Spinach Salad, Fog and Smoke

A change-up in the routine is not always a good thing. I bravely ventured away from my regular meals and went to lunch during the pandemic with a friend the day after Labor Day. My Android phone couldn’t scan the bar code to get to the online menu, so my friend read my choices to me. I chose the salmon on a spinach salad.

I ate the salmon, the poached pears and the little candied walnuts and some of the bleu cheese. I asked for a box for the rest.  All was well until 4:30 when I felt hungry again. I decided to eat the rest of the spinach salad.

Big mistake. I woke up at 3:30 with rumblings in my intestines. Then my bad memory dredged up the last time I’d eaten a spinach salad and how I’d spent the next day in the bathroom.

This was way worse. Without putting too fine a point on it, let’s just say that Wednesday was a lost day.

Thursday I ate noodles, rice and a banana.

Friday I ate rice with chicken and another banana, along with some of my regular diet.

Today, Saturday, I have bad reflux. At first I blamed it on the smoky air. The Bay Area in California has had 29 days in a row of spare the air day, which means unhealthy levels of contaminants, and everybody should stay inside.

29 days, a state record. Usually spare the air days are in the winter, and we aren’t allowed to burn fires in our fireplaces. But these spare the air days are from the wildfires up and down the Pacific coast, including Oregon (where whole towns have burned down) and Washington.

Never before have we had such dry conditions along with high winds in August and September.  With no measurable rainfall since May, the Golden State has become a firestorm for anyone living near nature.

It even stinks in Monterey Bay, where foggy damp weather is the norm. Fires from Big Sur and south are stinking up the ocean air. Never have I ever experienced such bad air quality at the beach.

I don’t want to return to the Bay Area where the air quality is twice as bad.

I realized my reflux today is not from the smoke but from all the starch I’ve eaten to calm down my digestive system after the spinach salad from hell.

Sorry, this is not the kind of post most people want to read, but I’m just saying, if you have reflux (bad indigestion), cut out some of the starch in your diet (potatoes, rice, French Fries, chips, etc) and see if it helps.

Get a handle on it before it gets way worse.  There are OTC meds you can take like Prilosec, but the best way to calm it down is to change your diet.

Try eliminating these foods one at a time to see if it helps:

Spicy foods,

fried foods,




Tomato sauce,


Dairy products,

Starchy (cereal, bread, cookies as well as potatoes, rice, chips, crackers)

Bulky foods like celery, coconut, artichoke

Citrus (pineapple, oranges, limes, lemonade)

Carbonated beverages, especially colas

Alcoholic beverages

Sugary anything (I draw the line at chocolate and eat it daily – dark has the least sugar)

I know, right? It seems extreme. But you only have one stomach, and you want it to last a lifetime.

I now add spinach salad to my do not eat list (and bleu cheese).

Sorry, Popeye.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s