Good food, good wine, good cheese. Hangover.

Hangover Day.

I had a fabulous evening with friends last night. It was a perfect end to a not so perfect week. Last night I ate most everything I am not supposed to, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a conscious choice and almost certainly swayed by the fact I was having a flare up anyway – what’s a couple more days pain once you’re in it?

I have three suspects on my flare list. Number one – gluten. Straight forward, right? You’d think so. But it was an accident. I was making pasta for the kids – they don’t always eat everything I do – and I cooked the carrots in with the pasta. When I dished up, I absent-mindedly ate a few of the carrots. Oh. There’s gluten in the water and probably soaked all the way into my otherwise innocent carrots. What an idiot. So, instead of having a lovely piece of homemade flatbread with garlic infused olive oil and parsley, the olive oil dripping down my chin, whilst I savour the moist, hot, doughy piece of heaven….I got carrots. Idiot.

Number two: Lady’s time of the month. Boo. ‘Nuff said.

Number three: Walnuts. A conscious decision to have walnuts, as I had already started to flare from either Suspect One or Suspect Two. Ed made an amazing dinner of organic chicken breast, filled with pesto, with a side of sautéed cabbage and paris mushrooms. The pesto recipe came from my Well Fed cookbook and it happened to include walnuts. It was delicious. Walnuts may not have been the culprit, but as I was on a downward spiral already, who knows?

So there we go. By last night, I had already flared up pretty bad. My decision to slowly reintroduce foods was thwarted again, by an accidental ingestion of gluten, damn hormones and well, a slippery slope from there. So, last night we had this:

An appetiser of julienne cut raw carrots and radishes, with a creme fraiche and chive dip (I didn’t have dip). Then I made the aforementioned flatbread, dripping with roasted garlic infused olive oil and parsley, cooked on a pizza stone ( I had a bit of this – first time I’ve had flour in three months).

For main we had marinated a huge rump steak in olive oil, salt and pepper in the morning and left it all day. The same with two duck breasts, skin on. We also had pork strips, just ‘nature’. Just an hour or so before dinner, we squeezed the juice of a Sanguinello orange (blood orange) into the duck marinade.

These were cooked on our BBQ and seared with a salad of rocket, iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced fennel, sliced radish and diced cucumber, with a Sanguinello, lemon and oil dressing. The combination of all the meats and the salad, especially with the citrus dressing was amazing! I probably enjoyed this food the most, despite the other food indulgences. There’s nothing quite like grilled meat with an amazing salad.

My other downfall. Wine and pudding. Ty had made an amazing apple crumble and once I started tucking into this, I helped myself to quite a bit! It was probably nothing compared to the portions I would have had before, but I guess there is no such thing as a ‘good’ sized portion of flour, butter and sugar! We drank 3 bottles of quality red wine and finished off with some organic Brie and Tommes cheese. Heaven.

I woke up at 4.30 am in a bit of stomach distress and with a headache. I had one (usually prohibited) ibuprofen, lots of water and went back to bed.

So, here it is. Hangover Day. But this morning I feel good. I had a great night. I didn’t beat myself up about what I ate and today all I am craving is salad. I am not in hideous pain (yet!) I hope I stay on course and that my flares go as quickly as they came. Roll on beautiful Sunday!


So much for avoiding inflammatory foods. By the end of the day of ‘pain’, I decided that whilst I’m having a flare up, I may as well indulge….I never said my resolve was endless! Ed has a garage full of good wine and, well sometimes it’s hard to say no to a 90 euro bottle of wine! We are celebrating and not just my 8 weeks of strict eating. We have made an offer on a piece of land and it has been accepted! Woohooo!

Whilst off the wagon, I have had a couple of days of indulgence. Another rump steak on the BBQ – lush! And also, Ed managed to get free tickets to a wine exhibition (think free wine tasting on a grand scale) at the Parc des Expositions at Bordeaux Lac. We picked up our free glass at the entrance and voila! The selection was enormous, so we narrowed it down by trying the organic wines first. We stuck to Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne. Then as we went along we narrowed it down by the look of the vendors! We bought six bottles and headed off. It was a great experience and a really good way to find lots of lovely new wines to fill up our wine fridge. Next year, hopefully we will be following suit with the French and bringing a trolly to fill up the car with a few boxes, not just a few bottles!
In the evening we cooked up a rump steak on the BBQ that had been marinating all day in olive oil, salt and pepper. We had it with a mushroom mix of oyster, paris and closed cup mushrooms, sautéed in coconut oil with onion and garlic – lush!

By the evening, the pain had stepped up a notch, as it always does after I’ve been walking around a lot. I was struggling to sit down and when I went to bed, sleep evaded me. I resorted to taking an ibuprofen – something I have avoided since trying to heal my gut. The relief was amazing and at about 2.30, I finally drifted off to sleep. 

Today, the pain continues and the inflammation around my spots is back. I am sitting down like an old woman and I know I will have to apply all my dressings properly if I want any kind of comfort today.
I am day 2 back into my diet and despite the pain, I feel good.

Far from being a hideous experience, I can say (in hindsight!) that this has been educational and motivating. At least I know for sure that my diet does have an effect on HS and the past two months have not been a waste of time. Nothing like a good flare up to remind us how lucky we are when are days are pain free.