Sunday, May 26, 2013

Picnic salads, ACD-friendly

"Be off with you, husky boy."

Allergy season is no cakewalk for those with allergies but what if you throw fibromyalgia into the mix? The majority of fibromyalgia (FMS) sufferers have classic allergy symptoms, including runny nose, itchy eyes and congestion. They also have widespread, chronic pain in their muscles, tendons and ligaments, and many other symptoms.

Seasonal allergies seem to magnify the symptoms of FMS.  On bad allergy days, your pain may be worse; your digestive system may be more off kilter; and you may have less energy. Why? My theory is allergies cause inflammation in your body which simply adds to the load your body is already bearing.   

Here are some things I do as an FMS sufferer to reduce the affect of seasonal allergies on my other symptoms:
  • Taking my allergy medication is part of my daily routine. Tip: You may have to try several medications before finding the right one that works for you as FMS sufferers tend to be sensitive to medication.
  • I eat a clean diet, sometimes opting for organic fruits and veggies if possible.  Don’t venture into the unknown and try foods that may trigger symptoms. Many with FMS also have food sensitivities which are constantly shifting. This means new food sensitivities may appear at any time.
  • Getting plenty of sleep is at the top of my list. Sleep deprivation is not good for anyone’s immune system.
  • Stress can worsen FMS symptoms and allergies.
  • Exercise boosts my endorphins. I try to do something every day.

"Is there something you don't understand about, 'back off!'"

Memorial Day weekend seems like the perfect time to enjoy salads. There's nothing like a nice potato salad but you have to get creative to satisfy a craving when you are living with candida. I subbed rutabaga for potatoes and cooked up my own healthy version.
Rutabaga Kale Salad
Here's what you need for Rutabaga Kale Salad for Two:
(ACD-Phase 1 and up)
1 rutabaga, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 diced red onion
4 stalks of kale, leaves removed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
mixed greens
Dressing: juice of one lemon, drizzle of olive oil, 1 T. apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, dash of herbs de provence
Rutabaga kale salad is a good sub for potato salad
Here's what you do:
Steam diced rutabaga until tender (about 15-20 minutes). Cool in ice water or place in fridge to cool. Chop other veggies. (Note: additional veggies may be steamed slightly or added raw to the salad.) Prepare dressing by mixing ingredients in a small container. Put everything (reserve mixed greens) in a large bowl and toss. Place in the fridge to chill. Serve on a bed of mixed greens.
Raw butternut squash salad
Try this Raw Butternut Squash Slaw if you want a hearty and filling salad. Warning: Don't go whole hog on this salad if you have a digestive disorder. It's addictive because of all the delicious flavors but I limited myself to one serving, and left the rest for others with heartier digestive systems than mine.
Here's what you need for 5-6 servings:
(Suitable for ACD-Phase 2 and up. Omit the pear for ACD-Phase 1)
2 cups raw butternut squash
2 zucchinis
1/2 head radicchio
1 carrot
4 green onions
1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 pear, unpeeled
mixed greens
For the dressing: 2 T. seed or nut butter, juice of one lime, 2-4 T. water, 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. coriander, 1/2 tsp. ginger
Raw butternut squash salad keeps well in fridge
Here's what you do:
Use your food processor to grate the butternut squash, carrot, zucchinis, pear, and cranberries. Dice the green onions and chop the radicchio into fine pieces. Mix up the dressing in a Magic Bullet or small food processor. Add more water if necessary to thin.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Chill in the fridge. Note: This  salad will be tastier the next day. It holds for 3-4 days.
Serve on a bed of mixed greens.

For your dessert, try a PB&J Sundae. Get the recipe here:
"Do you think we'd better wash up before the picnic?"
Recipes contributed to:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

PB&J Ice Cream Sundaes

PB&J (Sunbutter and Strawberry) Ice Cream Sundae
My favorite recipes are simple-to-make, have few ingredients and taste delicious. A windy, blustery day for some reason called for a super, simple ice cream sundae. I'm not going to even try to figure that one out. I just went with the craving and enjoyed my Peanut Butter and Jelly (A.K.A. Sunbutter and Strawberry) Ice Cream Sundae. It's suitable for ACD-Phase 2 and up but can be modified for Phase 1 if pear is omitted.

Here's what you need for 4-6 servings:

1 can full-fat coconut milk (I used Natural Value Natural Coconut Milk. It comes in BPA-free can and nothing is added. It can be ordered from Amazon.); reserve a bit for coconut cream topping.
Optional: Sub plain yogurt (vegan or other) for 1/2 of the coconut milk. It will give the ice cream a tangy flavor.
1/4 cup unsweetened sunflower seed butter or peanut butter (not ACD legal) if you can tolerate. Be sure and use the kind with no starches or sugars added.
1 large ripe pear (frozen, no need to peel)
1-2 cups organic strawberries (frozen or fresh), pureed
Sweetener, to taste
That's five ingredients!

Here's what you do:

  • Early prep if you want instant ice cream: Freeze one large ripe, unpeeled pear ahead of time. Freeze the coconut milk in silicon ice-cube trays.
  • In your food processor, blend until smooth the coconut milk or half coconut milk/half yogurt with sunbutter or peanut butter if tolerated, frozen pear and sweetener of choice. (I have been going sweetener free and it still tastes yummy.)
  • Your ice cream is ready to eat at this point if you did the advance prep. If not, transfer the ice cream to another container and place in the freezer until firmed up. Or place in an ice cream freezer and follow directions to make ice cream.
  • In the meantime, puree the strawberries.
  • To serve, alternate layers of ice cream and strawberry puree in fancy parfait glasses or not-so-fancy 4-ounce canning jars.

Yes, I made two versions--fancy and plain old mason jar! They were both delicious.

Recipe contributed to:
 My cat, Bailey, loves being brushed. Don't ask me why but he prefers a human brush.

Do you think he's enjoying it?


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fruit or veggie radicchio wraps

I've always been afraid of snakes. It started when I grew up in southern California where rattlesnakes were just apart of the desert landscape. They'd slither across the trail when I was hiking, or jump down from a cliff right in front of me. I'd scream louder than anyone, and my heart would keep racing for an eternity after one of these snake encounters.

 Later, as an adult, I lived in Thailand for one year, and the ground was practically moving with snakes. There were poisonous varieties of all kinds, including cobras and King Cobras. My screams probably could have been heard for miles the day one of these lovelies appeared in my house in Ubon, Thailand. I hurled every shoe I could find at the unwelcome guest until it finally left. For weeks, I could hardly sleep because I worried it would return and crawl into bed with me.

My kids call me the "snake whisperer" because if there is a snake around it will find me. Snakes find me when I'm backpacking, day hiking, mountain biking, running, walking or gardening. It doesn't matter what I'm doing; they find me. It's hardly a distinction but I guess I'm a human, snake magnet.

Recently, snakes have been finding me when I take my dogs to their "play area" outside our house. Yes, this is the same play area where I've taken my pups to romp since last September with no snake encounters. But the snakes have awakened and decided they like our play area too! In the past eight days, I have dealt  three times with hissing, coiled rattlesnakes and curious, not-so-bright dogs.

 "Don't they want to play?" My malamute, Nika, has no brains when it comes to snakes.

Husky boy, Misha, is a little brighter and more willing to stay back. Fortunately, both dogs have learned the command "leave it," and our snake experiences have ended with no harm to dog or snake.

Well, that was until today. Bailey, another husky, was over for a play date with Misha and Nika. The dogs were romping around and enjoying themselves when Mr. Rattlesnake decided to make an appearance. At the same time I corralled the dogs, I speed-dialed my husband who was inside the house and asked for immediate assistance. Let's just say, the dogs were safe but Mr. Snake met an untimely end.

This snake chapter is closed but with my snake charming past, I know it's only a matter of time until another crawling reptile comes visiting.

Fruit with sunbutter sauce in radicchio wrapper

If you are a radicchio fan like me, you will love this week's recipe. I love the spicy flavor, as well as vibrant color, of radicchio.

Fruit radicchio wrap

Radicchio's flavor and texture pair well with fruit.

Here's what you need to make fruit radicchio wraps:
(These are ACD-Phase 2 and up. Reduce the amount of fruit to modify for Phase 1.)

2 or 3 radicchio leaves
1 cup of mixed fruit, such as strawberries, apple slices, peach slices, blueberries, blackberries, pineapple
Note: Fresh or frozen may be used.
1 T. sunbutter mixed with 1-2 T. coconut milk (Note: Other nut or seed butters may be used.)
1/2 avocado, mashed
Optional: vegan or other yogurt for topping

Here's what you do:

Carefully pull off 2 or 3 leaves from a head of radicchio. Wash and dry the leaves. Prepare fruit of choice by dicing into small pieces. Mash 1/2 of an avocado with a fork. Mix 1 T. unsweetened sunbutter with coconut milk. To prepare wraps, evenly divide avocado mash between leaves. Next, spoon fruit into each leaf. Finally, top with sunbutter drizzle or yogurt.

Veggie radicchio wrap
Radicchio also pairs well with avocado and veggies.

Here's what you need for a veggie radicchio wrap:

2-3 radicchio leaves
1/2 avocado, mashed
1-2 cups veggies, grated, or sliced into matchstick pieces (beets, carrot, cucumber, zucchini)
1 T. raw sunflower seeds for garnish
Optional: avocado topping made by blending 1/2 avocado with juice of one lime and drizzle of water, salt and pepper)

Here's what you do:

Divide the ingredients evenly between radicchio leaves. Finish with avocado dressing and sprinkle of sunflower seeds.

Recipe contributed to:

"I'll become the new grumpy cat if I don't get some treats."


Friday, May 10, 2013

Key Lime Pie Breakfast Parfait with Grain-free Crumble Topping

My fur kids plus one adoptee
Mom's Day is coming up, and I think I have the best fur kids! (My human kids are pretty good too!) I even have an adopted fur kid (Bailey, the husky, in foreground). Do you think they'll give me a big slup for Mother's Day?

Persimmon breakfast parfait with grain-free crumble topping
One gift you can give yourself for Mother's Day is taking better care of your digestive system. You could spend big bucks on jewelry or chocolates but you can't put a price on good health, which starts with your digestive system.

Sixty percent or more of your body's immunity is in your digestive tract. (I put that in boldface because I don't think most people realize this.) You may not have candida or other digestive disorders but even so, it's likely you don't have enough beneficial bacteria (BB) in your gut. BB helps keep your immune system strong.

You can take probiotic capsules or eat yogurt to get your BB numbers up. In my case, I take probiotics and eat yogurt too because I have a comprised digestive tract. I found that taking probiotics alone was not enough. With the addition of yogurt, I am getting well faster.

These days there are plenty of options for yogurt, even for vegans. Just make sure you skip the sweetened varieties, especially if you are recovering from candida or other digestive problem.

You can make your own yogurt as I do. Here are two links to get you started:

Key Lime Pie Breakfast Parfait with Grain-Free Crumble Topping

How about a Key Lime Pie Breakfast Parfait with lots of yogurt for mom’s special day? Or try making a Breakfast Parfait with Persimmon. Or make both! It will give you or her a boost of beneficial bacteria and tastes great too. Both recipes are ACD-Phase 2 with options for Phase 1.

 Here’s what you need for two servings of the Key Lime Pie:

 1 cup plain coconut milk yogurt or other yogurt

1 avocado

1 frozen pear (no need to peel)

Juice of two limes

Optional toppings: 1 cup grain-free crumble topping; recipe here: 
 coconut flakes, blueberries

Sweetener of your choice, to taste. (Note: I omitted all sweeteners and found both parfaits delicious but it all depends on your taste buds.)

For Phase 1: eliminate the pear and use coconut milk sparingly to get the desired thickness. Or make your own yogurt that is either vegan or lactose free.


Make Mom's parfait with persimmon. Simply, toss in one chopped up frozen persimmon.
Skip the persimmon version if you are in ACD-Phase 1.
Here’s what you do:

First make the grain-free crumble topping. You will have extra that you can store in the freezer.
(Note: you don't have to soak the sunflower seeds to save time. Just grind the seeds into flour in your coffee grinder. You also can sub squash puree for the applesauce and omit the stevia.)

Find two fancy glass dessert dishes. Glass containers will show off the layers in this recipe.

In a food processor, blend the yogurt, avocado, lime juice and pear until smooth and creamy. Toss in the persimmon if doing the persimmon version. Firm up both versions slightly by placing them in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.

Assemble the parfaits. Start with a thin layer of grain-free crumble. Then spoon on half the yogurt mixture. Finish with more crumble, coconut flakes and blueberries.

Key Lime Pie Parfait
Get more ideas for Mom's Day here:






Sunday, May 5, 2013

Avocado berry sorbet, ACD-friendly

Avocado berry sorbet, ACD-friendly

I am a sunflower seed butter (A.K.A. sunbutter) lover, just in case you couldn't tell by perusing the recipes in my blog. Recently, I read that most commercially-prepared seed and nut butters contain starch as the seeds or nuts are roasted in a starch coating. That gave me pause for concern as I usually buy my sunbutter. AND I am avoiding starch like the plague.

I decided to do some digging on my two favorite brands, MaraNatha and SunButter. Both brands listed nothing but sunflower seeds and salt on the ingredients' labels. I wanted to make doubly sure so I contacted both companies to verify that there weren't some hidden ingredients. In both cases, I was told the products do not contain starch. I purchase the unsweetened sunbutter.

You never can be too careful, especially when you have a chronic problem, like candida, food sensitivities or digestive issues. If you are unsure of your brand, simply contact the company or make your own. Here is my recipe for homemade sunbutter:

Finally, a sorbet I can eat!

It's finally warm enough to start craving something cool, creamy and frozen, like sorbet, ACD-style, and made with avocado, berries and pear. There is no need for an ice cream freezer with this sorbet as long as you use frozen fruit.

Here's what your need for 4 small servings or two generous ones:
ACD-phase 2, 3, maintenance

 Flesh of one avocado
1 cup frozen berries of your choice (I used blackberries.)
1 frozen Bartlett pear (no need to peel)
1 cup vegan or other plain yogurt
Optional: 1 T. sunbutter or other seed or nut butter, unsweetened and starch-free
Topping: 1 T. melted coconut butter

Here's what you do:

Put everything into a food processor and blend until smooth, creamy and deliciously frozen. To serve, top with some additional berries and a drizzle of melted coconut butter. Note: For a Phase 1 version, omit the pear and use unsweetened coconut milk in place of yogurt.

"Can you believe how Mom just tossed her bike clothes here?"

Recipe contributed to: