Friday is basically a free for all. I plan on posting about things like Food, Fitness, Family, Fun, Festivities, etc. It doesn't have to be about "F" things, but look forward to me doing my best to make (ridiculous) links to the letter F. Your F can be different than mine though!
A joyful heart is good medicine.
Jenetarian (noun) Person who is part raw foodie and part junk foodie. May be seen scarfing half a greasy cheese pizza while slurping on a whole fruit no-sugar-added green smoothie.
So many labels, so many issues! I have blogged about my food issues here before...as you can see it's an issue that really just plagues my mind and my family suffers because of my craziness about it. I may have it figured out finally though. I have suffered stomach cramps my whole life...I remember having them from my earliest memories on up. Back then I thought it was normal-I didn't really trust my mother enough to talk to her about it, plus she could always be heard talking about "gut aches" and passing gas rudely and loudly where ever she felt the need...same with her whole family. Now I just always convince myself that I'm not eating "clean enough" and that that is why I get the daily stomach aches...but honestly we eat pretty darn good most days (excuse the weekend trips to places like Chuck-A-Rama or the local pizza buffet). Some days they aren't too bad and I can function fine and ignore the gas and bloating and pain, other days I have to go lay down until they go away. Some miraculous days I don't have any, but those days are few and far between. Still I was wondering if it was normal, but my husband doesn't suffer everyday, and he eats pretty much the same as me. So do the kids, and the two middle ones seem fine, but I think my oldest suffers from the same tummy troubles that I always have.
I noticed this year that ANYTHING with powdered sugar was giving me an almost instant stomach ache with cramps and painful bloating. I even drew a devil's face on my bag of powdered sugar (which my husband made me throw away lol) and referred to it as "evil sugar". I thought (why?) that maybe it was the sugar, that somehow because it was ground that it was bothering my body more than regular sugar. It wasn't until the 30 hours that we went gluten-free (ah the insanity of it all makes me point and laugh at myself) that I realized it was the cornstarch, not the sugar, that was giving me stomach cramps. We had a homemade gf tortilla with our eggs that morning and one of the ingredients was cornstarch, but no sugar. Duh! Making that connection made me rethink my assumption that my body was rejecting "junk food" (read yummy things like Snickers and Fireballs)...I was trying to figure out WHY my body was feeling so ill after indulging occasionally, and now I'm thinking it's the corn syrup. I also used to eat grits here and there as a kid and a teen, but I hadn't in a long time. In the last year I have TRIED to eat a bowl many times, but with no success. My stomach starts churning and bloating and I canNOT force myself to finish it. I kept thinking that maybe I was cooking it wrong, but really, what can go wrong when you add water, cook, and stir in milk/xylitol/butter? I've also had instances when I've added corn meal to baked goods (like the bottom of pizza crust) or to make fried chicken, and again my stomach just flip flops! Yesterday I even realized that the amount of cornstarch in my baking powder is just too much for me. I didn't even finish my pancakes before my stomach cramped up. My parents used to make cornbread all the time when I was a kid too and I remember that never sitting well with me either.
I still need to try straight up corn. We haven't had it often in the last few years since our barbeque died. We would usually eat a bbq'd corn on the cob with steak once a month or so. I do vaguely remember stomach aches, but I figured that maybe I was eating too much in one sitting because we'd go big on the steak. Maybe I'll get some this next shopping trip and try it out on a day that I know I haven't had any other corn products. It wouldn't surprise me if REAL corn didn't bug me, just all the processed stuff.
I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to wheat (lol) for blaming you for my problems all these years.
It honestly doesn't surprise me that I may be developing a corn intolerance (isn't an allergy when you get hives and can't breath? Yeah, that would be me on pineapple or grapefruit) since I already have two food allergies and lots of medicines I'm allergic to, not to mention all furry creatures (both slobber and dander, especially cats), grass, and lots of other things. I am thankful that this seems to be just an intolerance though with stomach cramps and nothing further. And I do wonder if maybe it's because SO much of our corn is GMO in this country and they find ways to put it in almost everything!
I've been reading on this corn allergen site and the list of things corn is tucked into is mind-boggling. From what I understand, not all things may affect all people, or may not affect them the same. I know that lots of xylitol is made from corn (I'm guessing the bulk xylitol I get at Fred Meyers is), and that if I eat too much of it at once (like in my coffee while eating oatmeal with xylitol in it) I do get a stomach ache, but that if I space them out, I'm ok). I am thinking about ordering some xylitol that is guaranteed to be made from birch so I don't have to worry about it. Thankfully I don't eat many pre-packaged foods, so it's not going to be too hard of a transition for me here at home. I've already started using a combo of baking soda+cream of tartar in place of baking powder (though there is baking powder made with potato starch instead of corn starch) I think it's probably going to be really difficult eating out though...but I can suffer through a stomach ache for a special occasion (like the pizza buffet for the kids' birthdays) here and there.
Maybe once I get my tummy all feeling better on a consistent basis I can stop dissecting our eating habits and criticizing myself for not having my family eating a "perfect" diet and my family can eat in peace. So here I am, a happy Jenetarian. Not a vegetarian, not gf, not raw, not a junk food enthusiast. Just me, a happy combo, and maybe a little less crazy.