A few years ago, my sister-in-law, Jenny, made this amazing dinner: avocado, tomato, corn, red onions and quinoa. As the lone vegetarian in a household of caveman-like meat eaters, Jenny was always trying to get my family to eat
I ate bowls of it.
It was filling, the texture was crunchy and smooth, and the red onion gave just the right kind of zing.
A month or so later, I decided to make it myself. Huge bowl. I’m talking like a week-long festival of just eating this creation.
Two bites in, however, my stomach began to feel all wiley (my autocorrect tells me this isn’t an actual word, but, this is exactly the sound my stomach was making). I managed to still eat it, but went immediately online to see if anyone had the same problem.
All I came up with was how amazing quinoa was. How awesome it was for people who had celiac disease (which I don’t have) finally find a grain-like food that they could digest easily. Pretty soon, pop articles about the benefits of quinoa, the miraculous nature of quinoa, and the flexibility of ingredients with quinoa flooded my facebook feed.
So, what did I do?
You know it! …. I made those recipes….
And, each time, my stomach hurt. Just a little bit.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me three times, four times, five times … well, I’m a dang fool.
About a year ago, I was on a flight to Los Angeles. As a new airline-sponsored card member, I had just found out that I got a huge percentage off of my in-flight meals. Guess what I bought? Nope, not the roast beef sandwich. Nope, not the cheese plate. Nope, not the spicy cold noodles.
I bought the
Within a few minutes, (I see you shaking your head), my stomach seized up into a knot. I unbuckled my seatbelt, thanked God I was in an aisle seat, made my way to the bathroom, threw up massively, and spent the rest of the flight sweating in my seat and eyeing the white, lined bag in the seat pocket in front of me.
Damn you, quinoa.
That brings us to today.
Just minutes before I was to give a brief presentation in front of my new colleagues in my brand new job talking to them about the brand new position that I had stepped into, I ate quinoa. Delicious, savory, buttery quinoa.
Yes, feel free to judge.
I cleared my plate, walked down the hallways, and made my way to the front of the auditorium. Oh no.
Our Head of School began his welcome to the faculty, and but all I heard was the sound of voices past saying, “You idiot. Quinoa? Really??”. Then, I felt my stomach leap out of my body. I leaned over to Jorge, who was on the schedule to present after me, and said, “Uh, if I’m not back, you do your presentation next. I’m about to hurl.”
Thanks to poor lighting and a background in performance, I’m told that no one noticed that I had just hurled 1 minute before I stood up to speak. Whew.
I’ll spare you all the major details, but it did involve me thankful that no one was around to hear my post-quinoa wretching and then laying in the fetal position on my office floor.
Needless to say, if you ever, ever, ever see me reaching for a bowl of quinoa, feel free to just kick me in the stomach. It’ll hurt less than the 7 hours of pain I will be in if I eat it.
Peace, love, and quinoa free,
PS: there was only one blog post that I found that mentioned this type of pain and quinoa, which makes me think it’s pretty uncommon. Some say it’s because of saponins. But, frankly no one had any suggestions or solutions .. I mean… other than stay away from the damn thing.