Sunday, September 20, 2015

Managing a flu/fever with a chronic illness

glass thermometer
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A few weeks ago, I was shivering under 5 heavy blankets with a fever.  While all bundled up in my bed, I thought back to the last time I was battling a flu.  It was about 2 years ago when I was early in my Colitis journey. I was hit with a stomach bug which eventually triggered a pretty bad flare. Since I was quite inexperienced with how to manage the newly diagnosed chronic illness, I was afraid to take any over the counter medication, I was even afraid to take any natural remedy like oil of oregano or garlic as they can also increase digestion symptoms, so I roughed it out by taking lots of Epsom salt baths. I remember even drinking water hurt my insides but I had to keep myself hydrated with coconut water. I had terrible hunger pangs from not eating for 5 days and ended up loosing a pound a day.

This time around I am more confident how to nurse myself back to health. I believe the year of being on AIP has really healed my gut. My body is much stronger to deal with seasonal sickness. Don't get me wrong, the fever was not fun! I slept most of my day. My children were worried as they watch me shiver but I assured them that I will be ok, whereas 2 years ago, I really didn't know how I would get myself out of the flu.

The million dollar questions about AIP is "how long does it take to heal?" I used to count how many months I was on the protocol, but I don't anymore. I just know that this is the right direction for me to continue to support my health. It is a lifestyle, not a diet.

Besides rest,  here are some of the home remedies I used to help speed up the recovery ( disclaimer: I am not qualify to give medical advice nor can I suggest medication even though the following are remedies )
  • Cell salt: Ferr Phos can help with inflammation like fever in the body
  • Epsom salt bath. 2 -3 times a day and I made sure to stay hydrated 
  • I added Lavender and rosemary oil in my bath and in my diffuser. I am learning more about using essential oils to support my health so stay tuned for more. 
  • I up my Vitamin C supplement to bowel tolerance. This means I increase dosage in small increments ( 250mg - 500mg) until I get loose stool. I have to be careful with this one as I don't want to trigger my UC symptoms
  • I increase my Vitamin D supplements for a few days until I feel improvement
  • LOTS of bone broth
I tolerate Astragalus well if the my cold and flu is a stubborn one. While I was researching for this post, I finally read up more about the TH1/ TH2 pathway dominance theory. There are a lot of information out there on this healing path and we don't assimilate the knowledge well until we are ready for it. I am finally ready to understand more about this theory. It looks like I am most likely ( not proven by testing )TH2 dominant according to the two links by Mickey Trescott listed below. 


Preventative measures 


The following are what I practice to ward off the germs

Oil pulling - removes bacteria/ viruses hiding in our mouths
Neti pot - removes bacteria/ viruses hiding in our nasal passage
Drink more hot teas - hot teas help loosen mucus
Getting enough Vitamin D
Again... bone broth! I find a 10-12 hours simmer works best for me, longer cook time can increase the histamine. This article from The Paleo PI explains why. 

Here is a great article from the Paleo mom about How long is it going to take to? Finding Patience with the AIP

These link shares Mickey Trescott at The Autoimmune Paleo's explanation on the Th1/ TH2 pathway
http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/01/guest-post-by-mickie-trescott-what-is-the-role-of-th1-and-th2-in-autoimmune-disease.html
 http://autoimmune-paleo.com/cold-and-flu-remedies-for-the-autoimmune-sufferer/

If you are fighting a flu I hope you feel better soon. Get lots of rest and stay hydrated and if you try any of the remedies on my list, let me know which ones helped.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

AIP/ Paleo in Vegas

My hot yoga balcony studio

I am finally sitting down to finish off my Vegas travel post after listening to Phoenix Helix's podcast on Paleo Travels. If you haven't listened to it, I highly recommend you do even if you don't have a trip planned in the near future.

I was a bit apprehensive about this trip to Las Vegas mid August. Firstly, it was the first flight travel since my diagnosis; packing my kitchen in the van for a road trip is easier than condense packing that involved security checks and liquid limitations. Secondly, I wasn't sure how I would take to the extreme hot desert temperature. Thirdly, we were there for work ( tradeshow time ) so it was easier and cheaper to stay on the strip and not rent a car. I was unsure where I would buy fresh produce. However,  my excitement to be traveling sans children for the first time - EVER overcame all my distresses. 

What I packed: the million dollar questions for AIPers



Beside the usual canned and dried goods ( canned smoked oysters, plantain chips, coconut apple bars ), I cooked up this seared ahi tuna, broccoli and purple yam meal and packed it in a cooler bag to eat on the plane. Luckily, I wasn't hungry on the flight so I ate part of this as my late dinner at the hotel. Note the children utensils for airport security purpose?

I haven't been to Vegas for probably 7 years so when my husband said that he would books a nice hotel because I was coming, I didn't know what to expect. To my delight, we stayed at the Cosmopolitan which were originally built as apartments so the rooms had a fridge, dishwasher and microwave. The fridge part was already filled with overpriced beverages but there was room in the freezer to put my food. The tuna lasted well in the freezer as I snacked on it over the course of my stay. To prevent temptation I covered the tray "moment of weakness" candies and snacks on the counter with a towel. I also pre-made and froze some of Kaiku lifestyle's plantain pancake as another source of AIP carbs. 

Testing the heat


I start my day with hot yoga on the balcony. The reason why people pay more money for hot yoga classes is because the heat makes you more flexible and bendy. 20 minutes later and I was sweating.

Then I went to the pool for a dip, I was the only person in the oddly shaped pool trying to do some form of laps.

After I cleaned up,  I made my way to the trade shows to meet my husband. If you have been to Vegas, you will know how every hotel looks so much closer than the seem.  You can usually see the hotel you are heading to but because they are so big, you still have be walk at least 15 mins. I was sure glad I packed my snacks for the tradeshow because their prices for fruits was crazy - a banana or apple was $5US. In the evening, I was pleased to find a little market place where I bought some fresh produce at decent prices for the rest of our stay.

Here are a couple dinners I had on the Strip.
Taro chips mushroom avocado ceviche appetizer at Carson Kitchen. I gave the cherry tomatoes to my husband.
BBP ( Bobby' Burger Palace ) - burger on salad greens, again hubs got the tomato 

For lunch on our last day in Vegas, we tried the buffet at the Wicked Spoon. Here is the true test how I fare with all the food.  - selective, not quantity but quality. Meats, Roast beef, house cured bacon, crispy pork, smoked salmon, carrot mango ginger lime juice, gluten free dessert


Grilled salmon
Being very cautious with my selection
smoke salmon
Carrot, ginger, mango juice
My Five finger shoes stood up to the test

So how did I do with all my initial concerns about this trip?

On the Strip with no car? No problem as I was prepared with compliant food, I was not bothered with walking as long as I stayed hydrated and look for shade if I am out in the sun. I think the extra Vitamin really powered my body.

Food? The heat actually decreased my appetite, with the extra activities like pool time, tradeshow and  just plain experiencing this surreal city, I ate less. And I did find some normal priced produces while we were off the strip. The buffet wasn't as scary an experience as I imagined. Just because it was there, doesn't mean I had to eat it. I really enjoyed the foods I chose and went back for seconds. 

How did this trip improve my health? My body really benefitted from the sunlight and heat, I am unsure whether my body reacts to heat differently comparing to before but the extreme heat seems to be what my body loves. I joked that I will become a leather faced retiree living in Palm Spring. This was such a great little recharge getaway. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids but being able to just focus on myself and my husband is a real treat for any parent once in a while. All I focused on was getting enough water and how to get to my next destination - the simple joy on wonder!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sweet Beets and Plantain burger patty

Restaurants usually add a lot of sugar in their food to improve taste and make them addictive. Here I am using naturally sweet vegetables like beets and ripe plantain to make these AIP low FODMAP burger patty as irresistible as the ones in dining out meals. Hope you like it!


Makes 12 patties  Prep time 15 mins  Cook time 10 mins

Ingredient
  • 2 lbs ground pork ( pastured raised are best ) 
  • 3/4 lbs ground beef ( pastured raised are best ) 
  • 1 small beet root ( golf ball size ), peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 medium ripe plantain, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 leek ( greens only for lowFODMAP), clean and cut into 1" sections
  • 1 tsp sea salt ( I used pink himalayan salt)
  • 1/4 tsp AIP 4 spice mix or cinnamon
  • Frying fat of your choice ( I used coconut oil here) 

Method
  1. Put all cut vegetable ( except plantain )  into food processor and pulse into ( roughly rice size ) small pieces,  add plantain last, ripe plantain will make mixture into a paste. 
  2. Mix in salt and spice/ cinnamon
  3. Empty mixture into large bowl and hand mix in ground meats, you can also stir with wooden spoon or use a masher
  4. Heat frying pan on medium heat, add fat
  5. Form mixture into 2-3" patty size and fry until cook ( 3 - 5 mins each side) Keep in mind that the Beets will make it more reddish so it might be safer to cook longer. The vegetable keeps it moist and tender. 
  6. Serve with your favorite sides or double portion and freeze exta. 





Thursday, August 27, 2015

Warm Purple yam apple porridge

I survived 4 days of Las Vegas on AIP/ Paleo and came back to more moderate temperature back home ( Stay tuned for a post about my 43C/110F journey.) My early morning walks has become a little nippy comparing to hot yoga on the hotel balcony. I went out for my jaunt around the neighbourhood and felt to desire for a tummy warming breakfast when I get home. Here is what I stirred up. It's quick and easy and hit the spot. 

Purple yam apple porridge

>This blog post contains affiliate links. Click here to learn more what it means. 

Serves 2   Prep time 5 mins    Cook time 10 mins


Ingredients
  • 1 medium purple ( or other yam, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces)
  • 1/2  apple ( peeled, cored and cut into pieces) 
  • 1/2 c coconut milk ( affiliate link:  I use this one
  • 1/4 c shredded large coconut flakes ( affiliate link: I use this one)
  • 1/2 c water
(Optional) garnish with mint leaves

Instructions
  1. Put cut yam pieces into a medium size pot with water and cook at medium heat for 5 minutes or until soft
  2. Add apples and cook for another 3 mins or until apples are soft, turn off heat
  3. Mash yam and apples with a potato masher or fork
  4. Add coconut milk and mix well. If the mixture is too runny, you can simmer it for a few minutes to reduce the liquids.
  5. Pour into your favorite bowl and top with shredded coconut flakes 
  6. Optional garnish with mint leaves. 
Enjoy this hearty warm and colorful bowl as  a meal or snack 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Get into my belly Sunshine!

ps. This is not me 

I have worn one piece bathing suits for my entire adult life until a couple years ago. I was a rounder kid and teenage and never lost that image in my head even when I started to lean out. In the past couple years, the sudden and dramatic weight lost from my UC flare gave me a different body image to think about. There were times when I was afraid to look in the mirror because I was skin and bones. After I returned to a healthy weight for height and body frame, I have also gained self confidence to bare a bit more skin. It wasn't until I learned about the importance of Vitamin D absorption through the skin from this article  that I gather courage to bare my mid section in public.

Maybe with age, I am less self conscious about the idea of showing tummy.  I know this is usually the opposite for most women but I tend to regress in my process.  As a late  "two piece bathing suit" bloomer, I have to learn how to buy and wear a bikini. Shopping for bathing suits, let alone bikini can be nerve wrecking, I searched online for tips and tried on different styles and finally found a few options for my pear shaped body.

Besides learning the basics of how to pick a swim suit for my body type,  I came across couple articles that shows how swimsuit photoshoot in the media are digitally modified. My favorite finds are several links of real people wearing bathing suits and a model reaction to her photo being highly altered. Hope these will remind us all what the human body is suppose to look like.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/laraparker/heres-what-victorias-secret-swimsuits-look-like-on-real-wome#.geoZk3j10

http://aplus.com/a/australian-model-maeghan-kausman-photoshop-image-fella-swim

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/11/target-photoshop-fail_n_4940819.html

Untouched Swimsuit Campaign
http://www.buzzfeed.com/norawhelan/more-like-denise-bad-ot#.hba4d1X0l

Real Beach bodies
http://www.xojane.com/issues/real-beach-bodies-gallery#&gid=ci01bbc52e3003efe2&pid=photo202_4


At the end of the day, I learned a lot about body image and how much confidence has to do with it. When I am out there baring my tummy,  I focus more about absorbing Vitamin D through the skin, especially around my belly. With bellydancing and yoga, I am feeling more and more comfortable in my own skin.

So while the sun is still beaming down at us, get out there and get some Vitamin D for the sake of your digestion. I dare you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chicken Tenders Recipe Roundup

Photo credit from the talented Sweet Treats: Food, Photography, Life

As parents,  we have many responsibilities in guiding our next generation to make their own decisions as they grown up; making healthy food choices is one of them.  Sometimes children are reluctant with trying new foods because of sensory sensitivity.  Some kids are sensitive to certain texture in their meals, others maybe be put off by the visuals on their plate, smell also plays an important role in appealing to the little ones' interest in their food.

When I came across this article I shared on my Facebook about a 17 years old girl who only ate chicken nuggets ( Yes ONLY) since she was 2, I struck up a few conversations with parents about their experience on the topic.  With this inspiration, I decided to do a recipe round up for AIP chicken tenders you can make at home for the little one.  I agree, chicken fingers/ tender are yummy and easy to eat, especially for young ones, but you don't have to rely on the fast food industry.

Thank you to all the contributors for this recipe round up.

http://www.thebaconmum.com/orangechickentenders/

http://www.grazedandenthused.com/#!Crispy-CarrotChicken-Tenders-AIPFriendly/cu6k/68D92AD2-4BC4-499B-8921-7E0062A3E250

http://www.beyondthebite4life.com/2014/11/kid-friendly-meal-part-1-chicken-tenders-aip.html

https://salixisme.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/bacon-wrapped-chicken-fingers/

http://sweet-treats-baking.blogspot.ca/2015/02/plantain-chip-chicken-aip-paleo.html?m=1

Friday, July 24, 2015

Clean

neon clean sign

Besides food, a holistic lifestyle need to supported by ways like removing as much harmful chemicals as possible out of our every day lives.

In the past two years, I have gradually switched over household cleaning products through trail and error. Some natural cleaning products don't work very well and others are just not economical.

I thought I would share the safe cleaners I have found that works for me and are affordable.
Pink Solution - I use Pink Solution ( a Canadian product ) in my laundry and as an all purpose cleaner.  I make the heavy mix as suggested on their packaging and add 30 drops of my favorite essential oils to the 4 Galloon bottle.  I use 1/2 c of the heavy mix per load of laundry. For the all purpose cleaner, I dilute the heavy mix with water  ( 1 part mix to 4 parts water ) and use in a pump bottle for all purpose cleaning. For a spray bottle I dilute it more ( 1 part heavy mix to 6 part water)  I found this to be the best degreaser and soap scum remover. It really shines up my kitchen and bathrooms. I also use Mother's Choice  ( made by the same company as Pink Solution )to clean non-porous surfaces that may need little elbow grease.

I use Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile soup in several ways, we bath with it, use it as dish soup ( hand washing) and I like to mop with it. There was a recently change in their formula to include non-GMO corn in their product so if you are sensitive to corn, please take note

For dishwasher detergent, I was still searching high and low for a recipe that cleans well until Christina from A Clean Plate gave me her recipe here I still need to source out citric acid to see how that affect the cleaning power but so far her recipe is pretty good. Thank you
Below are a few more resources on  products I mentioned above and some extra cleaning recipes for you to try.


https://pinksolution.ca
https://www.drbronner.com
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/downloads/2011/QueenOfGreen-Green-cleaning-recipes.pdf
http://food52.com/blog/13568-the-6-all-natural-cleaning-products-you-should-be-making-at-home


What do you use to clean? Do you have a favorite natural cleaning product recipe you would like to share?






Monday, July 13, 2015

Oven slow roasted tamarind rhubarb lamb shank

My AIP adventures with new fruits and vegetables continues. This time it is rhubarb. I have enjoyed rhubarb in pies or crumbles but I found that this interestingly tart vegetable always need the company of lots of sweetener to make it palatable. This gave me the idea to take advantage of the natural sourness of rhubarb and use it to cook a fatty meat. That is how this recipe came about. Inside of adding more sweetener, I added tamarind to add a little sweetness but still playing up the tart of both these main ingredients. This make an easy AIP/ FODMAP ( easy modification included ) high fibre and hearty meal.  I really enjoyed it with Paleo Cajun Lady's cauliflower grit which one of my favorite side dishes in her latest creation - AIP Cajun Paleo Cookbook.  Check out her book for more tasty recipes. 
Oven slow roast tamarind rhubarb lamb shank

Chopped rhubarb, leek and tamarind pod

Serves 4   Prep time 15 mins    Cook time 4 hours 

Ingredients
  • 3 lbs. lamb shank 
  • 1 tbsp fat ( I used pastured lard) 
  • 2 stalks rhubarb ( chopped into 3/4" pieces)
  • 2 tamarind pods
  • 1 stalk leek ( cut into 2-3 " pieces ) use only green part for low FODMAP
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c kombucha or 1/2 c apple cider vinegar + 1/2 c water
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300F
  2. Sprinkle cinnamon and salt over lamb shank.
  3. In a dutch oven or an oven proof pot with lid ( I used my cast iron one ), brown lamb shank over medium heat for about 5 mins each side.
  4. Remove lamb from dutch oven/pot and set aside
  5. Melt fat in same dutch over/pot and saute chopped rhubarb and leek over medium heat for about 10 mins
  6. Place lamb shank back in dutch oven/pot, add tamarind and cooking liquids ( either kombucha or diluted apple cider vinegar). Cover with lid and place into preheated oven
  7. Cook for 4 hours and baste at half time. 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

AIP Hainanese Chicken

AIP Hainanese Chicken

When I first starting focusing on healing my gut, I toyed around with different ways of eating to aid my digestion. I dug through my childhood food vault and remembered this long time favorite - Hainanese Chicken. I used think it must be difficult to make because it is so tasty.  Upon a little research, I realized that it is pretty easy and simple to make although does take a few extra steps. I assure you that the added effort is well worth it! The traditional recipe uses the whole chicken and is served with rice, but substitute with cauliflower rice or just eat it with a whole lot of steamed Asian greens like choy sum or Gai lan and you have an AIP and low FODMAP meal.

Hainanese Chicken 3 steps












Serves 4 Prep time 15 mins Cook time 25 mins

Ingredients
  • 1 whole non medicated chicken 
  • 2 -4 stalks of green onions
  • 2-3" ginger root
  • 2-3 tbsp sea salt
  • 1-2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil or melted lard
  • coconut aminos
(Optional) Ginger Sauce
  • 2-3" peel ginger root ( grated)
  • 1 stalk green onion ( finely minced)
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
Mix all ingredients together and store in fridge

Instructions
  1. Prepare chicken by rinsing your chicken in water and pad dry with paper towel.
  2. (Photo 1) Scrub the skin smooth with sea salt. Yes exfoliate your chicken! 
  3. Stuff the chicken with ginger slices and green onion sections and tie off with legs to keep the herbs inside.
  4. Prepping an ice water bath by fill a second pot ( same size as cooking one) with ice and water. This is an important step to shrink the skin and stops the cooking to make the skin springy and chicken juicy.
  5. Bring a big pot of water to boil ( keep in mind if you are cooking the whole chicken that your pot has to be big enough to fit the chicken in with water covering)
  6. add 1 tsp sea salt and 2" of ginger root in water  
  7. ( Photo 2 ) put chicken in rumbled salted water now on med heat for 20 min. 
  8. When the chicken is cooked (No more pink liquid running out), take it out of hot water and dunk into ice water bath.  This stops the cooking and shrinks the skin to make it springy. 
  9. ( Photo 3 ) Let it sit for a few minutes.
  10. The cooking water becomes the beginning of a broth. It's not the same as long simmer bone broth but add some sliced mushrooms and more fresh green onion  and you have quick tasty clear soup to go with your chicken.
  11. Serve with Cauliflower rice, poached kale, pickled cucumbers and ginger sauce

Thursday, July 2, 2015

AIP Iced "americano" - cool refreshing anemia buster drink

I have a strong likes for bitters,  perhaps it is from childhood training of drinking Chinese medicine. Somehow that piece of dried plum the herbalist offers as an after treat made it all worthwhile. 

As I continue to search for more ways to improve my iron levels, I turn to my herbalist for advice. I have been drinking nettle tea with molasses but find that body still needs more iron. My herbalist ran down the list of suggestions like nutrient dense diet,  probiotics, fermented vegetables... which I am already complying with, then she suggested yellow dock.  Besides being rich in iron, yellow dock is known for it's liver detoxing properties. I asked what it taste like and she said "bitter" and let me smell it. She was probably a bit surprised when I said that I liked the smell which is a good sign. I believe our senses guide us to what are body needs. I bought a little to try. 

When I got home, I decided to play up the bitterness of the herbs and after a few tries I created this AIP version of iced coffee. I find it to be a refreshing drink with a sweet bitter kick, with the coconut milk, it makes a treat on a hot day. Because I am naturally drawn to bitter flavors, I am very interested to hear what other people think. Is it too bitter? Does it remind you of an iced americano? Please let me know. 

AIP Iced "Americano"

Makes 2 cups     Prep time 5 mins      Cook time 20 mins

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp nettle leaves
  • 1 tsp yellow dock root
  • 1 tsp dandelion root
  • 1 tsp honey ( optional but recommended unless you really like bitters) 
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 - 1/4 c coconut milk

Instructions:
  1. In a small pot, add all ingredients except sweeteners, bring to boil then simmer uncovered for 20 mins
  2. Strain out roots and leaves and pour liquid into a mason jar, add sweeteners, 
  3. Let cool and store in fridge until ready to use
  4. Fill a tall glass with ice, pour 3/4 c cooled "tea" in, add desired amount of coconut milk and serve

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sweet Potato Molasses Meatballs

What a fun week it's been. I am hosting the Instagram takeover for Autoimmune Paleo and made my go to meatballs like these. These bite size eats are almost complete mini meal on their own. Serve them with a salad, on a bed zuoodles or spaghetti squash and you got yourself another easy AIP meal. I make them often because they are tasty and have protein, starch and vegetable all there. There are great for snacks  and freeze well.   It is similar to my Squash Sausage recipe but some of you AIP peeps were interested in the exact recipe so here it is. 

Sweet Potato Molasses Meatballs

Makes 30 meatballs      Prep time 15 mins      Cook time 35 mins

Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground pastured pork
  • 1 lb ground grass fed beef
  • 2 stalks finely chopped celery
  • 1 c cooked sweet potato or yam, either steamed or roasted and peeled 
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh herbs ( I used rosemary, green onion, oregano and mint here)
  • 1 tsp himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp molasses

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Sautee chopped celery in medium heat pan for 2-3 mins to get some of the moisture out, let cool for a few minutes
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients by hand or using spatula
  4. form into 1 1/2" diameter size balls
  5. Place in baking pan and bake 325F for 30 mins
  6. Broil to brown for 5 mins

Saturday, June 20, 2015

How to steam a whole fish


Steamed fish

Serves 4      Prep time 10 mins     Cook time 15 mins

Ingredient
  • 1 Tilapia fish (1.5 lbs) gutted and descaled 
  • 2 stalks green onions ( cut into 3" length)
  • 1" ginger root - 1/2" peeled and matchsticked + 1/2" thickly sliced and smashed 
  • 2 stalks cilantro ( cut into 3 " length)
  • 3 tbsp fat ( I used pastured lard ) 
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos
  • himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • Optional: (reintroduction only) sesame oil 
Instructions
step by step how to steam a whole fish
Prepare steam bath: 
  1. Put steaming wire rack stand inside dutch oven 
  2. Fill with 2-3" high water or 1/2" below top of stand
  3. Bring water to boil
Prepare fish for steaming:
  1. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towel
  2. Chop herbs ( Photo 1 )
  3. Lay fish in an oval dish which fits into dutch oven ( Photo 2 )
  4. Lightly salt inside and out of fish, both sides
  5. Stuff inside of fish with thick sliced ginger pieces and few cuts of green onion ( Photo 3)
  6. Lightly dust outside of fish with tapioca flour
  7. Carefully place dish with fish into rumbling steam bath ( Photo 4 ). Try using these plate retriever tongs. 
  8. Steam for 15 mins or until thickest part of fish easily separates from bones. 
  9. Remove as much fish broth around fish as possible with turkey baster and keep for other uses* The drier you can get the fish, the less oil splatter will happen in the next steps
  10. Melt fat until lightly smoking
  11. Lay remaining chopped herbs onto fish and pour hot oil all over fish and herbs, watch for splatters. ( Photo 5 ) 
  12. Drizzle with coconut aminos ( optional reintroduction only: sesame oil)
  13. To serve I set the oval dish into a slightly larger oval dish as they do in Chinese restaurants ( Photo 6 ) 
* This fish broth is very tasty and so make sure you drink it or save to add into soups. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

AIP no soy chicken wings

I have to admit that cooking Asian food without soy sauce was one of the biggest challenge when I started AIP.  Coconut Amino is an options but I find it a bit sweet depending on the brand. Fish sauce is very tasty but has a distinct flavor all of its own. My 10yo's comment when he saw these were " They look amazing!" I have to agree I am quite proud my AIP 4 spice seasoning combined with kombucha vinegar and molasses could give such a beautiful " soy sauce" effect and flavor. I use the whole chicken wings but you can choose the wingette or drummer as your please. This recipe makes a great appetizer or a dish on it's own and they will go fast.  

AIP no soy chicken wings


Serves 4      Prep time 10 mins + at least 30 mins marinade time     Cook time 2 hours 5 mins

Ingredients
  • 3 lbs whole chicken wings 
  • 1 c water

Marinade
  • 1 c Kombucha vinegar or ACV
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 2 tsp himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp AIP 4 spice seasoning
  • 10-20 stalk flowering chives ( or chives), chopped 

Instructions:
  1. Mix marinade ingredients together and put into a zip lock bag with chicken wings. Squeeze as much air out of bag before closing it. This ensures all surface on chicken wings are in contact with marinade.
  2. Marinade for at least 30 mins in fridge
  3. Preheat oven to 275F 
  4. Place chicken wings on wire rack and pour marinade in the bottom of pan along with one cup of water
  5. Bake for 2 hours flipping over once at an hour time
  6. Pour drippings out and brush over chicken wings
  7. Broil for 5 mins







Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I learn The Human body puzzle


click on image to order this puzzle game

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I have been battling extreme fatigue, dizziness and mild depression for the last few months. I was perplexed as nothing much has changed in my lifestyle or diet. The fatigue and inability to focus also made me feel defeated. I questioned what was the purpose for all the work I had been doing to heal my body holistically. It is hard to think straight when the body I had to relearn how it functions is not ticking the way I understand it. I finally went to my GP and asked for some help. I really didn't know what could be the cause, was it my thyroid? Was I anemic even though I consume so much protein, including offals? How about all the dark leafy greens I eat and the nettle teas I drink. What could it be? My GP suggested I get some blood work done and go from there.

The body's wisdom

The night before I got my blood work results, I had an odd craving for a cup of nettle tea with molasses, I haven't used molasses for a long time and it was tucked in the back of the cupboard. I went with my instinct and made myself of this black iron rich tea before bed.

As I stumbled through my extreme fatigue, I decided to revisit one of my supplements - Betaine, HCL and pepsin. I do not know what brought me back to it. When I took this supplement few years ago, I went too much too fast and eventually stopped taking it because too much stomach acid can be painful. This time, I experimented with the dosage according to Empowered Sustance's suggestions and was feel some improvement in my digestion.

How does this all come together to give me the ah-a moment?

When I looked at my bloodwork, it shows my ferritin is below normal range, which means I am anemic. Still scratching my head, I searched the internet on how I can restore my iron naturally, especially when I seem to be eating the right foods already. Then I found this article from Nourishingplot.com that tied everything together.  According to the article,


Unfortunately, my GP did not notify me about my bloodwork results being out of range. He said he wouldn't call me if everything looks good. So I went to my trusty Integrated Pharmacy and asked my Pharmacist. I brought my blood work results to show him to see what his opinion is. He spotted the same concerns I have. His suggestion is to boost my iron, B12 and adrenal support with supplements and redo blood work in 6 weeks.

Learn more about supplement while on Autoimmune Protocol here

One week after starting supplements

I am in fascinated at how much there is to learn about the body, I never imagined being anemic can affect me so much. I have noticed my energy and mood improving dramatically after 5 days on the supplements. Interestingly, my eating habits have changed. Stay tuned for post about my new eating routine.

I am relieved to have this new game plan with addressing my low stomach acid so I can restore my ferritin and improve my thyroid function. What I have learned from this is to let the body guide me and go with the flow. The body is like puzzle, each piece is linked to another, when you find how they fit together to make the big picture, it is a moment to celebrate! This thought brings to mind a puzzle my kids have, "I learn about the Human body" puzzle set,  I thought I would include it here as a tongue in cheek reminder for how I navigate toward better health.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

AIP cookbooks and meal plan

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An Amazing Resource Available Only Until May 25th!

I am so excited to share this amazing deal with you! The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle contains 45 e-books (worth over $500) and 26 discount codes all for just $39! But hurry, it’s only on sale until May 25th!

If you aren't familiar with e-book bundles, they typically include a variety of e-books as well as discount codes, all for a huge discount and sold for a limited time. Not all bundles are a good deal and I only support those few that provide a large variety of the best-quality resources for a truly amazing deal--and the Autoimmune Wellness Bundle definitely delivers!

This is the very first bundle to focus on exclusively autoimmune protocol-friendly resources! And it
contains all of them! Yes, every single AIP e-book ever created--including cookbooks, meal plans, and guides--are included in this bundle! Even better, this bundle is full of lifestyle guides to help you tackle all the other stuff too, like stress management, sleep, body image, and movement. Need help troubleshooting the autoimmune protocol? Then you’ll love the collection of included e-books that takes you beyond the basics to help you hone in on root issues and regain your health. Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, autoimmune expert and author of The Paleo Approach has personally vetted every single resource included in this bundle. The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle is quite simply the best AIP resource on the planet! And it’s only available until Monday! Check out all the details here.

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle features 45 e-books and 26 discount codes for just $39. That is over 92% off what you would pay if you bought each e-book separately! Plus, you could save hundreds more dollars by taking advantage of the coupon codes!

Included in this bundle:
  • 15 AIP Cookbooks and Meal Plans (total value $188)
  • 15 Lifestyle and Exercise Guides (total value $207)
  • 15 Beyond the Basics e-books (total value $136)
  • 9 Brand-new e-books
  • Best of AIP Cookbook, exclusive to this bundle!
  • 26 Discount Codes for AIP-friendly vendors and products
And, it’s only available for six days! Yes, this amazing sale ends on Monday May 25, so go grab it right now!

And if you buy it right now you are automatically entered to win a new giveaway every single day remaining in this sale! That’s six amazing giveaways if you buy it right now, each with fabulous prizes including two chances to win a Kindle Fire HD and the grand prize of an

All-Expense Paid Trip for Two to Paleo F(x) 2016 worth $2600! 
Act now for the best chances to win! Every giveaway is international andno restrictions apply! No purchase necessary. Click here for more details.

Even if you don’t follow the autoimmune protocol, you will love the Autoimmune Wellness Bundle!
The cookbooks included are filled with delicious recipes that everyone will enjoy and the majority of the additional resources are useful no matter who you are!

As if a great collection of e-books wasn’t enough, the bundle also includes exclusive discount codes from all my favorite companies and authors that make AIP -compliant foods, products, and programs!

In addition to getting 45 e-books for only 87¢ each, you could save hundreds more dollars
by taking advantage of these coupons! The potential value of these discounts and coupon codes hasn’t even been added to the advertised value of the bundle!

But you could easily recoup the entire cost of the bundle just by using one or two of these coupons!

This bundle is also your first opportunity to purchase NINE brand-new e-books! Yes, 9 e-books were created specifically for The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle! What an opportunity to be the first to get your hands on these new resources for a price that just can’t be beat! This includes the Best of AIP Cookbook contains over 160 recipes from the best autoimmune chefs in the community!
It’s a fantastic book and you can only get it here!
Autoimmune wellness bundle recipe contribution
Here is one of my contributed recipe - Click to see more

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle is an entirely digital product, which means you can get instant access by purchasing it right now! It’s compatible with your computer, tablet and smartphone! 

(Instructions are at the bottom of the bundle website if you need them.)

Now you see why I’m so excited about this bundle! Wait! How can you offer so many resources at such a steep discount?

E-book bundles typically include a variety of e-books and other digital resources sold for a price far
lower than what you would pay for each e-book individually. How does this work? There’s two major
incentives for authors to donate their e-books to bundles: expanding their audience and affiliate commissions. Chances are good that you won’t be familiar with every e-book included in a bundle sale. This is what’s in it for the authors: the large number of people who look at their e-books (but normally wouldn’t have) and become new fans. When bundles have a strong theme like this one, this advantage goes both ways: you are the perfect target audience for the e-book contributors and they are great resources for you! Contributing authors also become affiliates for the bundle so there’s still a mechanism for financial compensation for the hard work they put in to creating a great resource.

Bundles also typically contain discount codes. Again, this is what’s in it for the companies: you might tryout a new product and become a new regular shopper. Because bundles are such great deals, the excitement is very high, sales tend to be fantastic, and this amounts to substantial exposure to new
markets. And hopefully, the huge range of discounts included in this bundle will alert you to some great AIP products you didn’t know about yet!

This model only works when bundles are very thought fully organized, provide unique and high quality content, and are sold for a very limited time. The excitement over a legitimately amazing deal means lots of sales and lots exposure for the contributors. When bundle sales last too long or when there’s too many very similar bundle sales to choose from or when the advertising for a bundle includes overinflated values, then the excitement fades and so do the benefits to the contributors. The organizers of the Autoimmune Wellness Bundle are fully honoring the contributions from so many authors and vendors by doing this right! That’s why this bundle was so carefully crafted and is only
available until May 25th!  

Buy Now button


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Squash pork sausage with AIP " 4 spices " seasoning salt

Squash pork sausage 4 step by step shoots

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This recipe post is a two parter; 
  1. How to use your leftover cooked squash or yam to make a complete AIP protein and starch anytime snack 
  2. My AIP version of " 4 spices " seasoning to jazz up your dishes with an Asian flare. 

I have been playing around to find an AIP version of 5 spice seasoning and it is hard to mimic the non-AIP spices like Star Anise and fennel. I have come up with this combination of AIP compliant spices that makes my meat dishes delicious and certainly add an Asian flare. The key spice is Cekur aka Sand Ginger commonly used in Malaysian dishes. Cekur, Kencur, Galanga, 沙姜 in Chinese, is a cousin of ginger root we normally use but is more fragrant. Look for this powdered spice in your local Asian markets or you can get it here. Sometimes they are marked as ginger powder in English so look for the Chinese characters above on the packaging. I keep a batch mixed up and use them in my dry rubs, marinades, seasoning and finishing salt. I know this spice mix is what gives this tender leftover Squash Pork Sausage a special kick in the flavour department. I hope you like it cause my kids certainly didn't leave me any from my first batch. Their respond was " Oh, sorry mom, we ate them all because we thought you couldn't eat it." 
Nice one kids!

Squash pork sausage finish shot
Squash pork sausage in butter lettuce wrap


Makes 12 patties        Prep time 10 mins        Cook time 15 mins ( 10 to cook squash if you don't have any leftover and 5 mins to cook up the sausage ) 

Ingredients
  • 1lb. Ground pasture or Organic pork
  • 1/2 c cooked and mashed kobucha squash or peeled yam
  • 2 - 3 tbsp of minced fresh herbs of your choice, I used green onions, parsley and thyme here
  • 1-2 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp himalayan pink salt or AIP " 4 spice" seasoning salt (see recipe below)
  • cooking fat of you choice ( I used my Pasture Lard from Big Bear Ranch
AIP " 4 spices " seasoning salt
  • 1 part ground cinnamon
  • 1 part ground ginger powder
  • 1 part cekur ( aka. galangal) powder, check your local Asian stores or order here
  • 1 part ground clove 
  • 1 part himalayan pink sea salt
  • ( Optional ) Black pepper if you are not in AIP elimination phase
Instructions
  1. Heat cooking fat in frying pan on medium heat
  2. Saute chopped mushroom 1-2 mins to get most of the moisture out
  3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed
  4. Form meat mix into large meatballs and place them into pan
  5. Cook for 1 min before flattening with fork, cook for 2-3 mins
  6. Flip over patties and cook, another 2-3 mins, until inside is not pink
My kids ate them wrapped up in butter lettuce leaves from the garden!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Yoga for digestion

pitcher nouveau leggings on yoga mat


I have been practicing yoga for over 15 years. I am grateful to have learned this amazing practice because it has played a very important role in my recovery and healing.

These are the benefits I have receive from practicing yoga;

  • Yoga has helped me deliver two healthy children naturally. I believe an established yoga practice pre-pregnancy and pre-natal yoga prepared my body for childbirth however I was also blessed pregnancies with no complications and small babies 
  • Yoga has helped me strengthen my muscles around my mobile joints to prevent injuries. I was constantly injuring my self as a child because of my mobile joints. I often sprain my ankles just from a simple light run. It wasn't until I was an adult that I learned my flexible joints was causing me my childhood pains. 
  • Yoga has helped me through tough times of being a care giver and facing the unknown future of my IBD diagnosis. Yoga became my escape when I was dealing with caregiving stress. During my early Ulcerative Colitis days, I relied on my home practice especially when I was too weak and sick to attend classes at yoga studios.


Here I would like to share with you the few yoga poses I found exceptionally helpful to aid my digestions and provide comfort from IBD/ IBS symptoms.

Bridge


After I get into this pose, I slightly tapping around my belly starting from lower right hip up around down to lower left to stimulate my colon's function.



Twists 


I find supine twist to be more gentle as shown here, but a seated twist also helps aid digestion by wringing out the body.

Seated Twist




Plough to Shoulder stand 


In the plough or shoulder stand pose, I make soft fists with my hands and lightly "pound" along the sides of my lower back. It helps release trapped gas in my colon.


Wind removing pose  


After loosening up the trapped gas in the last post, this wind removing  pose does exactly what it sound like. It is quite affective so you might want to practice in a private setting, if you know what I mean.




Legs up the wall 


This restorative pose is great to relaxation and edema. Perfect pose to wind down before a good night sleep. 



I hope you find these yoga pose helpful for your digestion. Let me know if you feel any improvements.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Coconut free baked goods recipe round up




This coconut free baked goods recipe round up was inspired by a brave 12 yrs old girl with IBD, she has make amazing recoveries using food as "medicine" with the support of her solid family. She has been on a special diet that doesn't include coconut. Now she wants to learn how to make coconut free baked goods to bring to school.

Since I am not a baker, I called on my trusted AIP bloggers friends with our new AIP community ( (logo) signaled in the clouds for this coconut free recipe round up and their creations flood in.

Coconut is an ingredient often used when adapting to a grain free diet. When I first started following the Paleo way of eating, I was excited learn how to bake with coconut flour.


I love coconut anything. 



I learned that it uses a lot of eggs and makes a heavy product. It was a way to help me transition into the new lifestyle and fill the baked goods void. Now, I seldom make baked goods even with AIP recipes because they tend to trigger my desire for sweets so I have really eliminated them.

I still include coconut oil and milk in my diet.


But not everyone can tolerate coconut, as I talk to more people trying to heal their bodies with food, I learn that many people have to navigate their way through a grain free and sometime nut free diet in search for compliant baked goods. If you are one of these people, here is the coconut free baked good recipe round up for you. Thank you to all my blogger pals for chipping in.  Next time you are feeling challenged with your seemingly limited healing diet, watch for the AIP community signal in the sky.

https://www.pinterest.com/erinatjourney/coconut-free-aip/
http://enjoyingthisjourney.com/aip-brownies/
 http://enjoyingthisjourney.com/tigernut-raisin-cookies/
http://www.provincialpaleo.com/baked-breakfast-casserole-with-apples-raisins-baked-oatmeal-substitute/?hc_location=ufi
http://www.provincialpaleo.com/savoury_biscuit/
http://asquirrelinthekitchen.com/aip-paleo-crispy-cinnamon-thin-cookies-coconut-free/?hc_location=ufi
http://www.beyondthebite4life.com/2015/03/paleo-triple-threat-chocolate-cake-egg-nut-coconut-free.html
http://www.beyondthebite4life.com/2015/02/paleo-tigernut-chocolate-chips-cookies-egg-nut-dairy-coconut-free-a-giveaway.html

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Tea time for Spring - Nettle Carob Ginger tea

I can feel Spring in the air because some days my eyes are getting watery and my nose is getting itchy. 

Since being on AIP,  I have found my seasonal allergy symptoms have diminished a lot but I still get them in milder forms, using the Neti pot twice a day also helps improve my symptoms. As I continue to research and learn how to support my body's healing in a holistic manner, I found that my trusted nettle tea, which I was drinking to keep my iron in check and for its anti-inflammatory properties, can help with seasonal allergies, too. Read more about Stinging Nettle health benefits here.  

This tasty tea recipe combines the smoothness of nettle, and brings out a subtle sweetness from the carob. The ginger seems to tie everything together and make it a nice cuppa to wake up with or enjoy as a soothing beverage at the end of the day.  I hope you like it and let me know if it helps your seasonal allergies. 

Nettle Carob Ginger tea


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Serves 1        Prep time 5 mins        Brew time 10 mins

Ingredients
  • 1" ginger root, peeled and thinly slices
  • 1 tbsp dried nettle leaves
  • 1 tsp unsweetened carob powder
  • 1 tsp coconut oil 
  • Optional sweetener: 1 date or 1 tsp maple syrup or 1 tsp molasses ( great source of iron) 
Instructions
  1. Prepare ginger tea 
  2. Use ginger tea to brew nettle leaves for 5- 10 mins
  3. Strain nettle and add carob powder, for best result and especially if adding coconut oil,  blend with hand blender until all ingredients are mixed well.
  4. sweeten with maple syrup if desire 
High Speed Blender instructions

  1. Put ginger slices and hot water into blender like (affiliate link ) Vitamix
  2. Blend until ginger is all pulverized
  3. Pour ginger tea into contain with nettle leaves
  4. Let sit 10 mins
  5. Strain out ginger and nettle and pour back into blender
  6. Add coconut oil and (optional) date
  7. Blend until date is pulverized 

Pour and enjoy.