I ate pizza.
With gluten. And soft cheese. And sauce that I didn't know all the ingredients to. And peperoni that may or may not have had additives that I can't pronounce.
There, I said it.
How did we get to this point? Good question.
It all started with me pushing my paleo boundaries earlier this year. I had finally reached, what I felt like, was the climax of my health. My Crohn's symptoms were long (as in many months ago) gone, I felt happy, energetic, and at the top of my game strength-wise. Then work began to pick up and with that came less time to prepare the meals I knew I needed to be prepping.
Little cheats on paleo/scd started to creep in and were positively reinforced when I didn't display or feel any physical repercussions. A few bites of rice, ordering from menus without scrutinizing the seasonings, little stuff like that.
Then came bigger cheats like taking shots of mystery alcoholic beverages (some kind of glowing blue color), eating a few of my friend's fries from the drive-thru at Arby's, and thinking that Quest Bars were somehow going to be acceptable. Nope.
Then I started to experience symptoms of my autoimmune disorder again.
Back on the paleo-wagon-band-track (I know I said that wrong) I went, and just like I knew it would happen- I got healthy again. Our bodies are truly amazing.
So lately I've been keeping most things pretty close to strict paleo/scd (about 90%) and have been feeling very fair. Then I put myself to the ultimate test of going on a 5 day cruise. Yep, boat food that's completely out of my control.
Thankfully Royal Caribbean offers a lot of gluten-free options at all of their meal times, so I stuck to that section of the menu and did terrifically well.
Then I started to get ballsy. For a girl, anyways.
I wanted ice cream.
For a couple of reasons. #1- I'd eaten foods like chocolate that had a percentage of sugar-cane sugar in them and knew I could handle them. #2- Ice cream seems to be a frequent cheat of those in the paleo community. #3- My grandma eats ice cream almost daily and she's the healthiest old woman I know.
So, I was walking through the quaint streets of Key West and read a review on Trip Advisor of an authentic gelato must-try pizzeria. No, I didn't eat the pizza here. That comes later. I ate two different flavors of gelato and I think the room started to spin. It was delicious. No immediate stomach rumblings either, and I honestly at this point just was pushing myself to see how far I would have to go in order to get a negative reaction. (I have literally brainwashed myself for the past almost 4 years to believe that if anything with a non-paleo or an illegal scd ingredient even comes near the food that I put into my mouth my body will start convulsing and my stomach will explode. Clearly that didn't happen so now I'm curious.) Wandering down the street another block, I see a "We Have Gluten-Free" sign in the window of a key lime pie shop. I'm in Key West. And you know what they say, "When in Rome..."
Yep, I ate gluten-free key lime pie on the same day I ate authentic Italian gelato.
Fast forward to a couple of days later, I'm still on vacation. In Miami. We need somewhere to eat dinner so the person I'm with decides to Google "Paleo eateries Miami Beach."
This page on Paleo Porn is found and the decision is down to two places: A paleo-friendly full kitchen restaurant that on any normal given day I would be ecstatic to find exists. Or. A pizza place that does not claim to be gluten-free in any sense but does have organic ingredients and seems to be a pretty reasonably moral spot to eat from.
I'm still not in pain from eating from a cruise ship all week, gelato, and key lime pie. I'm 24 years old.
What the hell, I figure. Give it a shot. The worse that can happen is that I spend the next day back home curled up in the fetal position near a bathroom taking a lot of recovery probiotics. (Sounds terrible but this was once a normal drill for me.) You only live once, right?
Pizza it is.
So, that's how I ended up at Blocks. I got a slice of pepperoni pizza and it was everything I remembered it to be from way back in 2011.
Do I feel guilty? Slightly. I understand that gluten is still the enemy and that this way of eating simply is not a choice for me to make it a norm.
However, I don't live with regrets and that would be a stupid thing to regret anyways.
Food is food. It's fuel for good or bad. No one is perfect, I can't even pretend to be.
I know better than to do this too often but it's a nice feeling to be slightly normal again. I'm not condoning paleo rebellion or suggesting that anyone who is still in recovery mode on SCD or AIP to even think about doing what I did. At least, not yet. But this post will serve as evidence that paleo works. And for those of you who are journeying back to health- things absolutely do get better.
There, now you know. And don't feel so guilty about your cheats. (You can tell me about them in the comments below, I won't judge.)