Well, if you're in this wonderful autoimmune community and haven't heard about Mickey and Angie's new book, I need to address that right now! Entitled The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook: A DIY Guide to Living Well with Chronic Illness, it is everything and more than you could possibly imagine and, believe me, you're going to need this stunning reference manual-come-best friend alongside every step you take on your autoimmune search for better health.
Authors Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt are keen to state their approach here is far from anti-guru, more guided by empowerment and self-discovery instead. Their aim is that this beautiful book will equip you with the confidence and knowledge when hiring, then working in partnership with your doctor as you plan your path to wellness together. They have provided an extraordinarily huge amount of interesting and invaluable information on how you can turn yourself into the proactive patient, with the correct set of tools to take control of your diagnosis and embrace your needs without being overwhelmed. They recall their own experiences throughout, so you will find the book relatable, friendly and not at all scary. In fact The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook will also be beneficial to your family members and friends as it is guaranteed to give them a better understanding of your autoimmune issues - and perhaps even encourage them to face their own!!
The book is divided into seven chapters of the key steps to wellness; Inform, Collaborate, Nourish, Rest, Breathe, Move and Connect and along the way you will be able to complete mini-quizzes and self-assessments so you know whether you are on the right path. Mickey and Angie talk about the various ways you can start on the protocol - whether you choose to go cold turkey or take the slow-and-steady transition route is entirely up to you. There's nothing wrong with either, btw, and there are plenty of hints on how to go about both in a successful manner. Then, of course, having given up the foods that may possibly have contributed to your disease, you will at some stage be keen to reintroduce, so there's help with that too. Sometimes, with the best will in the world, the elimination diet doesn't achieve what you may have hoped for, in which case there's advice here too in the form of troubleshooting. This is where Small Intestinal Overgrowth (SIBO), Histamine intolerance, FODMAPS, dysbiosis and a range of common digestive issues are discussed.
Then there are additional chapters to cover the necessary food and lifestyle factors that are part and parcel of healing. You will find 30 exclusive recipes, a 4-week meal plan and shopping list, everything being compliant with the initial elimination stage of the protocol, using affordable ingredients and developed with mostly one-pot simplicity and batch cooking in mind. There is also a 90-day lifestyle plan, which dials in rest, stress management, exercise and connection, that has been designed with the autoimmune patient in mind, working to save you from burn out. A concluding chapter is where you put it all together, where you can start to implement the changes you have learned throughout the book and, believe me, you will finish this feeling more in tune with your body, more aware of your capabilities and definitely more in control of your health than ever before, with your newly honed skills.
Fancy winning a copy of your own? See below ...
RECIPE FROM THE BOOK:
All photos © Trescott LLC and Alt-Ternative Autoimmune LLC
Green Breakfast Soup
- from The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook
1 large, whole pastured chicken (5-6 pounds)
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sea salt + more to taste
2 tbsp solid cooking fat
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger (3-4 inch pieces)
2 large sweet potatoes, chopped into 1+1/2 inch chunks (about 6 cups)
2 large zucchini, chopped into 1+1/2 inch chunks (about 2 cups)
1 bunch swiss chard, stems and leaves divided and chopped
2 cups button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions (ends removed), thinly sliced, for serving
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving
Begin by cleaning the chicken. Place it in a large stockpot. If it doesn't fit, you will need to cut it into halves or quarters (kitchen shears will help here - start by cutting up one side of the backbone).
Add the bay leaf, vinegar and 1 tbsp sea salt. Fill the pot with cold water until the chicken is just covered. Bring to a boil, and then cover tightly and lower the heat to a bare simmer. Cook until the meat is tender and falling off the bone, 60-90 minutes - the lower the simmer, the more tender the chicken will come out. Skim the surface of the broth to remove any scum that may appear during cooking. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer, being careful to save the broth in another pot! Discard the bay leaf.
Place the empty pot back on the stove, add the solid cooking fat, and turn the heat to medium. When the fat has melted and the pan is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring, for 7 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for another few minutes, until fragrant. While the onions are cooking, remove the meat from the chicken carcass, shred it with two forks (CAUTION: hot!), and set it aside in a bowl. Keep the bones to add to your next batch of Bone Broth.
Add the sweet potatoes and broth back to the pot, bring to a boil, and then cover and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, chard stems, and mushrooms, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the the vegetables are tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the chard leaves.
Carefully transfer half of the soup to a blender, blend for 30 seconds, and transfer back to the pot. Alternately, you could use an immersion blender to blend about half of the vegetables. (CAUTION: Make sure you have a blender that can handle hot liquid, and make sure to use a towel above the lid to protect your hands from getting burned.) Return the blended liquid to the soup pot, with the chicken. Add salt to taste.
Serve each bowl garnished with green onions and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: I think this is such a worthy addition to your bedside table (and handbag for that matter) that I'd like to gift a copy of The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook to one of you. All you need to do is leave a comment, telling me why this book has a place in your life. If you sign up for my newsletter (don't forget to confirm to qualify), or have done so already, you get yourself an extra chance but make sure you leave a second comment to that effect. The prize will be sent via Amazon so the giveaway is open to everybody in countries where Amazon is represented. If they don't stock the print copy (e.g. Australia), you will win a kindle edition. A winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email. In the meantime, if you would like to buy your own copy now, click right here. Giveaway ends midnight PST on Sunday, November 20th. Good luck to everyone! [GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED - thanks for entering.]
Disclaimer: Mickey and Angie's publisher gifted me a copy of The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook. It was my choice to review the book and all thoughts are entirely my own and this giveaway copy is being funded by myself.