Food Challenge Round 30: Cindy vs. Pasta – The Rematch

Thirty food challenges. Wow. That’s an insane number, and I wonder if I’ve broken a world record.

But more important than the number of food challenges is the result of this one — I tried barilla pasta and WON! I tried Ronzoni about a year ago and basically everything went dark and I drove to work to grab my laptop to come home and vomited on my way there and then got home and passed out. This time, I ate a bowl of pasta, and went on with my day as though nothing had happened, BECAUSE NOTHING HAD HAPPENED.

Now, I don’t know if it’s the time of healing, or the brand of pasta, but I do know that I don’t have to rely on corn quinoa pasta anymore. I have to control my impulse to eat pasta twice a day every day, but I feel like I might be ok at that now that cooking is second nature.

When I made pasta for dinner tonight, I’d forgotten how to cook it. With corn quinoa pasta, you boil the noodles in the water. Regular pasta, notsomuch. The timing is different. I have to relearn the most basic cooking skill. But hey. I’ll figure it out. I make handmade gnocchi like it’s no big deal!

Cannot express how much joy I feel now that this is back in my life:

photo (11)

Food Challenge Tally:

Cindy: 22

Allergens: 4

Up Next: 3rd teaspoon of peanut butter

Food Challenge Round 29: Cindy vs. Onion Powder – The Rematch

Onion powder.

That pesky little food that you don’t think much about until you can’t have it anymore and you realize it’s everywhere.

In people’s cooking. In sauces. In processed foods. In restaurants. In “spices.” Everywhere.

Last time I challenged onion powder, I barely passed. The doctor’s instructions were basically, “If it happens by accident, don’t panic, you won’t die, you’ll just need to take Claritin and lie down for a while.” So in the interest of not wasting time lying down, I avoided onion powder. Until this morning, when I decided it was time. The olive oil gave me courage to re-challenge, and hurrah! I passed! Like, for reals.

I don’t think I’ve felt this good since I retook the SAT and my score jumped 130 points (though I’m ashamed to say I needed to use a calculator to figure that out. Ugh.)

These totally uneventful challenges are super fun. They don’t make for great blog fodder, but I love waking up early, eating breakfast with the doctor (or, you know, a piece of chicken with onion powder and nothing else), and getting on with my day after some friendly chitchat. Way better than the eventful sickness-y ones.

I’m taking a break from challenges for Sukkot, but I’ll resume in October with pasta: the rematch. The thing is, whichever brand of pasta I try, I have to ONLY eat that one. So, dear readers, which pasta brand would you try if you could only ever have that one?

Food Challenge Tally

Cindy: 21

Allergens: 5

Up Next: Pasta

Food Challenge Round 4: Cindy vs Pasta

Apparently, I have an “every other food” thing going on, because I failed pasta.


Pasta, as in the food I’ve eaten my entire life. I cannot remember a time I didn’t eat pasta (except these last few months). When all the other kids brought sandwiches to school, I brought pasta. I used to do this disgusting thing as a three year old where I’d pour my pasta in my thermos cap filled with milk. Every day. Because I ate pasta every day.

But apparently, I ate too much of it in this last year. Totally overdosed. Probably because as a kid my body was adapted to a one-food regimen, but at 25, when I could eat a ton more, too much pasta was a bad thing. When this whole thing started, I was eating pasta so regularly – I had it for lunch a few times a week (the other days, I ate bagels), and on days I didn’t have pasta for lunch, I had it for dinner. I was just so stressed and so tired and so not interested in cooking or putting in effort into anything that I guess I OD’ed on pasta. [this is maybe why people shouldn’t work for companies run by “shrill narcissists.”]


I self-challenged pasta yesterday. I had an errand to run in Beverly Hills at lunchtime, and since I promised my doctor I’d try the pasta during office hours not too far away, it seemed perfect to try it yesterday.

Caption 1: Since my last name is derived from Capellini, you’d think I’d be able to eat it…guess Juliet was right when she asked what was in a name.
Caption 2: Eff you, semolina and durum. We will meet again.

I had about four, maybe five, forkfuls. And then all of a sudden I got EXHAUSTED. Like all the wind was knocked out of me. I couldn’t think straight. Nothing swelled, I was breathing, but I just couldn’t move. I couldn’t open my mouth for the next forkful. I got extremely nauseated and just stopped. Took some Benadryl, drank a bunch of water, and drove back to work — at which point I sort of half vomited/half coughed while driving. You know what’s awesome? Vomiting into an old raisins bag in the trash pile of your car while stopped at a red light on Melrose. At least I hadn’t taken the trash out yet…

I left work early and slept the entire rest of the afternoon/evening. And today, after each meal (except breakfast which I had at the same time as Benadryl), I experienced crazy stomach pains, the usual throat swelling, and loss of voice.

The good news? This was the first stomach-oriented allergic reaction I’ve had! I’ve had almost every single kind of anaphylaxis now! Let’s keep it at this level, k? Because the only one left is blocked airwaves and that is sooooo not my thing.

I can’t believe I failed pasta. I also can’t believe I’m not as distressed about it as I expected. I can have corn quinoa pasta, brown rice quinoa pasta, rice noodles, homemade pasta…anyone have a good homemade pasta recipe? I think my lack of distress is related to denial, because as soon as I finish tournament one of food challenges, I want to test pasta again. I mean, 24 years of health has to count for something, right? Maybe it was cross-contamination of flax…or something.

It’s either denial, or I’ve gotten incredibly strong.

I’m guessing some kind of combination.

Bottom line — this probably means I can have onions when I try them on Tuesday! Because allergy testing totally works in patterns, right?

Food Challenge Tally

Cindy – 2

Allergens – 2

Up next: Onions.