Healing Kale Salad and InstantPot Chicken Soup

Tonight, you are getting two recipes in a single post! I often make these two dishes together, and they pair perfectly. They create a light and nutritious meal.

Healing Kale Salad:

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: None! Let marinate for 1-4 hours if possible

My father-in-law is the kale king. He grows kale almost year-round, so we eat a lot of kale. My mother-in-law likes to tenderize the kale using olive oil. I added a few of my own flavors and made this delicious and nutritious AIP-compliant kale salad. Marinating the kale in lemon juice and olive oil makes it much easier for me to digest.

Ingredients:

1 large bag of organic kale or several large bunches of kale from the farmer’s market

1 large lemon

1 red onion

1 clove of garlic

dried cranberries

sunflower seeds (if reintroduced)

Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper (if reintroduced)

Directions:

  1. Devein the kale (and save the stems to make green juice). One handful at a time, place the kale into a food processor and chop into small pieces. Place chopped kale into a zip lock bag.
  2. Heat the lemon for 15 seconds in the microwave. Cut lemon into large slices and squeeze juice into the bag. For a less powerful lemon flavor, don’t use all of the lemon juice. Add olive oil until all the kale looks wet, but is not dripping. Add salt to taste.
  3. Message the kale inside the bag to help break down the harshness of the kale flavor. Afterward, transfer the kale into a bowl.
  4. Dice onion and garlic into small pieces and mix into the chopped kale. Allow to marinate for a few hours before serving if possible.
  5. Add dried cranberries, salt, and sunflower seeds to taste. Enjoy!

* You can also marinate the salad with the sunflower seeds added to help make the seeds easier to digest!

Pro Tip: Top with chicken and some fruit (berries, oranges, ect.), and it becomes a meal all on its own!

Instant Pot Chicken Soup:

 Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 minutes low pressure

What goes better with soup than salad? My mother has the best chicken noodle soup recipe, but if you remove the noodles it is completely paleo! She used to make chicken noodle soup for me all the time when I was feeling sick growing up, so one day I added all the veggies to my instant pot and created chicken noodle-less soup. This recipe is full of healing spices/bone broth, completely paleo, easily altered to become AIP compliant, and exactly what I need when I am under the weather.

 Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts

1 cup of carrots chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 cup of celery chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 onion diced

1 whole parsnip peeled and diced

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 tablespoon salt

2 cloves of garlic diced

½ tablespoon pepper, if reintroduced

Bone broth (I usually use about 2 quarts)

Directions:

  1. Dice veggies and place them in instantpot.
  2. Add turmeric, salt, and pepper. Add more if you would prefer a stronger taste.
  3. Place in 4 chicken breasts.
  4. Fill instant pot to maximum fill line with bone broth.
  5. Set instant pot on low for 4 minutes.
  6. Allow instant pot to depressurize on its own.
  7. Open instant pot and shred chicken. Enjoy!

 

Mom’s Hearty Pork Tenderloin Soup:

Obviously, I get all of my great recipes from my family. The best part of this recipe is that you can place this meal in the crock-pot at the beginning of the day and come home to a warm meal! Everyone in my family loves delicious and healthy meals, but no one loves spending hours in the kitchen. We also love to have leftovers whenever possible. My family has been extremely supportive of my diet since day one. For any family members out there, you have absolutely no idea how wonderful it is to have a support system that makes delicious meals you can eat!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 hours in the crock-pot (8 hours minimum)

Ingredients:

½ big bag of organic kale

1 onion sliced into ½ inch pieces

3 small potatoes/2 medium potatoes/1 large potato (or white sweet potato for AIP)

4 oz of mushrooms

4 medium carrots sliced into ½ inch pieces

1 all-natural pork tenderloin (we get ours at Walmart or food lion)

1 clove of garlic diced

3 cups of chicken bone broth (this is a guestimate)

salt, onion powder, and pepper if reintroduced

  • These measurements are incredibly flexible. Feel free to add more or less veggies depending on the room in your crock-pot.

 

Directions:

  1. Place pork tenderloin in bottom of the crock pot and rub it down with salt, garlic, and pepper if reintroduced. Pour in bone broth until you have about a half-inch of broth in the crock-pot. Allow to marinate for a few hours or overnight if you have the time. The soup will still be delicious if the tenderloin doesn’t marinate.
  2. Prepare veggies and store in a zip lock bag.
  3. Place all veggies except kale in crock-pot and fill crock-pot with ½ broth and ½ water until the veggies and tenderloin are covered. Place the kale on top so that it floats/sits under a little of the broth.
  4. Turn crockpot on low for 8-10 hours. Add salt, garlic powder, or other seasonings to taste.
  5. Shred tenderloin and enjoy!

*This soup will just get better the longer it sits. It’s even better after a few days.

Dad’s Crispy Roasted Chicken

As promised, I am finally sharing recipes!!! The first is my dad’s delicious roasted whole chicken. It’s simple, paleo, and AIP compliant. I was TERRIFIED to cook a whole chicken by myself, but my dad talked me into it, and this recipe is amazing. The skin is crispy and the chicken is super moist. This is a great recipe to meal-prep for the week. I split our chicken into 9 single-serving portions for lunches and dinners. Thanks dad!

Prep Time: 10 minutes, 20 minutes maximum (if you chop slowly)

Cooking Time: 80-90 minutes

Ingredients:

8 oz mushrooms sliced into ½ inch pieces

1 large sweet potato

1 head of broccoli florets

5 large carrots diced into ½ inch pieces

1 bunch of celery sliced into ½ inch pieces

1 onion chopped into ½ inch pieces

1 5-6 pound organic, free-range chicken

*Feel free to substitute vegetables for your favorite veggies! The best thing about this recipe is you can use any vegetables you enjoy or have on-hand!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Remove giblets (if necessary) and wash down chicken with water. Pat chicken dry and place in a baking dish.
  3. Rub chicken inside and out with olive oil, garlic powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper if it has been reintroduced.
  4. Tuck wings under chicken and bake at 425 for 30 minutes.
  5. While chicken is baking, toss veggies in a little melted coconut oil, salt, garlic powder, turmeric, and pepper if reintroduced.
  6. When the timer goes off, drain the excess liquid from the baking dish and place veggies into baking dish. Place chicken on top of veggies and bake for another 50-60 minutes at 375 (until temperature reaches 180 degrees.
  7. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Pro Tip: Save the chicken carcass and veggie scraps to make bone broth!!

Food as Medicine: A Documentary Film about Healing

If you have not seen this documentary go watch it, tonight. If you can, watch it right now. The story they tell is my story!!!! These are real-life people who have done the same thing as me. Our stories could be similar to yours.

Food is fuel and food heals. Watch it. Know it. Live it. Step up and take control of your health and diet. Today. Don’t wait. The number of people living with chronic illness is on the rise, and my diet and lifestyle changes put me into remission.

There is so much confusion about diet and this documentary paints a very real picture of changing your life to control disease. It shows the struggle and the triumph. It shines light on the fact that your disease never truly goes away, and the truth that healthy food is often hard to find. It even highlights the importance of surrounding yourself with a healthy community. Even if you aren’t currently struggling with a chronic illness, most Americans are headed toward some type of disease.

Lately, I’ve been struggling. I have felt alone and strange for following my strict diet, which has led to more cheat days and increased feelings of isolation. This documentary has given me hope. It has lit a fire under me to spread the word that the American diet and lifestyle is making us ill. Changing these statistics are up to you and me!

This isn’t just about treating my disease, this is about connecting communities to healthy options. This is about getting healthy food, the most natural medicine, to everyone in the US regardless of income. Go watch this movie and LEARN.

https://www.facebook.com/FoodAsMedicineTheMovie/

Using SCD to Combat Crohn’s

Danielle Walker of Against All Grain posted an article on Facebook that I had to share. I know very little about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), but it has a lot of similarities to the paleo diet. Finally, doctors are beginning to realize diet has a huge impact on this illness! Check out the article and information on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet below.

Article:

http://pulse.seattlechildrens.org/novel-diet-therapy-helps-children-with-crohns-disease-and-ulcerative-colitis-reach-remission/

What is SCD?

http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/home/

Resources for Recipes

The hardest part about becoming paleo is finding recipes that are quick, easy, and delicious. When you are learning an entirely new lifestyle, remembering what is allowed/not allowed can become extremely overwhelming. Many of the ingredients used in paleo cooking were completely foreign to me when I started. Here are a list of my favorite resources for new delicious recipes.

Against All Grain

Danielle Walker has managed her Ulcerative Colitis with a paleo diet. She also happens to be a New York Times Bestseller and an incredible chef. Everyone, including myself, loves her take on traditional favorites. She has some simple meals (usually not simple enough for this non-chef on a Monday night), meals that are great for meal prep, and a little more complicated recipes for special occasions.

http://againstallgrain.com/

Mangia Paleo

This blog is the reason I started the paleo diet. Laura Scaviola began a paleo diet right after her diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis, and has used her awesome recipes to help manage her disease. P.S. She’s also absolutely hilarious.

http://www.mangiapaleo.com/

laura

Other Websites… Yes, that is Cryptic

I skim through some other websites that offer great paleo options like Nom Nom Paleo, The Paleo Mom, Paleo Leap…and many more! Google paleo recipes and a million awesome resources will pop up.

Pinterest

 I LOVE PINTEREST. It is perfect for those times when I am completely out of ideas, but want a quick meal.The link to my Pinterest board is below. Please pardon, the mess… organization has never been my strong suit. There are tons of recipes in several different Pinterest boards (some I have tried and some I haven’t).

https://www.pinterest.com/collinskm2/

Instagram

When I see a great recipe, I take a screenshot of the link to the recipe. My favorite instagram chefs are donteatthespatula, emilyeatsrealfood, squirrel_kitchen, grassfedgirl, eat_heal_thrive, thespunkycoconut, paleochef, autoimmunepaleo, and mightymorphinmitch. Not all of these are completely paleo, but seeing what other people are eating always gives me ideas.

Google

I know it sounds crazy but the majority of my meals are found through google. I type in whatever I want to make (cookies, brownies, baked chicken, pot roast) and add the word paleo. Then, I scroll through recipes until I find the simplest one. Honestly, 9 times out of 10 it turns out delicious.

Simple Meal Ideas from Me

I believe in simple/cheap mid-week meals. I believe in very little clean-up. I believe in meal prep and microwaves.

My meals usually consist of some simple protein, vegetables (usually organic, frozen, or prepped ahead), and a carb. My carbs are usually sweet potatoes, white potatoes, or some form of seasonal squash. On crazy days, I swap my carbs for fruit!!! Living on the edge! I’ll be updating this site with some simple recipes I use as staples.

Changing the World… One Stall at a Time

THIS IS AMAZING! Way to go Grace! Seeing children dealing with Crohns and Colitis always breaks my heart. Living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease is hard and embarrassing. I love that this little girl is making changes in her country, and using a bad situation to advocate for herself.

Can we get this in America? I’ve been in remission for almost two years now, but the amount of people who deal with severe IBD on a daily basis with no current path to remission is staggering. We need to stand up and advocate for ourselves, raise awareness, and get the plans in place to receive the accommodations we need. So proud of this little girl for acting wise above her years, thinking of others beyond herself, and advocating for others beyond her disease.

toilet

http://www.zincestates.review/strangers-give-girl-dirty-looks-when-she-uses-handicap-bathroom-but-they-cant-see-her-disease/

Olympic Swimmer Living with IBD

It’s been a hard week… But you know what is incredibly uplifting? Seeing a strong young woman achieve her life-long goals while living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Kathleen Baker has Crohn’s Disease, but she is COMPETING IN THE OLYMPICS!!!! She’s officially my new hero… Some days may be pure torture, but this disease does not have to limit your dreams. Living with chronic illness may mean taking a new route, but you can still make it to the finish line.

Now you know who I will be supporting at the Rio Olympics. Goooooo Kathleen! Thank you for inspiring all of us with IBD. I hope to see you around Charlotte one day.

Check out an amazing article on her below.

http://www.nbcolympics.com/news/joe-posnanski-kathleen-bakers-crohns-disease-isnt-curse

Jun 27, 2016; Omaha, NE, USA; Kathleen Baker during the women's 100m backstroke preliminary heats in the U.S. Olympic swimming team trials at CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Unconditional Love

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This is me, two years ago (July 3rd, 2014). I was in the hospital between the first and second bag of my blood transfusion. If you think this photo is bad, you should have seen me in person. The old woman wobble, memory fog, bald spots, and steroid rash really topped off the look. But do you see that smile? That was real. I was outside, and I wasn’t crying.

In the weeks leading up to my hospital stay I would beg my boyfriend to take me outside. I needed his help to make it across the fifteen feet of flooring and two stairs that separated my living room from my driveway. I usually pleaded and promised to be good for over an hour before he would cave and drag/carry me outside. You see, he had a very good reason for protesting.

As soon as my face felt the sun, I would break down. Being outside opened a floodgate of emotions. I would cry about my stupid disease, my lack of independence, and my desire to just be normal. I would cry about the constant pain…. And every time I cried, he sat down beside me, stroked my hair, and told me I was going to be ok. Every time, after I finished crying, he picked me back up and carried me inside to begin another round of the couch to bathroom shuffle. This was the first time in weeks I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I felt the sun and instead of thinking of days past I thought of the days ahead.

 

When I see this picture, I see hope, joy, and unconditional love.

 

I see my mother going without sleep for weeks to make sure I didn’t hurt myself stumbling to the bathroom 30 plus times in the middle of the night. I see my father paying my astronomical medical bills without expecting anything in return and my brother driving 14 hours to clean out the dorm room I abandoned when I got really sick.

I see my boss and coworkers stepping in to help me, and I see my roommates watching over me when I came back to school. I see the doctors and nurses who cared for me and the friends and family who came to “babysit” me when I could not be left alone.

I see my grandfather reaching for my hand “for him, not me” when I was too weak to walk by myself but too stubborn to ask for help.

I see my boyfriend telling me he was going to marry me, because he wanted to be the one taking care of me for the rest of my life. And… moments after that he had to rush me inside to get sick.

This picture represents more love than anyone could imagine. In this picture, I felt Christ-like love when I had nothing to give in return. I would yell and scream. I would break down and cry. I would say hurtful, mean things to people who were giving up huge chunks of their lives to take care of me. (Sorry mom…).

I did not deserve their love, but they gave it anyway. I did not deserve their patience, but they gave it anyway. I did not deserve their grace, but they gave it anyway.

They showed me a glimpse of heaven.

In this picture I see the love, the compassion, and the hope for a better tomorrow. I see the huge strides I have made in the past two years. I see the blessings the Lord placed in my life, and the assurance that there is always a peace that passes understanding. In short, I see the unconditional love of Christ. The wobble, the bald spots, and the memory fog are gone, but the smile remains. I know my support system will love me through anything. Some days are still really tough, but I know no matter what happens I have unconditional love on my side.