Archive for the ‘Dairy free’ Category

It all started almost two years ago when my boyfriend Matt and I moved to Vancouver, BC so I could go back to school.

Within 1 month of moving into an apartment in Burnaby, I had developed a really bad rash around my eyes and on my cheeks, forehead, lip and arms. I also got small scabs all over my scalp that were really itchy. I started getting really bad allergic reactions to everything, or so it seemed like. My eyes would water and itch and my eyes and face would swell up sometimes.

face rash 4    face rash 5    arm rash

I started seeing a doctor in Vancouver but it was at a walk in clinic so I pretty well saw someone new every time. I started experimenting with cutting out gluten and dairy from my diet, as I suspected food allergies. Eventually I had an allergy test and was allergic to mold, dust, smoke, and some grasses and trees. I was also allergic to rice which I was coincidentally eating a lot more of because of going gluten free. That is when I started to suspect leaky gut because it appeared that I was becoming allergic to whatever I ate a lot of.

So of course I cut rice out of my diet and within 24 hours my rash cleared up almost completely. I started to feel relieved because I thought the problem was solved.

2 days no rice

Sadly, within a few days the rash came rushing back. At this point I started reading about the paleo diet. I read Wheat Belly and The Paleo Solution and started experimenting even more with my diet.

I was starting to feel quite sick despite my dietary efforts and was often tired and out of it from taking so much benedryl for the allergic reactions. My school was suffering and I was getting stressed out.

I forget exactly how it happened but one day we were looking around in the kitchen and we moved a couple paint cans that were stacked up underneath the sink (which we had never moved before since moving in). They were literally sinking into the floor from water damage. Apparently the water had been leaking through the counter underneath for a long time, probably long before we moved in. We moved all the paint cans out and it became clear that there was a serious mold problem.

mold     mold

We immediately notified the landlord of the mold infestation. They had someone fix the leak and offered to have him come back to rip everything out from under the sink and fix it. We didn’t think that was a good idea while we were still living there so requested that we be let out of the lease.

Meanwhile, I got a doctors note to take 6 months off school and started seeing a naturopath in Vancouver. I had some tests done which determined I had multiple food and chemical intolerances/sensitivities including food colors/additives, MSG, Aspartame, yeast, beer and wine, all dairy products and most grains (particularly wheat), red meat, some nuts and a few random fruits and vegetables.

Other tests also suggested my body was experiencing systemic candida and fungal infection, gut disbiosis (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth – SIBO), leaky gut, blood sugar issues, digestive difficulties with breaking down food, compromised routes of elimination (which was why everything was coming out through my skin).

The naturopath immediately gave me anti candida supplements as well as detox support and suggested I follow the candida diet and look into alternative diets such as SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) or paleo.

We moved out within a month and came back to the Yukon. I continued doing more and more reading and research on the candida/SCD/paleo diets and tried out a lot of recipes. I was still experiencing the rash and allergic reactions even with being out of the mold.

swollen face and rash     swollen eye

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I knew my body was in seriously rough shape and I needed to make some major changes. I had to stop taking benedryl even when I needed it as it rendered me useless and actually made me feel really agitated.

I saw another naturopath in the Yukon and started another candida cleanse. It definitely helped a bit but even after the month I still had the rash! Throughout the last year and some I have continued to educate myself and experiment with variations and combinations of the paleo, Whole 30, SCD, GAPS, FODMAPs, Autoimmune paleo and candida diets. On most days I am essentially 100% gluten free and 80% paleo or some variation of it.

Since we got back to the Yukon almost two years ago, my health has come a long way and my rash and allergies have cleared up a lot but I still have to maintain a strict diet or my rash will come back within a day or two. Although now when I get it, it is usually only on my cheeks.

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I am still very sensitive to chemicals and scents, I have a lot of digestive issues, allergies, and food sensitivities. I absolutely know it was because of the mold because I had none of these problems before I went there.

I believe I may have been susceptible to feel such great effect from the mold because of eating so much processed, packaged and refined foods for most of my life before this. I may have paved the way to it happening, but the mold exposure sent my body and particularly my immune system off the deep end. Here I am almost 2 years later still dealing with it.

One good thing that has come out of all this is that I have become really passionate about eating and living naturally healthy. If it weren’t for everything that happened, I probably would never have started this blog in hopes that I might be able to help others out there going through the same thing as me…

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cacao_protein_balls

This started as one of those ‘how do I start using up all the food I have in my cupboards’ kind of situations. I had lots of cacao powder and Sunwarrior raw vegan protein powder, among other things.

They are incredibly easy to make, and I found them best served frozen or chilled otherwise they get a bit soft.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup raw almond butter
1 tbsp organic cold pressed coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp raw honey
5 medjool dates, de-pitted
1/4 + 1/8 cup raw cacao powder + extra for coating
1/4 + 1/8 cup raw Vanilla Sunwarrior protein powder
2 tsp raw maca powder

Directions:

In a food processor, mix all ingredients until smooth. If they are a bit too wet to roll, you could add more protein or cacao powder. And if they are too dry, add a bit of extra honey or coconut oil!

Roll into small balls and coat with extra cacao powder.

Freeze and eat frozen or chilled.

Boom.

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I always hear of people using a portobello mushroom as a vegetarian burger patty. It only seems appropriate to try it as the bun with a beef burger! Paleo style.

I also figured that adding homemade guacamole and nitrate free bacon would make it double awesome, and I was right.

I’ll give the ingredients for 1 burger so multiply as you wish!

Ingredients:

2 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1 all natural gluten free beef burger patty
2-3 slices tomato
2-3 slices nitrate free bacon, cooked
A healthy serving of homemade guacamole
a few rings of sliced red onion

Instructions:

BBQ both the portobello mushrooms (with stems removed) face down, as well as the burger patty. I found they take about the same amount of time, but keep an eye on the mushrooms and take them off when they suit your liking.

While those are on the BBQ, fry the bacon, prepare the homemade guacamole and slice the tomato and red onion.

Pile your mushroom high with your burger patty, bacon, sliced tomato, guacamole and red onion. Top with the other mushroom. Eat it like a regular burger, if you can fit it in your mouth!

You could try this with any other paleo friendly toppings too.

guac

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this before because this is one of my oldest recipes of all time! Since I came up with it, I have been making it at least once a week. It’s a classic.

Ingredients:

2-3 ripe avocados
1/3 cup chopped tomato
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 minced garlic clove
juice of 1/2 lemon
himalayan salt to taste
minced chives (optional)

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together in a food processor or put everything in a large bowl mash with a fork until you achieve the consistency you desire! Serve right away and top with minced chives (optional).

I like this dish served with paleo lettuce tacos, portobelllo mushroom burgers, and lettuce BLTs. And lets just be honest here, this shit is good with pretty much anything!

Enjoy 🙂

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First off, I have to say how sorry I am about slackin’ hard in the blog post department! Life gets so crazy sometimes, and important things get put on the back burner.

I think this recipe and the next (paleo portobello mushroom burger) will make up for my slacking! So, here we go.

I’m actually quite enjoying typing this out on my new bluetooth iPad keyboard. Now I can sit on the couch and watch shows while I post new recipes. No more excuses Tara! Today its Kitchen Nightmares. Man, these restaurant owners are unbelievable.

Now, onto the most important part… food!

The measurements I am giving here are based on one serving of salad, but the dressing makes enough for 3+ servings, so increase measurements for salad and dressing as needed.

Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups organic field greens and/or spinach
1 small tomato
1/4 cucumber
1 small avocado
2 tbsp red onion
3 slices bacon
1 small chicken breast

Directions:

Bake or fry your chicken breast until fully cooked. Fry bacon, dry on paper towel, crumble and set aside.

Chop tomato, cucumber, red onion and avocado as well as cooked chicken.

Fill large bowl with greens, chopped vegetables, chicken and crumbled bacon.

Dressing

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1 tbsp organic gluten free mustard
1 tbsp honey (unpasteurized)
salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small blender or food processor and blend until fully mixed. You can also use a small whisk in a bowl.

Pour as much dressing as you like over the salad and serve!

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Lately I have been on a lettuce taco kick and what better to top it off with than some fresh homemade salsa and guacamole!

Ingredients:

2 finely diced large tomatoes
1/8-1/4 cup finely diced white onion
1 tbsp finely diced fresh jalapeno pepper
3 finely diced garlic cloves
juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp sriracha
1/8 cup fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Finely dice and mix everything together. Lasts in the fridge for a week or so.

paleo chicken bacon soup

It feels like I haven’t posted for so long! Oh right, that is because I haven’t.

I actually came up with this recipe a long time ago, and had posted it on my facebook page before I had a blog. I went back and tried it and figured, why not post it now? It’s delicious!

One thing I tried differently this time was I added parsnips. This seemed strange to me at first, but I had seen it done online in a few other paleo chicken soup recipes. Why the hell not.

I would highly recommend using Chicken Bone Broth for the stock. It has all kinds of health benefits! Plus… its the bomb!

Ingredients:

7 cups chicken bone broth
6 chicken breasts
6-8 pieces of bacon
2 tbsp bacon fat
1 large white onion
4 garlic cloves
4 parsnips
6 large carrots
6 stocks celery
2 cups spinach
1 stock green onions
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

Directions:

If you are using chicken bone broth, you will want to start it 1-2 days before so you can slow cook it until you get all the good healthy stuff out of the bones!

Bake the chicken ahead of time, and cook until done. Also fry the bacon while the chicken is cooking and set aside. Save 2 tbsp of bacon fat. Yep, you heard right.

Put your bone broth in a large pot on the stove at medium-high heat. Peel and chop up your onion, garlic, parsnips, and carrots and add to the pot. Let boil for a bit until everything starts getting soft. Chop your celery and add it in along with the spinach, green onions, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper and let cook a bit longer until everything is soft. I find herbs can get intense pretty fast so I don’t use too much but feel free to add more basil and oregano.

Cut up your cooked chicken, crumble the bacon (if you haven’t eaten it all already. Ugh, I do that all the time) and add to the pot along with the bacon fat. Trust me, its delicious.

Serve right away or let cool and store in glass containers in the fridge for lunches!

seaksalad

Last week I was browsing the internet for paleo recipes and I came across a recipe for steak salad on the Health and Mojo website. I took some inspiration from this recipe and also made some changes and made it my own.

The salad recipe makes one serving, but the sauce recipe makes enough for roughly 4 salads so you can keep making them throughout the week! I fried up 4 wild deer chops so I would have leftovers for a few more salads too.

You could use any type of wild game, or even beef for this recipe.

Steak Salad


Ingredients: 

3 cups organic field greens
1/8 cup diced cucumber
2 tbsp finely diced red onion
1 small avocado, peeled and diced
1/4 cup diced tomato
1 steak, cooked (wild game or beef)
4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
chives, finely diced

Directions:

Fry up the steak while you are cutting the veggies and preparing the salad. Also fry the bacon and then dry and crumble it. Blend up your sauce when everything is almost done and serve immediately.

Garlic Herb Dressing


Ingredients:

1/3 cup olive oil
1 egg
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove
1 tsp organic, gluten free dijon mustard (or 1/4 tsp ground mustard seed)
4-6 fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine everything in blender and mix until it starts to thicken up. Keeps in the fridge for a few days. Pour roughly 1/4 of the recipe on top of your salad. Sprinkle chives on top!

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Can you tell I like bacon? I make this recipe at least once a week. It is great as a main dish or a side dish!

Ingredients:

4 cups organic field greens (or any lettuce/greens mix of your choice)
1 small tomato
1 ripe avocado
2 tbsp diced red onion
1/2 garlic clove, minced
6 pieces cooked/crumbled bacon (as natural as you can find, preferably sugar free)
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Fill large bowl with field greens. Add diced tomato, avocado, red onion, garlic, and bacon bits. Mix together lemon juice, olive oil and salt/pepper. Pour over salad right before serving.

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The key to this smoothies success is good quality vanilla extract. I used an all natural, organically grown vanilla straight out of Mexico!

Ingredients:

1 banana
1 cup frozen mango
3 tbsp coconut milk (canned)
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup filtered water

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.