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Happy New Year! Can you believe it is 2015? Also, where are the flying cars already? I’ve been waiting since at least 2000.

Let me get on with it and tell you the big news you really came here for . . . as of today, Mickey Trescott and I will be blogging together at Autoimmune Paleo. What in the world does that mean? Mostly, it means serving the AIP community is still incredibly important to Mickey and I, but we didn’t want to take on this mission alone anymore. We decided to join forces and blog together at her site, Autoimmune Paleo, as well as share articles, recipes, and other resources from a rapidly growing group of talented AIP bloggers. We want to give you all the great content you’ve loved getting from us for years, but we want to offer you more and we want you to be able to find it in one simple spot!

Mickey and I met back in 2012. Our healing journeys were relatively new and we were two of only a handful of AIP voices on the web. Between us we were battling five autoimmune diseases, including Celiac disease. A strong friendship developed and we began collaborating more and more.

Over the course of 2014, as the AIP community grew rapidly, we realized that it was not sustainable for us to continue as solo bloggers. We both wanted to keep contributing to the community, but we couldn’t do that and “practice what we preach.” For us, modeling AIP diet and lifestyle ideals for those on the autoimmune journey meant being committed, even if it required approaching our careers differently.

We started kicking around some ideas and in September we decided the best way forward was together! We agreed to combine our efforts and blog together. Our goal is to build a community where anyone suffering with chronic illness can seek wellness and feel supported by a wide variety of resources specific to the healing journey.

Leaving Alt-Ternative Autoimmune was not a light decision for me. I actually began this blog in 2009, telling the stories of my family’s adjustment to life in West Africa. Every word I ever published here was a labor of love and a heartfelt attempt at connecting with others. The site will still be here, but we will soon be moving the best of the best to Autoimmune Paleo, where you will also find new content from me. Telling the honest, helpful, and often vulnerable stories of autoimmunity is still my labor of love. Connecting with all of you is still my heartfelt intention. But now I’m going to do my storytelling with a friend at my side. See you at Autoimmune Paleo!!!

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It’s finally here!!  The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook: Eating for all Phases of the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol has arrived!  Life is about so much more than food . . . and this cookbook covers all the other things that happen when you change your food. The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook will show you how to restore your health with one flavorful, nutritious meal at a time AND inspire you with the stories of wellness transformation.

I hope you will love it!  I am so excited to share it with everyone!  CLICK ON THIS LINK to learn ALL THE DETAILS about the book and get your copy today.

Oh!  One special announcement!  Thirty lucky winners will be chosen at random from the first 300 ebook purchase to receive a GORGEOUS, FREE, TOTALLY HANDMADE, 100% UNIQUE APRON.  That's a 1 in 10 chance of winning a handmade apron!!  You are automatically entered in the drawing with your ebook purchase, no extra steps necessary.  Take a look at some of the beautiful designs & colors below:

Aprons

Aprons IV

Aprons V

The print version is coming soon!!
The print version is coming soon!!

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Ten days!!  In ten days the cookbook launch!  Two weeks ago I was really excited.  Last week I was starting to freak out.  This week I'm just in the zone concentrating on all the last minute details that need to be arranged, so that my labor of love can be smoothly delivered to all of you.  I am sharing the third & final recipe sneak peak with you guys this week.  But first, I want to show a little gratitude to the two women that made this project possible for me:  Mickey Trescott of Autoimmune Paleo and Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom.

First of all . . . Mickey, my AIP soul-sister.  She has been incredible this entire year.  She provided inspiration and support from the very start.  And she blazed a trail!  Although I have not tackled every aspect of self-publishing in the same way she did, I would have been utterly lost without her guidance.  I am so lucky to count her as a friend and colleague.  I am also sooo grateful to the lady behind it all, my friend, Sarah Ballantyne.  I obviously could not have written a book about the Autoimmune Protocol, without her creating the Autoimmune Protocol!  It is staggering for me to think of all the lives she has changed, mine among them.  It is an amazing opportunity to work with The Paleo Mom Consulting and have the chance to use AIP and the work I do with my clients to inform this project.

So, now that I've let the gratitude flow . . . let me share one of the delicious recipes with you!

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Avocado Lime Hand Pies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This takes breakfast pastry and makes it unusual and very adult!
Ingredients
  • Filling
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1½ tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Crust
  • ¾ cup tapioca flour
  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • ¾ cup palm shortening
  • ⅛ cup turbinado sugar (also called raw sugar)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Put all filling ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all crust ingredients in a food processor and process until dough forms. Dust rolling pin with tapioca flour. Roll out dough on parchment paper to ⅛ inch thickness. Using a large round cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible. Set aside. Reshape dough and cut again, repeating until all dough is used.
  3. In center of 1 round, place 1 generous spoonful of filling. Place second round on top of first. Press around edges to close crust and then flute with a fork. Poke top of round with a fork. Repeat until all rounds are filled. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

I am getting so darn excited to share with the growing circle of people using food to heal!  The cookbook will launch in e-book AND print formats (through Amazon print-on-demand) in just a few more weeks.  Watch for announcements and THANK YOU for letting me have a voice in this community!  It is an honor.

The following guest blog is by Emma King of The Bacon Mum.  Emma is a Brit who has been living State side for many years.  She is healing herself of Rheumatoid Arthritis and helping her daughter effectively manage an Autism Spectrum disorder, using the Autoimmune Protocol.  She is also a professional Learning Strategist and will soon, after deciding through her own journey that she wanted to help other families impacted by autoimmune disease and behavioral/learning difficulties onset by food sensitivities, be a certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  You can find Emma here:

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As any single working parent will know, the thought of getting food on the table after a long day can be overwhelming. Bring into the mix food intolerances/allergies and fussy eaters and putting a meal on the table starts to feel like climbing Mount Everest in flip flops!

By profession I am a Learning Strategist, I consult with Fortune 500 companies to bring their corporate learning to life inside a Virtual Classroom or Virtual Online Event. Any challenge a client throws at me I can typically, with some careful thought, provide them with a template for success. So I applied that same logic and project planning to bring healing foods and healthful plates to the family table, after all I can’t use drive-thrus as backup or rely on a partner to help out with the grocery shopping, meal planning, or cooking.

So after researching what my fellow autoimmune bloggers had to say and with some inherited tips and tricks from my Mum, I built the following template that I’d like to share with you.

  1. Buy Proteins in Bulk - Typically I do this monthly. Having a stash of  core ingredients in the freezer ensures I have ingredients on hand. I use a lot of cheap cuts of meats such as bacon (well I am TheBaconMum) pork butt, ribs, flank steak, tenderloins, whole chickens, ground turkey, pork, lamb, beef, bison etc. There are many online organic meat companies that deliver to your door, which makes buying organic food in bulk more economical. However, if organic meats aren’t within your budget (it isn’t always possible within mine) many local grocery stores will often sell items in bulk too, just check that there are no nitrates or hormones added.
  2. Stock up on Staple Ingredients – Always have your staple ingredients in stock. My Mum taught me as a child to always have two of the same item in the pantry, the one you are using and the replacement for when that’s gone. Once you open the second item, replace it the next time you shop. This way you will never run out and will always have the ingredients on hand to make your meal.
  3. Enroll into a CSA - With pesticides being sprayed on our crops, it’s really important to try to afford organic veggies whenever possible. Joining a CSA, especially one that gets delivered to your door, is budget friendly and a huge time saver! (To find a local supplier click here.) If you can’t afford to go 100% organic – try to buy organic those foods listed as The Dirty Dozen.
  4. Batch Cook - Never prepare your meals just for one meal time, double or triple the recipe and freeze into portions for days when you know it will be hard to get food on the table.
  5. Invest in a Crock-Pot/Slow Cooker - This for me is my lifesaver. Many recipes call for browning the proteins before cooking but I honestly have no time for that . . . I throw ALL ingredients into said pot and presto six-eight hours later dinner smells divine as I walk through the door.
  6. Maximize Your Time - When you are clearing up the kitchen after dinner use this time to prepare lunches for the following day and prepare that crock-pot meal to place in the fridge overnight. The following morning as you are reaching for the pre-prepared lunchboxes, plug in the crock pot and rush out of that door!
  7. Maximize Oven Time - Never switch on your oven for just one item, always be thinking about what other recipes you can prepare at the same time. My favorite is to make up three-four batches of meatballs and burger sliders and cook them all in the oven at the same time. Let them cook, cool and freeze them in large Ziploc bags for school lunches and/or dinner time!
  8. Frozen is OK –Ever forgotten to remove the dinner from the freezer the night before? Don’t be afraid to use frozen protein in your crock-pot! While some may advise you otherwise, I can assure you I haven’t ever become sick, or any of my family, from using frozen protein in a crock-pot – From frozen solid chicken to succulent roast chicken in six hours – YES Please!!!
  9. Involve the Family – Kids can often get frustrated, certainly if they are only children, when you are constantly in the kitchen preparing foods. Involving children teaches them how to pair ingredients and provides them with the skills necessary to continue their healing diet as they flee the nest. My daughter loves to cook with me and on my weekends it’s rare that we don’t cook together. We start by choosing a recipe each from the wonderful selection of healing food recipe books that are now becoming available! (Don’t forget Angie’s cookbook is coming in out in December!!) This process has really helped my daughter understand what it takes to bring a meal to the table and that it’s polite to always try a new dish or new food. She knows she would be heartbroken if I didn’t taste her recipe and therefore she will always try a courtesy bite from my recipe too and nine times out of 10 she likes what she’s eating, emphasizing that taste buds do change, especially if they aren’t being over powered by chemicals and processed foods!

My Mantra – Prepare, Multiply, Store & Succeed!

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SO CLOSE!!  Just over two weeks from now my cookbook will be here.  To be honest, I'm kinda' freaking out.  I decided to calm my nerves, by sharing another recipe sneak peak with you guys!  First, let me tell you a little about what I learned with this project.  As per ushe, my favorite way to do things . . . a list.

What I Learned During My Cookbook Project: 

  • I learned how self-publishing works.  Wow.  It has been a crazy, intense project, and a big investment, but I had basically the best teacher possible helping me.  Mickey Trescott of Autoimmune Paleo, who is a huge self-publishing success, taught me almost every tip and trick along the way.
  • I learned how to manage a team and a project.  I do not believe a book, of any type, can be written entirely alone.  It's an enormous undertaking.  Luckily, I learned who the key players were that I needed, identified them among the amazing people I know, and figured out how to direct each of their contributions.
  • I learned how to stick to it.  Some folks might think that I already know a thing or two about sticking to it.  After all, I've been following AIP for nearly three years now.  I have never stuck to a self-driven project of this nature for this long, start to finish though.  It feels great to be nearing the finish line after a year of work.
  • I learned that it is an honor to have a voice at all.  I'm grateful to my husband and daughter for letting me put my voice out there.  Many people will never have the crucial family support for this kind of project.  I'm grateful to my high school English teachers, Tim Schaff, the late Dorothy Justice, and Gordon Gildroy, for teaching me to articulate myself in writing.  There are millions of women all over the globe who are illiterate, unable to make their voice heard.  I'm grateful to my readers for being an encouraging audience.  I am so lucky that what I have offered this far, has been well-received by all of you.  Basically, a lot had to happen to give me this opportunity and I have learned not to take it for granted.

So, now that you know how much I learned this last year . . . let me share one of the delicious recipes with you!

chopsWatermark

Lemon Rosemary Brined Pork Chops
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
I love brining! It is an easy, flavorful way to prepare a meaty main dish.
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups filtered water
  • 5 tablespoons salt
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 20 ice cubes
  • 4 bone‐in pork chops
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, salt, onion, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, lemon and vinegar. Bring mixture to boil over high heat, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 10 minutes.
  2. Place ice in a large bowl. Pour brine over ice and stir to melt.
  3. Place pork chops in a large freezer bag. Add brine and seal. To avoid spills, place bag in a large bowl and set in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  4. After brining, remove chops from bag. Rinse and pat dry. Discard brine. Grill over high heat for 2‐3 minutes per side. Serve and enjoy!

I am getting so darn excited to share with the growing circle of people using food to heal!  The cookbook will launch in e-book AND print formats (through Amazon print-on-demand) in just a few more weeks.  Watch for announcements and THANK YOU for letting me have a voice in this community!  It is an honor.