Re-booting for health

So this is going to be more of a self-serving blog post, not much about baking/cooking but a lot about eating.  And sorry, no pictures for this one.

For those of you who know me personally (and you know who you are!), you will know that I’ve always struggled with digestive issues.  I’m not going to go into too many details, but lets just say that I have spent quite a bit of my time in the toilet for one reason or other (and hence the diagnosis of being a non-celiac gluten intolerant person).  When we moved to the US about 4 months ago, I thought I’d have lots of opportunities to try new foods, especially on the gluten-free market.  Well, I did.  And I baked.  And cooked.  And ate.  Lots.  Lots more than I have in previous recent years and lots more than I should have.

A few weeks ago, it came to a head.  I had a really bad few days with headaches and stomach aches (and toilet problems) and I just thought I needed to change things up a bit.  Recently Grant and I watched the documentary ‘Fat, sick and nearly dead’, where a very overweight guy (named Joe, actually an Australian) with multiple medical problems took us through his journey of getting into a better life through simply drinking juices containing lots (and lots) of fruit and vegetables for 60 days.  Grant and I looked at each other and thought we could give something like that a go, for a much shorter period of time of course since neither of us are overweight.  When I was having my health problems a few weeks ago, Grant suggested I do a ‘reboot’ – nothing but fruit and veggies for a couple of days.

We don’t have a juicer, but we do have a blender (thank you Ninja!).  So instead of juicing, which extracts the juice from the pulp, I just blended it all together and ate/drank the entire contents.  For the first 3 days I also had a small meal and 3-4 of these ‘Joes’ (as I called them).  Then for 5 days all I had were the fruit and veggie Joes.  After the first day, my stomach pains had gone and I was feeling better.  However, then the impact of ingesting so many fruits and veggies (and nothing else) hit and I spent some more time in the toilet (for the opposite reasons than normal).  

Anyway, I stuck through the full 5 days reboot and this week I have been gradually introducing other foods back into my routine, like whole grains, fish and dairy.  I’ve tried to avoid any real processed foods, going for more of the wholesome vegetables (mainly) with gluten-free oats and quinoa as my whole grains, tuna as my fish and a bit of chicken for protein and variety, and Greek yogurt for the dairy.

I have to tell you, it has worked for me.  I wouldn’t want to do it much longer, especially with some of the failures of Joes that I made that were almost inedible, but it was definitely worth doing just to shake things up a bit.  And so I want to share some of my favorite recipes for ‘Joes’ with you all.

Sweet potato pie Joe

  • 1 sweet potato, including skin
  • 2 pears, cored but including peel
  • 1 apple, cored but including peel
  • 150g blueberries
  • Dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

Green Joe

  • 4 big handfuls spinach
  • 2 cucumbers, including skin
  • 2 apples, cored but including peel
  • 1 lemon, without skin

Both of these worked really well.  Just blend them all together.  I usually had about 1 cup (250mL) at a time and had 5-6 of these every day.

I realise it’s not for everyone, but I think it worked for me.  I am also determined to not eat so much of the cookie and cake dough while baking (my Achilles heel!).  And not having any refined sugar in any form for nearly 2 weeks may have helped with me being able to bake some Sticky Toffee Date Pudding Cake (recipe here) last night and not even lick the spoon at the end of it all.

I’d love to hear from any of you about things you’ve tried to (a) be healthier and (b) use natural ways to help with health problems.

Until next time (which I promise will be more about actual cooking and baking!), enjoy cooking at home.


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