Hey garlic lovers! How much garlic can you eat in a week?
I love garlic! My answer would be: there is no limit! Right? After eating it every day for an entire week and reeking of garlic 24/7, maybe there is a limit.
Altitude and Garlic
All the guides we spoke with preferred eating garlic soup or drinking garlic water over taking medicine to try to prevent altitude sickness. On top of all the health benefits, this was a great added bonus! Since we were about to go up to more than 5,400 meters and I just so happened to love garlic, I immediately signed up for the ultimate garlic diet.
|On the way up to 5,416+ meters to cross Thurong La Pass|
All of the guesthouses and restaurants along the trek offered garlic soup and I started ordering it a week before we were due to cross the world's widest pass, Thurong La. This soup is serious business: it is loaded with garlic and definitely leaves you with a great dragon breath that lingers on for a while. Sometimes they would serve it creamy style and sometimes it would be just salt, boiling water and garlic.
|A nice carbo-heavy lunch (yak cheese sandwich and rosemary potatoes) with a healthy dose of garlic soup|
After a few days of having garlic soup, I definitely noticed that the smell was just not going away and I am convinced that even my sweat smelled like garlic. About four days before the big day on the pass, I got really sick and had an awful cold with an intense sore throat. On top of garlic soup, I now carried hot water in my bottle with about a half head of crushed garlic. I definitely reeked now but it made me feel a little better and I tried to stay positive by reminding myself that I wouldn't get altitude sickness if I just kept up my garlic consumption. I'm not sure how Eliot and I managed to still stay close to each other 24/7 during that week but I think it's a good sign for our relationship!
|Crushed garlic inside our Nalgene - it took about a whole month to get rid of the taste|
A true cure for altitude sickness?
The big day arrived and we started the climb to the pass at around 5:30 am. I was freezing but I kept a steady slow breath and kept my garlic water with me. In spite of taking Diamox (legit, chemical medicine used to prevent altitude sickness at least a few days prior to being up in high altitude) in addition to the garlic diet, Eliot had an awful time and became a victim of the altitude, losing his vision and all. It was very scary as we were on a very snowy and narrow part of the trail (a foot and a half wide at most) but we managed to climb down a few meters and rest a bit so he could recover.
|The amazing Thurong La Pass (finally!)|
We crossed the pass successfully in spite of the altitude sickness and were very happy once we started the slow descent. Although Eliot felt the wrath of the high Himalayas, I still never felt even the slightest headache.
Would I rather smell a little (okay, okay a LOT) bad or a little better? In the end, I choose smelling bad over better: consuming all that garlic definitely made it worth it for me, even though it felt like garlic was oozing out of my pores. The miracle drug -- garlic, that is -- worked wonderfully for me (even just as a placebo!) but was way less effective for Eliot. Although I was spared, I really hope I don't ever have to eat that much garlic again.
I still love garlic but I definitely prefer moderation over extremes with this potent veggie!