Saturday, May 13, 2017

Entertaining While Living the AIP Life

Summer is on its way and my greatest joy is having people to our home, with long lingering visits over a table full of food and wine. In the summer we dine on the patio with candles flickering and little white hanging lights that envelope our time of fellowship with a warm ambiance. 

One of the hardest things for me while eating an AIP (Auto Immune Protocol) diet, has been figuring out how to plan a menu for dinner parties. A menu that satisfies my guests and doesn't cause me inflammation.  

A couple of weeks ago, I made it over this hurdle by planning a menu that is delicious enough to serve at a dinner party while sticking to my eating plan.  

I made my Barbecue Drumsticks with a few changes. 
  • Instead of soy sauce, use Coconut Aminos. 
  • Replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar.  
  • Add barbecue sauce at the end to only half of the drumsticks. (AIP does not allow tomato products) 
For the side dish I made Sweet Potato Soufflé with 4 simple AIP approved ingredients:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Coconut Milk
  • Bacon
  • Salt
Pure deliciousness!! (The recipe is at the bottom of this page)

For the salad I tore romaine lettuce into a bowl and added: 

  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Kalamata olives
  • Olive oil and white wine vinegar drizzled over the salad
  • A couple of turns of the Himalayan Sea Salt grinder over the top
Simple perfection!

I have come to realize that grilling meat, roasting veggies and tossing a salad are all AIP and guest approved. Add a nice bottle of wine on the patio and let the summer entertaining begin.

*As a side note, wine is not AIP approved. I have been on the plan long enough that I know what I can and cannot eat and drink. There are a few wines that actually calm my inflammation instead of cause inflammation. Strange......but true :)  

This is how easy it is to make the Sweet Potato Souffle:

Wash, peel and dice your sweet potatoes 

Place the sweet potatoes in hot water and boil

When done, use an immersion blender to mash the potatoes.  Add a can of full fat coconut milk and mix with the blender again.

Add salt and bacon and stir with a spoon until well blended.  Scoop into a souffle dish.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top.  

Sweet Potato Souffle

4 lbs sweet potatoes (white sweet potatoes are my fave in this dish)
1 13.5 oz can of full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1 tsp sea salt

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into small cubes.
Place into a large pot of water and bring to a boil.
Boil the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes or until soft.
Mash the sweet potatoes or use an immersion blender until smooth.
Add the can of coconut milk and salt.
Whip until creamy.
Stir in bacon.
Place in 2 quart casserole dish or soufflé dish.
Bake at 425 for 25 minutes. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

My Healing Kitchen Journey

Hang on, I'm back! I know it's been quite some time since my last post, on World Arthritis Day, when I had made the decision to start Enbrel Injections. I needed some time to figure things out before I updated all of you. I did the injections for 3 weeks. Those were 3 weeks spent on the couch feeling nauseous, tired with painful horrible swollen injection sights on my legs.  So, I stopped!

As I have said quite often, there has to be a better way than pharmaceuticals. Hippocrates said "Let food be your medicine."  In the past I have lived by that saying. I feel like I gave up on my eating plan too soon. Maybe....maybe not. Maybe I needed 3 weeks of misery as a reminder that I still believed in Hippocrates mission. 

I was sick, depressed, and without hope. A good friend of mine had recently been diagnosed with RA and when medication failed to help her she found another solution.   An amazing book that she recommended to me has changed my life.  Rocked my world.  The Healing Kitchen by Alaena Haber and Sarah Ballantyne came to my rescue.  

The Healing Kitchen teaches the Auto Immune Protocol diet. It's hard you guys! Really hard! When you are a foodie like me and cannot eat and cook in a way that you find fulfilling, it's quite a challenge. Much discipline is required. The list of acceptable ingredients is limited. In the beginning I felt like I was cooking most of the day. But, with the healing and positive results I've seen, this plan is so worth it. I feel better than I have in years and my body is beginning to heal.

Back to talking about food though. I have discovered that life as I know is not over because I can't eat pasta, cake or cheese. Oh wow! I miss cheese! My cooking abilities have been stretched and what has come out of it is only positive. I don't feel too deprived when there are great things to eat such as: 

Scrumptious Blueberry Thumbprint Cookies

Chicken Kabobs with Garlic Roasted Veggies

 Bacon Wrapped Dates......seriously decadent! 

So you see, life moves on and I still get amazing delicious food that is healing my body. It's a big adjustment with quite the learning curve and I can finally say (on most days) that it's all good. What worked in the beginning of my auto immune journey does not work now. Whether it is hormonal changes or progression of the disease that caused this change I cannot say. But, several months into this new eating plan and happily, 24 pounds lighter, I can say with great confidence that the Auto Immune Protocol has most definitely changed my life. So thanks to the book and the ladies behind The Healing Kitchen, I can say once again, "Let food be your medicine."

P.S. I won't just leave you here. I will be sharing recipes and ideas to help you navigate the AIP lifestyle a little bit easier and hopefully with a little less frustration than I had in the beginning. We are in this together friend.