Lemons 'n Lyme

When life gives you lemons, use them to beat Lyme


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Raw Parsnip and Kale “Tabbouleh”

If you follow me on Instagram (or Facebook) you’ll know I just got a Vitamix!

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My mom was so wonderful and bought me one because we figured it would save me energy in the kitchen since I can easily make almost every meal in it (smoothies, soups, sauces, salsas, etc). I’m so excited to use it and I’ve been thinking about it all day. Tonight I gave it a whirl to chop up some veggies and this fake tabbouleh recipe was born :). I don’t know why but it reminded me of tabbouleh so that is what I am calling it.

The thing I love most about cooking is spices! You can really change the flavor of a dish just by the spices and amounts you add. With this recipe, feel free to add more or less of the spices I suggested or other ones! For more of a true tabbouleh flavor I suggest adding some parsley and mint. I didn’t have these on hand so I didn’t include them plus i’m not a parsley fan but I do think it would work very well in this dish. This “Tabbouleh” works as a wonderful side dish or even as a main if you add some extra toppings (as I suggest at the end of the recipe).

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Raw Parsnip and Kale “Tabbouleh”

Ingredients:

1 big Parsnip

3 Dino Kale leaves

1/8 tsp. Cumin

Pinch of Turmeric

TINY pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt

2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1.5-2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1-2 teaspoons stone ground mustard (start with 1 tsp and if you want more mustard flavor add another tsp)

1 big stalk of celery or 2 of the smaller ones from the middle that still have the leaves on them (leafy celery preferable)

Thoroughly peel and wash your parsnip. Roughly chop and place into the Vitamix. Put the setting on 3-4 and pulse about 6-8 times until your parsnip is ALMOST a rice consistency (still a little chunky). Add in your washed kale that is roughly chopped (about 3 chops) and pulse a few more times (about 3-4) until kale is chopped and parsnip is at rice consistency. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with the spices. Mix evenly.

In a seperate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (ACV, olive oil, mustard) and mix well. Pour over the parsnip-kale mixture and mix evenly.

Chop up your celery and mix in.

Place this mixture into the fridge. It is preferable to leave it in for 30-60 minutes but I got hungry and it was in for about 10 :). Still came out great, though!

I added some avocado, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds on top. Came out fantastic! Love a little extra crunch.

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Are you a tabbouleh fan? I  never was because I hate bulgur wheat (not that I eat it anymore, obviously!) but this recipe is just divine and light and summary. As always, let me know if you try it out and what you think!

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But The Food…

I survived a mini-vacation! My family and I went on a long weekend vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico. My parents are moving there this summer and I had never been. I wanted to see where I would be spending the next year of my life after I graduate plus see some of the houses they were looking at. It’s different then anywhere I’ve lived before and I can guarantee you I am nervous about moving… but I’ll be spending the next year completely focused on treatment so I suppose the location doesn’t matter THAT much. I don’t care about making friends or going out, I just want a sunny, warm place to heal. I suppose Santa Fe will do ;).

This is the first semi-real vacation I’ve been on in over 2 years thanks to Lyme. I don’t count flying home to DC every month to see my doctor as vacation. My parents flew out to Denver and we drove my car down to NM. It is an 7-8 hour drive but that just meant plenty of time for me to rest. Plus, driving meant I could bring all my treatment stuff with me (my juicer, my sauna, food, meds, etc). It turned out pretty nice and my parents and I didn’t kill each other! That is a miracle in itself :).

While I was there I had a phone appointment with my LLMD and found out some big health news but I will be posting about that later this week.

So what else did we do? Oh besides seeing the town and looking at some houses we ate some AMAZING food. My mom and I did research (okay, mostly I did) on restaurants in the area before going. I wanted to find organic, mostly raw places of course. And DANG DID I FIND THEM! Almost everywhere we went offered fresh juice so I hardly needed to use my juicer the whole trip!

The first night we went to Cafe Pasquals. Everything is organic and they have lots of gluten free and vegan options. Plus fresh juice, of course. We started with some great appetizers and green juice but my main course was a gluten-free vegetable-quinoa burger with sprouts+guac+side salad.

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The next days highlight of meals was dinner, again. The second night we went to BODY. An all organic, locally sourced, raw, gluten-free restaurant. They also have yoga classes and other holistic fun things. I’m excited to explore all they have to offer when I move next year.

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We started off with a raw chips platter that had dehydrated sweet potato, beet, onion, and kale chips. PLUS, Fresh juice, of course! AND A WHEATGRASS SHOT!

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For my main dish I had this incredible chopped kale salad with a creamy almond dressing and sunflower seed croutons (how cool?!)

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The third days highlight was lunch! We went to Rasa, another all organic, local, raw place. The place was adorable! They also have a spa and yoga. They had amazing options that change daily along with smoothies and juices, raw treats and chocolates, and raw crackers and granola that they sell, too.

I had another green juice plus portobello “steak” that came with a mixed salad and jicama “potato” salad. My mom had the most amazing raw pizza! I didn’t get a picture of the pizza but trust me, delicious and beautiful.

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The last morning my mom and I hit up Sweet Water Harvest Cafe where they make most things gluten-free, grind their own flours fresh every morning (from sprouted grains), and offer a few raw options. I didn’t snap any pictures but my mom had awesome buckwheat pancakes and I had a banana-almond butter smoothie with raw granola.

I’m excited to move and explore these places more plus up my raw cooking and baking game (I guess I should say raw food prepping, instead). I’m planning to get a dehydrator so I can be more creative in the kitchen with raw food. Anyway, wanted to share a quick post about my trip and all the amazing food! I’m sorry I didn’t take more pictures and the ones I did are kind of crappy…. but I had to get a quick pic before devouring these meals. Eating=more important than pictures :). Got to enjoy the moment!

I hope you all are having a wonderful week. I’ll post a health update soon.

What is the best meal you have ever had? Favorite restaurant? I’d love to know so share in the comments!


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Smashing Fears

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I recently received an email from Cameron Von St. James, whose wife, Heather, has mesothelioma. Cameron runs a website to raise awareness about Mesothelioma and provide copious amounts of information! Yes, I have Lyme disease not cancer but this post isn’t about cancer- it’s about chronic illness and about fears. Cameron and Heather have a yearly tradition of smashing their fears. They (along with family and friends) write their fears on a plate and smash them into a big fire. They call it LungLeavin’ Day and they do it every year on the anniversary of Heather’s lung removal surgery.

Cameron emailed me because they’ve made this tradition a virtual one, so anyone can join. They’ve created this great interactive site where you can read Heather’s story (it’s short and sweet) and then where other chronically ill (or ANYONE) can do exactly what they do- write their fears on a plate and smash it into a fire! I literally teared up when I checked out their LungLeavin’ day sight and smashed my fears into this virtual fire. Being ill is SCARY. Having an illness with no set cure is scary. Having Lyme is incredibly scary given the medical worlds knowledge of the disease. But I honestly felt a wave of relief and like a slight weight had been lifted off my shoulders when I smashed my virtual fear plate.

It’s hard to let go of the fears we have, just general ones, but then tack on a chronic illness and it adds a whole new level! Although smashing a plate didn’t completely get rid of my fears, it did help dissipate them a bit- enough to let me relax slightly (which, let me tell you, is almost impossible for me to do!). I truly encourage everyone to check out this site and smash your fears!

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Fear is normal. It’s natural. We all fear. And sometimes it is hard to move beyond that. A lot of times it is hard for me to move beyond that. I fear a lot. I’m kind of a baby sometimes ;). I think I am so drawn to this smashing of a fear plate because it makes me thoughtfully acknowledge my fears (I mean, I have to articulate them and write them down on a plate!)… acknowledge them head on. Then smash them into pieces. It may be smashing them figuratively but it gives me a stronger ability to address them head on and move towards smashing them literally.

My biggest fear is of never getting better. I’ve responded poorly to treatment and it’s frightening to think I may never be 100% again. But I have to keep my hopes up and know I have people around me who are doing everything they can to help me get there. I’ve been struggling recently, especially mentally and emotionally with dealing with having Lyme and feeling like shit. I’ve had  A LOT of bad days but I am so ready to fight. I have to believe I will get better so that I can get better. Dr. Horowitz said that you can try every treatment in the world but if you have emotional blocks of any kind, none of those treatments will work. I have to continue to smash my fears so that I can take those steps, even if they are tinier then tiny, forward.

What are your biggest fears? Leave a comment letting me know what you’re afraid of, or at the very least, what keeps you going. We have to pull the strength out of ourselves and it’s okay to fear, but we can’t let that run our lives.

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Raw Hemp-Pumpkin Seed and Spinach “Pesto” (Paleo, Vegan, Nut-Free)

So I posted a picture of this on my Instagram in January… promising the recipe soon. Oops, my bad. But I’m finally getting to it:). This is a wonderful “pesto” or sauce-type to cover raw zucchini noodles in (or on top of chicken or fish or anything else you may want to smother in it 🙂 ). Honestly, whole foods taste AMAZING! Yeah, occasionally I get bored of kale and spinach (that’s when I make some sweet potato fries) but I’ve loved having to be creative and come up with unique and interesting recipes. I draw my ideas from other blogs and raw foodists… but it is still fun to try out their recipes, tweak things, and make them my own. I LOVE THIS RECIPE! I literally lick the plate clean after eating anything covered in this pesto. I also tend to eat it by the spoonfuls…. yeah, it is that good.

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Pumpkin seeds are great because they contain high amounts of manganese (along with other minerals), plant based healthy fats, they help promote sleep but have protein for good energy, and they may help with arthritic pain (although my knees and hands still hurt…).

Hemp seeds have been my latest addiction. I literally eat them all day long (sprinkled in my smoothie, mixed into my homemade “hummus,” sprinkled over apples for an after dinner treat). Hemp seeds are a great source of plant based protein (which is why I eat them so much… to make sure I’m getting enough protein. I crash really fast if my protein levels aren’t high enough). Hemp seeds, like pumpkin seeds, contain a high amount of minerals and healthy omega-fatty acids. They also help with digestion as they contain a good amount of fiber.

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Raw Hemp-Pumpkin Seed and Spinach “Pesto”

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup hemp seeds

1/4 cup olive oil

4 big handfuls of spinach

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4-1/2 cup water

Optional: 1 big handful/1 cup of basil leaves (I didn’t use them the first time I made this recipe but had a few leftover this past week and threw them in… it is delicious both ways!)

Put all ingredients into your food processor, except the water. Pulse until combined and smooth. Add in 1/4 cup of water to start and blend. Continue to add water until you reach a desired consistency (you are going for a creamy, dressing pesto consistency. You don’t want something too chunky that is more like a spread, you want a sauce).

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TA-DA. Pour over your pasta or food of choice and consume :). ENJOY!

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This past week I served it over kelp and zucchini noodles topped with sprouts, radishes, and hidden-liver meatballs (in case you don’t follow my IG- I’ve been trying to consume some liver in effort to get more B12 and at the recommendation of my ND).

Go make this now, for your own sake, please.