What Am I Eating?

I thought I would take a minute to show you guys some things that I’ve been eating!  These are all recipes from a book by Dr. Amy Myers called The Thyroid Connection.  While I’m not following her 28 day meal plan (I don’t have time to cook that much!), I am using her recipes for all of my dinners and most of my lunches.  Each meal I make serves four, and some serve six.  So Matt (my husband) and I will eat it for dinner and then we each will eat it for lunch a couple of days later.  So I’ve only been cooking for dinner, which has been nice.  And when I have time, I will prep some of the items on the weekend so they don’t take as much time during the week.  So far, everything I’ve made hasn’t taken long to cook, it’s just the cutting of veggies and such that seems to take the bulk of the time.  Oh, and I should also say, I’ve actually really liked the majority of the recipes, which I’ve kind of been surprised by, I must admit! Below are a few that we’ve had!

Citrus Shrimp over Red Leaf Lettuce Salad – We really liked this!

Pineapple Taco Salad with Grass-Fed Beef – This was one of my least favorites, only because I felt like it needed dressing or more oil.  I think if I made it again, I would actually crush some of the pineapple and throw it in a blender with some olive oil and apple cider vinegar to make a dressing.

Pear and Parsley Smoothie – I was VERY surprised by this because it tasted so good!

Apricot Chicken Salad – this did not call for a tortilla or wrap but it was really good on one!  I used a coconut wrap from Thrive Market.  The ingredients for the wrap are coconut meat, coconut water and coconut oil so it’s Stacy approved!

Turkey Meatballs over Spaghetti Squash with Tuscan Kale Pesto – another really good one but I also added a little extra olive oil to my “spaghetti”.

Seabass and Cucumber Seaweed Salad –  so I found out with this that what kind of seaweed you get actually matters… definitely make sure you use wakame seaweed!!

Blueberries and Cream Smoothie

Sweet Potato and Green Breakfast Hash – hands down my favorite!!

Mint Chocolate Brownies – these are actually not from Dr. Myers book, I got this from one of her social media outlets, just can’t remember which!  These have become a staple!  I get one each day as a dessert.  😊

Also, not pictured but a few other things that I’ve loved:

Grass-fed Beef and Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Coconut Chicken Curry (I had never had Curry and this was  SO GOOD)

Salmon with Zucchini Noodle Pesto and Garlic Butternut Squash

Wild-Caught Cod with Sage Parsnip Mash and Asparagus

Greek Lamb Burger with Coconut Tzatziki and Zucchini Half-Moons (I was so surprised at how much I liked this!! I’ve never had lamb before and this was really good!  The coconut tzatziki sauce was so delicious!)

I will post some more recipes as I go through the 10 weeks.  I’m also going to use some recipes from The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott, NTP.  There are several in there that look really good! I look forward to trying new things throughout the 10 weeks!  And I can’t wait to share them with you!

Do you have AIP recipes that you love and are willing to share?  Or do you need help navigating your nutrition for your autoimmune disorder?  Shoot me an e-mail!

Can’t Have Pizza on an Elimination Diet?? 😩 Well, of course you can! Here’s how!!

While I’m a huge supporter of eating good, whole foods as much as possible, sometimes you need a little something fun, a little “cheat”, especially if you’re just getting used to eating for your health, not eating for fun!

My daughter is on an elimination diet which takes out several things including gluten and dairy. So when movie night shows up at school every couple of months and they are serving pizza, she can’t have it…and it breaks my heart and I hate it for her. 😥 So I have started making her a version of pizza that she CAN have. This “elimination diet approved” pizza has allowed her to feel normal! Check this video out to see how I make it!! (**Not all elimination diets are the same. Check with your doctor or health coach to see if this would work for you.)

https://healingmyhashi.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/img_1322.mov

If you need help navigating the waters of an elimination diet, e-mail me here. I would love to help and support you!!

This Can’t be Grain-free! It Tastes too Good!!

“Your child needs to go through an elimination diet.”

These words can be devastating for a lot of people to hear.  You get this long list of foods your child needs to avoid and if you eat all of them on the regular, you could be in freak-out mode!  Especially if you have no idea how to replace some of your child’s favorite snacks, breakfast and bakery items. Well, this blog is about to help you out when it comes to replacing some of those gluten containing items that our kids love!

Cassava might be one of my new favorite things!!  For a family that is trying to avoid grains, Cassava flour can be a lifesaver when wanting a bakery-type item!! Cassava, or yuca root, is a starchy, tuberous root that can be eaten whole by baking, boiling, or frying.  You can also ferment them.  They have been compared to a white potato but they are known to be low on the glycemic index, making them ok for diabetics.   But, my personal favorite is cassava flour.

You can use cassava flour as a substitute in any recipe calling for regular flour, which is what I love!  We’ve made tortillas or wraps with the flour and they have turned out perfect!  We make our own “chicken nuggets” for our kids to have for lunch or dinner.  We use a combo of almond flour and cassava flour to make them.  I’ve always used almond flour but adding the cassava gives it more of the “fried chicken” breading that we like.  It also has the added benefit of being lower in fat than the almond flour.

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My FAVORITE tortilla chips! They are so light and crispy!! They also have lime, but I’m out! 🙂

And thank goodness for the companies that are amazing at creating products made from cassava flour!  Siete’ Foods makes the best tortilla chips!!!  I buy three bags a month from Thrive Market and usually get one in each flavor.  And yes, I 100% take these chips with me when we eat at a Mexican restaurant…no shame here!  While eating out isn’t the best for you, I also don’t want to be a recluse and always stay home!  So taking these chips has allowed Paisley and I to enjoy chips and salsa (we don’t eat corn), which we both love.

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Mine and Paisley’s favorite snack chips!

Plant Snacks makes some amazing Cassava Crunch chips that I LOVE to snack on!!  They come in a couple of different flavors but the plain ones are probably my favorite.  However, I have to be honest and say that I haven’t tried all of the flavors yet.  They have become my go-to Friday and Saturday night snack and I’m lucky if I don’t eat the whole bag in one sitting.  Paisley loves these chips as well, so they are PICKY-kid approved!  I also get them from Thrive Market.

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Simple Mills oh how I LOVE thee!!!!  This company saved me when my daughter first went on her elimination diet!  They use cassava, but also include some other ingredients in their mixes.  But every ingredient, which isn’t many, is something you know and is of quality.  This company has so much to offer, from crackers and bread mixes, to cupcakes and muffins… they even have frosting!!  If you follow me on insta, then you know how Simple Mills’ cupcake mix and frosting saved my butt on the day of Paisley’s school Valentine’s party!! (See pic above!)

Bottom line, if you or a family member needs to be gluten, even grain-free, try out cassava flour and companies that use it!  It’s wonderful for giving you options when you don’t always want meat, fruits, veggies, and plants and comes with the added benefit that it’s not high in fat like an almond flour.

Oh, and did I mention that cassava has nutritional benefit as well?? 🙂  It can help with inflammation and helps to balance your gut flora, among other things.  So, not only can you enjoy some treats but you can do it in a health way!  Who doesn’t want that?!?!

 

For help and support with leading a gluten and grain free life, shoot me an e-mail!  I would love to chat with you!

Another Reason Why

This little lady made me a mom. Now don’t get me wrong, I have two beautiful, gorgeous step children who are much older than Paisley. They definitely made me a mom prior to birthing Paisley & Eden. But, by the time they came into my life, they were past all the late night, early-morning feedings, diaper changing, bedwetting craziness! And because of that, I say that this little stinker above, really completed the whole mom picture!

Paisley is beautiful, smart, and kind. She loves spending time with her best friends, loves our animals, and, although my parents would prefer she doesn’t, she loves rooting for Purdue with her daddy! She’s always been my fun-loving, laid back little girl…until recently.

As I’ve mentioned before, we currently have Paisley going through an elimination diet. Since almost the beginning of the diet, her behavior has changed. She has become stubborn, frustrated, easily angered and easily annoyed. Now it would be easy for me to blame the diet itself and say that she’s just angry that we are making her do it. However, she took it very well from the start. She even memorized all the things that she would have to avoid. She also made and decorated a food log. We’ve bought and made all kinds of things to help fill in the gaps of all the grain items that she knows and loves. We’ve made pancakes, muffins, bread, etc. I’ve bought different kinds of chips and crackers that she can eat. And she’s really enjoyed all of it. But, the one thing that I have not found a replacement for is dairy. Yes, I can buy coconut or almond milk yogurt. I can even buy vegan butter and cheese, but they all are missing the one thing that I think plays a huge role in why she’s acting out.

Casomorphin is something that is found in milk. God put this in milk to encourage the baby to continue to come back for more. It’s a way to ensure that the baby will get his or her nourishment. The problem is, casomorphins have a very addictive nature, which can be why a lot of people have a hard time giving up dairy, especially items like cheese and ice cream, which have more than double the amount of casomorphins than plain milk. I believe that this is what is affecting Paisley.

I think that Paisley is going through her own version of a withdraw. She was lactose intolerant as a baby and then we thought she had grown out of it. She would eat cheese and yogurt like it was going out of style. So, to completely remove that from her diet was like asking a crack addict to go cold turkey. 😳 So now that we’ve removed it, we have been struggling with her attitude and trying to figure out how to help her.

So, what’s our next step? Well, her functional medicine practitioner has asked us to do a urine test. This test will determine basically what’s going on up in her brain and what we can do to help her in terms of supplements until she is through this withdraw period. We will be doing this test this weekend and we look forward to the results.

What are your thoughts on dairy? Do you find it addictive for you? Have you or do you know of anyone that has eliminated dairy and found something similar to happen? I would love to hear your feedback! Feel free to leave a comment!

For support going through an elimination diet or help with what steps to take, email me at StacyRawlings@mac.com for information on my health coaching packages.

*additional update on Paisley – we received news from her most recent labs. She has elevated IgG levels which is rare for a person of her age. We will be seeing an immunologist for what our next step will be.

**For more information on how casomorphins can be addictive, click here

Experimenting for Paisley’s Elimination Diet & Props to Some Companies

My eight year old, Paisley, has started an elimination diet. 😩😩😩 (This is where I try not to blame myself for the genetics that I seem to have passed on 🙄🔫) She has a couple different kinds of rashes, gets sick fairly easy (as in the throw-up kind of sick 😷 🤢) and has been dealing with acid reflux since she was a baby. Her doctor has ran some labs but because her immune system is so hyped up and completely focused on something else going on in her body, her labs came back almost spotless. We already know that she has issues with dairy and we’re pretty positive that she has an egg allergy. So for those things to come back spotless, we knew it wasn’t right. So… Welcome to the wonderful world of an elimination diet. 😭

I knew that we were going to have to do this so around the holidays I tried to start pulling out some of the foods that are on the common allergens list. Those are gluten, soy, corn, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, oranges, and bananas. Basically anything that a kid wants to shove in their mouth has at least one of these ingredients! (I was so surprised by oranges and bananas!! Who knew?!?!) We are choosing to allow her nuts for now. The only exception is peanuts because most children who have an egg allergy are also allergic to peanuts. We’re not 100% sure she has an egg allergy but we are pretty positive. So for precautions, we are avoiding peanuts. We don’t think she has an allergy to any other nuts but more importantly, all the things I want to make her that will help her feel somewhat normal, seem to include almond flour.

When the holidays were here, I knew treats were going to be involved. So I decided to try to make a cookie. I also wanted to make it be a little bit better for you so that I wouldn’t feel so guilty eating it myself or allowing my kids to eat it.

Now keep in mind, I never encourage anyone to eat a bunch of sugary treats. Even though these cookies are a little better, they are still full of sugar so they’re still not something that I would encourage anyone to over eat on.

At Christmas, the peanut butter blossom cookies are one of my absolute favorite. I wanted to make them this year so I decided to experiment. I made a batch following the exact recipe (for those who have no dietary restrictions) and I made a batch that had better ingredients. These are the regular recipe.

Sooooooo good!!!!

But for Paisley’s dietary restrictions, I changed out several ingredients. I swapped out white flour with cassava flour (my new favorite), applesauce for the egg, coconut sugar for granulated, almond butter for peanut, almond milk for milk, and sea salt for salt. Only thing I might try next time is butter for shortening or Nutiva’s shortening made with palm fruit oil and virgin coconut oil. Unfortunately, I did not have either on hand. These turned out pretty amazing and you wouldn’t know the difference by looking at them!

But because Paisley isn’t able to have the Hershey kisses, I substituted those with Enjoy Life chocolate chips. These turned out pretty well too and Paisley approved!

Before I move on, I have to give some props to a particular company, SIMPLE MILLS! I cannot tell you how much easier it’s been to do this diet because of them. I love that there are only a few ingredients in each item they sell, and more importantly, you know what every ingredient is. There’s nothing that you can’t pronounce on the ingredient list and I absolutely love that! They make their foods with none of the common allergens (with the exceptions of almond flour, of course) and that has been huge for us! When you are someone that is used to eating grains, it’s very hard to remove them cold turkey. Simple Mills has made this process so much easier!!

Their company sells things like muffins, pizza dough, cookies, pancake and waffle mix, crackers, etc. All things that typically you would have to give up on an elimination diet. But this brand has been huge in helping me substitute some of the items Paisley was having on a regular basis.

Bob’s Red Mill…another company that I should give props too. We use their almond flour, coconut flour, pizza crust mix, pancake mix, and the best, their egg replacer. There are some recipes that I just can’t find the right substitute for eggs and their egg replacer is my saving grace! Another thing that we’ve experimented with is pancakes. Both of my girls love them so figuring out a way to make them without gluten and eggs was a must. I’ve used both Simple Mills and Bob’s Red Mill and truly have enjoyed them both.

This particular time, I used Bob’s for my pancake mix. I used coconut oil for my oil, added a little vanilla, and for the eggs, I used a combination of things. I used the entire mix so it called for multiple eggs. For half of the eggs, I used applesauce. Because we were out of actual applesauce, I used my kids applesauce pouches and they worked just fine! For the other half of eggs, I used 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per egg.

My girls like chocolate chip pancakes so I opted for the Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels. Enjoy Life also makes their products with none of the common allergens… Which makes this mom super excited! For syrup, I would love it if my girls would use 100% pure maple syrup but, of course, they have to be picky and won’t eat it. So, I use the Log Cabin brand and use their all natural table syrup. It tastes like pancake syrup but does not contain any corn syrup. The pancakes turned out great and we all love them!

I’ve actually enjoyed the challenge of making things that Paisley can eat that aren’t made with any allergens. It’s forced me to be a little more creative than normal and I actually get excited when I make something and it turns out! 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 I would prefer that she eat lean meats, nuts, vegetables, and berries and then cooking would not really be required (except for the meat, of course). 😬 However, she is an American kid raised in the American culture and we definitely have not enforced good eating habits. 🤷🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ I am hoping that we can continue to work on better food choices but in the meantime, finding substitutes for the common allergens, and choosing better ingredients for the treats that she likes, will help us continue to make steps in that direction.

Until next time…