Orange Blossom and Honey Parfait recipe found in The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook
Angie Alt of Alt-ternative Autoimmune is one of my favourite autoimmune bloggers. I love her writing style and of course, what she has to say. When I read her blog posts I feel as though she's one of my besties chatting away to me alone and that's quite a gift. But for all the banter, she has some great advice and many words of wisdom to impart. She seriously knows her stuff (you won't be surprised to know she's a Health Coach) so needless to say I was pretty thrilled when she sent me her new book, The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook, to look through.
Just as the AIP isn't all about the food, the same is true about Angie's book. There are other considerations to take into account on a healing journey and Angie covers these really, really well. As you learn her story you'll gather she has a wealth of experience to draw upon, which makes for interesting and inspiring reading. Never afraid to tackle 'delicate' topics, she speaks about the necessities of getting some balance into our lives, such as addressing disordered eating, the denial, anger, fear and grief associated with illness and the expectations of healing. You'll love her Checklist for food reactions, in which she offers suggestions of what to be looking out for if your body isn't tolerating a certain food, both physically and mentally. Angie also touches on body image, her new manifesto of what is the perfect butt is hilarious and so cleverly done .. mine, for the record is spot on and I'm willing to bet yours is too!!
She's a straight talker and doesn't mince her words (which are pure common sense by the way), but she isn't preachy. She's your best mate, after all! Angie fully understands that embarking on the AIP is a huge leap and that it is essential to be in a state of absolute readiness in order to get the most out of it. Some people may prefer to ease in to the transition gently and Angie gives sage words and advice on that. She also encourages you to stick with it when the going gets tough with pointers you can easily put into practice and there's even advice on how to get the children on board as well. Come to think of it, she's thought of everything!
Tom Kha Gai recipe found in The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook
Of course this is a Cookbook, so let's take a look at some of the recipes. These are divided into Stages of the AIP, making it extremely easy to navigate and whilst the recipes I cooked happen to be in the Elimination Stage, many of the Reintroduction Stage recipes are completely doable with the omittance of only one or two ingredients. As a GAPS follower as well as AIP, I was overjoyed to see that the majority of recipes suit our low starch diet, or can be easily modified. Many AIP recipes out there are off limits to us but Angie's don't all rely on high starch vegetables, thickeners/binders and the like.
Her Tom Kha Gai (pictured above) was absolutely delicious, and particularly welcome given we had long since said goodbye to the Thai take-outs of our past life. We also enjoyed her Orange Blossom and Honey Parfaits (pictured at top), a pretty and delicate finish to a satisfying AIP meal which consisted of Lemon Rosemary Brined Pork Chops (see recipe below) with Shallot and Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash and simple Canadian Brussels Sprouts. Angie's Breakfast Meatloaf provided a delicious early morning feast and did not disappoint, despite high expectations from the night before when the cooking smells pervaded our kitchen. Other recipes on my radar to try are Turmeric Pumpkin Soup with Shrimp (that gorgeous cover photo), Carrot Cake Macaroons, Lemon Bar Ice Cream, the list is exhaustive.
Angie very humbly acknowledges this book isn't all down to her. She has in fact written it with her sister Jenifer Beehler, who isn't on the AIP, so don't go thinking these recipes are only intended for those following an elimination diet. She credits her photographer, who has done a fantastic job because this book is beautifully presented with bright, stunning photography, and there are lovely illustrations throughout. The recipes are all simple but imaginative and certainly don't shout 'special diet' in any way.
Bottom line. This truly lovely book is sure to be an overnight success, earning a pride of place ... I would say on your bookshelf or coffee table but this one deserves to be in the kitchen, collecting food splatters and stains from many meals of use. You know something? Angie has had a tough ride with her health and if she can make it then, with this book firmly by our sides, so can we!
Angie has very kindly given me an e-book (worth $17) to give away to one lucky person. All you need do is leave a comment on this post, saying why you would like to win this e-book, and a winner will be chosen at random on Sunday night, 11.59 PST. If you don't manage to win, or you can't wait another moment to read some more or get your own copy, click this link to find out how. And if you're the hard copy sort of person, look here. Good luck! [GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED]
Lemon Rosemary Brined Pork Chops photograph and recipe from The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook
1+3/4 cups filtered water
5 tbsp salt
1 yellow onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 bay leaves
1 lemon, halved
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
20 ice cubes
4 bone-in pork chops