Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quick AIP chili

It was 3pm and the kids and I were on the way home in the car when my older one asked if we could have chili or stew for dinner. I thought to myself " chili or stews take forever to simmer to be good…" I agreed anyway because the kids have been so patient when I was down with a UC flare recently. I know I had veggies at home so I picked up some ground meat at the butcher and headed home to try this quick experiment.

When I got home, I posted for advice on my FB AIP Canada group. Of course, my trusted friend didn't take long before they replied with suggestions. I browsed though the links and gather all my ingredients and started cooking. I was concerned how it would taste without the tartness of tomatoes. So I dug in the fridge and found the sour cherries from my Aunt's tree that no one seems to want to eat. I pitted them and set aside for the dish. I also added apple cider vinegar in place of the tomatoes. 

The result was surprising good. I am a planner and prefer not to cook on the spot, but I think with all the cooking and experimenting I have done in the kitchen, I had a good idea what might work with what. Or maybe there was a bit of luck on my side too. "The cherries were a nice touch"my hubs said. and my current favored kobucha squash added great texture and thickness to the chili without thickener or beans. 

I made a big pot but there was no leftover after.

AIP chili

Kid dug into it before I could take a photo

Serve 5  Prep 10 mins Cooking 45 mins 

  • 3/4 lbs. ground meat ( I used meatloaf mix - veal, beef and pork )
  • 2 strips nitrates free bacon, cut into small pieces ( I use the Trader Joe's ones ) 
  • 1 tbsp duck fat ( or bacon, coconut oil) 
  • 2 c bone broth
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 small beet, grated
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 small kobucha squash, cubed ( about 2 c)
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 stalk celery
  • 3tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 10 sour cherries
  •  sea salt to taste

  1. Heat heavy pot to medium heat
  2. brown chopped onions and garlic in fat
  3. add celery and carrot, sauté for 5 mins
  4. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, brown chopped bacon ad ground meat 
  5. add meat into heavy pot of vegetables
  6. add kobucha and zucchini, sauté for another 5 mins
  7. add sour cherries, apple cider vinegar and bone broth, stir, cover and let simmer until all vegetables are soft. The kobucha cooks down to a mush which will thicken the chili
Added bone broth ice cubes
sprinkled with freshly chopped herbs

Monday, July 14, 2014

Quick Sea to Sky trip

We decided to go on a last minute, unplanned road trip up to Whistler, BC. We quickly packed our belongings, cooler full of healthy food and beverages and went on a quick adventure. I also had to take care of my ferments on the counter, burp any ones that need it and place the rest into the fridge so we don't come home to an exploded mess. The destination was Whistler, BC but we also wanted to stop along the way to explore other areas, Shannon Falls, Squamish and Pemberton were on the list and we knew we would stop at one of the many lakes along the way.

Wanted to eat here but they were closed Monday and Tuesday 

Luckily we found  The PONY  just down the street, this was my Salad Niçoise while my boys had a really amazing pizza in Pemberton BC
Stopped at Alice Lake on the way back

After we came back to the Lower Mainland, we drove through North Vancouver because I wanted to go to Ethical Kitchen ( NOW CLOSED)  to eat. I found this place back in November 2013  when I picked up my first SCOBY from someone who worked a few store down from the restaurant. Back then, I was fully embracing the Paleo diet. I knew little about fermenting foods but was eager to try my hands on making my own Kombucha. I remember the menu at Ethical Kitchen had Paleo options on it.

I had the pleasure to talk to the owner and creator of Ethical Kitchen, Barbara to find out more about their organic restaurant concept.

Since their website clearly explains their ideals and why they are doing what they do, I won't repeat it.

What I found most interesting was their Tuesday Breakfast School 10-11am.  They offer a light breakfast and a tonic drink for $5 and talk about health benefit of healing foods. 

Barbara shared a bit about the last Tuesday Breakfast School discussion topic below, 

"Every kind of food plays a role in nature."

"learn about it instead of shunning it because food culture says you should avoid it."

As a truly family run business, they have listed Barbara's  children age 5 and 3 months in her staff list on their website. 

For their temporary staffing, they also take in interns. Sometimes they take in troubled youth, where these youngster are given a chance to gain work experience and learn sense of community. Ethical Kitchen also share their kitchen with the Japanese grocery next door which prepares soups or bento boxes and  soba.  

Besides a sit down menu that offers Organic foods, Paleo and other gluten free options are available, To bring home, they carry Lacto fermented vegetables, Kerry gold grass fed butter, ghee and homemade turkey stock for purchase. They also brew their own Kombucha and ginger beer on site, which is deliciously refreshing especially in this warm weather. 

Ethical Kitchen has become one of healing places not only because they serve nourishing clean food I feel safe to eat, but also knowing how they contribute to the community, I feel the care and love that is beaming from this little restaurant.

Barbara's recently opened a gallery/cafe called Parker St. Cafe at 985 Windermere, Vancouver to fill the lacking of gathering place for healthy snacks and beverage in the area. I look forward to visiting it soon.

Backyard to plate, my children picking Saskatoon berries
Upper left clockwise: 1. Display case of  Jars of ferment, grassed local whole milk, ghee and  turkey stock
2. Our delicious and nourishing meals 3. My meal described on the menu

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Unexpected healing crisis from Homeopathy

I am constantly humbled to learn how the body heals.

As I start to scratch upon the surface of the emotional side of my IBD, I have been using a combination of these following techniques to heal this second brain of mine;  yoga, meditation, self healing reiki and EFT ( emotional freedom technique).

Last week, I decided to give my friend  at Little Mountain Homepathy, a call to see if Homeopathy is a good healing support for my current state of health.

She scheduled me in for a 2 hours case taking, where I will tell her all the things I can think of that might have landed me with this chronic condition. When I went to see her,  I sat in her welcoming office and described my history from what kind of child I was, to the many life events that lead up to today. This case taking felt like a therapy session, which has been what I haven't had a chance to do - talk about my healing to a professional. I released quite a bit emotions and felt good afterwards. My friend was to review my details and contact me with test dosing of remedies.

A couple days later, she contacted me to pick up the several doses of remedy she had prepared. I picked them up and took the first dose as directed, they were in pellet form and I was to wait 3 days to report to her my progress.

The next morning, I found it very difficult to get up in the morning. I could barely open my eyes without closing them a few minutes later. For the rest of the day, I felt tired but relaxed. It felt like possible die off symptoms with fatigue. I rested and went to bed early that night.

The second day was great, perhaps I got more hours of sleep or the remedy and dosage was really working. I had improved energy and very minimal gut symptoms.

The third day was still good, my energy remained until late afternoon with a few gut symptoms returning. I continued with my goal to get to bed by 10:30am.

I emailed my friend my progress and patiently awaits for her instruction.

The fourth day, I was experiencing anger and short temperedness. I was surprised by these emotions as if I was having an out of body experience. I watch myself react strongly in situations that doesn't call for it. That same day, I was happy to hear from my friend about her thoughts that the dosage and remedy is a good match for me. She prepared the remedy in bottle ( liquid form) and asked for me to pick it up.

I took the bottled remedy that same night and slept on it. Again the next day I found it hard to get up but felt even a stronger sense of calmness. I felt well enough to run a quite a few errands ( by my standard ). By the afternoon, something hit me, I was struck by a great sense of fear and helplessness. I was again surprised by these emotions as I was not feeling any worsening of gut symptoms. I wasn't bleeding anymore or having any more pain. I panicked and emailed my friend to confirm whether these overwhelming feelings could be effects from the remedy. Luckily, she quickly reply and reassured that she feels I might be in a healing crisis and hope that I can ride it out. She offered the option of an antidote if I am unable to bare with the symptoms. I felt relieved after hearing from her and took a nap and did some self reiki.

In conclusion, I am realizing that since my Ulcerative Colitis was stress triggered, there are many other negative emotions attached to it; anger, fear, helplessness, just to name a few. Homeopathy is the first healing system that stimulated my body's natural healing ability not just in the physically sense but also in the emotional aspect. I am quite in awe with the effect and will patiently continue on this healing journey to see where it will take me. The thought of remission is one step closer.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Soaking and Sprouting almonds

Here is my almond soaking experience. I started soaking about 1 lb. raw almond in water and added 1/2 tbsp himalayan pink salt to the soak. I soaked it for 12 hours and drained and rinsed it under the tap.  Then I placed the soaked almonds on a wet towel and let it sit for another 12 hours, the hope was to sprout them but unfortunately, they did not seem to have sprouted. I then removed the towel and placed the almonds in the oven with the oven light on overnight. My research ask for the almonds to be dehydrated under 100 F but my oven doesn't get that low in temperature so I thought I would give the oven light a go. The next morning I found the almonds still a bit moist so I put it out to dry in the sun most of the day. The taste of the almond is milder but sweeter and the texture is softer, meatier and almost buttery.  I don't know whether I can better digest these soaked almonds yet but I am hopeful. I might just need to try dehydrating them in a proper dehydrator next time. Here is a link to why we should soak nuts to make them easier to digest
start soaking

rinse well
lay onto wet towel to sprout
wait for another 10-12 hours
Drying some more in the sun

Top soaked, bottom not