Serve these as canapes. Seriously enjoyable healing-protocol friendly appetizers for the fanciest party.
Or it can be just you, a bowl of warm Leek & Wild Boar Belly Jam and a lovely crispy pile of Daikon Slices, snuggled in on the couch with your favourite movie. For a truly restorative comfort food session.
Pork Belly works perfectly, too, but I use Boar because they stock it in the freezer at my favourite food store, Health Essentials.
The night before I want to make this recipe, I defrost the Boar Belly in the fridge. In the morning I chop it up, slice the leeks, add the salt and my food prep is done.
Diversity & Nutrient Density
The key to health, and to stick-to-itiveness, on a healing protocol is diversity.
A variety of nutrient-dense foods ensures you cover your nutritional basis to promote healing, and it also prevents boredom.
Dr Terry Wahls is an advocate of ensuring a diversity of vegetables make into the rotation each day. To ensure the brain and body get the micronutrients they need.
I’ve also found that planning a range of meat offerings (different animals, varied cuts & assorted preparations) really helps to avert the feelings of deprivation that can sometimes emerge on a restricted diet.
But that doens’t mean it has to time consuming.
So. Put this one in your rotation!
Leek & Wild Boar Belly Jam on Daikon Crackers
1 pound Wild Boar Belly or Pork Belly
1 teaspoon Himalayan Salt (or similar)
1 good-sized peice of Daikon Radish Root
Microgreens or cilantro, to garnish
In the morning, slice the Boar Belly into cubes and lay in the bottom of a Slow Cooker. Sprinkle with Salt.
Slice the leek into coins, reserving the dark green leaves for another use (stock pot!) and scatter these on top of the Boar Belly.
Turn the slow cooker to low if you’ll be gone all day (medium if you have a little less time and will be home to give it a stir now and again).
Stir gently at least once before the cooking is complete.
When the cooking is complete, pour off the fat into a glass container and refrigerate for future use.
Using a sharp knife, or a mandolin on a sturdy setting, slice the Daikon into ‘crackers’.
Pile a piece of Boar Belly and a slice of Leek onto each Cracker and garnish with the Microgreens or Cilantro.
For comfort food, serve immediately.
For party presentation, refrigerate the cooked Boar Belly & Leeks. Once chilled, assemble the most aesthetic bits with microgreens on slices of Daikon. Use the less pretty canapes as pre-party fuel~.
Turmeric, and it’s active ingredient curcumin, is known to alleviate systemic inflammation. That’s how it supports the reversal of autoimmune diseases and counteracts neurodegeneration, including conditions like Alzheimer’s. To find out more about the common link between these diseases, read The Origin of Illness.
It’s not surprising that most AIP bloggers include it in their recipes on a regular basis.
To spread the golden love (and help counteract the effects of all the baking that’s floating around at this time of year), I’ve gathered together 60 AIP-compliant recipes, to make it easy to include turmeric in your healing protocol.
We all want to be healed, and so we look for confirmation that healing is possible, holding on to the narratives of miracle-cures and magical-remissions like talismans for our future well-being.
But the reality is that healing autoimmune is slow, non-linear and perhaps always incomplete.
Once a body is in autoimmune response, it is always in autoimmune response.
And if we don’t get that at first, it can lead to disillusionment and an unwarranted sense of failure.
In truth, most of the autoimmune bloggers that I know experience flares, even after strict commitment to the AIP for years. Many of them write about their setbacks on their blogs or social media. Some don’t.
Tara Perillo from Paleo Cajun Lady says “I always share my ups and downs in blog posts and social media. I feel like people are coming to us for the truth, not some perfect AIP fantasy land. I do try to end each negative post with a positive message, however. People appreciate that even we struggle.”
Susan Vennerholm from Backcountry Paleo agrees: “I feel that sharing the ups and downs of living with AI is important. We’re not superheros, and I think when readers realize we all have challenges, it makes the journey feel that much more doable. The important message is that even with these setbacks, we keep at it.”
Other bloggers choose not to share information about their health challenges, for various reasons, including that it can create vulnerability during a time when they don’t have the strength to deal with critical comments (or lack of response) from readers.
As Rory Linehan from the Paleo PI explains, “I try to focus on the positive but mostly, when I’m going through a setback I don’t want to share it until I’m out the other end and I can gain some sort of insight on it. Then by the time I’m out the other end, things are rosy again. I’m conscious that I’d like to share more of the challenging aspects of dealing with chronic illness, it’s just I want to frame it in a positive and not a negative light – which is challenging.”
Emma King from The Bacon Mum elaborates “It’s really important to share, but when I was at my worst this year and in a flare I just couldn’t cope emotionally with any negative responses to my posts.”
Dora Siah from Provincial Paleo explains, “Sometimes people just want to read the positive aspects to affirm that they’re doing the right thing. Especially the ones that feel defeated easily. Other times you get people wanting to hear about the difficulties others face, so as not to feel so lonely in their healing journey.”
Eileen Laird from Phoenix Helix points out “Many bloggers do share their setbacks, but that doesn’t mean people find those posts. We tend to find what we are looking for, which is why when I wanted a cure, those are the stories I found.”
In this post I’m sharing a web-log of posts that get into some of the challenges faced by people who are healing through diet and lifestyle.
So we can look reality in the eye, while still maintaining our faith in healing (that’s the Stockdale Paradox~).
With tremendous respect (& gratitude) for the honesty, here they are:
The Difference between Reversing Autoimmune Disease and a Cure by Eileen at Phoenix Helix. “As my two-year healing diet anniversary approached, something surprising happened. Instead of feeling grateful, I would find myself crying for no reason, carrying a sadness I didn’t understand. It took me a while to realize it was a deep grief over not being cured.”
On Finding What Works by Emily at Field Notes on Healing. “I had to face the fact that a year using the autoimmune protocol (AIP) diet, lifestyle changes, and functional medicine (along with the medication my doctor had prescribed me) were not enough to fully correct my rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.”
Endometriosis Surgery by Angie at Autoimmue Paleo. “I would be a liar if I said there is no part of me that isn’t having a little bit of a pity-party. I have worked tirelessly for two & half years following Autoimmune Protocol & adopting Paleo lifestyle changes. Those things dramatically improved my health & I had hoped they were enough to manage Endo. They are not.”
Bending Not Breaking: My consent to surgery by Martine at Eat Heal Thrive. “I had to confront the reality in my very-much-ongoing healing journey that no amount of medication, clean eating, and stress management could address this current complication.”
My Personal Battles with Stress by Sarah at The Paleo Mom. “The truth is that the last year and a half have been super tough for me healthwise. I have really struggled with both my physical and emotional health as the result of high stress. Primarily, my complaints have been gaining weight, fatigue, joint pain and some tendonitis, mild depression, and active lichen planus lesions.”
An interview with Terry Wahls by Eileen at Phoenix Helix. “It takes a long time for your body to repair damage that took 35 years to develop. It might take 10 years to heal that… My stamina is incrementally improving, but I’m certainly not yet at the equivalent stamina of another 57 year old in good health.”
Am I an AIP Failure because I Haven’t Reached Full Remission? by Tara at Paleo Cajun Lady. “I have completely healed a stomach ulcer, various psoriasis rashes, inflammation in my intestines and colon, butterfly rash, fibroid tumors, bleeding gums, leaky gut, and the list goes on. But, I still have improvements to make. I still have symptoms to deal with.”
Accepting Illness by Christina at A Clean Plate. “When I say I feel amazing, I’m talking about being able to get out of bed, keep up with my household chores, hang out with my boyfriend, and eventually make it back to bed without anything bad happening. More often than not.”
I’ll Never be a Paleo Success Story (and why I’m okay with that) by Jaime at Gutsy by Nature. “The ever present danger for those of us who are using food as part of our healing strategy is that we end up letting an awareness of what we do and don’t eat become an obsession. Where is the line between eating a healthy diet and disordered eating?”
What Does an AI Flare Look Like for Me by Alaena at Grazed and Enthused. “Why am I sharing these personal details of an autoimmune flare with the Internet? Because autoimmune disease can be a lonely place…”
Getting back to my Blogging Roots: An Update on my Life by Katy Haldiman. “During my journey, I have had some setbacks and struggles, which I believe is a common experience among people with autoimmune disease. A return of migraine headaches was one such struggle for me. A frequently drooping eyelid from myasthenia gravis was another.”
To Medicate or Not to Medicate… that is NOT the question by Slightly Lost Girl. “One of the things I often hear in the AIP community is, ‘I am sick, but my diet isn’t working, so I am going to give up and just take my medication instead.’ For me, there is a fundamental flaw in this statement. It is like saying ‘I got hurt in a car accident, so seatbelts obviously don’t work. I am going to just put a cast on my broken leg instead of wearing a seatbelt.'”
Biohacking Update: 17 months on the Autoimmune Protocol. This one’s mine: about the progress of my husband Matthew on the AIP. “After 16 months on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), we were back where we’d been at the worst of Matthew’s autoimmune crisis: he was almost completely incapacitated & unable to care for himself. Despite that, the AIP is working.”
Christie’s Story on Phoenix Helix. “I’ve felt close to remission many times in the past year. I have very little psoriasis left on my scalp or torso. Why I get so close and then have a step backwards, I have no idea. I wish I knew. I wish I understood everything my body is trying to tell me.”
In this Healing Stories podcast, Eileen interviews people who have had a variety of healing experiences on the AIP, including Melissa who, at one time, was bedridden for 18 months. As Eileen summarizes, at the time of this podcast, Melissa was “independent in self-care and no longer disabled. She needs to rest after periods of activity, but she has quality of life again. And she’s reduced her medication substantially. At her worst, she took 36 pills a day. Now she’s down to 8.”
Insecurity: What Happens Behind the Scenes by Angie on Autoimmue Paleo. “Even though I… am actively working here to form deep human connections, specifically around the struggle of illness and the journey to health, it is still sometimes really tough for me to be truly open and vulnerable.”
My deep appreciation to Eileen from Phoenix Helix for inspiring me to put together this post and for finding links for me~.
Eileen is reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis on the AIP. Recently she wrote on facebook:
I am not cured. I’ve never met anyone with autoimmune disease who was cured. Nor am I 100% symptom-free. Complete remission is rare with autoimmunity. I have improved my symptoms by 95% through the autoimmune paleo diet and lifestyle, and where I started (excruciating pain and disability) to where I am today (a full and beautiful life) is night and day. But it’s not perfection. In addition to diet and supplements, I take 1 Aleve tablet twice daily to manage my remaining inflammation. For someone with a severe form of RA, that’s amazing, and I’m grateful. It’s the only medication I take. I’ve been honest about this on my blog, but sometimes people miss these details. I’m sharing this today, because I want you to know that if you haven’t achieved perfect healing you aren’t alone. Some people need more medication than I do. Some people need less. Some people regain all of their abilities. Some people regain some. I interview a lot of people for my blog and podcast, and I believe every step forward is cause for celebration: any ability you reclaim, and pain you relieve, any energy you regain. That’s reversing autoimmune disease. It’s not about perfection. It’s about living your best possible life.