I’m still kickin’!

After successfully weaning off of prednisone in late October 2013, some things in my personal life began falling apart. By January, I was in such a desperate place emotionally that I could barely eat at all, much less follow a healthy diet. My health hasn’t been great, but it’s been tremendously better than what I experienced last year, despite eating almost exclusively dairy and gluten (comfort foods!) for months. That all came crashing down a couple of weeks ago when a minor throat infection landed me in the hospital overnight. It was a wake up call. I’d also recently been having pretty consistent upset stomachs. Clearly, I’ve destroyed the progress I’d made healing my gut in 2013, and it’s time to get back at it, regardless of my still fluctuating emotional state.

After all my research and experimentation last year, I learned that the Paleo diet works best for my individual goals and issues. Specifically, I credit the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol for finally helping me get off that horrific steroid that everyone loves to hate. As my health situation is not as dire as it was last year, I am going to ease back into this by eating squeaky clean Paleo for 3 weeks and seeing how things go. I started 5 days ago, and have already noticed improvements. Several months ago, I developed a strange rash near each eye on my upper cheeks. It’s been there for months. Five days on Paleo and it’s completely gone. Also, no more upset stomach.

Here are some examples of what I’ve been eating.

Breakfast usually consists of lots of bacon (Applegate Farms uncured), fruit, and chai tea with almond milk.

This morning, it was Applegate chicken and apple sausage and lots of cherries.

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Lunch usually involves leftovers, Applegate lunch meat or grass-fed hot dogs, or tuna/salmon salad with homemade paleo mayo (2 eggs, juice of half a lemon, dab of mustard- all room temp and whirled in blender while drizzling in avocado or olive oil until it “sets up”) and raw sauerkraut (as pictured below) with olives, tomatoes, and basil leaves.

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Coming off of several months of eating mostly simple starches and sugar, I’m having to satisfy those cravings with Paleo-friendly treats. Hopefully, over time, they’ll become less necessary.

My daughter has dubbed this “banana swirl”. Frozen bananas with a bit of almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract, topped with cinnamon. Yum! Instant paleo ice cream.

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And I got a super simple chocolate coconut pudding recipe from a friend (1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight and only use the cream that collects on top, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder) and topped it with fried bananas. The bananas were fried in grass-fed butter, my one dairy allowance.

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It’s good to be back. Not sure how consistent I’ll be, but I’m ready to start taking care of myself again. Is there really any other choice?

Living Grain Free

I’m on day 6 of 4 mg on the prednisone taper. And this is the best I’ve felt since I began the taper 2 months ago. I’ve been feeling really good for a few days, but was afraid to talk about it too much- didn’t want to jinx it. I’ll be dropping to 2 mg on Sunday. I’m almost there! Almost done! Almost free!

Here’s some examples of what I’ve been eating lately. Grain-free isn’t nearly as tough as I thought it would be. As the Paleo Mom says, it’s only effort until it’s routine.

These are grass fed burgers on a lettuce bun with tomato, avocado, and mushrooms. With rutabaga fries. Seriously delicious.

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Breakfast for the family: sautéed sweet potato and beet greens with garlic. Applegate naturals chicken and apple breakfast sausage, and sliced fruit- pluot, banana, and Granny Smith apple. This meal would almost fit within the guidelines of the autoimmune paleo protocol. The sausage is seasoned with spices that include pepper, and nightshades are restricted on the AIP, but it’s pretty close.

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Loving my vitamix and it’s ability to turn large amounts of fruits and veggies into delicious smoothies! Here, I puréed a cucumber (not organic, so I peeled it before blending), a plum, a whole head of romaine, and a beet. I drank 2 big glasses, then blended what was leftover with a frozen banana for my 3 year old. Super sweet and she loved it.

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Super salty lunch salad: 2 cups of baby spinach topped with Applegate naturals uncured salami, raw sauerkraut, and Sicilian style olives. It was tricky to find jarred olives without nasty additives. These have lactic acid and acetic acid (which I think is basically vinegar), but are otherwise just olives, water, and salt. Most of the jarred olives had preservatives, so this was the best option I could find.

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This is now one of my all time favorite recipes. Nut-free, Coconut-free Paleo Muffins from the Paleo Mom. I doubled the batch, made 12 plain muffins, 12 blueberry muffins, and then made blueberry pancakes with what wouldn’t fit in the muffin tins. Everything came out perfect.

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Quick lunch for me while my daughter’s at school: 2 grassfed beef uncured hot dogs with organic ketchup and mustard, olives, raw sauerkraut, and jarred organic shredded red beets.

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I often send these in my daughter’s lunch. Great substitute for a ham sandwich. A grain free crepe from the Against all Grain cookbook, Applegate naturals uncured ham, and raw sauerkraut for a good dose of probiotics to help with digestion.

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And when I eat them myself, I dip it in mustard, and pair it up with a pickle spear, olives, and shredded beets.

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And, in case you missed it in previous posts, this bread recipe is part of what has made my transition to grain-free so easy. Crazy delicious.

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