Sunday, July 31, 2016

AIP Travel part 2: travel days

AIP Travel part 2: travel days


The thought of traveling while following the autoimmune protocol (or while living with chronic illnesses or conditions) may evoke fear or a sense of panic. Though I wrote a post in 2014 about traveling while following AIP, in the time since then, I’ve done a lot more traveling & have learned many more tips and tricks. I thought it may be helpful to others to write a more in depth series about my personal experiences for traveling while following a healing diet and lifestyle. Car travel seems to be an easier option for most people, so I’ll be primarily covering the challenges of domestic air travel within the United States; however, many tips should also apply to other forms of travel (or to international travel, though the laws of what you can take in to a country vary greatly). 

In this post (part 2), I’ll cover things I do on my travel days. 

Note: This post contains a lot of links, some of which are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a slight commission from things purchased through the affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Sweet Treats! 

AIP Travel part 2: travel days

Suitcases

  • I still struggle with the amount of luggage usually required when I travel. I often feel self conscious about how many pieces of luggage I need for just a couple days away. But honestly, it is important to take care of myself & if that means I have an extra suitcase to accommodate the batch cooked food I’ve made, then I have an extra suitcase. Spoiler alert, I usually take that extra suitcase ;) 
  • My travel was also revolutionized when I started using suitcases with 4 wheels. It may sound like a trivial thing, but as someone who struggles with chronic pain, it is much easier to wheel a heavy suitcase with 4 wheels than to pull one with 2 wheels. 
  • I try to pack the heaviest things in my checked luggage (and frozen food can really weigh a lot), so that I don’t have to worry about carrying it all myself. But there is the potential of luggage being lost en route…. It’s a tough choice between convenience or peace of mind, but most often, I check my food. 

AIP Travel part 2: travel days; packing food
frozen batch cooked food & a Thirty One Gifts picnic thermal

Packing batch cooked foods 
  • The last thing I do before leaving for the airport is to pack my food in thermal containers for travel. This process does take more time than one might think, so I try to budget 30 minutes just for packing my batch cooked foods in with the portable kitchen & convenience foods I mentioned in part 1
  • I use to be a consultant with the company Thirty One Gifts and while I no longer have any affiliation with them, I still love their products, especially their thermals. I pack all my food for travel in Thirty One Thermals, some of which are ones I’ve purchased myself & some are ones I “earned” during my brief time as a consultant. 
  • In my checked luggage, I use a perfect party set (which is my favorite thermal for airplane travel), a picnic thermal tote (seen above), and a thermal tote . Sometimes I need all of those thermals, sometimes I only need a few…. it all depends on the length of my trip. My batch cooked foods (see part 1), portioned into ziplock bags (double bagged if its something like soup) & frozen solid overnight, get packed into those thermals. If there is space, or if for some reason not all the food is completely frozen, I’ll add a few ice packs (like these ones, or these ones, or these are the ones my mom uses). In a pinch, I’ve used ziplock of ice, but I don’t really recommend it because they can leak, which actually happened on my last trip.

AIP Travel part 2: travel days; packing food
batch cooked food, portioned into Ziplocks, and ready to be frozen 

For my lunchbox that goes in my carry on, I use a lunch break thermal packed with:

  • a real fork and spoon (I pick up a plastic knife once through security
  • a cloth napkin
  • a Pyrex 3-cup dish with a lunch that tastes good cold (and contains a good dose of carbs to help with my motion sickness). I use that dish later for re-heating other meals that have been packed in ziplock for travel
  • travel containers of my favorite salts (like truffle salt or smoked salt). 
  • fresh fruit
  • an avocado
  • homemade salad dressing in a tiny bottle (like one from this nalgene set or a GoToob) and double bagged (keep in liquids bag when going through security. 
  • frozen solid ice packs IMPORTANT NOTE: the ice packs must be frozen SOLID or TSA will not allow them through security. I always add the ice packs last to ensure they’ll stay as frozen as possible. 

AIP Travel part 2: travel days; airplane lunch

Also in my carry on: 

  • I pick up a bottle of regular water & a bottle of sparkling water once I go through security & those both go in my carry on too. 
  • convenience snacks that don’t require refrigeration, like Epic bars (beef/apple/bacon and bison/bacon/cranberry are my favorites) & plantain chips 
  • a neck pillow (this one is my current favorite). I really do try to sleep on flights whenever possible. One, I’m usually a little tired from travel prep or from deviating from my routine and secondly, sleeping helps ward off motion sickness. 
  • supplements & medications. Once again, in case the checked luggage doesn’t arrive as planned, I keep my supplements and medications with me. 
  • sanitizing wipes, especially useful for tray tables covered in glutenous crumbs. I like these individually wrapped ones 
  • headphones for listening to podcasts or music during travel, plus they also help my ears to clear during pressure changes 
  • Kindle and iPad mini, in the spirit of keeping my luggage as light as possible ;) 
  • dressing in layers: I can get really cold on planes, especially the smaller planes. But I also can get really hot, especially if I get motion sick (more on that below). I always dress in layers & carry a scarf or jacket in case I get cold. And I usually throw a pair of Smartwool socks into my bag, just in case my feet get especially cold. 
AIP Travel part 2: TSA pre check

Going through security
  • Like I mentioned in my previous post, last fall I signed up for TSA pre-check. The lines are shorter & I don’t have to go through a body scanner. 
  • I never announce to TSA that I'm carrying food, even if I have an entire carry-on sized suitcase packed with frozen solid food in thermal containers. Only once have I had my frozen food pulled for a secondary screening, but I am hyper-vigilant that everything, including my ice packs, are frozen solid, and that anything that may be liquid (such as homemade salad dressing) is in a 3 oz or smaller container in a quart-sized bag. 
AIP Travel part 2: travel days

Motion sickness help
I’ve had a lot of struggles with motion sickness throughout my life. Things improved slightly while on AIP, but I still feel nauseous more often than I’d like. My best remedy is to sleep most of the flight, but when that isn’t possible, here are the remedies I’ve concocted from personal experience:

  • sitting more forward on the plane, which sometimes requires an upgrade to my ticket
  • drinking bubbly water: ask for club soda during the flight, if you can't find anything at the airport
  • eating plantain chips, apples, mint chocolate (aip reintroduction; Equal Exchange is my favorite) and generally not letting my stomach get too empty. 
  • using a neti stick aromatherapy inhaler (especially if I'm smelling jet fuel) 
  • allernest: a homeopathic allergy solution that also seems to soothe motion sickness. I take this at the recommendation of my doctor & I cannot vouch that the ingredients are strict elimination phase AIP. 

AIP Travel part 2: travel days

Unique situations
  • flying anxiety. I’m fortunate that I don’t experience anxiety while flying or fear of flying, but I know that struggle is very real for many people. I do utilize the app Headspace daily for meditation & they do have a guided meditation specifically for fear of flying. 
  • wheelchair service, if necessary. I don’t make the decision to utilize wheelchair service lightly, but I have needed to use it in my pre-AIP days. I would use it again if I was traveling during a flare or if I’d had a very bad instance of motion sickness.  
  • have a plan in case you get stranded mid trip: flights are regularly delayed and canceled, so make sure you have a plan for what to do if that happens. I always over-pack snacks & food, just in case something happens. And I travel with my medications/supplements in my carry-on in case I can’t get to my checked luggage. 

Ok, that's it for the second part of my series on traveling while following AIP. If you have any additional tips or tricks, please leave a comment.  I'll be back in a future post to talk about how I handle things at my destination. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

Let there be much rejoicing: I finally freed enough space in my freezer to make a frozen dessert! This is quite a feat, since my freezer is usually so full of broth and veggies and meat that I really ought to post a “watch for falling objects” warning on the door handle. Someday, one of my big dreams is to live somewhere that I can have a separate deep freeze.

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

But alas, even with a small amount of space available in my freezer, I still haven’t been able to fit my ice cream bowl attachment in it. Thankfully, with this no-churn sorbet, I was able to make a delicious frozen dessert without needing my ice cream bowl.

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

Last year, I never fully enjoyed summer produce, as I had to adopt an AIP + Low FODMAP diet for a few months (and stone fruits are high in FODMAPs). This summer, I’m extra thankful that pesky SIBO seems to be behind me & that I can once again sensibly enjoy summer fruits, like nectarines and peaches and cherries. Organic nectarines were on sale a few weeks ago & I picked up a bunch, knowing we would eat some of them on their own & that I’d perhaps make some sort of frozen treat with them too.

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

I may have a bit of an obsession with lavender…. We diffuse lavender oil at bedtime, many of my natural beauty and bath products are scented with lavender, and I love the flavor of lavender, especially when combined with stone fruits like peaches or nectarines. A couple of years ago, before I learned dairy and I are not friends, I made a fabulous batch of roasted peach ice cream (not AIP). This sorbet is sort of inspired by that roasted peach ice cream and by my love of peach lavender jam (not AIP).

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

I halved the ripe nectarines, drizzled them with a tiny bit of honey (though you could totally skip this step to keep the dessert completely free from added sweeteners), and sprinkled them with a little bit of culinary lavender buds before roasting everything in the oven. Roasting helps to concentrate the flavors & also to evaporate some of the water out of the fruit. Probably because of the roasting & the addition of a little coconut milk, when I flaked the dessert with a fork, it did not hold icy shards like granita-type frozen desserts do. Instead, it became more sorbet-like.

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation)

Desserts with lavender may sound as though they’d taste like soap or potpourri, but I promise this sorbet has just a hint of lavender flavor. It’s the perfect floral accent to the summer-y flavor of nectarines.

No-Churn Roasted Nectarine & Lavender Sorbet (AIP, Paleo, Vegan variation) 
yields 4 to 6 small servings

Coconut oil, for greasing the baking pan 
5 nectarines, ripe (mine weighed 541 g *with* their pits) 
21 g (1 tablespoon) honey
1/2 teaspoon culinary lavender buds, plus additional for garnish, if desired  
pinch of sea salt  
56 g (1/4 cup) coconut milk 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a baking pan (I used a Le Creuset oval gratin dish) with coconut oil. 
  2. Cut the nectarines in half & arrange them, cut side up, in the greased baking pan. If the pits are challenging to remove, leave them in until after the baking process. 
  3. Drizzle the nectarines with the honey, if desired, and sprinkle with the culinary lavender & sea salt. 
  4. Roast for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. 
  5. Allow to cool at room temperature and remove the pits. Cover & refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld. 
  6. Puree the roasted nectarines & lavender with the coconut milk in a food processor or high speed blender. Pour into baking dish (I used a 6-cup pyrex) & freeze, uncovered, until solid.
  7. Once the nectarine lavender mixture is solid, flake with a fork. The pieces will not hold in icy shards like granitas do, but can be stirred together to form a sorbet-type texture. 
  8. Portion into cups & serve with a few extra lavender buds. Store leftovers, covered, in the freezer & re-flake with a fork before serving. 

Notes:

  • The nectarines may be peeled, if desired, but I like the color, texture & extra fiber the skin provides. 
  • Peaches (or other stone fruits) may substituted for the nectarines. 
  • Honey may be omitted, especially if the nectarines are really ripe. 
  • To make the recipe vegan, substitute maple syrup 
  • To make the recipe coconut free, use avocado oil for greasing the pan & add water or fruit juice when blending. 
  • This recipes can also be turned into popsicles by pouring into a popsicle mold after pureeing. 
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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Traveling on AIP part 1: pre-trip planning

Traveling on AIP part 1: pre-trip planning

The thought of traveling while following the autoimmune protocol (or while living with chronic illnesses or conditions) may evoke fear or a sense of panic. Though I wrote a post in 2014 about travel foods while following AIP, in the time since then, I’ve done a lot more traveling & have learned many more tips and tricks. I thought it may be helpful to others to write a more in depth series about my personal experiences for traveling while following a healing diet and lifestyle—I’ve actually been working on this post for over 6 months! Car travel seems to be an easier option for most people, so I’ll be primarily covering the challenges of domestic air travel within the United States; however, many tips should also apply to other forms of travel (or to international travel, though the laws of what you can take in to a country vary greatly).

In this post (part one), I’ll cover things I do before the trip begins, from planning & researching,  to batch cooking & packing, and managing expectations. In future post(s), I’ll share strategies during actual travel days and while at your destination. You can find part two here.

Note: This post contains a lot of links, some of which are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a slight commission from things purchased through the affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Sweet Treats! 

Traveling on AIP part 1: TSA Pre-Check

TSA pre-check:
  • In an effort to streamline my travel further & reduce stress, last fall fall, I applied for the TSA pre-check program. Yes, it does have a fee involved, and the application process can take a few weeks for approval, but not standing in a security line as long, nor needing to take as many things out of my bag has been well worth the cost. 
  • Not every airport has the full program, but if you find yourself frequently flying out of airports that DO utilize it, I highly recommend applying. 
  • As a bonus, TSA pre-check lines generally have passengers go through metal detectors instead of the body scanners, which means I can lessen my radiation exposure.  
Booking Flights:
  • I’ve made a serious effort to make sleep a priority & to reduce stress as much as I can. While I use to easily fly early in the morning or late at night, I now am much more conscious of flight times & how they might disrupt my sleep schedule. I’m ok with getting up a little bit earlier or with pushing my bed time to just a little later, but I try not to have 5am flights or take red-eyes. I know that if I start out a trip totally exhausted from traveling at times when I’m usually sleeping, I’m much more likely to have a flare in symptoms. 
  • Not to mention, airports tend to be really busy in the early morning, so choosing to fly later can mean a less stressful experience. 
Traveling on AIP part 1: Staybridge Suites

Lodging Choices:
  • For those needing a hotel, find a hotel that has, at the very least, a mini fridge and microwave, though my preference is to find a hotel with a full kitchen. Some hotels with kitchens that I have used include Staybridge SuitesResidence Inn by Marriott, and Homewood Suites, though there are probably many others too. 
  • Most hotel rooms with kitchens have a stovetop/microwave/dishwasher but do not have an oven. I either plan to cook things that don’t require an oven, or I bring along pre-cooked food that can be re-heated in the microwave or on the stove. 
  • Another great option is to rent a condo or house via a site like Airbnb or VRBO. If you choose to rent a condo or house, I recommend contacting the owner or rental company before you leave to find out what kitchen equipment will be provided. 
  • Staying with family or friends is another popular option, but if your loved ones are not familiar with AIP or food allergies, it’s a good idea to have a conversation ahead of time. Because I have such such serious gluten and dairy sensitivities (we keep our own home free from gluten or dairy), I’d prefer not to be preparing allergen-free food next to someone who is slicing bread or making pasta etc. Not every person will understand or be accommodating, but I find it is better to be upfront with what you personally need ahead of time to avoid any uncomfortable conversations or run-ins when you arrive. I don’t expect my family or friends kitchen’s to be entirely AIP compliant, but it is nice to ask if they would consider making a few adjustments for your stay, or if they can find a “safe corner” for food prep. I also travel with a decent amount of pre-made food or ingredients to make food, so make sure your hosts have enough fridge or freezer space to accommodate what you’re brining. 
  • Whatever lodging choice you make, choose one that is best for your stress levels. While we love to stay with family and friends when traveling—it’s great for spending more quality time together, it’s less expensive—there are times, with those who are not as accommodating to my dietary restrictions or who do not understand the limitations those with chronic illness may face, when having the sanctuary of a private hotel room is completely worth it. 
Traveling on AIP part 1: Allergy Card

Researching Restaurants 
  • For the most part when I travel, I prefer to bring my own safe food to reduce the risk of unintended cross contamination (no one wants to be sick while on a trip. However, sometimes, especially on a trip, it’s nice to take a break & not have to cook or clean up. Very rarely do I just walk into a restaurant and hope there’ll be something for me. Instead, I research restaurants ahead of time to see if there are any with decent options. Most restaurants have menus online, which makes weeding out the “not possible” options relatively quickly. 
  • Once I find a restaurant that looks like it may have options, I call or email ahead to make sure they can accommodate my meals. I designed allergy cards  to communicate with servers and kitchen staff about my particular limitations & I’ll often email my allergy card ahead. I have had a couple restaurants flat out tell me not to eat at their establishment, but more often than not, so long as I’m nice and friendly in my communications, not rude/demanding/entitled, most restaurants are willing to work with me.
List making
  • Write out a clear meal plan before you go & tentatively plan out each meal. I always error on the side of taking along too much food rather than not enough. 
  • If you plan to get groceries once you arrive at your location, make the grocery list before you go. Even grocery stores from the same chain may have slightly different products depending on location so also plan back-ups in case you cant get that favorite product at your destination. 
  • Before the trip, make a list of what you’re bringing (I do this on my iPad or in Google Drive). Then, at the end of the trip, record what you used or didn’t use. Keep that list for future trips & modify it as necessary to make things easier. 
Traveling on AIP part 1: Travel Batch Cooking

Batch Cooking
  • I really prefer to eat my own food when traveling, which usually means a large batch cooking session (or sessions) before the trip. I chose foods that travel well & that I can eat either warm or cold. Some of my favorites to batch cook include:
Traveling on AIP part 1: Safe Treats
  • I also make a few “safe” treats to take a long because I know I’ll be more tempted to splurge on something sweet when traveling. Some of my favorite “safe” treats include:
  • I package the prepared foods in individual portions in  freezer safe ziplock bags because they’re lighter than the glass jars I typically use at home & I don’t have to worry about taking home empty containers after the trip is done. 
  • I freeze most all of the food before the trip & pack it into thermal containers, mostly in my checked luggage, before air travel. Alternately, for a car trip, I’ll pack the frozen food into coolers & can add additional ice as needed.
Traveling on AIP part 1: AIP convenience foods

Convenience Foods
  • Convenience foods I plan to pick up once at my destination, if I can
    • naked rotisserie chicken (I’ve only purchased this at Whole Foods) 
    • salad greens
    • green juice 
    • kombucha
    • avocado
    • additional fruit
    • water
Traveling on AIP part 1: Kitchen Tools

Portable Kitchen 
Traveling on AIP part 1: AIP Portable Pantry
My last few planning suggestions deal more with mindset & communication

  • Adjusting Expectations: 
    • Make peace with the fact that for someone chronic illness, there are certain life changes that occur. While I have healed a great deal & many of my symptoms are no longer as prevalent as they once were, I still have to be careful, especially while traveling. The last thing I want is to experience a flare while on a trip. I still need to eat a very clean diet (currently: AIP with a  few reintroductions). I still need to guard my sleep. I still need to watch that I don’t over exert myself (even if I am eternally optimistic about being able to do more, haha!).  
    • Let go of the fact that you may not be 100% in control of all your meals. If you choose to eat in restaurants, chances are food will be cooked in less than desirable oils, or meat may not be grass fed/pastured/wild caught, or fruits/veggies will not be organic. Don’t stress too much, because stress is just as bad as a poor diet. 
  • Communicating with family and/or travel companions about meals ahead before the trip
    • When my husband, who follows AIP/Paleo guidelines with me at home but doesn’t have any specific food restrictions. and I travel just the two of us, I batch cook some of our meals ahead of time (planning enough food for two). For some meals, husband picks up his own food from restaurants while I eat pre-cooked meals. We decide about which meals we’ll eat out together and where. We get ingredients to make his breakfast (usually eggs) in our lodging. 
    • When we travel to see family, I often plan to cook meals to share with those around me. If I’m planning to do a lot of cooking/cooking for more people, I may bring more kitchen tools or more pre-made things. I don’t mind volunteering to do the cooking, but I do like to plan ahead for it. If I’m repeatedly cooking large meals for a group, I’ll get more tired & may need to adjust my travel schedule accordingly. 
    • AIP food is really delicious, so don’t be surprised if those around you want to try your food or want you to cook for them. I just find it is easier to try to figure these things out before traveling to help manage everyones’ expectations. No one wants to feel completely kitchen-bound, slaving over meals, on what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation. 
    • If you don’t have the energy (or budgetary ability) to cook for others, be honest with people & set that boundary. 
  • Make sure people know your limitations. 
    • If you follow a specific sleep schedule & need to go to bed early or not get up at the crack of dawn, tell your family/friends/travel companions ahead of time. 
    • If you have a regular meditation routine or yoga practice or exercise regimen that you’d like to keep up while traveling, communicate the situation with others.
    • If you need to take certain supplements or medications at certain times, build that into your schedule. 
Ok, that's it for this first part of my series on traveling while following AIP. If you have any additional tips or tricks, please leave a comment. Knowledge is power ;) I'll be back in future posts to talk about (part 2) travel days themselves  & how I handle things at my destination

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Friday, May 6, 2016

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

Have I mentioned before that I don’t care for basil? There are only a handful of foods I truly do not like (olives are at the top of that list), but basil definitely makes the list. I’ve been ok with conventional (aka basil-based) pestos in the past, but only if they had copious amounts of garlic, cheese, nuts to mostly cover up the basil flavor. Since I’m not currently consuming dairy or nuts, basil pesto does not appeal to me. However, arugula pesto is a whole different story! 

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

My idea for arugula pesto came out of two circumstances. First, I had a container of arugula near the end of it’s life in my refrigerator. Secondly, I was looking for a way to “spice up” some otherwise slightly bland fish filets…. 

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

I experimented by throwing arugula, cilantro (parsley would also work), garlic, lemon & oil into one of my blender cups & blended everything together. The pesto turned our borderline-bland fish to something fantastic. Not to mention that the nutritional value was increased by the extra greens & herbs.

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

After that first meal, I also discovered the leftover pesto was delicious on all sorts of things….. Melted over a ground meat skillet meal.  Stirred into a bowl of steaming hot soup. Tossed with roasted potatoes (or other roasted veggies). Served alongside chicken as a dipping sauce.

Arugula Pesto (Dairy-free, Nut-free, AIP, Paleo, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

Now I’m buying arugula specifically to make this pesto, instead of relying on leftovers. I foresee keeping a jar of this magical, nutritious sauce in our refrigerator at all times & continuing to add a dollop to all sorts of things… I’m thinking perhaps zucchini noodles/zoodles & shrimp next!

Arugula Pesto 
yields one small jar 

Note: I make single jars of this sauce by blitzing everything in my Ninja blender's smoothie cup. If you plan to make it in a larger blender vessel or in a large food processor, I’d recommend doubling the ingredient amounts. 

1 1/2 packed cups (approximately 54 g) Arugula
1/3 packed cup (approximately 10 g) Cilantro (leaves + stems is fine) 
1 peeled clove of garlic 
1/3 c (74 g) Olive Oil 
1 heaping tsp Lemon Zest
1 Tbl + 1 tsp Lemon Juice (fresh is best) 
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt 
  1. Add all the ingredients to small blender vessel or food processor. 
  2. Process until all the arugula & cilantro are well chopped & blended. 
  3. Pour into a small glass jar (I used a Weck jar); the color will darken/turn a bit more olive-toned over time. Store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or bring to room temperature before serving. 

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sautéed Apples (AIP, Whole30, 21DSD, Vegan)

Sautéed Apples (AIP, Paleo Whole30, 21DSD, Repairvite, Vegan)

In March, I received some blood work results, from my integrative doctor, that indicated my gut is not as healed as we had hopped. After nearly 2 years on the autoimmune protocol, it was a little disappointing, but honestly, I’m proud of how far I’ve come not just in what I’m eating, but also with sleep & stress management & other lifestyle factors. Really, it wasn’t that long ago that my doctor and I were navigating the world of SIBO. So, in the spirit of gut healing, I’ve embarked on not just an AIP reset, but I’m also incorporating variations on a Whole30, a 21 Day Sugar Detox (energy modifications), and the Repairvite protocol, along with some targeted supplementation.

Sautéed Apples (AIP, Paleo Whole30, 21DSD, Repairvite, Vegan)

This mishmash of protocols won’t last forever. Restricting so many food items is really not something I recommend longterm or without the guidance of a good functional medicine doctor. I plan to stay very strict for a minimum of 30 days, but hope to stretch most of the principles out for at least 60 days, depending on how I’m feeling both physically & mentally.

Sautéed Apples (AIP, Paleo Whole30, 21DSD, Repairvite, Vegan)

The Whole 30, 21DSD and Repairvite protocols all shun the consumption of sugar, even the less refined options like honey & real maple & coconut sugars etc. The 21DSD & Repairvite protocols take it even further & reduce the types and amounts of fruit (and thus the natural sugars).

Sautéed Apples (AIP, Paleo Whole30, 21DSD, Repairvite, Vegan)

One of the hardest parts about giving up sugar & many fruits is that I’m not really able to do any baking. I’ve been baking almost my whole life & it’s become almost therapeutic for me to make something from time to time. But AIP/allergen-free baking is expensive & I simply cannot justify making something I can’t consume (don’t even get me started on our lack of freezer space, so making ahead & freezing isn’t an option either). These sautéed apples aren’t quite the same as baking, but they do help fill that baking hole…. They’re a great low-sugar option that allow me to feel like I’m having a bit of a treat while still staying compliant with my chosen protocols. I especially enjoy the sautéed apples warm from the skillet with a drizzle of cold coconut milk.

Sautéed Apples
Yields 1 serving

2 tsp Coconut Oil 
1 Apple (use granny smith if following the 21 Day Sugar Detox)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon 
1/4 tsp Mace (can substitute Nutmeg if not following AIP) 
pinch Sea Salt 

Coconut Milk, for serving 

  1. In a small skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat
  2. Meanwhile, peel, core, slice the apple into 12-ish slices. I prefer to quarter the apple & cut each quarter into thirds. 
  3. Arrange the apple slices evenly in the hot pan with the melted coconut oil. Sprinkle with the cinnamon, mace & sea salt. Gently stir to coat the apple slices with the oil and the spices. 
  4. Saute the apples for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the apples have slightly softened. 
  5. Serve warm with a drizzle of coconut milk & an extra dusting of spices, if desired. 

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

From kindergarten through 8th grade, my two younger sisters and I attended a very small private school that did not have a traditional school lunch program, meaning that my mom packed lunches for us most days. One of my very favorites, probably more towards the middle school side of education, was tuna salad with corn chips & a tiny can of V8. The tuna salad—based on my Grandma Jones’s recipe—was made with canned tuna, kraft mayo, diced celery, celery seed & onion powder. I can still taste her version now, if I really think about it.

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Tuna salad has changed a lot for me these days. It also has become something I eat not just because I like it but because i know it’s really good for me, especially with ingredients like sauerkraut & fresh veggies that my version incorporates. What took me the longest in my AIP tuna salad appreciation has been to get over the lack of mayo. I’ve tried a number of AIP “mayo” recipes, but honestly, in tuna salad I find a mashed avocado works better as a regular mayo replacer.

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

I’ve also grown to appreciate tuna salad because I typically have all the ingredients for it on hand, meaning that I can easily make it for a meal if other plans have fallen through (or if I simply didn’t start lunch prep early enough). In a pinch, I’ll eat the tuna salad by itself, but most of the time, I prefer it served over salad greens, or with plantain chips (a throwback to my days of eating tuna salad on corn chips), or on cucumber slices.

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole30)

Egg-free Tuna Salad (AIP, Paleo, Whole 30) 
yields 1 large serving or two small servings 

1/2 of a large (90 g) Avocado, mashed
1 tsp Lemon Juice (fresh is best, but bottled works in a pinch)
1-5 oz can Canned Wild Caught Albacore Tuna  (do not drain or rinse)
2 Tbl (30 g) Sauerkraut (homemade is best)
1/3 c (42 g, approx 1 stalk) Celery, diced
1/4 c (42 g) Cucumber, diced
3 Tbl (9 g) Scallions, sliced
1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Plantain Chips, Cucumber slices, and/or salad greens for serving

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the avocado and lemon juice with a fork. 
  2. Add the tuna (with the juices, do not drain or rinse for optimal omega 3 level), breaking it up with a fork & combining it with the avocado/lemon. 
  3. Mix in the sauerkraut, diced celery, diced cucumber, sliced scallion & sea salt. 
  4. Serve with plantain chips and cucumber slices, or over salad greens. 
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

I developed & photographed this recipe last spring; however, I forgot about it until recently when I rediscovered the photos while reorganizing old files. I thought it was a great one to share, even a year later. :)

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

I’ve previously posted about tapioca pudding (and you can also find the recipe in my e-book AIP & Paleo Holiday Sweet Treats), but I love how this combination takes basic tapioca to the next level. Perhaps it’s just me, but over time as I’m regularly consuming more coconut products, I find myself losing the flavor of coconut. For example, just using coconut milk in a recipe no longer tastes very coconut-y to me. But adding toasted coconut to a recipe, like in this pudding, brings that roast-y, toast-y coconut-y flavor right back.

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

While the toasted coconut tapioca pudding is great all on it’s own; I topped mine with a tropical fruit mixture both to add extra fruit servings and to keep with the tropical theme of the toasted coconut pudding. I diced pineapple, mango & kiwi & added a spritz of lime juice & a tiny drizzle of honey, but you could use whatever tropical-isn fruits you prefer or can find. I think passion fruit could make an excellent addition, as could papaya and/or banana etc.

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Tapioca pudding does take a little planning to make—tapioca pearls need to soften before cooking—but I still think the inactive prep time is worth it. And leftovers with additional coconut milk as a sort of porridge make an excellent treat breakfast (with some protein and perhaps vegetables too).

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit (AIP, Paleo, Vegan)

Toasted Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Tropical Fruit 
yield’s 3 to 4 small servings

44 g Small Tapioca Pearls
3/4 c Filtered Water (I use this water filter)
1-13.5 oz can Coconut Milk (I use this brand and weigh out 13.5 oz)
1 tsp Gluten Free Vanilla Extract 
2 Tbl Grade A Dark Amber Maple Syrup (or other AIP sweetener of choice)
40 g / 1/2 c Toasted Unsweetened Coconut, plus extra for garnish, if desired

  1. Combine the tapioca pearls and water in a small sauce pan. Allow the pearls to soften for at least an hour. 
  2. Meanwhile, toast the coconut in a 350 F oven on a parchment lined baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring a couple times. Do not burn. Alternately, the coconut can be toasted in a dry skillet over medium high heat, stirring constantly. 
  3. Once the pearls have softened, add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring often. When the mixture reaches a simmer, add the toasted coconut, reduce the heat to medium low & continue cooking, still stirring, until the pudding thickens and the pearls begin turning translucent, approximately 15 minutes total. 
  4. Cool slightly. Serve warm (my personal preference) or refrigerate until cold. Top with tropical fruits, & an extra dusting of toasted coconut, if desired. 
Tropical Fruit Salad 
Pineapple, diced
Mango, diced
Kiwi, diced
Lime juice
Honey (optional, depending on sweetness of the fruit; substitute maple syrup to keep vegan)

  1. Mix together diced tropical fruits, such as pineapple, mango, and kiwi (or add other favorites, if desired). 
  2. Squeeze a little fresh lime juice over the fruit & drizzle with a little honey, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. 
  3. Spoon the fruit salad over the prepared tapioca pudding just before serving.
This post is included in the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #115

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