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Anne Macaulay | First Thoughts
Here are my “First Thoughts” on mindset, real food and behavior change.
Quote that I am pondering: “Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut” At first glance, this sounds like advice to not say something you might regret, yet it also is fabulous advice for relationships, coaching, leadership etc. Often a person’s first response is not the most important one and a moment of silence will bring out the meat of the issue.
What I’m reading: The T.I.G.E.R. Protocol by Akil Palanisamy, MD. TIGER stands for Toxins, Infections, Gut, Eat, and Rest. This book is for anyone on the autoimmune spectrum. Dr. Palanisamy discusses how autoimmune conditions develop over time. The autoimmune spectrum starts with toxins, infections, and/or poor gut health leading to inflammation and eventually full on autoimmune disease. He blends functional medicine with his Harvard medical school training and Ayurveda to come up with a unique approach to putting autoimmunity in remission and preventing it from developing in the first place.
One thing I find interesting is that he doesn’t suggest removing gluten free grains such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat and gluten free oats, things I’ve found that I tolerate despite being on the no-no list for the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet.
What I’m experimenting with: Iberogast. A “9 Herb treatment for functional disorders of the digestive tract,” Iberogast has been used in Europe for 60 years and studied in clinical trials for IBS and functional dyspepsia.
Bitters have long been used to improve digestion. Eating bitter greens like dandelion or arugula or drinking aperitifs like Pernod helps to increase secretion of both saliva and digestive enzymes so that you break down your food better. Iberogard makes it simple to consume bitters with every meal. It is well worth a try if you suffer from any symptoms of IBS.
Programs I’m leading: I’m excited to be leading a monthly autoimmune lunch group for Eating for Your Health, formerly known as The Suppers Program. We meet once a month in Princeton to cook a healthy lunch and discuss a topic related to inflammation and autoimmunity.
There is nothing like watching other people turn things around to get you motivated! When I first joined this group, I was having so much joint pain in my hands that I had trouble helping with the cooking. After watching the then group leader get her Rheumatoid Arthritis into remission, I was inspired to make some big changes. Now I lead the group in hope of inspiring others to do the same. Go here to register.
What’s in bloom: Zinnias. You can never have too many zinnias. They add cheer to any arrangement and serve as landing pads for butterflies. This one self-sowed in the gravel of the vegetable garden and has been very happy there, growing as tall as I am!
What I’m cooking: Rigatoni Sardi (Pasta with Lamb, Fennel and Basil Sauce). My mom is British, so I grew up eating lamb. Lamb is largely grass fed even if it’s not labeled that way, so you benefit from the higher ration of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fats that lamb has compared to other farmed meats or poultry. It’s just slightly lower than salmon. This is a recipe I improvised from a restaurant special that makes good use of the fresh basil and fennel in the garden at this time of year. Mushrooms (fungi) have been shown to lower the risk of neurodegeneritive diseases as well as helping the immune system, so add them liberally!
Rigatoni Sardi (Dairy and Gluten-Free options)
2 T olive oil
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
10-12 ounces ground lamb
1 tsp anchovy paste or canned, mashed anchovy
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup thinly sliced basil
1/8 tsp turmeric (optional, keeps basil green)
1/2 cup broth
1 cup mushrooms sliced
Truffle salt or sea salt to taste
Pasta of your choice. I’m a fan of Jovial Brown Rice Farfalle.
Nutritional yeast for serving
1. In a sauté pan, sauté the fennel in 1 T olive oil until soft and slightly browned. Remove from pan.
2. Add a little more oil and the anchovy paste, stir for a moment, then add the ground lamb and brown. When lamb is browned, add garlic and sauté until soft.
3. Add wine and cook until has evaporated.
4. Return fennel to the pan along with broth, basil, and turmeric. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Then take off heat.
5. While pasta is cooking, sauté mushrooms and add to the sauce.
6. When pasta is al denté, drain and then add it to the pan along with a little cooking water. Cook and stir for a minute or two so that sauce thickens. Serve with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top.
That’s all for now.
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