I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease at age 19 – Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I’ve been taking Levoxyl ever since, but to tell you the truth, for a long time I didn’t think my thyroid that was my biggest problem or I wasn’t as concerned about it as I should have been. In my mind my biggest problem was still my insulin resistance – I blamed that for my lower energy. As with most things I’m sure it was a combination of factors that left me feeling wiped out. Sometimes I would have great energy – sometimes I would be running 4 miles a day most days – but I was difficult for me to find a sustainable way to live a healthful, energy filled life with well controlled blood sugar and normal sleeping habits. I was also just a college student trying to figure things out, so i’ll give myself a break there.
I was diagnosed with a second autoimmune disease – vitiligo – a few years later. The timeline of the vitiligo is a bit murky for me. Had I already noticed the large white patches on my elbows before melasma appeared on my face and later vitiligo on my face? Certainly I noticed the vitiligo on my elbows years before it first started appearing on my hands?
Anyway, I feel over the past decade or so I’ve taken them both for granted – or really I didn’t give my full attention to things I could do to make those conditions better, or even feel better than the “pretty good” I thought I already felt. So I’m definitely trying to pay more attention and do more things that could potentially help any issues I have from the autoimmune disorders that I don’t think I’ve having…does that make sense?
The past few years I’ve also focused more on learning how to cook. When I was growing up my parents kept dishes pretty simple – and I get it – they both worked outside the home full time and they had 3 kids relatively close in age. Now when I call home they are making very elaborate cooking-show worth dishes. My mom will straight up tell me we stifled her and her creativity in cooking when we were all younger. I’m very happy for my parents new-ish culinary breakthroughs, but now I’m having to teach myself how to make delicious, non-boring but healthy dishes. Occasionally my husband and I will do a cooking class (which we love) and we frequently use Hello Fresh which certainly helped, but I’m always on the lookout for good cookbooks that make foods look pretty easy to make and our healthy.
So when I saw The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook on Amazon.com a few years ago, I knew it would be worth my time. I was ready to take my autoimmune diseases seriously.
Be sure to follow Mickey on instragram and read more about her and her autoimmune wellness endeavors.
Mickey Trescott’s The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook Review
Like many of you, sometimes (ok maybe most every day) I treat my “health” – preserving it, improving it – like another job. Which takes a lot of energy because I already have a full-time job, a husband, a fur baby and friends and family across the country I’m trying to keep in touch with. Oh and making new friends as an introverted adult. So I definitely bought this book in a bit of an obsessive phase – I was obsessed with seeing how I could optimize my health further and my diet further and trying to figure out what I could cut out and how to rid my body of all that ales it! But over the past 2 years or so I’ve really simmered down. Because the truth is, I’m in pretty darn good shape considering where I’ve been, what I’ve gone through and how my medical record may look on paper. I really don’t have many daily, wearing on my constant, healthy issue symptoms.
I read or talk to others who feel the effects of their autoimmune disease on a daily basis (or read Mickey’s intro to her book), and it is truly heartbreaking. Is it difficult for me to find the energy to fit in a full day of work and spending time with my loves and also getting in a good workout? Sure but I don’t think my low thyroid issues are necessarily to blame for that. Would I love to sleep longer each night. Absolutely. But am I plagued by joint pain, muscle spasms, dizziness, mood swings out of no where, exhaustion and passing out every day from low blood sugar like I have in the past? Absolutely not. Can I eat a slice of good pizza or have a piece of bread without feeling terrible? Sure thing!
So basically, now I approach this book looking for inspiration. I may add things to the recipes or change things up. Do I like some paleo dishes and do I sometimes make them? Absolutely. Mickey does a great job giving a breakdown of why this protocol works, what it does and breaking down the Foods to Avoid if you are to follow the autoimmune protocol to a T. I don’t think I have a huge leaky gut issues right now so I definitely still eat nightshades. And no one will ever be able to take lentils and black beans away from me. Nuts and seeds are out (wow, also something I could not do). Grains are out (duh). Eggs are also out (totally get that even though I used to think that was ridiculous. Now, I think not eating eggs has seriously helped my TMJ stay away). Dairy is to be avoided – definitely get that too. I feel best when I avoid it. Food additives, alternative sweeteners, stevia, food chemicals etc are out – Good because no one needs that crap (full disclosure I just ate 1.5 Oreo thins).
If you have an autoimmune issue or some type of food issue you are still trying to fiture out, you should get this book because Mickey goes into a lot more about how to reintroduce foods and other very important factors to autoimmune disease healthy like stress management (this as been the most incredibly helpful health factor in my life this past year). She framed this book to be very beneficial for those “at the beginning of the process” but makes it clear she wants you to use her recipes and meal plans as templates to build from. Why you will love this: she has 2 (yes 2!) four full week eating plans complete with shopping lists!!
She also goes into kitchen basics, pantry staples, all the foods to keep on hand, simple kombucha and bone broth recipes etc. Everything you would expect (but I certainly haven’t read through everything because I like to jump straight into the recipes). And don’t forget to look for her resources listed in the back of the book!
My Favorite Ideas, Tips and Recipes from The Autoimmune Paleo Diet Cookbook
- Go beyond your idea of normal breakfast foods which may traditionally be grains or eggs. Focus on savory dishes from staples you may have already prepared. This definitely goes along with the Adrenal Reset Diet Book and my favorite non-egg protein-packed breakfast for the past 6 months.
- Nectarine, Arugula and Prosciutto Wraps: A twist on cantaloupe and prosciutto. This was a great reminder of a refreshing snack and I make these all the time.
- Coconut Milk Chai: Holy moly this is good – and without all of that fake pre-sweetened powdered junk you would get if you ordered chai at a coffee place.
- Coconut Concentrate: Very good but very laborious. Just get coconut manna at Whole Foods. Or if you have a better food processor than me, you may like making your own.
- Coconut-Basil Pesto: Sooooo good and refreshing.
- Mango Salsa: good but of course I always add black beans to it 🙂
- Cherry BBQ Sauce: Have not made but I’m making it my mission to try it this year, it looks so good!!!
- Classic Chicken Soup: Pretty darn good but I’m trying to get mine to taste more flavorful.
- Cinnamon-Scented Butternut Squash: Just another great reminder at how delicious and faux-indulgent butternut squash can be.
- Rainbow Roasted Root Vegetables: Have you roasted carrots lately? They are f$%#in delicious. And no one get’s fat from eating home roasted carrots. I’m sure of it.
- Shredded Chicken Breast: This is the point of the cookbook where the pages stick together because I have made this so many times week after week (well now obviously we have memorized it). My husband and I make this every week. It’s so much better than boring baked chicken. But we ALWAYS add garlic to it after we have browned the chicken. We use this for everything throughout the week. Is it annoying to pull apart the chicken? Sure, but it’s worth it!!!
- Curried Chicken Salad: made with the coconut concentrate instead of mayonnaise. Pure genius. I make variations of this all the time (but I add a ton of celery and a bit of dates).
- Cherry-Lime Popsicles: Yeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssss