Dairy free … why?

There are many reasons one would choose a dairy free, or in general a free from, lifestyle; the fact that is a fad should not be one of them. Figuring out I have inflammatory arthritis was a result of visiting a osteopaths, physiotherapist, podiatrist, orthopedic surgeon AND a rheumatologist.  The lovely rheumatologist was the one who diagnosed me with inflammatory arthritis not google. It is because of her suggestion that I follow a dairy free lifestyle … mainly because the alternative was immune suppressants. Not at all ideal.

What were my symptoms like before I went dairy free?

  • I could not fully extend my right arm
  • If I drove too long I could not unclench my hands
  • I could not bring my knees passed 90 degrees and before I had no issue to bring them to my bottom
  • I could not walk properly, sometimes my knee would slide
  • I had the knee version of cankles
  • And I had cankles

I stopped running, horse riding and even swimming was difficult. In the beginning I thought that this was damage from running especially after I completed my first marathon. Except it did not heal. So of course you visit professionals to try to figure out what is wrong with your body.

Then I was diagnosed and went dairy free, and in the beginning gluten free, as many people with  inflammatory arthritis have adverse reactions to both dairy and gluten. Here is a short article on gluten free diets and arthritis. Going dairy free was such a relief for me. Inflammatory arthritis it just happens; it is an autoimmune disease. When I was younger, even just three years ago, I had no noticeable symptoms. But in the summer/autumn of 2014 my problems started and a year after that I was diagnosed and was able to manage my symptoms with a dairy free lifestyle.

Sooo what should you take away from this? If something is bothering you visit a medical professional. Try to keep track of your symptoms as this can help in diagnosing you. Most of all listen to your body.

Are you also dairy free? Let me know your reason for doing so. Have a great moo-less day.

Advertisements

Matcha Chia Seed Pudding

Shout out to @heidi_jones_coaching for mentioning using matcha powder in chia seeds. I thought I would give it a try and came up with the below. You can also use cocoa powder if you are looking for a chocolate fix or any other powdered spice for a flavour change.

Recipe

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 1/3 cup coconut milk

1 tsp matcha powder

Add to a jar and shake to blend. Place in fridge and shake again in 10-15 minutes as the seeds will have settled. Leave over night or at least a couple of hours.

For sweetness I add 1/2 tsp maple sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract with seeds Extras

A base of chopped bananas (1/2 banana per serving)

Chopped roasted almonds and coconut flakes with a smattering of pomegranate seeds topped it.

Serves two

Chocolate Nicecream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for #nicecream seriously though, how easy is this recipe? Simple ingredients, antioxident rich and delicious! This recipe is great for using up ripe bananas or sneaking in your daily fruit requirement. And let’s be honest it is also significantly less expensive than the free from icecreams here in Dubai. AED47 for a small tub? No thanks.

Recipe

3 ripe bananas, frozen

3 heaping tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp honey, can omit if vegan

2 tsp vanilla extract with seeds

Blend all together until smooth add in

1 tbsp cocoa nibs

1/2 cup chopped, roasted almonds Blend together. Can keep in a sealed container in the freezer for two weeks. Serve with your favourite topping or as is. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6

Diet Fads – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

South Beach, Atkins, Paleo, Keto, that weird maple syrup, lemon and cayenne pepper drink diet all seem to make their rounds. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center defines a fad diet as:

“A fad diet is a diet that promises quick weight loss through what is usually an unhealthy and unbalanced diet.

Fad diets are targeted at people who want to lose weight quickly without exercise.

Some fad diets claim that they make you lose fat, but it’s really water weight you’re losing.

Fad diets that are restricted to certain foods may work, but most are boring or unappealing. This can make them difficult to follow on a long-term basis. And some fad diets can actually be harmful to your health.”

Most sources will refer to fad diets in similar language to UPMC.

You should always seek the advice of a medical professional. But it is also important to note that in most countries dietitian is a protected title whereas nutritionist is not. Of course always check what your jurisdiction is regulating. For those who do not have dietary restrictions, or have figured out how to eat around those restrictions, it is good to have a food plate as a reference.

Below I have added the Healthy Eating Plate from Harvard University. Why do I like this over the food pyramid and others? It adds water consumption and exercise as part of the healthy eating plate. The food pyramid excludes this. In my university nutrition class we had to do a one week food diary, nobody included water as a part of their food diary and as a result we were all docked points. This taught us a lesson; water consumption is just as important as food consumption and it should be linked. The Healthy Eating Plate is also less vague than the previously used food pyramid and makes a difference between the types of oils, vegetables, grains and meat products. Check out the Harvard site for more info.

So what can you take away from this? Speak with a professional. If something is too good to be true it probably is. Eat healthily and drink water!

Harvard Food Plate

Copyright © 2011, Harvard University. For more information about The Healthy Eating Plate, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, http://www.thenutritionsource.org, and Harvard Health Publications, http://www.health.harvard.edu.

Berry Good Smoothie

Pretty in pink and heart healthy. Wishing a happy mother’s day to all mums, grandmums and mother figures out there. I don’t live even close to my own mum so I will be sure to call her. Ps, you are welcome for the pun. I know there are dad jokes but are there mum jokes? We must investigate. Happy mother’s day to the funny mummies, yummy mummies and the all around awesome mummies.

Recipe

1 cup mixed berries

1 cup pineapple, diced

1/2 banana

3 tbsp old fashioned oats

1 tbsp linseed, ground

1/3 cup water, depends on your desired consistency

Blend all ingredients together. Do not over blend. I decorated with pumpkin seeds, roasted coconut and watermelon hearts. Serves two.

Pomegranate + Raspberry Popsicles

Hot summer days in Dubai need a cool simple treat like these pomegranate raspberry popsicles.

Recipe

6 tsp pomegranate seeds

6 tsp coconut milk

1.5 cups frozen raspberries – I blended half the raspberries as is and the other half with a 1/2 cup coconut milk

Fill each popsicle form with one tsp pomegranate seeds and one tsp coconut milk, freeze for 30 minutes Then scope in 1 heaping tbsp of the pure raspberry mix in to each form and top with the raspberry coconut mix. Freeze again for at least an hour.

I used the popsicle forms from IKEA they are easy to clean and store. The extra raspeberry mix can be used in a chia seed pudding or kept in the freezer for future use. Enjoy!

Bejeweled Celery Salad

How could you not want to gobble up a jewel toned salad topped with amazing pomegranate seeds. Bejeweled salads are the future. Yummy!

Recipe

3 medium stalks celery, finely sliced with the leaves on

1/2 yellow pepper, chopped

1/8 red onion, chopped

Mix all together and add a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing (I do a 3:1 ratio) and threw in a herb mix. Garnish with pomegranate seeds et voila. A refreshing summer salad. This would also go well with roasted chicken or baked salmon if you want some protein with your meal.

Serves 2 as a starter or 1 for a main

Hummus for days

Snack time for champions! Hummus is my favourite easy to make super nutritious dip.

Recipe

1 can chickpeas, drained and “washed”

1 large garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp tahini

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/3 cup water, more or less depending on desired consistency

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend it all up until smooth and serve with julienned veggies, flatbread and olives. Hummus can also be made the day ahead.I find hummus from the day before has time to absorb more flavour. Yummy!

Mango Smoothie Bowl

And the #smoothiebowl adventures continue with this pretty and delicious little number.

Recipe

1 cup frozen mango

4 heaping tbsp old fashion oats

1 tbsp ground linseed

1/2 cup water

Blend all in ingredients together until mixed. Do not over blend. I decorated with the left over pomegranate seeds from my previous recipes, pumpkin seeds and oats. Enjoy!

Ps. This is so quick to make (including decorating) I managed to do everything while the tea kettle was going.

Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl

Feed your body and your mind with an antioxidant rich smoothie bowl and a side of literature.

Recipe

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1 ripe banana

3 heaping tbsp old fashioned oats

1 tbsp ground linseed

3 tbsp oat milk (or whichever milk you prefer)

I let my berries thaw in the fridge overnight which means they let out some water. If you make the smoothie with frozen berries you may need to add some milk or water depending on your desired consistency when everything has been blended together. Only blend until mixed. Never over blend. I garnished with 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds and some more oats.