now and then), but nothing like I used to. I used to have a big glass of milk a day, a lot of cheese, and potentially some yogurt, too.
Well, the dairy is the only thing I could think of that would cause the allergy reaction in the mornings (because, by process of elimination, it's the only thing that's changed). And once I looked into it more, apparently dairy causes a lot of phlegm in the body (which can react with different bodies in different ways).
SO...will I give up on my cheese and frozen yogurt for life? No way. But I'll definitely try to keep my consumption minimal. I just couldn't believe the revelation - craziness!