Thursday, February 3, 2011


In which our Lady eats the MOST DISGUSTING THING EVER. 

Cod liver oil is possibly the most revolting thing I have ever tasted in my life—even when mixed with fruit juice.  “Why,” you ask, “are you ingesting cod liver oil, Tara?”  Well, according to my health-conscious/ taste-deficient sources, increasing intake of Omega-3 fats is actually very good for you: it boosts immune system activity and provides DHA and EPA—both of which are very good for the brain.  In short, Omega 3 fats are ideal at giving the body what it needs to fight cancer.  I’m getting desperate, here.  I’ll swallow ANYTHING to avoid chemotherapy, and trust me, cod liver oil is almost the worst “anything” you can come up with. 
Fats like this used to be more common in food supplies.  For instance, there are tales of the nasty spoonful of cod liver oil from Mom or Grandma when a kid got sick back in the day.  Some of my reading gave me the terrible mental image of a barrel of fermented cod liver sitting just outside a Viking man’s doorway, a common occurrence?  (Thanks, Nina Planck).  Given Mr. Viking’s probable lack of hygiene—icky.
Meanwhile, there are other options for getting your Omega 3’s.  I feel great when I take the flax seed oil stuff.  There is actually an obvious difference in how I feel when I take it.  I feel like the Keppra isn’t bringing me down as much—less fatigue is a VERY good thing.  (Cod liver oil actually makes me feel better than flax seed oil, but it also makes my various body parts and functions smell like rotten fish, which is a definite downside).  If I had enough wild salmon in my freezer I could go that route too, but I don’t (even though I live in Alaska: the salmon capital of the world). 
These past few days I have felt more high-energy.  It almost seems like the Omega 3’s give me the capacity to fight through my Keppra-driven fatigue better—still without seizures, I might add.  My mind works better.  My thoughts are clearer.  Also, cod liver oil is high in vitamins A and D.  I’m pretty sure the D is good for my Alaskan-winter personality.  Not that I’m oh-so-depressed, but I’m certain that I’m happier even though I smell like a Viking. 
Will I continue to imbibe fermented cod liver oil?  Yes, but probably in smaller amounts than suggested.  Maybe there will be less gagging if I take a half dose.  The health benefits have to be worth it.  Besides, I got the best of the best, and I’m going to use all 53 dollars of it, dang it.  By the way, Jon almost choked when I told him how much it cost, but then I reminded him that our insurance doesn’t cover chemo drugs, which I’m told will cost about $150 a month because there is no generic brand for those kinds of drug cocktails.  He stopped choking about the cod liver oil.  Now I’m the one doing it (GAG).  Is the gagging worth a try?  I think so.  Now all I have to deal with is his triumphant smirk every time I try to swallow the most disgusting thing ever created.
My line-up: Flax seed oil, Fermented Cod Liver Oil (the highest quality out there),
and fruit juice to chase them both quickly down.


  1. You are amazing and continually inspire me. Keep on fighting! Love your sense of humor through all this -- it was almost enough to get me to gag down some cod liver oil. Almost. ;) I'll stick to salmon and flax seed for now - I don't think Steve will mind if I encourage him to fish more this summer.

  2. I take fish oil capsules on a regular basis. They are good for the brain, but also the cardiovascular system, which is a big plus with those Mower genes. Also, if you get the enteric-coated ones, they don't even have a fishy aftertaste.

  3. The Costco brand enteric coated ones are high quality and much cheaper than the cod liver oil. The reason you may feel better taking the cod liver over the flax seed is that flax seed contains the Omega 3's as ALA. Only a small percentage of the ALA is converted to a usable form in our body versus taking a source that provides the Omega 3's as DHA and EPA.