After the marathon wagon-falling debacle of the previous week, I decided not to reintroduce any particular food for Week 4, instead choosing to just recalibrate the arl’ self-discipline wheel and get straight back on the horse. Also, to limit my mixed metaphor usage.
Amazingly, after that fateful day a week and a bit ago of pigging out on numerous carbohydrates, chocolate (which I was never even that into, before), cheese and alcohol-various, I haven’t put on any weight at all, not even after the ‘golden week’ (where your body cons you into thinking it’s not going to expand, before exploding around the hips on the eighth day after sinning).
I can only attribute this equilibrium to my insistence on getting those five walking miles in every day, regardless of how rubbish I might be feeling. Also, unsurprisingly, my magic tea has been working wonders again. It’s a real cure-all. Not only has it had an outrageously healthy effect on my gut and my HS, but it cures hangovers, too. On the two occasions last week when I would usually have had no option but to lie in bed all day binge-watching Robin of Sherwood, I actually managed to shift myself to the kettle and make pots of steaming hot turmeric & ginger tea. An hour later, in both cases, my hangover had dissipated completely and I was able to do other things with my day which didn’t involve cheese on toast or self-pity.
So last week was all about getting back on an even keel so, should I start reacting to any future foods, I can have more of a solid idea as to what the trigger is, as opposed to it being “one of the 17 foods I shouldn’t have eaten on Sunday”. Cheese is gone again (but not for long), as are the Ripples, late night processed panini and the Dairylea Lunchables. And boy, did I feel rubbish after I’d ingested that lot… it’s just not worth it.
Back came the salmon & sweet potato fries and the huge fruit salads I like to make on Monday mornings. However, a few days ago I made cauliflower tortillas to go with some chicken & tomato stew, and which I couldn’t help throwing a pinch of chilli powder into. There I go again, I’m my own worst enemy. But it’s been a safe, steady week and I am yet to experience any reaction, either to the chilli powder, or to the thousand E-numbers I drowned myself in ‘that’ Sunday. So far, so calm.
To be honest, there are only a few major food triggers which I’m yet to try out, and I don’t know whether to feel excited or cautious about that. Yeast, I’ve kind of been experimenting with in the form of lager, wine and cider, though I’m really hankering after mushrooms. Foods with hidden yeast include yoghurts, mayonnaise, vinegar, sour cream, even Quorn, but again, nothing to concern me.
Grains are slightly more of a challenge, as I know they’re a massive problem for a lot of people, not just those with an autoimmune disease. I’ve noticed for a few years now, regardless of the HS that, no matter how much I love bread (and I do love, it a lot…), it just doesn’t love me. Eating gluten-free bread doesn’t make me feel bad at all, which should be great, but there are two main problems with this. Firstly, it’s so bloody expensive, it would need to taste amazing for me to ever buy it again. Secondly, it doesn’t taste amazing. Ergo…
And of course the grain family also includes pasta, rice and anything else that goes down great after a night on the ale. I’m not brave enough to reintroduce grains yet, mainly because you rarely eat just the grain (save for rice) – it has to go with ten other ingredients to ‘make’ something out of it, and most of those ingredients will still be banned for me, so that’s a logistical headache I’m purposely avoiding.
So the next food group to tackle is dairy. Yes, I cheated previously with the Dairylea Lunchables but, let’s face it, I’d be amazed if there’s actually any real dairy in anything from Dairylea. I don’t think even those horrible little dry biscuits that come in the tub have proper grains in them. Like the bacon and cheese panini I wolfed down at three o’clock in the morning, Dairylea Lunchables are a frankenfood, but because I’m not dead yet, I think I dodged those particular bullets, my free pass well and truly used up.
I’m not sure if I’m allowed to reintroduce dairy-various, or choose one item at a time (which would take years, surely?), so I’ll be kind of winging it. My instinct is to have a cottage cheese omelette for brekkie, cheddar & Mozzarella salad for lunch, then some chicken in a tomato & mascarpone sauce, with cheese & sweet potato cakes on the side. And a cheese souffle for pudding. What? Too much?
Coming up: Week 5 – Dairy