I do not eat grains anymore.
This is another one of those mental health things. For me, grains = more anxiety. (I have an anxiety disorder so strong that for most of my life I couldn’t even call people on the phone. And if people called me first I would refuse to answer or automatically chuck the ringing phone across the room. And that was when we still had landlines. The phone would just come right back. It’s not logical, folks.) Anyway, people are often skeptical of this grains, anxiety connection. I know that when my father and sister first told me about their own results (not over the phone) I was kind of like, “Oh, wow… that’s cool.”
You don’t intentionally dismiss their experience but you do. Not because you doubt them but because you don’t want to stop. If what they’re saying is bunk, then I can keep on eating multiple sandwiches and whole bags of chips a day. (They were the “healthy” chips, so it was totally ok.) In my head I was like, that’s so awesome that they feel good but that won’t work for me.
For a while I thought I had a legit medical reason for this. I don’t have a gallbladder. I did, but I don’t anymore. I traded it in for three scars and no more pain. You see, after I had my son, I started to have these abdominal attacks. Each resulting in late night hospital visits with my poor husband holding the baby in his arms, watching me writhe on a hospital bed panting for help. Help, and drugs. Lots of drugs.
At one point the pain developed into full blown Pancreatitis, which included a week’s hospital stay. (One day I may tell you about that hospital stay which included seriously hallucinatory drugs and the saddest man with dementia loudly asking, “hello?” literally every five mins. That’s definitely a whole other story.)
Anyway, the diet they give you after gallbladder surgery is essentially low to no fat. Now I know what you’re thinking, if you have read literally any other food post in this blog you know that I eat a low carb high fat diet. (So enthusiastically that I call it by it’s acronym LCHF. Like one of the cool kids.) But at the time I was convinced that eating anything high fat was just not an option for me.
But I couldn’t forget the mindful clarity that came after simply eating a plate of bacon and eggs with my Dad. I could write. I could think. I could see through the fog. At that point, a peanut butter sandwich just didn’t seem that enticing. Not compared to freedom.
So I stopped. Stopped eating grains and slowly discovered what fats I could eat without any complications. Lard for sure. Love lard. Avocados, yummmm. Not as much dairy as I’d like (just the cards I’m dealt.) No hydrogenated vegetable oils or soybean oils…noway. Sure, I really, really wanted those bread rolls at dinner but, honestly, do they compare to calm? To contentment? No.
I will eat bread again one day, though. Not because I want to bring it back to my everyday diet but because I want to enjoy it. One day, when I am visiting my sister in France. (She actually doesn’t live in France yet but she totally will. I know it.) When I am visiting my sister and her family in their future provincial home—and there is fresh baked French bread with that crust that is so amazing you can actually hear it, or when the croissants get passed around the table, you bet I am going to get me one of those. And I am going to love it. It will be an experience, an experience that can’t be denied.
Until then, I’ll call my sister in Chicago (same sister, I only have one) and ask her about her latest no grain recipes. And I’ll be able to do it without a shred of anxiety.
Update: My husband brought home yeast dinner rolls from a lunch meeting at the Beef House. I couldn’t stop smelling them. I put my nose so far into the cleft of one of the rolls I could almost smell the hand soap of the baker. It was fantastic. I nearly growled at my husband when he reached for it.
I almost ate it, almost. It wasn’t Provence but it was damn good. Beef House good. (That’s actually a measure of greatness in our home.) Still… I didn’t do it. I did not do it. I knew that my brain was still craving carbs, and that as soon as that beautiful roll touched my lips it was all over. And after some crazeballs bingeing I was going to have start over.
So I did not eat the bread. One day, but not today.