I met with my rheumatologist on Tuesday for my six month follow-up. I went in with a new symptom, stiff hands and feet in the morning. My feet are feeling like plantar fasciitis returned, especially after four hours on them for the Butch Walker concert Sunday. I have a bit of difficulty with my hands first thing in the morning, mostly with fine motor skills. Normally, I don’t do a lot upon waking so my fingers have time to loosen up. Trying to write with a pen first thing, not happening. We don’t know if it is weather related or not. She did feel the difference in my knuckles when she held my hands. I’m in tune with my body enough to pinpoint possible triggers to symptoms that come up. This one had me stumped. It was like when the Sjogren’s first became active. It was subtle, not in my face. It’s possible this is cold weather related. It’s possible it’s food related (I have been eating grains more than usual with all the pancake experiments and porridge trials).
Realizing it could be grains made me think that maybe it’s time to try the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) again. Or maybe I just need to go grain-free. Whichever I choose to do it means it’s time to put on my thinking-outside-the-box cap again. Wait, no. It’s still on my head. Living with multiple food allergies/sensitivities requires that you keep it on. I have to be able to change my dinner plans on the days I have allergy treatments in case I’m treated for something I planned. No oil tonight? Use bacon fat! No water? Use distilled water for soup! No grains? Use veggies! No yeast? Use citrus instead of vinegar for dressings. No sunflower seeds? Use pumpkin seeds! No citrus? Pineapple! By the way, I find it funny that I thought I was reacting to citrus earlier this year before my IgG and IgA results came back and it was really pineapple.
There is always another way to make something. Always. I’m not that great with coming up with my own baked goods recipes, but I have become great at figuring out main dishes, sides, dressings, and sauces without the star ingredient. This is out of necessity and it isn’t always easy.
If you are new to removing a particular food or food group(s) out of your diet, play. Get in the kitchen and play with your food. Find a blogger or bloggers who are more experienced and ask them questions. Most of us are more than happy to answer them because we were once in your shoes and we remember how it felt to flounder around not knowing which end was up. If you come across a blogger who won’t answer your question, move on to another one.
Dishes I like that might surprise you with what is missing:
Winter Hash – no eggs, no potatoes, no grains
Port Wine Cheese – no dairy
Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip – no dairy
Creamy Coriander Dressing – no eggs, no dairy, no yeast
Grain-Free Mediterranean “Bulgar” Salad – no grains, no yeast
Lola Kale Salad – no yeast
Sweet Beet Salad – no yeast
Eggless Egg Salad – no eggs, no dairy, no yeast
Steak Salad with Orange Fennel Dressing – no yeast
Flourless Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies – no grains, no eggs, no dairy, no yeast, no soy
Meyer Lemon Lavender Bars – no grains, no eggs, no soy, no dairy, no yeast
Raw Lavender Blueberry Bars – no grains, no dairy, no eggs, no soy, no yeast
Raw Peppermint Mocha Truffle Cake – no grains, no dairy, no eggs, no soy, no yeast
While this recipe isn’t about my crazy diet of multiple foods I can’t have, it is about using up things you have open in your pantry or fridge and produce that you need to use up. I did this before going on the AIP. I wanted to use up some open pasta, olives, and bacon while also using up some tomatoes and kale that needed to be used quickly. Most of the time I have leftovers for lunch. This particular day there were no leftovers in the fridge and I had too much writing going on to leave and have lunch out. I was so in love with this, I made it several more times over a few weeks always using what I had on hand. This original is pretty awesome though. I fix my bacon in the oven at 375° until it is done to my liking. Usually 15 – 20 minutes. Bacon is not required, but certainly adds to the awesomeness of this dish.
Kitchen Sink Pasta – serves 1
3 slices of bacon, cooked, rendered fat reserved
2 handfuls gluten-free pasta (I use Tinkyada)
1 handful grape tomatoes (or cherry, or handful of chopped tomato)
1 handful olives (I used black and kalamata)
4 kale leaves, stems removed, sliced (I used Lacinto kale)
pinch (or more) chili flakes
salt to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. It will take less time with so little being cooked, so keep an eye on it. Heat a large skillet over medium heat then add 2 teaspoons of the rendered bacon fat and coat the pan. Add olives, tomatoes, chili flakes, and salt. Add kale right before you add the pasta so you don’t over cook it. Spoon in some of the pasta water to the skillet to deglaze. Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Crumble bacon over the mixture and stir well. Remove from the heat and serve hot.