The title is a mouthful, I know, but I have quite a few updates to share.
Reversing Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
In March 2013, I experimented with eating and drinking wheat for the first time in approximately 2 years. As I detail in my post about my experience with gluten sensitivity, I used to have really horrible reactions to anything with gluten, including severe gastrointestinal distress that scaled depending on how much I ingested. Usually there was diarrhea involved, and larger doses would leave me vomiting before the diarrhea started.
I no longer suffer any gastrointestinal symptoms from ingesting wheat.
This is AWESOME. But... I still don't think I should eat it all that often, and I'll explain why, as I tell the story.
I have tested myself only a few times. First, was with Abita Brewing Company's Strawberry Harvest Lager. Anybody who has lived in New Orleans (which I did from 2002-2008) knows what a big deal Abita Strawberry is in the Spring. It's refreshing, delicious, and perfectly paired for the hot weather that inevitably comes early in New Orleans.
I remember being so utterly depressed in Spring 2011, roughly 6 or 7 months into my primal journey, when I drank an Abita Strawberry and promptly vomited it all back up.
So, I was pretty dang excited to be able to enjoy them again this year.
I definitely feel different after drinking a real beer with gluten than after drinking something alcoholic that's gluten-free. I feel more lethargic and have a much lower tolerance for gluten-full beer compared to gluten-free beer, or even wine or hard liquor. For that reason, for now, beers with gluten will remain a rare treat.
There have been 2 instances since then where I have eaten a fair amount of food made with wheat. Once was with a pizza, and once was at a food truck round up where I sampled a few sandwiches. After both of those instances, I did catch a cold, which was odd. I broke a 16 month or so streak of not getting sick (despite being around lots of sick people in an office on many occasions) after the first test.
I interpret this as meaning my body still doesn't accept wheat 100%, and that consuming it weakens my immune system, which isn't a good thing. Granted, the type of wheat I ate in these instances was improperly prepared (not soaked, sprouted, or fermented) and probably full of all sorts of gross chemical additives and dough conditioners. So, until I do a test with properly prepared bread without additives, I won't know if my reaction was due to the wheat/gluten itself or the extra junk that came along for the ride. The Weston A. Price Foundation has a ton of info about traditional, proper preparation of grains, and I plan to test myself with wheat prepared according to their guidelines eventually.
I'm still in the process of doing research and learning more about non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and also why it is reversible. I'm also learning more about the different strains of wheat. I'll put all of that into a much more detailed post later.
30-day Challenge + Convict Conditioning
Also since March, I've been including more gluten-free "treats" in my diet. I did this because I was feeling good about myself, my weight, my body composition, and my gut health, and therefore felt like it was OK for me to include these things more often. But, I have to admit: I overdid it a bit. My skinny jeans are just a little bit too tight right now, so as of yesterday I am on a 30-day primal/paleo challenge. In addition to reigning in the treats, I also need to cut back on alcohol consumption. And honestly, I think alcohol has had more of a negative impact on my health than the gluten-free goodies. Oh, and let's not forget eating out. Been doing way too much of that, and getting too many gross PUFA industrial seed oils in my body. Also, since moving to Miami Beach, I've learned I have quite the weakness for Venezuelan arepas. And, unfortunately, all of the brands that make the masarepa flour required for these delicacies use GMO corn. Bummer.
At any rate, for all of these reasons -- the experimentation with wheat, eating out too often, cooking too many gluten-free treats, and drinking a little too much booze recently -- I'm really excited to do a 30 day "reset".
I am also going to commit to daily exercise, and will be following the plan set out in the book Convict Conditioning by Paul Wade.
As I have said before, I have had the most difficult time keeping up with regular exercise since losing all that weight (except for walking. I walk a lot!) I'm going to post updates about once a week with my progress in the program, and I'll also provide the meal information for this 30 day period. I get so many requests for sample meal plans, and this will be the perfect opportunity for me to provide that over a 30 day period.
One of the reasons why I've had a hard time keeping up with regular exercise is because I am still figuring out how to feed myself (and my husband!) so that we are both eating enough to sustain a higher level of activity. This is going to be a real experiment, and I know it will be challenging, but I am looking forward to it. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot more eggs and avocados in my future ;-)
I'll post my first update in a couple of days.
Also, for daily food pics, follow me on Instagram, I'm @thecuriouscoconut
I am way overdue for having some sort of weekly round up post on the blog. In addition to links to news articles, blog posts, recipes, etc., I am also going to link to interesting new articles in the scientific literature (either newly published or older ones that are just new to me) with a short commentary from me regarding the significance of each. I'm going to call these round up posts "Short Communications".
Let me explain the reference: in scientific journals, in addition to full peer-reviewed research papers, there are often what are called "short communications" in the beginning of the journal (after the letters to the editor). They are, well, short articles meant to convey some new idea or finding that hasn't been tested thoroughly enough to constitute a full article. In medical journals, they can be descriptions of single case-studies.
I know it's kinda geeky, but I think it fits. And, after all, I am pretty geeky myself.
When I went primal in 2010, I not only overhauled my eating habits, but also my personal care habits. I ditched all the conventional beauty and body care products with known or suspected harmful ingredients and went for the "all natural" stuff at the health food store. Sometimes those products are not as effective as they should be, or they still contain some questionable or undesirable ingredients, so I decided to start testing out recipes for products myself at home so that I could control exactly what was going into them. Now, I make just about everything myself. I am excited to announce that I am going to start selling my tried and true creations under the brand name Bubo's Bounty! I'm getting close to launch. Stay tuned here and I'll give you all the information, and a link to the site, once it is finished. I'll also have a blog on the site with DIY recipes you can make at home yourself! EDIT: This project has been tabled (for now) and I may work on an e-book with my tried and tested recipes. Would that interest you?
One last thing...
I do have one other announcement to make, but I'll be doing it in a separate post very soon. It's exciting news related to the blog! I can't wait to share it with you.
Thanks for reading!