This is my last morning in Asia, and over breakfast, I texted Strand (paraphrased): Have I mentioned that I don’t feel nearly as crap as I thought I would after this kind of travel, plus having been in Europe the week before last? This massive reduction in eating wheat has worked!
A few years ago, I stopped eating most wheat products and tried a “low inflammation diet,” but that was partly (mostly; actually) a cover for the fact that I had stopped eating…period. This time around, one of my doctors had suggested that I might have a (very trendy) gluten sensitivity, and wheat is highly inflammatory anyway, so maybe I should try cutting way back on bread.
As everyone knows, I am not very good at moderation. So…there was obviously a massive risk involved in anyone suggesting I try any kind of restrictive eating . And no one was minding me, so there was that, too. In other words, this was a combination for complete disaster. Like, for reals.
But I was desperate for anything that would reduce inflammation in my body, and I was getting sick constantly from the medication I was taking to achieve the same end, so disaster had struck anyway. There was really not much else to go wrong.
I searched “gluten-free” on Fresh Direct. I bought brown rice bread (which I loved); I bought gluten-free sauces, and pastas, and salad dressings. I already eat a lot of Asian foods, so that rice-based stuff made life easy — it was the checking labels and asking questions that was trickier, and that mattered more.
I didn’t cut out bread or wheat or gluten entirely. I just cut back — a lot. And shockingly, I began to feel much better. Of course, I imagine that the medication I was taking was also helping (which I have since stopped taking because the side effects I was having were so atypical that I was literally losing the will to live). But the way I have been eating was probably helping quite a bit too — since there’s absolutely no way I could have been on the drugs I have been on and have been functioning at the level on which I’ve been operating if some part of my body hadn’t been working.
Interesting, wrote Strand, We’ll have to get a gluten-free cookbook.
The upshot here is that my inflammatory response is now under control. I have travelled 15 of 30 days of April; run 3 races; been in 6 countries and taken an astronomical number of meetings…and have suffered little more than a touch of a head-cold. (And a root canal, but that’s neither here nor there).
In other words, I strongly recommend cutting back on the wheat products. And I’d really like a high-five for managing to do something in moderation, for once.
That said, here are some things I like:
1) Brown Rice Bread:
2) A gluten-free eggplant parmesan-type dish that I made:
– rice pasta (I used spirals, since that was all I could find)
-gluten-free pasta sauce (I used “Classico” brand, since they made clear they were gluten-free)
-fresh mozzarella, sliced
-roasted eggplant slices (purchased fresh, pre-roasted from Fresh Direct because I was running out of time)
-fresh parmesan, grated
Cooked the pasta; combined ingredients in a baking dish layers; topped with fresh parmesan cheese; baked at 375F for about 1/2 hour. This is awesome. You’re welcome.
3) Aki Sushi avocado rolls. Period.
4) Continuing my theme of yuppie-asshole-juice-cleansing-expensive-eating-nonsense, Blueprint Bars. The reality is, no human being should eat these. When I hear myself say things about my grotesque taste in spa food, or read myself write about the same, I literally cringe. But I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t like yuppie cold pressed veggie juice, and I didn’t gab with my colleague about which cleanse we are going to do next. You guys…I actually like the taste of this shit. I think it is good.
The joke’s on me. I spend my hard-earned money on $10 bottles of vegetable juice and associated $30 boxes of fruit bars and think I am getting a “bargain.”
Anyway, they’re gluten-free; wheat-free and really tasty.
5) Sweet Potato Fries. Sometimes I order these in; sometimes I buy them. You never see these in my freezer because if I buy them, I eat the whole damned bag.
So that is the tale of how I spent the last 6+ weeks vomiting, having my tooth operated on, ceasing my love affair with bread, travelling like a madwoman, running shitty races, not relapsing, and generally embracing change in the form of love, acceptance, going back to the places that hurt, surviving, and eating brown rice.