Monday, July 29, 2013

Paleo challenge accepted

I feel like IBS is a lifelong battle. Most days I feel great (owning to my already 90% clean diet), but that other 10% is so variable. As far as gluten-free grains go, my body can tolerate it's fair share, however, my body has been putting up a fight recently.

The worst part is that I don't actually know what I'm reacting to. Sometimes it's nightshades, and other times I can eat tomato sauce without any consequences.

So least to say I'm getting a bit frustrated. And there's only one thing to do when I get this frustrated: Go back to Paleo.

My "modified paleo" from an earlier blog post is getting an upgrade to "semi-serious paleo".

It means going back to preparing and cooking most meals. My glorious burger at Paradise Farms Beef Bistro will have to be bunless (not even the gluten free buns will suffice). My Mennonite-raised chicken plates will now have to be rice-less. My breakfasts will no longer light up my morning with brown-rice toast. I am toastless.

I'm going back to my paleo recipe books, and a grocery shopping "spree" at Ambrosia in North York has fulfilled my breakfast woes.

Paleo Rules:
1) No grains. At all. Not even rice (which is super heartbreaking... almost as heartbreaking as when a clinic colleague told me that rice is contaminated with arsenic. Not meaning to start a revolt here, but if anyone has this research info, please pass it my way.)

On the upside, just found a company that makes Grain-free cereal. I'm not kidding. Ironic since the company is named JK Gourmet. I saw the packages on the grocery store shelf and it was like I had found the holy grail of cereal. Just nuts, seeds, figs with hemp and chia... pour a little almond milk on top and I have a little bowl of protein and fiber heaven. 

2) Legumes are out. That's an easy one since I really don't appreciate being really gassy and bloated. It's just not my style. I still crave hummus, but it's not worth it if I can't digest it properly. GI tract, you win this battle.

3) Eating lots more fresh veggies. I crave them daily anyway, so now it's just about committing the time to go to farmer's markets and picking up fresh produce every few days.

4) No dairy. Easy peasy. My dairy replacements have always held a special place in my heart... which is basically attached to my stomach... metaphorically of course. I'd be pretty worried if they were anatomically connected. No one wants a hiatal hernia with two fused organs. That's serious BNB (bad news bears).

My latest dairy replacement joys: 
  • Cultured coconut milk - just like yogurt, only better.
  • Silk True Almond milk - all varieties. The dark chocolate flavour is so delicious! You can even use it when making a protein shake
  • Coconut Bliss chocolate coconut ice-cream bars. Dairy Queen, you can't even compare... go drown yourself in the pool. Seriously. If vanilla soft serve is Justin Bieber, then Coconut bliss bars are a genetic hybrid of Rosemary Clooney and Justin Timberlake. Bieber... you are way out of your league. Plus apparently he keeps spitting on people which I really don't understand. Perhaps he's just watched "Titanic" one too many times and is practicing how to "spit lik'a man."
5) Keeping out the potatoes, and limiting tomatoes. Except for sweet potatoes of course. Yams make excellent meal additions or snacks on days when you've had a great workout. Work up a sweat, eat a yam (make sure to sprinkle with cinnamon! Because really, you'd be crazy not to.)

6) Be creative with eggs. I'm so used to eating eggs over-easy with toast that now it's time to switch it up. They're a great source of protein and are Gaston-approved (though I do not recommend eating 5 dozen eggs.... or raw eggs in general... that's just ridiculous.)

7) My goal is to stick to only the following oils: coconut, olive, and walnut

8) Try my best to only buy meats from one of my butchers. Or try to find someone that sells like 1/4 of a whole pasture-raised cow. If anyone knows where to get meat from happy farm animals in the greater Toronto area, let me know :)

So this is what it has come to. I'm going to commit to this challenge as much as humanly possible, but we all know that life is unpredictable. I'll post anything that I find to be ridiculously delicious, and I may blog about any failed meals - just to be fair.

It's hard when your GI tract runs your life, but really, how is the body suppose to run (figuratively and literally) properly if it's not fueled properly? Or if it's chronically damaged and doesn't get the chance to heal properly? It's not rocket science to figure out... just a tough battle with food habits.