One of the original plans around this blog was to tell part of my story around my love of food. How I live, adventure and tell my stories around the food that I experience, create and share with others. It’s why I have categories on this blog dedicated to baking, food and other such things.
As is often the case with the best laid plans – things didn’t work out so well. Shortly after my Coq au Vin post – a rather disastrous experiment (I won’t bother to link), where I couldn’t find Burgundy wine in this provincial part of my city, and my alcohol substitutions turned my bird purple, I started feeling ill.
Clearly this is not something I was going to whine on a blog about, and since this illness took over my life for the next four years, my ideas of food adventures slowly ground to a halt.
To be fair, this has been something of a food adventure considering that I’ve had to adjust my way of approaching food ever since then. It’s been a long, painful journey and for a brief time I thought, “oh what the hell, am I dying?” I even had my gallbladder removed – and while incredibly diseased and needing to be taken out, it didn’t fix most of what ailed me. I tried medication, I tried exercise and yoga, I tried ignoring it.
I finally tried fasting and that seemed to bring relief. So clearly, something I was eating had been causing me distress, and it was something I was consuming enough of, to cause me enough discomfort to drastically impact my way of life. So then comes the next fun (or not so much) part. Elimination.
I started with the biggest items first working way down a list I created, figuring a lifestyle change couldn’t hurt anyway. I started with dairy as I’ve already given most of that up already. Next up was alcohol. Done and done. Still, unbearable.
Moved onto coffee – probably the most profound change up until this point. Able to consume a pot a day on my own each morning, I braced myself for the inevitable caffeine withdrawal headaches that… never came. After a week without coffee, I noticed a drastic reduction in the amount of anxiety or anxiousness I felt as a baseline “mood”. Nice. However, still – digestive issues still problematic.
I abandoned all processed sugar, all drinks that weren’t water, most processed and packaged foods were out, only whole foods, vegetables, and if I was stuck on what to eat or make, I was fortunate enough to have fresh vegetables or fruit at my disposal. I was starting to work my way through eliminating various flours and grains when I stumbled upon someone somewhere talking about having to quit eggs?
Me quit eggs? Oh hell no. Eggs are in everything. They are all of the things, and they’re very important to me. I LOVE eggs, they’re one of my favorite foods. One of the last meals I had before lockdown was a big steak with two eggs over easy on top. Whenever I need comfort I scramble eggs. Sometimes I’d eat eggs twice a day. Eggs were… well… well shit.
I quit eggs and within 48 hours the difference was drastic. I feel – dare I say it – almost normal. I would never call it an allergy – based on my bit of “armchair research” this is something called an intolerance. Although I will say unironically, for the first time in 7 years, I have been able to stop taking daytime and night time allergy medication to breathe due to year round “allergies”.
I’m looking at photos of myself today compared to a couple of months ago, and the differences are shocking. Gone are the rosacea-like inflamed cheeks and skin, the stippling rash and the flaky skin. I’m not certain that all of the things I eliminated were bothering me but I’m happy enough with them out of my life to never pick them back up again.
The next chapter in this adventure is going to entail me finding creative ways to create my favorite food without my… favorite foods. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ve already started creating a few recipes with decent substitutions.
I don’t miss a thing.