The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle- Available Until May 25th

I am so excited to share this amazing deal with you! The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle contains 45 e-books (worth over $500) and 26 discount codes all for just $39! But hurry, it’s only on sale until May 25th!

Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

If you aren’t familiar with e-book bundles, they typically include a variety of e-books as well as discount codes, all for a huge discount and sold for a limited time. Not all bundles are a good deal and I only support those few that provide a large variety of the best-quality resources for a truly amazing deal–and the Autoimmune Wellness Bundle definitely delivers!

This is the very first bundle to focus on exclusively autoimmune protocol-friendly resources! And it contains all of them! Yes, every single AIP e-book ever created–including cookbooks, meal plans, and guides–are included in this bundle! Even better, this bundle is full of lifestyle guides to help you tackle all the other stuff too, like stress management, sleep, body image, and movement. Need help troubleshooting the autoimmune protocol? Then you’ll love the collection of included e-books that takes you beyond the basics to help you hone in on root issues and regain your health. Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, autoimmune expert and author of The Paleo Approach has personally vetted every single resource included in this bundle. The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle is quite simply the best AIP resource on the planet! And it’s only available until Monday! Check out all the details here.

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle features 45 e-books and 26 discount codes for just $39. That is over 92% off what you would pay if you bought each e-book separately! Plus, you could save hundreds more dollars by taking advantage of the coupon codes!

Included in this bundle:

  • 15 AIP Cookbooks and Meal Plans (total value $188)
  • 15 Lifestyle and Exercise Guides (total value $207)
  • 15 Beyond the Basics e-books (total value $136)
  • 9 Brand-new e-books
  • Best of AIP Cookbook, exclusive to this bundle!
  • 26 Discount Codes for AIP-friendly vendors and products

And, it’s only available for six days! Yes, this amazing sale ends on Monday May 25, so go grab it right now!

And if you buy it right now you are automatically entered to win a new giveaway every single day remaining in this sale! That’s six amazing giveaways if you buy it right now, each with fabulous prizes including two chances to win a Kindle Fire HD and the grand prize of an All-Expense Paid Trip for Two to Paleo F(x) 2016 worth $2600! Act now for the best chances to win! Every giveaway is international and no restrictions apply! No purchase necessary. Click here for more details.

Even if you don’t follow the autoimmune protocol, you will love the Autoimmune Wellness Bundle! The cookbooks included are filled with delicious recipes that everyone will enjoy and the majority of the additional resources are useful no matter who you are!

As if a great collection of e-books wasn’t enough, the bundle also includes exclusive discount codes from all my favorite companies and authors that make AIP-compliant foods, products, and programs! In addition to getting 45 e-books for only 87¢ each, you could save hundreds more dollars by taking advantage of these coupons! The potential value of these discounts and coupon codes hasn’t even been added to the advertised value of the bundle! But you could easily recoup the entire cost of the bundle just by using one or two of these coupons!

Download Now

This bundle is also your first opportunity to purchase NINE brand-new e-books! Yes, 9 e-books were created specifically for The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle! What an opportunity to be the first to get your hands on these new resources for a price that just can’t be beat! This includes the Best of AIP Cookbook, a NEW e-book that can only be found as part of this bundle! Created by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, the Best of AIP Cookbook contains over 160 recipes from the best autoimmune chefs in the community! It’s a fantastic book and you can only get it here!

I have personally contributed some of my favorite recipes to this bundle, so if you like the fun recipes you find here you will love the amazing resources in the bundle!

The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle is an entirely digital product, which means you can get instant access by purchasing it right now! It’s compatible with your computer, tablet and smartphone! (Instructions are at the bottom of the bundle website if you need them.)

Now you see why I’m so excited about this bundle!

Wait! How can you offer so many resources at such a steep discount?

E-book bundles typically include a variety of e-books and other digital resources sold for a price far lower than what you would pay for each e-book individually. How does this work? There’s two major incentives for authors to donate their e-books to bundles: expanding their audience and affiliate commissions. Chances are good that you won’t be familiar with every e-book included in a bundle sale. This is what’s in it for the authors: the large number of people who look at their e-books (but normally wouldn’t have) and become new fans. When bundles have a strong theme like this one, this advantage goes both ways: you are the perfect target audience for the e-book contributors and they are great resources for you! Contributing authors also become affiliates for the bundle so there’s still a mechanism for financial compensation for the hard work they put in to creating a great resource.

Bundles also typically contain discount codes. Again, this is what’s in it for the companies: you might try out a new product and become a new regular shopper. Because bundles are such great deals, the excitement is very high, sales tend to be fantastic, and this amounts to substantial exposure to new markets. And hopefully, the huge range of discounts included in this bundle will alert you to some great AIP products you didn’t know about yet!

This model only works when bundles are very thoughtfully organized, provide unique and high quality content, and are sold for a very limited time. The excitement over a legitimately amazing deal means lots of sales and lots exposure for the contributors. When bundle sales last too long or when there’s too many very similar bundle sales to choose from or when the advertising for a bundle includes overinflated values, then the excitement fades and so do the benefits to the contributors. The organizers of the Autoimmune Wellness Bundle are fully honoring the contributions from so many authors and vendors by doing this right! That’s why this bundle was so carefully crafted and is only available until May 25th!

Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

Bundle Details

When I’m trying to decide on whether to buy a bundle, I look at which books I would enjoy, total up the value, and then see if that’s more than the cost of the bundle (then I treat everything else as a bonus). I mean, it’s great that this bundle includes 45 e-books and is being sold at a 92% savings, but that doesn’t really mean anything if there’s only two books in the whole bundle that I’m interested in! So, here’s the nitty gritty of what’s in this bundle. Have a look and see if this bundle would be a great resource for you.

Here’s what’s included in this bundle:

Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

15 AIP Cookbooks and Meal Plans (total value $192)

  • The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott ($17 value)
  • The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook by Angie Alt ($17 value)
  • 85 Amazing AIP Breakfast Recipes by Eileen Laird ($13 value)
  • *The Best of AIP Cookbook by Sarah Ballantyne ($25 value)
  • The He Won’t Know It’s Paleo Cookbook by Bre’anna Emmitt ($15 value)
  • The AIP Paleo Cajun Cookbook by Tara Perillo ($10 value)
  • We Can All Scream for Ice Cream by Jennifer Robins and Vivian Cheng ($10 value)
  • Butter Your Broth, the AIP Version by Kiersten Peterson ($6 value)
  • The Paleo Approach Dinner Club by Sarah Ballantyne ($17 value)
  • AIP Paleo Snacks and Quick Lunches by Jo Romero ($7 value)
  • 28 Days of AIP by Christina Feindel ($7 value)
  • 28 Days of Low-FODMAP AIP by Christina Feindel ($10 value)
  • Holiday Feast (AIP Edition) by Cassandra Garcia ($10 value)
  • *The Paleo Approach Quick-Start Guide by Sarah Ballantyne ($18 value)
  • The FODMAP Free Paleo Breakthrough by Anne Angelone ($10 value)

Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

15 Lifestyle and Exercise Guides (total value $202)

  • The Primal Connection by Mark Sisson ($10 value)
  • *Go to Bed by Christina Feindel and Sarah Ballantyne ($17 value)
  • *Accessible Workouts by Peter Hirsh ($10 value)
  • Stress Solutions by Evan Brand ($27 value)
  • *Relax by Michele Spring ($15 value)
  • Healing, Humor, and Hashimoto’s (excerpt) by Stacey Robbins ($5 value)
  • 30 Days of Prayer: Healing Autoimmunity for Women by Ruschelle Khanna ($5 value)
  • My Butter Life Personal Care by Renee from Hard Lotion ($5 value)
  • REM Rehab by Evan Brand ($29 value)
  • Yoga for the Everyday Flow of Life by RX Yoga ($12 value)
  • How To Biohack the Ultimate Healthy Home by Ben Greenfield ($6 value)
  • Getting Started with Your Vegetable Garden (Excerpt from “The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook”) by Diana Rogers ($7 value)
  • The Paleo Miracle 2 by Joe Salama ($10 value)
  • *21 Step Body Image Remix Excerpt by Summer Inannen ($39 value)
  • Stretchsitting (Excerpt from “10 Steps To A Pain-Free Back”) by Esther Gokhale ($5 value)

Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

15 Beyond the Basics e-books (total value $132)

  • The Autoimmune Paleo Breakthrough by Anne Angelone ($10 value)
  • *Essays from 2014 by Terry Wahls ($10 value)
  • *The Paleo Approach Reintroduction Guide by Sarah Ballantyne ($13 value)
  • Biohacking Autoimmune DIY by Petra Chambers-Sinclair ($9 value)
  • Birth Control Unlocked by Stefani Ruper ($9 value)
  • How To Interpret Your Lab Tests for Optimal Levels by Jamie Koonce ($20 value)
  • Reintroducing Foods on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol by Eileen Laird ($9 value)
  • *Fantastic Fiber by Sarah Ballantyne ($15 value)
  • Brain Health and Stress (excerpt from Why Isn’t My Brain Working?) by Datis Kharrazian ($5 value)
  • The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol Foods to Include and Eliminate by Anne Angelone ($5 value)
  • The 10-Day Paleo Transition by Anne Angelone ($5 value)
  • The Causes of Autoimmune Disease (Excerpt from “The Paleo Approach”) by Sarah Ballantyne ($5 value)
  • Quit PMS by Lauren Geertsen ($9 value)
  • Overcoming Hashimoto’s Fatigue by Izabella Wentz ($5 value)
  • Why Hormones Matter (Excerpt from The Hormone Cure) by Sara Gottfried ($5 value)

 

*Books released exclusively with this bundle! Yes, there are nine e-books launching with this bundle!

The Best of AIP Cookbook was created exclusively for this bundle! Enjoy an amazing diversity of exquisite flavors while you embark on the autoimmune protocol with this NEW resource, only available here! With contributions from more than 30 leading Paleo and AIP bloggers and authors, this cookbook includes the best of the best 100% AIP recipes! Fill your plate with flavor and enjoy every bite on the road to better health! This 193-page e-book includes: a summary of the autoimmune protocol, and over 160 Best Of recipes, all 100% strict AIP!

Want to know more details about the included books? Simply go to the bundle website and click on any book image for a full description!

Now, you can see why this bundle isn’t just for those with autoimmune disease! Even just a quick glance at the resources included is enough to know that this bundle is filled with amazing resources that everyone will enjoy!

Exclusive Discounts and Coupon Codes

To give you even more value and support for your health journey, The Autoimmune Wellness Bundle also includes discount codes for 26 discount codes for AIP-friendly vendors and products!

Because the bundle organizers don’t want to assume that you’ll use every coupon code, the huge amount of money you could save by taking advantage of these discounts hasn’t even been calculated into the value of the bundle! That’s right! The bundle is worth over $500 NOT including the coupons and discount codes!

This is another way that I determine if a bundle is a good deal for me. I see whether any of the included discount codes and coupons are for products I normally buy or have been meaning to buy. If a good coupon (or two or three) will save me the cost of the bundle just by purchasing items I would have anyway, then I get to look at all the included e-books and other discount codes as a bonus!

It’s fantastic to see so many discounts and coupons for AIP-friendly products, services and programs!

Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

Discounts and Coupon Codes

  • AIP Batch Cook                                                       $20 off
  • Bare Bones                                                       10% off
  • Barefoot Provisions                                     10% off
  • Ben Greenfield Fitness Systems                   10% off
  • Chrisal                                                                         30% off select products
  • Delicious Obsessions                                     10% off
  • Dr Ron’s                                                       10% off
  • Fatworks                                                       20% off
  • Footloose and Chairfree                                     5% off
  • Gokhale Method                                     15% off regularly priced items (excluding chair)
  • Kasandrinos                                                       15% off
  • Klio Tea                                                                         10% off
  • Kombucha Kamp                                     Free gift with purchase
  • Morrocco Method                                     Free gift with purchase
  • One Stop Paleo Shop                                     10% off
  • Paleo on the go                                                       $20 off
  • Pete’s Paleo                                                       $10 off
  • Primal Life Organics                                     Starter package for $49
  • SAD to AIP in 6 Weeks                                     $20 off
  • Step and Go                                                       10% off
  • Clear.Heal                                                       $100 off
  • The Eczema Company                                     10% off
  • ThePaleoMom Consulting                   $25 off
  • US Wellness Meats                                     15% off
  • Vital Proteins/Corey                                     20% off + free shipping
  • Wild Zora                                                       10% off

 

Daily Giveaways!

Another reason to act now? As if the Autoimmune Wellness Bundle wasn’t enticing enough, if you buy it right now you are automatically entered to win a new giveaway every single day remaining in this sale! That’s six amazing giveaways that you’ll be entered in if you buy the bundle right now, each with amazing prizes including two chances to win a Kindle Fire HD and the grand prize of an All-Expense Paid Trip for Two to Paleo F(x) 2016 worth $2600!

Every giveaway is international and no restrictions apply! Yes, you can enter this giveaway from anywhere in the world! And the prizes will be shipped anywhere!

autoimmune wellness bundle

Here’s the details of what’s being given away each day of this amazing bundle sale:

May 20: Kindle Fire HD 7 16GB ($160 Value)

May 21: $200USD Amazon Gift Certificate (winner may choose which country’s amazon site)

May 22: AIP Print Library ($260 Value), includes physical copies of:

  • The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD
  • The Paleo Approach Cookbook by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD
  • The Wahls Protocol by Terry Wahls, MD
  • The Autoimmune Solution by Amy Myers, MD
  • The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott, NTP
  • Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook by Angie Alt
  • Nourish by Rachael Bryant
  • He Won’t Know It’s Paleo by Bre’anna Emmitt

May 23: Kindle Fire HD 9 32GB ($400 Value)

May 24: Two Premium Paleo F(x) 2016 tickets ($800 Value)

May 25: All-Expense Paid Trip for Two to Paleo F(x) 2016 ($2600 Value)

  • 2 premium Paleo F(x) 2016 tickets
  • 3 nights stay at a nearby hotel (shared room)
  • 2 $400-travel vouchers
  • $200 in gift certificates to local Austin restaurants
  • AIP Travel Food Gift Baskets in your hotel room when you arrive ($200 value)

 

The sooner you buy, the greater your chances and the more you could win! Every purchase enters you automatically for all remaining giveaway of this bundle event! Of course, no purchase is necessary. Click here for more details.

 

So, what are you waiting for?

Pretty amazing deal right? Probably the best part is that every single resource has been specially selected and vetted by the bundle organizers to create the highest quality bundle possible! This really is the ultimate resource for the autoimmune community or anyone looking to heal their bodies and enjoy optimal health!

This is a VERY limited time offer so go here and check out all the details and see just how much you are getting for the awesome deal of $39!

Autoimmune Wellness Bundle

If you bought every e-book in this bundle separately, it would cost you over $500! But, it’s available for a short time for only $39! That’s 92% off the retail price!!! And that doesn’t include the hundreds of dollars you could potentially save with all the amazing discount codes! Plus, the quality of each item in this bundle is outstanding! This is a great bundle!!!

 

AIP Ice Cream…. A Special Announcement

Blueberry "Cheesecake" Ice Cream (AIP/Paleo)

I don’t know about where you live, but where I am summer has definitely arrived. With temperatures in the 90s today I am fully embracing summer life and everything that it entails. I’ve already gotten my first (accidental) sunburn of the season, my trip to the beach is booked, and I am looking forward to my first dip in the pool after this Memorial Day weekend. Summer is filled with lots of fun and often many occasions that cause us to want to celebrate and have fun.

When I first began my journey on AIP I thought that I had kissed the days of ice cream and frozen treats goodbye. I’ve never been one to have an overly aggressive sweet tooth, but the thought of never tasting that cold sweetness that pairs perfectly with summer was sad. Then, last year a couple of blogger friends of mine over at The Real Food Guide, came out with an amazing E-book called We Can All Scream For Ice Cream. It has 24 AIP friendly ice cream recipes that can be made with or without an ice cream maker (although I highly recommend this ice cream maker if you are in the market for one). They have all of your favorites from Mint “chocolate” chip to a banana split and every single recipe is delicious. I have referred back to it many times in the last year and I have never been disappointed.

Blueberry "Cheesecake" Ice Cream (AIP/Paleo)The Surprise….

The best part is that this book is very affordable at $10. However, I know that when you are pinching your pennies to save for that family beach vacation even $10 can seem like a lot so I have decided to offer another special incentive. Starting today (May 18th, 2015) the next 50 people who order the We Can All Scream for Ice Cream e-book from this site or any of my social media platform sites will also receive a FREE bonus recipe for my AIP friendly Blueberry “Cheesecake” Ice Cream. This is a brand new recipe that will not be available on the blog or anywhere else. The only way to get it is to order this e-book TODAY.

Summer can be an incredibly fun time of year there is no reason that you should spend it feeling deprived while you are also healing.

Click HERE to purchase the E-book & Get Your FREE Recipe

BBQ Pork Buns (AIP/Paleo)

BBQ Pork Buns (AIP/Paleo)

Maybe it is because I have been traveling lately, or maybe it is because it is the season of picnics, hiking, and camping, but I have really been finding myself annoyed by a lack of convenient finger food these days. So much of the AIP lifestyle involves creating delicious meals in a kitchen that require copious amounts of dishes and at the very least a fork and knife. I don’t miss the bread of my former days, but I miss the convenience and ease of a sandwich. There are also just a few things out there that don’t feel complete without some sort of bread or bun. Hamburgers and BBQ are two of those things for me. I usually eat them bun-less but given the choice I would love to sink my teeth into a nice complete sandwich and let out a happy sigh of contentment.

Earlier this week I made my NC Style Pulled Pork recipe for dinner, but I wasn’t feeling terribly excited about it so I started looking at other BBQ ideas on Pinterest ( a dangerous rabbit hole, let me tell you) I came across a few recipes for Chinese BBQ Pork Buns and I was intrigued. I had never seen these before and they just looked so delicious. I also ran across of a few recipes for pulled pork empanadas that utilized plantains in the dough so I decided to see if I could create a sort of hybrid recipe. The result was fantastic. The dough worked perfectly and was easy to manage and the flavor was delicious. Best of all there was nothing fragile about these buns like so many paleo or AIP baked goods. They are so easy to just pick up and eat, no fork or knife required.

I am definitely planning on making some more of these for picnics and road trips this summer because they are so convenient to carry around and eat and they are just downright delicious. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

BBQ Pork Buns (AIP/Paleo)

 

BBQ Pork Buns (AIP/Paleo)

Ingredients:

4 Green plantains

BBQ Pork Buns (AIP/paleo) 2 TBS Olive Oil

1 Clove Garlic Minced

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 TBS Grass Fed Gelatin 

1 TBS Cold Water

2 TBS Hot Water

1 ½ cups of AIP Pulled Pork BBQ

1 TBS olive oil

coarse sea salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take two of your green plantains, peel them, and chop them into chunks. Place them into a medium pot and cover them with water. Boil until tender when poked with a fork. Meanwhile, take your other two plantains peel them and then grate them with a cheese grater or a grater food processor attachment. Put the grated plantains into a large mixing bowl and set aside. When your boiling plantains are tender drain the water and add the plantains to your food processor. Add in the 2 TBS of olive oil , salt and minced garlic and blend until a ball of smooth pureed plantain forms. Add the ball of plantain to the mixing bowl with the grated plantain. In a small bowl combine your gelatin with 1 TBS of cold water. Stir it until combined, then add in 2 TBS of hot water a stir until the gelatin has dissolved and there are no clumps. Add your gelatin mixture to your plantain mixture and mix with an electric or stand mixer until well combined and smooth. Then, transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and either roll or mat the dough until it is between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Cut out circles that are about 3 ½ inches wide and transfer them to a lined baking sheet. Continue to roll dough and cut our circles until you are out of dough. Put about 2 TBS of pulled pork in the center of each circle and then fold up the sides and roll them into complete balls. Coat the buns with olive oil and sprinkle coarse sea salt on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the buns are firm and golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

Do You Want to Learn More About Essential Oils?

May Essential Oil Promo Photo

Ok, so you all know that I love using my DoTerra essential oils. They are faster, cheaper and more effective than many other things that I have tried and they are wonderfully complimentary to the autoimmune protocol and my healing journey. This form of natural medicine really has changed my life.

Now, you are sitting there thinking, “Ok that’s great, good for her, but what do I do with that? How can I use essential oils? What does using them even look like?”

 I totally get it. When you are used to doing things one way, treating your health one way, it can be incredibly overwhelming to feel like you have to learn a whole new way of doing things.

When I teach classes on essential oils these are the types of questions I get. People just want to know what oils I like and how I use them. I had to learn much of what I know about how to use essential oils through my own trial and error and that was, at times, a frustrating process. I learned the hard way, not to take essential oils internally when you have an autoimmune disease, I learned what a “hot oil” is and why it is so important to dilute some oils, and I learned which oils work best for me and which ones don’t.

The reason I have this blog, the reason I do what I do, is because I want to help people with my experiences. I want you to learn through me so that you can have a leg up on succeeding in your personal health journey.

That is why, for the month of May, my goal is to connect with as many people who want to learn about essential oils as possible. So I am going to do that in two ways:

 

Here’s The Deal:

  1. I want to set up a time to talk with YOU about essential oils. I want to teach you about oils and get you set up for starting your oils journey successfully. I prefer to do this via google video chat or skype so that I can share my screen with you and show you first hand how to get started, However, I am also available to do this over the phone. If you are interested in setting up a time for your free (no obligation) wellness consult with me please email me using the contact form below:

  1. Balance Oil BlendThe second way I want to help you get started with oils is to offer you an incentive. One of my absolute favorite DoTerra products is their Balance blend. I wrote about it in THIS post, but it is my go to oil for stress management and it works so so well! It has helped me tremendously throughout my healing journey. For the month of May, anyone who enrolls on my team as a wholesale member will be entered to win a FREE full size bottle of Balance. Wholesale members on my team have access to wellness consults with me, along with access to private essential oil usage Facebook groups. Plus, by enrolling as a wholesale member you get all of your oils 25% off retail value, you have the opportunity to earn points on orders that you can later redeem to get oils of your choice for free, plus you have the chance to get a free product from DoTerra every month. It really is the smartest and most cost effective way to use essential oils. There really is no catch, I just want to help you get started using oils safely and effectively.

If you want to enroll with a wholesale membership you can do so by clicking on this link and walking through the process. You can either purchase your membership for $35 and then buy whatever oils or products you would like to at 25% off or you can enroll with any of these enrollment kits which include your membership fee and give you a great set of oils to start off with. After enrolling you will get an email from me within 24 hours following up and seeing if you have any questions.

(the winner of the FREE bottle of Balance will be selected on June 1st and contacted via email)

Learning about and using essential oils can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. They are a wonderful safe, effective and inexpensive resource that can help you and your family tremendously. I want to help you get started this month so lets set up a time to talk today!

 

 

 

 

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins with a Sweet Potato Vinaigrette

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins with a Sweet Potato Vinaigrette (AIP/Paleo)

After three and a half years of paleo and a year and half on the autoimmune protocol you would think that I would be better at coming up with paleo and AIP friendly lunches. Back in my standard American diet days my lunch was typically always simple, cold, and medium sized. Now my lunch is typically just leftovers from the day before or an easily cooked meat and veggie combo. This is fine until it gets boring or until I am traveling or in need of a more “normal” lunch. In these cases I typically go for a salad and some plantain chips or something starchy to fill me up, but after just eating these stuffed sweet potato skins for lunch I may have found a new favorite.

Obviously, these don’t just have to be eaten for lunch, they would make a perfectly respectable dinner too, but because I think they are good warm or cold I am putting them in the lunch category. Many stuffed sweet potato recipes you see online are “Mexican” themed or covered in cheese so I decided to try something that would be totally delicious and still AIP friendly. The filling for these is so flavorful and delicious, but it is the sauce that really pulls it all together and will make you do your happy dance. The sauce has the perfect creamy texture that turns this from just a hollowed out sweet potato with some meat in it to a full and delicious meal.

It is very clear to all that I love sweet potatoes but this may take the cake as my favorite sweet potato recipe to date… you will have to let me know what you think!

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins with a Sweet Potato Vinaigrette (AIP/Paleo)

 

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins with a Sweet Potato Vinaigrette (AIP/Paleo)

(serves 2-4)

Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins with a Sweet Potato Vinaigrette (AIP/Paleo)Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts- cooked and shredded

2 pieces of bacon

1 cup of fresh spinach

½ yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic- minced

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried ginger

½ tsp sea salt

½ cup olive oil

2 TBS balsamic vinegar

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your two sweet potatoes on a cookie sheet and poke them both with a fork multiple times. Place them in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until they are tender. In a medium pan cook your two slice of bacon until crispy and then set aside, leaving the grease in the pan. When the sweet potatoes are tender take them out of the oven and carefully cut them in half. Allow them to cool slightly and then scoop out most of the flesh, leave a small lining to keep the skin from tearing. Set the flesh aside and place the skins back in the oven for about 5 minutes to get crispy. Meanwhile, add your onions and garlic to the pan that you cooked the bacon in. Sautee until the onions start to become translucent. Then, add in your spinach and allow it to wilt. Finally add in your shredded chicken and spices and mix together. Remove the sweet potato skins from the oven and fill them with the chicken. Sprinkle the bacon on top. Finally, to make your sweet potato vinaigrette sauce add ½ cup of the cooked sweet potato flesh along with your olive oil and balsamic vinegar to your food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon over the top of the potatoes and serve.

 

Hormonal Birth Control and Autoimmune Disease

Hormonal Birth Control and Autoimmune Disease

My Story: 

As many of you know, my specific interest and quasi expertise within the natural health realm lies in the world of women’s health. I am a childbirth doula and that has led me to become well versed in the issues that affect women, especially young women, on a daily basis. A doula is not a medical professional or someone who can make medical recommendations, but rather someone who is well versed in current research, evidenced based practice, and can point people in the direction of research and resources that they may find useful and helpful in making personal decisions. It is this mindset, combined with my own personal health journey and experiences that has led me to write this post on hormonal birth control (HBC) and autoimmune disease.

My journey with HBC began in eighth grade when I began to experience severe and unexplained abdominal pain on a daily basis. Many times each day I would be overcome by a contraction-like pain that would originate in my sides and back and would wrap around to my front and build to an excruciating level before dissipating about 2 minutes later. The pain would cause me to turn completely white and feel nauseated and light headed. However, it happened so frequently that I learned to just work through it so that no one would notice. This, partnered with frequent dull pain localized in the lower right quadrant of my abdomen became a regular and concerning experience. I went to the ER for an appendicitis more times than I can count and each time they would send me home without a diagnosis but the assumption that the pain was gynecological in nature. Shortly after the pain began, my mom took me to a friendly female OB/GYN who diagnosed me with suspected endometriosis. I was put on a birth control bill that suppressed all but four cycles a year and told that they would monitor it. The pain never really went away, but I kind of liked only having four periods a year and I was not in a place in life where I ever thought to question a diagnosis or a doctor’s advice. This went on for about 3 years when, in my junior year of high school, I agreed to an exploratory laparoscopy to have the long suspected endometriosis fully diagnosed and hopefully removed. I went to the hospital, went to sleep and fully expected to wake up to a full endometrial report. Instead, I woke up to my mom’s voice telling me that they hadn’t found anything. For three years I had lived with a completely unfounded diagnosis and now I was lying in a hospital bed for absolutely no reason. I was understandably frustrated but after three years it was fairly easy to just pick up and carry on. At this point, I was so used to being on HBC that I decided to just stay on it after the surgery. That was until about 6 months later.

Seemingly out of nowhere I started experiencing severe insomnia, anxiety, upsetting dreams, and feelings of emotional detachment. For a few months I kept these symptoms to myself hoping that they would just go away, but before long I began feeling increasingly depressed and detached and I told my mother how I was feeling. As someone who had never tolerated HBC well, she immediately identified my symptoms as HBC side effects and within days of stopping the pill I was feeling normal again.

After that experience, I stayed off of HBC for about a year and half but because my health was so poor that my hormones remained unbalanced and I dealt with terrible PMS symptoms, ovulation symptoms, and miserable periods. I felt like I was constantly at the mercy of my hormones. Hopeless, I decided to go back on the pill but unlike my early days of HBC use I reacted negatively to every single brand I tried. Some brought back my negative emotional symptoms, one brand made my hands shake constantly, others made me feel physically ill… the list went on and on.

Now through college and with my UC diagnosis, my abdominal pain had resolved and I was preparing to get married and needed to start looking at HBC for its intended purpose rather than just as the hormonal support supplement I had used it for up to that point. I had given up on the pill at this point, but I was still very young and unprepared to have children so I decided to try the Mirena IUD. I liked its reported high level effectiveness and I hoped that having the hormones secreted locally in the uterus rather than having to be digested and absorbed systemically would minimize the side effects.

For about a year I was happy. I had no visible side effects, I wasn’t getting pregnant, and my cycle was super light and short. However, after about a year I started to get painful ovarian cysts almost every month, then I started getting severe breast pain for two weeks out of every month and finally my hair started to fall out. Around that same time I kept running across horror stories of people experiencing seizures, tanking progesterone levels and infertility as a result of the Mirena. I have no idea if any of those stories were true or not, but I had begun AIP at the time and I knew that I would forever live with guilt if I experienced a life changing side effect from the Mirena that I could have prevented. I was still not in a place of being able to support a child so I wanted something that was still highly effective, my husband and I were still in the midst of graduate school craziness so NFP (Natural family planning) was not something that either of us could handle learning about or investing in. After doing my research, I decided to get a non-hormonal copper IUD. I have had it for almost a year now and I love it. It works perfectly for my life, I have had no side effects, and in fact through my diet and lifestyle changes my hormones have been able to balance out naturally. I was recently told by my integrative health doctor after a hormone panel that my levels are “perfect”. I am very happy with my decision, but it is just that MY decision. I know that this is a very personal decision so, here are some points about HBC and autoimmune disease pulled from recent research as well as a list of non-hormonal birth control options to consider.

Hormonal Birth Control and Autoimmune Disease

 

Research Points:

  • Sex hormones play a large role in regulating the immune system, which make them an important part of managing autoimmune disease (Dr. Sarah Ballantyne)
  • Using HBC and artificially altering sex hormones can make it more difficult to manage autoimmune disease (Dr. Sarah Ballantyne)
  • HBC depletes many vital nutrients including zinc and many of the B vitamins, which in turn weakens the immune system. (Chris Kresser)
  • HBC alters that state of the gut microflora increasing the likelihood of leaky gut, inflammation, gut dysbosis, and can even effect the gut microflora of future children. (Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride and Chris Kresser)

 

For information on recovering from long term HBC use check out this source

 

Non-Hormonal Birth Control Options:

Copper Paragard IUD: more than 99% effective, not dependent on correct use. Lasts for 10 years or more. Works by disrupting sperm and secreting copper into the uterus which affects implantation. Best for women who want to avoid pregnancy for an extended period of time. Must be put in by a health care provider. Does not protect against STIs.

NFP (Natural Family Planning): 80-98% effective depending on correct use. This is a great options for couples in a long term, monogamous relationship who are comfortable with the efficacy rate and are willing to work together to communicate and plan ahead. It is also best used when a woman has a predictable 28 day cycle. Does not protect against STIs.

Male Condoms: 85-95% effective depending on correct use. Easy to access, does not require a health care provider. Does protect against STIs.

Diaphragm: 86-94% effective depending on use. Does not protect against STIs. Good for a woman who does not want to rely on condoms and is comfortable with the efficacy rate. Must be fitted by a doctor.

 

 

 

 

 

Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewers over Ginger Spiced Sweet Potato Rice (AIP/Paleo)

Garlic Grilled Shrimp over Sweet Potato Rice (AIP/Paleo)

I love grilled food. I grew up with a dad who grilled weekly, regardless of the season so the flavor of smokey grilled meat and seafood is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, for the past few years we have lived in apartments where we had no room to safely own a grill. That has all changed now though, since our new home has been christened with a grill that my hubby received as a birthday gift earlier this spring.

The beauty of this is that it is also a gift for me as it has given me a perfect excuse to get the hubby cooking more of our meals and it has been a wonderful way too branch out and create some new recipes. You all know that I love to share recipes that are simple, easy and perfect for the inexperienced cook and this meal is no exception. These grilled shrimp skewers are so simple that I almost hesitated to share them because they didn’t really seem like a “real” recipe. The sweet potato rice is a new favorite around our home because it is a super simple staple that can be adapted to suit many different types of dishes. My family is not a huge fan of cauliflower rice so having an alternative that we can all agree on is great!

This is a perfect meal for a weeknight or a long Saturday spent in the yard because it is quick and easy but will leave you happy and satisfied! Plus it will give you a yummy new reason to add another serving of seafood into your diet, which is important when battling inflammation. Personally, I aim to eat seafood at least 3-5 times a week.

Do you like to grill food? Do you grill year round or only when the weather is warm?

 

Garlic Grilled Shrimp over Sweet Potato Rice (AIP/Paleo)


Garlic Grilled Shrimp Skewers over Ginger Spiced Sweet Potato Rice (AIP/Paleo) 

(serves 2)

Ingredients:

Shrimp:

20-30 large shrimp (Raw, No Shells, De-Veined)

4 Cloves of Garlic Minced

1 TBS Olive Oil

½ tsp Sea Salt

Sweet Potato Rice:

2-3 small to medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks.

½ Large Yellow Onion

2 TBS olive oil

2 Cloves of garlic, minced

½ tsp Sea Salt

½ tsp Ground Ginger

 

Directions:

Take your fresh or thawed shrimp and create about 4 skewers, each with about 6 shrimp on them. We used bamboo skewers, but these metal ones would be great too. Brush your shrimp with olive oil and then sprinkle with sea salt and your minced garlic. Set aside momentarily. Using the s blade on your food processor, take your raw sweet potatoes and pulse the food processor until the sweet potato has been broken down into small rice-like chunks. Place the sweet potato into a large saucepan. Use your food processor to blend up your onion and add that to the saucepan as well. Add your olive oil and spices to the pan and cook covered on medium heat until the sweet potato has become tender. While the rice is cooking, grill your shrimp skewers for about two minutes on each side or until the shrimp is pink and opaque. Serve over the rice and enjoy!