Archives for May 2015
Yes, another cookbook in the world of AIP. What sets this one apart from the rest? It is Cajun. Throughout the past year of beginning a blog, I have been blessed with the opportunity to come into contact with many amazing women who are fighting back for their health in similar ways as myself. Tara, from The Paleo Cajun Lady, is one of these ladies, whom I just so happened to meet up with at the Paleof(x) conference in Austin this past April. Tara has always inspired me, aside from her knowledge in the field of health, she can speak five languages, and has studied various self defense systems, including jitsu, judo, krav maga, and jiu…How cool is that?! Not to mention, she is also very talented in the kitchen.
Once you figure out all the “ins” and “outs” eating Paleo is rather simple, as all one must really do is eat foods that don’t have an ingredient list, are edible straight from the land or sea, and ultimately are items that were not cultivated to support society at the dawn of civilization (i.e. grains, sugar, legumes, processed food, etc…). Yet if you are anything like me, you still like food with a creative flare, or in other words, “ethnic food.” There is no saying that Paleo food cannot be this way, and Tara Perillo is forging the way and proving just that with her new E-book, “The AIP Paleo Cajun Lady Cookbook.” What makes Tara’s book extra special, is that it is autoimmune-friendly, meaning that she delivers a variety of cajun recipes without the common nightshade vegetables, seed-based spices, nuts, and eggs. If you are unfamiliar with what, exactly “cajun” cuisine refers to, it is said to originate from a mixture of Canadian, French, African, and Native American cooking. However, it is said that Louisiana, USA, is the “hub” of Cajun cooking, which is precisely where Tara Parillo grew up, a long side her grandfather who had a boat named “Cajun Lady,” hence the name of her book. Much like many individuals who find the autoimmune-protocol by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, Tara was able to use the protocol to heal her autoimmune conditions and“reconnect with the lifestyle she was born to live.”
The AIP Paleo Cajun Lady Cookbook starts of with a short history and introduction of Tara herself, followed by an easy-to-read list of foods to include in their healing journey. What I enjoyed is that Tara does not harp, or even mention, foods that are not allowed on the protocol. In a way, this makes it easier for individuals memorize and expand on those that they can cook with and eat, while also making it less overwhelming. Sections in the cookbook include soups, salads, sauces, meats, seafood, sides, sweets, drinks, and last but not least, tips and tricks, AIP resources, and a recipe index for quick and easy searching. Together, there are 63 autoimmune-friendly, cajun recipes, of which all include links to the ingredients that are used throughout the cookbook. Outside from the simple layout, all of the recipes fit on one page. What does this mean? It means that everything Tara shares is no-fuss, and available to anyone who is simply looking for flavorful dishes to fill their stomach and heal their body. Cheesy Cauli-Grits, Fried Okra, Maple Cinnamon Ice Cream, Sweet Potato Coconut Crisps, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Crispy Pork Belly, what is not to love? It is both a cajun and all-things food lovers dream! While my family had yet to ever have okra, Tara’s shrimp gumbo completely won them over. To learn more and support Tara, you can find her at her site The Paleo Cajun Lady, or through social media channels Instagram and Facebook. Also, for your chance to win a copy of The AIP Paleo Cajun Cookbook, enter in the giveaway below! (Open worldwide – ends June 2nd)
John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
Light and refreshing, today’s salsa recipe is the perfect addition to any meal to spring or summer.
After writing up a post on FODMAPs, and also eating low-FODMAP myself as a way to heal my GI tract, I wanted to share a few recipes that proved just how tasty eating without the common fermentable carbohydrates could be. In fact, this salsa just so happens to pair perfectly with my Plantain Tortilla Chips as a crunchy appetizer or snack. My parents had the pleasure of having the cantaloupe and cucumber salsa on many of their daily dishes. This included on salad, with homemade chicken fingers, and as a side over some fried fish. Truly, how you chose to serve the salsa is very versatile, as it is subtle enough in flavor to blend well with most all dishes, yet undoubtedly can brighten up any dish.
Cantaloupe and Cucumber Salsa
- 3 cups cantaloupe chunks
- 1 1/2 cups English cucumber
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup lightly packed cilantro
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 2 limes – juiced
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- Cut the cantaloupe in half, scrape out the seeds, shave the skin off, and cut into 1/4 inch cube sized chunks.
- Peel cucumber, cut in half, then cut into further slices, and chop the slices into 1/4 inch cube-sized chunks similar to that of the cantaloupe.
- Lightly chop the cilantro leaves, juice the limes, chop the green onion into small slivers, and place all of the items in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix in sea salt and avocado oil to the bowl.
- Add in chopped cantaloupe and cucumber, tossing until the ingredients are evenly incorporated with each other.
James 1:19 “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath”
One of the greatest gifts from God that we humans have is prayer. While I grew up in a Christian home, always said prayers before every meal, before bed, and occasionally when a crisis arose, it was not until I began my battle with chronic Lyme Disease that I truly learned the power of prayer. Whether in moments of desperation, or thankfulness, praying has become an aspect of my daily life that I simply could not live without. I remember many times where I was too weak to get up from my bed and take my weekly bath. It was during these moments where I found my own physical being to be completely powerless, that the omnipotent aspect of Christ became completely evident. While I laid in a hospital bed alone, confined in a room where I was accused of being a liar, for making my illness up in my head, ignored when asking if certain tests could be done, and forced to do things that only damaged my deteriorated body further, I learned to confide in God through prayer. When the doctors can’t seem to come up with any answers on why my body is like it is, and when my parents have no words that would make things “right,” prayer has, and still does, give me direct communication with the One who knows all things. Through all of the excruciating pain, moments of collapsing to the floor in utter weakness, inability to walk, stand, or even sit upright, prayer is available. Whether the few minutes before being put under for various major surgeries, or simply sitting alone in my room trying to make the minutes pass, prayer has become a stronghold. Yet I am not boasting in this, no, prayer is available to all, and it can become the same for you as well.
When everything here on this earth may seem as though it has been striped away from you, never to return, there is one thing that can never be taken, and that is prayer. So why pray? For one it connects you to the One that has put you in a given circumstance in the first place. It allows your soul to be filled with strength, courage, peace, hope, comfort, and even joy in the most inhumane conditions. While God may know all things, this does not mean that He doesn’t want His children to keep our request from Him. In fact, He commands us in His word to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). While praying before meals, before falling asleep, or during our devotion time that we have set apart is very important, prayer is not meant to be “scheduled,” nor is it supposed to be structured or follow a certain repetition of thoughts you have been taught to be “acceptable” to ask or talk to God about. No, you can bring anything and everything to God. Your darkest fears, deepest “secrets,” the good, the bad, the ugly. You don’t have to act perfect, rather you can discuss both your struggles and desires openly. Yet if we neglect this act of communication with God, our world becomes like a whirlwind. Suddenly everything becomes overwhelming, we feel hopeless and helpless. As George Mueller writes in his autobiography, “If I desire more power over temptations, wisdom, grace, or anything else that I may need in service for my God, what else should I do but make use of my fellowship with the Father and with the Son? By prayer and faith, we may obtain necessary temporal and spiritual help and blessings.” “In all simplicity, we can pour out our hearts before God.” “Then we have to believe He will give us according to our need.” Overall, real, unrestrained prayer takes courage, and sometimes, may very well evoke hidden emotions. Why? Because if we are truly asking God everything He says He is capable of, we are inevitably stepping out of our comfort zone, recognizing our inadequacy, God’s sovereignty, and ultimately having faith in the limitless abilities of our Creator (Hebrews 11:1).
Psalms 145:18 “The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth.”
For the past couple of months I have been working away hard at Beyond the Bite Community. Essentially, this group is for those with chronic Lyme Disease to connect, inspire, and encourage one another that there is life beyond Lyme! While I have yet to write up a post and “announce” this community on Beyond the Bite, I thought that highlighting some of the members during the month of May (i.e Lyme Disease Awareness month), would be a great way to share what we in BTBC are all about! As you can read here, the three pillars of Beyond the Bite Community are paleo, prayer, and perseverance. It is not a place that individuals dwell on one’s illness, rather how we can use these three concepts to overcome our current circumstances and live a healthy, joy filled life. Today’s guest post serves as just that, as I chose to have Victoria Faling from the blog Lemons ‘N Lyme share a bit about her story. You can view the community site here, where I share some of the information posted in the exclusive, weekly newsletter that is sent out to all community members.
Hi, I’m Victoria! Some of you may already know me from my blog Lemons ‘N Lyme. I’ve had Lyme for over 10 years but was not diagnosed until 3 years ago. I’m 24 and currently living in Santa Fe, NM. I grew up in Washington DC (where I contracted Lyme) and went to college in Colorado. I’ve been through it all in my Lyme journey from many mis-diagnoses, to every oral antibiotic and anti malarial you can think of, to IV medication, to mold and heavy metal treatments, to herbal protocols, and now focusing on a very holistic and well rounded approach to healing. Although I am still going through treatment, I’m at a point where I can work and lead a relatively productive life. I still have some progress to make, though!
I have been lucky enough to find a fantastic doctor who treats for Lyme here in Santa Fe. We are focusing on building my system back up and supporting every aspect of my body. I’m currently taking many supplements, Byron White formulas for Lyme and Babesia, completing UVBI treatments and an array of other IV therapies (phosphatidyl choline, Meyers cocktails, glutathione pushes), and have just added in low dose immunotherapy for Lyme and co-infections. I also focus heavily on detoxing which includes green juices every day, detox teas, dry brushing, using my far-infrared sauna, detox baths, and castor oil packs (when I have time!). My doctor also believes diet plays a huge role in healing, just as I do! I actually discovered the paleo way of eating a few months before I got very sick 3 years ago. I was dealing with a bad bout of candida and discovered paleo as a way to help treat the candida. I had suffered with gut issues since I was in high school (my first major Lyme symptom) and adapting a more paleo diet began to help for the first time in years! The constant bloating decreased, I actually started eating during the day (I would go all day without eating because it made me feel so sick and so bloated that I would not want to move), and my digestive system felt less stressed. I was astonished and began researching as much as I could. I connected with all of the information I read, it made so much sense that I decided to continue with paleo eating even after the initial 30 days (Whole 30). Then, when I first fell extremely ill with Lyme I fell off the paleo wagon because I did not know what was going on, was exhausted, had horrible cravings, and was very depressed so I just didn’t care. Once I got my Lyme diagnosis and began treatment, I knew I needed to get my diet back in line. This is when I started my blog, as a way to document my treatment and the recipes I tried and developed. I have always been interested in health and I knew food played a huge role so now that I understood what was going on inside my diseased body, I knew I had to make an effort to improve my healing with food.
Over the past three years, my research on the connection between diet and disease and health continued. The more I learned the more excited and fascinated I became with using food to heal. Last year, when I completely relapsed after coming off of IV medication, I turned to juicing and a raw food diet. I truly believe in the power of a raw food diet as much as I believe in paleo. I basically ate paleo-raw (although did include some sprouted grains). My gut was a mess from antibiotics and juicing finally allowed my system to absorb nutrients easily. I began juicing 3x a day and now I continue to juice to improve and maintain my health. Green juice is excellent for detoxing, boosting energy, and cleansing your system, so I still am able to enjoy the benefits of juice. Constitutionally, I believe my body does need some animal protein and I feel better when I include it in my diet, so I transitioned from less of a raw diet back into paleo and eating more meat again. My diet now consists of NO grains, legumes, dairy, processed sugar, minimal natural sugars (I try and avoid most fruit but I have a BIG sweet tooth and I do use honey occasionally). I focus on eating as many vegetables as I can, include meat (I try to only buy free-range and organic), and lots of healthy fats (coconut oil, avocado, some nuts and seeds). I eat almost 100% organic since the pesticides in conventional food are extremely harmful and can make us sick! I think the phrase “Let Food Be They Medicine” (Hippocrates) could not be more true! As soon as I slip on my paleo way of eating, I feel it. If I eat anything “non-paleo” I immediately become extremely bloated, feel hung-over, have horrible stomach pain, and many of my Lyme symptoms flair for the next 1-5 days. This is how I know that my diet has a huge impact on the way I feel and my healing. When I stick to a 100% paleo diet, I feel almost normal again- my symptoms decrease dramatically, I have more energy, my digestive system bothers meless, and I’m in a way better mood. I’m still constantly learning about nutrition and healing and plan to continue to do so for the rest of my life. I make small tweaks in my diet as I learn new information but I know that I will stick to the general paleo style of eating for the rest of my life. I have played around with variations of paleo, including autoimmune paleo (AIP) and cutting out nightshades. Although I am not following AIP 100% at the moment, I have discovered some, normally paleo, foods that cause major symptoms for me through testing out AIP. I love food so it can be tough at times to know I can’t taste or eat certain things, but that is what allows me to be creative in the kitchen and develop recipes that work with my diet and still allow me to heal.
Connect with Victoria on Facebook and Instagram, or on her site Lemons’N Lyme
Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Rarely do I upload a recipe to my blog the day of making it. Usually, it takes a few days for me to get everything together, write up my thoughts, and then put it in my lineup for future posts. However, this lamb shank recipe was too good not to share almost immediately. As someone who has to a variety of different ways to heal from the effects of Chronic Lyme Disease, it was not long into my illness that I took over preparing my own meals, as a way to take away any extra stress from my mother creating two completely different dishes every.single.meal. Subsequently, this causes most everything I make to be single servings, as I cannot eat leftovers due to a histamine-induced allergic response when I eat foods too close together. That being said, today’s recipe is completely mouthwatering. If you are not familiar with the term “braised,” it is when a cut of meat is seared in a hot pan or pot until brown, then water, stock, or some other type of liquid is added to the pan, it is covered, and the protein is allowed to cook at a slow, low temperature until it is practically falling apart. This lamb shank is no exception, as 2 hours in the oven produced succulent, tender meat, that was salty, a bit sweet, and completely mind blowing delicious. Not only does the meat become to-die-for, but because you are cooking the bone in liquid, the end result is a sticky, sweet, and gelatinous mixture, almost like a roux (minus the flour). In the end, I couldn’t be more happy, and to be honest, a bit surprised on how tasty this lamb shank turned out, despite the rather simple ingredients used. Whether you are a single gal like myself, or are simply trying to save money, you must make this recipe! What is even greater, is that if you are looking to serve more than one person, doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling the ingredients is as easy as pie.
Braised Lamb Shank (Single Serving)
- 1 lamb shank (0.5-0.75 oz)
- 2 cup chicken broth (or) water
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp grass-fed tallow
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In medium sized pan (or) dutch over, heat tallow on medium-low until hot.
- Season lamb shank all over with 1/2 tsp sea salt and then place in the pan, searing on all sides until crispy and brown (about 5-7 minutes per side).
- In a small bowl, combine broth (or) water, remaining 1 tsp sea salt, cinnamon, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar.
- Once the shank has fully browned, remove the pot from the stove and add in the chicken broth mixture, drop the bay leaf in, and cover the pot.
- Place the pot in the preheated oven to bake for 2 hours until the lamb is falling off of the bone.
Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
Blogging has opened up a whole other world of individuals with similar interests like myself, and I absolutely love it! One of these lovely ladies is Macy, the blogger behind Paleo Crumbs. Not only isMacy a fantastic baker and paleo-foodie, but she is also a follow of Christ, of which makes our friendship extra special. After meeting up at Paleof(x) just last month, both of us decided it would be fun to guest post on each others blogs, on the same day. While you can find my Autoimmune-Paleo Veggie Bacon Bites on her site, I hope you will enjoy Macy’s equally fun and delicious take on the typical smoothie. You can reach Macy through her blog, Paleo Crumbs, as well as through Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
Hi everyone! I’m Macy the blogger from Paleo Crumbs! And I am so excited to be guest posting on Gabriella’s blog today! Gabriella and I quickly became friends with our shared love for being in the kitchen, living with a chronic illness, and being teen foodie bloggers, as well as just having a passion for real food! I am so glad to have met Gabriella in this blogging community and was glad to get the chance to meet her in person at Paleo f(x) this year! We have been talking about doing this guest post/ recipe swap for a while now and I am so excited to share this recipe with you! I make smoothies pretty much daily as they are easy to digest for my stomach, so I love trying out new smoothie recipes and getting creative with my own! Smoothie bowls are pretty much just another fun way to eat a smoothie but thicker and eaten with a spoon instead of through a straw! But the real fun part is the toppings! Once you make your smoothie and pour it into your favorite bowl, top it with fresh fruit, grain free granola, shredded coconut, hemp seeds, or whatever your heart desires! And get creative and make your smoothie bowl a piece of art by arranging your fruit and toppings in fun ways! If you are like me and just prefer to enjoy your smoothie with a straw, just skip the toppings step and use more liquid while blending! Have fun making your smoothie bowl art and enjoy! And, thanks, Gabriella, for inviting me to share this recipe on your blog! 😀
Raspberry Acai Smoothie Bowl (dairy free & paleo)
By: Macy Diulus
Time: 5 min.
- 1/3 cup raspberries, frozen
- ½ frozen acai packet
- ½ cup organic baby spinach
- ½ banana, frozen
- 4-6 chunks of frozen mango
- ½ cup maple water (or coconut water)
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tbsp. hemp seeds
- ½ – 1 tbsp collagen
- 1 tsp. chia seeds
- Fresh fruit and berries
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Grain free granola
- Shredded coconut
- Nut/seed butter
- In a blender (preferably high-speed) blend together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour into a bowl and top with desired toppings! Eat with a spoon and enjoy!
Generally, smoothie bowls are a thicker consistency, but if you prefer them to be thinner or want to drink this with a straw, just blend with more maple water to reach your desired consistency.
Use organic produce when possible.
Frozen fruit and fresh fruit can be subbed interchangeably, but frozen fruit produces a thicker and colder smoothie!
Maple water can easily be subbed for coconut water!
Frozen acai packets can be found in the frozen fruit section of most grocery stores, if you aren’t able to find it, just use more berries!
Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
There are some dishes that never stop being a classic. Sea salt and vinegar chips are always something that reminds me of the summertime fair that is held in a few towns over from where I live, of which my brothers and I would attend one day out of the year. Though those fries are cooked in damaged oils and made with potatoes, I sought to replicate this delicious flavor combination with the use of rutabaga, a rather underused, under appreciated root vegetable. If you have never cooked with rutabaga, they are a bit like turnips in that their water content is higher than that of a starchy vegetable such as sweet potatoes or parsnips. That being said, they are certainly not as pungent as turnips, and a lot easier to love. Though we Americans call them rutabagas, the vegetable is typically known as “swedes” around the world. Because they are likened to turnips, my mother was not entirely sure I could make something that would fit her fancy. However, as I was sprinkling on the truffle salt, I instantly new that I had her. In the end, the fries turned out amazing, and even my parents said so themselves as they ate away.
Sea Salt and Vinegar Rutabaga Fries
- 1 lb rutabaga
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1/2 tsp truffle salt
- Fresh rosemary (optional)
- Peel rutabaga, and cut into match stick sized fries.
- Place the chopped rutabaga in a shallow bowl and toss with sea salt and vinegar
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow to sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- After the rutabaga has marinated, remove from the bowl and place on a large baking sheet, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Toss the fries with avocado oil and truffle salt, and place in the preheated oven to bake for 35-40 minutes until beginning to brown around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with fresh chopped rosemary if desired.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”