Archive for category Recipes

My Month on the AIP Diet

If you live with a chronic disease, you’ve been told some variation of “you can cure your disease if you eat this or don’t eat this”. I’ve been told to eat ginger, turmeric, be vegan, go paleo, cut dairy, cut nightshades.

The list goes on, and I’m generally skeptical of these suggestions. But there’s nothing like mounting symptoms to get you to try anything.

So last fall, I decided to embrace the Autoimmune Protocol completely for 30 days and slowly add in foods. To help, I bought

The diet is strict – essentially having you cut anything that could trigger a reaction, reset your gut, and add foods back one by one.

Here’s the guide I followed, created by Mickey Trescott:

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After a month of following the diet, and a few months adding foods back in, here’s what I learned:

  • Life is just not the same without coffee and wine. 😉 Seriously, I don’t care if my symptoms flare a bit, these “food groups” have been added back and are staying.
  • The diet makes eating out nearly impossible. For me, this was difficult as I eat out a lot. Being forced to cook so much was a learning curve, but I’m now a much better cook!
  • I now know how to cook all sorts of meats. Before this diet, my kitchen was essentially vegetarian because I didn’t like cooking meat. Now I cook it weekly.
  • Nightshade vegetables DO cause achy joints for me the next day, particularly tomatoes and peppers.
  • My gut feels better with WAY fewer grains in my diet. Though I’m currently not gluten free, I generally now stick to rice and corn if I’m eating grains.
  • I have continued to eat more vegetables, meat, fermented foods and kombucha and feeling better for it. Most mornings, I still make myself a green smoothie to start the day.

I’m not about to tell you this diet will cure you. I’m feeling better, but I think that’s largely due to a change in medication (switching from Enbrel to Cimzia). Adding the “light” version of this diet I’ve landed on to my lifestyle keeps me healthy and makes me feel good. I recommend testing it for yourself and would love to hear if you have experience with this diet in the comments!

 

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TGIF… & I Love My Coffee

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I’ve tried lots of different diets to help improve my RA symptoms and circulation issues. One that I just haven’t been able to stick to is cutting out caffeine.

I’m sorry, I just don’t know how to function without the stuff and green tea in the morning…it just isn’t the same as a nicely brewed cuppa coffee (or an almond milk latte – mmm mmm good).

I made an awesome discovery recently that is alleviating my guilt of coffee drinking: Add a bit of cayenne pepper and a healthy dose of cinnamon to your coffee grinds in the morning and, walla!, fancy morning coffee with the added benefit of two inflammatory/pain-reducing, circulation-boosting superfoods. I haven’t tried it with ginger yet (another inflammatory/pain-reducing, circulation-boosting powerhouse), but that may be worth a shot too.

Try it and let me know what you think!

 

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Have I Mentioned How Much I Hate Quinoa?

Image courtesy momskitchenhandbook.com

Yes, that’s right. Quinoa. The miracle superfood. The gluten free wonder. The spotlight food of the moment. IT MAKES ME SICK.

I used to eat quinoa all the time. And this is before I was gluten free. I just thought it was a tastier option to rice. And healthy.

Then, one fateful dinner about four years ago, my boyfriend and I made quinoa. About twenty minutes later we were both writhing around the floor of our living room in complete gut-wrenching agony.

I’ve experimented with quinoa since then, both on accident and on purpose, all with the same result.

The latest experiment happened last night. I made a really nice dinner for my boyfriend and me.

Last night’s menu:

My take on the “African Delight” salad from Happy Herbivore Abroad: line a large pot with water and coconut oil, heat and add sweet or red onions with a bit of berbere spice (a mix of cayenne, paprika, fenugreek, cardamom, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, turmeric, and cloves), cook onions until translucent, add yams or sweet potatoes and cook until soft, add fresh ginger and kale and set to simmer.

Zucchini and summer squash fresh from the garden, cooked in olive oil with sweet onion, parsley and basil. Served over gluten free pasta with parmasean.

Paired with yummy white wine from Sicily.

Anyway, I digress. Dinner was good up until the sudden urge to puke my guts out. My boyfriend wasn’t feeling the effects yet, so we went through every spice, wondering what I was sensitive to. Finally we looked at the pasta box. There in the ingredient list was the culprit: quinoa.

My bf started feeling the effects about twenty minutes later and we both spent the next four hours in agony, trying to distract ourselves with Archer, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report.

I’m feeling better today, but am going to be much, much more diligent about checking the ingredient list!

More on quinoa sensitivity: http://sopranointherealworld.blogspot.com/2011/12/quinoa-psa-and-seven-foods-you-should.html

Has anyone else developed a quinoa sensitivity?

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New Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

New Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

This is my new favorite morning smoothie:

1) A bunch of fresh parsley
2) A handful of kale
3) 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
4) A few inches of cucumber
5) Avocado (half or full)
6) A bit of fresh ginger
7) A teaspoon (or so) of chia seeds
8) For the inflammation challenged…A tablespoon (or so) of liquid fish oil
9) Unsweetened almond milk
10) Agave sweetener as desired
11) Enjoy!!!

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Hero Foods From a Chef With RA

Hero Foods From a Chef With RA

Sasha who writes the blog RA My Way mentioned Seamus Mullen’s book, Hero Foods, in a recent blog post. I haven’t checked out the book yet, but love his philosophy and had to share!

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Marathon Training & Raw Food

Mile 4.5 water break!

Mile 4.5 water break!

Just had to share that last weekend I had a great solo run – 13.2 miles (that’s a half marathon!!) on a beautiful, dirt, hilly trail. I was running VERY slow, but I had a great time and it was FUN! Barcelona Marathon, I’m on my way!

On another note, I tried Kari Carr’s Mediterranean wrap recipe. This was my version of the cashew cheese:

Throw the following into a blender and blend until cheesy (consistency of hummus):

  • 2.25 cups of raw, unsalted cashews (I didn’t presoak because (a) what does that even mean? (b) why would one do it? and (c) who has the time?
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used almond milk instead of water because I thought, why not?)
  • handle of Italian parsley
  • sprinkle of chia seeds (they’re apparently good for you and give you energy, so this was another addition to Kris Carr’s recipe)
  • sprinkle of salt & pepper

I put the “cheese”, black olives, sundried tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds, onto collard greens for a super yummy (trust me!), healthy lunch. 🙂

My super yummy wrap! :)

My super yummy wrap! 🙂

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Cooking With Kris Carr

I’m not a big soy fan, so I would probably use eggs instead of tofu in the first recipe. Other than than that, these look awesome! I can’t wait to try making cashew cheese on my own and whipping up the Mediterranean wrap!

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