This weekend, I did not eat super well. I felt tired, headachey, and rumbly in the intestinal region. Here’s what I did.
Saturday, I didn’t have any breakfast. I got up, started reading, doing dishes, basically bustling around, and just never had a chance to eat. Lunch was far too much nasty burger meat from Wendy’s. I think I’m going to have to stop doing that. It doesn’t taste good, it doesn’t make me feel good, and it’s certainly not great for me. Maybe having some meats in the fridge and freezer that take less time to prepare than it does to hit up a drive-thru would help. I’m getting close. I’ve got some wild-caught salmon burgers, my ever-present Snow Creek burgers, etc. Just gotta make the effort. After how I felt this weekend, I have the motivation for sure.
For dinner, we went to Garcia’s, a Mexican restaurant. I got the combination fajitas, so there was shrimp, steak and chicken. It was all fabulous. I ate some corn tortillas with it, and a couple of chips with salsa. Probably not the best, but less terrible than flour, at least. I really loved the peppers and onions that they cooked up with the meat, too. It was all just fantastic. I even put sour cream and cheese on it, and didn’t have any real issues there. The food was awesome and I ate probably too much of it.
Sunday morning I was supposed to get together with one of Jenna’s coworkers and talk to her about paleo, but her daughter got sick and she couldn’t make it. It was disappointing because I’d really been looking forward to it, but totally understandable. All too soon, sick kids will be my reality as well, so I’m very sympathetic. Jenna and I still went out to eat, specifically to Mimi’s Café. I got their gluten free menu, which limited my choices to pretty much two things. I got fruit instead of the muffin, but still got my potatoes. The main dish was a sausage omelet, and it was pretty good. It also came with juice. So here I am, drinking cranberry juice, eating some potatoes, eating fruit, and eating my omelet. I didn’t have a ton of potatoes, but that is still a lot of sugar/starch to dump into my system after getting used to so little. Almost immediately thereafter, I got a headache and started feeling really sleepy. It’s weird. I haven’t had post-meal fatigue since I started this whole gig. I didn’t realize that until it happened again after a long absence, but it’s true. I also don’t really get headaches at all, and never really have. It sucked. Since I do eat eggs, sausage, fruit, and even drink some juice (naked Juice’s Green machine, which my wife buys because she always thinks she’ll drink it, even though she rarely does), the only thing that’s new in that whole mix is the potatoes. The cranberry juice was also almost certainly sweetened with HFCS or something, so that could also be the culprit. I’ve been almost completely HFCS-free as far as I know for a long time now. I’ve been avoiding it even better than I have gluten! So anyway, I don’t know for sure what caused the reaction, but after a few hours it had gone and I felt normal again.
That’s an important thing to note. My normal has changed. Post-meal fatigue, GI problems, and a lot of other things had been my normal. They weren’t life-threatening or so severe that they interfered with my daily life to any great degree, but they were an almost daily occurrence. It’s amazing what you can learn to live with and accept as being okay just because it’s common. Things that occur regularly aren’t necessarily okay, for the record. Sometimes bad things happen all the time. Unfortunately, due to the nature of human psychology, it’s only when they’re removed and then introduced that we really notice them.
That’s important for dinner. We didn’t have lunch, just a late breakfast and an early-ish dinner. Dinner was at a place near our house that we’d never been to, but always wanted to try called Mark Pi’s. Rather, it used to be called Mark Pi’s, now it’s called the Parker Asian Grill. But Mark Pi’s Chicken is still on the menu. Maybe he left, but they kept his chicken? I have no idea. Anyway, they are actually pretty good at making things gluten free, which is a positive since we went with a couple of friends who also keep gluten free. I got the Cashew Chicken, the first time I’ve had it. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to a Chinese restaurant before and not had something battered and fried, so that’s probably why. Anyway, it was tasty. Had a creamy ginger sauce or some such on it that was quite good. I also ate my whole bowl of fried rice. I also had one of my wife’s steamed pork dumplings. This is where I think my trouble began.
The weekend felt like it had been a bit of a failure already, so I thought “What’s the harm?” It turns out, that the harm was some pretty significant gross feelings in my stomach. Here’s the thing, though. People keep saying that the whole gluten removal thing is a dodge, because if you remove any food for a while and add it back in, it can make you feel gross. Let me clarify. This gross feeling was the exact same gross feeling I used to have almost every day. I know it well. I used to expect it, even. Almost every day after lunch, or after a big meal, I would get this exact feeling. Adding gluten back in isn’t making me feel sick in a new way, it’s making me feel sick in the exact same way I used to feel ALL THE TIME. I hadn’t even realized how long it had been since I’d felt it, but it is an intensely familiar feeling. I’ve overeaten paleo meals more times than I’d like to count, but I’ve never gotten that feeling, so I know it isn’t just being overfull. It’s not a constant thing, either. It sort of comes in waves, and that may relate to some other process in my body that’s reacting with it or something. I really don’t know, but I know it’s two days later and I’m still feeling it a bit sometimes.
Anyway, after experiencing the headache and fatigue from acutely over-sugaring myself and the nasty stomach issues associated with eating gluten, I’m more convinced than ever that I’ve made the right choice. I’m still not going to be perfect. I will eat some sugary things sometimes, I will probably eat more gluten at some point, and I’m going to keep enjoying my dairy on a daily basis. I’m striving for >80% compliance, and I think I’m well within that. If I start to plateau on my weight loss, or on my fitness (which I kinda need to start doing to know if I’m plateauing) then I can crank it down to see if that will help. For now, I think I’ve found a good balance that keeps me happy, healthy and getting leaner by the day.