Monday, 14 April 2014

blogging again!

Well then theres a pic of yours truly with one of  my favourite treats to make and eat- raw chocolate almond butter cups! The point of this post is just to get me blogging again as I have lots of foodie and crohnie tales to tell and it would at least be better a better way to spend internet time than f-book. I've had lots of ups and downs in crohns town lately- my history has been that I always have a mega flare around christmas/new year and this year would be the first in 3 that I havent treated it with either  a hospitalization and steroids or surgery. I dont talk a whole lot in my day to day life about my disease but at this point most people know I went through a pretty big-deal surgery. What not everyone understands with crohns is that surgery is not a cure, it is just damage control. My resection provided the most relief from pain and symptoms that Ive had in 13 years, and bought me some time to heal, enjoy life and figure out my next steps on this crazy path. So definitely flared hard around christmas and now in April I'm still dealing with very touchy sensitive guts- been amping up the acupuncture and traditional chinese medicine herbs  which have been a total saviour in dealing with my flaring shortguts.    As well as been fine tuning my diet to  grain-free , low dairy, paleo, really simple whole eats. And almond butter cups. What a frickin revelation and relief when I finally gave up on grains and legumes (ironic considering these were huge staples in my diet for many years as a crohnie-vegetarian). Looking back I can pinpoint some of my gnarliest acute (1-5 days) food-triggered flares to meals containing lentils, beans or brown rice. Ouch. Lentils cause me  seriously painful  small bowel obstructions that make me puke lentil-poop. I wont ever touch a lentil again. Anyways, say something happy.... I love juice! Juicing everyday and especially on tender days when I cant eat much, it is pure vital life source. Exciting things in progress include creating a zine about my crohnie experiences, specifically hospitalizations and the mental f*ckery of living with a chronic illness. Level two of teacher training is just a handful of days away! It is at a retreat and Ive been able to communicate with the chef about my dietary needs and despite the raw-beany-seedy-high fibre ideals of yogi cuisine he is able to accommodate my paleo baby-food special-crohns-needs diet. Win. Trying not to stress about going into training with very tender guts- but I think the whole retreat atmosphere and getting away from my regular responsibilities to explore my passion is exactly what I need and not to be stressed about. Also some foodie farm trips around BC with my job are going down early this summer! Fun. Alright, officially ending this thought barf blog. See ya on the flipside.

Monday, 26 August 2013

paleo meals

The paleo/primal/caveman diet. Basically eating whole unprocessed foods like our great great great ancestors might have before the agricultural revolution. This means getting enthusiastic about meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit. On the flipside it is a big hell no to all processed/junk foods, ideally all dairy, sugar,all beans/legumes, and the big one (for me at least) NO GRAINS. Now I am a little skeptical about following strict "label" diets, but after years of tweaking my diet to manage the crohn, a  generous small bowel resection that posed new digestive challenges and nagging joint inflammation- this "paleo" diet just happens to be exactly where I've wound up.  These foods make me feel strongest, keep my bowel movements healthy and slow (shortgut problems!) and maybe Im just imagining it but Im feeling beastly strong.... 
So in short, paleo is PLANTS (so many! lots of greens! lots of berries!) PROTEIN (animal)  FAT (nuts, olives/oil, coconut oil, avocado, nut butters, say it with me NUT BUTTER)
So , some meaty plant heavy meals as of late:

bacon salad
Big deluxe dinner salads! This was backyard lettuces, sunflower sprouts, rainbow cherry tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, and happy pig bacon!

you cant tell but theres a massive pile of broccoli in there!
White fish filet cooked in gluten free tamari and coconut oil with stir fried veggies- broccoli, kale, onion, snow peas, green onion, ginger. Finished with  a squirt of lemon. So so yummy and satisfying and feels much better to load up on broccoli than rice!

my fave, butter lettuce wraps
Salmon salad in butterleaf wraps!  I mixed all kinds of goodies into the salmon- pickles, radish, tomatoe, sprouts, mustard... 

So theres alot of info out there about paleo as a great weight loss/ muscle building athlete diet which is cool but not the draw for me. There is also some pretty cool research and stories out there about the paleo diet slowing/stopping/reversing autoimmune diseases (oh hey thats me!). I'll keep fighting the fight so long as its delicious ;)

Friday, 16 August 2013

summer dinners

I've been feeling pretty *on* when it comes to nailing down exactly what Im craving/what my body wants since Ive given up the grains. I think all the rice flour products were messing with my hormones or something, I feel way less emotional about food and more grounded. Aaaahhh what a nice feeling. 
Tonights dinner was the bomb! Yesterday I randomly realized I had all the stuff to make this mint-pea soup from Jamie Olivers food revolution so I took my maiden voyage into pea soup! It started the way all good soups start, sauteeing some chopped carrots, onions, celery and garlic in a little olive oil and salt. Once softened I added my last bit of homemade chicken stock and brought it up to a boil (then went to my garden to pick a bunch of mint). Added a generous cup or two of frozen peas which took only moments to soften up then blend it all up with the mint. Once blended I realized I had a golden opportunity to blend some deep greens (one of my favorite things to do, naturally) so I went back to the garden for some kale and blended it in for a good dose of greens in my dinner. Yesterday I ate it with a dollop of goat cheese and some fried garden zucchini but tonights leftover re-appropration was so. damn. good. Jamie suggests eating it with fries to dip in the soup so I went ahead and prepared some home-fries (new potatoes quarterted, steamed then pan fried with garden herbs). I also brought home the bacon, literally. I have a great hookup for the best bacon, from happy well cared for pigs owned by friends of mine, so I indulge here and there. Chopped and fried a couple pieces of bacon to sprinkle in my soup. mmm mmmm. I highly recommend trying this! 

A simple fritatta with a base of sweet potatoes, loaded with arugula and topped with a bit of fresh tomato, served with a huge blob of homemade dairy free walnut pesto. Yum yum.

This one, also good. Loosely inspired by the nicoise salad. Baby lettuce (from my garden!), steamed new potatoes, cherry tomatoes, olives,  roasted chicken thigh, pesto and cashew cheese. Daaaaaang. 

Really loving being able to eat out of my backyard! My roomates and I all did a little project back there so we have a pretty fun eclectic little ramshackle garden space- loaded with zucchini, lettuces, kale, lots of herbs, arugula, strawberries (ok so Ive only gotten a handful of berries but its always a fun surprise to find a little red jewel and eat it right off the plant!), carrots, beets, beans and- a sunflower!!! Im really proud of my sunflower :) And lilies. Im really excited to harvest my carrots and beets and apples from our tree so I can make juice entirely from the yard. 

Coming soon, chicken stock via skype ;)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

more stops on the grain-free train

Ok so there might be something to this grain free/paleo thing. Ive been intentionally choosing to avoid them for a few weeks now and its hard to put my finger on but I feel different. I feel solid and calm, and  its even taken the edge off my sorry joints (excited to see if that gets better the longer I stick to it). I finished my last little bundle of rice soba noodles after days and days of sticking to it and felt a notable unfriendly change in my digestive process. Ha, suspicions confirmed! 
my version of the cauliflower pizza
So my most recent experiment in creating grain free versions of my favorite meals- cauliflower pizza! This shit is all over the internet and there are a few different methods and tweaks to all of them, but I distilled it to the basic elements and got one fine veggie pie! 

I dont measure so these are my eyeball guesstimates, and also, I cook for one single little bunny so I err on the small side of everything

-1 small head cauliflower- proccessed into small rice-sized bits used a grater or food processor- then cooked at med heat in fry pan with a bit of olive oil till soft and slightly translucent (3-5 min, dont let it get brown/crispy) 
-very important step- you need to get some of the liquid out of the cauliflower- you can press it in a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth  or nut milk bag or paper towel (I used a strainer) you may not feel like you are getting much liquid out but it makes a big difference in the final dough!

-in a mixing bowl beat together 1 egg and about 1/2 cup mozza (I used the goat variety)  (for a larger pie use 2-3 eggs and 1 cup or more mozza) add any fresh or dried herbs you like and a teaspoon or so of olive oil

- add cauliflower to egg/cheese/herb mix and combine to form your dough

-spread dough out evenly on parchment and bake @ 350 for 15-20 mins till slightly brown/bubbly, add toppings and bake another 5-15 min (I just used pesto, a few tender backyard greens and olives so I just put it in for another 5 min as I just wanted it a little wilty) - have fun with toppings- always a good idea to sautee things like peppers, mushrooms, onions ect before adding to pizza!

And another favorite, broccoli noodle stir fry! made with all zuchinni noodles! I add my noodles to the stir fry to cook as my guts dont deal well with raw zuchinni. This lovely little summer sunday dinner was shitake mushroom, broccoli, red onion and yellow zuchinni noodles in a garlic-ginger-miso-almond sauce.


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

hippie muffins and denial

blueberry banana coconut muffins, so much butter and mystery tea
 Even more comfort food (notice a trend....) I've got a lot on my mind these days. Before I get to that I'll tell you about these little wonders. Grain free blueberry coconut muffins! So my eating less grains experiment came about after too many baking binges and feeling like even though Ive been working gluten free, all the rice/oat/assorted gf flours may be contributing to inflammation and irritation in my tender lil guts. This leads to an interest in the paleo diet but given my aversion to strict rules Im sticking with weaning-experiment approach for now. But grain free or not, this bunny neeeeds to bake. Its in my DNA. My ancestors made cookies. And muffins. And so shall I.
I use   most often for my paleo baking endeavours but check out this banana bread from hungry hungry hippie. I had a tiny bit more almond flour left after measuring it for this recipe so I just added it and thus began the transition from banana bread to blueberry muffins :) I added a bit of coconut flour as well, coconut chips instead of oats, handful of blueberries, coconut sugar instead of stevia, a bit of lemon juice and enough mylk to make it like unto muffin batter (my ancestors would be proud).  Bake in a muffin pan  instead of a loaf pan and cooked it for 10 min less than she calls for. Boom. Muffins.Yum. As you see in the pic I ate two, then three and called it dinner. Maybe nows a good time to introduce denial. 
happy as a peach on a beach
I keep meaning to write posts (and eventually I will...)  about my road trip fun but heres just a snap to take you there. It was a great little burst of silly fun and  sunshine beaches and yummy food and time to relax and reflect :) I brought a bit of that fresh perspective home but with all that time to think I'm starting to feel a little screwed about the crohnularism. I have this doc appt. in less than 2 weeks that Ive just been ignoring for the few months after the last visit terrified the bejeebus out of me with her crazy drugs. I dont know if Im bad at talking to doctors in general or just cant talk to this particular one but I'm sooo not ready for that calibre of medication. Last I saw her I was in total fight-or-flight mode (and flyyyyyying outta there!) barely able to say a word both because Im trying not cry and shes in a rush- shoving me out with a bunch of prescriptions and bloodwork (neither which I have followed through on) and a nice "glad-you-liked-our-talk-lets-hope-you-dont-get-cancer-or-life-threatening-infections-once-we-bomb-and-poison-your-immune-system" smile. Yeah and my follow up is in two weeks. Ok so Ill go get the bloodwork done but it wont matter much since Im not taking the  meds..... I have a few ideas I want to run by her and we're gunna do some looking inside which is always a good reality check but geeze, I just hope I can say what I have to say and dont choke :(  What can I say, I kinda suck at being a sicko. I'd rather make almond butter cookies.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

dinners lately (and mooooore juice!)

Ive been doing good lately with my eating less grains experiment but I caved for noodles the other day. There have been lots of tasty trials with kelp and zuchinni noodles but nothing beats these pumpkin ginger brown rice noodles. I made a deal with myself that I would balance the grain load with tons of greens! Including my very fave broccolini and tons of my backyard greens (mostly kale, arugula, spinach and parsley). And shittakes, I dont like alot of mushroomy things but damn I love me some shittake.  The sauce was probably some kind of miso tamari tahini thing but I don't remember exactly. Friggin delicious. 

oh hey its vegan!
The other day I had a hankering for pizza but  wanted to avoid anything grain based including  my usual go-to  gluten free frozen crust  or rice tortilla  for pizza so I came up with this dish. It was maybe like a ratatouille? Bottom layer-  lightly sauteed round summer squash slices, a super thick herb cashew cheese (soaked cashews blended with backyard herbs, lemon, garlic, salt) big fresh beefsteak tomato slices, sundried black olives and lots of fresh chopped basil. It required a fork and knife but was a seriously yummy pizza mess!

not vegan! 
And some total Sunday night comfort food. Roasted organic chicken thigh (because thighs are cheap and tasty!), steamed broccolini with this crazy good bone marrow-shallot butter from work and a roasted yam and baby potatoes (if this were breakfast I'd call those hash browns). I know a lot of people think chicken is boring but it is so easy and safe for my crohnie guts so sometimes boring food means safe food. Also Im still not great at cooking meat but Ive figured out some tasty and easy ways to roast chicken so its my default for meat night.

juice makes me so happy!

So those are dinners lately, and just for kicks Ill sign off with more green juice! Love love love  this vibrant medicine!

Friday, 12 July 2013


Going on a long weekend roadtrip! In an effort to clean out the fridge of perishables I made these two super beautiful juices busting with life. You know youre a health foodie when you consider this sort of activity great fun :) Hoping this XL dose of liquid veggie love will get me and guts there and beyond in good shape. See you on the other side!