Today we are joined by Martine Partridge the blogger behind The Paleo Partridge, a great AIP blog filled with delicious recipes. She has graciously agreed to share her story with you all today as I take some time to focus on my move and spend the holidays with my family. Please take the time to head over to her site today and show her some love!
My history with Crohn’s Disease is long and storied, so I’ll attempt to give you a brief outline of my experiences over the last 20ish years. While it will appear bleak at first, I promise you that it gets better, so bear with me for just a few moments, and know that I share these details as a way to offer you some perspective on my healing journey. I understand too well that when you’re trying to find your way through the darkest days of a chronic illness, hearing accounts of success is incredibly encouraging. So first the bad bits:
I’ve had a lengthy and jarring ride on the prednisone train. I’ve trekked back and forth to the pharmacy, trying countless drugs that ultimately proved ineffective for me. (For example, I endured a couple of bouts of painful pancreatitis after reacting terribly to Imuran.) I swallowed six 5-ASA pills called Salofalk (think big, orange horse pills) daily for 15 years. I’ve been hospitalized. I had one doctor describe my colon as a bloody, ulcerated mess of “hamburger” after a scope. Oh, yes, I’ve had scopes, scopes, and more scopes. I almost lost my colon. And for quite some time, I did lose my self-worth because this disease takes its toll on your pride and dignity.
Finding first paleo (in the new year) and then AIP (in the spring/summer of this year) has been a game changer – it has given me my life back because I no longer live in fear of autoimmunity. My days look a whole lot different and a whole lot brighter now that I’m not stuck in the middle of a nasty and difficult Game of Crohn’s. I still take some medication, but I’ve been able to cut the number of drugs and amounts by half.
For decades I battled relentlessly high inflammatory markers and low iron levels, but I’m thrilled to report that since adopting a paleo lifestyle, the inflammatory markers have come down (and stayed) in the normal range, and I’ve even been able to bring my iron levels up without the need for repeated infusions.
However, while eating a paleo diet, I was still suffering with some Crohn’s symptoms. Sure, I was feeling the best I had since receiving the IBD diagnosis, and this was euphoric, really! But I wanted to ramp up the healing that was taking place, which is why I researched and ultimately committed to AIP in all its nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory glory. I’ve come to love and look forward to my daily intake of as many greens as I can handle along with my weekly liver pâté sessions.
Because I’m no longer chronically inflamed, struggling with a whole host of horrid symptoms related to IBD, I’m healthier, yes, but happier too. I have a better relationship with myself and with those around me. In fact, after the first few months of making these changes in my diet, my husband commented on how much calmer and contented I was. Not only was I benefiting physically from using food as medicine, I was also experiencing an improved state of emotional and mental wellbeing.
And one more benefit? I found my love for food again! I adore playing around in the kitchen, coming up with AIP-compliant recipes that my family and friends enjoy and rave about.
So here’s one of those recipes. This Cauli-Leek Mash always evokes a delighted response. I attribute that to the addition of duck fat and truffle salt. I’m totes in foodie heaven with that pairing!
1 head of cauliflower, washed and chopped into florets
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, washed and chopped finely
1 tbsp. duck fat
1 tsp. truffle salt
¼ to ⅓ c. bone broth
- Steam the cauliflower florets for around 20-30 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is steaming, sauté the leek in the duck fat until the leek is soft and nearing translucent. Set aside.
- When the cauliflower is finished steaming and is sufficiently soft, transfer the florets to a food processor or high speed blender. Add the sautéed leeks, truffle salt, and bone broth.
- Process until there are no more large cauliflower chunks. (I like this mash a little on the chunky side as opposed to completely puréed and smooth.)
Martine Partridge is an eater of paleo and AIP food. She is also a combatter of Crohn’s Disease. When Martine isn’t ogling food photos or creating scrumptious paleo and AIP dishes to share with friends and family, she is practicing yoga, reading a novel, hanging with her darling husband and sweet pup, and just generally blissing out on life. She is forever grateful to her parents for their unconditional love and incredible support, especially through the darkest days of dealing with Crohn’s Disease. Martine also admires and applauds the strength and inspiration of her fellow AI warriors who refuse to let disease define them and who continue to fight against autoimmunity. For more food and AIP-lifestyle ideas, follow Martine’s blog, and check her out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.