I started Whole30 last week in an attempt to figure out if my body's functional problems were related to something I was eating. I was still experiencing some residual effects of the gastrointestinal discomfort for the first day or two, but by Day Three, it had disappeared. By Day Five, my stomach had flattened out. I hadn't really lost weight, but the inflammation in my body from several weeks of distress had finally subsided. It looked like I'd lost a few pounds. I felt great!
The transition didn't leave me with a sugar crash, as I'd anticipated. I had occasional sweet tooth cravings, but I'd temper it with a watered down glass of orange juice or a handful of grapes... and it worked. I didn't believe it would, but it did! (Those who know me understand my love of all things chocolate.) One day, a work lunch featured a taco bar. I loaded up my plate with ground beef, diced chicken, jalapeños, lettuce, tomatoes, and olives. I stayed away form the cheese, sour cream, and taco sauce. I took one tortilla so no one would give me bizarre looks (I didn't feel like explaining myself) and discarded it after my meal. My deconstructed tacos tasted wonderful, and I remained loyal to my plan!
On Friday, the beau and I traveled up north for a weekend getaway at a bed and breakfast. I packed a cooler with food to cook in our fully functional kitchen, so I would be prepared to stick to my Whole30 challenge. After seven hours of travel (and briefly getting stuck in a blizzard), I cooked up a Whole30- and beau-friendly meal: Italian sausage made with pork and chicken served over a sauteéd blend of onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, garlic, and jalapeños, covered in a veggie-lover's spaghetti sauce. The flavor combination tasted like pizza! I didn't even miss the crust or garlic bread.
The next morning, I cheated on Whole30. Our wonderful hosts cooked an amazing breakfast of homemade scones with lemon curd and raspberry jam. Yeah, there was no way I could look her in the face and say, "I'm on a special short-term diet, and even though you got up early to cook this for me, I'm not going to eat it." No chance in hell could I say that to this sweet lady! So, I ate it. I also had a baked egg (I did ask for no cheese on the egg) and a sausage link. I waited for several hours to see if my body would react horribly to my diet cheat, but other than my stomach digesting very loudly, I saw no ill effects. For lunch I got right back on the wagon and ordered a broiled whitefish fillet with roasted vegetables at a local restaurant.
The next morning, our wonderful host made Dutch pancakes (oven baked pancakes with fruit in them). Again, I couldn't say no. I figured I'd get right back on the wagon after another delicious B&B breakfast. But at that point I'd already resigned to the fact that I cheated that weekend and so I justified to myself another indulgence at lunch: a grilled cheese sandwich. They are such a delightful comfort food to me, though nothing about it was Whole30! It came with sweet potato fries and an aioli dipping sauce. We also started lunch with a mushroom appetizer.
Boy, did I pay for it. But not in the way you might think.
After finishing my meal, my tongue started to go numb. The sides and roof of my mouth felt sore, similar to that feeling of burning your mouth on hot pizza and experiencing that tingly soreness the next day. My mouth filled with the taste of metal. What was going on? I was having an allergic reaction! Thankfully, nothing severe happened, and these were my only symptoms. However, they did not subside all day. My mouth was still sore and tasted like metal ten hours later, when I was going to bed. I lost my appetite for the rest of the day, nibbling on only a few kalamata olives to put something in my stomach.
Even this morning--- though the reaction had subsided--- I didn't have much of an appetite. I ate a few roasted almonds for breakfast, and brought an apple and orange to work, but I have yet to touch them. I've been wracking my brain, trying to determine what caused the reaction. I believe it was an ingredient in the aioli, or something in a seasoning that caused it. Unfortunately, because I did not prepare it myself, I can't narrow it down further than that.
I am, however, right back on Whole30. I'm even determined to turn it into a Whole32, to make up for the two days I cheated on during my weekend trip. This morning my gut was back to hating me, proving that I need to stick with this in order to get well. I pledge to be far more strict on my intake now, and if anyone tries to tell me a little cheat won't hurt, I'll remember the penalty I paid the last time I broke protocol.