W30 Round 2, Reintro Day 10: Gluten
Yesterday I reintroduced gluten but I wanted to wait until today to write my post. Many of the symptoms or side effects from these traditionally inflammatory foods can take a little while to show up, like overnight. So to be sure I was giving it to you straight, I waited until the morning to see how I felt. Here’s what went down:
WHAT I ATE
Oh hai first Snow Day of the season. 🌬🌨❄️ At least they let us know at 6pm the night before so that all of us parents could make arrangements and/or mentally prepare for an unplanned day home with our kids. I took advantage of that heads up and slept the hell in! And instead of a long, involved breakfast I kept it super easy. I’ve been known to microwave a bowl of Grape-Nuts and almond milk to a porridge-like consistency on cold winter mornings. Thought I’d experiment with that and see what happened. I’d usually put a packet of Splenda (!) or a scoop of sugar in the mix to sweeten it up but the cereal with New Barn Vanilla Almondmilk was perfect just as it was. I had no immediate response to the cereal – stomach was fine. Which was really nice since the kids and I immediately put on our snow gear and headed outside. Ain’t no one want to run to the bathroom with that many layers on!
I needed to warm up after that snow outing. Holy moly it was windy! Like little ice darts flying at your face. No thanks. I had made a batch of Creamy Tomato Basil Soup from Simone Miller’s new cookbook Paleo Soups & Stews last night and was excited for leftovers today. This book is a GEM! My youngest declared this soup “better than the stuff in the can. This is the best tomato soup I’ve ever had Mom!” And would you believe this has a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably have stocked in your pantry right now?! I found a bag of chopped kale in the frozen section of Whole Foods the other day so I threw a few fistfuls into this as it was reheating on the stove. But the real test was the leftover pulled chicken on a potato roll. These potato rolls are a staple in our hamburger game so I really wanted to see if I could partake now and then or if I should steer clear. This sat like a rock in my stomach. And I immediately knew that I would have been JUST as happy with the chicken on a Siete Foods almond flour or cassava-coconut tortilla. I’ve also gotten used to eating protein in lettuce wraps so as delicious as the potato roll was to have again, the feeling afterward just wasn’t worth it.
I had a large serving of Dang Coconut Chips because I didn’t want to make much. And I was about to cut up an apple but I looked at the clock and was all 5:30?! Where did the afternoon go?! I thought it was closer to 3:30! WHOA! That meant I had to start making dinner 😭
And this was the meal to try pasta. I actually don’t really miss pasta because I know it’s a “food with no brakes” for me. Like I’ll tuck into a pot of buttered noodles and not GAF. I’ve also found gluten-free pasta alternatives that taste like the real thing and more importantly, leave me feeling like a million bucks instead of lead belly after the meal. BUT, in the name of the Scientific Theory, I put pasta to the test. Because the reality is that my husband LURVS the rigatoni bolognese from Patsy’s Pizzeria here in the city. And there will be some times when he’ll beg me to split it with him. So I need to know where I stand when we’re doing halfsies. I made a pan of simple s&p shrimp and had a single zucchini left to sauté for the kids and I. And then the mini bow tie pasta. Thought I’d dress it up a bit with the Basil-Spinach Pesto I made earlier in the day. Again in the name of experimenting, I had a pretty large serving of the pasta.
I felt pretty full after the meal, like uncomfortably full and a bit bloated. Nothing terrible, but given how much I ate quantity-wise I should have felt fine. WOULD have felt fine w GF pasta? And ugh my digestion slowed to a CRAWL. Not pleasant. When I woke up this morning I felt a little tight in my hands, much like the morning after the alcohol experiment. There was no headache, my stomach was back to normal, and the mild stiffness/tightness in my joints went away pretty quickly. So not entirely fun, but not miserable at all.
WHERE I’M AT
It’s been my experience through the years that the inflammatory foods we eliminate during the Whole30 affect me in fairly specific ways. Like with the reintroduction of non-gluten grains and dairy, I had a pretty good idea of what to look out for: headaches and stomach issues, maybe joint pain. The first two symptoms show up rather quickly. For gluten I had a hunch that regardless if I had stomach issues or not I would need to wait and see about joint pain the following morning. That ended up being pretty accurate this time around again.
With all that being said, I just don’t miss gluten enough to incorporate it into my diet in any regular way. And I feel that way about most of the traditionally inflammatory foods going forward. I have great alternatives I can rely on when eating at home. And when I’m out, particularly trying new restaurants in the city, I know that if I do my best I’ll be ok. I’m going to have one of my dad’s famous crepes when he makes them. I’m MOS DEF having Kansas sweet corn this summer. I’m going to reincorporate rice into my diet, and gluten-free oats for breakfast and as an addition to meatloaf and meatballs. But the past 40 days has strengthened my meal planning and expanded my meal repertoire. I’m feeling in control in a positive way. And I feel like there are numerous resources to fight food boredom. A little work goes a loooooong way 😉
So I’m signing off on my second round of the Whole30! I’m now going to take rock + paper + skillet back to its mission of showing you what I’m cooking, what I’m making, where I’m going, and what I’m doing here in New York City and wherever the days and nights take me. Who knows, maybe I’ll even get something(s) up under my Travel tab soon!
Thanks for coming along with me on this journey. Don’t be a stranger. And tell your friends!