Week 3: Success With Recipes and the Orange Greencicle

Rounding up on week 3 of the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol here! I am curled up in bed eating 2 slices of uncured bacon (the boyfriend shakes his head, “Bacon in bed?”), who could complain!!

Grateful that I have always enjoyed if not loved to cook, and that I have essentially lived on a restricted diet for over a decade (Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Meat Eater…) it has not been difficult. The true challenge is planning out meals and setting time aside to make them. I don’t mind leftovers, but I also have a Pinterest page with thousands of pins… and I only have so much time on this earth to make them all! Needless to say I tried several new recipes this week, and I liked every one of them!

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The first recipe I tested out was for a cheese substitute made from zucchini. I saw it while browsing the AIP Lifestyle blog. I love a good stinky cheese, sliced up with olives and salami, and while I can certainly live without it – I find it fun to have an alternative. For this recipe I left out the Nutritional Yeast and the probiotic capsule. These certainly will add to the flavor but I enjoyed this without, and shredded it on to salads throughout the week. The key ingredient here is gelatin, it allows the cheese to hold shape and is easy to slice up or shred. The taste is mild and I could add a combination of herbs or spices to play around with different flavors. Also a great option for cheeseburger or pizza cravings because it slices and shreds so well.

IMG_5153I was missing condiments this week. Hot sauce, ketchup, mustard… all the vinegary, tangy tastes that we squirt all over everything! So I made Nightshade-free Ketchup. I have used a recipe twice before from this blog that tastes really good but I didn’t have apple juice so I found this one. Both are great recipes and taste awesome with some sweet potato fries and lamb meatballs. I have also used these recipes slathered on top of mini turkey meatloaf! The flavor is sweet, tangy and it has that nice saucy texture of ketchup.

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Now lets talk dessert for my sweet tooth! I used a recipe from A Girl Worth Saving, for raspberry pop tarts but turned it into little apricot hand pies! In the cupboard I had a jar of all fruit apricot jelly and the dough came together quickly. The ingredients are easy enough to find a specialty store like Whole Foods, they can also be found online. It’s a short list of ingredients and simple steps. The dough rolls out like a dream, after getting it properly mixed, and bakes up nicely. The final product was moist crust filled with gooey apricot jelly. I used a small drinking glass to cut circles and used a fork to seal the edges a bit. No special equipment is needed and this would be a great baking project to make with kids.

It was a great week of food. On top of these recipes I made simple meals of protein (salmon, chicken, lamb) and lots of veggies, smoothies daily to get enough greens, and soup and salad to take to lunch. Not too much effort but lots of variety and great flavor. I can’t wait for this week, who knows what I will cook up then!

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Orange Greencicle Smoothie

1 Banana

2 Oranges or Tangerines Juiced

3 Cups Greens – Chard is mild and works well in this!

1/4 Cup Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup Water

Handful of Ice Cubes

Throw all together into your blender and buzz that baby up! Feel free to add more water or coconut milk if needed. It tastes a bit like oranges and cream to me! Drink to your health!

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Stop Chasing Healing, Embrace Living

As I finish up my second week fully committed to the Autoimmune Protocol, a modified version of the Paleo diet (caveman diet). I find myself reflecting on what I have accomplished. It is not easy to make changes, and it takes determination to be sure those changes really happen. I couldn’t imagine following the autoimmune protocol even 5 years ago. I was a heavy drinker, vegetarian and loved baking bread with my kitchenaide mixer. It wasn’t until I started getting sick that I realized the path I was on wasn’t getting me anywhere.

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I spent the past 3 years taking every supplement the books/websites/friends suggested. I started eating meat, and I went gluten-free. I constantly flip-flopped around from restriction to restriction and never felt relief. I would begin to heal and my digestion issues would flare up, and once I got my digestion under control (somewhat) my skin would flare. Feeling thankful that my Psoriasis remained on my scalp, and then it started to appear down the side of my leg. While thinking these therapies were helping, they were more than likely making it worse.

While I don’t take prescriptions often, I was taking a cocktail of supplements each day, on top of multiple homeopathic, and herbal tinctures. I was studying these things to some degree but taking them all together – I couldn’t tell what was helping. Telling myself that they were natural and suggested by reliable sources.. I became a pill popper. Going on vacation, or away for a day or 2, and I had to have at least 6 different pills and a couple herbal tinctures. I couldn’t control my health it seemed and the pills and herbs made me feel like I could. IMG_1621

I would avoid certain foods for a week then go to a social gathering and feel obligated to cheat. I battled depression, stress, anxiety. I was losing my mind. Completely resigned to a life of torment and pain. Never waking up feeling great and never healing.

When they say you have to hit rock bottom, I can from experience say it’s true. There at the bottom of my spiritual well I gave in. I looked all my misery and pain in the face and I wasn’t afraid. There in my dark hole I began to see what this struggle was teaching me, and how it was making me a better person. It was there in that moment that I truly began to heal. Spiritually. Mentally. Physically.

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I gained a sense of clarity and all the research I had gathered on my sickness pointed the way. I have a long way to go. I know now that I have the strength and the courage, because it’s what my condition gave me as a gift. I couldn’t have accomplished 2 full weeks of AIP without it.

I have been so busy cooking, working, and trying to get things together for the holidays, that I have not created any new recipes! To my delight there are so many online and in cookbooks that I have been able to cook without stress. AIP baking is a breeze so far, I love fruits and vegetables, and have found that a giant smoothie daily really helps me get in my greens!

Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have more recipe review posts and some photos of foods I have made. It has only been 2 weeks but I already have less inflammation in my sinuses and don’t wake up horribly congested. My skin is still in rough shape, most outbreaks take at least 6 weeks, and I was diagnosed with a second condition. Interstitial cystitis, chronic inflammation of the bladder. I remain hopeful. There are many amazing people out there who have taken back their health eating this way and I intend to be one of them.

Nightshade Free Ketchup

Nightshade Free Ketchup