Gluten-Free Pizza!

Oh, the delicious agony of it all!

I’ve been craving something, but I didn’t  know what. I knew I wanted to eat something not terribly good for me, but not disgusting (Standard American/Canadian Diet).

Then I found this recipe and my heart melted. Yes, this is definitely what I wanted. Tomatoes, dairy, and an egg. All the things that make my eczema flare up. I knew if I made this I would suffer for it. But I’d rather cheat and have this then break down and go to McDonalds. Yuck.

I also modified this because I can’t seem to find a good source of pastured cream that doesn’t cost 9 million dollars, so I used the next best thing; sour cream that only has 3 ingredients: milk ingredients, bacterial culture, microbial enzymes. It’s actually by a company called Western and when my mom used to be a Natural Values manager at Loblaws, she went to visit the farm where this stuff is made. She vouched that the animals are very well cared for and it’s a really great product.

I copied and pasted  a lot of the instructions from The Domestic Man, (just so I can give credit where credit is due!)

Ingredients for the crust:

1 1/2 cups tapioca flour (it’s the same thing as tapioca starch)
1/4 cup of Western sour cream
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3/4 cup parmesan cheese (or any hard cheese), grated

1/2 cup of thick tomato paste
3/4 cup mozzarella or other soft cheese
toppings

In a saucepan, combine the sour cream, water, coconut oil, and salt and bring to a simmer on med/low heat. You want to get it to the point that it’s starting to bubble, but not boiling. In a large bowl, add the tapioca starch. When the cream/water mixture is heated, add it to the starch and stir it all together. It will start to clump together, which is fine. Let the mixture cool for five minutes. As it cools, set the broiler to 500F.

Add the beaten egg to the mixture, and knead together with your hands. Add the cheese, and oregano, and mix together until it’s dough-like. This is enough dough for two pizzas.

Split the dough in half, then stretch it out into the thinnest frisbee possible in the skillet, spreading to the edges of the skillet with your fingers. It will likely tear if you stretch it too far, so just pull it as far as you can. Try to get it as thin as possible – this is important so as to not make your crust too chewy. With a fork, poke some holes through the dough to let air pass through.

Broil in the middle of your oven for 5-6 minutes, until it’s golden brown on the top. Take it out and put it on your stove (keep the oven on!). The dough may bubble up a little while cooking, which is fine – it’ll go back down once you take it out of the oven.  This step is important because it gives the dough time to cook through without burning the toppings.

Add the tomato paste and toppings! Put back in the oven for 7-8 minutes, and maybe broil for another 2 minutes so the cheese on top browns up. For the picture below, I used hardwood smoked salami, spinach, olives, mushrooms and onions with mozzarella cheese. My eczema is already starting to flare up, but this was by far the best gluten-free pizza I’ve tried since going paleo and it was incredible. Next on the roster: a dairy/egg free version of this.

Bon apetit!

pizza1pizza2

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Milk Blisters Update

The milk blisters (as I’ve come to call them) have all but resolved. I have lots of peeling on my hands and feet, but the blisters themselves are gone and they don’t hurt anymore. Yay!

I had eggs twice over the weekend, and now I can confirm with certainty that I don’t tolerate eggs very well. My eczema flared up pretty bad and is still itchy 3 days later. Ugh. I love eggs, adore them, even. This definitely makes me sad. I also ate some gluten this weekend, which made me feel like junk. I really have to stop succumbing to being tired. I need to make myself a plan and actually stick to it. I need to make food for breakfast so I have something to eat at 6am besides a handful of cherries and some summer sausage. (Yikes, I know. I need more fat and protein.) I also need to plan out my dinners better. I’m not sure what the plan is yet, but I’m working on it. This whole working business keeps me busier than I thought it would.

Speaking of paleo, my husband begged me to make him paleo cereal. I was surprised, but I think he’s starting to feel self conscious about the weight he’s gained, and if I make him cereal than at least he’s making a step towards pale. Using lots of nuts, dehydrated fruit, and coconut flakes, I managed to make a really delicious cereal that he can enjoy that is paleo! I think it’s a good thing I’m following (or I will adhere more strictly to) the autoimmune protocol because after munching on the nuts while I made the cereal, I had the most nose-hair-curling farts. Positively diabolical. I had some macadamia nut butter today with the pad thai and I’ve been a bit gassy, but not stinking rancid, so that’s good. It could be the nuts or the 2 cloves of garlic I put in it. I love garlic.

This weekend we went over to my mother in law’s place. She made lunch for the kids, (decidedly un-paleo) and it was pretty good. However, as we were leaving she handed me a big bag (a white garbage bag) full of all the pasta that she had in her house that my father in law can no longer eat. I’ve told her more than a few times that we don’t eat this stuff anymore. I don’t understand why every time I see her she is surprised that I tell her I don’t eat gluten. I make the kids paleo lunches for school and try to keep the food they eat as paleo-friendly as I can. It’s hard though, because I can’t control what they eat when they’re visiting the grandparents (even though I’ve tried to tell them, no one listens.) Anyway, I’ll be giving all that pasta to the food shelter.

I haven’t done a blood test in almost 3 days and now I’m starting to get worried. I ran out of test strips and the pharmacist told me that I was testing too much and the insurance wouldn’t cover it. He told me that I would have to go and see my doctor to ask for a specific prescription even though he wrote “use as directed” on the original one. I explained this to the doctor’s office and they told me that the pharmacist could just request a new prescription by fax and my doctor would sign it. Well, if I had known it would have been that easy, I would have done it a lot sooner! Anyway, they got it today so I’ll pick it up when it’s filled. It freaks me out though, because I never know where I am in terms of my blood sugars being high or low, which affects how much insulin I take.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Take of yourself and keep it paleo!

My Autoimmune Protocol and Some Poop

When I went through Diane Philippo’s Practical Paleo, I never really thought to look at the autoimmune conditions meal plan. I was perusing through it again today, and I actually read through the conditions that it can help, and low and behold, type 1 diabetes is on it. It’s also on the blood sugar regulation meal plan. Things to avoid while on the autoimmune protocol: ALL DAIRY. Well shit. I wish I had looked at that sooner.

I also listened to The Paleo View’s latest podcast on autoimmunity today, and I learned so much. In fact, this has been a day of learning for me. I’ve also figured out a way to personalize a meal plan for myself.

First thing’s first, my fasting blood sugars have been perfect for 2 days in a row. Yesterday 4.7, today 4.6. This is awesome. I am being incredibly diligent with what I’m putting in my body and it’s finally paying off. I went as high as 9 yesterday, and while that’s not what I’m aiming for, it’s a lot better than the 20’s I was hitting a few weeks ago. I’ve also noticed that after eating just protein (like salmon or chicken), my blood sugars are highest about 4 hours after, instead of 1-2 hours after a meal that has carbohydrates (in the form of vegetables).

Obviously I have a violent reaction to raw milk, and most likely all milk. No more milk for me, or dairy. Obviously no wheat or gluten either. No nuts and seeds. No cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mustard, turnips, or rutabaga.

This seems a little strict at first, but I definitely think it’s worth it in the short term to tackle my health with some nutrient-dense, gut healing foods.

I also wanted to mention page 75 of Practical Paleo, which discusses poop. I have never had an ‘ideal’ poop. They are either ‘Ms Rocky’, or ‘Ms Runny’. I don’t poop everyday. If I’m lucky I poop every other day. Otherwise it could be every 2-3 days. This has always been the same whether I was vegan, vegetarian or now paleo. If I switch it up with my diet, I go more often, but then it tapers off again to this same routine.

I’ve discovered this is most likely due to my thyroid, which causes constipation. I’m really looking forward to focusing on eating for my thyroid health, which in turn will help with my diabetes and any other gut troubles I may be having.

We went out for sushi tonight. I ate a ton of sashimi and I brought my own wheat-free, GMO-free tamari sauce. My friend laughed at me. He thinks the best way to lose weight is to count calories and watch what you eat. He has no idea what it’s like to feel like your body is attacking itself. He tried to laugh at me about not even eating rice, which is ‘basically harmless and has little, if any, nutritional value’. I was like, exactly. Not only that, I explained to him that when I eat sushi, I have to give myself triple the amount of insulin to handle the sugar load. The white rice on its own spikes my blood sugars pretty high, but they also add sugar to that rice. If that’s what it’s doing to my body, that I can actually monitor with a glucose monitor, imagine what it’s doing to yours? No thanks. I’ll just stick with the sashimi. Speaking of which, I’ve always gravitated towards sushi, and salmon in particular, and I just discovered today that they are high in iodine, which is a key mineral for thyroid function. It’s interesting how many foods I am intuitively drawn to that just happen to be good for certain things like blood sugar control or thyroid health. Salmon, onions, garlic, eggs.

My sister told me today that she didn’t think the amount of bacon that I eat could possibly be healthy. I told her that I advertise a lot of bacon eating on facebook, but that I don’t actually eat as much as I talk about it. I haven’t had any in over a week. She replied with, “a whole week without bacon? gasp!”

I tried to show her the post that Diane Sanfilippo questioning whether bacon is a Health Food or Delicious Devil in Disguise. She told me that there was no way I could convince her that bacon is a superfood. It’s almost funny because she’s worrying about my health as seriously as I’m worrying about hers. She’s a long-time vegetarian, and I honestly doubt I’ll be able to change her mind. I’m concerned for her because she eats so often, yet is always hungry. Keeping in mind that we live across the country from each other and I haven’t lived near her in years. However, I still worry like crazy that she’s hurting herself without realizing. I think it’s almost comical that she’s worrying about me in the same way.

“how healthy do you really feel…?”

I responded with, “healthier than i have in a long time, blood sugars are regulating, lots of energy, weight loss, blood tests from the doctor are awesome, saturated fat is good for you, it’s not the devil it’s been made out to be, i’ve eliminated all processed foods from my diet, if you read the science behind it, you’ll understand, this is so healthy”

I know the mindset she’s in, and I know that if someone had tried to tell me about paleo a couple of years ago, I would have laughed in their face. I wish I had known about it sooner. In fact, I had just started eating a bit more meat and finally accepted that I was no longer a vegetarian. I looked up online “ideal human diet” and that’s what led me into the wonderful world of paleo. The science behind it works intuitively, and I know this is the right way to eat. Which is also the same thing I thought when I was a vegetarian. I want her to come around, but there’s no way I can force the issue. I’m hoping I can show her how delicious and healthy these foods are when she comes to visit in September.

Tomorrow I have to get up early to go my first meeting for work. I’m off to bed early tonight! I will post some recipes soon, I just need to make something with  more than 3 ingredients!

 

Agony

I am in agony today. The blisters on the palms of my hands are migrating to the top of my knuckles and they itch and hurt. The blisters on my feet are so tender that it hurts to stand up. I’m so frustrated. I don’t even know if Tylenol would help.

I wonder if benedryl would help, or if it’s even paleo.

This sucks.

Raw Goat Milk and Eczema

I’ve been reading a lot about the virtues of raw milk. I haven’t had milk since I was 16-years-old and decided to become a vegetarian. I had raw goat’s milk once when I was visiting my uncle in BC. It was so delicious. When I found the Ottawa Organic Farmer’s Market, I found some raw goat milk and couldn’t wait to try it.

It was delicious. It was creamy. It was everything I wanted it to be. Until I broke out. I thought I was getting a wart on my thumb last yesterday. I had had a glass of milk Saturday morning, and again last night before bed, not thinking anything of it.

Then I thought I was also getting a wart on my finger. Then my hand started to itch. And my feet. After I had the milk last night, I felt a bit queazy and the ithching got really bad.  The eczema on my arm flared up so bad that finally had use corticosteroid cream to relieve the itch.

When I woke up this morning, my hands and feet really hurt. I thought I was getting warts all over my hands, but luckily I think it’s just blisters. They hurt like blisters. Here are some pictures, I didn’t use any filters on them as I wanted them to be accurate, except for the foot one. I just got back from a barefoot walk (which felt so good on my itchy, blistered feet!) and I was hoping I could filter them enough to look clean. Obviously I was wrong, but you can still see the lumps.

                  

 

Anyway, looks like dairy is out for me. Which is a damn shame since it tastes so good. Anyway, I’m going completely dairy free until this resolves. It’s just not worth aggravating it by eating cheese or having cream in my coffee. Sigh. I love cream in my coffee, and I have to start getting up in the morning for my new job. Ugh.

Next post I hope will be a recipe! It’s River’s birthday today and she’s asked for waffles for dinner. I have some leftover maple cream cheese frosting from her birthday cake that needs to get eaten, so I’ll use that for a topping for the kids. I think I’ll just make myself some salmon though. I want to keep it really simple for now, until my body starts to heal from this outbreak.




I’m an Elitist

My husband told me tonight that I’m an elitist. I (half) joked that my snack was better than his snack. I had home made liver paté smeared on cucumbers with raw goat milk cheese. It was accompanied by garlic stuffed olives and a delicious 2008 cab-merlot and some wonderful company. My best friend Maddy. He had BBQ lays chips. An entire bag.

I was really insulted, and I think maybe it’s because it’s a little bit true.

I have a really hard time doing anything halfway. Go big or go home, I’m either in or I’m out. When I was a vegetarian (gasp!) I used to scorn the consumption of meat. I talked myself into how positively disgusting meat smelled. However, I was always tempted by it, and when I gave in to temptation, it always tasted as delicious as I remembered it being.

I guess the same is true about paleo. I crave ice cream. I enjoy chips. I miss the convenience of fast food. But I don’t eat these things (especially for the next 30 days while I do this thyroid meal plan) and it’s hard for me to forgo something without delineating exactly why it’s not good for me, and you.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be to live with someone who nags you constantly about what you eat, which is why I won’t do that to my husband. He’s made his choice, and that’s fine. However, I think he feels more guilty about it than I am angry because he told me I was on his case all day about everything he ate. Which is funny, since he slept in until noon and I got him a sandwich from the deli for his lunch. When he said he wanted a calzone for dinner, I told him to feel free and get himself one. I happily made Maddy and I some deviled eggs, which were delicious and quite filling. I never said a word to him about his choices.

I know that he knows that he’s not eating healthy. I know that right now he doesn’t want to worry about the food he’s eating because he thinks it makes him happy. I know this has nothing to do with paleo, but with him being in control (even though his eating is out of control). I have faith that at some point (hopefully soon, but I’m willing to wait) he’ll realize that he’s not doing himself any favours by gorging himself and eventually he’ll come around. He even told me that he can’t un-know what he’s learned about eating healthy. Right now he just wants to eat what makes him happy, which unfortunately is junk.

Anyway, I’m trying to be there for him, and I think that’s all I can do at this point. It just sucks that he’s telling me that I’m on his case about his eating when I’m not. In fact, I’m more worried than anything. He’s gaining weight and doesn’t seem to notice or care how much his eating is affecting him. Like I said, I have hope that at some point he’ll hit his rock bottom and realize that this gorging has to stop. I love him and I’m worried about him. I’m also worried about the message this is sending to the kids. I don’t want to be so strict with them that food becomes an issue; I don’t want Martin to eat whatever he wants whenever he wants because I don’t want food to be an issue.

All that being said, I made the kids a lovely paleo dinner tonight. I cooked them organic hot dogs in a coconut oil, sliced with an egg over-easy on top. Rowan calls these eggs he can pop. He loves to pop the yokes, and he’s only recently decided he likes eggs, so I’m over the moon about that. He’s a super picky eater. I also served it with half an avocado. Rowan usually just picks at his dinner, and it freaks me out because unless I force feed him, some nights he won’t eat at all. So many issues revolving around food in this house!

The one thing I have to keep in mind though, is that I’m doing this for my health. I believe in this the way to a healthier life. I don’t want to be that mom that can’t play at the park because she’s too old/tired/sore etc. I want to be active and fit and healthy. I want to eat real food and cook up a delicious storm in my kitchen! I want to feed my kids well and have them make healthy choices when it comes to what they put in their bodies!

I asked River (who will be 5 on Monday) if I could make her a cake for her birthday. She was very enthused by the idea. I made her a gluten free lemon cake with maple cream cheese frosting and blueberry syrop in the middle. I made it refined-sugar free, with raw honey and maple syrop. Everything was sourced as locally/organically as I could. Yes there is sugar in it. Yes this is for her birthday and is considered a treat. I don’t mind though! I don’t mind her enjoying a delicious, gluten free cake for her birthday! I wouldn’t say it’s healthy, but I would say it’s a hell of a lot healthier than anything you could buy at the store.

This is a long, slow process, but I know eventually they’ll come around. I have my convictions of good health and I just have to lead by example. It’s tough though. It’s really tough when every meal I make the kids groan, “is this another paleo meal?” Or my favourite, “I don’t like that.” That seems to be Willow’s reflexive answer to anything I talk about making for dinner. Anyway, I had the kids look through Eat Like a Dinosaur and Practical Paleo for recipes that they would actually enjoy eating. It’s easier to have them on board. Willow’s almost 10, so she’s definitely old enough to be helping me in the kitchen.

Elitist or not, I know paleo is better for you than any other SAD diet out there. Whether it’s primal, paleo, or tweaked in whatever way to fit into your life, real, whole foods is still better than anything from a package. I just wish my husband could see that.

Time to Re-commit

Well, summer has been ridiculously busy. I am now 30, and though I thought for sure I my implode, I am still here.And  I fell off the paleo wagon, hard.

Obviously there are tons of feelings I’m struggling with, shame, embarrassment, etc. However, a friend of mine recently went paleo, and I’ve been following all the paleo blogs and I’m determined to start over again. I’m still losing some weight, but eating dirty definitely makes me feel dirty and it’s starting to show.

I’m currently laden with a monster yeast infection, I have a canker in the most OBNOXIOUS place in my mouth (right where my lower lip meets my gums), and my sleep schedule is out of control.

What better time to start eating healthy again than right now?

I’ve recently been following Balanced Bites, and for the love of all that is holy, how have I not seen this site before? This girl is magic. No jokes. She just came out with a book called Practical Paleo, and from the reviews, I knew it was a book that I need in my life. My friend got hers today (she was smart enough to pre-order it) and she was sending me texts with pictures from it and all I could think of was how I couldn’t wait for mine to come. She has a bunch of different 30-day meal plans for different conditions, including diabetes.

Starting right now, I commit. I commit to eating for my health. I commit to treating my body like the temple that it is, and I commit to loving and cherishing me by eating the best that I possibly can.

I commit to eating healthy to regulate my blood sugars, to help my thyroid, and for my overall health.

I know it’s been a while since I last posted, but I plan on posting frequently to keep myself accountable.

The hardest problem I’m having is after dinner, when I love to indulge in ice cream. I mean, at least it’s made with real cream (as the first ingredient)! However, it’s also loaded with peanut butter cups, and swirls of peanut butter. It’s seriously THE MOST delicious ice cream I’ve ever eaten. I go out of control and will eat half a container in one sitting. It leaves me feeling nauseous and overly sated.

If I can beat that monster, then I know I’ll be fine.

I hope you’ll stick around to follow the journey!

With that, I’ll leave you with the delicious dinner that I made tonight: balsamic glazed chicken drumsticks with sauteed mushrooms and garlic in coconut oil, and a delicious mixed greens salad with tomatoes and cucumbers.