21 Day Fix, Healthy, Lettuce, Paleo, Paleo Diet, Taco, Tupperware, Turkey, Wrap

Sunday’s Recipe: Paleo Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

I have been off and on paleo for the past month or so, since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It has been a struggle because when I get home, I am exhausted, and my RA doesn’t make it any easier to have extra energy floating around. Needless to say, some nights meal prep is non-existent. On the weekends however, I try and do better and make somewhat paleo meals for Taylor and I. I recently made this recipe, and it turns out hubby gave his full stamp of approval and thought it was amazing! I was happy that I made a healthy meal and it was husband approved! While my hubby is out feeding cows and doing chores this freezing cold morning on the North Dakota prairie, and I am enjoying a cup of coffee, I thought I’d share a recipe!

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You’ll need:

1 lb Ground Turkey

1 Green Pepper (in my Tupperware Chopper), chopped fine

1 Jalapeno Pepper (in my Tupperware Chopper), chopped fine

1 head of Lettuce,

1/2 cup of onion (I always use frozen, else buy a bag and chop til you drop and freeze them, always, always, have onions on hand)

And these spices:

Garlic Powder, Watkins Chili Powder, Watkins Red Pepper Flakes, Watkins Cayenne Pepper.

First, chop up the pepper together. Remove seeds from jalapeno, unless you like it spicier. In a large skillet, combine ground turkey, chopped peppers, and onion. Brown on high heat. Don’t be alarmed, turkey has a lot of fat, which will be drained later. Add in a few shakes of all the spices. I have a bad habit of never measuring. Be careful with the cayenne pepper, a little is enough, you can always add more if you like it hotter.

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Then after, the turkey is nicely browned, turn on simmer and cover for another 3 minutes or so. While doing this, wash your lettuce and peel it off the head. It is important that you buy a head of lettuce and not the bagged kind. Make it like little cups, like this…

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Take off the turkey from the stove and then scoop in a few spoon-fulls into the lettuce cups. Top off with taco sauce, avocado, cheese, more peppers, etc.

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You can add as many toppings as you like. Remember paleo is no dairy, so you can always add some vegan cheese to make it completely paleo. This recipes is also 21 Day Fix approved too! I recommend doubling the recipe to have extra for left overs, if there is any! Enjoy! Have a happy Sunday!

Autoimmune, baking, Blueberry, Gluten Free, Muffins, Paleo Diet

Paleo Blueberry Muffins

So far, this paleo thing is going okay. I have good days and bad. I have my cheat days for sure. On Sunday, my hubby and I both had our mugs of hot cocoa. But for the most part, I try to eat healthy. The biggest thing is meal prepping at night, after work, when I don’t want to. (Especially now with the fall back time change)!

Last week, I had some extra blueberries that I needed to use up, so I decided on blueberry muffins. You know those blueberry muffins that come in the baking isle that take two whole seconds to make?! Yeah, well these taste pretty much just like those! Only these blueberry muffins are much healthier and better for you! And they use fresh blueberries instead of those dried up squishy ones! Here is the recipe (I included my own little tweaks!).

Paleo Blueberry Muffins

1 cup Almond Flour (Almond Flour, not Almond Meal)

1/8 tsp. Baking Soda

Pinch of Salt

2 Tbsp. Raw Honey

1/2 cup coconut milk, full fat

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1-2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract, or homemade

1 egg

1/4 cup Fresh Blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees an line a muffin tin with liners. Mix together the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, coconut milk, coconut oil and egg. Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix well. Do not over mix. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup to the top. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean or about 20-25 minutes. Set pan over wire rack to cool.

Lately, for breakfast, I eat some sort of fruit with turkey bacon. This helped switch it up a bit! They are wonderfully delicious and easy to make!

AIP Diet, Autoimmune, Paleo Diet, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis: AIP Diet

After a week of trying to be pretty much Paleo (Paleo Diet), it is time to kick it up to the next gear! For the next month, (my goal is from now until Thanksgiving weekend), to try the AIP Elimination Paleo Diet (Lord help me). Bear with me as I whine through this post…

This will be HARD. I LOVE food. I LOVE cooking AND baking food. I LOVE sweets. And I LOVE eating out. Is it possible… YES! If you have never heard of the AIP Diet, it stands for the Autoimmune Protocol AKA: The Elimination Diet. Basically you eliminate a lot of foods for a month or as long as you feel your symptoms, and then slowly bring them back one at a time, to see how your system reacts to the certain food. The biggest part is the feeling part. So many autoimmune suffers like myself, have had amazing results, even remission on this diet. Thank goodness, there are websites and actual recipes for this diet. It’s so overwhelming for me, right now, but at the same time I know I have to for my health. The hardest thing for  me this week was knowing I couldn’t eat it, made me want it more. That is why, AIP is even harder.

In the next month, I hope to have less pain over-all. Just recently, my right knee has started hurting just in the evenings. That is why I knew I had to start on this AIP diet ASAP. I originally wanted to do a few weeks of solid Paleo just to get adjusted, but when my knee started aching, I knew changes had to be made. I hope it keeps me motivated (along with documenting it all to you via blogging), to avoid eating all the things I have to avoid. Here’s the LONG list of AIP no-no foods:

AIPavoidlist

And here is the AIP Food list of included foods:

AIPincludelist

What makes this even harder, which I hate to say it, but my husband! I can’t force him to eat this way, so I’ll have to live around an ice cream, pretzel, potato chip, soda, chocolate, brownie, and bread-loving husband for the next month and longer… GLUP! Not exactly sure how I will do it, but I know I have to. Dieting is so much different when you actually HAVE to do it to save yourself and your body. My “Against All Grain” cookbook is on its way here, so until then, I’ll be eating fruits and vegetables and well, not much else. Think of me when enjoying your next pumpkin spice cappuccino or pumpkin pie or vanilla bean ice cream. Okay, I am done whining now! Let you know how it goes, whish me luck! xo

Anyone else on the AIP diet? Tips and recipes are appreciated!

Arthritis, cooking, How To, Paleo Diet, Pomegrante, recipe, Rhuematoid, The Farmer's Wife

How To: Cut a Pomeagranate the Right Way & a Recipe

After one week of being pretty Paleo (Paleo Diet), with the exception of the little ghost and pumpkin Halloween sugar cookies. I have been enjoying lots great food, and learning a lot! I also ordered the “Against All Grain” Cookbook from Amazon this week, and I am very excited to get that! I have enjoyed eating a bigger variety of veggies and fruits this week, which I eat a lot of anyway. I have really have been enjoying pomegranates with strawberries and raspberries! How many of you have never eaten a pomegranate? Have you eaten one, but don’t know the proper way to cut into it? Well, today I am your life saver!

You’ll need a knife, a bowl of some sort, and pomegranates!

First, start off by putting on an old shirt or apron, pomegranate juice stains!! Then, start by cutting around the point that sticks out on the end (I call it the bellybutton)!

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Then, cut little quarter segments on the top where you cut out the belly button. Don’t cut in too deeply, or you will puncture the juicy seeds!

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Then disassemble it by taking it apart where you cut the little segments. And wiggle the seeds out into the bowl. It will take some work and be time consuming, but it will be worth it when you get to eat your pomegranate seeds with out having to do all the work later!

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There! You have cut and de-seeded your first pomegranate!

Like I said, this week, has been interesting. Food prep is not something I want to do after getting up at 5 AM and driving to work, and working for 8 hours. When I get home, I like to relax or go for a run, when the weather decent. The last few nights, my right knee has had shooting pain through it, so I backed off the running. Last night, I left work a little earlier and came home and did some food prep, including cutting pomegranates! I also made mug Paleo English Muffins, yes mug, and Paleo Eggs Benedict! I was pleasantly surprised and it tasted almost like the real thing! Here is the recipe!

I started by making the Hollandaise sauce first, because it is the most time consuming. (This recipe is from Against All Grain by Danielle Walker)

What you Need:

3 Tbsp of coconut oil heated to about 95 degrees F

2 medium egg yolks

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1/2 tsp Salt (sea salt)

1/8 tsp Paprika

Fill a blender with boiling water and cover with lid. Let sit for 10 minutes. Thoroughly dry the blender, then blend the juice and eggs. With the blender on low, slowly add in the heated coconut oil in a steady stream. Season with salt and paprika, then pulse a few times to combine.

While you are waiting for the water to heat the blender, make your microwave mug English Muffins.

What you Need

1/3 cup of Almond Flour

1 tbsp. Coconut Flour

1 Egg

1/4 tsp Salt (sea salt)

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Olive Oil

2 tbsp. Water

Combine all ingredients in mug and mix well. Then microwave for 2 minutes. Insert knife around edges and take out muffin and cut into halves. Easy as pie!

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Then continue making the Hollendaise Sauce and poach your eggs. Also remember to get your meat ready. I used turkey ham, sliced thin. Serve warm with fresh squeezed orange juice!

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Arthritis, Fighter, Joints, Paleo Diest, RA, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Treatment

My Diagnosis: Living with Rhuematoid Arthritis

There it was. Waiting for me in my mailbox. A letter with my results from the hospital from a week ago. Let me take you back…

A few years ago, in college, I noticed I had some joint pain, stiffness, and swelling in my left pinky finger. It came and went, and mostly, I ignored it. This continued off and on until this spring. This spring, I had severe joint paint in all of my fingers. It was hard to hang on to the church hymnal or even write. I am a civil cad technician, so movement in my hands and joints is crucial to my career. I finally went to the doctor in July this summer and the doctor did some blood work, and it turns out my ANA (AKA: Antinuclear Antibodies) test came back very positive, which indicates lupus or other auto-immune diseases. I was terrified, but tried to stay positive. My doctor got me an appointment with my grandfather’s rheumatologist (he has had rheumatoid since age 28, and he has suffered severely) in Bismarck, in October. So two weeks ago, my husband and I made the trek to Bismarck to find out results. I got my letter back last Friday stating that no, I did not have lupus, but I have rheumatoid arthritis. My test came in at 206 and normal is 19, so the doctor wants to put me on meds that will take down inflammation and avoid flare-ups as much as possible.

First off, what is rheumatoid arthritis? It is an auto-immune disease where your own body attacks your joints. No, it is not your grandma’s arthritis. It can be diagnosed as early as a teen and as late as well, your grandparents. My grandpa was 28 when he was diagnosed, and I am 23. Auto-immune diseases can be genetic. My great-grandparents had RA and so does my maternal grandfather, and now me. About 1.5 million people in the United States have RA, and women are 3 times as likely to get it than men. I have also heard that women are more likely to have crippling with the disease than men. My biggest issue, is that I am constantly tired. Some days, I feel like I was hit by a truck. In fact, I could go for a nap right now. And that does not go over so well for a working woman during the day and the farmer’s wife at night. My other issue is the crippling part. No, I do not have it now, but what does my future hold, especially with my career.

Treatment? Yes, there is treatment by medications, many of which are steroids and mostly cause a million other problems along the way, which is why I have decided to try going paleo. Along with taking my meds for flare ups, combined with the paleo diet, and staying active, I know I can beat this or at least make it better in the long run!

Going Paleo. My new diet will consist of lots of fruits and veggies, and meats. No grains or starches(except coconut and almond flours), no sugar (including zero calorie sugars, only honey and pure raw maple syrup), no dairy, and no legumes (rice or beans or potatoes, sweet potatoes can be okay). Oh, and no coffee. It is going to be so tough, especially for a coffee lover like myself, but from the things I have researched, it really heals in the long run. The paleo diet can “heal” anyone with just about any issue. It is recommended for athletes, people with heart disease or irritable bowl, basically anyone can benefit from going paleo. Another neat thing is that whether you are over-weight or under weight, going paleo will help you get to your right weight for your body, by either losing or gaining weight, until you are at you correct weight. There is no calorie counting, you eat when you are hungry and not just snack eating. The only hard thing about this for me is that I work everyday, 40+ hours a week, and commute 55 miles one way, there is not much time to meal prep. So, well see how that goes… However, I need to make a change, a drastic change, and it needs to be now.

I know there will be some days when I can’t move or I am so tired, I probably won’t be able to get up. I know there will be good days and bad days. There will be cheat days, when I eat ice cream and pizza ALL DAY, and then I regret it after. I know there will be days when I physically can’t do something. However, I plan on taking it one day at a time. In fact, I plan on running a 3K or 5K next summer! I want to stay active and healthy, as much as possible.

Are you living with RA? How do you cope?