Not much to report today. Day 2 was a bit of a disaster – the aftermath of drinking red wine the evening before has taken its toll. Well it was his birthday and we did have a lovely evening, but things are itchy today as a result. Yesterday was worse. A handover and headache – don’t feel sorry for me, it was all self inflicted. We were just about to leave the pub after a sensible amount of drink and lovely quiet night by the roaring wood burning stove and chatting to the locals when an old friend arrived… well you can’t just leave someone alone in a bar can you?
So we did the decent thing and joined Bruce for a drink, and another… it was a good night but too much wine not only gives me a hangover but seriously dehydrates my skin, making any itching ten times worse. My fault I know. One day I will be grown up enough to order a glass of water.
Yesterday I had lots of herbal tea, oat cakes, two huge mugs of coffee with lots of brown sugar (processed I know, I know) and lots of water and a horrible vitamin C fizzy drink. For lunch we had some fried bacon and egg (the bacon probably has some kind of preservative in it…). The plans all went wrong for the evening tea, the gluten free and dairy free fish fingers were just what I needed, with petit pois and sweet potato cakes I had made previously and frozen. Fish fingers, even gluten and dairy free ones are most definitely processed!
Am trying to get back on track today and sticking to the plan.
Porridge for breakfast with oat milk and a mug of redbush tea so going well so far today.
What I’m finding hardest is avoiding the stuff in the freezer and cupboards which are freefrom, but which I know make my skin itch. Even freefrom stuff with seemingly safe ingredient lists seem to now make me itch. I’m trying to pinpoint which nasty ingredient it is. We are not sure at all yet.
Why can’t I just not eat them? What on earth is wrong with me? I must be thick or something. If the temptation is there in the cupboard it is so much harder to avoid. Especially when I know it’s not going to give me any kind of dangerous allergic reaction or anaphylaxis – I know it’s just the intolerable itch, but the itch is awful. It drives me insane and I get hives, lumps and nodular prurigo. Infuriating.
I am considering throwing out some of the frozen cakes etc. which I know make me itchy but part of me can’t stand the waste. I bought a job lot of Fria gluten free food which is all really lovely but because they add back in the de glutenised wheat I think this is why I have a problem with it. But I don’t like to throw out good food… but if I eat it I will suffer, just to avoid waste? That’s crazy. Mr What Allergy has been helping to eat some of it, as it all does taste really good these days. If anyone can help me and take some frozen Fria chocolate muffins and cinammon buns off my hands you can have them. You would be doing me a huge favour.
But this morning as I ate my porridge, watching out of the corner of my eye the lovely thick slice of wheat toast, covered in butter and marmite the HE was eating, I was so insanely jealous. I could have eaten his arm off to get at that toast.
I need to get to a place where I am happy with this life. Happy to eat only healthy food. And not craving the food I cannot eat because these thoughts are not helpful.
I’m hoping it will get easier and that in time the jealousy will pass. That I will be content with a life avoiding alcohol and all processed foods. I will be healthier as a result and hopefully will get a good night’s sleep.
And so today, I am tired from the scratching and itching so am having a nice lazy, quiet day, reading, writing and building my love affair with good food. I can do this.
For lunch I have some left over chicken stir fry in the fridge which is just organic chicken with carrots, onions, cabbage, pepper etc.
For our evening meal I am making some home-
made humous to have with raw veg sticks and a couple of pieces fruit.
The most important thing I am doing is keeping a detailed food diary, to see, whether I can work out which foods are causing this amazing itch. It could be that egg for Saturday lunch was a bad idea but it tasted good, so good. I always cook my eggs through quite well, not runny. But if the egg intolerance is playing a part it could be that this might present an itchy problem. Or it could be that after a week of no processed food the itch begins to decrease. That is my hope.
And I think when the itch abates the whole process will be so much easier.
Wish me luck. Any tips on how to go about this would be greatly appreciated. The next blog post will be some rules, to stick to, if you too want to go processed food free. I need to set the rules in writing because I’m finding this really hard without.
Michelle Sutton says
I feel your pain, my husband loves white toast with butter and marmite too! i fry off mushrooms in coconut oil for breakfast with tomatoes or egg and can now ignore what he is having. It does take time though so don’t be too hard on yourself Ruth!
Oh, oh, oh. Adding mushrooms and courgettes to the shopping list. I have coconut oil in the cupboard (I love it). I’m gonna have me a processed food free fry up next time he does the white bread toast torture on me. And I can’t wait for my local farmer to get his meat box scheme up and running. Bacon off the pig and into my freezer. And it is getting easier. The longer I am ‘off’ the processed food, and I didn’t eat much of it anyway, the better I am feeling and the more I can see it’s the way to go, for me anyway. My immune system just can’t take the processed stuff.
I agree, don’t be too hard on yourself. Every time the smell of toast wafted through our house I wanted to cry, really, but I think the turning point was when I realised that I would never not miss it and accepted that I was probably always going to want to have some. Then it changed for me, a sort of acceptance, and from then on it wasn’t so bad. Same with crusty rolls, butter and cheese, hate them for eating it, but accept it!
I really feel for you with the itching. I can eat rice and I don’t itch, but I can’t have rice milk or rice cream without itching. The rice milk is the worst. It’s either something in it or just the fact that it’s processed, I’ve never narrowed it down. I still have the cream in a sauce from time to time, even though I know I shouldn’t as it’s the only cream I can have.
The only rule I really found helped when going processed free was to cook everything yourself using only ingredients that your grandmother would have used. If you couldn’t have had it in 1900, you can’t have it now! I do have a few exceptions though like the rice cream and I bake with rice flour etc. but I don’t class that as particularly processed. The other thing is to batch cook. Always make extra, then either freeze it or have it the next day for lunch. That way when you don’t have the time to do anything you always have something on standby.
Keep up the good work Ruth, we are all here behind you.
Thank you Mindie and Michelle. Your words of encouragement are helping. Really helping. And like you, some things make me itch like my skin is exploding with millions of tiny ants but I have no idea why or what. A mystery. But I know it’s processed stuff so your’e right, it really is a no brainer. I either do this and find peace and an itch free life or I continue struggling to cope in a world of pain and anger. And so, today, my stewed apple porridge was a delicous treat. Tomorrow I’m going to add some sultanas for a real treat. And yes, I have cleared some space in the freezer so I can make a wodge of healthy cakes etc. that I CAN eat. And I just need to get into the habit of having a baking day each week. It doesn’t take long to make the most amazing flapjacks or grain free cookies. And I have an amazing recipe for sweet potato brownies that I can’t wait to try. Has anyone found any good substitute for baking powder? I suspect this sometimes…
And you know the funniest thing? I had just remembered the granny saying you mention above this morning and have just this minute added that to the end of my last blog post, which is 20 tips to going processed food free. And I’ve just drawn a granny cartoon. Which I am just inking in and will post later. Thanks for your comments.
I don’t exactly have a substitute for baking powder but I do make my own corn free version. Two parts cream of tartar to one of baking soda. Mix this with a little tapioca starch otherwise it sticks together in lumps. I know it’s not exactly processed free but, as I said, I have a few exceptions and you do need cake!
Life without cake would be a sad place… and thanks for the heads up. I’ve used cream or tartar before. NO idea what these weird white powders really are… Is tapioca starch different to tapioca flour? I’ll give it a go though. Many thanks.