Thanksgiving, heart attacks, colds and hidden sources of MSG!

This weekend and today is Thanksgiving weekend (with today Monday being Thanksgiving day) here in Canada. It’s a traditional holiday weekend, for parties/dinners with family – whether they be blood family or chosen family, and great food! 

Part 1, Thanksgiving – I am so blessed with chosen family in the form of my best friends, and with my blood family. I had a few of those friends over for a thanksgiving dinner on Saturday night. We had prime rib roast, garlic mashed potatoes, maple glazed carrots and Brussels sprouts (shredded, with bacon and a few other ingredients). It was fantastic and I also made a pumpkin mousse with a walnut and toffee crunch topping that was delicious! Here’s the recipe: Pumpkin mousse. The company of course was the best part, sharing a great evening, some great food and lots of laughs, several games of Scrabble and even some infused vodka tasting, made for a lovely evening to be thankful for.

Part two – heart attacks, no I didn’t have one, but I did have some symptoms in the early hours of Sunday that mimicked one. I felt it was related to my back issues because the pain was in my back and neck BUT those symptoms along with a few others I experienced are also signs in women of a heart attack, headache and nausea for example. Women often exhibit different and more subtle symptoms than men, here’s a link about that- Heart Attack Symptoms in Women . It also took several hours for it all to go away and some of it remained the next morning when I got up. When I told my best friend Jenn (she’s in Ontario and we Skype every day) about the symptoms she was (rightly) furious with me for not going to the hospital and getting it checked out. I, being me (lol) have issues with ‘bothering’ people or asking for help. I didn’t want to bother any friends on this holiday weekend to go to the hospital with me, nor did I want to go by myself. Honestly I was also frightened about what if it was a heart attack? Well I did call 911 and the ambulance and fire dept were sent, they checked me out and felt a visit to the hospital was a good idea. I expected to be at the hospital a long time on the Sunday of a holiday weekend, but I was only there about 3 hrs. They did an ECG (electrocardiogram), blood work and a chest xray, plus monitored my blood pressure regularly. Everything came back clear, normal, in good shape – another thing to be thankful for this weekend. The pain etc was attributed to damage/deterioration in my spine, the Doctor showed it to me on the xray. I am seeing my chiropractor this week so I’ll mention this to him, but where that pain was is an area he and I are already aware of. I am thankful to Jenn, for Jenn, and her pushing me to be checked out. I must remember I am not a bother, that I have great friends that would be there for me in such situations.

Part 3 and 4 are related – a cold and MSG. One of my friends that was at the dinner party has a cold, it seems that I might have caught the edge of it. Last night I woke up during the night with a stuffed up nose and a really sore throat. I attributed that to it being dry in my apartment, but the stuffiness got worse through the morning, although the throat got better. I also developed a sinus headache. Whenever I get colds I get a sinus cold. It quite often goes into my throat and occasionally into my chest. I started taking vitamin C (with D) and zinc this morning and here it is 6 pm and I feel lots better already. I shall continue taking the vitamin C and zinc for a few days at least. I had to go out to the store to get cat food for my spoiled cat (Mr Mo) and wanted some sinus relief tablets/capsules. While at the grocery store I was reading labels as I always do and realized a couple of things. One, all of the sinus meds had red dye # this and yellow dye # that in them! Why? They also all had acetaminophen (the main ingredient in the brand Tylenol) which I had at home. There was another ingredient that was for nasal congestion but since I didn’t want the dyes or acetaminophen I bought a natural sinus med that has only eucalyptus in it.

Now for part 4 – to also help with my cold (and because I have an adjustment on my braces tomorrow which always results in a sore mouth for at least a few days), I wanted some chicken soup. It is comforting and helps relieve cold symptoms. So as I’m reading the labels, all I’m finding is MSG (monosodium glutomate) in every one of them. Yes homemade from scratch chicken soup would be best but I had none of the ingredients on hand to make it and wasn’t feeling up to doing so. I, as far as I know, have no sensitivity or allergic reaction to MSG but it’s still not something I want to eat. I also learned many years ago from a client who’s son was highly allergic to MSG that there are many ways of stating that MSG is an ingredient in a product AND that there are many more ingredients that have MSG or part MSG in them. It’s crazy! I finally did find one brand of soup that doesn’t have MSG, although it does have one ingredient that is suspected of having MSG in it. That ingredient is “modified corn starch”. It doesn’t appear on the list below but it is one of the ingredients that client mentioned to me years ago as one to watch for. So below you’ll find a list of ingredients that A) are other names for MSG or are ingredients that always have MSG as a part of their makeup, B) often have MSG or produce MSG in the processing of, and C) are suspected of containing MSG and often create a reaction in highly sensitive people.

Group 1 (A): Glutamic acid (E 620)2*
Glutamate (E 620)*
Monosodium glutamate (E 621)*
Monopotassium glutamate (E 622)*
Calcium glutamate (E 623)*
Monoammonium glutamate (E 624)*
Magnesium glutamate (E 625)*
Natrium glutamate
Anything “hydrolyzed”
Any “hydrolyzed protein”
Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate
Yeast extract, Torula yeast
Yeast food, Yeast nutrient
Autolyzed yeast
Textured protein
Whey protein
Whey protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate
Soy protein
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Anything “protein”
Anything “protein fortified”
Soy sauce
Soy sauce extract
Anything “enzyme modified”
Anything containing “enzymes”
Anything “fermented”
Anything containing “protease”

Group 2 (B): Carrageenan (E 407)* – this ingredient is in almost everything!
Bouillon and broth
Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
Natural flavor – this one is also popular in products
Maltodextrin – and this one!
Citric acid, Citrate (E 330)*
Anything “ultra-pasteurized”
Barley malt
Malted barley
Brewer’s yeast
Pectin (E 440)*
Malt extract

Group 3 (C): Corn starch
Corn syrup
Modified food starch
Lipolyzed butter fat
Rice syrup
Brown rice syrup
Milk powder
Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
most things “low fat” or “no fat”
anything “enriched”
anything “vitamin enriched”
anything “pasteurized”
Balsamic vinegar
certain amino acid chelates (Citrate, aspartate, and glutamate are used as chelating agents with mineral supplements.)

* E numbers are use in Europe in place of food additive names.

The above list was found here: Hidden sources of MSG . BTW, I’m not saying to not eat any product ever that has any of the above ingredients listed, I’m just making you aware, and asking you to read labels and make informed choices for your health and wellness.

I hope you all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, if you observe such a holiday, and even if you don’t I wish you a great weekend and ask that you take the time to be thankful for the joys, and the hardships, and the people in your life. Most of all – take care of you!


One thought on “Thanksgiving, heart attacks, colds and hidden sources of MSG!

  1. “I must remember I am not a bother, that I have great friends that would be there for me in such situations.”

    Damn straight. And I, being the Jenn in question, will continue to be furious with you for not taking care of yourself each and every time these situations come up. Why? Because I am thankful that I have you, even when we annoy the snot out of each other. 😀


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