A Ninja By Any Other Name

Greetings Ninjas in Training!

Names of things can be confusing.

Sometimes, for example, you don’t realize the Australian word for “cantaloupe” is “rockmelon.” After a thoroughly American search of the ancient predecessor of The List, you excitedly eat a slice of totally safe cantaloupe, only to be confounded when you start wheezing and your legs stop working and you need your 90 lb friend to half carry you back to your dorm.


(This has happened to me multiple times with multiple 90 lb friends. I’m not sure what this says about me.)

“Look at me!” you cry, “I can’t walk across the room, all because I didn’t know the Australian word for cantaloupe.”

Sometimes, you can’t remember the name of the website that teaches important Ninja skills like “label reading” and “not dying,” because it’s ridiculously long and could be a variety of things. You need to look up a food, or share it with a friend, but… is it citricacidallergies? citricacidallergy? citricacidintolerance? citricacidisevil? No one knows.

(This has happened to me multiple times with multiple friends of a variety of sizes. I’m not sure what this says about me.)

I’ve been considering a name change for quite awhile, but it’s a complicated process so I don’t want to do it unless you, my Ninjas in Training, find it useful.

Based on the large number of searches for “Lemon Ninja” that result in hits for this website, it seems to me that LemonNinja.com (or LemonNinja.wordpress.com) is the most sensical change. Also, it just sounds awesome.


The thing is, this name change is something that would cost money. I’ve had a surprising number of kind Ninjas (let’s be honest, more than zero would be surprising, so more than more than zero is kind of blowing my mind??) offer to support this website with a donation… I’ve always said no thank you, because I love sharing knowledge and helping people sharpen their mad ninja skillz.

But maybe, just maybe, it would be worth accepting donations in the name of a name change. A Ninja by any other name does smell as sweet, but quite frankly, I don’t want to smell any of you; I just want to make it easy for you to find information, and if a name change facilitates that, I’d be happy to oblige!

So now we turn to our handy dandy poll to sort this out. Please know you are more than welcome to vote for a name change even if you aren’t up for donating. I am absolutely not asking for donations from anyone – I’m simply accepting from those who have oh so kindly offered, and if you’re like, “Hey, I have a million dollars and I totally don’t mind supporting my most favoritest website,” that’s cool too 🙂 Regardless, this website will always be available to everyone who needs it.

Edit: don’t worry, the original URL will still work! Saved links and posts will not be broken thanks to the magic of redirects.

That’s all for now. Until next time, when life gives you lemons, RUN!

The Lemon Ninja

Survey of Science

Greetings Ninjas in Training!

Many of you have been sending me emails that pose a very important scientific question: can ninjas eat chocolate?

I have been dutifully scouring food science journals in search of an answer, knowing how desperately you need this potentially life-sustaining knowledge.

While I’m flattered that my little ninjalings need their sensei/geek monkey, turns out I need a little help from you too!  So now I pose a question: can you eat chocolate?

Think about the last time you ate chocolate. It is important that this chocolate did not contain any added citric acid, or soy lecithin if that is something you react to. With that experience in mind, please answer this poll:

You can refer to this page if you’re not sure what your tolerance is. The units in the poll – % citric acid – are the same as the units on the page – g citric acid per 100 g of food. A percent sign is just much more concise for fancy science polls. If you’re still figuring out your exact tolerance, no worries, just pick your best guess!

Thanks my darling ninjas! That is all for now.

Until next time, when life gives you lemons, RUN!
The Lemon Ninja

Stop Licking Your Spinach

Greetings, ninjas-in-training!

I hope you’re all having a lovely end of summer/winter.  I’ve made some massively exciting, life-changing updates to the site (ok, slight exaggeration), so clearly I must shout all the new information from the rooftops.

Actually, that’s way too much work, so I’m just going to explain and link here on the blog instead.

Change #1 is a minor correction to “the list.”  I had “spinach” listed as 0.2g/100g, when in fact there are two kinds of spinach on the list.  English spinach, which is what Americans tend to refer to as just plain spinach, actually has a citric acid value <0.1g/100g.  Water spinach, which is part of a different botanical family, has 0.2g/100g.  So now you can stop licking your spinach to see what happens. Thanks to Shidoshi John for catching that!

Change #2 is simply a clarification of information already on “the list.”  All of the foods marked as containing “trace” amounts of citric acid are now listed as <0.1g/100g.  If you bop on over to the NUTTAB 2010 Online Searchable Database, you might notice that the foods listed as <0.1g are not on the NUTTAB citric acid list.  If you look up the foods individually, you’ll see they are listed as having 0.0g of citric acid.  “What the heck?” you ask?  I’ll tell you a little story about it…

Once upon a 2008, when Lemon Ninja was just a half-dead baby ninja who didn’t know what to eat, these foods were on the citric acid list, with a value of 0.0g/100g.  “What the heck?” she asked, “Are there random citric acid-free foods on this list, or is this just extremely confusing decimal rounding?” The lovely people of NUTTAB explained that these foods contained “trace amounts” of citric acid (i.e. <0.1g), but as they rounded values to one decimal, they were listed as 0.0g.

When the NUTTAB 2010 came out, they decided to remove these foods from their list for the sake of brevity.  Thankfully, baby ninja had saved the old list in a word document, so she was able to include those foods on her incredibly shiny version of the list.  *strikes impressive ninja pose*

IFWT_Rangers2That’s all for now, my ninjalings! Enjoy your new learning tools, and until next time… when life gives you lemons, RUN!
The Lemon Ninja

Did you know: America is not the only place with internet

Greetings, lemon ninjas in training!

I have been doing many a happy dance over all of the ninja-tific e-mails I’ve received the past couple of days.  One e-mail caught me by surprise: it was from an awesome ninja in training who lives in this magical land called Canada, eh, where some soft drinks are not made with corn syrup.

This e-mail made me curious for a more specific answer to the question in my last post, “Where did all of you come from?!!”  So I checked my blog stats, and did this:

Okay, so you come from a lot of places!  This is the part where I apologize for assuming that no one outside the US would ever read this.  Actually I thought no one in the universe would read it, but that’s beside the point.

While most information on this site is universal, there are some things (e.g. food label regulations, general meat industry practices, and vitamin/body product brands) that are specific to my home country.  I’d like to work towards making this site more multinational, but in order to do that, sensei needs a little help from her students!

I just figured out this fancy poll thing, so it seems super cool and shiny and I’m going to use it for one question:

(If you could please put what country you’re from in the “Other” box, that would be helpful!)

Just kidding, I lied.  I’m going to use it for two:

Perhaps I should elaborate: “the list” of citric acid content in foods is from Australia.  I’ve found there are many foods not on the list that still contain citric acid, and I’m sure there are even more such foods for those of you in countries where they eat more than cheeseburgers.  After many years of unfortunate incidents, I’ve developed some specific strategies for deciding whether or not a food item is safe.  It’s not foolproof, but I like to think it’s better than just randomly stuffing things in my mouth and seeing what happens.  (That was my old strategy.  Self-directed ninja training is hazardous.)

Thanks again for all of the excellent feedback and questions! I’ll keep updating, and as always… when life gives you lemons, RUN!

The Lemon Ninja

Wax On, Wax Off (as long as it’s not lemon-scented)

Greetings, Ninjas in Training!

Apologies for not updating this website for approximately 1.5 centuries.  After a long health crisis in the family, I returned here in hopes of distraction… and boy did I find it.

Where did all of you come from?!!  I was all excited when I left and this site had 36 views… now it’s over 3,100.  I feel like I should do some sort of awesome flip thing in appreciation, but as I doubt the gymnastics-watching marathons I’ve been having will translate into actual skill…

That's totally me

I’ve updated the site instead.

Your guidebook to ninjahood now includes better instructions on label reading, a few new “safe foods,” more ingredients on the label-watch list, and some new recipes.

I will continue to update in the coming months with more recipes, ingredients to avoid, and other ninja-related fun.  I’m hoping to start a page with resources on different “treatments” I and your fellow ninjas in training have tried, including sublingual antigen therapy, alkalizing your diet, DAO, adjusting your sugar intake, and more.  If you have any links to good resources on these or other treatments you’ve tried, please send them to me so I can include them.

I’d also love to hear about more of your favorite products or recipes!  Please know that if I don’t post your recipe, it’s not because I dislike it- I will only post recipes that are 100% free of citric acid for the time being, but I may eventually put up a page with low citric acid recipes.

As always, constructive feedback on anything is welcome.  This site is for you to earn your ninja katana, so I want to make it shiny and useful to you.

That’s all for now. Until we meet again… when life gives you lemons, RUN!
The Lemon Ninja

PS- This is a katana:

Kill ALL the lemons!You know you want one.