Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Autoimmune Paleo Slow Cooked Beef Marrow Bone Broth (Low-FODMAP)


Bone broth, it is amazing for you, yet the funny thing is, not everyone's body tolerates it very well.  This may come as a surprise to some, especially if you are one who can guzzle it down with no issues and feel the benefits flood your body.  However, I, personally (and I know for a fact I am not the only one) react quite differently.  Bone broth makes me swell up, itchy, bloated, and overall just a hot mess.  In fact, if I try and drink bone broth more than once in the span of a week (at the least), my throat closes up and I have an awful anaphylactic allergic reaction.  I have found this to be partially due to the fact that bone broths almost always have some sort of ingredient high in FODMAPs (garlic, onion, celery), or simply the fact because they are cooked for a very longtime, of which raises the histamine content.   However, that only truly accounts for around 50% of the issues that I experience, making the other half a complete mystery (at least for now).  Overall, it is a bummer that I can't handle bone broth at this point in my life, as I undoubtedly need the gelatin, amino acids, and minerals in order to heal my gut (and body) from the damaged caused by Chronic Lyme Disease.  Surprisingly, I have found Vital Protein's Collagen Peptides to be something my body can handle, thank goodness, and I have been adding them to my morning, PK Protocol shake for about a month now.  Overall, this bone broth is very versatile, and can be done with any type of bone that you have on hand.  I chose to your beef marrow bones, simply because I had many left over from my weekly roasted bone marrow.  


Slow Cooker Bone Broth
Print Recipe
(Makes 8 cups)
  • 5 lb leftover beef marrow bones
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 bundle fresh parsley (1/4 cup)`
  • 2 dried bay leaves
Process
  • Place chopped carrots in the bottom of your slow cooker, piling the bones on top, and tucking the parsley and bay leaves down under the bones 
  • Sprinkle with sea salt, and pour 8 cups of water over the bones.
  • Add apple cider vinegar, cover, and allow the bones to cook for 8-10 hours on low.
  • Once cooked, allow to cool a bit before straining bones, herbs, and carrots out of the broth. 
  • Store broth in large mason jars in the fridge, or freeze for later use. 
Recipe Notes
Feel free to use any other bones on hand, if you do not have marrow bones. 
If using marrow bones, the cartilage that becomes soft on the side of the bones is very delicious and nutritious to eat. 











1 John 3:16 "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."

Monday, March 30, 2015

Paleo Cinnamon Ghee Baked Cod (Featuring Tin Star Foods)


You know that silly question that goes something like, "if you were stranded on a island and could only have one food what would it be?" I never really knew how to answer this question, and usually was too indecisive to come up with one in the time-span that whomever was asking the question would wait.  Yet as I continue to learn more and more about the human body through Chronic Lyme Disease, while also starting the PK Protocol, my answer to that seemingly insignificant question undoubtedly became one word, "fat."  Of course, some people (i.e. more than half of America) have fallen into the pit of lies that is "body fat = dietary fat intake," and that you really only need to eat it when you are underweight.  Yet this is so far from true, as real (not man-made), nutrient-dense fat sources are truly the best things we as humans can give our body.  Without it, we cannot function, and though not everyone may be as sick as myself, I personally have found a HUGE dependence on getting as much fat into my day as possible (see my PK Protocol Diet post).  Ultimately, it is this acceptance of eating fat, while also making it a big part of my life, that has brought me to today's recipe.   Before I go any further, I would just like to point out for those that are following the Autoimmune-Protocolgrass-fed ghee is in the first stage of food introductions, and therefore while it is not entirely "AIP-Friendly," it certainly an amazing addition to your diet once beginning to heal.



Served over a bed of roasted spaghetti squash, that has been tossed in warm ghee, bone broth, with a bit of salt, then topped with a few chopped scallions, this cinnamon ghee baked cod will have your mouth savoring every last bite.  I was once told that ghee was "tasteless," and therefore decided it probably wasn't worth even trying to introduce into my diet, due to the reaction my body has to all dairy derived products.  Yet, over time, I slowly was able to eat small amounts of raw, sheep dairy in the form of butter.  This gave me hope that I'd be able to tolerate ghee, and after seeing Tin Star Foods brand pop up all over my social media channels, I thought I'd give it a try.  My PK Protocol doctor, who has me on a ketogenic diet to help restore my body at a cellular level, also kept encouraging me to try ghee, and therefore became fully convinced I must get some.  What makes ghee different than regular butter is that the milk solids have been removed from the cream, which makes it quite suitable for those that react to lactose and casein proteins.  Tin Star Foods gets their 100% grass-fed cream from Ireland, where it is treated with 0 growth-hormones, antibiotics, or GMOs.  Bottom line? It is to die for, and the description that it holds as "liquid gold" is no overstatement! So far, I think my body is welcoming the cultured ghee pretty well, and therefore, I have had quite some fun playing around with it in both sweet and savory recipes.  That being said,  I am not ashamed to admit that my absolute favorite way to eat it is simply straight out of the jar, with a spoon, sprinkled with a bit of sea salt.  If I would have to describe it outside of being liquid gold, I'd say it tastes like caramel, with sweet undertones that are more delicate than normal butter.  Outside from the magnificent taste, I love that the folks at Tin Star Foods address fat phobia, by stating that their products are full of tonalin CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Aicd - "a fatty acid that packs a punch, crucial in maintaining a healthy metabolism and weight."), vitamin D, and other essential nutrients necessary for us humans.  Final thoughts? Go buy some ghee, and then come back and try this recipe, as it is seriously one of the easiest, most delicious ways to eat fish that will win over both your heart and tastebuds.  As a note, if you are looking to serve it to more than one person, just double, triple, quadruple (and so on and so forth...) the ingredients for the amount of people you are serving.  Then again, if you are anything like me, sharing your precious ghee might be hard, though I still highly encourage it.  



Cinnamon Ghee Baked Cod 
Print Recipe
(Serves 1)
Ingredients
  • 5 oz wild cod fillet
  • 1 tbsp Tin Star Food Ghee
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • Roasted spaghetti squash (for serving) 
Process
  • Preheated your oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Place your cod a well-seasoned baking pan, and sprinkle with sea salt and cinnamon.
  • Dollop 1 tbsp of ghee on top of the cod and place it in the preheated oven to bake for 10 minutes until opaque.
  • Serve fish over a bed of roasted spaghetti squash that has been tossed with more ghee and enjoy! 

Recipe Notes 
How long you cook your cod will depend on the thickness, mine was under an inch thick. 
This recipe is for one person, so simply adjust the amount of ingredients according to the amount of people you are serving. 








Philippians 1:29 "For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake..."

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Paleo Date Sweetened Chocolate Frosting (AIP-Friendly)




The past week I had the joy of making a Paleo compliant birthday cake.  The Crossfit gym my parents go to is doing a 100 day Paleo challenge, and because one of the gals participating didn't want to lose any points simply because it was her birthday, I had the privilege of making her Zen Belly's No Joke Dark Chocolate Cake.  The feedback was great, as both individuals of the couple told my mom that it was so good they were eating it for breakfast. I have made Zen Belly's cake a few times now, the first being using tigernut flour in place of the almond flour to make it nut-free for a friend.  I am happy to say that both results came out fantastic, and it is definitely my go-to cake for those looking for an indulgence.  Today's recipe is the chocolate frosting that I made to occompany the latest cake that I made, of which is sweetened with dates instead of refined, powered sugar.  Of course, 18 dates might seem like a lot at first glance, however, if you compare it to the multiple cups of cane sugar that is typically used in a buttercream frosting, you will realize it is not that much after all.  As a note, today's frosting can be made autoimmune-protocol compliant, simply by using carob in place of the cocoa, of which will allow you to reduce the amounts of dates used in the recipe as carob is rather sweet on its own. Enjoy, and don't forget to lick the spoon! (See my egg, nut, seed, and coconut free Triple Threat Chocolate Cake




Date Sweetened Dark Chocolate Frosting 
Print Recipe
(Frosts a 2 tier, 8 inch cake) 
Ingredients
Process
  • In a small bowl, soak dates in hot water until soft (30 minutes).
  • Remove the pits from the dates, and place them in a food processor.
  • Add 1 cup of the shortening to the food processor, and blend until the mixture has become smooth.
  • Add in remaining 1/2 cup shortening and vanilla extract, blending until smooth.
  • Mix together cocoa, sea salt, and arrowroot in a dish, then spoon the dry ingredients into the wet, and allowing the processor to run until it has become fully incorporated.  

Recipe Notes
Avoid over-mixing - If you process the mixture too long, the shortening will start to break down and you will have to allow it to firm up before re-mixing.
The cake pictured is Zenbelly's No Joke Dark Chocolate Cake.   
To make AIP-friendly, use carob in place of the cocoa, and decrease the sweetness by removing at the last, half of the dates, or more to taste. 













2 Corinthians 5:21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him"

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Paleo Triple Threat Chocolate Cake (Egg, Nut, & Coconut Free)




March 20th was officially the first day of spring, or at least it was supposed to be...Yet here in Connecticut, spring came in the form of snow, which ultimately made my entire family a bit frustrated.  While I prefer warm weather any day over the cold, I tend to try and keep myself busy, as to not looking out the windows and get depressed myself.  Therefore, I thought it would be perfect to spend time in the kitchen making a chocolate cake for my mom, of which would end up keeping us both happy.  I am thrilled to say that my plan worked, and what is even greater, is that the sun came out the next day, which brightened things up just a bit.




My mom, the chocolate lover and critic told me that the cake was "REALLY good," and was astonished that I came up with the recipe myself.  My father, who isn't a big fan on sweets or chocolate in general, was going to wait until after dinner to try a piece, but after seeing my mom's reaction, he simply could not wait any longer.  His response? "This is flipping AMAZING!"  Overall, they loved it, a lot, and not once would one guess, or even care, that it was free of grains, eggs, nuts, or coconut products, let a lone "Paleo" compliant.  Now, I would not necessarily call this cake "Paleo," as really, it is definitely not a nutrient dense, healing, sustainable food source.  However, I just wanted to make a dessert where my imagination and creativity could go wild.  I also wanted to prove to myself that, for future reference, I could make a killer birthday cake that could be eaten by those with some of the most common allergies outside of grains and dairy.  In the end, the cake came out a complete success, and I truly could not be more excited with how much everyone in my family loved it.  Tomorrow I will be sharing the chocolate buttercream that I made to frost the inside of the cake, so be sure and stay tuned for that, while if you are looking for a similar recipe, check out my strawberry snack cake here




Triple Threat Chocolate Cake
(Egg, Nut, & Coconut Free)
Print Recipe
(Serves 10-12) 
Ingredients
Filling
Topping
Cake Process
  • Use avocado oil to grease the sides and bottoms of 2, 8 inch cake pans.
  • Place greased cake pans upside down on a large piece of parchment paper, trace around the outside of the pans with a pencil to draw a circle, then cut the circles out, fitting the pieces of paper into the bottom of each cake pan. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • In a large bowl, sift together tigernut flour, water chestnut flour, arrowroot flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt.
  • In a food processor, blend together avocado oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  • Place gelatin in a small bowl, and pour boiling water over the top, whisking quickly to dissolve the gelatin, then pouring it into the food processor with the rest of the wet ingredients, running until combined.  
  • Add in dry ingredients and pulse the food processor until the dry has become fully incorporated with the wet, forming a smooth batter.
  • Pour equal amounts of the batter into each prepared cake pan. 
  • Place cake pans in the oven and and allow them to cook for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool until the bottoms are no longer warm (at least 20-30 minutes).
  • Once cool, remove cakes from their pan and allow to set up even further on a wire rack. 
Frosting Process  
  • To frost, remove one of the cake rounds from its pan so that it is facing up on a large plate, and spread 3/4 of chocolate frosting evenly across its surface.
  • Once cool, transfer the second cake round on top of the first by slowly flipping it over off of the wire rack and on top of the first round. 
  • Prepare the ganache topping by melting the shortening, unsweetened chocolate, and maple syrup in a small heat proof pan over low heat. 
  • Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then drizzle over the top of the cake with a spoon.
  • Once the ganache begins to harden on the cake, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
Recipe Notes
If you do not want a two tiered cake, simply half the ingredients and cook in one, 8 inch prepared cake pan.



Psalm 62:7 "In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God."

Friday, March 27, 2015

Paleo Slow Cooked Veal Cheek and Greens (Autoimmune-Friendly)


At the beginning of this month, my family and I were in Colorado, visiting family.  While everyone else had their special, "vacation treats," I was blessed with a butcher right down the road, and a variety of protein sources I otherwise would not get at home.  This included quail, beef cheek, foie gras (not necessarily an organ meat to eat very often, but as a foodie, I just had to try it), elk, opah fish, and today's beef cheek recipe. 
On another note, it is almost April, which means today's slow cooker recipe should be (at least I hope), the last of its kind.  Cheek might be rather foreign to you, but let me just say, it is unlike anything else that I have ever eaten.  Despite being a very lean cut of meat, it becomes incredibly succulent and tender when cooked at a slowly, low temperature.  That being said, it is best to make every last bit of the cheek your purchase worth it, as it is not always a cheap cut of meat, which is why I chose a rather straight forward method and flavor combination for today's dish.  Though I make the recipe in a slow cooker, you could just as easily braise the meat in a  dutch oven. Overall, not only does cooking the meat for eight hours make an extremely delicious, melt-in-your-mouth dish, but it also transforms the simple meat and greens into complete comfort for the soul.  comforting to the soul. As a note, if you do not have cheek, you can really use any cut of meat, such as a roast, though the options are truly endless.  All I can say is that if your local butcher or farm has cheek, you must try it, even if it is only a little bit, you won't be sorry.  Below I have linked to US Wellness Meat's beef cheek, which is a completely grass-fed and grass-fed cut of beef that can easily be used in place of veal.  If you have never ordered from US Wellness Meats, they are easily one of my favorite suppliers of protein sources (and everything in between), and their duck in particular, has become a staple in my diet.  As a note, if you do not own truffle salt, it is ok to use regular sea salt, however, the truffle salt adds an extra special flavor to the dish that is also unmatchable, much like the cheek meat itself.   Though today's recipe may seem rather plain and simple at first, the complexity of each ingredient used, truly makes it a delectable dish like no other.  


Slow Cooked Veal Cheek and Greens
Print Recipe
(Serves 4-6) 
Ingredients
Process
  • In a large skillet, heat tallow on medium heat until hot. 
  • Pat the veal cheek dry, season with 1/2 tsp truffle sea salt, and sear in the pan for 3-5 minutes per side until a nice golden brown crust has formed.
  • Transfer the veal cheek to the slow cooker and pour in bone broth and apple cider vinegar.
  • Nestle the bay leaf and fresh thyme down into the side of the slow cooker, add the chopped greens to the top, and sprinkle remaining 1 tsp of truffle salt over the top of everything. 
  • Turn the heat to low cover, and allow the cheeks to slow cook for at the least, 6-8 hours, stirring once, half way through. 










Genesis 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Daily Dose of Encouragement: Faith in Trials


You are only as big as your faith, but faith in what? Well, really, this can apply to anything in life, from healing, to your personal relationship with God, to everyday relationships and activities.  If you don't have faith in even the little things, you limit your potential to grow, learn, take chances, and ultimately find your greater purpose in life.  If you have read previous daily doses of encouragement, you will know that I speak of finding all that you were meant to be in life, through a chronic illness, or any trial in life for that matter, quite often.  This is because I truly believe that every circumstance has a reason, of which has been planned out by God, the creator of all things.  That being said, if you do not have any faith, or are severely lacking in it, you will never be able to find this.  Why? Because God is only as big as you let Him be, and if your faith is small, then He is going to be small as well, thus causing the significance of trials and tribulation to diminish. With an insignificant God, the possibilities of healing and seeing the good through life is impossible.  As the power of God shrinks, our own self worth and ego grows larger, causing everything to become unfair, an inconvenience, and never the way that we think it should be.  Yet if we realize that we as humans are limited, and God's ways are supernatural and beyond anything we can imagine, then the boundaries of our faith simultaneously grow as well.  We know that despite how times may seem here and now, the future is truly up to God, whose ways are higher (Isaiah 55:9).   Limitless faith makes your life here and now all the sudden very bright, as all the negative aspects that can all too easily swallow us whole, fade away.  When you have faith, the opportunities and blessings that God may bring you in life are endless, making life with faith, full.  Faith ultimately brings you closer to God in a way that nothing else can.  It's not to say that we will obtain huge faith overnight, rather we are to use daily occurrences and trials to grow our faith little by little.  Even Christ speaks of faith as small as a mustard seed, from which He says His children can move mountains (Matthew 17:20).   Faith is not flashy, no, that is more so self arrogance.   Instead it comes through in the little things, like when we are hit with the storm in life that we had no idea was coming.   Faith proves itself strong when suddenly we see a time of trying as a direct message from God.  We may not know what the messages are at the time, but eventually whether here on earth, or in eternity with Christ,  we will find out.


In the meantime it all comes back to faith,  it is as simple as that.   If you can not have faith in the small things, then it is no secret that the big things will come as a severe misfortune.  Though there may be trials that are physically and emotionally tormenting,  faith in something greater than our own bodies and our earthly existence, and is what gets us through time and time again.  If we are only having faith in ourselves, or in a doctor, or in a spouse, or in a parent, we will eventually be failed.  If we try and find our faith in an earthly, physical, and limited being, that is not faith at all. Suddenly, we will be become overrun with doubt, "what if's" of "what if so and so can't pull through for me," or,  "what if they don't have the money," or, "what if they're not smart enough," or, "what if the test doesn't go right," and the list goes on and on...Sure, these are all plausible questions, however they are only applicable to our situation when we are speaking of, and putting our faith in, anything other than God. Yet if our faith is in the Lord, who is almighty all-powerful, omnipresent, and all-knowing,  we don't have to worry about the "what ifs," we can just have faith, no if, ands, or buts.  Now, it is not to say that sometimes we don't struggle with faith,  and it is only natural to sometimes fall into feelings of doubt.   Yet does that mean we are a failure and should simply give up on trying to grow our faith? Of course not!  You don't do pursue a hobby, job, or career once, and then simply give up because you were not the best person out there.  No, you keep going and you keep building and learning your craft continually throughout your whole life. Because we humans are sinful, there's always room for improvement, but that doesn't mean we should stop striving in our hobbies activities, school work, and jobs, rather, we keep doing it because that's life. Of course those that don't put any effort into life, don't really have a life at all.  With all that said, it is the same for faith, as not only does it take courage to find faith in God during moments of complete despair, but it also takes many tears, sorry, grief, and pain, of which He will be there to help us through and reward us for in heaven, if we just have faith. (James 1:12)  See, we live in a world where everything is against faith in God, and everything for faith in yourself, what your heart tells you to do, or what everyone else is telling you is the best thing for you, because it is all about you, you, you.  However, the reality of the situation is much different.  If we try and find faith in the things around us here on earth, we constantly live a life of searching.  Whether seeking to try and fill that void in our soul, or looking for that "thing" or person that will give us comfort in times of sorrow, we are always left wandering.  Yet when you find faith in Christ, that searching is through.  Not only have you found the one true source of faith, you have found the One that promises to reward your faithfulness by never leaving you nor forsaking you, no matter how hard life on earth is, and even if we walk away at times,  He won't leave you. (Deuteronomy 3:16


In a way, it is kind of funny that times of trial and hardship make people doubt their faith in God.  Really, it is through these storms that God is trying to tell us something, but because we are so into following our hearts, or what we had previously planned out in life to what we think is best, we automatically see the trials as from the devil, and that we are being "cursed."  With all faith in our Savior out the window, we become thoroughly confused, frustrated, and left feeling helpless. Yet taking a step back, the correlation is quite obvious.  As we put away our faith in God, all of the sudden, life becomes impossible.  It just goes to show, that tough having faith in God during some of the most inhumane circumstances might be hard at the beginning, it is certainly easier than trying to figure out life and everything that it brings, on its own.
Ultimately, when we are actively trying to grow in our faith, we can see the inevitable trials of life as God's way for shaping, using, and helping us meet what it is He wants us to find in life.  Truly, we never know the reason behind the small everyday events in our lives, or the big things that come and change our world completely, such as a chronic illness.  It could be that He wants you to meet the person that you get to spend the rest of your life with, or it may be because He wants to bless you later down the road with the job that you would never have had the chance to get if you didn't go through this season of struggle.  Of course, the reason for everyone's trials is different, as no one person is the same, rather we are all unique and God's eyes.  In the end, God uses the sin and strife of this world, to craft us into His masterpiece (1 Corinthians 15).  He works through the blood, sweat, and tears, to bless us.  Nothing that we are going through, or may encounter in life is meaningless, and all we are called to do is have faith, even if it is as small as a mustard seed. Is that so hard to ask?  









James 1:6 "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FODMAP 101, Paleo, and Chronic Lyme


What is Low-FODMAP, or better yet, what in the world are FODMAPs?  If these two questions summarize your feelings toward the seemingly foreign acronym, then this post is for you. 


FODMAP Definition   

Overall, "FODMAP," is an acronym used to summarize the varying types of fermentable carbohydrates found in food.  More specifically, "F" stands for "fermentable, " "O" for "oligosaccharides," "D" for "disaccharides, "M" for "monosaccharides," and "P" for polyols, all of which are short and medium chain carbohydrates that contain high amounts of fructose molecules.  That being said, all carbohydrates contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms, with the formula defining what type it is.   The simplest form of sugars are made up of 3-7 carbons in their chain, with multiple hydroxyl groups (1 hydrogen & oxygen bonded together & branched off of a carbon), and are known as monosaccharides.  These compounds are called "simple," due to being the most basic form of sugars in food, and thus serve as the building blocks more complex carbohydrate structures. Common monosaccharides include glucose, fructose, and galactose, of which can be found in various natural and chemically engineered sugars including honey and corn syrup. Next, there are disaccharides, which are simply two monosaccharide sugar molecules linked together, with the most common dietary sources being lactose (i.e. milk and other, dairy derived products), maltose (usually derived from wheat), and sucrose (i.e. table sugar). 


Example of a monosaccharide on the left, and disaccharide on the left, which is 2 monosaccharides linked together by an oxygen. 

 Larger carbohydrate chains that are made up of 3-10 simple sugars (i.e. monosaccharides), are known as oligosaccharides, and are abundant in various foods including asparagus, onion, artichoke, legumes, wheat, and garlic.  Last but not least, there are polyols, which are sugar alcohols, or common sugar-free substitutes, including xylitol and sorbitol, while they are also found in real food sources such as grapes, mushrooms, avocado, apricots, and many others.  


Why it Matters 


Overall, the main takeaway from these differing types of carbohydrates found in food, is that the bodies small intestine has a hard time digesting them.  In fact, this is even true for those that are completely healthy. Therefore, when the food that enters the small intestine is unable to be broken down, it remains so when it enters into the large intestine, where it then feeds gut bacteria.  Though having happy gut bacteria is important to obtaining a balanced GI tract, over-feeding them causes the microbes to become over-active, fermenting everything that they can get their "hands" on.  In turn, this causes one to have a variety of symptoms that can range from minor discomfort in one's abdomen, to inhumane, debilitating pain throughout one's entire body. Not only does undigested food in the small intestine cause overgrowth (i.e. SIBO), but it also hinders the large intestine from its key job (water absorption), which is why bloating, bowel issues (constipation and, or, diarrhea), gas, cramps, indigestion, and belching, are all common symptoms of FODMAP intolerance as well.    Enterocyte cells, as mentioned in
 my previous, leaky gut post here, are one of the major factors in the health status of one's gut, and are also responsible for digesting many FODMAPs. Therefore, if they become damaged or dysfunctional, not only does allergies and other inflammatory health conditions come as a result, but also the chance of FODMAP intolerance and overgrowth. Common triggers of GI damage include gluten, medications (antibiotics, NSAIDs, birth control, etc...), alcohol, legumes, and other items prominent in the SAD (standard American diet), all of which lead to a a leaky gut, which, as mentioned above,  subsequently adds to the likely hood of one becoming noticeably FODMAP intolerant.  FODMAP intolerance can also occur when the expression of Glucose Transport Protein 5 present in the GI tract, becomes dysfunctional, due to it being one of the main fructose transporters in the body.  This cant occur through ingestion of polyols and sugar alochols, due to their direct effect on the function of GLUT5.  As Dr. Sarah Ballantyne mentions in her post, what type of FODMAP one adversely reacts to, can sometimes be brought back to what insufficiency is occuring in the body, with fructose and polyols being related to GLUT5 deficiency, and fructan containing foods, being from a lack of certain digestive enzymes. 

How to Heal 

If intolerance to FODMAPs is caused by a damaged gut, then it is quite obvious that one of the only ways to fully reverse this is to first begin to heal one's gut.  For starters, it is important to eliminate, or at least decrease (depending on the extent of one's intolerance), the amount of dietary sources of fermentable carbohydrates in one's dietary intake, as well as other foods, medications, and substances that have a negative impact on gut health.  This can take anywhere from a few weeks, to months, or even years, depending on the degree of one's health condition. It is also key to get one's gut flora balanced, of which can be done through supplemental probiotics, or probiotic foods.  However, one must be careful while introducing more bacteria to the gut when experiencing FODMAP intolerance, as it may make their symptoms progressively worse.  Truly, it depends on the person, and what is the underlying cause of their gut imbalance.  
Below is a brief list of foods high in FODMAPs, however, if you are looking for more information on both gut healing and the information discussed today, I encourage you to purchase Dr. Sarah Ballantyne's, "The Paleo Approach," or visit the various resources provided at the end of this post.  




Experiences With Low-FODMAP   

Dietary changes were the first in my battle with Chronic Lyme Disease.  Therefore, I tend to forget that acronyms such as "FODMAP," are relatively foreign to those in the outside world.  My journey with a low-FODMAP approach to eating came about after I received surgery to release my celiac artery, which was being compressed by my diaphragm that had fallen and cut off all blood flow to my stomach and surrounding digestive organs.  Of course, a long with this major complication, other effects of the untreated Lyme were finally rearing their ugly heads, including small nerve damage throughout my body.  In turn, this caused my small intestine to be paralyzed, which, as you can imagine caused a plethora of other issues inside both my GI tract, and overall body. That being said, before I got surgery, I could barley east, as not only would it fill my entire body with a queer, haunting pain unmatchable to anything I can liken it too, but my face would drain to a deathly grey color, as my body tried to do all it could to the digest food and absorb the nutrients that I was eating.  Once we finally figured out what was wrong in my body through MRA imaging, liquids, typically in the form of smoothies, became my calorie source.  At the time, I wasn't really aware of drinking bone broth to heal my gut, nor did I have a juicer to juice, and to be honest, I was half dead, with no brain power to even think straight.  Eventually, I was able to get surgery, after which I was told that I would be able to eat without any issues.  Of course, this was very exciting, yet much to my disappointment, when I woke up in the recovery room, the nurse told me they had also patched up a gaping hiatal hernia in my esophagus, of which explained much of the severe acid reflux I experienced as a child.  Though I was happy with the surgery, and very thankful indeed, I was left unable to eat solids for another 2-3 months, as my throat healed.  Even scrambled eggs felt like I was trying to swallow marbles, which caused me to choke on most solids, thus leaving me to rely on liquid calories, and mashed foods such as sweet potato and squash, for the majority of my meals once again.  Yet it wasn't only my throat that was a wreck, but also my stomach.  Naturally, I thought that the severe bloating was simply from having no blood flow to my stomach, however, as the months passed and nothing got better, I started to realize that something else must be going on.  Fast forward 6 months, and the "air" that they said was in my stomach due to surgery, didn't leave, nor the pain that came with having a 10 inch surgical drain in my side, once it was pulled out.  In fact, though I was eating 90% Paleo,  my GI symptoms progressively got worse the more I ate.  Not only that, but my skin color began to change for the worse again, and as I would sit outside sleeping on our lawn chairs, I begin to notice bugs would drop dead if they came near me.  It may sound really silly, and an over-exaggeration to some, but it is not, and even family friends thought I looked very toxic.  After countless hours of research, I knew for a fact that I had  SIBO, and while how I treated/still am dealing with this overgrowth is an entire story all together, it was putting these pieces of the puzzle together, that ultimately brought me to eating "low-FODMAP." Soon, I will be delving deeper into how I sought out healing from SIBO, but in the meantime, if you are interested in further learning about FODMAPs, please visit the links located below.  All I can say is that, without eating a personalized paleo diet with the elimination of dietary FODMAPs, I would not be able to get through every day life, due to the severity of the symptoms that have previously plagued my body from various overgrowths and infections.  Overall, I do still follow a low-FODMAP approach to eating, as if I do not, the "bad guys" would be very happy campers.  Of course, I do not believe I will have to eat this way for life, as I am persistently working on not only healing my gut through the autoimmune-protocol, but I also currently doing the PK Protocol, to get to the bottom of the neurotoxicity in my cells.  All in all, low-FODMAP eating is just another way that I can support my body on all levels, and though it does take away from many of the foods that otherwise would be acceptable on a ketogenic diet (or what I call, an AIP-Keto approach), there comes a point in one's illness where they will do absolutely anything to get better, and that is exactly where I have been for many years.  That being said, being aware of what foods contain FODMAPs for the everyday person can certainly serve as useful, simply because they are in many foods we eat, and knowing what we put in our bodies serves as one of the greatest means of finding and (or) maintain true health. 



Further Reading 

SIBO and FODMAPs 
The Paleo Approach 










Romans 5:13 "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Ballantyne, Sarah. The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print