Yep. I feel you. I didn’t want to do this blog for that very reason or response. And I sincerely hope that’s not what this is, or becomes. I give you all free reign to tell me when or if this blog is not helpful or too self-indulgent.
If this blog helps even one person, then it’s worth it.
(Skip the preamble and take me to the Baked Halibut with Basil Butter recipe)
Some background… After I had my first baby, I got hit HARD with post-partem depression (PPD). I will spare you the details. However, what amazed me, is that as soon as I started talking about it and sharing what was going on (rather than suffer in silence and worry what everyone was thinking about me), it was as though everyone around me opened up and said “oh my god, me too!”. I can say, without a doubt, that what helped me the most when forging through PPD, was talking with others who had gone through or been through the same. Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly (given what women go through to carry, have and then care for a child), is just HOW MANY women struggle with PPD (“struggle” being an understatement in most cases).
Jump ahead to baby #2, and shortly after his birth, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (Lupus). And similarly, as soon as I started sharing and talking about it, sadly, I couldn’t believe the number of friends and acquaintances that popped up saying “me too” – not necessarily with respect to Lupus but just any form of disease or health related issue along the autoimmune spectrum (from colitis, to arthritis, to thyroid disorders, to Hashimoto’s, to Sjogren’s, the list goes on). Exactly WHY so many people are being struck with autoimmune issues is a whole other discussion and plight worth exploring, but not here.
The purpose of this blog is to simply connect with fellow autoimmune sufferers who are trying to tackle their health via diet, an anti-inflammatory diet specifically. Even more so, it’s to connect with others who are perhaps in a similar situation as I was (and still am) where I was motivated to better manage my health by food but I was so intimidated by cooking, and both demotivated and overwhelmed trying to figure out what I could and couldn’t eat.
Bottom line. If I can learn to cook and follow this diet, and actually really enjoy what I am eating, then I am convinced that ANYONE can. As my mom always said, “if you can read, you can cook”. It took me 40 years to figure out that she was right.
I will say this. I’m not a doctor, a nutritionist, a health coach or self-proclaimed health nut. Food, health, nutrition and cooking, literally, have nothing to do with my background. I am not going to debate the merits of an anti-inflammatory diet or preach about what you should be eating, however I will share success stories. And while I do have a “science brain” and will be happy to share research and “food for thought” that I come across, I do so only so that YOU can come to your own conclusions or do your own research as to what you think you should eat (or not).
I’m just a regular kid, who got hit with an irregular disease, and wanted/needed to do something about it, exclusive of but yet in combination with, my medication and doctors’ advice. I just wanted to have some control over my health. And again, back to the purpose of this blog, I am finding there are lots of people who are just like me – people who want the same but have questions, or need some help getting started, or who are seeking ideas or simple tips, etc.
And for those of you that are reading this who DON’T have any health issues or auto-immune battles, but perhaps just enjoy clean-eating and are always happy to come across a new recipe, then I hope you find something that inspires you! Or even better yet, can teach me a thing or two.
With that said, feel free to poke around this site for more background info, or tips on Getting Started. You can also check out my Instagram Feed for recipes and tips that are already up.Or if you’d rather just start cooking, then here is a super simple meal to get you off in the right direction.
Baked Halibut with Basil Butter – Recipe
It was 3pm and neither Neil or I felt like cooking. We were feeling fat and just wanting something easy and healthy. I find when we are wondering what to eat but don’t feel like cooking, I always resort to a simple “protein plus veggies or salad” approach. We were on the West Coast at the time so fresh fish was an easy go-to protein. Then I opened my fridge to find a bunch of broccoli, carrots and cauliflower that would go bad in a day or two – so roasted veggies on the side it was!
Click here for the recipe that inspired us.
Keep in mind however that we created our own “Land O Lakes” butter by using grass-fed better and adding olive oil and kosher salt. Otherwise, we followed the recipe as is.
If you’re not a fan of halibut, or find that it can be a bit pricey, you could always do this recipe using tilapia. A simple Google search suggests that you bake tilapia for about 15 mins at 400F. To be safe, I always bake to the shortest time suggested (or even a bit less as over-cooked fish tends to be a bust) and then check the fish regularly by flaking it with a fork. It may ruin your presentation, but just do what I do and give the hacked-up piece of fish to your significant other 🙂
For a healthy side dish, roast whatever veggies are in your fridge OR create a simple side salad. If you choose to roast veggies, remember to toss in generous amounts of olive oil, salt and pepper (to taste) and bake at 400F, tossing once or twice before done. (You can add garlic or other seasonings to your veggies for extra flavor too, but at a minimum use olive oil, salt and pepper.) I find most veggies, with the exception of asparagus, take 20-30 minutes to cook. If you’re unsure, you can always Google how long to roast each specific vegetable.
And if you go the side salad route, we’ve been a big fan of Primal Kitchen’s salad dressings – this one in particular. But if you want to make your own, here is one of our faves loaded with anti-inflammatory goodness:
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp natural, organic honey
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
This will make enough to store in the fridge for a few weeks.