Friday, February 14, 2014

The Lost Cheese

One of the things I have learned in my life is how to squeeze in family life and juicy bits of experience. Although my work obligations greedily suck up most of my time, I guard small blocks of time for art, writing, sports, and social time with family and friends. This weekend, for example, I have taken a four-day weekend to fly out west to see my daughters and grandson.

Travel plans do not always go smoothly, however, and yesterday I ended up on a delayed flight, missed my connection, spent an unexpected night in a hotel, and had a 5:15 am wake up call to catch my rescheduled flight.

This is where the cheese comes in. 

When I arrived at the hotel at 10 pm, I was too tired to go down to the restaurant, and not that hungry anyways. So I indulged in the luxury of ordering a snack via room service, and settled down to watch some Olympics coverage. I ordered a platter of Quebec cheeses and crackers, and a beer. 

The choice of cheese was against my better judgment. My seat mate on one of my flights was a research scientist studying osteoarthritis. I asked her a little about her research. I have osteoarthritis in my knees, so this topic is of personal interest. She told me that sports injuries can predispose people to developing osteoarthritis, and talked a lout the importance of staying active and continuing to engage in weight bearing exercise to stave off it off longer. Obesity is both a consequence of the reduced activity that follows a knee injury, and also a risk factor for developing osteoarthritis sooner and more severely. Excess weight puts more pressure on the knees.

I already knew these things, having researched my condition. I know that losing a couple of pounds and keeping the weight off is important for my knees. However, one piece of information that she shared was new to me. Adipose tissue actually contributes to inflammation biochemically. So it is important to reduce the adipose tissue (fat) in order to reduce the level of inflammation. Reducing inflammation slows the progress of the disease.

Therefore, I should not be eating cheese, or at least not very much cheese. 

So I sat in my hotel room watching elite athletes on TV, with a lovely selection of cheeses in front of me - great big wedges of specialty cheeses along with rainforest crackers and dried fruit. In actual fact, I only ate 2 pieces of cheese, and put the rest in a ziplock bag, planning to bring it with me. 

This morning, bleary-eyed at a ridiculous hour of the morning, I ended up forgetting the cheese in my room. It was really excellent cheese, and it is a shame that it will be wasted. 

However, maybe my knees will thank me.

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