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Can I reacclimate to gluten for a vacation?

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  • Can I reacclimate to gluten for a vacation?

    I've been primal since March 2012, and will never be any other way. I've lost 32 lbs total going from 201 to 169 and about 30%bf to 15%bf on my 6' frame. Recently started lifting more as I want to gain around 10 lbs of muscle. If I cheat now and eat gluten, I get sick for 3 or 4 days and hate it. Just sneezy, runny nose, and sniffly and it's real annoying. I was never this way before being primal, but was just generally standard american unhealthy.

    My issue is that my fiance and I are going to Portland, OR on vacation in a few months. Portland is one of my favorite cities to visit because they have the best restaurants and breweries. I would like to purposefully drink plenty of delicious IPAs and eat at all their fantastic restaurants while there (including gluten), but would rather not be sick while on vacation. Do you think I could eat just a little bread or pasta per day for a week or so beforehand to build up a tolerance again? Please don't respond with any holier-than-thou "why eat poison" stuff. I'm very strict on my self and have only cheated a handful of times since March (I'm about 95-5 or better. I could live 100% on beef and be happy as can be). I hate the way gluten makes me feel now, but I really want to enjoy all the fantastic foods that I enjoyed while there a few years ago (Mother's bistro, Voodoo doughnuts, Oba, about 1000 food trucks, etc)

    So what do you think? Is it possible to eat just a sandwich everyday for a week or so to get used to it again? Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    i think you're the only one who can answer this question effectively, since it's your body and how it reacts to things. my suggestion is to just figure it out. try some non-primal food at a single meal and see how you do. a few days or a week later, try a SAD day...try a couple days in a row, and just be aware of how your body reacts.
    is that going to kill you? nope. is it going to make you gain 40 pounds of fat? nope. there's nothing wrong with stepping away from primal once in a long as it's not that often and you are sure to come back.


    • #3
      Eat the wheat and accept the consequences. No you can't fool your body.

      Maybe when you've been doing this long enough you'll accept that fact and find new ways to enjoy Portland that aren't food related.
      *My obligatory intro

      There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo



      • #4
        Eh... honestly? I would suggest skipping the bread and pasta and saving the gluten for desserts. Personally, I find that if I eat a piece of cake, I feel fine the next day. If I eat a plate of pasta, I don't feel so good. But that's just me.
        Out of context quote for the day:

        Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. - Urban Forager


        • #5
          It's been about 20 years since I discovered my gluten/eczema connection. Yes, I can eat gluten (without digestive issues) but I still break out with eczema. The more I 'cheat' the bigger the breakout. I have discovered the *one bite rule* usually results in minimum damage, if I don't do it too many times. Like pie but no crust, one (only!!) onion ring, a nibble of a cookie~ you get the idea. There are so many other wonderful foods that are gluten free, I really don't miss those things anymore so just one small taste is usually enough.

          Only you can decide how you want to dance the line~ but know that one step too many over will result in less enjoyment of your vacation overall~ it's hard to sight-see when you're feeling less than 100%


          • #6
            Portland is possibly the gluten-free capital of the world. I should know as I live here and am extremely gluten-intolerant. Just say you're gluten-free at the restaurant and they will happily help you out.

            If you insist, try gluten specific digestive enzymes and don't combine it with other highly allergenic foods like dairy.


            • #7
              I have no idea whether your body can reacclimate -- I just hope you won't be too disappointed when all those amazing foods don't taste as good as you remember. The only way to find out if you can acclimate is to give it a try.
              Grain Free since 2009, WP from 2005
              ~100% primal (because anything less makes me very sick)
              Goal: hike across Sweden with my grandchildren when I retire in a few years


              • #8
                I think Prof. Mark wrote a post on something similar to this a few weeks ago. The question had to do with strategies for a wedding; but I wonder if something couldn't be extrapolated from that response to a vacation situation.

                I'm personally curious about this, since once a year we go on a vacation to an area with certain restaurants and breweries which we would also like to enjoy without carnage. We also go to New York a few times a year, and like to enjoy deserts and cocktails; in particular, we like to go to a particular bakery called Levain (or Levin - I don't know), which is around 10th and 74th (very close to Lincoln Center). In fact, we have been known to walk from where we stay (31st and Madison) to this bakery - both through bitter cold and ridiculous heat (personally, the other side of "we" is more intensely interested in these cookies - but they are quite good).

                Perhaps a strategy to employ would be some variation of what Mark recommended to the fellow going to the wedding, combined with today's post. If you are going to carb up, then up the intensity of your workouts. That way, you'll use the carbs to offset glycogen depletion.

                So on the way to vacation, perhaps a massive ramp-up of exercise, combined with heavy exercise while on vacation?

                Of course heavy exercise on vacation isn't what lots of people have in mind! But it might help you to have your cake and eat it too - at least for a week!


                • #9
                  I'm not going to tell you not to do it because in the long run, a week of gluten exposure probably isn't a big deal.

                  I bet you could probably reintroduce gluten in small quantities the week leading into your trip. I get an upset stomach and break out when I reintroduce dairy after weeks without it. If I suck it up and eat it for a few days, I'll be fine.

                  Let us know how it goes!