As I write that title, I’m beginning to wonder something: our bodies reflect our minds (so the new age, mindset kind of books say), in which case, is what’s going on with my body a reflection of what’s going on with my mind? Am I mentally becoming an intolerant old bag and that’s why my body is becoming intolerant and baggy? The body is a reflection of the mind? It’s an interesting and not very appealing thought.
I’ve been a bit quiet for the last few weeks, at least as far as blogging goes, and that’s because I’ve had to spend my time learning how to cook! At my age! Like I haven’t been cooking for forty-odd years! It’s been a bizarre and overwhelming experience. I’m used to just being able to open the cupboard & fridge and make some kind of dish out of it. I rarely do a shopping list anymore, I don’t need to. But now? Now, I have no clue what I can or can’t cook, how to cook it or anything.
Sauces, for example, what do I use if I can’t use wheat flour to thicken it? If I was going gluten-free, I could use Arrowroot or Cornflour, but I discovered fairly early on, that my body has decided that it doesn’t like ANY grains anymore. None. I’d noticed for several years that lentil & bean dishes really made me bloated and left me feeling yucky. Fortunately, I did a bit of googling and discovered that no grains and no legumes equals Paleo and there are HEAP of paleo website, recipes and information available on the internet. Awesome.
Only it’s not that easy. I had to learn what I could and couldn’t use to thicken, what I could use in lieu of potatoes and rice, what I could eat for breakfast, what snacks I can eat. It’s a whole new world. For the first time in DECADES, I have to put a lot of thought, time and energy into preparing food. No more opening the cupboard and whipping something up without even having to switch my brain on. No! I had to read instructions! I had to read instructions properly! I had to follow instructions. This is unheard of for me. Normally, I’ll find a recipe that sounds nice, glance over it and make my own version. I don’t actually think about it. But I have to think about it now, because I don’t know what I’m doing, and it’s left me no room or time for anything else. It’s been a weird experience.
So, there I am, in way over my head with all this new information, new ways of cooking, new ingredients (who knew that there was such a thing as Banana Flour? And what on earth are Coconut Aminos?). I went through my pantry, fridge and freezer, using this whole experience as a good excuse for a decent clean out. I could throw away all of those things in my freezer that are slightly out of date, but which may be eaten by one or the other of the kids the next time they come to visit, and I could do it guilt-free. Brilliant. I start baking and things turn out very tastily: Almond & Apple Cake, Zucchini & Ginger Loaf. I start cooking: Sweet Potatoes stuffed with Chicken Pesto, Paleo Granola. I’m feeling good about this whole thing; just a few tweaks and a little familiarity with the new ingredients and I should be okay.
But I realise that I still don’t feel good. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I feel awful: bloated, heavy, tired and with a full-on jelly belly. I’ve put in all of this effort, I’ve cut out grains, dairy, and legumes, I’ve gone with the ethos “If you can’t eat it raw, don’t eat it”, I’ve cleaned out my pantry, fridge & freezer, I’ve stocked up my pantry with an entirely new range of bizarre foods, I’ve researched a plethora of recipes and learned how to cook in an entirely new way… and I still feel crap. Are you serious? There isn’t much left on the list of things that I can eat, what else could it be?
For. Heavens. Sake. On top of everything else, now I have to strike nuts off the list of foods that I can eat. So, now I have to search Nut-Free Paleo, only I have a cupboard full of Almond Flour and Macadamias and Pecans. At least Coconuts aren’t on that list, thank heavens. Not yet, anyway. A friend of mine tells me that she’s had to go nut-free, egg-free, fructose-free paleo. I didn’t know there was such a thing. Let’s hope I don’t have to find out how to do that.
I’ve started doing videos, too. There are a couple of videos up on my YouTube channel – click here – and Kira is editing a third (which should have been the first one) as we speak. Actually, Kira’s been editing that video for a week and a half but her laptop (my old laptop) isn’t very keen on the idea and keeps crashing. Soon, though!
I’ll keep you updated on how this intolerant old bag is going!
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Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, hormonally-challenged, menopausal writer, blogger, self-confessed sarcasm enthusiast, mother of 4, wife of 30 years, destroyer of souls... no, wait, that's just in the mornings...
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