Eating to avoid inflammation:  My Dairy and Sugar free Chocolate and Cherry Ice Cream 

Eating to avoid inflammation:  My Dairy and Sugar free Chocolate and Cherry Ice Cream 

  

Who says a strict diet can’t be fun 

I try to manage my condition using a holistic approach. Looking after all aspects of my life and what I need to do to avoid triggers to inflammation. I have found sticking to a paleo diet has really been beneficial to me. The main triggers for me are gluten, soy, and sugar, although I haven’t noticed a trigger with dairy I also avoid this, as it can cause an inflammatory reaction in the body. Along with legumes, nightshade plants, and some grains. 

I enjoy cooking and inventing new recipes that meets my dietary requirements, and is healthy and delicious.  I want to share these recipes in order to help others manage their autoimmune condition but not feel like they are missing out on things they enjoy.  

I recently bought a Cuisinart ice cream maker so I could make my own healthy ice cream at home and not miss out on something I have always loved. 

With this particular mixer you need to pre freeze your mixing bowl overnight. If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can use a bowl of ice with another bowl on top with the ice cream mix and a hand mixer to improvise. 

Ingredients 
1 can organic coconut milk 
3 tablespoons raw cocoa powder (use more if you want a stronger taste)

4 tablespoons raw organic honey 

I cup frozen pitted cherries/ or fresh if you have it (make sure you pit your fresh cherries)

Method 

1. Combine coconut milk and honey and whisk until smooth. 

2. Add the cocoa powder and give it a good mix until smooth.

3. Add the mix to ice cream mixer and turn on. 

4. Microwave the cherries for about 1 minute or until soft and defrosted, but not hot. If you are using fresh cherries or defrosted cherries you can skip this step. 

5. Crush half of the defrosted cherries with your hands and keep the other half whole to give your ice cream some texture and hidden treasures. 

5. After mixing for 20 minutes add in the cherries and let the ice cream maker churn for another 10 minutes. (This takes 30 minutes in my mixer, if you have a different ice cream maker the times may vary)

6. Once the consistency is soft and creamy, transfer to a container and refrigerate to harden up for a few hours or overnight. 

When you are ready to eat it, take out the container for 15 minutes so it slightly softens. 

This makes just under 1 litre of ice cream. 

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

Another day, another dollar: my morning narrative. 

Another day, another dollar: my morning narrative. 

 

What is that blaring noise? 

My eyes they can barely open, they are so puffy and sore it’s hard to see anything. I look over to my phone by my bed and the alarm is going off.  It’s 7am, time to get up, time to get ready, time to go to work for another day. As I reach over to the phone my arm feels so heavy, my head feels so heavy, my body it refuses to move.  “Come on”, I tell myself. “If you don’t get up now you will be late for work, again”. But my body refuses. I tell myself 10 more minutes and I’ll be ok. 

My eyes open again, I feel exhausted.  My body aches, my legs are sore. It is so hard to move the blanket, it just feels so heavy. I tell myself “one leg at a time, you just have to sit up”.  It takes some time but finally I’m sitting on my bed, my feet are touching the floor. I just don’t know where I’m going to find the energy to get dressed, look normal, get to the train station and make it through 8 hours of work. I think to myself maybe I should stay at home, but I can’t say I’m working from home again, I can’t call in sick again, I don’t want to keep disappointing people who are counting on me. I force myself to the bathroom, I tell myself “I am stronger than this” and just put one foot in front of the other. 

It’s takes some effort and some time, but I get my body moving, I feel my joints loosen a bit, I don’t have the energy to even put on my makeup or do my hair, but I have to, for me. I tell myself “If I look like nothing is wrong, I can bluff through the day, people won’t ask me what’s wrong”. By this time I’m already running late. Still feeling exhausted, I get my things and get into the car to drive myself to work. It’s so cold outside.  I drive to the train station, the car park is full.  I have to park about a 5 minute walk away from the station. I have to motivate myself,  “you are almost there you just have to make it into the train and you’ll be fine”.  Standing on the platform waiting for the train, it is so cold, I think about the longer I stand here the more energy I waste trying to stay warm.  The train finally arrives and it’s packed. I see so many sick people who I have to be so close to “what if I get a virus”.  No one offers their seat, I feel angry because I’m struggling. I tell myself why should they, I don’t have a physical disability. The train ride is only 15 minutes, but for 15 minutes I concentrate on my breathing, as I start to feel dizzy I stress about fainting on the train. I think about the time I fainted on the train on the way to work last year and hit my head and fear that it will happen again. The whole 15 minutes I feel so tense. 

The announcement comes on that we are arriving at Flagstaff station and I feel relieved that I made it. Now to get through the crowd and walk to work. Only a 5 minute walk, but I have already wasted half of my energy and I haven’t even made it to work.   I get to work it’s a little past 9am, I’m late, I know I’m late. I walk in, I smile, I say Goodmorning. 

The charade begins 

My autoimmunity or why the body attacks itself

My autoimmunity or why the body attacks itself

Quit hitting yourself

Having an autoimmune disorder of any shape or form can be described as ordering a military to open fire at kittens thinking they are trying to invade the country and cause harm to its people. (Pretty sad if you picture it, those poor kittens). But that’s what happens in the body of anyone with an autoimmune condition. The body goes into war when there is no threat.

But why? It’s all in the genetics, passed down through generations much like valuable jewellery minus the sparkle and monetary value (it’s nothing like jewellery). It doesn’t necessarily pass down each generation, it waits for the perfect combination of chromosomes from both parents much like winning the lotto of bad genetics. In my case I have it, I have 3 siblings, 4 nieces and nephews, endless aunts and uncles, none of whom have it, but one lucky cousin who also won the lotto of bad genetics.

My autoimmune conditions are Psoriasis (sore-eye-a-sis) and Psoriatic Arthritis.  I have had Psoriasis since 6 months of age, always in a mild to moderate form but increased to severe chronic Psoriasis by my mid 20’s, this happens to 2% of people. Psoriasis appears as a result of the immune system being overactive and increasing the production white blood cells for skin renewal, it is between 11-30 times faster than the “normal person” (I say 11-30 because the information on the cell renewal cycle is very inconsistent). It shows up as scales, rashes, blisters or small dots on the skin based on the type of Psoriasis a person has. It can also be on your scalp, nails, in your ears, in the nether regions (oh my). It is uncomfortable, sore, and itchy, it can bleed, and even become infected. It has been known to cause dehydration, loss of sleep (from being itchy) low self-esteem, psychological issues, the need to hide and cover up, isolate yourself and significantly reduce your quality of life. Anyone with Psoriasis specially a severe form will tell you it’s more than skin deep, it really takes over your life and that of people around you.

Psoriasis is also related to a form of Arthritis called Psoriatic Arthritis, I was officially diagnosed with this condition at 28 (I say officially because I had the symptoms for many years but no GP had any idea or even considered a form of arthritis due to my age). It is similar to rheumatoid arthritis, causes joint pain, stiffness, difficulty sleeping, itchy eyes, fatigue, low self-esteem and same as any autoimmune condition the quality of your life and those around you.

These are the two I have, but there is a list of autoimmune conditions to give you a better idea of how many there are (there are 160 on this site of autoimmune and autoimmune related conditions) http://www.aarda.org/autoimmune-information/list-of-diseases/ (WOW!!!)
So that’s my explanation of it. It is based on my learnings over the last few years. Stay tuned on more posts on diet, lifestyle, how I have tried to manage my condition, work, relationships, medication, doctors, frustrations, wins, maybe even fashion tips that help me with my conditions.

The only thing tough enough to kick my ass is me