A Menu . . . For A Friend

I have a new friend.  She's funny and easy-going and very authentically herself.  She made the mistake of telling me within a few days of meeting me that she has an autoimmune disorder.  Hashimoto's thyroiditis, to be exact.  Oooooh.  You all know what I had to do immediately after she told me, right?  Yep, I Paleo-vanglized her.  I think I gave her my presentation and talked her into buying "Practical Paleo" within four days of knowing me. 

She already knew that she should be avoiding gluten due to the Hashi's, but I'm sure she thought I was a full on nutcase when I went on to tell her to avoid all grains, legumes, dairy, eggs, nuts/seeds, and nightshade veggies.  She was interested, but definitely reluctant.  I haven't hounded her continuously (I have a few, probably weak, boundaries when it comes to Paleo), but every time we had occasion to talk about health concerns I would say, "Giiiirl, I'm tellin' you.  I wouldn't even whisper it, if I didn't believe it works.  A year ago I was a hot mess, I'm tellin' you it works." 

Long story short, this past week she agreed to give AIP a one week shot, if I would plan a menu for her.  Naturally, I said, "It would be my pleasure."  I'm hopeful that it is delicious enough and easy enough and makes a big enough difference right out of the gate, to convince her to give it at least three more weeks.  Fingers crossed people!

Following is the menu I created for her.  There are a few restrictions, unique to her tastes and her particular AI.  This menu does not include snacks or drinks.  Do some digging to find snack or drink ideas that are AIP-legal and appealing to you.  All in all, this menu is still perfect for anyone with an autoimmune condition or even those doing straight Paleo. 

As to the restrictions, she can't have any goitrogenic foods, unless they are cooked.  Goitrogens aren't recommend for those with thyroid issues.  You can check out this link to get the basic run down on the whats and whys, as well as a list of goitrogenic foods, but be aware that despite what the article says, I DO NOT think that soy is good under any circumstance.  She also doesn't like coconut in any form or sweet potato.  Sheesh!  This lady is a challenge for me.  Lucky for her, I heart challenges.  Enjoy readers and let me know if you give any of these recipes a try (click on links for recipes created by others).

Day 1   
Breakfast:  Bacon & Cauli Rice w/ a Banana
We are going to repeat this breakfast all week, as she doesn't mind eating the same basic breakfast.  I recommend making a big batch of cauli rice the night before and a second big batch mid way through the week, since making cauli rice can be time consuming it isn't really something you want to be doing before work.  Normally, I cook my cauli rice with coconut oil, but my friend does not like coconut oil, so I recommend she use her leftover bacon grease.  Remember, cooking with oils that are not high-heat stable is not good for you.  Bacon fat and coconut oil are both very stable at high heat.  One last note about breakfast, ideally the bacon should be from pastured pork and not full of nitrates, sugar, etc., but to start off more slowly just focus on finding gluten-free bacon and then work on refining from that point. 

Lunch:  Pesto Chicken Roll-Ups & Lemony Broccoli 
For the Pesto Chicken Roll-Ups, take chicken breast, wrap loosely with plastic wrap and pound out thin with a meat mallet.  Using your food processor whiz up fresh basil, olive oil, and garlic.  Spread the pesto on to one side of the chicken, roll up and place seam side down in a baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  For the Lemony Broccoli, scroll down the page to #9, there's your recipe.  I recommend making both of these recipes the night before and then packing up your lunch.  Again, with the meat, the ideal would be an organic, free-range chicken, but to start off more slowly just focus on the best quality you can afford and be sure to trim all fat off the breast.  We humans store toxins that have come into our bodies in our fat and that is also where animals that did not live ideal lives store toxins.  If the meat you chose is not from the ideal source, look for lean cuts and don't eat the fat.  (On the other hand, if your meat is from a great source, eat up that fat.  It's awesome for you!)

Dinner:  Bacon-Mushroom Meatballs w/ Sauteed Cabbage
For the meatballs, finely dice onion, garlic, and mushrooms.  Cook up a few slices of bacon.  Set bacon on paper towel to drain and cool.  Sautee onion/garlic/mushroom mixture in bacon grease, set on paper towel to drain and cool.  When cooled, crumbled bacon into onion/garlic/mushroom mixture and then mix into ground beef by hand.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Roll into big meatballs and pop one meatball each into the cups of a muffin tin.  Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 mins.  While they are baking slice up cabbage and dice up more garlic.  Sautee in remaining bacon grease with 2 tbsps. white wine.  Alcohol is out on AIP (I have a glass now & then, but I think it is important to stay away at the start of your journey), but it is fine to cook with it (see The Paleo Mom for the deets).  As before, the ideal for the beef is grass-fed, organic, but start with the best quality you can afford and aim for lean if you or your budget aren't there yet.        

Day 2
Breakfast:  Repeat Day 1.

Lunch:  Leftovers from Day 1 dinner.

Dinner:  "Fajita" Chicken Salad w/ Gauc & Fruit Salsa
Nightshade or seed based spices are out on AIP, so this spice blend is meant to mimic a fajita-esque flavor without being an AIP "rule breaker."  For the chicken, combine 2 tbsps. sea salt, 1 tbsp. garlic powder, 1 tbsp. onion powder, 1/2 tbsp. dried thyme, and 1 tsp. black pepper.  Chop up chicken and fry, adding approx. 1 tbsp. of the spice blend.  (Store the remainder in a glass jar for later.)  Make up a big salad of fresh greens and top with chicken, gauc, and fruit salsa.  A note about the gauc and salsa . . . I am DEEPLY in love with this gauc recipe.  It is packed with nutrition and sooo yum-o.  To make the salsa AIP, skip the bell pepper and jalapeno and if you can't find mango, use pineapple or peach (don't use the peach if you have thyroid issues, peaches are goitrogenic).

Day 3
Breakfast:  Repeat Day 1.

Lunch:  Leftovers from Day 2 dinner.

Dinner:  Burger Stuff Cabbage Rolls w/ Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower
The cabbage rolls are the same recipe I recently posted for Turkey Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, just substitute ground beef and follow my changes.  For the roasted broccoli and cauliflower, skip the red pepper flakes and Parmesan. 

Day 4
Breakfast:  Repeat Day 1.

Lunch:  Leftovers from Day 3 dinner.

Dinner:  Apple Shallot Pork Chops w/ Asaparagus
For the pork chops, skip the almonds to keep it AIP (no nuts or seeds, peeps!).  Asparagus is really easy.  Bend each stalk, it will naturally snap at a certain point.  Throw the tough end away (preferably into your super rad compost bin, but whatev).  Put the stalks into a pot of water with salt, turn heat to high.  As soon as it boils, take off the burner & drain.  

Day 5
Breakfast:  Repeat Day 1.

Lunch:  Leftovers from Day 4 dinner.

Dinner:  Lemon-Onion Salmon w/ Sauteed Carrot Ribbons
For the salmon, take four portions fish, top with one whole slice onion, one whole slice lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.  Put in baking dish and place under the broiler for approx. 15 minutes.  For the carrot, peel outside of 6-7 carrots.  Then peel long ribbons off each carrot into a bowl.  Sautee on medium high heat for approx. three minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and fresh, chopped parsley.

Day 6
Breakfast:  Repeat Day 1.

Lunch:  Leftovers from Day 5 dinner.

Dinner:  Roasted Whole Chicken w/ Green Beans
You won't believe it, but an incredible roasted chicken is the easiest thing on the planet.  Rinse the chicken, pat it dry, put it in a big baking dish, salt generously inside & out with sea salt.  Cook at 450 for 1 hour.  What.  The.  Heck.  It's that easy.  For the green beans, take frozen or fresh, bring them just to a boil and then drain.  Add a little olive oil and diced garlic.  Such a simple dinner and perfect for a lazy weekend day.

Day 7
Breakfast:  Repeat Day 1.

Lunch:  Leftovers from Day 6 dinner.

Dinner:  Chicken Ginger Soup w/ Celery Leaf Apple Salad
Throw the leftover roasted chicken, bones and all, into a big pot of boiling, filtered water.  Simmer for approx. an hour.  Chop celery, carrots, and green onions.  Set aside.  Sautee half an onion, four garlic cloves, and approx. 1/2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger.  Squeeze juice from 1/2 a lemon into onion sautee.  Drain chicken broth into a separate bowl.  Strip meat off of bones.  Throw meat, chopped veg, and sauteed onions back into the pot.  Pour broth over it, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and sage to taste.  For the salad, peel, chore & chop apples, throw in a bowl, add chopped celery leaf and chopped fresh basil.  

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6 thoughts on “A Menu . . . For A Friend

  1. Love your blog! I first found you thru the Paleo Mom when I first started Paleo since I thought I had Hashi's.... I've since then started a blog myself.
    I'm still mostly AIP. Just wanted to give you a high five. Love your posts!

  2. You are a GREAT friend, and I love your quick recipes, showing how simple & delicious paleo food can be. I'll be trying some of these myself. As for the goitrogens, did you read Paleo Mom's recent article, where she says there's really no science to back up that restriction? And Dr. Kharrazian (thyroid god to all with hashimotos - just ask Mickey) - he doesn't restrict them either.


  3. Okay, after a rough start into my first week of Paleo, I think I'm starting to like it a bit. Last Sunday night, I was preparing my meals so I could start eating Paleo the next day. After a fight with my food processor, an ER visit and a delayed start day (I couldn't bring myself to re-start preparing meals until the next day so I technically started this new way of eating on Tuesday), I have been eating well ever since (minus a minor setback over this weekend). It's hard to say if I'm feeling better though or not since I've been taking pain killers this week at times which make me sleepy, but overall, I do think I feel better. Being a soda-aholic and daily latte drinker, that was the hardest thing to give up. While I still do miss those, I've been better than I thought without them. I do still need to find more drink options though that will be Paleo approved. I want to give it another full week of eating well before I make a full decision (I'm not taking pain killers anymore so will be better able to tell), but I'm happy with it so far. Thank you Angie - for your help in getting started and the effort you've put into pushing me forward. I complain a lot (A LOT!), but I really do appreciate it very much. Thank you!!


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