If its a red light stop… About making changes to stop hurting ourselves.

Yesterday I was writing about how well I am these days. Well, 2:30am a familiar gut pain returned. It was not the, “I’ve eaten too much / too late in the evening pain”. This was the mild allergic reaction pain that, perhaps more accurately, I should refer to as intolerance.

I had a blood test in 2012 that showed I was reacting badly to onions, garlic and leeks. I enjoyed these foods but already knew that again and again they hurt me. I developed strategies for avoiding these while my gut healed. Throughout 2017, I ate foods containing onion a dozen or more times and was fine. Only a very few times did the onion hurt me.

With ‘Getting Well / Staying Well’, we teach the need to never stop asking, “Why?”

I believe the answer, for me, is simple. I had a friend visiting and believed they would prefer fried onion. We had just two small onions from an allotment, fried lightly in organic coconut oil along with organic potatoes and vegetables. Not the healthiest of meals but certainly not the unhealthiest.

If I am right the answer is simple. “STOP IT! Stop frying”

Like many people both the smell and taste of fried onion is difficult to resist and somehow I’ve not been learning from my mistakes. The gut pain is a warning sign. If I keep on eating foods that cause pain these could possibly cause long-term damage.

Here is the way I am thinking about warning signs. Imagine lights on a car dashboard. I could consider pain from onion being like a tiny orange light suggesting a very minor trouble I could leave and have fixed at some routine service. I could think of pain from onion being like a bright red flashing light clearly indicating immediate action is needed, as in, “STOP IT! Stop the car now”.

Okay, so a little fried onion is, not on its own, going to kill me, but thinking about a flashing red light, it seems time for me to change.


  1. I do not keep any alcohol in my house. Now I will not store any onions at my house
  2. Whenever I am offered onion I’ll ask if it was fried even if it comes in soup or whatever
  3. More drastically, I am going to have a rule of ‘No one is to fry onion in my house’

There’s lifestyle changes here that I believe I can stick too. I doubt it will protect me for life from pains from fried onion. I believe it will more than halve my risks from this pain, inflammation and any detriments to health from fired onion.

Is it worth it to lose the pleasure of fried onion to have greater happiness by sleeping better. Yes, for me it is. For most people, I think not. Millions of people will continue to love fried onion, especially as for them it is unlikely to carry any more health risks than any other fired food.

  • Roger Smith

    About 2 weeks after writing the above I am commenting on my own blog-post 🙂
    “Yesterday evening I ate soup made by a friend. It is not their fault that I have been awake since 3am. Getting up when it is all quiet has given me a chance to re-read my blog from the last time I was using a computer before 4am. When will I ever learn? If soup contains big chunks that looked like onion… well, please read what I wrote and marvel at human(my?) stupidity!”

Leave a Comment