That about sums it up.
This week – well, last week – was cocoa’s turn for reintroduction. I say cocoa to differentiate from dairy and soy lecithin-filled chocolate one can easily find at the store, because I was trying to avoid any confounding factors. I really didn’t want the remote chance that I could blame a reaction on something else.
So for my first taste of cocoa in two months, I made tasty chocolate bites using this simple but delicious recipe. Just, you know, with coconut flakes instead of hazelnuts. With the help of my wife, we cleaned up an entire batch over the weekend. They were kind of amazing. It was an experience much like with the mustard – an explosion of taste, a moment to proclaim cocoa’s glory, to revel and weep and wonder how anyone can live without it.
It felt good. Those few days were delicious. I was confident there would not be a problem.
But by the end of the week something was definitely up. Not only did I get depressed enough to call out of work midweek, but it felt like my body was regressing and rebelling. I was both mystified and distraught. My rashes were suddenly itchy, of all things, and some other skin issues flared. My gut got super unhappy and I had a hard time sleeping. I might have cried. More than once.
I had no idea what was causing it. I blamed it on a dozen other things. It was so bad that I decided not to reintroduce anything this week, but just try to eat clean and reset. Let my body calm down, if it will calm down.
It was really only when I allowed myself to take stock this weekend that I realized that I had to allow for cocoa to be the culprit. I wanted to blame any number of other things I’d since introduced, but truthfully, those haven’t been giving me a problem. Even if such a low percentage of people ever have a problem with it, I have to be reasonable. What was the one major thing that changed? Yeah.
So this week, no new reintroductions. I’m allowing a little grassfed butter and a little seed spices (mostly mustard and cumin). I will see how I feel at the end of the week and decide then whether to try cocoa again or move on to something else, like nightshade spices.
I just… it’s so hard to believe that I might have a problem with cocoa. So do I go with my gut instinct or what the evidence tells me?