Seaweed salad that is low FODMAP, soy-free, and gluten-free.Read More
- 8 ounces of wild caught roasted salmon, canned salmon, or sushi grade salmon.
- 1 cup of shredded carrots (lightly steamed them for easier digestion) or pickled diced carrots
- 1 cup of diced cucumbers
- 8-10 Green olives sliced in quarters
- 2 stalks of green onion (only the green part)
- 4 romaine lettuce
- ½ of avocado, sliced
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or avocado oil (avocado oil is less favorable than EVOO and goes better with seasoned rice vinegar)
- 1 T lemon juice or seasoned rice vinegar
- A dash to 1/8 t sea salt (canned salmon may already be salted enough, so adjust accordingly - meaning add the minimum amount).
Additional stuffing or side entree for wraps
1 Cup of vermicelli noodles, cooked and drained
1 cup of sushi rice
Roasted potatoes with vinaigrette
- In a medium size bowl, place salmon in it
- With a fork smash your canned salmon so that it pulls apart (with sushi grade salmon or roasted salmon, you may want to use a sharp knife to dice it into 1/4 inch pieces).
- Add carrots, cucumbers, olives to salmon to mix together.
- In a small bowl, mixed dressing ingredients together.
- Pour dressing over mixed ingredients and mixed together.
- If you would like to add vermicelli noodles or sushi to this dish, you can add ¼ cup of noodles onto each lettuce wrap or leave it as side dish.
- Divide mixed ingredients into four parts and place each part into a lettuce.
- Top each lettuce wrap with green onions and two slices of avocado.
As an appetizer, this recipe serves 4 people. As a main dish, this recipe serves 1-2.
After diving deep into using food for healing and joining a lot of online support groups, I have noticed a lot of people practicing the Autoimmune Protocol, Whole 30, and other forms of restrictive diets to scapegoat their food choices for all of their negative health symptoms. I see this happening when people are using food as their only tool for self-care and not viewing their health and wellbeing as a holistic lifelong journey.Read More
I am grateful that I reconnected with my deep desire to move with more joy this week. After the past several years of being off biologics (strong drugs I took to manage my autoimmune symptoms) it was hard moving easily and without pain. I felt all of the heights of an overworked immune system on my body. I don't recommend this professionally.
I personally did this approach, because I wanted to figure out what was working and not working while I tried an elimination diet and changed my lifestyle. At the same time, exercising for fun and strength slowly got placed on the back burner as I figured out how to work the healing practices into my life and control the fires I felt in my body.
I am now seeing a coach for help in reorganizing my priorities as I have more space in my life and feeling a lot better. I realized that the joy of movement - a major reason why I like to help people move and practice pilates, was missing in my life. I may not be at the same level of fitness and strength as I was in the past, but moving with more joy - at whatever pace it is - will bring so much more light in my life. We all could benefit from coaches, even coaches like me - so we can be as real and whole with ourselves.
Moving forward, I plan to share more movement exercises on my blog and IG, no matter how basic they are. The lesson I learned here is what matters is not what I do, but the quality and joy it brings to my life.
Knowing how important vegetables and herbs are for adding nutrition to meals and wellbeing, I wanted to share some ways I add them to my meals.Read More
Pureed Sweet Potatoes
Serves 8-9 people
3-4 Cleaned Sweet Potatoes (you can use other potatoes, like Yukon, here too)
4-5 tbsp Coconut Oil (duck fat works here too)
1/4 tsp of Sea Salt
Set-up the pressure Cooker as a steamer. If you don't have a steamer or pressure cooker, boil the sweet potatoes for 30 minutes.
Place 3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes in the pressure cooker (I prefer Hannah or Japanese Sweet Potatoes).
Steam at high pressure for about 20 minutes.
Turn off pressure cooker.
Let the pressure cooker cooker cool off.
Remove lid and peel off the skin of the sweet potatoes. If potatoes are too hot, run them through cold water or place them to the side and allow them to cool for another 10 minutes. Then peel the skin off the sweet potatoes.
In a saucepan, place coconut oil and allow it to melt to a liquid. Turn off the heat.
Place peeled potatoes in the saucepan.
Use potato masher to cream coconut oil with potatoes.
Once the mixture feels and looks like a purée, add sea salt to taste.
My Favorite Liver Pate Recipe
2 tbsp of lard or duck fat
2 large yellow onion minced (if you have SIBO, feel free to eliminate or reduce this amount)
1 lb of liver cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tbsp of duck fat
2 tbsp of freshly cut rosemary leaves
1 tbsp of freshly cut thyme leaves
½ tsp of sea salt
Add lard or duck fat to the same skillet. I prefer using duck fat or rendered fat from pork belly for a richer flavor. Melt the fat in a skillet at low to medium. Add the onions and saute them until they become super soft; may take 8 - 12 minutes. Remove onions and place into another dish to cool down.
Melt 1 tbsp of duck fat on the same skillet you cooked the onions. Add the liver to the heated skillet. Cook the liver until no inner pink color is visible. The liver may take about 5 - 8 minutes to be fully cooked. Turn off the heat and allow the liver to cool down.
Place the onions and liver into a food processor or high powered blender (a normal blender could work but it may not come out as creamy) with duck fat (rendered pork fat is fine here too), herbs, and sea salt; blend until the mixture turns creamy.
Liver pâté dish was pivotable in helping me to start eating offal and to up my blood iron levels through nutrition. My first introduction to making liver pâté was through following the recipe from Mickey Trescott. Since then, I have played around with particular ingredients, techniques, and ratios. My favorite fat to use in this recipe is duck fat and the fat from pork belly dishes.
I decided to write my version of this delicious recipe because people kept asking me how I make my liver pâté. I normally create dishes by depending upon my eye sight, taste, and science background. I realized after measuring what I was doing, I was using different ratios than Mickey's recipe. After talking with folks who have used her recipe, I also realized that I was slow cooking the onions for a longer period. Furthermore, I didn’t add the herbs until the ingredients were all cooled down, which may allow for a stronger herb flavor. In addition, I used a 32 oz container on my Vitamix blender to get the creamiest texture possible (the normal container is a 64 oz container). I am guessing that the types of fats I used made a huge difference in taste and texture too. I typically buy grass-fed or pasture raised products. Lastly, I do spend a lot of attention on how I cook each ingredient; making sure I don’t burn or undercook for nutrition, texture, and taste.
Lard: Monosaturated fats, saturated fats, & polyunsaturated fats.
Duck fat: Monosaturated fats, long chain saturated fats, & polyunsaturated fats,
Onions: Biotin, chromium, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, B1, K, & C, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin, folate; sulfur compounds (ex. allinase released when it is cut or crushed); flavonoids like quercetin; phenolic acids (ellagic, caffeic, sinapic, & p-coumaric); sterols; saponins; pectin; & volatile oils.
Thyme: Vitamin C, iron, manganese, fiber, copper; volatile oils, such as carvacol, borneol, geraniol, thymol, flavonoids (ex. apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, & thymonin).
Rosemary: Vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, iron, fiber, copper, calcium, mangnesium, & B vitamins; contain powerful rosmarinic acid, flavonoids & volatile oil.
Liver: Phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, Retinol (preformed vitamin A - an easier digestible version of vitamin A), vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin C, & B vitamins [thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, B9 (folate), biotin, & vitamin B12].
Murray, M. Pizzorno, J. Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia Of Healing Foods New York, New York: Atria Books.
Kresser, C. (2011, February). 9 Steps to Perfect Health - #2: Nourish Your Body. Retrieved from http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-2-nourish-your-body/
Kresser, C. (2011, February). 5 Fats You Should Be Cooking With But Not Be. Retrieved from https://chriskresser.com/5-fats-you-should-be-cooking-with-but-may-not-be/
Yesterday, I attended a San Francisco signing for the New Whole 30 book. While attending this event, I contemplated on how much my relationship with food has changed since implementing Whole 30 as part of my Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP). And how my new relationship with food has impacted my current health.
Before starting Whole 30, I couldn’t sit at a cafe without endulging myself on some type of dessert or sweet pastry. After several Whole 30’s and working with an Integrative Doctor, I no longer get caught in this type of behaviorial pattern. Now, I can walk into a cafe, order some cupcakes, and give them as a gift to a friend without ‘taste trying’ them. And when I do endulge, it is with full awareness. Some people may call this building self-control. I would call it what Whole 30 folks label it - ‘Total Health and Food Freedom’.
By going through several Whole 30’s while on AIP, I learned how foods - including different sugars - impacted my body, mind, and spirit. Following this type of paleo based elimination diet and lifestyle wasn’t an easy task. It is why I repeated the program several times - a total of 5 times. Each time I got back on the Whole 30 path and fell off of it, I returned back with more strength and wisdom.
I decided to first try Whole 30 due to their social media accounts on Instagram and Facebook. With their behavioral coaching messages and nutrient dense recipes, I got hooked to following their daily posts. In addition, I loved how I rarely saw them post a sweet ‘treat’. Their zero tolerance - if you exclude Melissa’s Cadbury Eggs - for posting added sugars on social media was great for sugar sensitive folks like myself.
This month may be my last Whole 30, since I feel pretty close to ‘food freedom’ and feeling as good as I can through the changes I have made while on the program. This doesn’t mean to say that I still don’t experience food or sugar cravings, but my old habit to give into unhealthy ones rarely pop up. I have replaced my endulgences with habits that support a diet and lifestyle appropriate for me. And when I do eat added sugars or other foods that don’t nourish me, it is from a more conscious place with full awareness.
If you don’t know already, I am following a diet and lifestyle protocol called the Autoimmune Paleo Approach (AIP) to heal from an autoimmune condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis. In case the term AIP is not familiar with you, it is an elimination diet that is nutrient-dense focused, along with a lifestyle approach to support the process of healing for people with chronic conditions.
One of the popular questions I receive from folks is, "What CAN I eat on AIP when seeds, nuts, grains, egg whites, nightshades, additives, added sugar, and legumes are not included?" I normally answer back that I have plenty of choices of foods that I CAN eat - such as vegetables, herbs, starches, meats, seafood, berries, lemons (I don't do well with the other forms of citrus), sea salts, offal, and good fats.
The more appropriate question I would love to receive more often is, "Do I know how to cook and have the willingness to experiment with my food choices?" Without my ability to cook and willingness to experiment, I would not have lasted long on AIP. I would not have tried cooking nutrient-dense dishes that I now have on a weekly basis - such as liver pâté and bone broth. Ultimately, I would have gotten bored with my food choices and my past standard flavor combinations. On top of that, I would have had to spend so much more money to eat this type of food at a San Francisco restaurant on a daily basis.
Because it is much easier to track and control the type of food and its cost when I buy and cook it, I encourage people following AIP to do the same and to learn how to cook in whatever way works for them. There are YouTube videos, books, workshops, friends, relatives, social media, and you experimenting (how we all learn) with food. For inspiration and proof it can be done, I have some pictures of dishes I have made while on my elimination diet. Do any of the dishes look deprived or lacking? Geez, I hope not!
If you know of anyone who could benefit from following AIP, please share my story with them.