I love chocolate. Sometimes, I feel like I need chocolate. Very dark chocolate is one of the ways I satisfy sweet cravings without actually consuming many carbs. Chocolate is my Go To stress food. Yes, these aren’t great habits. But it’s better than what I used to do.
So, even when I started the autoimmune protocol in January, I ate some chocolate (so many people report tolerating chocolate). In April, I learned how ridiculously high in phytic acid it is, and cut it out completely. This is also when I saw dramatic improvements in my lichen planus, but I never linked it to cutting out chocolate.
But then, the stressful summer hit (refrigerator leaks, mold growing in the floor, replacing kitchen floor, sick cats, family dynamics, finding out we need a whole new HVAC, finding out my husband’s car is on its last legs, the stress of the kindergarten transition…). I once again turned to chocolate as my buddy, my confidant, my friend through thick and thin. I wanted to tolerate it so badly that I ignored the warning signs that my lichen planus was no longer healing (although not getting worse). And then I had tomatoes. I think that was kinda like adding gasoline to an already roaring fire.
Last Saturday, I posted a post about my frustration with my current lichen planus flare. I received dozens of wonderful comments, many with suggestions on what I might be able to change to address it. One e-mail I received, pointed me to this paper showing that high Vitamin-A consumption can exaggerate a gluten reaction. Seriously?! Well, I am consuming a ton of Vitamin A, so this got me thinking. And I consuming gluten? Or a food that cross-reacts with gluten? I was already aware that coffee cross-reacts with gluten, so I just needed to see if any other foods I was consuming were also gluten cross-reactors. On this list was chocolate (which I consume frequently), yeast (and I’ve been drinking kombucha, eating homemade sauerkraut and eating a little yeast-based Paleo bread), and tapioca (which I’ve been using in baking a lot lately). A light bulb turned on in my head. And then the cursing began.
The difference in my lesions in just 5 days is astounding. Many of the smaller lesions higher up my shins are gone. I actually took before pictures this time, so in a week or two I will post them with after photos to show you the difference. I am really ticked off that I can’t eat chocolate, but I am happy to have found my missing link.