The hardest thing for me about meal planning and prepping is that I never just have hours to spend in the kitchen, so it is hard for me to get everything that I want to have cooked done in one day. With that said, I thought you might want an update on some of the other items that were on my list.
I took my first stab at making homemade coconut milk, which was really not fun to make but overall an easy concept. You essentially just put shredded coconut and boiling water into a blender and blend for a good bit, then strain the coconut milk through cheesecloth. It is more time consuming than anything and my blender is brand new, so I am a bit wary of putting it through prolonged use. I made sure to take breaks from blending so that I didn’t overheat the motor or anything. I used the nut milk bag I had purchased instead of cheesecloth to strain the coconut milk and it worked pretty well. My biggest disappointment was that even though I used 2 cups of boiling water, somehow it didn’t produce 2 cups of coconut milk. Maybe I need to squeeze it out more next time, but I thought I had done a good job with that so I am not really sure what happened there.
It’s the beginning of a new month and I always love the beginning of each month because I like to treat it much like many people treat the New Year – a chance for a fresh start and to do everything better than you have in the past. A new month is a whole new opportunity to make your life what you want it to be.
One of my main issues last month was the amount of money I ended up spending on food. In an effort to reduce my spending and stick to my grocery budget better, I made it a personal goal to meal plan for the whole month of February and really stick to it. Meal planning makes such a HUGE difference because then you are only buying items that you are sureyou need for things that you definitely plan on making. I am doing this in two parts to make it easier – the first two weeks of the month and the last two. This way I only have to grocery shop twice in a month and I can just divide my grocery budget by two and that is what I can spend during my first trip.
Well, I guess my mild siesta from steroids was actually too good to be true. Yesterday I took zantac and allegra at 1:30 p.m. in the afternoon and still ended up waking up at 2:46 a.m. last night with a crazy hive attack – the worst one I have had in a while actually and I was super itchy. It was obvious that I had slept through the beginning of it for it to have gotten that bad. I really wanted to go back to sleep and stop itching so I went ahead and took zantac, allegra and prednisone just so that it would take care of the hives promptly. Essentially I broke my streak of being off steroids AND I had to take more antihistamines after making it only about 13 hours in between flare ups. It is somewhat disappointing after my recent blog post about progress with weaning off the pills that I now seem to be going in the opposite direction again. It is really like there is no rhyme or reason to it sometimes.
Most of you reading already know or have caught on that I work two jobs, and between the two I am typically working 7 days a week unless there is a holiday or I request off for some specific reason. Over the weekend I worked two long double shifts at Longhorn and didn’t do well with keeping up with taking my pills. On Sunday I even forgot to bring my pills to work, so I ended up taking zyrtec (which was actually in my purse because the allergist had given me free samples before she sent me away) instead of the typical allegra and zantac when my evening flare up happened. I thought for sure I would be miserable with hives by the end of my shift but luckily that didn’t happen. I started to realize that even though I am taking my pills less often (due to no other reason than being busy and forgetful) I am not getting really bad flare ups and I am lasting longer in between flare ups.
For people on the AIP diet, probiotic rich foods are a huge help in healing your gut. Anyone on the AIP diet should be including a lot of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and water kefir. I have been buying Eden’s Organic Sauerkraut and GT’s Kombucha (the multi-green) from Wegmans, but I figured I could make them for a lot cheaper at home. Kombucha seems like it is the more difficult of the two to make (and to make right), so I figured I would start with an attempt at homemade sauerkraut. I got a kit of three pickle-pro vegetable fermenting lids made by Homesteader’s Supply and a 12 pack of quart size wide mouth mason jars.
Wednesday night was about as miserable as I expected it to be. I didn’t have allegra to calm my flare up so I basically just had to ride it out and deal with hives all night into the morning and wait for my allergy test. Needless to say, sleep did not come easy. I took an extra prednisone in the middle of the night to try to get a little relief, but really I was just laying in bed counting the hours until the allergy test and trying not to scratch, reminding myself that all I had to do was make it through this period of time.
So my last post was pretty positive. Optimistic even. All about finding your inner strength in times of struggle and turning disadvantages into advantages. This will not be that type of post – this is your warning.
New Year’s Eve ended up being a good time but my AIP “re-start” ended up never really happening. I am not a huge drinker by any means but being unable to drink on New Year’s Eve was pretty shitty. I went to an old high school friend’s party and he always goes all out with the food selection. There was so much food there that was absolutely NOT AIP approved, but I rationalized that I deserved it since it was a holiday and I couldn’t drink. I ate a hell of a lot that night.
On Monday night an AIP friend of mine (his name is Jon and actually – he is the only AIP person I know) came over to show me a recipe that he likes to make. Little did I know that the recipe was a Mickey Trescott creation! She calls it AIP carrot and sweet potato “chili” and it is absolutely delicious. You can follow the link to the recipe on her website.
I thought I should include a photo of my own so here you go – our finished product.