The night my body gave me the finger
I’ve been Primal for a little over six weeks. And other than a drink or two (of which I only drink whiskey or dirty martinis so hey, unflavored hard liquor has no carbs and olive juice is GOOD for you!) I hadn’t “cheated” once. I hadn’t felt the need.
I don’t feel deprived and I cook upwards of twice a day and try new recipes, new flavors. I bake with almond flour and Mike even made me an amazing little Primal Apple Pie! I can eat out with ease (skipping the bun or the side of rice in lie of an extra side of veggies or a side of shrimp skewers really isn’t that hard). Reaching for the heavy cream for my coffee or almonds or an apple for a snack or having three veggies with dinner instead of one and a starch is just how we eat now; it’s just what we do.
That being said, sometimes life shits in your hat.
My kids got sick on Wednesday night, within an hour of each other. Both hurled no less than every hour on the hour all night and through the next day into Thursday. I work at home as an Editor and I have a ton of vacation/sick time per year, so I’m the one who takes care of them when they’re sick. My husband would without a second thought; it just makes more sense for me to.
So after a full 24 hours on very little sleep, being puked on more times than I care to admit and – no joke – 18 loads of laundry (I swear, I’d wash one set of sheets and they’d puke on another. All. Day. Long.) – I looked at the clock and it was 5 pm.
Mike would be on his way home and I hadn’t even thought about dinner. The house was a mess, I had two kids on my person almost at all times, and had just spent the last 12 hours alone, cleaning up two teacup-human’s bodily explosions.
I was not cooking.
Not only was I not cooking, the thought of even getting off of my ass and preparing something small – eggs, a burger, cottage cheese, ANYTHING – was too much. Just too much.
So after six weeks of not having any grain at all, I had Mike stop off for sushi on his way home from work. I figure hell, if my “cheat” is sushi, than I’m a pretty damn healthy eater and I should be just fine. And we ate the hell out of the four rolls and miso soup.
Two hours later, the pressure I had been feeling in my lower abdomen all last year came back. I even went to a GYN for it because I was sure I had something wrong with me and my GI doc ruled anything out other than IBS (which I think is a crappy blanket diagnosis for so many things). So much pressure! The bloat! The gas! All from maybe…what? 1/2 c of white rice? I mean how much rice can be on two rolls? And maybe the tiny amount of tempura that was on one of them?
It lasted all the way into today and after a good CrossFit session this morning (I push-pressed 65 lbs for the first time!) and some yummy eggs and lots of water, I feel a bit better.
It was worth it, honestly, because there was just no way I was preparing any food myself last night and I relished and loved every bite. Likely, I will eat it again in the future, but maybe take some preventative enzymes prior now that I know what it does to me.
It was just an amazing lesson to me to notice how long I had felt that pain, that bloat, and thought it was normal. It wasn’t until I’ve lived without it the last almost two months that the difference was noticeable.
My intestinal issues had run the gamut from constipation to OMG-I’m-gonna-crap-my-pants-in-Target diarrhea to gas and bloating and just always feeling “off.” And the lesson I learned yesterday was that your body is not stupid.
It knows what it can take and what it can’t. Every person is different. Some people can handle everything fine (although I challenge everyone to removing grain for 2 weeks and then adding it back in and telling me they don’t notice a difference no matter how “normal” you feel before). Some people can’t tolerate dairy well. I can. Some people can handle legumes. Others get extremely bloated and gassy.
And it’s not until you step away and listen to your body that you learn how to take care of it. It speaks to you. Every day. With every food you eat.
You just need to listen.
And last night, my body flipped me the bird.