Reintroduction #1 – Rice!

There is a chart floating around out there somewhere that lists the four stages for reintroducing foods following the AIP Diet.  I’ve seen the chart and am familiar with the four stages but am not totally satisfied with it because the “order” for reintroduction doesn’t  always make sense to me.  Plus, because of some already known food allergies, I can’t even introduce some of the “first level foods” so I’m going out of order.

I am in NO WAY suggesting or recommending that anyone else go out of order when reintroducing foods.  I suggest that everyone follow the reintroduction phase as prescribed because I do understand there is a logic to it that my simple mind doesn’t understand.  I’ve always been somewhat of a rebel though and that seems to be carrying over into my reintroduction phase.

On “Day 35” of my AIP Diet I decided it was tie to try to reintroduce a food.  I gave it tons of thought and planning because I wanted my first reintroduction to not just be successful, but also a food that would open up some new options for me when it came to baking.  For me, that food was RICE!  Rice is normally a “fourth level food” for reintroduction but I chose rice for a few reasons:

  • Rice doesn’t contain Gluten unless it’s from cross-contamination so I purchased an organic white rice that was “gluten-free”.  (I’ve also never been diagnosed with a sensitivity to Gluten so I felt like this was a “safe” option for me.)
  • I desperately needed a new flour for baking and cooking because Coconut or Cassava Flour just weren’t cutting it.  (FYI – Rice Flour, Arrowroot, & sparkling water makes a pretty decent “tempura batter”.)
  • My husband’s mother was from Japan so rice was always a staple in his home.  He has been so great to follow the diet with me, I really wanted to add something that I knew he was missing too. (A love of sushi is what originally brought us together so I was also hopeful that we could return to eating sushi soon.)

So on “Day 35” I awoke with some trepidation because I was really afraid of trying to reintroduce a food and possibly cause flare.  After being inflammation free for almost a month, the thought of eating something that could cause me to have a setback was scary.  My love of food drove me forward though so I prepared a cup of white rice and stared at it for quite a while once it was cooked.  After staring at it for a prolonged period didn’t cause any inflammation, I took a tiny bite – a teaspoon or less.  I then nervously waited a couple of hours, the whole time going through a mental checklist of my body trying to ensure there was no reaction.   Itching? Nope! Stomach distress? Nope! Pain, brain fog, tingling, anything?  Nope, nope, nope and a big NOPE!  So a big full tablespoon of rice came next and again I waited and went through the mental checklist.  After no side effects from the full tablespoon, I had a full serving of rice with my dinner that night and waited to make sure there were no side effects the next morning/day.  I then continued to eat rice for the next couple of days just to be sure I wasn’t having some delayed reaction to the rice.  I’m happy to report that I had no side effects and that rice is now a part of my diet again!!!!  Since rice doesn’t contain much in the way of nutritional value, I still limit my intake to once or twice a week tops but I have to admit, it’s so nice to have rice back in my diet!

During that 3 day period when I was eating rice, I remembered a dish my mother use to make for me when I was a child, Rice Pudding.  Though my mother passed away a few years ago and hadn’t made Rice Pudding for me in 40+ years, I found myself CRAVING Rice Pudding and longing for it as a comfort food.  So I now had to come up with an “AIP friendly” version for Rice Pudding when rice isn’t even an allowed food on the diet.  It was important to me that it remain similar to the Rice Pudding my mother made for me all those years ago so I present the following recipe in hopes that it offers comfort to someone else – someone else that’s allowed to eat rice that is.

Reintroduction Rice Pudding

1 Cup Cooked White Rice

1 Cup Coconut Milk (full fat)

3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/4 – 1/2 Cup Raisins (I personally like it loaded with raisins)

Combine all ingredients in a covered saucepan and simmer on low heat for approximately 20-30 minutes until creamy and most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching.  (Depending on the amount of raisins you add, you may need to add some additional milk as the raisins will plump up and absorb a lot of the liquid.)

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