I’ve gone from not even knowing my body had, needed, or used zinc two months ago (before I started with Chip the nutritionist) to now being FIXATED on it. Zinc! Zinc! My kingdom for some zinc!

It turns out my zinc is low. (And no wonder; I didn’t know I was supposed to be stockpiling it!) This affects my body in some very real way that I no longer remember. (I’m telling you – zinc has become like a Kardashian in my life. I have no idea why I’m supposed to care so much, but by gum, I care!)

But here’s why I’m so fixated:

When I first saw Chip, the charming nutritionist at Body Dynamics, he had me take an online quiz that asked things like “do your nails chip, peel, or break?” and “Do you have bad breath?,” and other things that I, certainly, wouldn’t lay at nutrition’s door as a first choice—but we are walking into the body of science here, and onward we go!

So I filled out the questionnaire and when I sat down with Chip two months ago, he handed me the results; a piece of paper with what looked like the Rocky Mountains on it. “These high points are areas of concern for you,” he explained.

(To be honest, I wasn’t terribly surprised; you don’t get to be my size without assuming something – or several somethings – need to be addressed quite sternly.)

We yakked it out. I had two Mount Everest-sized peaks – SUGAR HANDLING and also “Essential Fatty Acids” (which turns out to be high because I had my gall bladder out about 15 years ago, and contrary to what the doctor told me at the time, that DOES, it seems, have dietary implications; who knew?)

And I had several Denalis (that is, high next to anything other than Everest), and then a bunch of Old Ragg mountains. The “adrenal” peak was from stress and sleep (“sleep hygiene,” Chip calls it, which makes me snort. If I scrub my sleep regularly with a nice Borax, THEN will I have good sleep hygiene?) and the “thyroid” peak was blood sugar (and the doctor DID tell me my fasting blood sugar was getting up there; yikes. Don’t want diabetes, by damn!).

Small bumps at “Liver and Gall Bladder” (not higher because – no gall bladder), something called “women only” (which I assume is because I’m menopausal), and also “Immune System” – but those three were mere foothills to the others, so we never discussed them.

Chip gave me my very first guidelines for incremental change—like, the guy never said “For the love of Pete, you’ve GOT to back slowly away from the Ben and Jerry’s, woman!” But he DID say I had to switch to sprouted bread for sandwiches, add in some nut butters that weren’t peanut (I put almond butter on apples and shut up; it’s a hell of a treat), and bla bla something else.

Mostly he’s got me drinking water. Water. Water. Water. More water. About 100 ounces a day, because I’m fat. (Their rule of thumb is take half your weight; that’s how many ounces you should drink – but cap it at 100. I weigh more than 200 lbs (by a fair bit!), so I drink 100 ounces.) I spend most of my time peeing out innocent, pale, aroma-free pee, but lordy, that water fills me up. I actually stopped eating a container of ice cream the other night BECAUSE I COULDN’T FIT ANY MORE IN. I know – right??

LONG story short (too late), I got the mountain profile yesterday from the second questionnaire, and EVEN CHIP was impressed – every single peak and bump had fallen, with the lone exception of SUGAR HANDLING.

Well, yeah. I know.

Even the gall bladder number had gotten a lot better. Chip and I frowned at that one for a while because it doesn’t make too much sense; it’s not like I obediently grew back a gall bladder… and I tried to not be too obviously pleased; we’re going to keep an eye on that number. (YEAH, we are! It’s awesome!)

And it turns out that my zinc hasn’t come up AT ALL. “What the?” I protested. “Everything else is better, better, better, but I still don’t have enough zinc? I’m eating pumpkin seeds every damned day!”

And then Chip laid the smack-down on me, out of the blue. “I’m guessing that’s because the zinc you’re taking in is being used to process the sugar.”

MOTHER PUS-BUCKET! You’re kidding! “It’s ALLLLL connected,” he said, waving his arms about and waggling his limber little eyebrows.

So DAMN IT. Now I look at anything sugary with grave suspicion. I actually growled at that candy mecca at the Staples check-out line today. “No way!” I muttered belligerently at a bag of Lindor white chocolate truffles, “I ate my pumpkin seeds this morning and I AM KEEPING THAT ZINC, damn it.”

So once again, something that I never in a million years thought could change – my adoring fixation on All Things Sweet – may actually be evolving just a little. Just for today. Just at Staples.
We’ll see.



2 thoughts on “Zinc

    1. Shanna, I buy raw shelled pumpkin seeds at Whole Foods. I’m sorry to tell you that I think they come from China, which makes me think I’m paying for the nets they string up around the factories so workers can’t kill themselves… But I’m not yet so fanatical that I’m willing to tease my own out of a Halloween pumpkin. I’ll ask Chip if he has any specific instructions… but you know he won’t allow salt. Too tasty!


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