Every few days.
It could easily be avoided, but I lack the self control to get a handle on it.
I have a wheat intolerance that causes severe abdominal cramps, pain that causes me to double over, and gas. Oh, and if that wasn't enough add in chronic constipation, heartburn, and bloating. Couple these with pregnancy and you have a recipe for a very grumpy human being.
Yet I still eat wheat knowing full well that I will be in pain as soon as the food hits my lower intestines. I suspect that because the reaction is delayed that I tend to 'overlook' it in favor of the instant gratification of the flavor on my tongue. I have compared my 'problem' to drinking too much, having a horrible hangover the next day, swearing you will never drink again, and then doing it all over-again and again. The cycle of self-abuse (is there such a thing?).
The short story is that I have always had digestive issues. Since I was in grade school, I have suffered from unexplained tummy aches, constipation, and overall intestinal distress. When I started college however is when it really seemed to spike out of control--I was often in constant pain.
I saw a doctor on campus who said I had IBS, and put me on meds to help regulate the peristalsis of my intestines. It helped with the constipation, but not the with the pain or other symptoms.
Then, about 4 years ago, I met Elizabeth. We were coworkers and friends and she convinced me to try giving up gluten. I gave it a try and after just 4 days I was totally pain free. After having abdominal pain most days for decades I couldn't believe how great I felt. I remember it like it was yesterday--feeling healthy and pain free for the first time.
So, why do I still eat wheat products--here are a few examples: bread, rolls, pasta, pastries, bagels, crackers, cookies, cake, baked goods, brownies (my personal favorite), Golden Grahams cereal, graham crackers, most cereals and cereal bars, soy sauce, pita bread, couscous, licorice, many candy bars and some ice cream...wheat flour is in practically every prepared food on the market.
I cook at home with frequency which helps to curb my appetite for these forbidden things. But, what about when I travel, or when I am not at home, or when we eat at someone else's home? Yes, I need to plan more. Yes, I need to have more self control. Yes, I need to be more prepared when I leave the house to resist the temptation.
But what I really want right now is for my tummy to stop hurting from the french roll I ate at lunch.