This is my mantra now. I get through one day and then try again the next. I'm 5 weeks in to an anti-inflammatory/elimination diet to attempt to combat an onset of severe joint pain in my hands, feet + knees. My digestive system is feeling better than I ever remember - but my hands are not. I think they are getting worse. I've been on a restricted diet for 5 weeks in hopes of getting the inflammation under control without the use of harsh prescription drugs. I'm being hardcore about it because I sure as heck don't mind making changes if there is a chance it might make me feel better. Every night I think, "maybe it will feel better tomorrow," so I keep going.
People have asked (and written me kind, hopeful notes - thank you!): my inflammation/elimination diet will hopefully, hopefully, hopefully stop whatever is causing my body to be reactively swollen + painful. This diet is no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, no red meat, no citrus, no alcohol, no tomatoes AND I'M NOT SUGGESTING THESE THINGS ARE UNHEALTHY FOR YOU - I'm just trying to find out what's right for me. I'm supplementing this with an insane amount of concentrated fish oils and other vitamins. I'm not an expert. I've read as much info as I can find and I'm exploring alternate medicines because, quite frankly, I think traditional medicine is missing the big picture here and is too quick to prescribe drugs (none of which work as well as a steady flow of ulcer-causing Advil). I want to find the cause and not just treat the symptoms. I'm trying what my naturopath has suggested because I've read and researched. And I figure DOING SOMETHING HAS GOTTA BE BETTER THAN DOING NOTHING. I've been referred to a rheumatologist (for my swollen, painful hands, wrists, knees and ankles) and over six more months that will go by before my appointment.
In the mean time. I am not eating anything processed. Or with gluten (which is a trickier than just avoiding bread). Or dairy. Or sugar. Or red meat. Or alcohol. Or citrus. Or tomatoes. It's definitely not a social diet and it makes me uncomfortable to dine in public because I feel overwhelmed. And like a walking buzzkill. And desperate to make it work.
CHEATERS NEVER WIN. I will own up to cheating (on purpose) two times. Once with a gluten free, dairy, free oreo-like cookie (it had sugar). It was AMAZING and could only have been better if it was washed down with wine (kidding). And for my second cheat (encouraged by the success of the first) I ate one Girl Guide cookie. Which (to my surprise) earned me a blinding headache within minutes and an incredibly upset stomach for the next couple of days. LESSON. LEARNED.
RECIPE. This is so delicious. A gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free take on Puffed Wheat Cake* (which have been my favourite dessert for 30 years... and have always made me sick). *Also called Puffed Wheat Squares.
Puffed Rice Cake
Organic puffed rice (gluten-free certified)
Organic coconut oil
Organic cocoa powder
I'm not all that technical but I think it works for this recipe. Mix a little less than a quarter cup of coconut oil, a cup of honey, 3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder in a saucepan. And because honey is so darn sweet add a pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil. The longer you boil this mixture the firmer your puffed rice cake should be. I boiled it for about 3 minutes (could have been about 3 minutes longer). Remove from heat and add a splash of vanilla. It will bubble furiously and be totally awesome. Mix in about 6 cups of puffed rice. I like it when it's really gooey so my 6 cups of puffed rice is more like 5. Add more puffed rice if it's too gooey. Add less if you want it more gooey.
Press into a greased pan (I used coconut oil) and put it in the fridge for about half an hour. Cut into squares.
That's it. SO delicious. SO satisfying. Not rocket science. It's SO GUILT FREE you can eat the whole pan like I did. I can't guarantee it will cure inflammation or heart ache or homesickness or anything else like that, but it tastes mighty good and will get you by in a pinch.
Today: I have a painting sitting on my BRAND NEW EASEL. I had an easel made JUST FOR ME by a craftsman in BC. It's gorgeous reclaimed wood, but there's one thing missing: A MESSY SMATTERING OF PAINT. SO I'm on it. With coffee.
Hello hopeful Monday. GO!