Thinking Out Loud

Fellow traveller in the AIP jungle
Fellow traveler in the AIP jungle

I started this blog ~unexpectedly~ six months ago.

In the beginning I thought I’d write about two themes: Paleo for people who hate to cook and Paleo for humans in a decaying civilization.

I still love those themes & write about them, but exploration of the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) & specifically, a low-FODMAP variation of the AIP is my primary area of interest right now.

The unexpected thing is that people read my blog.

It’s hardly The Next Big Thing, but currently it’s getting hundreds of views a day from all over the world & those numbers keep going up. Mostly because there is a lot of interest in the AIP right now.

It’s fun. But disconcerting.

Disconcerting because when I’m posting,  I’m just thinking out loud. I’m just experimenting & reporting out on those experiments. And I want people to know that when they read my posts.

I’m not an expert, I’m just a fellow traveler.

When it comes to the AIP, we’re all experimenting &  learning from each other. Our collective maps of the AIP jungle are still few & sketchy, but people like Sarah Ballantyne & Terry Wahls have substantially illuminated the uncharted territory.

For most of us, our personal AIP maps still need work, and that’s where the experimenting comes in.

The AIP jungle fascinates me.

Happy to travel with you!

 

Gut Health=Psyche Health

Psyche health

Matthew is this guy I’m really into and we’ve both been on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) for over 3 months now.

I was a paleo purist before I started the AIP & I haven’t noticed too many changes over these months, other than a significant improvement in my mental health. My mental health was good when I started. Now it’s fantastic.

Matthew has been intermittently experiencing reduced pain & inflammation, which is the goal, but soon after the 2-month mark, a couple of unexpected things also happened:

  1. He almost totally stopped snoring. I’ve had to wear industrial-strength earplugs for years, but in the last month I’ve put them away. Anyone who has a mate who snores will know how life-altering this is (for me!); and
  2. He started lucid dreaming.

I’ve been curious about the dreaming & have been mulling over a possible connection in my mind over the past month:

Gut health=Mental health=Psyche health

Culturally, we’ve been invested in this mechanistic view of health & biology & the universe for so long we sometimes forget how much we don’t know.

This idea about the connection between gut health & psyche health was just bouncing around in my head until I read Mark Sisson’s post on resistant starch yesterday.

Turns out that not only is resistant starch great for gut health, but it also “improves sleep, conferring the ability to hold and direct (in real time) private viewings of vivid movie-esque dreams throughout the night.” Mark went on to say that he has experienced these dreams first-hand and that he suspects “it has something to do with increased GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) from the increased butyrate. Another possibility is that resistant starch is feeding serotonin-producing gut bacteria, and the serotonin is being converted to melatonin when darkness falls.”

Maybe!

And (or) maybe there is some other connection between the health of our gut and the health of our psyche.

Maybe our SAD diet has been making us stupid in multiple ways.

Not only inhibiting our ability to think clearly, but to dream clearly. And destroying our agency as dreamers.

Consider the implications.

If dreams are the mechanism by which our subconscious sorts & makes sense of experience, what difference would it make if we could be active participants in that process?

What would Psyche Health look like?

A society full of healthy psyches?

Robert A. Johnson has a bunch of excellent mini-books on Jungian psychology. A couple of them changed my life, including Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the PsycheHe writes:

“A whole generation can live a modern, civilized life without ever touching much of it’s shadow nature. Then predictably–twenty years is the allotted time–that unlived shadow will erupt and a war will burst forth that no one wanted but to which everyone contributed. Apparently the collective need for shadow expression supersedes the individual determination to contain the [shadow]. And so it happens that an era of disciplined creativity is always followed by an astounding display of annihilation. There are better ways of dealing with the shadow, but until they are common knowledge we will continue to have these outbursts in their most destructive form.”

A society of healthy psyches could (or maybe by definition, would) succeed in finding better ways of dealing with the shadow.

And a society of healthy psyches with no snoring?

We’d be a truly evolved species…

Kalua Lamb Shanks (AIP-friendly, low-FODMAP)

lamb shanksThis recipe is wholly inspired by Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pig, which is one of my favorite breakfast slow cooker recipes. Kalua Pig is divinely good, and having hot breakfast waiting in the morning is double heaven.

I first had lamb for breakfast when I baked some shanks for supper using a recipe I found online. They were tough & disappointing. After gnawing at them awhile, I tossed the leathery shanks into the slow cooker with some bone broth & set them on low overnight, hoping to salvage them. Not only were they rescued, they were transformed into melting-off-the-bone yumminess. And the bone broth they’d been cooked in (what we didn’t devour for breakfast) turned almost solid in the fridge. If I’d dropped it on the floor I’m pretty sure it would have bounced. And bone broth that gelatinous is superhero food.

Lamb shanks for breakfast are strangely satisfying. They give me great energy and are weirdly comforting to eat in the morning.

I know there are fancier ways to cook a lamb shank, but I don’t know that they’d turn out any better. Lamb is higher in omega 3’s than pork, and you get lamb bones for your next batch of bone broth.

Kalua Lamb Shanks (AIP-friendly, low-FODMAP)

  • Difficulty: Not even slightly
  • Print

From petra8paleo ~inspired by Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pig~

• 4 slices bacon
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• ½ cup water
• 4 lamb shanks
• 2 tablespoons coarse salt (like ‘alaea)

Lay the bacon slices in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add the balsamic vinegar & water. Rub the shanks all over with salt & arrange them in the slow cooker, bones tilting upwards.

Cook on low overnight or for 8 or so hours.

Recipe Notes

Bone broth day!
Bone broth day!

Use the bacon-laced cooking liquid/fat as the start to a fabulous fry-up or to cook a mess of greens. Or pop it in the bone broth pot with the lamb bones (& some cow or chicken bones). Definitely save the lamb bones for broth. They will wait very patiently in the freezer for bone broth day.

 

AIP low-FODMAP food list

AIP low-FODMAP 1.0

I was confused about FODMAPs as there is so much contradictory information about FODMAPs online. But I just received my low-FODMAP booklet from the Monash University in Australia and things are clearer (but not yet completely unambiguous).

Monash U also has a FODMAP app, but I hate phones & use my mobile exclusively for texting my teenaged children (they are surprisingly forthcoming by text even when monosyllabic in person), so I had to wait for my booklet to travel to Vancouver Island across the surface of the planet by post.

Gut-healing diets

Low-FODMAP is an entirely distinct diet from the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), which is a restricted Paleo diet, so finding foods that are AIP-friendly & low-FODMAP requires an overlap of the two lists.

FODMAPs include oligos (fructans & galacto-oligodsacharides), fructose, polyols (sorbitol & mannitol) & lactose. A breath test can determine if malabsorption of fructose, sorbitol & lactose is present in an individual, but apparently all humans malabsorb fructans, galacto-oligodsacharides & mannitol.

Many people don’t require a low-FODMAP AIP diet to reach their health goals. The AIP or Paleo diet is amply sufficient for most. I found healing with ordinary Paleo, but I wasn’t living with an Autoimmune condition. Another variant of the Paleo diet designed specifically for healing is the Wahl’s Protocol.

A brief recap

My husband Matthew, whose life was pretty much wrecked by multiple Autoimmune conditions, including Psoriatic Arthritis, started a experiment with the AIP three months ago, after trying lots of weird diets in his quest for health. He switched to a low-FODMAP version about a month in, after he found many of the higher FODMAP foods to be difficult to digest. He believes the low-FODMAP version continues to be appropriate for him at this time. I’m just along for the ride.

AIP low-FODMAP food list

The AIP excludes all grains, legumes (including soy), nuts, seeds (including seed spices), dairy, eggs, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, goji berries), and food additives.

The following list includes the AIP-legal foods tested by the Monash University & listed as low-FODMAP in the 4th edition of their handbook. Australian names for a number of foods are different than what we use in Canada & I’ve adjusted these to the names I’m accustomed to.

  • All meat, poultry, fish & seafood are AIP & low-FODMAP (seek out pastured sources)

Vegetables

  • Arugula (Rocket)
  • Bok Choy
  • Cabbage (not Savoy)
  • Carrot
  • Chard
  • Chives
  • Choy Sum
  • Cucumber
  • Endive
  • Ginger
  • Green beans
  • Herbs (leafy, fresh or dried)
  • Lettuce (including radicchio)
  • Olives
  • Okra
  • Parsnip
  • Kabocha squash
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga (swede)
  • Seaweed
  • Spinach
  • Turnip
  • Water chestnuts
  • Zucchini

Fruit (low fruit intake on the AIP: fresh, not dried or juice)

  • Banana
  • Blueberry
  • Cantaloupe
  • Starfruit
  • Dragon Fruit
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Passionfruit
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberry
  • Tangelo

Condiments, fats & seasoning

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Coconut aminos
  • Herbs (leafy, fresh or dried)
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Coconut Milk (homemade)
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Animal fats

There are additional foods are AIP-friendly & low-FODMAP in very small quantities

  • Beet roots (2 slices or less)
  • Broccoli (1/2 cup or less)
  • Brussels Sprouts (2 sprouts)
  • Savoy Cabbage (1/2 cup)
  • Celeriac (1/2 celeriac)
  • Butternut squash (1/4 cup)
  • Fennel bulb or leaves (1/2 cup)
  • Kale (1 cup)
  • Snow peas (5 pods)
  • Spring onion or leeks (green part only)
  • Avocado (1/8 or less)
  • Dried, shredded coconut (1/4 cup or less)

(I remain a little confused about winter squashes. Kabocha squash is listed as low-FODMAP and Butternut squash as moderate, but I don’t know, for example, about spaghetti squash. I present all this information based on my current, evolving understanding of the AIP & FODMAPs…)

Some AIP-friendly low-FODMAP recipes:

AIP 101: the fry-up

Fry up w crispsMaybe this hardly counts as a recipe, except there’s an art to a phenomenal fry-up.

It can be the kind of meal that you look forward to at work all day because it’s perfect comfort food, makes almost no dishes, & makes you feel fantastic.AIP_ABC

In fact, mastering fry-ups & salads & bone broth might be the key to AIP success. They’re the AIP ABCs.

I cook a fry-up or two every week, more when I’m busy, and I always plan one for the day after I cook pulled pork. The bacon-laced fat from a happily-raised pork roast is a perfect start to a luscious fry-up of ground meat & greens.

In fact, truly transcendent fry-ups partly depend on the quality and flavour of the fat. A succulent fry up is not a lean fry up. And fat keeps you satiated longer.

If you are working with ground meat that already contains a lot of fat, like pork or some ground beef, you’ll have to use your judgement about whether to leave it or pour some of it off as it cooks. Generally, most people discard the fat from any factory-raised meat & consider fat from happy pastured animals to be an excellent food source. A lot of ground meat is quite lean, including pastured beef, and adding fat will increase the succulence factor by the square root of fabulous. For myself, I save higher fat ground pork for making breakfast sausages, like these from Phoenix Helix.

Aip snackfood: fry-up with crisps
Fancy-up leftover fry-up with homemade crisps

You need 4 things for a great fry up: meat, vegetables, fat & seasoning. I prefer to use greens, but any vegetation that meets your requirements, including already cooked leftovers, is copacetic.

A fry-up can be mostly about the meat, or more about the veg, depending on what you need in a given meal. Dr Terry Wahls recommends 9 cups of vegetables every day & a fry-up is a great way to get those in.

My favorite (low-FODMAP) fry-up

  • Several generous tablespoons bacon fat; or pieces of pork fat leftover from Kalua Pig; or coconut oil;
  • 2 lbs ground meat (Using 2 types is tasty: beef, bison, lamb, elk, venison);
  • 1-2 bunches or 1lb greens (chard, bok choy, spinach);
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos;
  • 2 tablespoons herbs (basil, savory, marjoram, oregano…);
  • 3-4 tablespoons sea vegetables;
  • Himalyan Salt (or similar), to taste;

Melt the fat, fry the meat, add the herbs & salt. When the meat is nearly cooked, add the greens, sea vegetables & coconut aminos. Cook until the greens are wilted.

If it’s a meal in one, eat it from a bowl with chopsticks, a fork or a spoon, depending on your mood.

Or use it as wrap-filling with a chiffonade of lettuce in green flatbread. Or serve it with AIP crisps.

Reinvent leftover fry-up by adding something new, maybe abundant turmeric & ginger browned in coconut oil, some more greens, a little diced papaya & some sliced leftover chicken for a superlative breakfast.

The fry-up. You could live on it. Happily. The AIP doesn’t have to be hard!

AIP Crisps (low-FODMAP)

CrispsMaking these crisps is sort of meditative. Almost devotional. They vary in their crispness, depending on the amount of water & starch in the roots. But even when they aren’t particularly crisp they are particularly yummy. Green plantains are low-FODMAP & crisp up wonderfully. Yams & turnips are on some low-FODMAP lists, but not all.

  • 1 green plantain
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 yam
  • 1 smallish turnip
  • 1 cup coconut oil (or use part bacon-fat)

To peel a green plantain, cut both ends off and slice through the skin lengthwise with a sharp paring knife. Pull the skin off in strips.

Peel the yam. Trim the turnip, carrot & parsnip as required.

Slice everything thinly with a sharp knife. A mandolin slicer works well, but isn’t necessary. You can prep the plantain & the roots as you fry the first batches.

Crisps w. meatMelt about half the fat in a pan until quite hot. The fat should cover the bottom of the pan enough to float the slices slightly while they are cooking. Cook the crisps in batches, using tongs to flip each crisp frequently. When browned, remove to a plate covered in paper towel. Add more fat as you need it.

You’ll need to watch these, but there will also be enough time to do a little kitchen multi-tasking.

Sprinkle the cooked crisps with a little salt as you go.

Autoimmune: a wicked problem

wicked-probsOn the weekend I was thinking about ‘wicked problems’.

It occurred to me while I was reading a paper called Tackling wicked problems: a public policy perspective by the Australian Public Service Commissioner, that  Autoimmune Conditions are wicked problems.

Just geek out with me on this for a minute.

All I’ve done in this blog post is adapt that report.  Condensed it for brevity, and changed some of the language about public policy to language about health. Otherwise, it’s intact. I think it really relates to autoimmune.

I know that the number of kindred-nerds who are interested in this stuff might be few, but applying the existing research into wicked problems to our attempts to address Autoimmune Conditions might be useful. You be the judge:

Tackling wicked problems: an autoimmune perspective

Original by Lynelle Briggs, Australian Public Service Commissioner, with autoimmune-related edits from me~

Humans seeking health are increasingly being tasked with solving very complex problems. Some of these issues are so complex they can been called ‘wicked’ problems. The term ‘wicked’ in this context is used, not in the sense of evil, but rather as an issue highly resistant to resolution.

It is important, as a first step, that wicked problems be recognised as such. Successfully tackling wicked problems requires a broad recognition and understanding that there are no quick fixes and simple solutions.

Tackling wicked problems is an evolving art. They require thinking that is capable of grasping the big picture, including the interrelationships among the full range of causal factors underlying them. They often require broader, more collaborative and innovative approaches. This may result in the occasional failure or need for change or adjustment.

Characteristics of Wicked Problems

The term ‘wicked’ in this context is used, not in the sense of evil, but as a crossword puzzle addict or mathematician would use it—an issue highly resistant to resolution. The terminology was originally proposed by H. W. J. Rittel and M. M. Webber, both urban planners at the University of California, Berkeley, USA in 1973. In a landmark article, the authors observed that there is a whole realm of social problems that cannot be successfully treated with traditional linear, analytical approaches. They called these issues wicked problems and contrasted them with ‘tame’ problems. Tame problems are not necessarily simple—they can be very technically complex—but the problem can be tightly defined and a solution fairly readily identified or worked through.

Wicked problems are difficult to clearly define. The nature and extent of the problem depends on who has been asked, that is, different people have different versions of what the problem is. Often, each version of the problem has an element of truth—no one version is complete or verifiably right or wrong.

Wicked problems have many interdependencies and are often multi-causal. There are also often internally conflicting goals or objectives within the broader wicked problem. It is the interdependencies, multiple causes and internally conflicting goals of wicked problems that make them hard to clearly define. The disagreement among health practitioners often reflects the different emphasis they place on the various causal factors. Successfully addressing wicked problems usually involves a range of coordinated and interrelated responses, given their multi-causal nature; it also often involves trade-offs between conflicting goals.

Attempts to address wicked problems often lead to unforeseen consequences. Because wicked problems are multi-causal with many interconnections to other issues, it is often the case that measures introduced to address the problem lead to unforeseen consequences elsewhere. Some of these consequences may well be deleterious.

Wicked problems are often not stable. Frequently, a wicked problem and the constraints or evidence involved in understanding the problem are evolving at the same time that people are trying to address the problem. People have to focus on a moving target.

Wicked problems usually have no clear solution. Since there is no definitive, stable problem there is often no definitive solution to wicked problems. Solutions to wicked problems are not verifiably right or wrong but rather better or worse or good enough. In some cases, the problem may never be completely solved. To pursue approaches based on ‘solving’ or ‘fixing’ may cause people to act on unwarranted and unsafe assumptions and create unrealistic expectations. In such cases, it may be more useful to consider how such problems can be managed best.

Wicked problems are socially complex. It is a key conclusion of the literature around wicked problems that the social complexity of wicked problems, rather than their technical complexity, overwhelms most current problem-solving approaches. Solutions to wicked problems usually involve coordinated action.

Wicked problems involve changing behaviour. More innovative, personalised approaches are likely to be necessary to motivate individuals to actively cooperate in achieving sustained behavioural change.

Possible Strategies for Tackling Wicked Problems

There is no quick fix for wicked problems.

The handling of wicked problems requires holistic rather than linear thinking. This is thinking capable of grasping the big picture, including the interrelationships between the full range of causal factors and health objectives. By their nature, wicked issues are imperfectly understood, and so initial planning boundaries that are drawn too narrowly may lead to a neglect of what is important in handling them. It is in this unforeseen interconnection that problems grow and failures arise.

There are a variety of ways that people try to tame wicked problems by handling them too narrowly. The most common way is locking down the problem definition. This often involves addressing a sub-problem that can be solved.

If measures are limited to the sub-problem rather than the wicked problem, the problem can appear solved at least in the short-term. Unintended consequences tend to occur even more frequently if the problem has been artificially tamed, that is, it has been too narrowly addressed and the multiple causes and interconnections not fully explored prior to measures being introduced.

The need for innovative and flexible approaches

In these complex circumstances, people seeking health have to become adaptive. Paul Plsek likens this difference to that between throwing a stone and throwing a live bird. The trajectory of the stone can be calculated precisely using the laws of physics. The trajectory of the bird is far less predictable. The question is whether we can embrace this shift in perspective, and redefine our role as supporters of adaptive processes of change. We need to stop pretending we are throwing stones, and acknowledge that the management of health is far more akin to throwing birds.

Another way of increasing adaptability and flexibility is to focus on sharing the learnings and experiences from dealing with wicked problems. (That’s what blogs do!)

The style is not so much of a traveller who knows the route, but more of an explorer who has a sense of direction but no clear route. Search and exploration, watching out for possibilities and inter-relationships, however unlikely they may seem, are part of the approach. There are ideas as to the way ahead, but some may prove abortive. What is required is a readiness to see and accept this, rather than to proceed regardless on a path which is found to be leading nowhere or in the wrong direction.

This style displays a willingness to think and work in new and innovative ways, and requires flexible and creative thinking. A concomitant condition to increasing adaptability is a broad acceptance and understanding that there are no quick fixes and that levels of uncertainty around the solutions to wicked problems need to be tolerated. Successfully addressing such problems takes time and resources.

 

Courageous Heroes or Financially-irresponsible Idealists?

HydraIt’s hard sometimes to know what is reasonable in our pursuit of healing.

We’ve spent ridiculous amounts of money on supplements and esoteric therapies.

Bought an infrared sauna & set it up in our living room.

Had a failed winter holiday in Mexico, in an attempt to inject some of the relief Matthew experiences in our Canadian summer. His pain was so bad we had to turn around & go home.

Tried numerous weird diets and bought the accompanying infrastructure for those diets (an expensive juicer that now languishes, a dehydrator that my dad now uses to turn his wizened apple crop into gnarly bits of dried apple for his hiking trips).

Invested in an inversion table, which also found a home with my dad.

All in attempts to find healing for Matthew.

We’ve moved.

Numerous times.

To a bigger house, because we thought that the stress of three verging-on-adolescent blended kids & two step-parents would be eased if we all had more space.

But Matthew’s health got worse in the enormous house, and it was so vast (3 big floors plus a basement) we never even knew who was home: Some of our children? All of our children? Give or take a dozen or so neighbourhood children?

So we moved from the city to a little house on a little island. Matthew’s health improved, but there was no high school. With two teenagers & one on the way, that was irreconcilable.

So we began to maintain 2 residences. A small one on the small island for Matthew and another one in the city, so I can fledge my kids.

We aren’t fancy people.

All of this has resulted in debt.

If we were going to go with the advice of medical specialists we would have done none of these things. And much more than half of the time they would have been right. Most of the time the things we have tried haven’t worked. The infrared sauna? Not so much. But we don’t know until we try and we keep trying.

Some things have resulting in improvements. The Auto-immune Protocol (particularly, so far anyway, a low-FODMAP version) seems to be an example.

If Matthew had decided to go strictly with the advice of medical specialists, he would simply take a series of increasingly toxic medications, and then some more medications to counteract their side effects, and then more medications to counteract the side effects of those.

In truth, he did try that and it didn’t work.

There are no assurances with experimental approach we’ve decided to take. Aside from the guarantee that it is more expensive and (for us) will result in debt.

Just the food bill on the Auto-immune Protocol can be a bit like a battle with a hydra.

Is it reasonable to go into debt in the pursuit of healing?

I guess it’s a risk management decision.

As with any risk, if it results in success (in our case, we find a pattern of living that enables Matthew to have a life worth living) then the risk-taking was courageous. Maybe even heroic.

If not (if we aren’t able to find a way back to health for Matthew) then having taken the risks & gone into debt to do it will seem, in retrospect, financially irresponsible and irrationally idealistic. Especially as his capacity to earn a living is on the line.

The ravening beast that is compound interest doesn’t discriminate based on whether your debt results from party shoes or pastured beef.

Which are we? Courageous heroes or irresponsible idealists? Maybe we’re like Schrödinger’s Cat: we’re both until the box is cracked open.

But either way, we will be able to say that we did everything in our power.

This image is Hercules slaying the Lernean hydra; c. 525 B.C. I’d say he’s getting some help with that…

15 low-FODMAP AIP breakfasts

Kalua Pig & Carrot fudge
Kalua Pig & Carrot fudge

Everybody knows that breakfast is important. Especially important if you are radically changing your diet, to avoid hunger and despondency, which leads to deviant food-related behaviour in the afternoon & evening…

At our house there are 3 categories of breakfasts on the AIP:

Mmm, tacos!
Blueberry beef tacos
  1. Planned leftovers;
  2. Emergency commuter rations; and
  3. Breakfasts that result from a morning food prep session;

Here’s what some of those look like:

Planned leftovers

Have your pie!
Pot pie
  • Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pig &  Cats in the Kitchen’s Carrot Cake Fudge with sliced cucumber;
  • Leftover Beef Tacos;
  • Leftover Pot Pie;
  • Breakfast Flatbread Wraps (Wrap leftover salmon &/or chicken in green flatbread. Add grated carrot & spinach); Like so:

    wraps
    Breakfast flatbread wraps
  • Hot Bone Broth
    Bone broth
    Bone broth

    (Check out this bone broth recipe from SCD Lifestyle: I broth my bones for 36 hours, too, but I often use a mixture of bones: whatever I’ve saved up in the freezer: lamb, beef & chicken).  Add leftover meat & spinach to your broth broth for an invigorating breakfast (otherwise known as soup…);

  • Likewise, leftover Beef Stew;
  • Or the breakfast of Champions: Cold Pizza!

    Cold pizza & hot tea
    Cold pizza & hot tea
steak to go
Steak to go

Emergency commuter rations

  • I-have-no-time-to-eat-yes-you-do reheated Steak. (Toss foil-wrapped teak in the oven while you get work-ready. Fuel your commute…);
  • All-I have-in-the-fridge-is-fudge Salmon Nori Wrap (If you keep tinned salmon & nori at work, all you need to bring is is a couple of slices of Cats in the Kitchen Carrot Cake Fudge to make your breakfast complete. I make this fudge without sweetener or vanilla. Yes, I love it.);

    nori salmon & fudge
    Nori handroll: tinned salmon & fudge
  • Lamb Muffins;

    Lamb muffins
    Lamb muffins

At least a modicum of morning food prep required…

  • Bacon & Oranges;
  • Tostada, Sautéed Bok Choy, Grilled Grapefruit (To make tostadas lay green tortillas into those  ‘disposable’ ~I reuse mine forever~ tin foil individual pie plates they sell at supermarkets & bake for another 15 minutes until crunchy, fill with ground meat & top with lettuce);

    Bacon & oranges
    Bacon & oranges
  • Root Hash (Toss parsnips & carrots with melted coconut oil & oven bake for 45 minutes. For slow cooked lamb shanks ~put them on before bed with just a few cups of bone broth & they’ll be ready for breakfast~ or eat your has with fresh-cooked bacon);
  • Hot Sausage to go (Special order AIP & low-FODMAP sausages from your butcher. Boil, then fry your sausages & wrap in green flatbread to go);

    Root hash
    Root hash
  • The Omnipotent Breakfast Fry-up. (Fry up ground meat with AIP-friendly veg & seasoning);

A rotation of 15 breakfasts is hardly necessary for AIP success, but it is important to find food you like that’s do-able in real life. For inspiration, check out Emily’s AIP food routine on her Field Notes on Healing blog. Really, it’s about finding what works. For each of us.

~Happy breakfasting!~

Sausage to go
Sausage to go

Lamb muffins (AIP-friendly, low-FODMAP)

Lamb muffinsMy #3 kid thinks I should have cooking show called “Guaranteed to Horrify your Vegetarian Teenager…”.  I asked her if she’d film it. She said yes.

  • 2lbs ground lamb (or 1 lb lamb & 1lb chicken  for a milder muffin);
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat or coconut oil;
  • Stalks of 2 large bunches chard;
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach;
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos;
  • 2 carrots, grated;
  • 1/3 cup chopped green olives;
  • 2 tablespoons savory;
  • 2 teaspoons salt;

Preheat oven to 350.

Using scissors, cut the stalks from the chard & chop. Sauté them in the fat until softened & add the spinach & coconut aminos, stir until wilted. Add chard & spinach mixture and all other ingredients to the ground meat in a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly, using your hands.

Lamb muffinsFill a 12-muffin tin with paper muffin cups and heap the meat & vegetable mixture into each cup.

Bake for 45 minutes until crisp & brown on top.

Make meat muffins when you have time & freeze them for when you don’t.

They reheat beautifully in the oven.

Bonus recipe!

Anchovy Greens

What to do with the chard greens?

Melt a jar, or half a jar, depending on your inclinations, of anchovies packed in olive oil in a hot pan. Once the anchovies start to disintegrate, add the chopped chard greens and cook until wilted & deliciously anchovied.

A perfect side for your hot lamb muffins…