The Mighty Egg: New Life Springs Forth Despite ME/CFS

April 24, 2014

Jody Smith finds that even with ME/CFS, new life as symbolized by the mighty egg, can still spring forth …pixabay-eggs
 
The egg has been a symbol of new life since ancient times. Recently, this symbolism has struck home for me in my own life.
 
I’ve eaten a lot of eggs in my life. Particularly in my vegetarian years, I leaned heavily on eggs. Fried, boiled, on their own and in omelets … And I confess in retrospect that I took them for granted. They were a mainstay that I perhaps didn’t fully appreciate till I could no longer eat them.
 
In February of 2012 I was vaguely aware of a queasiness that didn’t go away, which over a few more days turned into sharp pain in my stomach that also didn’t go away.
 
When I tried to figure out what was going on I was dismayed to conclude that this could be the result of eating eggs. To test this theory I reluctantly stopped eating eggs and found that this new digestive assault disappeared.
 
So that was that. As far as I was concerned, ME/CFS had just successfully chipped off another piece of my life.
 
When I learned about leaky gut syndrome, it seemed that I was experiencing an autoimmune symptom. I mourned this new loss, and the thought that I might never be able to eat eggs again for the rest of my life.
 
Every couple of years I’d give them a try but every time I tried this experiment I regretted it. Queasy before I even finished breakfast. And the stomach pain would shortly follow.
 
Depressing. And strange, since I’d been fine with eggs until I was 46 years old.
 
This moratorium continued until about a month ago when I tried my egg experiment once more. But this time, for some reason, things were different. No queasiness. No pain. No unpleasant repercussions. I was amazed, and tentatively ecstatic.
 
The next day I threw caution to the winds and fried up some more eggs. No problems. Just happiness.
 
My naturopath Kelly Upcott was pleased for me as well, and encouraged that it sounded like there had been some substantial healing going on. She suggested though that I be cautious for awhile, and not have them every day. No reason to risk stressing my body in its new ability to tolerate eggs.
 
So I’m keeping it down to a few times a week. But I’m optimistic that I’ve turned yet one more corner in the reclaiming of my health. And I’m enjoying the thought of scrambled eggs,  boiled eggs, omelets and eggs sunny-side up smiling at me from my plate in the mornings.
 
A few weeks ago, my husband Alan’s buddy Bob told us about a place in our town that sells eggs from free-range chickens.
 
The difference between these babies and eggs from the grocery store was noticeable as soon as I opened the carton. They were dark brown, and light brown and they were bigger.
 
While I know that brown eggs are not necessarily healthier than white ones, once I cracked one open into the frying pan, I could see that they were indeed something different. The yolks were a deep orangey shade of yellow, and they had a marvelous stickiness when the yolks were penetrated by a fork.
 
No more pale yellow eggs from the grocery store. The free-range eggs were a little more expensive but since they were also bigger than the grocery store variety they were worth the extra few cents.
 
My understanding is that free-range eggs may well contain omega-3 essential fatty acids rather than omega-6, and that’s something else I’m shooting for. It’s the reason I take fish oil every day, and if I can get omega-3s from more sources, so much the better.
 
They say the proof is in the eating, and more than the difference in appearance, the difference in the eating experience convinced me. These eggs felt more substantial under my fork, the yolk was stickier and had a tendency to cling to the tines and to my plate. And the taste reminded me of eggs from my childhood.
 
Now these were eggs!
 
This morning we ran out of our supply of free range, and had to finish off our last dozen of the store-bought. I looked at the last free range egg sitting in my frying pan next to a store egg, and noticed the sorry contrast between them. The free-range yolk and white looked more substantial compared to the light anemic-looking yolk and watery white lying next to it.
 
I am wondering if eating these eggs will help me to avoid the risk of again finding myself intolerant of eggs. Tiime will tell I guess.
 
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to eggs for breakfast tomorrow morning and I’m optimistic that I’ll be able to do so for the rest of my life.
 
Further Reading:
 
 
 
 
Ask the Expert: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3
 
 

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18 comments

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

NK17 April 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Thank you Jody for another wonderful real life story. We can definitely say that not all eggs are created equal ;). Speaking of real free range eggs, all trough my childhood I was lucky to be eating only my grandparent's free range hen's eggs. Your description of the deep orange shade of the yolk and the cohesiveness of the white to it, together with the flavor, it's exactly what real healthy eggs should look and taste like.
I don't know what I would do if I'd ever developed an egg intolerance. Eggs have always been a staple of my diet. I'm very happy to hear that you can enjoy them again. I still remember my grandpa saying that eggs are bad for the butcher ;).

Jody April 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm
NK17

Thank you Jody for another wonderful real life story. We can definitely say that not all eggs are created equal ;). Speaking of real free range eggs, all trough my childhood I was lucky to be eating only my grandparent's free range hen's eggs. Your description of the deep orange shade of the yolk and the cohesiveness of the white to it, together with the flavor, it's exactly what real healthy eggs should look and taste like.
I don't know what I would do if I'd ever developed an egg intolerance. Eggs have always been a staple of my diet. I'm very happy to hear that you can enjoy them again. I still remember my grandpa saying that eggs are bad for the butcher ;).

NK17,

You were lucky to have grown up with such delights.:)

We had to find a new supplier of these great eggs this week because the first place we were getting them have more people wanting them lately and they just don't always have enough to go around. We went for a few days having to eat the grocery store variety and it made me … profoundly sad.:)

But we have found another supply, so things are looking sunny side up.:)

Sea April 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Thanks Jody, it's always nice to hear about some health regained and something reclaimed that once was lost.

A couple of comments about the colour and texture of eggs:
The colour of the shell and size of the egg is determined by the breed of the chook that laid it (eg black Australorps lay medium size dark brown eggs, Leghorns lay large white eggs)

The colour of the yolk varies along with the colour of the shell. Lighter yolks usually in lighter shells. An even bigger reason for the difference in yolk colour though is usually from diet. Grassfed chooks have much richer coloured yolks as you've discovered. They also have a richer flavour. It would be great to know if that means they have more Omega 3 too.

The texture has more to do with freshness. Supermarket eggs are just not as fresh as eggs bought from a farm. I love fresh eggs

Jody April 24, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Sea,

Thanks for the info.:)

I love the term "chooks". Never heard it before, is it an Australian thing?

Starfive April 25, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Delightful article. Makes me want to have eggs for dinner. Thanks Jody.

Jody April 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Starfive,

Sounds like a great meal.:)

liverock April 26, 2014 at 11:14 am

@Jody I go to a Farmers Market in town who have a lovely range of different sizes of free range eggs. They are always delicious and I keep meaning to try their range of Duck eggs as well but never got round to it. I would need to only buy one at first as some of these eggs are as big as a clenched fist, so I might have trouble digesting a whole one.:)

BTW. The term"chuck" or "chook" is a word used in Oz and NZ for chicken which originated in England.

Before 'politicol correctness' took over it was often used in Northern England as a nickname or term of affection from fathers towards their young daughters or other close family members. Saying 'Hello Chuck' from a man towards a woman he knows was a compliment, signifying they regarded them as a youthful 'spring chicken'. Some Mothers today still introduce their babies to eggs by calling them 'chuckie eggs'.

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-cho2.htm

Jody April 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Liverock,

I've heard duck's eggs are big. Didn't realize they were that big.:)

I've read the name "Chuck" in a novel or two where the speaker in the book didn't know the woman's name and I had no idea why they were doing that. These books are set in 18th century UK so that now makes sense. Thanks.:)

Sea April 26, 2014 at 6:34 pm
Jody

Sea,

Thanks for the info.:)

I love the term "chooks". Never heard it before, is it an Australian thing?

Yes, that's the Aussie term for hens

liverock April 27, 2014 at 5:13 am
Jody

Liverock,

I've heard duck's eggs are big. Didn't realize they were that big.:)

I've read the name "Chuck" in a novel or two where the speaker in the book didn't know the woman's name and I had no idea why they were doing that. These books are set in 18th century UK so that now makes sense. Thanks.:)

Cockney women in London used to use the phrase 'Hello Duckie' when addressing friends. I dont know whether they still do, come to think of it I'm not sure there are still any Cockneys in London. :)

Jody April 27, 2014 at 11:58 am

Liverock,

The association between birds and women seems very strong in the UK.:)

rosie26 April 27, 2014 at 7:37 pm

I have heard "chook" used in a derogatory way too, unfortunately. As in "the silly old chook" referring to an older women someone obviously didn't like. I didn't realize chook was an Australian slang. We use it here too.

I find after eating a boiled egg with toast I feel a bit off for a half an hour afterwards. I read somewhere that it might be the sulfur in eggs that causes that to happen.

I grew up until the age of 8 with chooks in the backyard:D. Our neighbor had ducks, I can't remember what duck eggs tasted like. Mum used the ducks eggs the neighbor gave her for sponges, pavlova . They are quite rich apparently – duck eggs.

liverock April 28, 2014 at 5:58 am
Jody

Liverock,

The association between birds and women seems very strong in the UK.:)

There's more. :) If your reading extends to more modern English literature you may find men referring to young women as '.Birds'. ;)

Its a term going back hundreds of years which is not PC any more. Michael Caine used the term a lot in one of his earliest films called 'Alfie'.

http://uk.ask.com/question/why-are-women-referred-to-as-birds

Jody April 28, 2014 at 6:24 am

Liverock,

Yeah, I am familiar with that. And did the term "chick" for women originate over there, do you know?

liverock April 28, 2014 at 7:01 am
Jody

Liverock,

Yeah, I am familiar with that. And did the term "chick" for women originate over there, do you know?

Jody

As far as I know the word chicken in reference to women was around when the English started emigrating to America circa 1600. It was probably abbreviated to 'chick' over time.
Apparently it first appeared in print in the US in a 1927 book 'Elmer Gantry'

Jody April 28, 2014 at 8:52 am

Women and flying animals… wonder why that is.:)

liverock April 28, 2014 at 10:06 am

Maybe there's a subconcious masculine element of seeing birds as vulnerable creatures(much like women) in some men's eyes, especially in the middle ages, where gallantry was considered to be a good quality in men and where the phrase was first used.

Phrases such as "musn't ruffle her feathers" or "the wife is feeling broody", not forgetting of course, "hen pecked husband" seem to have been around and used by men for generations.:)

Jody April 28, 2014 at 2:56 pm

very good examples, and lots of insight, liverock.:)

Sounds like something you may have been studying for a while.:)

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