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Summer Bounty- Recipes for Summer (No Cook, Low Cook Seasonal)

Summer is here and the fruits are starting to pour in! It is berry season and for those of us who love fresh, organic produce, this means we have some extra choices in our produce selection. Extra choices are not limited to berries, as your local farmers market will start pouring in various delicious treats from all over your region such as peaches, yellow squash, microgreens and much more! Summer is a feast of delicious colors on our plate and on our grill (yum!). With it being a “fruit season”, I wanted to offer some great summer treat ideas that can be thrown together.  Now don’t live on fruit, (although it is tempting!) and be sure to get plenty of vegetables too.. but here are some easy ideas to use some of these seasonal favorites in compliant ways.  I have included low sugar fruits (apples, berries and citrus) and also included some higher sugar fruits.  Remember that the higher sugar fruits should be used “wisely” and in moderation.  If you do not do well with more carbohydrates/fructose (fructose is usually limited on an AIP diet but not specified for the Wahl’s diet) then limit yours.  For those who do well with a little more carbs in their diet, this is a great way to incorporate some of the nutrition that this season has to offer.  To balance the sugar from the higher sugar fruits, make sure you combine them with sources of potassium (like coconut water), mineral salts (like greens or celery), some protein (like on the side of a main dish), and some healthy fats (like avocado) for best metabolism.   You can also incorporate things like cinnamon and enzymes to aide in sugar metabolism (1, 2)  For more information on how to balance macronutrients to control blood sugar, be sure to check out the sources at the bottom of the page.  The links provided for your convenience may be affiliate links, for my full disclosure policy please click here.  These are varying theories/sources on ways to impact sugar metabolism and may be helpful in your journey.

But in the meantime, let’s get “cookin”. Seeing as how most of these recipes are “no cook” that is purely a form of speech.

Moroccan Side Salad.

This salad was introduced to me by a Norwegian family.  I found the unique flavors such an interesting mix of flavors.  There were no measurements given but the mother of the family usually just made a small (meaning large cereal bowl) portion and we all took a scoop.  She simply sliced the carrots, chopped the parsley into larger bite sized pieces and segmented the orange and served.  I like to squeeze a bit of the juice over the parsley and I suppose you could massage the leaves to let the acid break down the greens but she never did and I never complained.  It is really a quick delicious side dish and may be a great way to get kids to eat some veges (if you can get them to try something new!).

Berry Compote with Coconut Cream.

I love that this has  such a fancy name but is so simple.   This simply needs to be heated but could also be served fresh.  Let me explain:  If you heat berries they call it a compote. If you leave them fresh it is still delicious. I once had a restaurant serve me a glass of fresh mixed berries in a large wine glass with homemade whipped cream on top.  I loved it.  So If you want to get fancy with a wine glass or even a martini glass, go for it! I serve this cold when its hot outside and warm when it is cold outside. I simply top it with Coconut Cream (look for no added ingredients) and if needed, add a bit of stevia extract or a teaspoon of honey to the cream. When in season, the berries should be sweet enough to not need a sweetener, in my humble opinion.

Banana “splits”.

I make my own coconut yogurt. I simply blend a can of full fat coconut milk in the blender.  I can add collagen protein to it to thicken or you could even add some arrowroot or tapioca starch to thicken if that is all you have.  I then put it in the fridge and most brands will stay blended and have a yogurt-like consistency.  I then take it out (usually the next morning or end of the night) and top it with things like sliced banana, fresh berrries, raisins, nuts (aip reintro), cacao nibs (aip reintro), carob chips, or anything else that may sound good. I treat it like icecream and make it into a “sundae”… its a great summer treat for kids.. or just the kid in you! You can add a little honey or stevia extract when you blend or when you top it out.. you can also add a probiotic for added good bacteria.  There are several recipes on the web for how to ferment it if you choose to put more time and effort into it.. but I usually stop at adding a probiotic and some collagen. I like to Keep It Simple, Silly:)

Apple “Cookies”

This one was not my idea but i truly think it is brilliant.  For the original idea from paleoeatsandtreats ciick here.  But for the AIP version, you will simply slice apples and top with coconut butter or alternate puree (such as applesauce, pumpkin butter, tigernut butter, or even smashed bananas or date-caramel sauce).  Then sprinkle with any dried fruit, carob chips, maybe some seasoning like cinnamon or vanilla, coconut flakes or anything you have around.  In the summer, I would dry some berries or even tropical fruit in the summer and in the winter, i would use things like raisins.  You could also switch out the coconut butter for some sweetened pumpkin puree for an Autumn Treat:) (yum!).

Pineapple Salsa

This nightshade free “salsa” doesn’t really need a recipe as you can’t really mess it up. You could also make this with mango if you wish.  Simply chop up fresh pineapple and mix with red onion, lime juice, sea salt and some minced radishes (optional- added spice!).  I would also add some chopped cilantro and pulse in the food processor until it is able to be dipped with some plantain chips.  This can be a fabulous snack alongside some AIP guacamole or topped on a taco salad or cauliflower-rice based taco bowl.  If you really want to feel indulgent, try topping some AIP tacos using this wrap as your burrito.

Fruit Salad

This is always a good stand-by and you can never go wrong with fruit salad.  You already know how to make this (chop a bunch of things and put them together in a bowl, remember?) but I wanted to include it because we tend to forget about the simple things we used to make that were healthy even though they were a part of an unhealthy leg of our life journey.  Although in the past we may have added sugar or some other sweetener, I assure you that was unneccessary and it will taste wonderful with nothing added.

These recipes should keep you busy for at “least” a week.. I hope they help you celebrate the summer bounty in a healthy and fun way.  If you like this post, feel free to sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page  Please Share this recipe to any group or person you think may enjoy it.  Sharing is Caring.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via the Contact page; I love hearing from my readers.

Resources mentioned above.

  1. Medical Medium
  2. Enter the Zone

Top 10 Healing Summer Bucket List (Do This Now!)

top 10 healing summer bucket listSummer is usually a time where people take time off and get outside more. There is less on TV and longer days and much more to do. However, when you are suffering from a Chronic Illness such as an Autoimmune Disease, it can be tempting to stay indoors and avoid the heat and humidity.  But this season is an important opportunity for our health. You may have seen that meme on Facebook or Instagram that says “Winter Microbiomes are Made in the Summer”.  I gotta be honest, this one made me think. But it is true! Below I have made a top ten list of healing activities you can and should do before Summer is over to take advantage of the healing opportunities that this season has to offer you and your healing journey. Each section has a why, but there are more reasons than I was able to list- so make sure you look up more that seem approachable for you and find out more reasons that it may benefit you.

  1. Eat dinner outside. This one is fun, especially on nights that are not blistering hot. Eating outside reduces stress, and exposes us to increased oxygen levels from surrounding plants.  It also removes us from the daily toxin and fumes released by the furniture and building supplies surrounding us inside our homes and offices. Taking a break and breathing in some clean air instead of the formaldehyde, paint fumes and healing summer activitiesrecycled air we breath every other moment of our days. Increased oxygen makes our brain and bodies healthier.  It not only helps us detoxify, but feeds and supports healthy cells and helps defend against unhealthy cells. The de-stressing of sitting outside can also help your adrenals and immune system work better by placing your body in a parasympathetic (healing) state and turn off the sympathetic (fight or flight) state in which we often reside at the end of a work day.
  2. Watch the sunset (as often as possible). Doing this regularly can reset the circadian rhythm, making it easier to go to sleep at night and also allow us to rest more deeply so that we wake up refreshed.  Watching the sunset releases hormones in your brain, telling your body what time of day it is and preparing it for bedtime.  Avoiding blue lights such as LED lamps, phones, computers and televisions will help this also.
  3. Put your feet in the grass. Placing your bare feet in the grass, or Earthing as some call it is very healing to the body. The earth releases negative charges that help regulate our electrical systems in the body. This can help heal the body of a wide range of maladies, especially useful in neurological and cardiovascular disease due to the electrical quality of these systems.
  4. Eat watermelon.. and other fruits. The abundance of both sunshine and fruits during this season is an opportunity to load up on nutrients and their benefits to our body. Potassium, Vitamin C and many others are in high supply during this time while they are in low supply during winter months. By loading up now, you can give your body an advantage during the months that these nutrients are not as available. These days, many fear fruit, even during the summer months. But we are designed to be able to handle more carbohydrates in the summer months than we are able to handle during winter months, when less carbohydrates are available. So having one to 3 servings a day should be fine and beneficial (check with your doctor for your individual recommendations). A rule of thumb is that you can have up to 1 fruit for every 2 servings of vegetables. By using this rule of thumb, you should have no problem enjoy the bounty while keeping things in a healthy range.
  5. Go to the Beach (Or mountains). Let’s face it- these environments are healing. But the summer, best known for beach trips, is a great time to take advantage of the healing properties of the ocean. The salt, the sand and the sun all offer something to a healing journey. Many feel rejuvenated at the ocean and this is for good reasons. For more information on the healing benefits of the ocean click here and at the end of this article is 2 more articles on how the ocean heals you. Do you think this means we can write off our beach trips as a medical deduction? (just kidding.. sigh)
  6. Get some Sunshine. Did you know that your body stores Vitamin D (and other fat soluable vitamins) to be used for a later time? This means that by storing up the sunshine we get in the summer, we can protect our immune system during the dark winter months. If that isn’t motivation, I don’t know what is! While sun cancer is a scare, a moderate amount of 20 minutes, unprotected exposure a day is recommended for most, regardless of the season. This amount is great for most Caucasion skin tones, while those with darker skin tones will actually need more and very pale skin tones will need less.
  7. Swim in a lake. If you have ever been in a “swimming hole” then you know that these are not the places to wear a bathing suit with white on it! That is because swimming in lakes and such is dirty. But a lot of fun! Not only do these places provide good fun but also expose us to the environment that builds a good microbiome and a strong immune system. Being exposed to dirt, mud and lake water increases our microbiome diversity and helps us body, mind and soul.
  8. Eat fresh Seafood or Fish. I’m talking straight out of the water food. Whether you or your family fish or if you buy it straight off the pier from a local fisherman, this is a great time to get some wild-caught and delicious seafood or fish. While eating seafood, you have an opportunity to catch up on natural iodine and selenium (don’t worry, the selenium balances the iodine!) and lean protein.  The fresh caught fish provides good lean protein and a lighter, easily digested meal.
  9. Eat straight out of the garden. You may have seen the suggestions to “eat dirt” or have seen bottles with “soil based probiotics” listed on the ingredients. Fact is, that eating straight out of the garden exposes our GI winter microbiomes are made in the summertract to beneficial bacteria that help our bodies work better. This can help stomach issues, brain issues and the immune system all work better. While we don’t always know what else is in someone else’s garden and may want to be wary of things like chemicals, pesticides and improper fertilizers used elsewhere, growing something in a pot on our own porch or even in our own raised-bed garden is a great way to enjoy food “straight from the garden” and where we can feel comfortable eating a food that has not been washed.  After all, we wouldn’t put anything on our greens, or onions or tomatoes that we wouldn’t eat- would you? If you are new to gardening, I can say that micro-greens, herbs, leafy greens, and spring onions are very easy to grow for first time gardeners. Try growing these and eating a sample as you pick them, before washing them. Your body will thank you.
  10. Camping. Ok, this may be something you city gals and guys have to build up to doing. But let me assure you that there are places with showers, blow dryers and working real toilets.  There are tents (and campers..if you must) with screened in porches.  There are electrical plugs at campsites and you can bring a grill. But let me point out that if you do this activity, you can combine all of the first 9 on this list into one weekend.  My family goes camping near the beach where we eat fresh seafood from a local fisherman and spend one of our days at the beach. By the time a long, 4 day weekend is over, we have reset our circadian rhythms, have more energy, are better rested, and have an energy boost that lasts all month. It is truly healing. While we do not go in the heat of summer, we do go at Easter and again at labor day weekend. In the heat of the summer, we would like to go into the mountains to escape the heat but still enjoy the fruits of summer (where it is about 20 degrees cooler).

So there it is: Your summer bucket list. There is still time to book your weekend for labor day and get it all done. Remember-life is for living. Summer included.

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Keep Moving Forward!

Easy Popsicle Recipe- Summer treats!

So recently I did a community event where we handed out gut healing popsicles. They were a huge hit and those who loved them the most went on and on about how decadent and rich and delicious they were.  Funny thing is that they were very low in sugar, high in healthy fats and anti-oxidants.  So I wanted to share the recipe with everyone.  You could absolutely replace the cocoa with vanilla or strawberry puree or even stick blueberrries or other fruit into the “batter”.  I usually make them chocolate because it is super easy and a crowd pleaser.  This same recipe can also be served heated in the winter for a delicous, decadent, brain healthy hot chocolate.  For your convenience, I have included affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy click here.

you will need popsicle molds or you can use an ice tray with toothpicks. instructions here.

INGREDIENTS:

1 CAN OF FULL FAT COCONUT MILK 

1 TABLESPOON OF ORGANIC PURE MAPLE SYRUP (can be replaced with stevia extract, to taste)

1 TABLESPOON OF COCOA POWDER (omit for aip and double the vanilla to make vanilla popsicles or replace with a few tablespoons of fruit puree, such as raspberry or strawberry or cherry)

1/4 TEASPOON VANILLA BEAN POWDER

2 TABLESPOONS OF COLLAGEN PEPTIDES

You will need popsicle molds. This recipe makes about 3.5 large popsicles. I used this size here.

DIRECTIONS:

Heat ingredients and stir with a whisk until smooth and warm. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight. To make them come out easier, rinse warm water (not hot) over the mold before removing the popsicle. Serve as soon as you remove them from the mold.

The best part of this recipe is that it has protein that helps heal leaky gut and is good for you. The sugar content equals between 3/4 and 1 teaspoon per popsicle and the taste is rich and amazing. Also, if you are doing MCT Keto (such as wahl’s level 3) then the macros add up so as to not throw you out of ketosis (this doesn’t apply to traditional keto).  The fat level is also great for slowing the sugar into your blood stream, preventing spikes in blood sugar. So make sure you get the full fat stuff! (its good for your brain, too!)

Enjoy!

Rebecca at MyCrazyJourney

 

Summer Grill and Party Menu Ideas: A Recipe Round-UP

Summer celebrations are here and it is time to grill!  Memorial day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Saturday, Sunday, everyday…It’s time to eat! First let’s set a menu.  We know there are going to be meats galore.. because that is how American’s celebrate! Right? First thing is first.. for your convenience, this post may contain affiliate links.  To read my full disclosure policy click here.

Summer nights are for grilling.. AIP menu ideasMain dish ideas:

  • Burgers- see my sliders post for inspiration for toppings! (and a sweet potato “bun”)
  • Shish Kabobs
  • Pork Shoulder
  • Ribs- Pork or Beef Short Ribs- Rub them down with garlic, lemon and herbs!
  • Steaks
  • Chicken Legs
  • Crawfish or Shrimp (Check out this AIP friendly shrimp boil recipe from Autoimmune Odyssey! Note: She uses black peppercorns which are an AIP reintro.  Omit these for AIP and consider onlon powder instead)
  • For spice blend ideas, the best source I have seen are in this recipe book here. (Honestly its the best cook book EVER! It will blow you away!)

BBQ is synonymous with 4th of July and it is definitely time to fire up the grill! (Make sure to make extra as part of your weekly batch cooking! Meat freezes also– hello, easy and delicious meals of my future!) To make this feel like an extra special BBQ day, try this AIP friendly BBQ sauce from Enjoying This Journey.  You can also buy this pre-made AIP friendly BBQ sauce.

Side DishesSide dishes (and more) for summer grill days!

  • Cole Slaw– use apple cider vinegar and oil, with a bit of sea salt and honey to season.
  • Apple Slaw– Same dressing as above but shred an apple with your cabbage.
  • No-tato Salad
    • There is a great paleo version of german potato salad over at Fast Paleo (click here to see the original)  But it is not AIP.  However it can be made AIP using these changes:
    • Ingredients
      • 6 Slices Bacon
      • 1/2 c. Yellow Onion, Chopped
      • 1/2 c. Coconut Vinegar
      • 1/2 c. Water
      • 1/4-1/3 c. extra ilght virgin olive oil (see notes)
      • 1/8 tsp. Stevia Extract or 1 tbsp honey
      • Celtic Sea Salt
      • Onion Powder
      Directions
      • Dressing: In a skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and set aside. Pour bacon grease into glass Pyrex measuring cup.
      • Add onions to skillet along with a couple tablespoons of bacon grease and cook on medium high heat until browned and translucent.
      • To the cooked onions add the vinegar and water to deglaze the pan.
      • Add enough olive oil to the bacon grease to equal 1/2 c. and then add to the onion, vinegar, water mixture.
      • Whisk in stevia as well as salt and onion powder to taste.*
      • Crumble bacon and add to dressing.
      • Store refrigerated in glass jar or container. Reheat as necessary.
      • Salad: There’s really nothing to it, clean, chop and steam up a head of cauliflower, add as much Hot Bacon Dressing as you desire and garnish with some fresh or dried chives.

      *Changes made to some parts to make the recipe AIP.  Content taken from Fast Paleo (link above to original) There are several faux-tato salad recipes on Pinterest, but many need to be slightly altered to make them AIP.

  • Sweet Potato Fries (or any root vegetables: parsnips, turnips, carrots, etc.
  • Broccoli Salad.  Here is an AIP version from Adventures in Partaking.
  • AIP Caesar Salad (see Dressing Recipe Link Below).  Use these Pork Clouds for croutons.

Great condiments.

Condiments and Sauces make everything better!

Summer Grill out menu ideas

Snacks and Appetizer ideas

  • Plantain chips and Guacamole– omit the nightshades and add exttra lime juice and cilantro!
  • Pineapple Salsa– Pineapple, red onion and radishes mixed with avocado and lime juice. Mince finely and serve with plantain chips!
  • Grilled Veggie Kabobs– Onion and Pineapple with Ham with Coconut Aminos.

And of course, no celebration is complete without ….

4th of july menu

Dessert

  • Raspberry Coconut Popsicles from Pure and Simple Nourishment
  • Mango Popsicles (use the same recipe but switch the fruit!)
  • Egg Free Coconut Cookies (Ice cream sandwiches, anyone?) from Almost Autism
  • Nice cream: Here is a recipe from Diet Hood using blueberries.  But the blueberries can be subbed for other fruit like mango or strawberry.  You can also use just the banana and add things like Coconut cream or vanilla, apple sauce and cinnamon, or carob and mint extract.
  • Sorbet. Freeze fruit (maybe watermelon?) and stick it in the food processor to make it smooth.

 

 

 

 

10 Snack/Meal Ideas for a healing road trip (aip, paleo, no cook)

Snacks on a healing journey can be… frustrating, daunting, and hard to find. I wanted to put together a list of my favorite snacks especially ones that were travel friendly for our summer road trips, picnics, baseball games and pool side snacking. Okay so maybe it is a little premature (It is may and not everywhere is having 90 degree days yet) but these things are coming soon and we need to be prepared, ya’ll. MMkay? (yes, I just got a little sassy and southern).

So let’s get to work for some easy snack ideas that are either no or low prep.

  1. Apple Chips
  2. Plantain chips
  3. Fruit such as apples or dates or oranges
  4. Fruit with Coconut ButterI like apples or bananas and have even enjoyed carrot sticks with this nut-butter stand-in.
  5. Collagen Bars.  You can also leave this recipe unrefridgerated and use as a dip for apples or bananas or even sweet potato chips.
  6. Sweet Potato chips
  7. Jerky. Try Epic brand to find a possible compliant one or make your own using a dehydrator and sea salt. You can place it in jars or baggies and freeze for later use if you need to store them for an upcoming trip.
  8. Turkey rollups. I like taking compliant turkey slices and placing avocado slices and a handful of chopped cilantro and rolling it up like a taco. I will make a few of these and place in a travel container for a roadtrip. I can also stop on the fly at a grocery store and buy the ingredients and make them quickly on a paper towel or paper plate in my car when traveling.
  9. Paleo wraps Sandwiches. I like stuffing mine with wild canned salmon salad using olive oil and mashed avocado.  These wraps make it feel more fun than a collard leaf and super travel friendly also. Its a healing sandwich.. finally!
  10. Paleo bintz/Crepe. This is perfect to pack for a breakfast or dessert on the road. Same paleo wrap as above, but fill with coconut butter and some fresh berries. Honey is optional.  I have also filled these with banana and honey for a super decadent dessert. You could also add toasted coconut, carob chips, dried fruit or any other goodies to make this dessert feel extra special.
  11. Bonus (I know I said 10 but then I thought of these! they also make great croutons). Pork Clouds. I love these in their rosemary and sea salt flavor!

There you go. These are some quick things that feel like I’m on vacation that don’t derail a healing journey. You get to be a little “bad” but still feel pretty good the next week (instead of feeling a flare). Enjoy your journey. Take some pics. Eat some food. Most of all, Live your best life!

If you like this content, please feel free to sign up for my newsletter here and receive my Free 7 Day Healing Meal Plan.  You will be given the option to join my 7 Day Kick-start Email series or to just receive the meal plan with recipes and educational/inspirational newsletter. Feel free to contact me at anytime for a free consult if you think you may need more help on your healing journey and if health coaching is right for you. I am here to help!

Rebecca at MyCrazyJourney

 

3 Reasons I Was Able To Take My Life And Body Back From Chronic Illness

As I virtually “live” in the world of chronic illness, I see a lot of stories of people who publicly live their lives as representatives of the chronically ill.  I see those who work really hard to heal, leaving no stone unturned.  I also see the others who have accepted their “fate” and have taken their illness in stride; they do life the best they can and put on a brave face.   But these tips are based on the best advice that I have been given (and taken!) and seem to be the defining difference in the camp who continues to heal and the camp that continues to decline. They are

never give up hope that you can heal

1. Never give up hope.

The minute you start to believe that you cannot heal, is the minute you guarantee that you cannot. I reversed brain damage and motor skills, nerve damage, my ability to see in my peripheral field, my balance, and even turned my hair from white back to color. I reversed all the daily symptoms from a neurological syndrome for which I was told there was no cure.   If I had believed that there was no cure, I would likely be fully disabled today and having daily seizure like episodes, unable to fix a meal for myself or leave the couch for more than a minute or two.  Instead I wake up every day and work, workout, and continue to improve constantly.  I still have bad days and I keep unraveling the layers of my root causes, but I continue to improve every year. On bad days it gets frustrating and it is tempting to give up hope.  But I know that the minute I do that, I lose out on all the progress that I will make in the upcoming year. And I remind myself what would have happened if I gave up hope 3 years ago when I couldn’t shower unless I sat in a chair and needed my husband’s help to do so. 


2. Leave no stone unturned.

leave no stone unturned when searching for healing

Be willing to try almost anything. I refuse to think that only food and stress management are my only tools. I will pray, meditate, journal, use essential oils, anything to get well. If it won’t hurt me, it’s an option. If someone told me that standing on one foot while singing “row your boat” out the left side of my mouth would work, I would try it.  And it it made things better, I’d keep doing it.  Things that may work for you that don’t work for others include things ilke psychotherapy to work on childhood trauma, acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, earthing, and much more.  I encourage you to try them ALL. This means being open to new things even if you don’t understand them or necessarily believe in it either.  If it works, you will believe later.  If it doesn’t, what did you lose by walking barefoot in some grass  This does not mean shelling out my life savings to something that doesn’t align with my morals or common sense.  But acupuncture, while against western common sense, is aligned with eastern common sense and is not tens of thousands of dollars.  Walking barefoot is absolutely free. Neither is going to hurt me: What do I have to lose? In the grand scheme of things, spending 30 dollars to try acupuncture and find out it doesn’t work for me is worth the next thing I spend 30 dollars on that does help me. After all, what wouldn’t I spend to get well? Every person’s answer to that will be different.

3. Value primary foods.
 

Primary foods are the things that feed us that don’t come on a plate.  And they can improve your health. Spending more time with friends means you can spend more time in a healing state because it activates what is called the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is necessary to heal and turns off oxidative stress states caused by the opposite side of your nervous system, the Sympathetic Nervous System (also referred to as fight or flight). primary foods are an important part of healing

 Cuddling can improve the function of specific parts of your brain.  Spending time barefoot in the grass can reduce stress and regulate your body’s electrical system.  Whether it be pursuing a fulfilling career, participating in spiritual practice, exercising, doing activities that bring you joy (karaoke a dance party during your drive-time) or just spending more time with family– these things can affect your health and healing.  I encourage you to check out this wheel of primary foods, also called the “circle of life”,  and identify which ones of these are out of balance in your life.  Make a note to do one thing to work on an area that could use some more attention.

I hope these tips are helpful. I encourage you to pray, meditate, or journal about these ideas and focus on one that resonates with you on your journey. If you have any questions or requests, don’t hesitate to hit reply and tell me what is on your mind. I love hearing from my readers! If you would like some help on your healing journey, whether you are working on these primary foods, or just trying to figure out how to Take Your Body Back, or are somewhere in between, feel free to contact me to set up a free consultation today. Your location doesn’t matter, sessions can be conducted by video or phone.  If you would like more information but are not ready to get started on a guided journey, feel free to sign up for my newsletter below and receive a free gift: My 7 Day Healing Meal Plan to help you get started today.  It’s never too late to take your first step.

Keep Moving Forward,
Rebecca at MyCrazyJourney


Why Chronic Illness Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

benefits of chronic illness

Perspective is everything. When I first started researching how to heal, I came across one of the most beautiful perspectives I have yet to hear to this date concerning chronic illness.  I wish I could remember where I heard it but it made a profound impression on me.   I read this and immediately made a decision.  I decided that I would be the latter person.  (see the first quote below)  I decided that no matter how much work it was, regardless of how many bad days were in between, and no matter what I experienced, that I was going to choose my path.  I was not a victim.  I was not a statistic.  I would never give up hope and I would find the joy, the benefits, and the blessing inside this apparent curse of circumstance.  I feel like I have gotten 95% of my wish and I will die trying to receive the other 5% I am after.

3 years later, I agree: this is the best thing that could have ever happened to me.  Yes, it sucks to have things taken away, especially health and even most of my social life. Yes, I have bad days.. days where that 5% becomes more like 8%… but I made a decision and I make the same decision over and over again. The decision to not give up and to see the cosmic “bright side”.  To look at what this “curse” has blessed my life with. If you are tempted to think this means that things “weren’t that bad”, I encourage you to read My Story. Remember that I tell it abbreviated, leaving out most of the emotion and personal experience that quite frankly, was traumatizing in itself. But for now I’d like to focus on the points that have the power to help you.

There are 3 ideas I’d like to pose.

These ideas are for anyone who is either just diagnosed and beginning their journey or to one who has not had the opportunity to find their blessing among the loss just yet.

1.”Those with a Chronic Illness say it is the worst thing that has ever happened to them.  Those that beat a Chronic Illness say it is the best thing that ever happened to them”(1)

When I read this I was floored. I realized right then and there that I had a decision to make.  I could play the role of the victim– wailing about what had happened to me.  OR I could instead look for the opportunity. Maybe my new life would bring great blessings and fulfillment that my old life never could.  Maybe my life could be better? I now had the time to spend with loved ones.  I could sleep late. I could find a life that meant “following my dreams”. I was taken out of a career that was unfulfilling and didn’t pay enough. I could work on myself and create a whole new life of my own choosing and priorities. All of the sudden I had choices that my old life didn’t provide.  While I may not be able to do things I used to be able to do, I now could do things that weren’t a choice before I was sick.  This perspective only progressed as I got better.  As I got healthy again, I considered my dreams: new ones. And I got to figure out how to follow them.  I got a do-over at life!

2.”Why did you need to get this?” (1)

What is the Universe trying to tell you? How do you spend your time differently than you did before? How have your priorities changed?

In the country song “Live LIke You Were Dying”, the main character took the opportunity of getting sick to spend more time with his family and work on his bucket list.  He decides to open his heart and to tell people he loves them, be more giving with affection and quality time.  His priorities shift from being a workaholic to a family man who skydives and embraces life fully.  His universe was telling him to rearrange his priorities. I suppose that like me, he had probably known for a long time that he needed to rearrange these priorities but always answered that nagging feeling with “I can’t” or “Not today”.  So many of us say our priorities are our family but our actions say something else.  We believe we have no choice but to live our life that way.  We believe that this way of life is “the real world”. If it makes you truly happy, then great.  But for me this was  a limiting belief that filled me with resent.

My universe was trying to tell me to quit spending my time in a way that didn’t align with my morals or my own design.  The Universe was screaming at me, saying “spend more time doing what is important” and less time doing something that isn’t important.  In hindsight, being forced off my former life-path gave me the opportunity to create a life on my own terms, that fulfilled my purpose.  The universe was saying “Stahp it!!”. I had to be forced to listen. The nagging feeling in my gut wasn’t enough to get me to get out of my comfort zone, to step away from all I knew.

Maybe you worked too much and didn’t spend enough time with your family.  Maybe you were on a path in life that didn’t fulfill your purpose and your heart.  Maybe you were meant for more, or at least something more important.  Maybe your priorities and your actions were not aligned. Maybe you are still figuring it out.

3.”Your problem IS your gift” (2). 

I cannot tell you what that gift is but I can say there is a gift there. You may not have even found all of it yet.  You may be on your way to it.  But there is a gift. I haven’t found all of mine yet, but I could write a book (yes, literally) on the gifts I have received as a result of my problem.  And I see even more coming.

I encourage you to spend some time this week praying, meditating, or journaling about these concepts  Take some time to process the information and wrap your head around it in regards to your own life.  Don’t let your ego or negative thoughts keep you from finding the gift that comes with the curse.  The ego will want you to write this off as some “pollyanna crap” but I encourage you to explore it anyway. Open your heart and your mind.  If you write it off without exploring then you are missing out on a blessing. Only you can find the gift. After all, it is yours, nobody else’s.

If you like this content, sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of the page and enjoy a free gift: my 7 Day Healing Meal Plan.  You will also be given an opportunity to opt-in for my 7 Day Kickstart Email Series with 3 optional ways on how to start Taking Back Your Body at your own pace.  Feel free to contact me via my Contact Page. I love hearing from my readers.

 

  1. This quote came from an unknown source. It is not my original content.
  2. This quote is from Tony Robbins, from the documentary “I Am Not Your Guru”

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(Spreadable) AIP Pate Recipe

spreadable AIP pate'

I was one of those weird kids that loved liver.

I know, right? So weird! Basically I have always craved red meat and the nutrients it provides. And liver is definitely a Superfood.  Dr. Terry Wahls recommends eating 16 ounces of organ meat a week, which equals about 4 to 5 servings, depending on your protein requirements.  While that definitely doesn’t have to be 16 ounces of liver, I do suggest eating it either once a week or in pill form.  To put it simply, eating liver helps support your liver.  this means that you will support your body’s ability to rid of toxins.  The nutrients also support energy and brain function.  Many think that eating liver means you are being exposed to all the toxins that animal’s liver filtered out but I assure you that this is not an organ that will add to your toxic load.  In fact, as I mentioned above, it will actually support your body’s detoxification pathways.

So many traditional recipes include things like milk, gluten and other grains, refined oils and various irritants, allergens and inflammatory ingredients.  For perhaps obvious reasons (or not so obvious if you are new or unfamiliar with those worlds) , the Paleo and AIP have remade these recipes avoiding the aforementioned ingredients.  While there is great quality recipes out there, my experience has left me missing the spreadability (yes I made that word up:) of traditional pate’s .  They also didn’t have the same flavors that I was used to eating and so I wanted to recreate those flavors and textures in my own recipe.  This is what I came up with.

The recipe makes one serving, but to make it for more people, simply use 1 large, black skinned avocado with one pound of liver.


Ingredients

  • 3-4 ounces of grass-fed beef liver or organic, (preferably pastured if available) chicken livers.
  • 1/4 black skin avocado, ripe
  • 1/2 cup sauteed leeks- measured raw
  • 2 cloves of garlic, cooked with the leeks
  • 1 tbs fresh herbs (can use more, i’ve used double) or 1 tsp dried herbs. I suggest thyme and/or rosemary.

    fresh herbs in liver pate
    rosemary gives a nice woodsy taste to the dish and tastes great with apples
  • 1 to 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs coconut oil or palm shortening, for cooking only.

Cook the liver in the coconut or palm shortening with the leeks and garlic in a separate pan or cooked after the meat.  Cook the liver on low and cook gently until the liver is cooked through but not overcooked.  You don’t want any pink but also not crispy.  I suggest cooking it on medium low with a lid on it and keeping an eye on it. The leeks and garlic should just be cooked until soft. You can add the herbs to the leeks and garlic.

Place items into a small (2 cup) food processor with the avocado and process until it is smooth.  You may have to press it down with a fork in between pulses to keep the puree in line with the blades.  If you are making a large batch and therefore using a large food processor, you will not need to do this (they are usually better quality and better at mixing the food in general). When the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and smooth, you may need to gradually add the olive oil and blend that in so that it is not overly thick.  It should be the consistency of a thick dip.

Serve with optional fruits and vegetables such as radishes, carrots, cucumbers or apples.  It is also excellent with plantain chips!

How to Reverse or Improve Your Chronic Illness.

knowing the steps is like having a road map to wellness. are you ready for your journey?

If you’ve seen any documentary on how food and nutrition affects health then you know that food can be a powerful agent of either good or bad.  It is said that “every bite you eat is one step closer to health or disease”. And a journey is made up of several small steps. I’m going to break those steps down for you below and at the end, I am going to give you an opportunity to receive a free healing menu plan.  I am also going to give you an opportunity to sign up for my free 7 Day kickstart, a 7 day email series to help you through your first week if you decide to start a healing journey.  But for right now, let me tell you  why these steps are the basics of healing most chronic conditions.


As a health coach I work with many chronic conditions and we work on many related parts that attribute to and are a part of chronic conditions.  We balance blood sugar, improve energy, reduce pain and inflammation, increase energy and mobility, identify food triggers, and we also improve digestion and cognitive function.  We even grow better hair and nails!  When you have a group of people with chronic conditions you often find that there are some overlapping categories that seem to pop up in most of your clients.  The individuality of each person is very unique but the causes are generally the same. So I wanted to give an overview: how does one reverse or improve a chronic condition?

While not every situation can be reversed, it is not unheard of to reverse type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disease, depression or ADHD.  If they cannot be reversed, then they can be improved most of the time.  Most of these chronic conditions can be improved by focusing most of all of the following health categories:

1. Improve Gut Health.

Gut health is being linked to every chronic condition from autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune, diabetes, Parkinson’s, depression, anxiety and even hormonal imbalances.  So much of our immune system, hormone and neurotransmitter production, the ability to break down our nutrients and get rid of toxins (a source of physical stress and oxidative damage) is dependent on the health of our Gastrointestinal tract.  The “gut” includes the stomach, intestines, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.  For this reason, we often start with gut health in our journey toward healing.

2. Identify food sensitivities.

food sensitivities are often undiscovered and causing inflammation

Food sensitivities have been linked to ADHD, depression, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and other inflammatory disorders.  A food sensitivity is different than an allergy and can simply mean that a person feels better without the food than with the food on their plate.  This may mean that their digestion improves, their energy, or even their blood sugar or pain levels in their joints.  Identifying any foods that may be aggravating your health, is a key step in feeling better sooner.  Many food sensitivities can be reversed, which means removing them may be temporary.

 

 

3. Detoxify.

detoxify to reverse autoimmune and chronic conditions
our bodies have a lot of toxins to expel, and many of us can’t keep up

Toxic buildup can put stress on our bodies, causing inflammation, weight gain, pain and dysfunction.  It can affect any body part including the digestive system, the brain, or your joints. Supporting your body in getting rid of stored toxins can reduce inflammation, pain, weight, swelling, or dysfunction.  Also, avoiding exposure to toxins where possible can make it easier for our bodies to store less of these chemicals in the future.

 

 

4. Support the Immune System.

Autoimmune, chronic viruses, Chronic Fatigue, Lyme disease, and possibly others whose causes are “unknown” may benefit from boosting the immune system.  A dysfunctioning or suppressed (or even seemingly overactive) immune system can make one feel “yucky” all on its own.  By supporting the immune system, but not stressing it, we can possibly return it to its normal functioning state.  A normal immune system can fight the “bad guys” like chronic viruses and also knows when to “turn it off” so it doesn’t attack us!

support the immune system to reverse and improve chronic conditions like autoimmune
our bodies thrive when supported with the right (and enough) targeted nutriti

5. Support the Adrenals.

Let’s face it: Chronic conditions are stressful.  Even if you do not have adrenal fatigue, (but especially if you do) life and illness can be very hard on our bodies.  For this reason, supporting the adrenals can not only improve your sugar-handling (the ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels), inflammation, wear and tear on the body, reduce heart attack and stroke risk, regulate weight and hormones, alleviate depression and anxiety, affect sleep, digestion, and much more.. it can help you heal from chronic conditions. It can also improve energy and the immune system.

6. Targeted Nutrition.

This is where things get even more unique to you. While each of the above categories are addressed differently for each person according to their own body and unique situation, this area is the most unique to you. In this category, we not only focus on specific foods to improve the health of a specific organ or body system (such as the thyroid, or the nervous system, or even the brain), but also have to address any deficiencies.  We may optimize a nutrient to manipulate the body into doing its job better, or your body may just need more of a specific nutrient to thrive than your mate’s body needs.  An example of this may be to focus on electrolyte rich foods to help regulate blood pressure or heart rate.  We may reduce high glycemic foods for a person with Diabetes, or incorporate bone broth for someone with leaky gut.

7. Bio-hacking.  

biohacking for chronic illness
spending time outdoors (especially at sunrise or sunset) can help you love your body

This area is similar to targeted nutrition but the “nutrition” in this case refers to lifestyle changes.  This includes working on “primary foods” a term coined by Joshua Rosenthal to refer to the things that feed you but don’t come on a plate.  It may refer to exercising to reduce inflammation or increase mobility. It may refer to prayer or meditation that helps you reduce adrenaline or cortisol.  It may mean incorporating social time into your schedule to increase your body’s ability to heal. It can also mean watching the sun set to help with adrenal fatigue, sleep and circadian rhythms.  Regardless of which areas of your life need help to improve your chronic condition or the symptoms that bother you, there are often “bio-hacks” to help you get the results you are looking for on your journey.

That was a lot of information, wasn’t it? And it is a lot to think about.. but I want to assure you that I don’t expect you to go out in one day and do all of this.  Remember above that I said that we often start with the gut. If you haven’t gotten started with your gut health, then check out my beginner’s guide to healing your gut.  If you have a chronic condition of any type, I suggest starting there.  As always, If it is too overwhelming or you are feeling unsure, hit the reply button and I’ll be happy to schedule a free health coaching consultation to help you decide what the right next step is for you.

If you are ready to get started and would like to try my 7 Day Kick-start Email Series, or to simply receive my free 7 Day Take Your Body Back healing meal plan, click here and it will take you to the page to opt-in for both of those. By signing up for my newsletter there, you will be given a free downloadable meal plan and an option to enroll in the 7 Day Kick-start Email Series.  Again, the 7 Day Kick-start Email Series is completely optional but is great if you need someone to help you through the first steps.

If you simply want to know more but aren’t ready to sign up for the 7 Day Kick-start or the meal plan and just want to learn more, simply sign up for the newsletter at the top of the page.  This will ensure that you start receiving emails that tell you more about the above steps.  This will not give you the free download or the option to start the 7 Day Kick-start.

Feel free to comment below, I love hearing from my readers.  You can also contact me directly through the email in the top menu bar if you have any questions or would like to sign up for a free consultation to see if health coaching is right for you. A free consultation is a great option for someone who thinks they may need help continuing their journey.  This is great for someone who has either has 1.limited time or 2 doesn’t want to figure things out on their own or 3. has already healed their gut and is eating an anti-inflammatory and healing diet but wants to take things to the next level of their healing journey.  It may also be appropriate if you find getting started intimidating, overwhelming, or want to explore other options and paths to wellness.

No matter which options you decide to explore above, I look forward to hearing from you and hope to get to know you better! Until then, enjoy your healing journey!

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Cauliflower 7 ways: A Cauliflower Recipe Round-UP for AIP

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In the Paleo world, cauliflower is king. I can’t speak for everyone, but this vegetable went from highly underrated to a weekly staple in my house; replacing rice and potato dishes that I didn’t even know I would miss.  Anyone who has been paying attention or reading this blog knows that I love me some cauliflower rice.  But I also love some mashed cauliflower: it is a serious comfort food that visits my dish when I am cold, tired, and want something delicious and warm.  So I have dedicated this article to this wondrous vegetable: I have included 4 pilaf recipes and 2 mashed cauliflower instructions (just in case you have never tried this before!).  In addition, I have included some links to instructions for freezing your cauliflower rice ahead of time to make weeknight dinners even easier! I also included a breakfast idea for a yummy bowl of comfort any time of day! That is 7 recipes and a batch cooking life-hack! Enjoy! I know I will….

For your convenience, I have included some affiliate links to help you locate items when necessary.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

Lemon Caper Dill Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, riced. This is about 3 cups riced if you are using a pre-riced cauliflower. I did not measure exactly.
  • the juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of capers. In order to avoid a vinegar that is derived from corn or wheat, try these salt-packed capers.  They will re-hydrate in the lemon juice.
  • 1/4 cup of chopped, fresh dill.
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup of chopped leeks, bulb only (the white part). You could use onions, but I have not tried this and would probably start with 1/4 cup as they have a stronger taste.
  • Olive oil, about 2 to 4 tablespoons.
  • Optional: 1/4 cup bone broth

Directions:

Heat olive oil over medium heat, adding chopped leeks and minced garlic, heating until leeks are tender and stirring as needed to keep from burning or sticking.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the dill and the bone broth.  If more liquid is needed, then add the bone broth slowly.  You may or may not use all the bone broth or you may use none, depending on your skillet and how much liquid is needed or not needed.  Turn down low or medium low and let it steam until the capers and the cauliflower are moist but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally during this time to ensure that the moisture is evenly distributed.  Add fresh dill and fold into the hot “pilaf”, letting the steam wilt the green fronds.  Serve immediately.

This also good left over the next day, reheated or served cold as a salad or side. I suggest serving this with fish such as salmon or Mahi.  Asparagus is a natural addition to this meal.

For Scallopini Cauliflower Rice Pilaf, use the same recipe as above, replacing the fresh dill with fresh thyme and adding it with the rest of the ingredients if desired. Chicken is a suggested accompaniment with this dish.  An arugula salad is also a natural addition to this pairing.

LEMON DILL CAPER CAULIFLOWER RICE AIP

 Garlic and Herb Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, riced. This is about 3 cups riced if you are using a pre-riced cauliflower. I did not measure exactly.
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh,  mixed herbs: I suggest any combination of basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme.
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup of chopped leeks, bulb only (the white part). You could use onions, but I have not tried this and would probably start with 1/4 cup as they have a stronger taste.
  • Olive oil, about 2 to 4 tablespoons.
  • Optional: 1/4 cup bone broth

Directions

Heat olive oil over medium heat, adding chopped leeks and minced garlic, heating until leeks are tender and stirring as needed to keep from burning or sticking.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the bone broth.  If more liquid is needed, then add the bone broth slowly.  You may or may not use all the bone broth or you may use none, depending on your skillet and how much liquid is required or not.  You do not want excess moisture.

Turn down low or medium low and let it steam about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally during this time to ensure that the moisture is evenly distributed and that none more is needed.

This also good left over the next day, reheated or served cold as a salad or side. I suggest serving this with chicken or pork.  This pairing lends itself to some hearty greens such as spinach, collars or kale as an additional side dish.

 Lime-Cilantro Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Cauliflower Rice with pulled pork carnitas- AIP

Ingredients

  • Raw Cauliflower– 1 cup per person or 2 cups, measured in chunks
  • Cilantro, Fresh.  I suggest about a cup, but you may add according to your tastes.
  • 1 lime,
  • A lime zester
  • A food processor
  • A pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1-2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Cooking fat.  I suggest coconut oil.

Directions

Chop the cauliflower into chunks that are manageable for a food processor and add the vegetable chunks to the processor.  Turn the processor on and let it mince the cauliflower until it has a rice or couscous like texture.

Chop the cilantro by hand and reserve.

Heat the oil over medium to medium low and add the cauliflower, stirring and folding so as to evenly heat.

Add garlic and fold again.

Zest the lime over the mixture and fold that into the mix.

The cauliflower will absorb much of the fat, so you may find you need to add more fat, a little broth, or some water, being careful not to use enough liquid to make it “soupy”.

Add the cilantro and sea salt.  Fold  the mixture to mix thoroughly and serve immediately.

Suggested pairings: This side dish is great with pulled pork but is also good with fish. It makes a great addition to Mexican-inspired dishes such as carnitas or “taco” salads or as a substitute for rice in a Mexican “rice” bowl.

Also, if you haven’t tried my Asian Cauliflower Rice yet, then click here for the recipe.  It is truly my favorite one!

Mashed “Caulitatoes”

Steam desired cauliflower with a few cloves of garlic (I suggest 2 cloves per half a head of cauliflower) and add vegetables to the food processor after cooking  completely.  While food processor has been turned on, add olive oil, sea salt and additional herbs, being careful not to over-do it on the olive oil so as to avoid your “Caulitatoes” being too thin.  I like to add about 1 to 2 tablespoons for each 1/2 head of cauliflower.

Option: add some fresh or dried herbs to the food processor to add a “zest” or create a garlic and herb mash.


“Loaded” Caulitatoes.

Using the recipe above, replace the olive oil with bacon grease.  After mixing, top with crumbled bacon, sautéed onions, mushrooms and other vegetables of choice.

And more…

As promised, here is a great link to a batch cooking hack: This post by The Pinning Mama is a great way to know how to prep your “rice” ahead of time.  While her Mexican cauli-rice is not AIP compliant (includes re-introductions), her roasted cauli-rice is compliant IF you omit the black pepper (maybe replace it with some oregano or tarragon?).  The Indian cauli-rice also includes some re-introductions but could be altered if you are confident in your ability to do that.

I hear from others that you can buy cauliflower rice already “riced” and frozen from Trader Joe’s.  But if you do not have a Trader Joe’s or if, like me, yours does not carry this convenience, you can always create your own via this life-hack.  It is usually less expensive, also, to process your own vegetables and would be a great idea to do when you find cauliflower on sale for a great price.

For those tempted to rice and then refrigerate, I caution you against this.  Cauliflower has a tendency to mold.  Usually the mold is limited to the outside and can be cut off before using so as not to waste food unnecessarily.  “Riced” cauliflower has a lot of “outsides” and will mean having to throw away the entire bag if it is not frozen.

Also, I wanted to give a shout out to this recipe by Grass Fed Salsa.  Her picture makes me want to make a giant bowl of this “breakfast” for all 3 meals of my day.  It truly points out the comfort food status of this modern classic. Simply sub carrots  for the mushrooms and omit the coconut aminos and yeast if you cannot tolerate yeasts, fungi or ferments for any reason. Otherwise, enjoy this simple feast.


If you like this content and would like to receive updates, offers and recipes directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page. Feel free to contact me directly or leave a comment in the box below; I love hearing from my readers!

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