Toasted "Couscous" with Pine Nuts + Raisins

 

Before I get into this delicious, easy and fast Paleo & Whole 30 & AIP-adaptable side dish…let’s chat about what I’ve been up to lately!

 

I have so many ideas swirling through my head for blog content that would provide such value to expecting and new moms, and I want to get it out there! But the irony is being a stay-at-home mom leaves me almost zero time to get any of it done! So I took the advice of many women and hired a nanny just 6 hours a week to start.

 

It’s already made a big difference in my happiness, peace and productivity. I look forward to the two morning a week when I leave the house to go work and run errands baby-free. And Grace doesn’t even notice when I leave – she loves her nanny so much! 

 

This was such a necessary step in our relationship as mother and daughter. It provides us independence from one another so we can continue to pursue our daily interests and explorations. It’s wonderful for her to connect with another woman so quickly, and I’m much calmer knowing I have someone to help me during the long weeks.

 

My husband is gone almost 60 hours a week AND works when he gets home, so I was getting worn down fast trying to juggle the blog, Beautycounter and baby (and a baby who wakes up at least 2x a night to feed). 3 B’s I’m super passionate about and there weren’t enough hours in the day for all of them.Obviously the human B gets all my attention first!

 

Now onto this tasty Lebanese-inspired easy side dish! I’ve been loving pan-toasting or roasting my cauliflower rice lately because it doesn’t steam cook and get mushy but instead keeps it’s firmer bite. Turning it into couscous is a a no-brainer!

 

This is necessary if I’m going to call a dish couscous because a true Middle Eastern cous dish is not a mushfest. This “rice” dish is flavored with toasted pinenuts, raisins, parsley, mint and lemon + so addicting. It’s so easy to make it could easily become a frequent go-to for your family.

 

I ALWAYS keep an abundance of fresh herbs in my fridge. Just wash and dry them well and wrap them in paper towels in a sealed bag, and they will last a couple weeks for sure. I have fresh vibrant parsley that is almost 3 weeks old in my fridge using this storage method! Fresh herbs are incredibly dense in minerals, provide bright flavors to your finished dishes and are plain old beautiful to look at!

 

Wondering what you should serve this with? What about my AIP Beef Shawarma or my Crispy Lebanese Chicken?

This grain-free couscous will get cure your craving for Mediterranean fare!

Toasted Cauliflower Cous Cous with Pine Nuts & Raisins

 

 

9 reviews

Toasted Cauliflower Cous Cous with Pine Nuts & Raisins

Prep Time 00:07 Cook Time 00:12 Serves 4

Fragrant Middle Eastern-inspired low carb cauliflower cous cous side dish! Serve with my Beef Shawarma or Crispy Lebanese Chicken linked in the blog post.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced white onion
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 12 oz Trader Joe’s frozen organic cauliflower rice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley and mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stainless steel skillet. Add white onion and a pinch of sea salt and sautee for 3 to 4 minutes until browned. Add pine nuts and toast for 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Add cauliflower rice with another pinch of sea salt to the pan and cook, stirring continuously, for 5 to 6 minutes until the cauliflower is crisp tender. No mushy cauliflower rice! Continuously stirring the rice releases the steam so your cauliflower rice toasts rather than steams in the skillet.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the raisins, herbs, and lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice and sea salt, if desired.

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Recipe Notes

I prefer to use jumbo raisins because they are more plump and juicy. You may use 3 cups of homemade riced cauliflower in place of the Trader Joe's rice. For AIP, omit pine nuts and replace with equal amount chopped dried apricots.

 

AIP Italian Calzones

AIP Italian Calzone

 

AIP Italian Calzone

 

My AIP Stromboli recipe has been such a hit with us pizza-deprived humans that I made an Italian Calzone version for my monthly feature on Autoimmune Wellness! Have you been craving pizza on your grain and dairy-free diet? Look no further than either of these recipes! They have cured many, many, many pizza hankerings in our community. These Stromboli and Calzones may be my life’s greatest accomplishment outside of the birth of Grace… because a tummy full of pizza makes for a happy and fulfilled human.

 

 It’s a super flexible recipe:

  • Replace the arrowroot starch with equal amount of tapioca starch, if desired. 
  • Add a variety of finely diced vegetables like onion, mushroom and zucchini
  • Use a variety of starch white-fleshed sweet potato. I’ve been wondering if this recipe will work with pureed green plantain! Have you tried the Stromboli with plantain? Let us know in the comments!
  • Use any type of AIP-compliant savory sausage or meat like ham, pancetta, or prosciutto. 

 

Enjoy, my pizza-craving soulmates! 

GET THE RECIPE ON AUTOIMMUNE WELLNESS!

 

AIP Italian Calzone

Pineapple andGrapefruit Digestive Tonic (AIP & Vegan)

pineapple grapefruit tonic

This simple morning Pineapple and Grapefruit Digestive Tonic is magic. It takes care of morning bloat and digestive complaints while providing your body with a big dose of vitamin C.

Pineapple & Grapefruit Digestive Tonic

 

This grapefruit and pineapple digestive tonic will make everything better. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but whenever I’m having digestive complaints like bloating, constipation or an upset stomach, this takes care of it!

My body has been absolutely craving the bright citrus-y flavors of grapefruit and pineapple, and I know why. It needs their digestive enzymes and acidity to help break down my food when my digestion is a bit sluggish.

 

How Grapefruit and Pineapple Help Digestion

  1. They contain fiber which we know is vital for gut health. Our good microbes flourish with a fiber-rich diet!

  2. Pineapple contains bromelain which is an enzyme that can be help break down foods. This is especially important if you have low stomach acid.

  3. Grapefruit can increase the acidity in your stomach leading to improved digestion and breaking down of food. Many of us are low in hydrochloric acid. If you’ve noticed fullness, belching and bloating after you eat, you may be low in this powerful “digestive juice” secreted in your stomach.

 

Even if you don’t need the boost from this Pineapple and Grapefruit Digestive Tonic, you’ll benefit from the high vitamin C, fiber, water and minerals.

 

What You Need for This Digestive Tonic

  • 1 medium grapefruit

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks

  • 1/2 cup filtered water or coconut water

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

 

It’s most health-supporting to use organic product in this recipe, if you can find it. Organic pineapple is a bit harder to find, so if you need to use conventional frozen pineapple, that is fine. You can add on flavor components like fresh mint or basil, lime juice or even a mandarin.

 

How To Make This Easy Pineapple and Grapefruit Digestive Tonic:

1. Simply peel the grapefruit and slice into chunks.

2. Blend with the remaining ingredients until smooth. Strain and pour into a glass. Consume immediately.

 

 

Looking for some other healthy beverages to try? 

Cherry Ginger Lime Smoothie

Orange Cream Healing Smoothie

Strawberry Peaches n’ Cream Smoothie

Pineapple & Grapefruit Digestive Tonic

 

 

5 reviews

Pineapple & Grapefruit Digestive Tonic

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 medium grapefruit
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup filtered water (or coconut water)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions

  1. Peel and remove the pith of the grapefruit. Chop into segments.
  2. Blend the grapefruit segments and remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and frothy. Pour and enjoy!

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Recipe Notes

You may add Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides to this beverage for a hit of gut-healing collagen.


 

 

Grapefruit Pineapple Digestive Tonic

AIP Instant Breakfast Cereal (and it’s really, really delicious!)

 

aip oatmeal

 

Breakfast! How did you grow up enjoying this meal? We mostly had breakfast cereal because mornings were rushed, and I have to say my twin sister and I were moderately obsessed with cereal up until our early twenties. I remember one time in college we both couldn’t sleep and we walked into the kitchen at the same time to have a bowl of Toasted Oatmeal Flakes. Glad those days are over.

 

One of the first things my husband and I bonded over was our childhood love of Cracklin’ Oat Bran, and how we never met another person that wasn’t 82 that liked it. There’s just something so comforting about sitting down with a bowl of cereal and milk. Maybe it’s pulling on the strings of nostalgia or something about the cold milk and the crunchy lightly sweetened cereal. And then we have oatmeal – I used to demolish a bowl of Instant oatmeal every morning. I topped it with cinnamon, bananas and blueberries and microwaved those little Quaker Instant Oatmeal packets – yeesh. Where the heck was my protein in the morning?

 

I seriously didn’t start eating protein for breakfast until I went Paleo and it squelched my blood sugar swings, so now I always include some protein at breakfast every day. Even if it’s a scoop of collagen protein in my smoothie or coffee or mug of broth. There are some mornings when I’m just not in the mood for leftover dinner for breakfast though and want something a little more familiar to my yesteryears. And now there’s a new AIP-Friendly Instant Farina that fills that void! I tried this cereal 3 times this weekend to be sure I loved it enough to recommend it! 

 

INTRODUCING….AIP INSTANT FARINA by Pure TraditionsThis AIP Instant Breakfast Cereal is made from just 5 ingredients: coconut, tigernuts, konjac root, cinnamon and sea salt! It is a finely ground powder that you add hot liquid to (like water or coconut milk) and let sit for 2 minutes as it thickens. The less water you add, the thicker the porridge which is how I like it! It tastes like Cracklin’ Oat Bran, in fact, so I’m a huge fan! I am super impressed with the taste!My only complaint is the serving size is small, so if you want to make it a filling meal you definitely need to top it with some hearty fruit like bananas and berries. I would also serve it with a side of bacon or a protein smoothie so you are eating it with protein too.WHAT I LOVE

  • Low in carbs if you prefer a lower carb diet
  • High in fiber which may be helpful if you have constipation
  • Unsweetened for an anti-inflammatory, low-sugar diet
  • Super convenient for traveling or busy mornings
  • Kid-friendly – convincingly the texture of oatmeal
  • Sold by Wild Mountain Paleo which offers over 100 AIP products that after often cheaper than Amazon sells them for!

NOTE WORTHY

  • Small serving size – I would say it’s more like 3 servings per bag rather than 6 servings as stated on the label. Still a good price at only $2.50 per serving of high quality ingredients and a convenient option! On AIP, having a few convenient options is worth its weight in gold.
  • Konjac root may be irritating on a gut sensitive to fiber – it’s a small amount and is used to help thicken the porridge when liquid is added. I found it helped stimulate a bowel movement and with Hashimoto’s, constipation occurs at times, so I didn’t mind this side effect. 

49 reviews

Warm Banana Instant Oatmeal

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:02 Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Pure Traditions Instant Farina
  • 1/3 cup warmed coconut milk
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 banana, sliced and lightly sauteed in coconut oil
  • shredded coconut, for serving

Directions

  1. Combine Farina and coconut milk in a bowl with the maple and cinnamon.
  2. Let sit 2 to 3 minutes to thicken.
  3. Top with sauteed banana slices and shredded coconut. Serve warm.

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AIP "Chocolate" Fudge – Two Ways! (AIP/Low-Sugar)

My husband and I celebrated Valentine’s early this year. We were supposed to go to one of my good childhood friend’s wedding, but Grace decided that this weekend was a mighty fine time to cut her first tooth. On Friday evening, she was screaming at the top of her lungs and I couldn’t figure out why. I looked in her mouth once she calmed down, and that poor little tooth was just breaking through! This explains why last week was so difficult.

 

It also explains why I ate more than my fair share of this fudge. We women sure do love to stress eat on some chocolate. I wonder why men don’t do that. It must be some sort of biological mechanism… like when our brain perceives we’re stressed it doesn’t want us to shut down and make fertility a non-priority, so it makes us crave fatty sweet things? Making this up as I type by the way. But if you know why, please share. 

 

We went to the farmer’s market Saturday morning. Our new city has this really amazing produce stand of dozens of vegetables for a good price. They’re all organic and locally grown and fresh as fuhhhh…dge. So I made us grilled local grass-fed flank steak with chimichurri sauce, steamed artichokes with lemon oil, a big salad of baby lettuce and olives, and roasted broccoli with Primal Palate’s new Garam Masala spice blend. Then we drank too much white wine, tried to watch Secret Life of Pets but I fell asleep with my very sexy blue-light blocker safety goggles on. Then my husband texted a picture of me to his friend. Sensual per usual. 

 

Spiced Maple Caramelized Sweet Plantains + Garam Masala Plantains and Apples using Primal Palate Garam Masala blend!

 

So I’m freakin’ obsessed with that spice blend and the Chinese Five Spice blend that are in their new Taste of Asia 3-pack. Those two are both nightshade-free and the accompanying Curry blend has cayenne in it, so I’ll be saving that one for my husband. Their spices are way, way, way better than anything you’ll try from the grocery store. You really need to try them + they’re on Amazon Prime now so no excuses. Prime Up Your Life. I use them everyday, pretty much on every meal. We used the Garam Masala for macaroons, rice, a pork and veggie skillet and this plantain and apple side dish I’m sending out to my newsletter subscribers only. Then the next day I made Spiced Maple Caramelized Sweet Plantains. Holy tropical starch balls, those were good. 

 

FUN FUDGE IDEAS

Strawberry or Raspberry Crust: Crush freeze-dried raspberries or strawberries and press the crushed mixture into the mold once its been filled and before it’s been refrigerated.

Peppermint Fudge: Add 8 to 10 drops (or to taste) of peppermint oil to fudge mixture before setting.

Toasted Coconut Fudge: Refrigerate fudge until hardened and then use your hands to quickly roll fudge into round truffles. Roll in toasted shredded coconut. 

1 review

AIP

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:05 Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 1 small ripe Haas avocado, chopped
  • 3 scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (optional but recommended*)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil, maple, and coconut milk  together over medium-low heat. Whisk in carob powder until combined. Remove from heat for a few minutes before transferring the still-warm mixture to a food processor.
  2. Add avocado, collagen,  and salt to food processor and blend until you achieve a silky chocolate fudge. Add in the arrowroot and blend briefly until combined.
  3. Spoon fudge mixture into desired silicone molds and place in refrigerator until set (2 to 3 hours). Remove from molds prior to serving. Store in fridge. You may also use the warm fudge as a topping for coconut milk ice cream or fruit.

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Dairy-Free Mushroom Risotto (made in your Instant Pot!) – Paleo, AIP, 21dsd, Whole30

Paleo Risotto

Dairy-free Risotto made in your Instant Pot = the most hands-off risotto recipe you’ve ever tried!

Is there a sexier food word than risotto? Maybe creme fraiche (really drawing out the shhhhh at the end). Has anyone seen that South Park episode? I’m not even going to go there.
I have only made true brothy, buttery, cheesy risotto one time in my life. It was when I was 18 and I remember standing in my mom’s kitchen, stirring a pot of arborio rice for 45 minutes and periodically scooping broth into the pot and allowing it to absorb into the rice. It was magical how creamy it got! But it was also very labor intensive + I can’t say any food is worth an achy shoulder and wrist.
While I do eat white rice, I wanted to create a lower carb AIP risotto that can be enjoyed by all of you without the dairy or grains. The finished product is thick, creamy, flavorful, and made up almost entirely of vegetables! You can serve it as a meatless meal or serve some thinly sliced seared pork loin, cod, or shrimp on top.
Mushroom Risotto
RECIPE TIPS & FAQs
  • Pre-riced and bagged cauliflower is ideal for this recipe because you are ensured even sized pieces. I find that some people over-process cauliflower when they rice it at home in their food processor.

 

  • With pressure cooking every minute counts when you’re cooking vegetables, so ensure whatever cauliflower rice you use it is not overly-processed mush!

 

  • I’ve never made this on a stove – it’s an Instant Pot recipe. Please don’t ask me how to do this! There’s a reason I’m posting a lot of Instant Pot recipes these days – they save you the hassle of standing over the stove constantly checking on food or worrying if it’s undercooked.

 

  • Don’t have Italian herb seasoning? Make your own custom mix from dried basil, oregano, marjoram, and thyme.

 

 

9 reviews

Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:15 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white part only)
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup homemade chicken broth
  • 16 ounce bag cauliflower rice (about 3 1/2 cups rice)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • for serving, chopped chives and cracked black pepper (omit pepper for AIP)

Directions

  1. Turn Instant Pot "Saute" function on. Heat olive oil in the insert.
    Saute mushrooms, leeks, zucchini, herbs, garlic, and sea salt for 6 to 8 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Stir in coconut milk, broth, and cauliflower rice. Seal the lid and set to "Manual" function for 3 minutes. Once the timer elapses, vent and remove the lid.
  3. Turn the "Saute" function back on and slowly sprinkle in the arrowroot, stirring continuously, as the mixture thickens for another 2 to 3 minutes. You can always sprinkle in additional arrowroot a teaspoon at a time if you find you want even thicker, creamier risotto.
  4. Serve with chopped chives and black pepper for a punch of flavor!

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Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

Instant Pot Pinapple Chicken

 

instant pot pineapple chicken

My Instant Pot rescued me AGAIN last night. I made some last minute plans and had 45 minutes to prep and serve dinner before I had to leave. I wanted to do a take on my Hawaiian Pork from The Healing Kitchen using the organic chicken breast I had on hand.

I’ve been craving and eating tons of pineapple lately, so I always have that in my fridge too, which reminded me of the pork recipe. I like this version even better. It’s lighter and easier to digest since it’s lower in fat than pulled pork and very filling.

I served it with fried plantains and steamed kale. Best way to steam kale? After cleaning out your Instant Pot, add a couple bunches of chopped curly kale into your Instant Pot and set to cook on Manual for 1 minute! Totally hands off + an easy nutritious side dish. No excuses to not have any greens on your plate!

I also serve it over rice made in the Instant Pot when I need some extra carbs that day! The most nutritious way to make rice? Soak it in water and apple cider vinegar (1 tsp) for 12 to 24 hours then cook in bone broth using the Rice Setting on your machine! Season with mineral-rich sea salt for the healthiest rice on the planet!

Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken is the perfect tropics-inspired combo of salty, sweet and smokey + the recipe is affordable and makes a ton for leftovers! Family and kid-friendly for sure! 

 

 

 

28 reviews

Instant Pot Pineapple Chicken

Prep Time 00:00 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons Red Boat fish sauce, divided
  • 1 piece dried galangal or 2-inch piece peeled ginger root
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  1. Place chicken in Instant Pot insert. Sprinkle with sea salt and layer bacon on top. Add in pineapple, onion, aminos, fish sauce and galangal or ginger.
  2. Seal the lid and set "Manua"l pressure cooking timer to 25 minutes. Once timer elapses, release pressure valve and open the lid.
  3. Carefully transfer contents of pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the liquid in the pot, to a large glass bowl.
  4. Turn the Instant Pot “Saute” function on. Add the garlic and remaining 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce to the cooking liquid. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, reduce slightly, and turn a golden yellow.
  5. Meanwhile, shred the chicken with the pineapple, onions and bacon with two forks until finely shredded.
  6. Pour the reduced sauce from the pot over the shredded chicken and stir well to immerse the meat. Serve warm with cauliflower rice, steamed kale, and fried plantains.

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Beef & Mushroom Carbonara (Paleo/AIP)

Beef Mushroom Carbonara

Beef Mushroom Carbonara

 

I’m a lover of meat sauces. My mom used to make a big pot of her meat sauce every few weeks when we were kids, and the smell of it simmering all day got me so excited for dinnertime! Of course then we served it with boiled pasta, and in my well-informed years of adulthood, I’m serving it with spaghetti squash! By the way, this is also how my mom serves her meat sauce now! We both went Paleo around the same time in 2012!

 

Last night I made the Meat Sauce from The Healing Kitchen and I was inspired by this Beef + Mushroom Carbonara to add a glug of red wine to it… omgsh you guys. And THEN I served it over white sweet potato wedges for an Italian take on Poutine!

 

WHAT MADE THIS RECIPE EVEN BETTER?

Using Butcher Box ground beef!

I didn’t think ground beef could get yummier than my local farmer, but Butcher Box consistently delivers me the tastiest beef and pork I’ve ever had! Everything arrives at your door in a neat reusable cooler bag that I take to the beach or for traveling with homemade food! My mom signed up to receive her shipment every other month and is always anxious to get her next box in!

 

It would honestly be even yummier (if that’s possible) with this Carbonara because of the bacon and mushrooms! I topped everyone else’s Italian Poutine with raw grass-fed sharp cheddar and they went bonkers over it. Just bonkers. So that being said – you don’t have to serve this over spaghetti squash – you can eat it with par-boiled zoodles, sweet potato fries, over cauliflower rice, or in a bowl by itself!

 

Find the full recipe HERE

Turmeric Chicken Cous-Cous Bowls (Paleo/AIP)


How 2017 am I this week? I wore sneakers with shorts (it’s acceptable again for the first time since 4th grade), sitting in a hipster coffee shop with my Mac Book + cold-brew decaf + almond milk, AND I’m wearing make up again. 
That last one may seem really ridiculous. “You stopped wearing makeup? What are you? A masochist?”

 

Quite the opposite, I say to you. I stopped wearing makeup every day because everything I had was full of harmful toxins that were getting absorbed in my skin and therefore into my bloodstream. It’s about to get really intense here. Please keep reading and hand me a tissue. 

 

You guys, I struggled with infertility from the age of 20 to 27. I worked my butt off to conceive naturally + went to the end of the world and back to have my baby girl. I know a lot of you have been through this + are going through this. That’s why I’m opening up about the most vulnerable moment of my life.

 

I reversed my infertility diagnosis in a multi-prong approach that took time, work, dedication + becoming a self-informed advocate for me and my future children. Joke’s on the doctor and not my ovaries because those bad b*tches are working again. How did I do it? How did I hear my diagnosis over and over again from 10 different doctors in my early twenties + tell them, “No, I’m not going to accept that. I’m going to have the daughter I’ve always wanted.”

 

I’m going to share something with you today that I’ve only ever told my husband. It was just last week I told him on one of our nightly walks, through tears in my eyes. 

 

At my lowest point in my struggle with autoimmune disease and infertility, I was so clinically depressed, I didn’t want to go on anymore. This was in Spring 2015 during a severe Hashimoto’s flare that last almost a year. I didn’t want to wake up the next day. I hoped something would happen to me. I literally prayed a car would jump the sidewalk and hit me. You guys, this is when I was writing The Healing Kitchen + blogging. Those were dark times. On a particularly difficult moment, I laid curled up in a puddle of my own tears, my heart wringing itself out in a painful sorrow I can’t even describe.

 

ALL I WANTED WAS A CHILD. I didn’t just want one, I needed one. I had this extreme pull towards motherhood, like I was put on earth to be a mother and that was my God-given purpose. To have your purpose in life denied to you, well I can’t really think of anything worse for a purpose-driven individual. 

 

I was in the fetal position, pounding my fist on the floor out of frustration and sadness, and suddenly a vision popped into my head. An extremely vivid, lucid vision. Almost a daydream. I saw myself (in my early thirties) standing in a grassy field smiling + laughing and staring at a small, brown-haired, brown-eyed little girl with wavy hair, laughing, and running away from me. I was overcome with calm, peace, and a new purpose. That was my daughter. And I needed to do everything in my power to have her. That was my daughter – it was Grace. I saw her. You may not believe me, but I know that was her. Everything changed after that moment. I no longer felt defeated. My baby was almost mine. I was on the right path. I finally knew I had something big to live for. It gives me goose bumps to this day.

 

 What next? I made a few changes to prepare my body for pregnancy + motherhood. I needed to clean the slate. To protect myself and Grace from the toxic burden of our everyday lives. Some toxins are unavoidable, others (like the ones we bring into our homes) are under our control. I knew that environmental and consumer product toxins caused birth defects + abnormal development + brain damage + nervous system toxicity + hormonal disruption. I was determined to have a healthy pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby who had a fair shot at life. I knew I was passing on my autoimmunity genetics to this girl. I couldn’t be the gun that pulled the trigger in her DNA. 

 

Then I realized these toxins were also worsening my adrenal fatigue, contributing to the inflammation in my body, to my genetic difficulty with detoxing, and my chemical sensitivity.

 

And my symptoms disappeared when I made the changes. Noticeable, life-changing changes. But something was missing – I didn’t have a skincare or a makeup routine anymore, I didn’t look forward to getting ready for outings because my routine was so boring. I missed wearing a bright red lip + giving myself at-home facials + cleaning my apartment from door to door. I realized I could lead a life of minimalism and less toxins… and I could have my under eye concealer too. I could really get my clothes clean without Tide. I didn’t need Swiffer to make my floors shining and spotless. I switched to safer beauty products, safer body products, safer household cleaners (+ started making my own!) I bought a Berkey water filter + a new mattress.

 

In terms of diet, I ate copious amounts of wild seafood and healthy fats <– SIDE NOTE: BABY MAKING FOOD, PEOPLEThe headaches went away. The strange little face rashes went away. The constant unquenchable thirst from drinking barely-filtered water went away. And I got my groove back with my beauty  + skincare routine. I stopped looking blah and feeling blah, and I started to look like my old self and feeling pretty again. I missed feeling pretty. I missed getting sexed-up for date nights. I wanted to wear some damn bronzer and foundation again!! Is that so much to ask!? Not anymore.

 

I found a way to have beauty + reduce my toxin load at the same time. And it really changed my life. I feel so much more confident walking down the street now than when I was in my plain-face, ‘fraid of toxins. Beautycounter is one of the companies that changed my world. It helped this recovered Sephora-Addict get her sexy back. Something I’m eternally grateful for now that I get less sleep, less time in the sunshine, and definitely less time for facials. 

 

Besides eating beauty foods (which I’ll be doing an article on soon – turmeric included) … here’s been my morning skincare routine for the last 6 months that I wanted to share with you guys today. It’s the perfect routine for a busy woman who still wants to look put together + confident, but doesn’t want to slather on cancer and infertility-causing products onto her body. 

 

 

 

Charcoal Bar + Nourishing Day Cream + Rejuvenating Eye Cream + Tint Skin Foundation in Honey (use as undereye concealer too) + Cream Blusher in Hibiscus (on the apples of my cheeks + on my lips)

 

 

NOW FOR THAT DELICIOUS HEALING RECIPE

 

1 review

Turmeric Chicken Cous Cous Bowls

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:20 Serves 3

Ingredients

  • Turmeric Chicken:
  • 3 cups cooked + shredded chicken breast, warm*
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Cous Cous Salad:
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, riced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced apple
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions

  1. Combine chicken with the coconut milk, honey and seasonings until well coated. Set aside while you make the cous cous bowl.
  2. Dry toast the riced cauliflower, stirring continuously, in a large pan set over medium heat for 3 minutes until crisp-tender. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust salt if desired. Serve Turmeric Chicken over Cous-Cous Salad in individual bowls.

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Recipe Notes

*Time saver tip: use shredded plain rotisserie chicken

 

 

10 Foods You Didn’t Know Were AIP

10 aip foods

 

It may seem like you have a limited repertoire on your grocery list, the same old appearances over and over again. But that certainly doesn’t have to be the case. Rarely on 3 years of AIP have I ever been bored of my food choices – and that’s also why I started this blog. To keep me creative, interested, and forever-seeking new and easy ways to add vibrant food into my life.

So to keep with that theme and prove that there’s always new foods to be discovered, I’ve compiled a list of 10 foods you may not know are AIP-compliant. These foods are fairly easy to find, but I also urge you to visit local ethnic markets to see for yourself that your diet doesn’t have to be limited to carrots, sweet potatoes, beef, and broccoli.

 

Variety is the spice of AIP. Force yourself out of your food rut!

 

TigernutsYou may have heard of tigernuts if you’re big into AIP baking. If you haven’t, you may be wondering, “I thought nuts weren’t AIP-friendly!” They aren’t – they are a common food allergen/intolerance and can be difficult to digest, especially for people with compromised guts like those with autoimmue conditions. But tigernuts are actually little hard tubers (root vegetables) that are high in prebiotic fibers. The unpeeled snacking variety can be really difficult to eat, so it’s best to stick to the peeled tigernuts for snacking or tigernut flour for baking needs. I haven’t baked with tigernut flour much, but I hear it can be pretty grainy, so it’s best to mix it with other grain-free flours like coconut and arrowroot. Beyond the Bite is an AIP blog that uses lots of tigernut flour, so please peruse her page of tigernut treats

 

 

 

Cloves Part of the reason AIP seems initially restricting on flavor is because it eliminates a lot of seed and nut seasonings (allspice, nutmeg, cumin, etc) as well as nightshade seasonings (chili pepper, paprika, curry powder, etc). Clove is an exception though! They are actually little dried buds of the clove tree and a popular aromatic, ethnic spice used in cooking both savory and sweet dishes. Use whole cloves to flavor soups, roasted chicken, my AIP Sangria and Caribbean Spiced Shredded Beef.

 

 

BBQ Sauce Nightshades are definitely not an autoimmune person’s friend. They tend to be one of the most inflammatory and bothersome foods those of us with autoimmune conditions can eat. Which means tomato-based sauces, southwestern cuisine, Mexican food, and a whole lotta other yummy stuff is off the table. Thankfully, there’s a brand of AIP-friendly BBQ Sauce that gets RAVE reviews from the community! Go check out KC Naturals BBQ Sauce which can be purchased on Amazon and try both of their nightshade-free flavors as a marinade for your next grill night or mixed with pressure cooker pork.

 

 

Wine VinegarsWine vinegars like white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, and ume plum vinegar are totally AIP-compliant and can add a lovely balance to your salad dressings, marinades, and finished dishes. If you have histamine intolerance, you may want to stay away from vinegar but otherwise go ahead and enjoy. Always be sure to read the ingredients though (‘grape must’ is compliant) and look for ones that don’t contain added sweeteners, corn, sulphur dioxide, or other preservatives.

 

 Sucanat I’m sure you know that sweeteners should be limited on AIP. I won’t beat a dead horse over that.  So, don’t go eat a bag of sucanat? Because you’re a responsible adult, and why would you? Or you could argue you earned your independence in a stifled childhood, so you may very well go eat a bag of sugar if you please at age 39. I won’t judge – you just may not feel your best the next day. I just realized you may be wondering what sucanat is… sorry it’s 6 am and Grace woke me up an hour ago… on a Sunday morning. Motherhood. Sucanat is a fairly unprocessed cane sugar – it’s simply crushed cane sugar and doesn’t go through the refining/bleaching process regular sugar does. So in that way it is about as unprocessed as sweeteners like honey and maple that we see more often in AIP recipes. Use it very sparingly to sweeten special treats like He Won’t Know It’s Paleo’s Dutch Apple Pie. Find a recipe that uses sucanat but you don’t have any on hand? Replace with coconut sugar or maple sugar, which have a similar amount of moisture. 

 

 

 

Yerba Mate Yerba mate is a South American tea that contains a decent variety of vitamins and antioxidants, but also contains a decent dose of caffeine. CaffeineInformer.com says it contains about 85mg caffeine per cup which is about as much caffeine as a Starbucks Cafe Americano. If you’re working on your adrenals (who isn’t?), it may not be the best choice for you. Stick to lower caffeine teas like herbal teas or white silverneedle tea (my favorite!) There are claims floating around the internet that touts yerba mate for it’s fat-burning effect, but that only has been proven in high doses, which would certainly push most people over their caffeine limit. Enjoy a brewed cup in the morning as a pick-me-up but make sure you’re doing a lot of lifestyle checks on your adrenals. Drink that tea outside on your porch as the sun rises, maybe? Guayaki is a popular brand of yerba mate that can be bought online.

 

 

Water Chestnuts What? Another nut imposter!? What kind of world is this!? Although roasted chestnuts are incredibly delicious, water chestnuts aren’t actually nuts! They are a vegetable that usually comes pre-boiled and canned for a crunchy and yes, watery, addition to salads and stir fries. Water chestnuts can also be dehydrated and ground into water chestnut flour, which is another alternative baking flour that is totally AIP. The problem is finding it without cross-contamination with gluten and soy from factory processing! Therefore, I have never baked with it personally… but if you can find an allergen-free bag of it in your local Asian grocery store, give it a try and make some Paleo-O’s cereal or these Pumpkin Empanadas with Salted Caramel Drizzle from Predominantly Paleo.

 

 

La CroixYou wouldn’t think a flavored beverage in a can (sounds suspiciously like soda, right?) would be AIP-friendly, but La Croix flavored waters can be enjoyed by all since the flavors are derived from the named fruit (i.e. lemon oil, grapefruit essence, etc). You should avoid them if you are sensitive to a particular fruit or flavor in them, of course. For example, when I was histamine intolerant, I found a reacted to the citrus flavors. I also see a lot of AIP-ers make fun mocktails with La Croix like this Grapefruit Paloma Mocktail by my friend Laura Vein of Sweet Treats. You may as well also check out her other recipes because she is a trained pastry chef & talented cook! 

 

 

 

HorseradishOoh, so spicy! Horseradish is one of the only truly spicy foods those of us on AIP can use to kick it up a notch. Is that what Emeril used to say in that cheesy 90’s programming? BAM. Buy a fresh horseradish root and finely grate it to mix in salads, sauces, soups, and as an accompaniment to steak or seafood. You can even make these tasty Carrot Fries with Horseradish Cream by Simple & Merry or Quick Shepherd’s Pie with Golden Horseradish Mash by Healing Family Eats! Have you seen Kate’s other recipes? She is such a talented chef and food photographer. Her recipes just warm my heart.                                                                                                               

 

 

photo credit: Kate Jay of Healing Family Eats

 

 

Kelp Noodles  Woohoo! Noodles on AIP! Now we’re talking. Sort of… kelp noodles are actually a pretty nutritious noodle made from seawood, salt, and water. They are a low-carb and affordable way to bulk up meals, but aren’t for everyone. They have a very crunchy, stiff texture even after soaking. I wouldn’t serve these with AIP pasta sauces or meat sauces though – reserve them for stir-fries and Asian-inspired fare like this Thai-Inspired Pork Salad with kelp noodles – another fab recipe by Kate Jay. I know, she’s AIP girl crush status.Well, that’s it! I hope you learned of at least one new food to try while following the AIP! My most treasured advice while following the protocol is to never limit yourself unnecessarily. Food and freedom with food are so nourishing for our mental health. Rather than restricting, consider what you can add in to your meals so that you won’t even notice that you aren’t eating that nightshade-ridden storebought BBQ sauce or missing out on pasta night with the family. Now if only someone would come up with a non-alcoholic and gluten-free AIP beer that also gets you tipsy. A girl can dream.

 

Have any other AIP-approved foods in your pantry

you think other’s would like to know about?