I have been trucking along with AIP for seven weeks now, and this week has been the hardest by far.
I have been sabotaged in my efforts by well-meaning people who have no idea of the trouble they’ve caused. And bless them, why the heck would they? Had you ever heard of AIP before?
Last Friday I was out and about sightseeing in Ashburton. I’d been in a rush to get out the door so I hadn’t packed lunch for myself. I thought I’d check out a few cafes to see if they had anything AIP friendly, figuring I could always go to a supermarket if there wasn’t.
I found a chicken salad on the menu of one establishment, and asked if it was gluten free. Nothing at this particular cafe was labelled GF, DF etc. “Yes, I think so”, said the server.
Pro tip folks – it wasn’t.
Sure enough, my usual ‘I’ve-been-glutened’ symptoms appeared the next day: fatigue and a slight rash on my face. (Honestly, why does it have to be the face? Why not my elbow? Or left earlobe?) The joints in my hands hurt so badly I had to take painkillers just to get some sleep that night.
It took me two days to recover.
Then Mr G and I went out the other night as we’ve been doing the Alpha Marriage Course at a local church (it’s awesome by the way, I highly recommend it for any couple who’ve been together for a while – even good marriages need a tune-up, and not-so-good ones can be transformed).
The course coordinator had got in touch with us to find out if we had any dietary requirements, as they serve dessert each night (the course is like going on a fancy date).
At first I told the coordinator not to bother with feeding me as my requirements are just too tricky, but we both agreed that fruit would be fine.
And it has been.
However, the other night they proudly produced a gluten-and-dairy-free muffin, made with almond flour.
I didn’t have the heart to say ‘I’m so sorry, I can’t have nuts right now on my diet’.
As I grabbed my fork, I said to Mr G with a grin, ‘Oh well, this is the chance to see what almonds do to me!’
You know what’s coming next.
Whilst I am incredibly lucky not to have had a violent reaction, that muffin laid me up in bed for two days.
The worst bit is because it wasn’t a careful reintroduction following the protocol, I don’t actually know if it was the almonds that my body rejected. It could have been a different ingredient in the muffin. It’s just conjecture.
I’d hoped to start reintroductions this weekend, but I still don’t feel 100%, so I have to put it off by another week, just to be on the safe side.
So, what have I learned, gentle reader?
- Get your server to double-check with the chef about whether a meal is gluten-free or not
- Don’t be so damn nice. Yes, I might have hurt someone’s feelings by refusing that muffin, but I’d rather that than be bedridden again.
- My body sure does hate a lot of things! I’m glad I’m able to follow a proper protocol to find out exactly what it doesn’t like, rather than guessing.
- Even if you don’t think you are allergic or intolerant to something while you are on AIP, take it seriously, and act as if you are. Do reintroductions the right way.