Well, that was easy. It appears that I have solved my intolerance: cutting the carbs has put an end to my stomach aches. Which is good news – but also pretty terrible news, because I love carbs.
Following a very low carb diet is extremely difficult. For the first few days, it left me completely exhausted and headachey. You have to plan everything ahead as a lot of cafes and restaurants have literally nothing on the menu that isn’t carbohydrate. It’s hard not to be impossibly rude when eating at other people’s houses. For example, if somebody serves you a roast chicken, you can’t eat the potatoes, the bread sauce, the parsnips, the carrots, the peas… in fact, pretty much any of it. It’s basically a total pain.
BUT – slowly, my body has adjusted, and I don’t feel exhausted anymore. Snacking on meat and cheese did help to boost my energy. Using low-carb vegetables to replace bread, rice or pasta has often turned out more delicious than the original. In fact, I unthinkingly ate a chip off my husband’s plate at the pub, and found it tasted horribly heavy and starchy in my mouth; I’ve always loved chips, and yet I was more than happy to turn back to my mushrooms!
Kale has been my absolute best friend over the last week and a half. I had the same breakfast basically every day: kale, poached egg, and chorizo. It’s an absolutely cracking start to the day! Recipe here.
I also managed to sneak in an old favourite for a few easy working lunches: bratwurst and sauerkraut, but wrapped in kale instead of a bun! I actually think this shows off the flavours much better without absorbing them into a dull mouthful of bread.
For supper one night I made salmon and mushrooms with a pesto sauce on a bed of zoodles. The first time I made it, it was way too watery, so I decided to try the genius idea of pureeing it. This was a bad idea. It looked like cat food. Below is my slightly more successful second attempt. The consistency still wasn’t quite right, so I’ll post a recipe when I perfect it, but it was very promising! Especially with chilli flakes on top, there was a very yummy taste to this, and it had that rather lovely comfort food factor.
For my four o’clock sugar craving, I made a strawberry smoothie. While fruit is generally to be avoided, strawberries are surprisingly low-carb for how sweet they are, and this recipe only uses four of them.
Finally, a great not-that-hungry supper for those times that you’d usually default to a few slices of toast is this fabulous salmon omelette.
I’ve even been looking up lots of recipes for low-carb baking to satisfy my sweet tooth – and while I’ve been too busy to try any of those out this week, I found that Pinterest is overflowing with incredible looking carb-free brownies and cookies that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. So if it turns out I really am intolerant to carbs, it looks like I will still be able to get all the same fun out of eating as ever!
However, I said I would do this test properly, so it’s time to move onto phase 2. Starting tomorrow morning, I’m going to reintroduce the carbs into my diet, but steer clear of dairy. So no more snacking on cheese, sob. Watch this space!