How to recover after a flare

heartsee

Inspired by Eileen at Phoenix Helix’s article on How To Survive An Autoimmune Flare, I thought I’d add some tips on surviving a digestive flare.

  1. Go back to your safe zone diet. The foods you know do not cause you any harm. My safe zone diet is now paleo and based on plain meats and roasted or boiled vegetables. I used to go straight to rice based meals after a flare, so this may work for some people. Think about easy and plain foods that you make at home from scratch. These are the safest for people with food intolerances and autoimmune issues. SCD Lifestyle talks more about creating a food safe zone.
  2. Drink water and coconut water to replace any fluids lost, so you stay hydrated.
  3. Try adding some fibre slowly to your diet. Think about flaxseed, psyllium, slippery elm or acacia powder or chia seeds.
  4. Drink a soothing herbal tea, such as Chamomile, or peppermint, which are good for digestion.
  5. Go for a gentle walk, as this will calm the nervous system and aids peristalsis of the gut.
  6. Do either yoga or meditation to create the relaxation response. Aim for 20 minutes each day. This reduce stress and inflammation and releases tension, including the bowel muscle.
  7. Give yourself a tummy rub. Use circular motion around the belly button, starting at the top right and heading left and then down and back. Use coconut oil and gentle essential oils, such as lavender, peppermint and chamomile.

What’s your best advice for surviving a digestive flare?

Taste test: Spiral’s dip and toss oils

spiral-oils

Spiral Foods has an exciting range of Mediterranean inspired dip and toss oils, made from 100% extra virgin olive oil. They come in three flavours:

  • sundried tomato and basil which was great in a greek salad (below)
  • rosemary and roasted garlic which was a perfect match for cold lamb and roasted vegetables salad
  • and basil and Parmesan which turned a simple potato salad into something special.

greek-salad

You could also use the oils for dipping bread in, or tossing through pasta for a quick and easy dinner. The best thing about these oils are that they are certified gluten-free and sugar free. What I really like about these products is there’s only natural real ingredients listed on the bottle, and there are no strange unpronounceable nasties.

All three flavours are balanced well and would make a delicious addition to your kitchen. They come in an attractive slim bottle, and would make a nice gift idea paired with packet of fancy pasta.

Available from the Spiral Foods website.

Thank you Spiral Foods for allowing me to trial these products. 

Primal leek and potato soup

primal-leek-potato-soup

This leek and potato soup is a satisfying dish. It manages to be smooth and creamy texture without the cream. To make this a paleo dish you could make it with sweet potatoes instead of potatoes.

Primal leek and potato soup

coconut oil
1 leek, chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups of chicken stock or bone broth

  1. In a large stock pot, heat the coconut oil on medium heat.
  2. Add the leeks and saute until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock to the pot and bring to the boil. When the stock boils, add the potatoes and bring back to the boil. If needed add boiling water to cover the potatoes.
  4. Then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
  5. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth with a hand mixer or blender.
  6. Divide among bowls and serve warm.

Serves 2.

Paleo coconut granola

paleo-coconut-granola

This granola is for lovers of coconut. There’s no dried fruit, just any combination of nuts and seeds you want to try or have available in the cupboard. I used a combination of pecans, walnuts and pepitas.

Paleo coconut granola

3 cups coconut flakes
2 cups of nuts and/or seeds, roughly chopped
2 Tbsps chia seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g coconut oil or butter, melted
3 Tbsps honey

  1. Preheat oven to 120 degrees C and line a baking try with baking paper.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and then spread out evenly on baking tray.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven. Turn mixture half-way through.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  5. Serve with almond milk or coconut milk.

Makes 5 cups.

Paleo chocolate banana milkshake

choc-banana-milkshake
I love milkshakes, but dairy ones give me a bloated stomach, so this one is made on coconut milk. Chocolate and banana are a great combination and with few extra ingredients it’s a winner.

Paleo chocolate banana milkshake
1 cup coconut milk
1 banana, fresh or frozen
1 tsp cocoa or cocao powder
4 dates or 1 tsp honey
a pinch of cinnamon

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and wiz to mix.

Serves 1.

Paleo Greek salad

greek-salad

This delicious salad is packed full of flavour. You could add 75g goat’s feta cheese to make it a primal recipe and more classically Greek, but this is a nice variation without. I don’t need to tell you to use the freshest ingredients.

Paleo Greek salad
1/4 medium red onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
12 Kalamata olives, whole
8 cherry tomatoes
1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced

  1. Soak the sliced red onion in water for several minutes to take out the bite (optional).
  2. Combine in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add the following dressing.

Dressing
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano

  1. In a screwtop jar or bottle combine the olive oil, vinegar, oregano and season with a little salt and pepper. Shake well.

Serves 2.

Restaurant Review: The Paleo Café Brisbane

paleo-cafe

The Paleo Café is located on the corner of Market and Mary St, and has both indoor and outdoor seating. I have also been to the Paddington café where there is only indoor seating and no bookings allowed. They are both popular places so you’ll need to arrive early to get a seat.

The paleo diet encourages followers to eat like cavemen – consuming lots of meats, eggs, nuts, seeds and berries, while eliminating sugar, grains, legumes and dairy. So one great thing about this chain of cafes is that it is the perfect place to eat for people with celiac disease or food intolerances.

The first time we visited for breakfast, where I had eggs and avocado on toast. I was keen to try the grain free bread, which turned out to be the perfect addition. I also tried the bulletproof coffee, but it wasn’t for me. I like their regular cappuccino which you can have on coconut or almond milk.

For my birthday we went again to the Paleo Café and just about all of us ordered the lamb burger, which is a tender lamb patty on linseed focaccia with mint aioli, rocket, tomato, onion, avocado and gherkin topped with beetroot relish and served with sweet potato chips and more aioli. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals and the chips were the highlight.

For work lunches I have regularly been having the Mediterranean Vegetable Salad, which is a generous mix of roasted eggplant, olives, onion and greens, topped with a moreish salad dressing. You have the option of adding some protein, with chicken, prawns, salmon or kangaroo, but I like to have it plain. Sometimes I treat myself to dessert, but these are really rich, so it’s best to share with a friend.

Highly recommended for a lunch date with friends or family.

Paleo Café
The Paleo Café chain has five cafes in Cairns, Paddington in Brisbane, Brisbane CBD, Bondi Junction in Sydney and the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Paleo Cafe on Urbanspoon

Paleo orange ice blocks

orange-ice-block

Citrus and coconut water are a refreshing combination on a hot day. You could add a pinch of sea salt and have these as a replacement for those hydrating ice blocks you get at the chemist, as coconut water replaces electrolytes in the body.

Ice block moulds can be found in $2 shops or kitchen shops, otherwise use plastic cups and paddle pop sticks. You may need to double the recipe if your moulds are bigger.

1 cup of coconut water
1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice

  1. Combine coconut water and freshly squeezed orange juice in a jug. Pour mixture into ice block moulds.
  2. Place lid on moulds and place them in the freezer for a minimum of six hours.

Makes 4 ice blocks.

Review: Natural Instinct facial products

 natural-instinct2

I have been using a couple of the Natural Instinct products for my face. They are an Australian made natural skin and hair care brand, which are formulated with botanically-derived ingredients, certified organic extracts and pure essential oils. There are no nasties in their products, so they are grey-water safe, and products are not tested on animals.

Daily mosituriser – sinks in nicely, and is not greasy like some. It smells of jojoba and rosehips, and contain B5.

Facial scrub – the right texture and is not too grainy. My face felt clean afterwards and it contains jojoba and walnut.

Foaming and cream cleanser – Both satisfying products. The foaming cleanser lathers to a light foam and is scented with lavender and rosehip. The cream cleanser is scented with jojoba and witch hazel.

Clarifying toner – left my face toned and finished. It smells citrusy and refreshing of rosewater, witch hazel and orange flower.

What I like about these products all the products are free of sulphates, petrochemicals, parabens, PEGs and mineral oils. There are also no artificial colours or fragrances.

Thank you Natural Instinct for allowing me to trial these products. 

Paleo carrot soup

Here’s a simple carrot soup for winter. It’s packed with beta-carotene, which is great for healthy skin and eyes. It’s best to make your stock from scratch so it’s packed with healing nutrients.

coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
4-6 carrots, chopped
4 cups of chicken stock + hot water
½ tsp of parsley or basil

  1. Brown the onion in some coconut oil in a pot.
  2. Boil the kettle for your stock. Add meat stock to the pot.
  3. Add the carrots, garlic and herbs. Add more hot water, if needed, to cover all the ingredients.
  4. Gently simmer until the carrots are soft, about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and blitz well with a hand blender or food processor. Add more stock until you have the consistency you want.
  6. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Serves 2-3.