recipes

5 Healing Foods for People on the AIP Diet

 Photo Credit:  www.saragottfriedmd.com

So you’ve taken the plunge and started the AIP diet. Congratulations! There’s no doubt you’ve been told ad nauseam the foods you should avoid in order to heal. I’m here to share with you a little secret: living with an autoimmune disease does not need to be so deficits-based. In fact, you can grow, learn, and try new things while on AIP. But before we take a look at some foods you should definitely add into your diet while on AIP, let’s take a step back for a moment and cover some of the basics.

 

What is the AIP Diet?

The Autoimmune Protocol, or AIP, is a diet that is used for the treatment and management of autoimmune diseases. These diseases cause the immune system to mistakenly attack the body’s healthy tissues and are characterized by inflammation. Because irritation is at the root of autoimmune diseases, and because many health professionals believe the cause of the suffering is leaky gut, nutritionists and holistic health professionals often recommend cutting out foods that are notoriously irritating to the body. The result: the Autoimmune Protocol. AIP is a stricter version of the Paleo diet that eliminates even more foods. Patients are further advised to consume nutrient-rich food items. By consuming the food items rich in nutrients and avoiding those that might cause inflammation, many people have found relief from their autoimmune symptoms through AIP.

If you are planning to follow the AIP diet, it is important that you strictly follow the diet plan for a few weeks. Once your condition starts to improve, you can slowly reintroduce the food items that you have been avoiding while carefully watching your body’s reaction. Should another flare up occur after eating a previously restricted food, the individual is advised to exclude the food item from their diet for a long time.

 

Benefits of AIP Diet

The Autoimmune Protocol Diet is very beneficial for any body, and especially beneficial for those who are are currently suffering from autoimmune diseases. Some of the most obvious benefits include:

1. The ability to maintain your health without the use of synthetic drugs.

2. An opportunity for the good bacteria residing in the gut to thrive.

3. A better understanding of your body and its functions.

4. The excuse to treat your body to only anti-inflammatory, nutrient-rich, and unprocessed natural food items.

 

So, What Should I Eat?

You have no doubt come across list upon list of foods you can and cannot eat while on AIP. I’m here to tell you that there’s another list: the foods you should be eating. Go crazy with them! They will only help your body to heal faster. Here is a list of the top 5 staple food items that should be a part of your meal if you are on Autoimmune Protocol Diet.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is an important ingredient that is often add into Asian dishes to enhance the color and flavor of the food. You may not be aware that, for centuries, humans have been using turmeric for the treatment of wounds and pain. It has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that will heal any body, including yours.

2. Activated charcoal

While you are on the AIP diet, it is not only important to reduce the inflammation in your body. It’s also worth making the effort to eliminate any chemicals or toxins that are causing inflammation. This is why it’s encouraged that you eat only organic and free-range foods. But what about the toxins that you cannot avoid? Enter activated charcoal. Activated charcoal was once thought to be the universal antidote to all illnesses. It has been used in Asia for tens of thousands of years by Chinese healers and Ayurvedic practitioners. More recently, it has been used since the early 1800s as an emergency treatment for overdosing. In its activated state, charcoal has a negative electrical charge that attracts positively charge particles such as toxins and gases, binding itself to the unwanted guest and preventing it from being absorbed into the body. Given its powerful qualities, the detox world has cleaved to activated charcoal as a tool for cleansing the body and cultivating digestive health, heart health, and to slow down the aging process. Activated charcoal detoxes can be found online, as can charcoal pills. Seasonality Spices® even sells an organic, all-natural black lava salt from Hawaii that contains activated charcoal.

3. Spirulina

Maintaining a proper nutritional level is very important any time, but especially when you are attempting to heal your body with the AIP diet. As such, spirulina is an excellent option to explore. It is cyanobacteria commonly known as blue-green algae. Spirulina will provide your body with all the important nutrients that you need to stay healthy and fit while you are following the AIP diet, many of which are impossible to get on the average diet. Another benefit of Spirulina is that it is anti-inflammatory. It will protect your body from any kind of inflammation reactions. You can blend Spirulina into any smoothie, acacia bowl, juice, or even a glass of water.

4. Coconut oil

Another food with powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties is coconut oil. Should you use it instead of avocado oil or olive oil (two other oils that are permitted by AIP), you will find that your foods have an additional, delicious flavor and are boosted with nutritional properties and healing affects you cannot find in the other two options. Coconut oil is additionally good for massage because the oil will be infused into your bloodstream through the skin, further helping to reduce inflammation in your body.

5. Broccoli

Broccoli is jam-packed with nutrients, one of which is sulforaphane. This powerful antioxidant fights inflammation by lowering your levels of cytokines and NF-kB. Research has also show it to lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. Bon appetite!

 

Bottom line

Being restricted to an AIP diet doesn’t need to be a negative, restrictive experience. Once you have gotten used to the foods to avoid with the diet, make it a point to have some fun with it. Explore the five staple foods above. Learn more about them, and how you can incorporate them into your everyday life. Experiment in the kitchen. Share new foods with friends. Here are a couple of recipes to get you started.

 

BONUS: Ginger Turmeric Herbal Tea

 Photo Credit: www. thehealthytart.com

Photo Credit: www.thehealthytart.com

 

Ingredients

8 cups of water

1 small lemon, chopped

1½ inch ginger root, minced

1 tsp Seasonality Spices® Turmeric

1 tsp Seasonality Spices® Cinnamon

 

Instructions

Add all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil on the stove. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool off. Strain with a fine mesh strainer before serving.

 

BONUS: Caramelized Broccoli

 Photo Credit:  www.seriouseats.com

Photo Credit: www.seriouseats.com

 

Ingredients

3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

2 heads of broccoli

1/2 cup water

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons Seasonality Spices® Herbes de Provence

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 

Instructions

Peel the broccoli stems away from the heads. Cut the heads in half lengthwise. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil. Add the broccoli, cut side down. Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat until richly browned on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Add the water, cover and cook until the broccoli is just tender and the water has evaporated. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil along with the garlic and the Seasonality Spices® Herbes de Provence and cook uncovered until the garlic is golden brown. Drizzle the broccoli with the lemon juice and serve.

Everything You Need to Know About Blue Majik

 Photo Credit:  https://www.fitedm.com

Photo Credit: https://www.fitedm.com

The US has caught the smoothie bug, and it’s bad. These days you can’t walk two blocks without seeing a fancy new juice bar. And don’t try to scroll through your Instagram feed without seeing ten photos of your friends’ breakfast smoothie bowls. If you’re anything like me, you can’t help but to double tap every single one you see. Each is more beautiful than the last!

If you are into healthy eating, Blue Majik must have caught your eye by now. In less than a year, this delightful ingredient has made its way into cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and smoothie bowls with lightening speed. The powder gives the food an unmistakable blue raspberry slushie-like color that looks as if it’s unicorn food.

But what is Blue Majik, exactly?

Blue Majik is a branded powder product that is extracted from spirulina. In fact, Blue Majik is the blue that gives spirulina it’s radiant green color. What is spirulina, you ask? According to Maggie Moon, M.S., R.D., author of The MIND Diet, “Spirulina is blue-green bacteria sometimes called ‘blue-green algae,’ and a type of seaweed.”

Blue Majik was created by a company named E3 Live back in 2016. As a nutrient-dense superfood, Blue Majik is packed with vitamins and minerals and boasts of many health benefits. It is quite expensive (you can get it for $1/gram on Amazon), but most health food fans consider it a worthwhile investment.

What’s so super about the superfood?

Like spirulina, Blue Majik is jam-packed with nutrients such as protein, B vitamins (including B12), phytonutrients (including phycocyanin), selenium, zinc, copper, manganese, iron (22 times the amount of spinach), Vitamin E, and gamma-linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid).

According to the medical field, the impact of these nutrients are promising but not yet official. Some of the promised benefits include immune support, reduced allergic reactions, increased probiotic growth, reduced infection, reduced cancer symptoms, protection against liver damage, and reduced risk of eye disease such as cataracts and macular degeneration. With such tremendous promise of health benefits, it’s not hard to imagine why Blue Majik has taken the health industry by storm.

So, how do I use it?

Blue Majik is available in pill or powder form. Always follow the instructions given by the vendor of the product.

The powder can be mixed into any food for a nutrient-boost. The most common uses are in smoothies, juices, and chia bowls, but the creativity doesn’t need to end there. People have used Blue Majik in sauces, cream cheese, yogurt, icing, and in their margaritas. Most recently, Seasonality Spices has created a Blue Majik Salt that can be used to bring out the flavor and up the health profile of everyday foods.

Get creative. Blue Majik is sure to catch the eye and the imagination of anyone in its presence. Plus, it has the promise of promoting tremendous health outcomes.

BONUS: Wheeler del Torro’s Vegan Blue Majik Vanilla Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soy milk, divided

  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot

  • 3 tsp Blue Majik powder

  • 2 cups soy creamer

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 3 tsp Blue Majik powder

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup soy milk with arrowroot and Blue Majik powder and set aside.

  2. Mix the soy creamer, remaining 3/4 cup soymilk, and sugar together in a saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. When the mixture begins to simmer, take off heat and immediately pour in the arrowroot cream. This will cause the liquid to thicken noticeably.

  3. Add the vanilla extract.

  4. Set the ice cream mixture aside to cool, then place in refrigerator. Ice cream mixture should be well chilled before adding to ice cream machine. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

 

BONUS: Vegan Blue Majik Smoothie Bowl Recipe

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen mango

1 cup frozen pineapple

2 tsp Blue Majik powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk

Blend ingredients together until smooth. Top with fresh fruit, shredded coconut, mixed nuts, and granola.

Enjoy!

Air Fried Sweet Potato Fries

This easy-to-make recipe makes crispy, delicious sweet potato fries without the extra calories that come with deep frying!

INGREDIENTS

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees F
Chop the sweet potatoes into even sized pieces
Coat the pieces in 2 tbsp oil and place in the air fryer
Cook for 8 minutes, stir to prevent sticking, and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes
Remove from air fryer, add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Bon appetite!

 

Air Fried Chicken Tenders

Great grandma's time-tested recipe for crispy, perfectly browned fried chicken. The best part: because it is adapted for the air fryer, it is healthier than its deep fried cousin!

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. imitation chicken breast halves

3 eggs, beaten (or cashew cream, see recipe below)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

1 tsp garlic powder

¾ tsp paprika

½ tsp cayenne

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp chili powder

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cut chicken breasts into 1” wide strips
  • Pour flour onto a large plate
  • Mix breadcrumbs and seasonings together in a shallow bowl or on a second large plate
  • Coat pieces of chicken in flour, dip into eggs (or cashew cream), then dredge into crumb mixture
  • Heat up your air fryer to 375 degrees.
  • Place a row of strips on the frying basket. Spray with a light coat of cooking spray.
  • Cook sticks for 6 minutes. Open fryer to flip the strips with tongs. Continue cooking for 4-6 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve with honey mustard for dipping.

 

FOR CASHEW CREAM

Place 2 cups cashews in a bowl. Add cold water to cover. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse. Place in blender with enough cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Blend until smooth.

 

Air Fried Recipes: Onion Rings

Battered, breaded, and then fried to crispy perfection. What's best- because they are air fried, they are healthier than their deep fried counterparts!

air fried onion ring2 wheeler del torro
air fried onion ring1 wheeler del torro

 

INGREDIENTS

1 large onion, cut into rings
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup soy milk (or regular milk if non-vegan)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp paprika, blended

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Separate the onion slices into rings and set aside. 
  • In a small bowl, stir together the flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt.
  • Dip the onion slices into the flour mixture until coated; set aside. 
  • Whisk the egg and milk into the flour mixture using a fork. 
  • Dip the floured rings into the batter to coat, then place on a wire rack to drain until the batter stops dripping. 
  • Place the bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Place rings one at a time into the crumbs, and scoop the crumbs up over the ring to coat. Give it a hard tap as you remove it from the crumbs. The coating should cling very well. Repeat with remaining rings.
  • Place the rings side by side in the frying basket. Spray lightly with cooking oil, flip, coat with garlic powder and paprika blend. Place in the air fryer. 
  • Fry the rings for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip once during the cooking. Remove to paper towels to drain. Season with seasoning salt, and serve.
air fried onion rings4 wheeler del torro
air fried onion rings3 wheeler del torro

Air Fried Recipes: Mozzarella Sticks

This ooey, gooey mozzarella stick is sure to impress. The best part: because it is air fried, it's healthier than its fried cousin! The recipe is for vegan mozzarella sticks, but you can substitute regular mozzarella for the same effect.

wheeler del torro air fried mozzarella sticks
wheeler del torro vegan mozzarella sticks

INGREDIENTS

5 oz. vegan (or regular) mozzarella
1/4 c flour
1/4 c plus 1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 c water
1 tbsp cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 c breadcrumbs (I use panko)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a wide, shallow bowl, combine ingredients for wet mix, flour through garlic powder. The consistency should be like pancake batter, so adjust if needed.
  • In another wide, shallow bowl, stir together breadcrumbs and remaining spices.
  • Slice vegan cheese into ½” strips.
  • Lightly coat each stick with flour.
  • Dredge each stick in the wet mix, then toss in bread crumbs until fully coated.
  • Place sticks untouching in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze for 1+ hours.
  • Heat up your air fryer to 400 degrees.
  • Place a row of sticks on the frying basket. Spray with a light coat of cooking spray.
  • Cook sticks for 6 minutes. Open fryer to flip the sticks with tongs. Continue cooking for 7-9 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Season with garlic salt and serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Hot Dark Chocolate

Twenty five degree weather calls for hot chocolate made with dark chocolate, almond and coconut milk with whipped coconut cream. 

Whipped Coconut Cream

 

2 (13.5-ounce) cans unflavored, unsweetened full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 to 4 tablespoons coconut flour

 

Pour the coconut milk into a glass jar, cover, and chill for several hours, until the layer of cream has risen to the top and solidified. Chill a bowl and beaters of a hand mixer.

 

Drain off the clear liquid and transfer the cream to the chilled bowl. Beat the cream until thick and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then gradually beat in the powdered sugar and coconut flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, monitoring the flavor and consistency to suit your taste.

 

Transfer the coconut cream to a storage container, cover, and chill for 2 hours until the mixture firms. Serve chilled.

This recipe appears in my Filet of Soul: AfroVegan cookbook. 

Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Pie with Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

I was going to share with you my recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie, but I came across this great gluten-free one from Melissa at Gluten-Free If You Please. Just substitute a yummy vegan crust from nutritionista Meghan Telpner and agave for honey in the tart wash. Enjoy!

Top off the mini pies with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:2]

Apple Cider Ice Cream

Looking for any easy vegan palate cleanser or dessert? Or perhaps a healthy finish to a lavish meal? Try this Apple Cider Vegan Ice Cream.

Apple Cider Ice Cream

Apple Cider Ice Cream
Apple Cider Ice Cream
  • 1 cup (235mL) soymilk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (16g) arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup (235mL) organic apple cider
  • 2 cups (470mL) soy creamer
  • ¾ cup (150g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup (60mL) soymilk with arrowroot and set aside.

Combine apple cider, soy creamer, remaining ¾ cup (175mL) soymilk, and sugar in a saucepan and cook over low heat. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and immediately add arrowroot cream. This will cause the liquid to thicken noticeably.

Add vanilla extract.

Refrigerate mixture until chilled, approximately 2 to 3 hours. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Yield: 1 quart (approximately 600g).

Coconut Vegan Ice Cream

coconut vegan ice cream
coconut vegan ice cream

This refreshing, bright ice cream is a perfect summer treat. Sprinkle with grated coconut or brown sugar to serve. 

ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups coconut milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut

directions

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup coconut milk with arrowroot and set aside. Mix remaining 3 1/4 cups coconut milk in a saucepan, and cook over low heat. Once mixture begins to boil, remove from heat and immediately add arrowroot cream. This will cause the liquid to thicken noticeably.

Stir in vanilla and coconut extracts.

Refrigerate mixture until chilled, approximately 2 to 3 hours. Freeze according to you ice cream maker's instructions. In the last few minutes of churning, add shredded coconut.