Wednesday I started my corn-free journey and although it got off to a somewhat rough start, it's been feeling a bit easy-breezy since then. I started Wednesday morning with a sinus headache and an empty fridge. All I wanted to do was go back to bed but my stomach and unfortunately, my work load said "NO!". So I poured myself a glass of corn-free tangerine juice (it was the only thing in my fridge that didnt need to be questioned...and I was too tired to start investigating my fridge), and schlepped my way to Whole Foods, thinking this would be one of the easiest grocery stores to find products free of HFCS and other corn derivatives.
Well, it doesnt bode well when you walk in and all the free samples at Whole Foods that day seem to be corn. Corn chips, corn cheese puffs, housemade tortilla chips and salsa. I grabbed for them a couple of times before thinking "whoa now!". I was definitely being tested...and kind of slapped in the face and laughed at by someone upstairs.
I knew the easiest things to eat would be fruit and veggies so I hit up the salad bar and then the salad dressing aisle. Salad bar - easy, although I almost grabbed some good looking corn kernels on the salad bar. Salad dressing aisle - sucky. REAL sucky. I went for the oil based dressings, thinking why do you need xantham gum in an oil dressing? I don't know why, but apparently you do. Apparently ALL SALAD DRESSINGS need xantham gum! Everything I picked up, organic or otherwise, had the gum. Okay, I thought to myself I'll just make some dressing at home.
There was one major victory with salad dressings at Whole Foods that morning. I went back to the prepared foods section and salad bar, and noticed that Whole Foods now sells salad dressings they make in house. AND that they have a buttermilk ranch - and its corn free! It's got an easy to read list of ingredients, like, you actually know what they are without having to google them. Well, it did have the main ingredient as mayonnaise. I do not particularly like mayo. And I wasnt sure if there was corn in it (I'm suspicious of all foods now). But I walked back over to the salad dressing condiment aisle (I was getting my exercise walking corner to corner in WF), and looked at the Whole Foods brand mayo (assuming that is what they would use in their house-made dressing) to see what it was made of. Happily, no corn! Jackpot!
Now I havent mentioned it yet, but I love ranch dressing. I love condiments in general (blog to come) but I LOVE ranch. It's probably my favorite condiment, and blame it on the southern girl in me, but I think it makes just about any food taste better. Maybe that has turned a lot, urmmm, many, of you off from reading this, but trust me, I like plenty of sophisticated foods as well.
Anywho, I had really doubted that I would ever find a corn-free ranch. I was ready to start experimenting with making it at home. I was excited about the challenge. But I was even more excited to find a corn-free ranch on my first day! Booyah! This was going to be an easy experiment.
Too bad the ranch tastes kinda crappy.
So that was my only challenge of day one. I ate a salad for lunch, and had pasta (I read the label - no corn) with homemade sauce for dinner.
Day 2, I must confess, broke me a bit. I started my morning by stopping by one of my favorite places, Cappellino's Crazy Cakes - yes a cupcake shop, to visit one of my favorite people, Dotty. Dottie and I go back since the beginning of Crazy Cakes, which is not that long, but we're tight. She loves, loves my bulldog, Mona (but ummm, who doesn't?), and I love her cupcakes and cookies. Perfect!
I have, however, been struggling with corn versus cupcakes. Cupcakes have corn starch in their baking powder (I think cupcakes have baking powder...need to double check that), but I love them. A lot. A ton. Whatever. So how do I tell Dotty and her cupcakes no?
Well Dottie and I started talking shop and then Dotty tells me I MUST try their 3 new cookie flavors. I gave a nervous smile, tried to change the subject, but got dragged into the shop and forced, FORCED to eat a bite of a chocolate caramel cookie. Caramel - made of corn. Cookies - have baking powder. Crap. So I did swallow a bite because I can't say no to Dotty. And it was a chocolate caramel cookie.
The rest of my meals these first two days went very well. Salads and minimally processed grains. A dark chocolate chocolate bar (I have a sweet tooth and I gotta get it from somewhere) has been satisfying my need for sweets.
Soooo besides eating corn products to be nice and to not look like a complete loony to others, I think I can do this. Im not going to give up after one little slip up! This isn't a pass or fail test, its an experiment and test of my personal strength.