Lemons 'n Lyme

When life gives you lemons, use them to beat Lyme


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Our Thanksgiving + Raw Vegan Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Well, I had planned on getting a few recipes posted BEFORE Thanksgiving. Then I got the flu. And we all know how that goes. So I apologize. But today I’ll be sharing the delicious meal my family ate on Thanksgiving and the recipe for the delicious dessert we had.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving… well, to all my American followers. Otherwise, I hope you had a great Thursday ;).

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I realize there is a giant turkey in the middle of this table. I might be vegan, but my family is not. Don’t worry, I didn’t touch it.

The Menu: (recipes from other sites are linked)

New Mexican Red Chile Turkey

Pumpkin Risotto (To die for!)

Cornbread Stuffing

Cranberry, Fig, and Pistachio Relish (the best cranberry sauce ever!)

Kale and Persimmon salad (recipe coming soon)

Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, and Apples (This was supposed to be a stuffing, but I left out the bread and broth and it came out amazing)

Roasted Beets with an Orange-Anise Glaze (from Thrive magazine)

Raw Vegan Caramel Apple Cheesecake (recipe below) (Also to die for!)

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Now let’s get on to the best part of the meal, DESSERT!

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Raw Vegan Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Serves 6-8

*Be sure to read full recipe before beginning to make this cake as it does need to be made ahead. It’s very easy but requires some setting.

Crust:

1/2 cup sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat*

1/4 cup sprouted almonds

1/4 cup sprouted walnuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup dates, soaked

3 tbs. dried chopped apple

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

*You can just buy buckwheat groats from the store, soak overnight and then dehydrate in your dehydrator or in the oven at a low temperature for several hours. If you don’t care about being fully raw, you can soak them and then dry them in the oven at 250F for about 30-45 minutes.

Combine the first 4 ingredients in the food processor and process until beginning to break down. Add the remaining ingredients and process until  a dough-like consistency forms.

Press the dough into the bottom of a springform pan and up the side by 1/2 inch. I line the pan with parchment paper, but that is optional.

Place crust in the freezer while you make the filling.

Filling:

2 cups of cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours

1/2 cup coconut cream from the top of a can of full fat coconut milk that has been refrigerated

2 gala apples, peeled

1 tbs. lemon juice

1 vanilla bean

1/4 cup maple syrup

4 tbs. coconut oil

1 tsp. cinnamon

Process your cashews first (in food processor or high speed blender) until the break down and begin to smooth out. Add the remaining ingredients and process until completely smooth and creamy. Taste test. Of course.

Remove crust from freezer and pour the filling on top. Smooth out. Return to freezer for at least 2 hours. You can make this ahead and keep in the freezer until the day of. Let thaw in refrigerator for 2-4 hours before making the topping and serving.

Topping:

1 fresh apple (gala, honey crisp, or pink lady)

1/4 cup dried apple (if freeze dried, soak in warm water first to soften)

Chop all apple into bite size pieces.

If you don’t mind it being not 100% raw, you can sauté the apples in a little coconut oil until soft.

Caramel:

1/2 cup dates, soaked

1 tbs. maple syrup

1 heaping tbs. almond butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2-4 tbs. coconut cream from the top of the coconut milk can

1/4 cup water

Combine all caramel ingredients in food processor using only 2 tbs of the coconut cream to start and NONE of the water. Process until smooth and silky. You’ll want to taste at this point and see if it is the caramel flavor you desire. Adding more coconut milk increases silkiness.

You want your caramel to be a pourable consistency (not thick), add water slowly as necessary to reach desired consistency.

GET YOUR CHEESECAKE OUT! Remove the springform bottom from the edges and place cake on a serving dish (with bottom still attached). Decorate the top with your apple pieces and then using a spoon, pastry bag, or plastic bag with a hole cut out, drizzle the caramel over the top.

I apologize for my messy presentation, we all just wanted to eat it last night! 🙂

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Again, I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying your post T-day bellies ;). The holiday season has officially begun!

 

 


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Slightly Sweet Butternut Squash and Red-Lentil Curry (Vegan) and a Small LDI Update

First, I’d like to give a small treatment update, mostly about LDI. A bigger update will be coming soon. I constantly get emails and questions on my blog and Instagram about LDI, how it’s going for me, can I provide an update. Well, it hasn’t been going so hot so I haven’t provided many updates. My last dose was on October 6. The dose before that, at 11c, caused a herx, so we dropped to 12c. I felt nothing. My doctor and I have decided to take a break from LDI because it has made no impact after 6 months of various doses. I’ll be focusing on some other treatments (details to come in future post) and hoping to make some serious progress with those before revisiting LDI.

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As you all know, I’ve decided to return to a plant-based diet. I love it! And I’m having a blast with recipe development. This curry is SO GOOD! YOU MUST MAKE IT NOW! And if you are paleo, leave out the red-lentils. BAM paleo. I’m not a spicy person so I don’t crank up the heat on this curry, but you could. I add some apple to add a little sweetness to the spice and switch it up from the typical curry.

Butternut Squash and Red-Lentil Curry
Serves 2-4
Ingredients
1 small butternut squash peeled and chopped into bite size pieces (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup red lentils
1 small head of cauliflower chopped into bite size florets (about 4 cups)
1 small onion or half a medium onion, diced
1/2 an apple chopped into small bite size pieces (I used Honeycrisp but you can use any pink, crunchy variety such as pink lady, fuji, or even golden delicious)
1/2 can of coconut milk (shaken to mix the cream in)
Olive oil
1 tsp. coconut oil
Filtered water
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. coriander *
1/4 tsp. salt

*If you like the spice, add 1/4-1/2 tsp. white pepper and/or graham masala

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Peel and chop your squash, lay on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until squash is cooked through (pierceable with a fork and taste tested, of course).

While squash is cooking, cook your lentils according to package directions (or if bought in bulk, cook lentils with double the amount of water. Bring to a boil then reduce to low. Cook until water is absorbed and lentils are soft and cooked, about 20-25 minutes).

Also while squash is cooking, chop up your cauliflower, onion, and apple.

Add your coconut oil to a large sauté pan (you can even use a deep soup pan) and heat over medium heat until oil is melted. Add your onion and sauté until beginning to soften. Add the cauliflower and apple. Cook until cauliflower begins to soften, about 10 minutes.

Add 1/4 cup of water and cover. Let simmer while squash and lentils finish cooking. When squash is done, remove from oven and check that cauliflower is soft and cooked through. When cauliflower is ready, turn heat down to medium-low and add the squash to the pan.

Add all the spices and coconut milk and stir well. Let simmer for a minute to absorb milk and spices. Add the lentils. Stir everything well, again, taste, and add salt/pepper/spices as desired.

Serve over rice and spinach or as a side dish. My favorite is to add this curry over a big bowl of spinach and allow the spinach to wilt a bit.

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From Paleo to Plant-Based: Why I Returned to a “Vegan” lifestyle

So let me preface this post with a couple of things:

1) “Vegan” is in quotes in my title because I am NOT vegan but I am plant-based. I just didn’t want to reuse the word plant-based in the title two times :). I’m not vegan because I do eat small amounts of raw, local, organic honey and my whole life is not vegan. I eat plant-based (I don’t consume animal products besides honey) but I do still wear animal based clothing (which I hope to eventually switch out… baby steps). I believe all my beauty products (or most of them) are vegan but will be double checking as I use up a product and before buying a new one.

2) Many people follow my blog because I post PALEO recipes and some of you may have a fit that I went plant-based. But please, stick around and read this whole post to find out why! I’m still going to be posting amazing recipes and most will be paleo, I just won’t be cooking meat.

Delicious date granola with fresh fruit

Delicious date granola with fresh fruit

I want to walk you all through this.

Why did I go back to plant-based?
First, some background. I grew up eating meat but then in high school I decided to go vegetarian, for a few reasons. I stuck to it for a while and then started eating chicken again and eventually fish and all meat. Mostly because it was easier, although I did try to eat mainly vegetarian through my freshman year of college. Eventually I went paleo, almost exactly 4 years ago, actually! When I got sick I became more interested in paleo and stuck to it. About 2 years ago I decided to go raw vegan for healing. I LOVED it. I was less bloated, had less abdominal pain, and improving my digestion was a big deal because I react to almost everything I eat. I wasn’t doing it right, though. I wasn’t eating enough and felt run down (like the tired you feel when your body needs fuel) so I returned to paleo not realizing it was because I just wasn’t eating enough as a vegan.

About a month ago I decided to go back to vegan. It started with reading Skinny Bitch which sincerely opened my eyes. I then watched almost every food documentary on Netflix. I recommend Cowspiracy, Vegucated, and Forks Over Knives. I watched this speech by Gary Yourofsky. I became painfully aware of the harm every aspect of meat can cause. I learned that meat production is horrible for the environment (yes, even grass fed meat), it’s even worse for our health, especially cancer and chronic illness (Have you read the China Study?!), I learned how horribly animals are treated in slaughterhouses (yes, even grass fed, organic meat). I watched film footage from inside slaughterhouses and balled my eyes out. Yes, I did cry like a little baby.

Some quick facts (thanks to Cowspiracy):
-The meat and dairy industry use 1/3 of earths fresh water
-1.5 acres of land provides 370,000 lbs of plant based food OR 375 lbs of meat (uh, we could feed seriously more people with 370,000 lbs of food vs 375)
-You need 1/16th acre of land to feed one vegan for a whole year, you need 18x that much land to feed a meat eater for 1 year.

I want you all to understand that I have done my research. This post will be entirely too long if I provide all the specific facts, so maybe I will save that for another day. But for now, I encourage you to read and watch the above documentaries. I will point out that Skinny Bitch and a couple of those documentaries do discuss vegan junk food and vegan alternatives for non-vegan foods. I absolutely do not agree with this. Just because something is vegan (or gluten free or low fat or whatever it may be) does not mean it is healthy and should be eaten. I promote a whole-foods, plant-based diet that relies on fruits and veggies as the main source of nutrient dense food you should consume. I not believe soy is healthy or something we should be consuming on a regular basis and I believe the chemicals in processed foods (even vegan foods) are completely destructive to the human body.

Fresh, all-natural, earth-provided fuel

Fresh, all-natural, earth-provided fuel

So what do I eat?
A lot of veggies.

Here is an example of a typical day:

I start my day with a big green smoothie filled with greens, fruit, and super foods. I always top it with hemp seeds!

I start my day with a big green smoothie filled with greens, fruit, and super foods. I always top it with hemp seeds!

Sometimes this is lunch sometimes dinner. But lunch is usually raw veggies of some sort or a salad or another smoothie.

Sometimes this is lunch sometimes dinner. But lunch is usually raw veggies of some sort or a salad or another smoothie.

This is only one example of dinner. I like to make lettuce taco boats filled with veggies and sweet potatoes. Sometimes I make a big veggie soup or another big salad with potato/sweet potato fries on the side. Or zoodles with butternut squash “cheese” sauce. Possibilities are endless!

If you’d like me to do a detailed “What I Ate Today” post, let me know in the comments below! I’ll provide all my food, snacks, and recipes for that day.

So how do I feel?

I LOVE being vegan. My digestion isn’t fixed, my Lyme isn’t cured, my symptoms haven’t gone away (YET), but let me explain why I LOVE IT. First, I’m not harming the amazing, beautiful animals on this earth. My digestion has improved, again, not fixed and it still has a long way to go. BUT I have far less bloating and pain, I can handle more foods, as well. When I was paleo I felt sick every time I ate, I constantly looked pregnant and felt weighed down. I kept gaining weight and felt very inflamed. I reacted to every single food I ate.

I realized the meat and high-fat diet was causing this! It was destroying my digestive tract, I just couldn’t digest and handle that type of food. As a plant-based eater I can eat more foods, including limited beans and lentils, more (gluten-free) grains, and I don’t get a headache and stomach ache every time I eat. I’ve lost weight and inflammation. I handle raw food far better, as well. I try to make a majority of my diet raw (so many nutrients in those raw foods!) and eat cooked food in the evenings.

Raw vegan pizza from my favorite restaurant! You can eat out and you can eat amazing food as a vegan

Raw vegan pizza from my favorite restaurant! You can eat out and you can eat amazing food as a vegan

I truly do hope to inspire more people to switch to a plant-based lifestyle. Please let me know in the comments if you have questions, concerns, or are curious about any aspect of why I went plant-based.