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Chug! Chug! Chug!

Chugging beer is a skill I’ve never acquired; I’m not any good at doing shots either. I would have been better off improving these skills than chewing my fingernails off studying for exams.

Choking down the Chinese herbal tea formula — animal parts, twigs and all — that my acupuncturist devised is now part of my routine. The full grocery bag that I brought home yesterday held a week’s worth of herbs in seven bulging lunch sacks.

Coupled with D’s warnings about the tea’s vile taste — in China the saying is that if a tea tastes good, the formula isn’t good — and the potential of vomiting, the smell the bag emitted was ominous. Even better, it takes an hour to cook and I have to drink it after dinner, but three hours before bed. Mmm, we ate a tasty dinner with the odoriferous concoction simmering on the stove.

The recipe takes four and a half cups of water and is supposed to cook down to one cup; I wound up with two. Afraid that I would change the tea’s potency if I let it reduce to a single cup, I reluctantly took on the challenge.

Even without a chorus of frat boys cheering me on, I drank it all. It was truly awful but not as gross as I expected. Until I hit the bottom where all the sludge accumulated. Still, no vomiting and no horrendous aftertaste (unlike beer).

I see D again today (my insurance covers 45 acupuncture visits a year, so I’m going to cram in as many as I can). I hope he can impart the secret to making only one cup; I don’t think I can repeat last night’s feat.

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Animal Parts & Pinto Beans

How do you feel about drinking a medicinal herbal tea? Do animal parts bother you? These are the questions that D, my superhero acupuncturist, asked me today. I’m game for the tea (which doesn’t actually have tea in it, but is a bunch of herbs steeped in water), but animal parts?

While some patients may prefer to not know which animals they’re partaking in, all I could think of was fuzzy kittens. Not that I really think kittens are used in Chinese herbs, but it was the worst thing I could think of. So D told me that the “animal parts” are scorpions and centipedes.

Conceptually, I can do bugs. D’s concocting a custom blend to treat my specific ailments, so we’ll see how willing I am when I have the tea in hand.

On to more common foods… I ate a pinto bean burrito with no ill effects! I hope, hope, hope that this is at least one bean that’s not a headache trigger food. Maybe I can be a lacto-ovo-pinto bean vegetarian.