A new chink in my diet

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Rice bowl.

When it comes to food, I consider myself lucky in that I have no allergy or intolerance, apart from lactose. Of course, being diabetic, I have to minimize, if not avoid, carbohydrates (especially simple carbs) to have better control of my blood glucose. That said, I can choose to indulge if and when I wish; of course, with full knowledge of its effects. This is the case with rice. I generally do not eat rice because rice of all sorts, white, brown, red, polished and unpolished, raises my blood glucose really really quickly. But now I have to avoid rice for another reason. It seems that I have developed an intolerance for it. 

Overall, I am fairly good at avoiding rice. In fact, I eat Thai and Indian curries without rice or naan, something which never fails to raise the eyebrows of waiters at restaurants I go to. But I miss rice, especially the fried version. It’s my comfort food. And, as far as I’m concerned, fried cauliflower “rice” does not cut it. There’s only so much I can do to try to fool my senses into thinking that fried cauliflower is as good as fried rice. Hence, I would have some rice from time to time. Lately, though, I have discovered that rice puts my stomach into great distress, something I confirmed last week.

Last Wednesday, while torrential rains were drowning Tokyo and surrounding prefectures, a friend and I had Okinawan meal for lunch. I had Okinawan sea grapes (also known as seaweed caviar) and a pork rice bowl (that is, pork dripping with fat on top of freshly cooked white rice). Rice coated with pork fat is just so satisfyingly flavorful. Also, the unusually wet day brought a craving for comfort food. So, I ate more rice than what I had intended to eat. Within an hour of putting my chopsticks down, my stomach growled and I had to fast walk to the ladies’ room. I spent the next two hours going back and forth between the loo and my desk while my body was trying to disgorge the cause of my discomfort.

After examining my food journal for the past two months, I had my confirmation that I can no longer tolerate more than a few grains of rice. How much is too much? I don’t know. From what I can tell, a spoonful or two may be acceptable but anything more definitely increases the risk of stomach distress.

Right now, I find this development annoying as it is another limitation to my gastronomic enjoyment. But I’m sure that, in the long run, this is beneficial to my overall health. In the meantime, while I’m trying to amicably come to terms with this small setback in my diet, I have to find a new comfort food. Your suggestions would be more than welcome.

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