Day 36: Let’s try that again

So I got a bit ahead of myself yesterday. Today is day 36 🙂 Either way, it’s going well.

Today I spent around 3-4 hours cooking. That’s the thing with SCD. It’s not just a psychological commit; it’s a time commitment too. There’s no ‘quick grabbing’ of snacks – unless you’re talking about bananas (which I eat in unashamed abundance – and even bananas need to be bought in advance to ensure they’re ripe enough).

You need to have at least one day a week, but preferably two, when you can set aside at least a few hours to cook. And while it sucks at the time, you’ll thank yourself when you get home late from work in the middle of the week and most of your food is already prepared. Here’s what I cooked today.

Tomatoes

These guys are a mission because you need a lot of them to yield a fairly small amount of workable food. I cooked up 2kg today. I started by dunking them in boiling water for about a minute, to make it easy to peel off the skin. Once the skin has been removed, you need to cut them open and remove the seeds. It took me almost an hour to get through 2kg (but I’m pretty pedantic). That said, the results were worth it.

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Because I’d already tested garlic, I tossed the peeled, de-seeded, chopped chunks of tomato into a pot with some chopped garlic and boiling water. Cooked for about an hour on med-high heat, then pureed with a hand blender. It makes a beautiful sauce that goes fantastically with meat and veg. I froze some and have about 3 days’ worth in the fridge.

Green beans

Now this is a real test. I’ve suspected for years that green beans don’t agree with me, but when I went through the list of foods to introduce on Phase 2, this was one of the remaining few that appealed to me. I topped-and-tailed about 6oog of green beans, sliced them into about inch-long pieces, and boiled them for an hour and a half. They smell amazing when they’re cooking! I’ll be testing them from tomorrow. I made enough for the next three days, plus some have gone into the freezer.

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Butternut

I peeled and de-seeded three medium-sized butternuts, and cut them into small blocks. I also removed as much of the ‘stringy’ bits in the bulb part that I could, just because I want to limit any possible digestive hurdles. Once chopped, they only take about 45-6o minutes to cook (and less if you’re cooking a smaller batch). I’ve also found that you can cook pre-chopped butternut in the microwave and it only takes about 12 minutes. Of course, you can cook butternut with the skin on, but I find that it’s harder to peel them when they’re super soft. Again, I put enough in the fridge for about 3 days, and froze the rest.

Green beans, butternut (at the back), tomatoes and a bowl of cooked gem squash. Plus the freakin awesome kettle my sister bought us when we moved into our new apartment. It lights up in blue when it boils!

Green beans, butternut (at the back), tomatoes and a bowl of cooked gem squash. Plus the freakin awesome kettle my sister bought us when we moved into our apartment. It lights up in blue when it boils!

Gem squash

I cooked 5 gem squash, for about an hour. I always scrape the skin out of the shells for easy eating 🙂 It makes about 3 days’ worth of fare, depending on how much you eat at each meal. I LOVE squash so I could probably get through two whole (small) ones at each dinner.

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Venison meatballs

I bought about 1kg of venison mince and divided it into 14 patties. I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper, but nothing else. Weirdly, while I was shaping them into patties, a small metal ball fell out of the meat. I took a photo and sent it, along with a very displeased email, to the manufacturers. It could’ve caused serious problems! If I’d bitten it I could’ve broken a tooth, and if I’d swallowed it… it’s not even worth thinking about. So let’s see what they say.

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Anyway, the problem with venison, as I’ve said before, is that it smells terrible when you’re cooking it. In fact, we’ve just returned home from being out for several hours (at the most awesome gay comedy gig where K performed – have I mentioned she’s a comedienne? 🙂 ) and our small apartment reeks of it. I’m not sure what the solution is. But I do love the taste.

…And the one non-SCD thing I baked today

I haven’t baked in ages, and I miss it. This morning, I grabbed a bunch of ingredients, including a chocolate muffin mix, instant caramel pudding, milk, oil and eggs, and threw together a batch of chocolate-caramel brownies. I don’t know who I intended them for. K is supposed to be eating healthy. But I convinced her to have one, and she said they were ‘the best brownies I’ve ever eaten’. Yay! Except now I have an entire batch of chocolate brownies just hanging around my kitchen. Plus I got a good talking-to from K about contaminating my SCD area!

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My choc-caramel brownies – VERY SCD-illegal!

How do I feel on day 36?

Mostly fine. I do concede that I’ve had some bad bloating these past few days, and I’m pretty sure it’s the wine. Then again, it could be the tomatoes. So what I’m going to do is cut out the wine for the week, and keep eating the tomatoes. If it doesn’t improve, I’ll cut out the tomatoes. So it’s kinda like ‘backwards’ testing, I guess, but I think it’ll work. Or, as I like to think of it: Inception testing – a test within a test (within a test…) 🙂

I’m also constipated. I HATE being constipated. Of course, diarrhoea is awful. Being (figuratively) chained to the toilet for months on end is awful. The bleeding, the dehydration, the anaemia, the just-plain rawness, is terrible. But constipation… in my mind, it’s almost as bad. I hate feeling like there’s gunk inside my body that needs to come out but won’t or can’t.

constipation

I’m still taking all my supplements, including magnesium, and I’ll keep trying to add foods that can aid in better bowel movements.

Overall, I feel good. I’ve lost about 3kg and my jeans are all hanging off my butt. My butt is always the first to go. But I love that my clothes don’t feel like they’re constricting me.

It’s gay pride week in Cape Town and I’m sooooooo happy! I’m very out and proud, but being part of an actual week dedicated to it, contrived as it may seem, brings out the happy tears in me. There’s an incredible feeling of togetherness, which is unusual because the gays are such bitches most of the time (men and women). This coming Saturday is the Pride march in the city centre, and I can’t wait to paint my face, dress in pink and march with people from all over South Africa and other parts of Africa. It makes my heart swell. And in my opinion, what makes your heart happy makes your body happy 🙂

PS: I just got changed into my PJs and my tummy is bloat central. I don’t know what it was but I’m guessing the booze wasn’t completely innocent. Back to clean tomorrow.

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Day 34: Amazing food without cheating!

I knew today would be better than yesterday, and it was 🙂

Work was still pretty shit. The day after a big screw-up is still the day after a big screw-up. But I left work earlier than usual, swung by my favourite supermarket, and picked up some gorgeous wine for tonight.

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Cappupino Cinnotage by Boland Cellar. Absolutely decadent!

As soon as K got home, we cracked open our coffee pinotage and retired to the couch. Unexciting as it is, our favourite way to spend a Friday night is together, just the two of us, watching series and eating yummy food.

By the time supper rolled around, I was onto my third glass of wine. Perhaps a bit too much for day 34, but I feel I’ve been SO controlled for more than a month, that it’s not the end of the world.

You say tomato…

Hello tomatoes! My tummy felt great today, all day, despite TWO cups of coffee at work (about 4 hours apart), so I decided it was time to test the tomatoes. I plonked them in two batches into boiling water to make it easy to remove the skin. Don’t leave them in too long! I made that mistake with the first batch, which made it difficult to get the seeds out (as they just fall apart). One minute is enough. I peeled them all, cut them into quarters, and scraped out the seeds and ‘veins’, and then placed all the flesh into a pot of water with some chopped garlic (yay for garlic!).

Not mine... but mine will look this profesh next time round ;-)

Not mine… but mine will look this profesh next time round 😉

While it cooked, I made some gem squash and grilled a piece of venison meat. Venison is interesting. It smells terrible when it’s cooking – like wet dog. The whole apartment stank! But it tastes great. Even K liked it, and she usually tells me that my SCD meat tastes like ‘balloon’.

While I was cooking, I asked her to mash my avo for me. Mashing it is not essential but I prefer it. This is what she did:

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So cute! And then, my dinner was ready. And this is what it looked like:

Venison steak, gem squash and butternut, and tomato sauce with garlic

Venison steak, gem squash and butternut, and tomato sauce with garlic

It was such a wonderful dinner, with so many different flavours. I LOVE adding avo to my meal. It works especially well with meat, and the creaminess fills the void that may be left by a lack of sauce or flavourings.

It’s been about an hour or two since I ate, and I feel fine. No bloating as yet, and no discomfort. While I’m relying on the squashy veg almost daily, I’m adding more and more elements to create different kinds of meals.

The problem with wine

The wine seems to be going well, but there’s just one problem: It always has, and seems to still, cause me intense cravings. When I drink, all I want is SUUUUUGGGAAAAAAAAR. I haven’t cheated and I won’t, but it’s a consuming desire that I can’t seem to talk myself out of. K is sitting next to me eating Lindt balls that I bought for her. I saw them in the supermarket and I couldn’t resist, because they are CARAMEL! I’ve never seen them before and she loves caramel. I am quite literally salavating at the sight. Red wine and chocolate would be my personal heaven right now. I mean, just look at these babies!

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But if this is the worst of it, I can handle it. I’ll have another banana, I’ll finish my wine, and I’ll brush my teeth. I am so excited to be expanding my diet with exciting new foods every few days, and the cravings, while not entirely pleasant, are completely manageable.

Now it’s time for movies, then a hot shower and a delicious soft bed. Oh weekend, how I love you!

How is your eating going?