What Your Doctor May Not Know About Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity

Talking to my friends and family that are MD’s, I have found out something incredibly disturbing. Ok, let’s face it. If you really talk to MD’s about food and disease in any format.. but especially when they are not “on”… you will most definitely find out some disturbing things.

 

But this was something I think people should know before they go and get tested for Celiac Disease. It also impacts those with Gluten Sensitivity or Gluten Related disorders and also with autoimmunity, neurological disorders, and even Type 2 diabetes.

But today, I am here to talk specifically about Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity. But if you have any of those above diseases, I am including you in with the “gluten sensitive” group. So yes, this means you. And know this: if you had Celiac disease, then you are likely to not know it.

So back to the disturbing news: At best, a doctor in medical school spends between 1 and 15 minutes being educated on Celiac Disease.  In their residency, the chance of being further educated on it are as slim as the chances of a person being diagnosed with it. Properly diagnosed. Which is slim to none.  In fact, 95% of those who are diagnosed are only diagnosed after a relative is diagnosed, as a part of the family screening process. This means that in this highly undiagnosed population, that only a small percentage of Celiac’s  that know they have this disease are tested because of their symptoms.

Before we get to what you need to know about Celiac and Gluten Sensitivty, lets start with the difference.  In this comparison, we will discuss the first thing your doctor may not know about celiac and gluten sensitivity:

The difference between Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity

This difference is important to know and clarify before we really dig into what you really need to know. Celiac is a disease where the body attacks itself when gluten (a protein in wheat, rye, barley and spelt) is introduced into the system.  This concludes most of what your doctor knows.  What your doctor may not know is that the process of self-attack can be triggered by other foods or substances (we call these cross-reactives, see below).  To be diagnosed as Celiac, there must be a specific type of damage to the small intestine.  When this has happened, it is said that the “celiac gene” has been  “turned on”.  This damage always starts with gluten. For some, this is the only trigger.  For some, this damage to the small intestine produces symptoms (there are over 100 symptoms) and for others there can be no symptoms at all.  For some individuals, symptoms will be triggered by multiple foods or substances that the body sees as similar to both gluten and parts of the body.  But the body will only attack itself if these foods are introduced into the body through eating, breathing and sometimes, the skin. Celiac Disease is thought to only attack the small intestines but can also affect the brain and skin.  For these reasons, it is associated with several neurological and skin disorders.

Gluten sensitivity is when you have all the symptoms, but do not have damage to the small intestine, at least not that specific type of damage.  This phenomena can occur either because you do not carry “the gene”.  However, gluten sensitivity can also happen  to an individual who does carry the gene before it gets “turned on” and starts to damage the intestine in that very specific way. How do you know if you are gluten sensitive? There is a 95% chance you are. (see below for details)

Before we continue, let me give an example of what a typical experience with an “expert” may look like for some.

When I became celiac in 2009, I didn’t bother with getting diagnosed.  Some agree with my decision and some say I should have gotten diagnosed. In hindsight, the main reason to get diagnosed is for validation and tax write off’s.  It can also be educational to know which gene you carry, although this part is rarely part of the diagnostic process. (Some genes carry extra risk and some are linked to specific related illnesses, like Multiple Sclerosis or Bipolar Disorder. More on these diseases and their relation to gluten sensitivity at a later date)

In 2014, When I was hospitalized with what I now know were gluten related symtpoms, I asked about being tested in case it was a part of the problem.  I was told there was no point in getting tested.  I then asked if I should gene test: He had to go and look up which genes to look for and then realized he had no access to the technology to test for these genes. (It was a blood test).  When he got back to me, he told me that he found that DQ2 and DQ8 were the two genes associated with Celiac. Mind you, this was a gastroenterologist: He is supposed to be the specialist that you go to to get diagnosed with Celiac.  And even he had to google basic answers.  To make matters worse: the information he gave me was wrong on the following accounts. So let me dispell some myths right away.

    1. DQ2 and DQ8 are not the only genes associated with Celiac Disease.  There is research telling us that DQ1, DQ7 and DQ9 are also associated with Celiac Disease. While 95% of Celiac Cases are those who carry one of those first 2 genes, that means that the other 5% do not carry that gene.  Here is an article that discusses these genes in detail. It mentions the DQ1, DQ7, an DQ9 gene, specifically, in addition to the DQ2 and DQ8 genes.
      1. Let’s do the math here. if one percent of the population are estimated to have Celiac disease, then means that 3, 254,000 people have Celiac disease.  And yet, our doctors are not educated on this disease.  Even the “specialists”.
      2. So let’s do some more math. If 5 % of that 3,254,000 people do not carry the DQ2 or DQ8 gene, that means that 162,700 people have Celiac and carry one of the other genes.  While this number is not as impressive as over 3 million, it means that those that carry these genes not only will have a hard time getting diagnosed, but the specialist won’t understand that these can carry unique risks and complications. This deficit of understanding in our medical community leads to a group of people with either gene set, unable to protect themselves in regards to their health.  This means a patient will be severely handicapped in making informed decisions for their own health.


  1. Now let’s talk about related genes. Warning: this is about to blow your mind. So make sure you are sitting down.
    1. The latest research has been looking into Celiac and Non-Celiac gluten Sensitivity.  It has discovered that there are genes surrounding these other aforementioned genes. If you include the genes above plus the ones in succcession, you would basically have DQ1 through DQ9. Let me be clear, this is DQ1, DQ2, DQ3, DQ4, DQ5, DQ6, DQ8, and DQ9. Yes, all of them.   For those who are experiencing gluten sensitivity but not Celiac disease, this means you would have all the symptoms, but not the damage to the intestines. It is unknown if there is any damage being done but it is common to find that inflammation decreases when gluten is removed from the diet.  In recent years, leaky gut syndrome (which is partially caused by and associated with gluten consumption) has been linked with every major disease from Autoimmune, Alzheimers, ADHD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, OCD, Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes and more.  This suggests that even though there are not the consequences associated directly with Celiac Disease, that the gluten is still causing inflammation and consequences that we may not be willing to accept if we know what we are choosing.
    2. 99 % of the population carries on of these genes. Yes, that means there is a 99% chance you are gluten sensitive. Let that sink in for a moment.
    3. Every person I know who has given up gluten reports a decrease in inflammation, especially gut inflammation.  Inflammation is what leads to disease formation. Gut inflammation is the first step towards neuro-inflammation.

Why you have symptoms on your gluten-free diet:

There are 3 reasons why going gluten free may not have improved your health:

  1. You are not gluten free enough.
    1. For some, the conventional standars for gluten “free” foods are not gluten free enough.  The label in the United States allows for up to 20ppm (that is parts per million) in a food. I know for a fact that there are loopholes in labeling to help a food “qualify”.  For example, by changing the serving size in a product they can change the ppm’s .  While this loophole doesn’t fit my ppm definition, I have heard companies discuss the daily serving and explain that the servings were the reason why it did not qualify. However, by having 1 or more foods that are 20 ppm, a sensitive person can consume way more than 20 “parts” in a day” by accident. For some, even 5ppm can cause symptoms.  and let’s be very clear: even with no “symptoms” you can still be Celiac, and still be accruing damage as a Celiac or as one of the 99% who are gluten sensitive.
  2. You are cross reacting to other foods.
    1. This is something that many doctors have absolutely no clue about. .  But let me assure you that this is a very real thing. Not only in my own case but in hundreds and thousands of others on elimination diets have discovered the same thing.  These who have discovered this are not all Celiac, either.  I suspect this cross reacting would take place in any gluten-related disorder such as Hashimotos, Eczema, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogrens, Multiple Sclerosis, other Neurological Disorders, and more.
    2. The foods that cross react are Milk and Cheese ( milk and milk products are usually the first cross reactive food to lose and the most common), eggs, Potatoes, Tapioca/Cassava/Yuca (these are all the same plant), yeasts and fungi of all kinds (these are separate into categories but one can react to all categories) and all seeds and grains.  Here is a list of the 19 most common cross reactives, but make no mistake: you can react to many more foods that are not on this list.
  3. You have not addressed the consequences from previous exposures.
    1. There are many side affects to having a gluten exposure that can cause some longer-term symptoms. These side affects could be nutrient deficiencies, stress to the body, damage to the body and more.  This is not to say these things cannot be reversed, but you will need time and the right tools to accomplish the reversal of these consequences.

One more thing you need to know that  your doctor may not tell you:


  1. if you are diagnosed with Celiac disease, it means you have an autoimmune disease.  There is a common misconception that all you need to do is to go gluten free and then go on with your life.  This myth cannot be farther from the truth.  Once you have one autoimmune disease, you increase your chances of collecting others and also increase the chances of related diseases like Cancer and Neurological Disorders.  It is actually quite rare for someone to have only one autoimmune disease, but as there are literally over 100 autoimmune diseases, they are difficult to get diagnosed.  Many just don’t know where to look for the others. So to keep this from happening to you, it is important to know the following:
    1. If you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, you have something called leaky gut syndrome. If you are Celiac, then you have further gut complications on top of having leaky gut syndrome. Everyone who has an autoimmune has this syndrome and if they heal it, will always be prone to having it become “unhealed”, so you need to protect yourself always. If you have been diagnosed with Celiac or are gluten sensitive, have a related disorder, an autoimmune or neurological disease or other reason to suspect you have leaky gut syndrome, then seek help through a qualified professional to guide you on this journey.
    2. You are at risk for losing other foods through the cross reaction phenomena I talked about above. When you lose a food: you lose it forever. You never get it back.  Healing your gut can keep you from losing more foods, in addition to gaining more autoimmune diseases.
    3. You need to be diligent.  Even with no symptoms, even a little gluten can be doing harm to your body. Be as diligent as possible.  Sometimes this means being brave and asking someone extra questions to make sure your food is “safe”.  It can also mean having to say “no” to a food you really want and having something else to eat instead.

While this article covers the basics of what you need to know, there is a lot more to the puzzle.  If you think you may need to heal your gut, get tested for Celiac Disease, get tested for cross reactions, or need help navigating your gluten-free path then get some help from an experienced provider. For more information and a free consult, feel free to contact me with the email address or phone number here.  Consults are free but not all cases are accepted.  There are a limited number of spaces and because of that, our patients must qualify. Contact me to see if you qualify to learn from someone who has already walked the path, knows the pitfalls, and help guide you safely to health.  Are you ready to take your body back?

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Sources used:

  1. https://www.verywell.com/gluten-sensitivity-genes-562967

 

 

 

Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Vitamin


If you are already a patient of mine, then you know that I am super snobby about vitamins and supplements. But if you are not (or haven’t figured that out…?) then I want to make sure that you know why I am so snobby about them…

You see.. there is a difference.

natural solutions for a cold

Let me explain.. 
First there are various “tiers” of quality when it comes to supplements.


1. Tier One: This is your lowest quality of vitamins and minerals. This type is inconsistent in strength and is always of questionable sourcing. It is filled with fillers, “inactive ingredients” and made without thought as to what shouldn’t go in the body. You pay the least for these when it comes to financial cost but they may cause an upset stomach, side affects or they may not work at all. They also may be filled with allergens, pesticides and sugar. This level of supplement is the types of things you find at your drug store next to the prescription pharmacy and your toilet paper.

2. Tier two: This is a step up and has some variance in this level. This type you find at a health food store and includes some “discount brands” next to some more expensive versions.  While this tier is good for some things​​ and includes some very good brands (I love garden of life, for example) and may even be next to some brands that are included in Tier Three, they are generally part of a sea of confusion.  The risk in this group is that there is no standard of strength. For example, there is no guarantee that each bottle will contain the same strength of active ingredients- especially herbs. While some vitamins will be sourced from excellent sources, some will not. And unless you know a lot about the varying types of brands and the reputation of the companies, you are subject to the information from the person responsible for making sure they sell: the person that works there.
Even if the brand is “ok” there is a question of strength. For example, I bought an herb from one of these “ok” brands. Even though the bottle said it had the same number of milligrams as my Tier three​​ version of the same herb, I had to take 4 times as much to get the same results! This can be dangerous, because on many of these, there is a max dose of these herbs. And if one bottle has less of the active ingredient and the next has more, but they both say the same amount– then you could take enough that would harm you.. or not enough and think it doesn’t work. Some of this is quality control and some of this is ignorance. Did you know that the leaf and stem of the plant contain different “strengths”? But they may both weigh the same 20 mg.. or whatever weight is on the bottle. Bottom line: you are not getting consistent quality and may be wasting your money.

3.Tier three. This is the group of supplements sold by doctor’s offices. While you can find them in other places like Amazon, websites and sometimes in health stores (My health store sells 3), these supplements are the highest quality.  The strength is always the same and allergen information is clearly marked and strictly controlled.  In the industry, these are referred to as Nutriceuticals.  They are the quality used by functional medicine doctors to treat disease.  One benefit is that when you use one of these brands is that you do not have to use as much to get the same result, which actually ensures your safety and also that you get your money’s worth. 

In addition to the three tiers of quality there is the question of synthetic versus whole foods.

For vitamins, this comes into question of which is best and the answer is… it depends. You see, generally speaking, whole food forms are best. When synthetic vitamins were introduced into our society, cancer rates actually rose! This is the opposite of what we expected. But think of it in these terms: Vitamin C is not just Ascorbic Acid- but a complex of various components that make up Vitamin C. The various components work together for the body to boost the immune system and help it do all it needs to do.​​​​​
​When you isolate one part of a “team” of vitamins, you are left with only part of the equation.

Let me use another example. The coca leaf is what is used to make cocaine.  For centuries, the people of south american countries have been consuming the coca leaf with no real problems. That is because it contains more than just cocaine. It contains other components that balance the part that is isolated to make cocaine. When we take the isolated part away from the other parts of the “team”, we create imbalance.  Another word for imbalance in the body is… disease. In theory, this imbalance in the body’s input, can lead to imbalance in the body’s output. An orange will not cause cancer to rise because it is balanced with the rest of the fruit, but isolated it may cause imbalance.

However, there are some caveats.

It may be better to use a synthetic sometimes.  For example if you cannot get a high enough dose in a whole food form, then a synthetic may be a better option.  This would be necessary if you are looking for a therapeutic dose of either a specific nutrient or an isolated amino acid. This usually is used when you are trying to get a specific result from the vitamin, mineral or supplement.  An example of this would be when you are using something like 5HTP, a type of tryptophan to manipulate the body into making more serotonin.  Magnesium is another example of this as it is sometimes needed in high, therapeutic doses not able to be reached with whole food formulas.  It may also be because you need a specific type of magnesium (or other type of vitamin or mineral) to increase absorption.

Also, some types of formulas are better absorbed.  For example, liquids are more absorbable than capsules which are more absorbable than caplets or tablets, generally speaking.  You also have things like “liposomal” which are usually liquids or gelcaps and are metabolized by the liver instead of the stomach.  These are used when digestion may be compromised and affects the absorbability.

So as you see, there are a lot of factors that go into picking the right supplement for the right person and their situation.   If you are trying to fill your medicine cabinet, then go over and check out my online store to see some of my favorites.  You can also check out this article for some basics that you can keep in your cabinet and kitchen to help you and your family on a more regular basis.  Of course, talk to your doctor before taking anything to make sure it is right for your body and your health.

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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

easy paleo desserts quick simple
Wild blueberry compote (frozen berries that have been heated with either coconut oil or water) Add some coconrut cream for a creamy version!

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

Pineapple salsa over cod fillets with Jamaican-jerk cauliflower rice. Hello Summer Bounty!

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.

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Resources mentioned above.

  1. Medical Medium
  2. Enter the Zone

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.

 

 

 

 

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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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.  And before that we often start with dietary changes.  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, email me via the contact page and I’ll be happy to schedule a free consult for those who are ready to start taking their body back today.

If you just want to learn more but are not ready for one on one coaching, then  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.

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  about this article.

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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Gut Healing Protein Bars- Key Lime and Lemon Cookie

Key LIme and Lemon Cookie flavored gut healing protein bars
Key Lime and Lemon Cookie flavored gut healing protein bars

So apparently there is this big debate as to whether or not vanilla is considered AIP: but this post from Sarah Ballantyne, also known as the paleomom, and author of “The” book om the autoimmune protocol says it is not. I tend to be a bit legalistic and really wanted to do things “by the book” this time around.  As a result, I found some variations on the AIP collagen bars that I actually like much better than the original recipe, (each to his own, eh?) which is vanilla and referred to as “cake batter” flavored.  I took a recipe that I was introduced to while at an AIP group meeting and remade them into other “flavors” to both avoid vanilla and in an effort to make things a little more exciting for me. For the original recipe, click here.  But if you prefer things to be a little less “vanilla” then keep reading!

As a result of some experimentation, I came up with these 2 recipes as a definitely compliant alternative. I love that in the recipe, the proteins and carbohydrates are naturally balanced and it has a healthy dose of good fats.  It has collagen, which is great for gut health and joints.  It is also full of healthy coconut fat that is also good for gut, and much more!  For your convenience, I have included some affiliate links to help you locate some items.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

I love the textture of these, they are soft but not mushy, firm but not brittle!
I love the texture of these, they are soft but not mushy, firm but not brittle!

“Key-Lime” Collagen bars

Ingredients

  • Coconut butter – 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbs. grass-fed collagen protein, also known as collagen hydrolyse – (not gelatin).  This brand is what I used and this brand is also highly recommended.
  • Honey – 1 tbsp
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp.
  • Pinch of salt
  • zest of one lime.
  • juice of one lime

melt the coconut butter by placing the jar in very hot water for a few minutes until it is able to be stirred easily and poured into a measuring cup. Add this to a bowl, followed by the collagen powder. mix thoroughly, then add honey and mix thoroughly again.  Add the coconut oil, either melted or slightly soft,  and mix that in thoroughly as well. Zest the lime then mix again.  Follow with the lime juice last, again mixing until it is well blended.

Take the batter and move it to a parchment paper lined baking dish and form it with your hands until it is a large, flat square.  Score the square and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until the ingredients have reached solidity again. Cut all the way through and enjoy.  Makes about 3 servings.

This recipe makes a more tart, lime-y bar but for a more sweet version, you could increase the honey content.

These are perfect for tea time or just an afternoon/midnight snack!
These are perfect for tea time or just an afternoon/midnight snack!

For “Lemon Cookie” collagen bars, follow the same recipe as above, replacing the lime for lemon.

I am so happy with this recipe, that I have decided I am going to develop multiple flavors fashioned after my favorite desserts..recipes coming soon! So if you want to make sure you don’t miss a thing, sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page.  You will receive health articles, meal plans, offers, and more straight to your inbox.  Feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email. I love hearing from my readers!

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Orange Chicken Stir-fry

I am a little obsessed with Asian foods. I love the way they blend sweet with savory and sour with sweet. I love the easiness of mixing vegetables and meats together in a pan and with the right additions, making the simple and nutritious something quick yet delicious and almost mysterious.

chinese inspired Chicken with Orange sauceWhen I became allergic to soy (and more) and then fermented foods, I lost almost all my Asian favorites.  I mourned soy sauce and even fish sauce as I could only look at my favorite sauces and appetizers, soups and main dishes.

Luckily, I’ve found a way to make a few things that bring Asian flavors to my plate. I have, as a result, expanded my palate and embraced the flavors that are left to me- flavors highlighted by sweet, spicy, salty, savory and sour ingredients outside of the realm of the usual salty and fermented sauces.  In an effort to find new favorites, I continue to experiment in the kitchen and have created a few Asian-inspired home recipes.

I hope you enjoy this Paleo/AIP (if you omit the hot peppers) version of my Chicken with orange sauce. It is definitely something I will make over and over again, as it fits all my favorite requirements: easy, quick, nutritious, delicious, family friendly, and budget friendly. I think your family will enjoy it also.

Chicken with Orange sauce Asian Food made AIP/PaleoIngredients

  • 8 ounces chicken (or beef or pork), chopped into bite sized pieces
  • the zest of and juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 hot peppers such as jalapeno, Thai chile or Serrano (omit for AIP)
  • 1 inch of ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • optional cilantro for garnish
  • suggested to be served with Asian Asian Cauliflower Rice and sautéed kale.


Directions

  • slice carrots and put them in a pan on medium with the oil and put the lid on
  • mince the garlic and add it to the pan
  • Add the meat and give the pan a good stir
  • when the meat and carrots are almost done, zest the 2 oranges and then squeeze the juice over the mixture
  • grate the ginger and give the pan a good stir again
  • drizzle the tablespoon of honey and serve.  You can have the sauce reduce if you wish but this isn’t necessary.

This recipe is an easy weeknight dinner for 2 (with the cauliflower rice added).  Add a side of bok choy and you have 3 vegetables for a perfect meal.  And it won’t leave you hungry an hour later- even better.


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