So, as I mentioned in passing, before, I went on this weird restrictive diet to try to clear up some issues I was having with my skin. (And by “issues” I of course mean “leprosy-like eruptions.” Gosh, I hope you weren’t eating anything when you read that.) For two entire weeks I eliminated a host of foods I love dearly, and I went heavy on the fruits, veggies, nuts (though not peanuts, because I already suspect I’ve developed a sensitivity to those, on account of my being a delicate flower and everything), and lean meats.
My skin cleared up. It was a thing of beauty.
At that point I concluded that perhaps I’d just been all out of whack with sugar and my glycemic index, and that probably my troubles were now over. I would just slowwwwwwwly add back in the suspect foods one at a time to confirm. I’d start with wheat, because it was the thing I missed the most, and also the thing least likely to be the culprit.
AHAHAHAHAHAHA. I am cute when I’m stupid.
I had a couple of pancakes one morning while my folks were here, because I’d done a new homemade recipe and everyone was raving about them and it had been two weeks and WHEAT IS MY FRIEND. So. Two pancakes. Later that day I also had half a slice of bread.
The next day my face was broken out and I woke up with a terrible stomach ache. Huh.
Not to be deterred, and convinced that this was SURELY a coincidence, that day I had pasta for dinner.
My stomach started to hurt shortly after dinner, and the next day my face was a mess.
Okay, so, I added back in the OTHER missing foods (dairy, legumes, and a moderate amount of sugar), and my skin is fine. I have continued avoiding wheat and my skin is fine.
I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure that the wheat turned on me, man. Asshole wheat.
My solution to being wheat-free is to… not eat anything vaguely wheat-ish. Like, I just skip pasta and crackers and bread and all of those things typically made with wheat. I didn’t run out to buy replacements, or anything, because all of the alternative products are expensive and probably taste weird, so why bother? Besides, it’s much more fun to be a martyr.
But life is full of curveballs, yes? And perhaps you remember last year when Chickadee had a host of skin issues and was diagnosed peanut allergic? About a week ago she started with the creeping crud, again, and in a matter of days her knees, elbows, and back were covered in a scabby, bumpy rash… even though she hasn’t eaten anything containing peanuts in a year.
So I just had a tiny glimmer of a thought, you know, and decided to take her off wheat while we wait to get in to see the allergist. And wouldn’t you know it—she’s already healing up nicely.
Now is probably not the time to mention that I have a freezer half full of beef and half full of various meat-substitute burgers for my vegetarian child, all of which are bound up with WHEEEEEEAT. Ahem.
And because it’s no fun to be an itchy kid and because I didn’t feel like I could just tell her to avoid all of the stuff I’m avoiding, we went to the health food store and spent an insane amount of money on a tiny bag of wheat-esque foods like bread and crackers and cookies and cereals all free of wheat.
[Aside: Otto asked if perhaps this sudden sensitivity to wheat could’ve been spurred on by my obsessive baking of the last few months, and the prevalence of wheat in our diets as a result, and I didn’t hit him or ANYTHING. But he is correct; most allergies operate on a threshold principle, and the body is tolerant until a certain threshold is passed, and then it’s like a switch flips and whatever the offending allergen is becomes problematic in any amount. Yes. I successfully poisoned myself and my daughter. Apparently the boys in this house are made of stronger stuff than us.]
The guilt and grumpiness over our newly-restricted diets may have been a small factor in deciding to do a fancy girls’ day out with Chickadee, yesterday, while her brother was away. We went shopping and we went and got smoothies, and when she decided that mine was better than hers, I swapped with her. Once they were both half-gone we mixed the remains and split that, resulting in a delicious concoction and many jokes about how we should’ve just mixed them at the outset, except that one of us would’ve had to pour half a smoothie into our cupped palms while both cups were still full.
We finished out the day with pedicures, and that was a real treat all around because it was only my third one ever and it was Chickie’s first. No day would be complete without me stuffing a (at least, in this case, freshly-painted!) foot into my mouth, so at one point when Chickadee was starting to get a little snotty about something, I commented that I could “just leave you here, and you can do nails for a living.” At that, all three limited-English-speaking employees there swiveled their heads in my direction, and I realized that it sounded like I was insulting their profession, so I hastily continued (probably entirely too loudly), “And I don’t think any of the women here had to start working full-time when they were only 11, so maybe you should wait a few years,” and then they looked away and resumed talking in a language I don’t speak, probably saying, “Stupid obnoxious woman, who wants to stab her with the cuticle scissors?” Whoops.
My toes are now a bright and cheery “Buy-Buy Tokyo,” while Chickadee opted for “Berry Good Dancers” and a rhinestoned flower on each big toe. I cautioned her afterward that this was a VERY SPECIAL TREAT and not something we’ll be doing very often, and she said she knew and gave me a big hug and thanked me and said it had been a really fun day.
It really WAS an awesome day. I know I’m supposed to dislike this cusp-of-hormones age, but so far I am enjoying 11 very much. Chickadee is sweet and sassy and grown up one minute and still little the next. She makes me laugh until I gasp for breath, and then cocks her head to the side and says, “You snorted. You are so gross!” And then five minutes later she is reaching for my hand to skip beside me as we walk along.
She is totally worth a $5 loaf of not-bread. But if she turns up allergic to anything else, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to produce a pony.