quinoa or saponin poisoning- what the hell?

So, I am making some diet changes in hopes of fixing some health issues that have come up this fall.  Not sure yet what is going on, but I've had some symptoms that may be affecting my bike racing and some symptoms that are definitely affecting my quality of life in general.  I won't go into more details for now since the point is just that I plan on trying a stripped down, home made only diet here for while.  Yesterday was day one of that effort and ironically? it didn't go very well.

Quinoa has been brought to everyone's attention the last few years as something healthy people 'in the know' are eating.  I've been eating it here and there for a while and usually in relatively small quantities.  I plan, at least initially here, to cut out wheat from my diet and figured a quinoa based stir-fry might be a good dish to try.

It turned out really good too!  I ate a small portion for lunch then headed to a doctors appointment before going into work.  I had a bit of a rumble in my stomach at the doctors, nothing new as it's the whole reason I was there anyways, and basically ignored it.  Around 6 I got hungry and ate a larger portion for dinner...

Around 6:45 I had a bad headache.  At 7 I was dizzy and my head was pounding to the point of keeping me from getting anything done.  By 7:40 I was laying down in a dark conference room at work trying to figure out how not to throw up while also somehow getting home.

I forced myself to drive home at 8 which cost me 3+ hours of PTO.  As soon as I got into my house I laid down on the bed in a fetal position and slept.  Around 1:30 am I felt a tiny bit better and finally felt able to lift up my head.  I googled a bit and realized I was having a somewhat common issue with the quinoa.  A reaction to a toxin called saponin that is naturally present.  I had rinsed it briefly in water (per the instructions on the container-  fwiw this was the red quinoa from trader joe's).  I obviously had not done enough, nor had I been aware of any danger.  I won't be eating any quinoa in the future, I guess.


toasted myself

I'm resting.  Had to DNS Sunday, should have DNS'd the entire week last week.  After a TIRED weekend down in STL (best finish was a 4th in SS) I was looking for answers.  Two were possible, one was that I've done too much...  that the combination of life and training had equaled too much.  The other option was that I needed to buckle down harder, that maybe the flu shot had hurt me or something else?  

I rode every day and I tried to ride hard. I felt off, but I knew I had Friday to rest.  My legs just didn't come around.

It became clear I may as well not even be racing pretty quickly Saturday.  I had to quit, had to start reversing my mistake.

I refuse to use being a parent as an excuse.  Or the new house and the work that is going along with it.  Or the stress at work.  None of that is a reason to ride poorly, it's simply that I need to do a better job of analyzing where I am at and rest when that's what I need.  Looking back now I've been on the absolute ragged edge since late September.  I look at my diary and there were commutes at least once a week where I had a hard time getting home.  I needed a full stop.  I took some prior to the Filthy 50 since I had a 13 day window with no CX, but it's been far too long since then without real recovery.  At the same time I was riding less than I rode last year, or in the spring, or etc...  but the point is that is only half or a third of the equation.  I had it in my head that I could take a bunch of rest before the season and then push and push.  I had a schedule with built in breaks but then when the breaks came I didn't take them.  

Next year I will do a better job of balancing this stuff-  it's new to me not to sleep 10 hours on my 'off' training days.  It's new that I have to not to something else in order to find time to work on my bikes.  I'll adapt.

This week I'm not throwing my leg over a bike until Thursday or Friday.  Maybe then I'll hop on the Pugnago and just cruise around.  I'll race one day this weekend only if I start feeling great-  great like I haven't felt since Wednesday the week after Trek CXC.  Otherwise I'll be letting it roll all the way into Jinglecross.  I'll be ready for Jinglecross.