Friends = Your Lifeline


You may discount just how important your support system is, but they are your best defense against any and everything! My friend and fellow autoimmune sufferer, Chrisse, saw my post earlier this week and emailed me some great tips. Her advice is a godsend!!!


Cheaters Never Prosper

Let’s face it. Elimination diets are hard. Really hard. So let me recount what has happened on the days I’ve slipped up….

Cheat #1: Sushi. I knew gluten was something to avoid, sure, but I didn’t altogether believe the whole “grain-free” need. Until I ate sushi one night. My joints ached for three days.

Cheat #2: Donuts. I was trying to be so good. I went to Revolution Doughnuts (who, by the way, have delicious low-grain/low-gluten donuts, if you don’t have a nut allergy). Unfortunately, they were out of the “dough-nuts,” so on a whim I got a few of my favorites. Cake-style Vanilla Bean, yeast-style Cinnamon Sugar, and a Cinnamon Apple Fritter. In just a few hours I was exhausted and achy. It lasted for days.

Cheat #3: Choco-Pie. Not having eaten all morning, I couldn’t resist this Moon Pie-like treat a friend had brought in for class. I went home immediately afterward and slept for three hours in the middle of the afternoon.

I saw the rheumatologist last week, My RA is at a moderate level, so we’re having to up my dosage of Remicade to the highest possible amount and consider new treatments. I spoke with my doctor about the AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet I was trying, and she said it was a great idea.

I know what I need to do. I know what foods I need to avoid.

It’s difficult.

AIP Apple Spice Bread – Going Paleo Deliciously

wpid-img_20151004_185248.jpgFall and winter are easily the most difficult times of the year to avoid grains and gluten. As someone who adores baking – for the smells and the flavor and the relaxation of it all – going AIP paleo has been rough. Bordering on impossible, really. My search for AIP baked goods (that actually taste and feel like baked goods) has been difficult and frustrating.

Finally, I have discovered something worth sharing!

When I was growing up, a dear friend’s mother would bake the most delicious pumpkin bread. For whatever reason, that pumpkin bread recipe came back into my life this week. My first thought was sadness that I had finally procured this delicious recipe but would be unable to bake and eat it. But then something about the recipe caught my eye…

It requires two packs of pudding. Pudding means gelatin. Gelatin holds things together. Maybe this could work! So I began to dig through posts on the internet for tips on substituting flaxseed for eggs and how to make pudding from beef gelatin. Because I didn’t have pumpkin on hand, I decided to substitute with applesauce.

And viola! This recipe was born.


AIP Apple Spice Bread

wpid-img_20151004_185436.jpg5 TBL flaxseed meal (works better if the flaxseed is freshly ground)
3/4 cup coconut milk (or water)
1 cup oil
1 cup applesauce (or pumpkin or mashed ripe bananas)
2 cups coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla (omit if using vanilla coconut milk)
2 TBL gelatin
plus 1/4 cup additional coconut milk
2 cups coconut flour
wpid-img_20151004_185345.jpg1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon (1 tsp for banana bread)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (omit if making banana bread)
1/4 tsp ground cloves (omit if making banana or pumpkin bread)
1/2 tsp salt

Step One: Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 5 x 9 inch pans with solidified coconut oil or palm shortening.

Step Two: Mix flaxseed with 3/4 cup coconut milk. Set aside to gel.

Step Three: Mix oil and sugar. Add fruit purée and vanilla.

Step Four: Mix gelatin with 1/4 cup coconut milk. Set aside to gel.

Step Five: Mix together all dry ingredients.

Step Six. Combine flaxseed paste with gelatin mixture. Fold into wet ingredients. Stir in dry ingredients.

Step Seven: Smooth into greased pans, being sure to evenly distribute the batter. Bake for 65- 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Enjoy! I highly recommend slathering a slice of the bread with coconut oil. So good…


*If you try the recipe and find out something different works better for you, please let me know!

AIP Shepherd’s Pie – Going Paleo Deliciously

Besides now having an excuse to eat bacon every day, going AIP paleo has been a bit of a stretch for me. Thankfully, learning how to tweak recipes is a personal hobby of mine. In the past, I’ve cooked meals that were vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten-free vegan, raw vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free – you name it! The thing I haven’t done so much? Cooked meat. So I started researching a little over a month ago to be ready for the change.

Not only is eating AIP difficult at a restaurant, it can be pretty tricky at home, too. Especially for a graduate student who doesn’t have spare hours to slave away in the kitchen every day!

wpid-20150902_213912.jpgAutoimmune Protocol (AIP) Foods to Avoid – all grains, beans, legumes, dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, eggs, nightshades, processed sugar, and starchy vegetables!

However, you won’t believe the plethora of recipes available for every fashionable diet trend! Can’t eat soy? Type in soy free next to your keywords in the internet search bar. Can’t eat eggs? Type eggless. Have a gluten sensitivity? Type GF! I’m pretty sure some type of recipe for your favorite meal exists for every kind of food allergy (Internet Rule #38?)

Since I have chosen to embark on this journey into the bacon-lined world of AIP eating, I thought I might take you along with me. Every day, I’ll be trying out new, quick recipes. The ones I like, I’ll share here on SuddenSight.

Today’s treat is actually an original recipe by yours truly. I took the basic recipe for Shepherd’s Pie and made it AIP-friendly. Enjoy!

AIP Paleo Shepherd’s Pie
(for two – share with a friend or box up tomorrow’s lunch!)

wpid-img_20150902_215426.jpgIngredients for the top layer
2 sweet potatoes
1-2 TBL coconut oil
½ tsp salt
Pinch ground ginger
3 TBL coconut milk
Water for boiling potatoes

Ingredients for the bottom layer
1 TBL coconut oil
½ pound ground meat (I chose pork and turkey)*
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground oregano
½ tsp ground majoram
½ tsp dried sage, rubbed into pieces in your palm or with a mortar & pestle
1 tsp dried rosemary, rubbed into pieces in your palm
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (I used this Paleo Leap recipe, omitting the mustard, onion, and black pepper)
½ cup bone broth (I used this PaleoMom recipe, again omitting the onion)
1 TBL arrowroot powder
1 cup frozen or fresh early peas**
¼ cup thickly sliced carrots (optional)

*Note: I recommend using either ground beef or ground pork as your base. Otherwise, you risk the meat getting too dry.

**Note: Some people will categorize all peas as legumes. However, as early peas are still in the pod (like green beans), I consider their nutrient makeup to still be green vegetable. If you are also avoiding peas, you may omit them in this recipe or try another vegetable. I recommend using spinach or kale.

Set your oven to 400° and pull out a 9×5-inch baking dish.

Step One: Peel your sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil over high heat and allow to continue boiling.

wpid-img_20150902_215703.jpgStep Two: Heat up the 1TBL coconut oil in your skillet over low-medium heat (I prefer cast iron). Mix together your ground meat, salt, and herbs. Crumble the meat mixture into the skillet and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. This should take 5-8 minutes.

Step Three: Combine Worcestershire sauce, broth, and arrowroot powder. Once the meat is cooked through, add the sauce. Let this simmer until the sauces thickens into a thin roux, stirring frequently. This should take 2-3 minutes.

Step Four: While the meat layer is cooking, check on your boiling sweet potatoes. They should be soft enough to mash. Once soft, drain the potatoes and mash them with a fork. Add your desired amount of coconut oil, salt, ginger, and coconut milk. (Because I am not using Paleo for weight-loss, I prefer to use additional oil to increase my caloric intake.) Mash together until smooth.

wpid-img_20150902_215918.jpgStep Five: Add the peas and carrots to your meat mixture. Cook another 2-3 minutes. (If you are using a leafy green vegetable in place of the peas, wait until the last minute to add them.)

Step Six: Pour your meat layer into the baking dish. Top with sweet potato mixture, and bake 15-18 minutes. Enjoy!