Well, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know that Lauren went to see a functional medicine doctor recently. She has been dealing with severe eczema, asthma, and life threatening food allergies for the majority of her life. Due to her bloodwork results, she is now on an aip diet to try and get some out-of-whack numbers back in line. She tested positive for ana, antinuclear antibodies, which basically means an autoimmune disease is lying dormant. Lovely. We’ll add that to the list.
AIP stands for Autoimmune Protocol or Autoimmune Paleo. It’s goal is to eliminate certain primal foods that can sometimes trigger inmflammation in people with autoimmune disease (dairy, eggs, nightshades, nuts, and seeds). This includes spices that come from seeds, such as celery seed, which I use in Lauren’s German potato salad… Potatoes! aww 😦 Basically, for foods that are allowed, think meats and vegetables, as long as it is not a nightshade, and bone broths. Fruit is allowed, but in small amounts per day. The only sweetener allowed is the occasional use of honey or maple syrup. Her sheet says 1 tsp a day. Yikes!
We came home with a mini booklet of 8 1/2 x 11 papers listing what foods she cannot have and those she can. I will have to admit, at first, my eyes and mind went straight to, “What!? No potatoes! No tomatoes?! That means no chili! No chocolate?! ” I know. I know. A real negative Nelly stance. Don’t worry. I got over it and reframed my mindset to what we can have, and honestly, there are a lot of I cans out there. They are just not what we are used to having. Some foods we have never tried or even heard of. It’s like an adventure. Like traveling to a place we have never been. Dare I say exciting, even. Okay, maybe not quite that far. New flavors, new textures, new combinations will be our friends on this quest to fight inflammation and build up the body with good nutrition.
I had put her on lots of vitamin D3 and magnesium earlier this summer, as well as a good multi-vitamin with lots of B vitamins. She was already taking a probiotic and vitamin c, along with an anti-oxidant. Her bloodwork showed that her vitamin D was good. Yay! Success! It had been rock bottom at her allergist appointment a few months earlier, so this is progress. We’ll take it! We already eat mostly organic, but Lauren craves a good cookie or some type of bready texture, which is hard to come by with food allergies. Because she doesn’t get much of that, and now that we are on aip, that eliminated sugar, nightshades, and seeds. Ugh. I will say that, so far, we have had some fairly decent meals, so I feel encouraged at the moment. I hope she does, too. We are thankful for friends that have reached out with recipe suggestions. We appreciate it! In fact, we tried a few over the weekend with great success.
The first recipe we tried was on Friday evening. We made a crustless chicken pot pie from a Paleo Instant Pot cookbook that I have. It uses 2 heads of cauliflower florets, along with chicken broth, and the standard onion, carrots and celery. It was really good! Everyone liked it. Score! I was kind of skeptical about the whole cauliflower thing going in, but it gave just the right texture, a kind of thick, heartiness to it. Who knew? On Saturday, I made Lauren’s chicken noodle soup, mainly for Michael because he came home from school congested last week and I believe in the power of garlic and onions and homemade chicken noodle soup. Remember, we just started this journey on Friday, so I didn’t realize how many no no’s were in that soup. The noodles, for starters-rice based. That’s a grain. No no. Black pepper- no no. I did use arrowroot starch as a thickener, so that was okay. We will figure out the rest.
Lauren had the sweetest friends come visit her on Sunday afternoon from school. They drove over from Tuscaloosa just to see her. I have tears in my eyes writing this. They are all members of the discipleship group that Lauren was a member of. None of them are from Alabama, but from all over the United States. We cooked lunch for them. I made one of the suggestions from a sweet friend that has experience cooking the aip way. It is called Cracklin’ Chicken and the recipe can be found on nomnompaleo.com. So simple, yet so delicious. We also made roasted baby organic sweet potatoes, and pan fried squash and zuccini. My husband also grilled burgers, so we would have options. It was a beautiful afternoon of eating good food and getting to meet some of Lauren’s college friends.
Last night I made another friend’s suggestion: Swedish meatballs. You can find that recipe on forestandfauna.com. I will say that I didn’t use all of the spices recommended in the recipe this time, simply because I didn’t have all of them. Time to go shopping. I made spaghetti squash and green beans to go along with the meatballs. They were delicious. I think due to not having all of the recommended spices, the meatballs weren’t as flavorful as they could have been. Still learning. In making the green beans, I fried a couple of slices of bacon to add in. After dinner, I dove right into re-learning how to make Lauren’s German potato salad with sweet potatoes, instead, so that she would have something to eat for breakfast. Yep, breakfast. Think a breakfast hash. It’s hearty and has protein from the bacon. It makes a delicious breakfast food. There are many types of sweet potatoes. There is the typical orange flesh sweet potato, but there is also a Japanese sweet potato that has purple skin and white flesh. There is also an Okinawan sweet potato that is gray or tan in color and has purple flesh. There are pale yellow skinned and purple skinned sweet potatoes, as well. So, lots to choose from. I used three different types in her new German potato salad. I traded out the celery seed salt to a pinch of garlic salt. I just left out the black pepper and kept the pink Himalayan salt. I used a bit of maple syrup, instead of the sugar or coconut sugar I have used in the past. Instead of a tablespoon of her flour, I used arrowroot flour (starch) to thicken. Those are really the only changes. I kept everything else. It turned out beautifully. I think we’re gonna make it. New food adventures await!