Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I Just Want a Cheeseburger!

I might be one of those annoying, pretentious people on a special diet, but I have to grudgingly admit that I think it's actually working.

Who knew? What you put in your body actually has an affect on how you feel and look.


Two weeks on this ridiculous diet and I am already starting to feel better. Everything they promise you when cutting out wheat, grains, sugar, processed foods, and chemicals actually does happen. Your skin clears up, the brain fog dissipates, you lose weight, the bloating deflates, and the energy returns. And if one has issues with halitosis, it clears that up too, because Candida and the bacteria from oversugared foods is what causes bad breath, even if you brush your teeth three times a day.

The only thing that does not happen as they say is the cravings go away.

That's a load of crap.

I've been very good about sticking to the diet, mostly because I threw away everything I can't have to get rid of the temptation, but visions of cake, chocolate, specialty coffees, and ice cream still dance through my dreams at night.

The other night I decided I'd been so good and I could only give up three vices at once, so I caved and had a glass of white wine.

I waited with breath that was bated for my stomach to balloon up and turn me into a pseudo pregnant lump again.

Nothing happened. I enjoyed my wine immensely and did not turn into a pufferfish.

Here is a typical day for me. It starts with a handful of supplements, the main ones being berberine and a probiotic to help with the tummy issues, and a cup of bone broth. Then I usually eat hard boiled eggs or a cup of plain Greek yogurt with berries for breakfast. I'm usually not hungry by lunch because I snack on carrots, celery with almond butter, nuts and seeds, and a square of 86 or 72% cacao chocolate (and truth be told I'm getting damned sick of that shit - I MISS MY MILK CHOCOLATE!) For dinner I make some kind of meat with olive oil (no butter for me) and a salad or steamed vegetable or baked root vegetable or something.

I'm starving to death.

Just kidding. I have a tendency to be dramatic.

I can't have coffee so I drink tea, but I'm here to tell you, tea is just not as satisfying as coffee.  And it's doubly unfair because I never put sugar in my coffee, and if I have to cut out all sugar, why does that include my sacred morning coffee?

Oh, yeah. I have to cut out caffeine.

Oh, poop.

I do cheat foodwise. I made curry the other night. Everything in it was on the list of okay foods except the tomato sauce. I'm not supposed to have tomatoes and definitely not tomato sauce in a jar.

The curry was delicious. It was worth it. I did pay for it, though.

Twenty years ago, you couldn't find anything gluten free, let alone anything with limited ingredients. Now, instead of potato chips there are sweet potato chips baked with only coconut oil and salt. Instead of saltines and Wheat Thins (oh, Wheat Thins, how I miss you), you can get sprouted crackers made with seeds, sprouts, and rosemary and thyme.

Not even kidding.

I didn't think I could find a cracker not made of grains. Gluten free crackers are made with rice. But these sprouted crackers don't have a single grain or processed ingredient.

And quinoa seems to be the "new thing." Instead of rice or pasta, just whip up a batch of this stuff and it's like rice or even couscous.

Speaking of pasta, I found pea flour pasta made from 100% peas and buckwheat pasta. Most gluten free pastas are made of rice or corn, and the quinoa pasta is half corn. I can't have corn or rice or any other grains except quinoa and buckwheat.

How lucky is that?

Twenty years ago I would have really starved to death. But now there are so many choices. I don't have to just live on grilled salmon and sauteed spinach with asparagus.

There's never been a better time to be pretentious and on a special diet.

The thing is, with all of these healthy substitutes, it's still never going to be the same. Sweet potato chips are delicious, but they do not hit the spot when one just wants a bagful of greasy potato chips. I like the Boulder Canyon potato chips cooked in olive oil, and while they are better than Ruffles, they do still bother my stomach.

And stove popped popcorn in olive oil? Yummy. But they do not beat the movie theater popcorn with fake butter drizzled all over it.

Also, popcorn bothers my stomach.

My huge weakness is fries. I love fries. Sweet potato fries are good, but sometimes a good old plate of greasy diner French fries is the only thing that will ease the craving. This last weekend all I really wanted was a cheeseburger. I ended up settling for vegetable stir-fry with venison and quinoa, and it was very good, but it was not a cheeseburger. I also got to have wine with it, but the wine wasn't very good.

I should have cheated with an ice cream bar instead. Red wine at least has some heart healthy something or other that winos like me think makes it legit to indulge in. Meanwhile, ice cream has absolutely zero redeeming qualities. So when I cheat, I cheat with wine rather than sugar-laden ice cream, and tell myself at least the wine is sort of healthy.

Sure it is.

I tried coconut whipped cream in a desperate attempt to get some kind of whipped yummy goodness. Forget it. I just ended up with stirred coconut milk. Coconut milk is good, and I didn't mind it poured over my strawberries, but it wasn't whipped cream.

Also so much coconut milk did make my stomach hurt.

It is possible to overdo "healthy."

Everything in moderation right?

Although, my big secret is that I baked a loaf of my mother's homemade gluten-saturated bread for California Guy this weekend and I actually had a small piece of it.

Don't tell my doctor.

I don't know if it's the two weeks on a strict diet of roughage and protein, or the daily cup of bone broth, but my stomach actually accepted this deviant piece of bread with no complaints.

I may one day be able to digest small amounts of gluten again without looking like I'm ready to pop out twins. If I stick to mostly healthy eating, indulge in "bad foods" only occasionally, and drink my bone broth, my stomach will heal itself to the point where I won't be as gluten sensitive.

I can have cupcakes again!


Again, everything in moderation.

I doubt, however, that I will ever be able to digest fast food or most processed foods again. That ship has sailed. But I will willingly give all that up permanently if the light at the end of the tunnel says I can indulge in homemade bread, the occasional croissant, or a cupcake.

Then I will eat my kale and broccoli with zero complaints.

Two typical dinners for someone restricted to my diet.
Definitely not a cheeseburger...

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