Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Recipe from: The Curious Coconut
At last! Seven weeks in to adhering to the Autoimmune Protocol I finally got to taste my blog’s namesake. This was some Pederson’s Uncured, No Sugar, Buckin’ Bacon from Whole Foods.
After I got home from my Whole Foods’ outing yesterday afternoon, which is a 3+ hour round-trip drive, I realized that in my zeal to find some bacon I could eat, I had focused on all of these selling points:
- Minimally processed
- no artificial ingredients
- no preservatives
- no added nitrates or nitrites
- no gluten
- no lactose
- no MSG, and
- NO sweeteners
yet overlooked a few missing bullet points: grass-finished, non GMO. So hmmm… I see now from Pederson’s website that they make an organic, non-GMO bacon… It must’ve been out of stock when I was perusing the bacon case at Whole Foods. And, without stating it is pastured, it is most likely corn-fed anyway. So, I did eat this bacon this a.m. (and enjoyed it!), but for future bacon purchases I am going to rely on my pastured-pork supplier and jump through the necessary hoops to order it timely before my next drive down to stock up on pastured meats.
Meanwhile I have several more pounds of this close-but-not-quite AIP-friendly bacon in the freezer.
First clue: An afternoon headache — I never get those.
Second clue: Several days of increased thumb swelling and generalized achiness in my hands, beginning the morning after the headache.
Investigation: Using my food diary, an essential tool in my healing process, I started a probe into the reaction (aka “setback”) I was having.
I asked myself: Could the reaction be due to grain exposure from feeding our chickens while my spouse was out of town? (We throw cracked corn to lure our eight chickens back into their enclosure for predator-free overnighting after they spend the day grazing freely. Since they have not yet been transitioned to paleo, feeding them involved reaching my hand and arm into a feed sack to scoop their gluten-laden treat and tossing it into their pen, which often results in a puff of grain dust rising up from the ground.) Did I get that headache before or after feeding them?… I can’t be sure–that detail was not noted in my food diary.
What was noted though, was that shortly before that headache, I had sampled homemade sauerkraut for the first time. And that I had eaten some at lunch for the next two days. Hmmm… Time to reach for another essential tool in my healing process: the internet. A search on “homemade sauerkraut” and “headache” and “joint pain” returned a possible piece of the puzzle: that I could have histamine intolerance (HIT).
It is a complicated subject and there are ample resources out there to explain the science behind it, so I won’t venture into explaining it. [The above link is a good starting point for an explanation.]
I will note, though, that many of the recommended foods for Paleo/AIP are high histamine foods, including:
- smoked and cured meats: bacon
- bone broth
- fish (including sardines)
- citrus (the lime part of bacon and lime)
- aged meats
to name just a few. And leftovers.
I am going to pay attention to this, but I am not sure yet about my approach. Have things now become more challenging?… When I first started writing this post I thought they had. But then I checked in with The Paleo Mom, Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, whose Autoimmune Protocol I am following, and I read her encouraging words on the subject and decided to not get all crazy and more restrictive with my intake just now.
One very helpful quote from her post is: “…often health doesn’t come from what you take away, but rather what you add.” So while I will probably scale back my consumption of sauerkraut for the time being, I am going to continue drinking bone broth and eating avocados for awhile. Bacon though? Oh, I hope so!
Another possible cause of the reaction to eating homemade sauerkraut is bacteria die off from the probiotics. Another possibility to explore.
Wait, what?… The blog?… The foods?…
Uh, yeah. It is looking like I might have an intolerance to bacon and lime and baconandlime.
First things first. I named my blog baconandlime because those are two of my favorite flavors in the world, and I was excited about Paleo and AIP support for eating bacon with near abandon. And lime too, I presumed.
One astute blog reader recently asked me if bacon was allowed on the Paleo Approach. Yes! It most certainly is. Why then, a reader might wonder, had I not yet, six weeks into my autoimmune-healing experiment, extolled bacon’s health-enhancing and tastebud-delighting virtues and posted a pic of even one, let alone numerous, baconified meal? Great question!… The answer is that my pastured pork supplier, which is located a 4 hour roundtrip drive from my home, requires pre-order of about 10 days on bacon, and the first time we picked up pastured beef, pork and lamb we did not know that. The second time we made the drive to stock up on pastured meats came up too quickly after the first time to get an order in timely. And since we loaded up so much on non-bacon meats in order to increase the time between return trips, we haven’t been back to the supplier and it will be awhile before we return. So, yeah, that has left me in that sad, sad, dreadful position of having a green light on bacon consumption with a red light on bacon in hand… What is even worse: The bacon consumption light now appears to have turned yellow. Maybe red. Simply dreadful.
Stay tuned… more details to follow in my next post.