It’s been just over a month since I’ve been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. It’s also been just over a month that I’ve been following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) to help my disease. This protocol isn’t forever – it’s only temporary and depending on each person can last anywhere from 30 days to 3 years. During this period you eliminate foods that cause inflammation and irritations to your gut: nightshades (tomatoes, eggplants, cocoa, coffee beans, all peppers, spices such as cumin, chili powder (anything derived from peppers)), nuts and seeds (including cocoa and coffee beans – GULP!), eggs, or alcohol. This is in addition of course to the paleo restrictions of no dairy, legumes, grains. To begin with I did have the overwhelming feeling of: Well, what CAN I eat?! The answer is actually really simple.. I can eat everything except the above listed foods. I’m talking lots of vegetables and good quality meats. In the beginning it was pretty difficult, I won’t lie. However after only about two weeks everything started to fall into place and became “business as usual.”
After the first week or so I was still experiencing a fair bit of abdominal cramping, but no where near as much. By week 3 I was feeling much better – no cramping at all! What was even better – no bleeding. No bleeding at all. For the past year of my life every time I went to the bathroom I experienced blood (and usually a fair bit of it) – but no longer. The bleeding is very rare and I’m very hopeful that sooner rather than later it will be completely gone – and same with the abdominal cramping.
It hasn’t been easy staying away from coffee or chocolate. You may find it surprising that I miss eggs and nuts more than coffee and chocolate though. Eggs were a staple to me – I had them EVERY day for breakfast — and hey, perhaps that’s why I was feeling SO bad. Same with nuts. I’ve actually thought back on the months leading up to finally getting diagnosed (the worst 3 months I experienced) and the foods I ate actually make me laugh. Eggs, nuts, lots of raw vegetables especially tomatoes and red peppers – basically all of the foods that cause inflammation.. I was eating in abundance. I’m not saying these aren’t healthy foods – they are – it’s the simple fact that I (for now at least) can’t tolerate them.
At times I do still feel disheartened, discouraged, and sometimes just plain sad. However, I have some friends and family (and one amazing boyfriend) who support me and show me love. If you’ve been diagnosed with an IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), an IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), an autoimmune disease, I strongly recommend you trying the Autoimmune Protocol for a minimum of 30 days.
I love coffee. I love chocolate. I love baked goodies (the healthy versions, of course). This recipe consists of all of all of these things. So by now you should have realized something. And that is.. this recipe is awesome.
Oh. I almost forgot to mention that this recipe is free from any refined sugars, grains, gluten & dairy. BOO-YAH. …Who even says boo-yah anymore? Um. Moving on to the recipe before I embarrass myself any further…
- 3/4 cup pureed butternut squash
- 1 cup nut-butter of choice (peanut, almond, cashew, sunbutter, etc.)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg (whisked)
- 2 tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (or dark chocolate) (**I only only put 2 chips on top of each mini muffin, as I feel like there’s already enough chocolate in the muffins!)
- Preheat oven to 350f/175c
- Steam/Boil butternut squash until it’s tender (you’ll be able to easily stick a fork in it)
- Use a food processor/blender to puree the butternut OR mash by hand (I’ve done both)
- Mix all ingredients together
- Evenly distribute batter amongst 24 mini muffins
- Bake for 15-20 minutes
- Sweet potato in place of butternut squash
- Crunchy or smooth nut-butters – your preference
- Substitute another sweetener for the maple syrup (agave nectar, honey, etc)
Enjoy as part of breakfast, brunch, snack, dessert.. Hey, if you want them for lunch: go for it, who am I to judge? Though, I would recommend you accompany it with something a little more nutritious as well.
My excellent assistant, stirring away.
Sniff test! Yup, that’s good and chocolate-y.
Into the muffin pan they go! Bake for 15 minutes or so and..
Voila! Look at these cuties!
And a close up just to tease you.
..What are you still doing on here? GO MAKE THESE!
Ohhh boy, are you in for a treat! I stumbled upon a recipe for a cauliflower crust pizza a few months ago, and couldn’t wait to try it. I was a bit skeptical of the taste, even though I am a fan of cauliflower on it’s on. However, I promise this is actually one of the best ‘crusts’ I’ve ever had. You most likely will need to eat it with a fork, as it can be a little messy.
*I always double this recipe. Either to make two ‘small’ pizzas, or one big. When doubled it can feed 3 people.
- 1/4 head of cauliflower
- 1 1/4 cups of cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- Toppings of your choice (Get creative! I usually do one hawaiian, and then one with chicken and heaps of veggies – but you do whatever you’d like!
- Preheat oven to 425f/218c
- Cut off 1/4 of the cauliflower, or use 1/2 if doubling (recommended).
- Put cauliflower in food processor, or high-grade blender and blend until you get a fine mixture. You can* grate the cauliflower, though it can take quite a bit of time, and be messy.
- Either put the cauliflower on the stove top at medium hi, and occasionally stir for about 3-5 minutes (or microwave the cauliflower for 7 minutes. Then (while the mixture is still warm), mix the egg(s) and 1 cup cheese in.
- Grease pan you’re using. I’ve used pizza pans, but when those aren’t available any baking pan will do – just be sure to grease to prevent sticking.
- Spread the crust mixture evenly across the pan
- Bake crust for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown
- Spread tomato sauce, followed by the 1/4 cup remaining cheese – then the toppings of your choice.
- Bake for 8-10 more minutes.
If you follow the recipe that calls for 1/4 head of cauliflower – 1/2 of your pizza will be about 300 calories, which is amazing for pizza! Surprisingly enough, this pizza is also very filling.
There’s a few foods that I realllly love, and one of them is pumpkin. It’s one of those versatile foods that you can cook it various ways, each tasting different. This recipe is a dessert, that is guilt-free, and could actually be served as a breakfast/brunch treat as well – being that it’s actually not THAT sweet (but totally hits the spot).
Not all that long ago I wasn’t conscious of what I consumed, and I didn’t exercise on a regular basis. With that being said, I wasn’t as bad as I could’ve been, however I was no where near where I should’ve, needed, or even wanted to be. In 8 months I turned that around, and took control of my body. With eating a generally clean diet, and regular exercise, I’ve come a long way. Now, there’s no stopping me.
Look out world 🙂
My favorite food is breakfast. Or even better, brunch. I don’t know what it is about these delectable foods that we get to consume in the AM that I love so much, but I do. Quiche however, is an exception. You can have quiche with literally any meal. Breakfast? Yes. Brunch? Aww yea! Dinner? Oh, why yes you can. Snack time? Don’t mind if I do. Pair your quiche with a salad and some balsamic vinegar and you’ve got a fantastic meal.
Unfortunately though, there’s this illusion that quiche is hard to make. I’m here to tell you on the contrary, quiche is quite simple to make. You can make it as a big quiche for everyone to share, or in muffin tins so everyone can just grab their own. Honestly, I prefer mini quiches.. Probably because they’re just so darn cute. But also, you don’t have to make the entire batch the same. Which would be especially useful if you had a vegetarian friend coming over, but you would personally like some ham or sausage in yours.
All right, all right.. I’ll stop blabbing on now.
What you’ll need:
*The veggies you put in is going to depend on what kind of quiche you want to make! The one below is just for spinach and mushroom. You can easily add cherry tomatoes, peppers (aka capsicum), onion, artichoke, etc. With all of these I would do about about 1 cup.
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups spinach
- 8 oz (or 1-2 cups) baby-bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (optional)
- Splash of milk (optional)
- 1 tbsp basil and/or oregano (optional)
- Preheat to 375F/190C
- Sautee mushroom
- Using about medium heat, cook the spinach until wilted
- Mix all ingredients together
- Lightly spray pan with cooking spray (or put liners in)
- Fill about 3/4 full
If you would prefer to do these in a bigger dish, you don’t have the change anything for the recipe, only add about 10 minutes to the cook time. Use the toothpick trick to check if it’s done.
I found this idea on Pinterest, so I unfortunately can’t take the credit for these cuties. Over the holidays I saw several different versions: some opting out of the banana altogether. Another (which I think is my favorite) was chopping just a little bit of the grape off so that it could stand on it’s own – so then they’re standing upright on the plate. I believe next year that’s how I will make these. They were just so easy to put together, and I actually had majority of the ingredients.
HO HO HOpe everyone enjoyed this Holiday season! Now, I’m ready to start the new year!
I don’t know about you, but even though I eat clean, does NOT mean I don’t have a sweet tooth. And because of this, in order to refrain from having guilty pleasures ohh I don’t know..everyyyday: I find healthy alternatives to foods that usually would blow my diet completely out of whack. (Also, can I just say that when I use the word ‘diet’ I mean it by the kinds of foods that I habitually eat – rather than a ‘restricted’ food list). I’d apologize about stepping onto my soapbox buuut, I’m actually not sorry 😉
- 1 1/2 cup Wholewheat OR wholemeal flour
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup or agave nectar
- 3/4 cup almond/coconut/OR soy milk (your preference)
- 1/2 cup cocoa or cacao (preferably dark)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 medium avocado, pitted
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (dark) chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc)
- Mix avocado, oil, vanilla together in food processor or blender until smooth.
- Gradually add the rest of the dry ingredients, adding milk as you go so that it makes them easier to mix
- Put in muffin tins, or even do in a bread loaf if you prefer
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean
- Now.. ENJOY YOUR SCRUMPTIOUS AND HEALTHY MUFFINS 🙂
Oh, and if you’re wondering if you can taste the avo; no, no you can’t. So enjoy those extra nutrients in your muffins without having to suffer through an avo (though, avocados are lovely anyway!)