She was beautiful, the Sprouting Guru! Bouncing curly hair, olive skin and big bright eyes. A sweet, restrained smile that revealed strong healthy, naturally white teeth. The guru was a health-conscious, almost-vegan woman who knew all the trendy vegan spots in Toronto. She was the type to have different high-end juicers and was more than happy to share her knowledge sprouting various uber-healthy foods. This all led me to my first experience with iodine by way of seaweed.
In the Winter of 2008, I was working in the heart of Toronto’s financial district. One night we had agreed on a date where she would choose the restaurant and I would choose the movie. She chose a restaurant close to my work. When I left work to meet her at the restaurant for our date it was already dark out and freezing cold – did I mention it was winter? – Though I had been in Canada for sometime I never got used to the cold and it didn’t matter how much I layered, I still had trouble staying warm.
We got to the restaurant, which, thankfully was a buffet because it gave me the chance to sample a variety of different dishes and not commit to one, since I was not familiar with cuisine. Most of it was fair, but the most unusual item I had was a grey-brown seaweed that was chewy and strong taste of vinegar. I did not enjoy the taste, the smell, or texture but thought “hey its probably nutritious”, and gave it a chance. I took my medicine but never went back to that place.
We headed back out into the freezer and enjoyed the walk up to the cinema a few blocks north. I do mean enjoyed, because even if I didn’t realize at the time, I wasn’t cold, I was comfortable.
I usually found the cinema to be cold as well. After taking our seats, I started to remove my scarf, my jacket and my toque (winter hat). When the movie started, I was surprised to actually feel warm. I turned and asked (whispered) the Sprouting Guru if she felt warm, and she said no. I tried to focus on the movie, but I was still heating up. I continued to undress, taking off my sweater and dress shirt. I was still so hot that I wanted to remove my undershirt as well. When I turned, I saw the Guru looking at me with twinkling eyes saying she had no objection. I smiled back, but kept it on.
Though she would attribute the heat to her presence, I was concerned that I might have been an allergic reaction to something from dinner. I thought it may have been the vinegar in the seaweed dish. It was like someone cranked-up my internal thermostat. I wasn’t used to feeling hot in the middle of winter. After my confusion about the origin of the heat cleared, I got really excited that maybe I found a way to finally beat my issues with the cold.
But that is where it stayed. My life got caught-up in its business, and my focus was elsewhere. I lead the kind of lifestyle where tolerable discomforts can easily go unnoticed. It wasn’t until 7 years later (see next blog) that I realized the catalyst may have been the seaweed, and more specifically the iodine in it. Read Iodine and Iodines in Seaweed and Supplements to learn more about iodine content in seaweeds.