The effects of MSG – Going a little cray cray!

I’ve been away from this blog and cooking for a week because I went out of town at the beginning of last week (Rob took me to Temecula for wine tasting.  My fav!) and when I got back I was booked solid with work and school all the way to the end of the week.  So what’s a girl to do with nothing but a bag of beets and three apples in the house and no time to go to the grocery store?  I ate out.  I’ve never spent a week eating out.  For the most part I make everything I eat and then go out to dinner on the weekends with Rob. So I decided to take advantage of this and try out a few places around where I work for lunch and a quick dinner.  I knew that restaurants use MSG a lot but I really didn’t understand to what extent!

I am super sensitive to MSG.  It didn’t used to bother me but as I’ve gotten older and treated my body better I’ve begun to notice the effects more and more.  Most of the places I ate at were supposed to be more healthy places but at only one of them did I not really react to anything in their food.  So what happens when I react to msg?  Well first I get a terrible headache.  It’s almost immediate, about a few minutes after I’ve taken the first bite or two.  A little after that I start to feel hollow in my abdomen and then my chest.  Not empty like I’m hungry but like I have no internal organs.  Then the heart pounding starts.  My heart beats so hard that one night it kept my up most of the night.  Then comes the changes in my vision.  I feel vertigoey and like my eyes have swollen in my head.  And last but not least I’m thirsty.  Like….REAL thirsty.   I feel a little like this dog looks.


So, as you can see, MSG = bad.  At least for me.  Want a list of the places I ate at and what?  Here you go:

Habanero Grill – Steak burrito – Whoa lots of MSG in this one!

California Chicken Cafe – Chinese Chicken Salad- I was super MSGed out after this one.

Greenleaf Chop Shop – Lemon Grass Chicken Salad – I was pleasantly surprised by this place.  I had barely any reaction at all.

Mendocino Farms – Turkey Confit with Yellow Rooster Sauce Sandwich and Sophisticated Chicken Salad – The amount of MSG in this stuff kept me up all night.  Sad since I love this place!

Which Wich – Chicken sandwich with pepper spread – The reaction from this one was intense.  I just wanted it to stop.  The only cure was a margarita!

Big Tomy’s – Veggie Burger on whole wheat and California Burrito – I think I drank a gallon of water through the night after this place.

So, of all the places I tried only one made the cut.  I ate again there today and again, very little reaction.  I got the Cobb salad this time.

After eating out like this I made myself a smoothie on Saturday morning and wow the detox was crazy!  I wont go into it since this is a food blog and it’s not pleasant.  So the moral of the story is, most places, even if they are touting healthy food, are still putting MSG in their food.  At some of these places they probably don’t even realize it because it’s hiding under names like “natural flavors” or “spices”.    I do eat out a lot but I’ve never done an experiment like this where I paid so close attention.  Usually when I eat out I have wine with it so I don’t notice the effects as much.  This little test was eye opening.  So the question is, if you want to eat out, how do you avoid MSG? What do you all think?

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