Monday, May 21, 2012

The cake is a lie

Birthday cake
In my family, we have what we've come to call "birthday season". We celebrate six birthdays from this past weekend up to August 1, including mine and my husband's. Normally, this is lots of fun. It's a seemingly endless parade of presents, Mom's home cooking and nummy birthday cakes.

I loved birthday cakes. Emphasis on loved. Because now, after about a month of Primal living, birthday cakes have become heartless bitches who seduce me with their buttercream frosting roses and then rip my stomach to shreds.

Damn you, foul confectionery temptresses! I've become everything I hate!

My younger sister's birthday is the kickoff of birthday season. She wanted to celebrate at our very favorite bar in Charlotte, VBGB Beer Hall & Garden. It's the kind of place I'd always dreamed about: big selection of beer and cider on tap, giant patio to chill on, good music, a laid-back vibe, and it's dog- and kid-friendly. Seriously, if you live in the Charlotte area, you need to go to this place. Have a giant pretzel (if your stomach can take it) and play giant Jenga and have a good time.

Things started out great! I had a Crispin hard cider and some of their amazing filet beef kabobs. I was going to splurge on sweet potato fries, but they'd run out by the time we got there. Oh well, my husband shared his potato latkes with me, so I couldn't complain. He had one of their delicious Zweigles' pork brats on a pretzel roll.

I'd bought my sister a cookie cake, because she said she'd always wanted one but never had one. How can you say no to your little sis when she says that? We all enjoyed a slice, and I happily drank two cherry Cokes with it. Yum.

I was even a good wifey and let the husband stay out late! I took our son home and put him to bed. Husband came home a few hours later, and he wasn't feeling so hot. Long story short, his stomach was a mess. Mine felt OK, but not great; the cookies and Coke weren't agreeing with me.

The next day, he was miserable. My husband could barely get out of bed. He forced himself to eat a banana and some rice for lunch, and he drank a ton of water. He couldn't figure out why he felt so bad, because he'd only had a few beers and he didn't feel hungover, just sick.

Then we put two and two together: The freaking gluten and sugar. That's why we didn't feel good.


I started to feel better after eating some nice, stomach-friendly banana almond waffles for breakfast and a chicken and spinach salad for lunch. My husband finally started to recover by dinnertime, so we went to my parents' house to celebrate my sister's birthday with them. We ate ribs, a little bit of corn, and I took a spoonful of baked beans. I thought about getting up and making a salad, but I didn't want to be the only one eating one.

Then came the cake! I cut myself a small sliver and skipped the ice cream. I took a bite, one I'd been looking forward to all week. Target's cakes are pretty good, so I didn't think I'd be disappointed.

Ick. Terrible. The frosting tasted off and the cake was strange and fake-tasting. I stopped after eating half of my little piece, but I found myself wishing I'd stopped earlier. Then, about 20 minutes later as we left their house, I felt like I was reliving the scene from Aliens when the little one pops out of that guy's stomach (can you tell I've never seen that movie?).

I held my stomach all the way home, trying not to be sick. I went inside and took a few Maalox and had a big glass of water. It took a few hours to feel normal again.

So no more store-bought cake for me. It's not worth the pain and suffering. I just hope I can find a decent substitute in 3 weeks for my husband's birthday.

Image via 3liz4/Flickr

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