Aghhh!!! It’s so hard to concentrate on writing when one’s face and body is itchy all the time. Ever since I arrived in London I’m like one giant itch ball. As I write this, my chin, upper lip, bridge of my nose, hairline and a space right between my back and right butt cheek need a scratch. About a month ago I went running and exploded in hives and had to hide in my room for 24 hours. My skin has not been happy for a few weeks now. Whenever I get into these itching episodes, I think about this New Yorker article. I know all about the torture of an itch.

It could be several things causing this:

Gilbert the cat  (I’m not totally allergic to cats or at least have convinced myself of that)

London pollution (blow your nose after a day in London and you will know what I mean)

Living in a new city with a new climate

I am fed up with being lumpy, red and itchy all the time so I’m putting myself on a skin regimen and diet. I’ve been increasingly interested in the anti-inflammatory diet, and have been reading a lot about it online, including Dr. Weil’s site which is basically lots of fruits and veggies and omega-3 fats.

Things to incorporate in my cooking: more ginger, tumeric, soy products, cruciferous veggies

Things to avoid, or to eat sparingly: Dairy, bread, pastries, sugar, processed foods, fruits and vegetables from the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, potatoes (yikes!), eggplants, peppers

Thing I’ll need to change, for now: As much as I love coffee, I’m going to cut that out for a while and stick to green tea and oolong tea, which is supposed to do wonders for eczema and allergies.

No more poultry, or at least dark meat, and that goes for duck, which according to Chinese medicine, is extremely toxic (makes sense that I had the horrible hive outbreak after eating a pheasant roast)

In other words, I will eat like a Cantonese villager. Lots of steamed fish, tofu, green veggies. I’ve even gotten pretty good at making hot pot rice.