I’m Bea, a French woman who has been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (ankylosing spondylitis) in February 2007.
After almost 11 years of taking a lot of strong painkillers (from Sulfasalazine to NSAIDs and anti-TNF drugs: Enbrel, then Humira and finally Simponi for more than 4 years) I decided to try healing myself naturally.
Finding the best diet for myself
It took me a while to find out the best diet for myself. When it comes to food, you can read so many books and articles on the subject. And not one agrees with the other!
Some say you should be a vegetarian or vegan because everything coming from animals provokes inflammation. While others on the contrary will say that you should eat a lot of meat.
Then, there’s also the question of should I cook my food or should I eat everything raw? To find out more about that, you can read my article: Raw food diet pros and cons.
Should I go on a gluten free, dairy free, whatever free diet?
Taking a food intolerance test
After spending many nights and pretty much all weekends reading about all kinds of diets, about people going gluten free and learning about gut health I was convinced that I should try something out. But I was scared about doing this alone.
So I went to a functional medicine doctor and he got me to take a food intolerance test.
The one I took is the Imupro test (which is available worldwide).
People within the US can get a 10% discount on the imupro test by using the coupon code : BEA10 (this is NOT an affiliate link).
Thanks to this food intolerance test I discovered that I had to remove 18 foodstuffs. Amongst them are very common allergens like gluten, cow dairy, yeast, eggs. But also some that are usually not suspected as potential culprits. Do not hesitate to read my article What food can we be intolerant to? in order to find out more about this subject.
A little over a year on this diet I quit taking Simponi and about 9 months later I was off all medication!
The thing is, my own food intolerances differ from other's. Because everyone is different.
So the best diet for you is the one that is custom-made for you.
If you can afford it, I strongly recommend an IgG test to find out your own food intolerances.
What if you can't afford a food intolerance test?
If you can’t afford it, try to figure them out by yourself with an elimination diet followed by reintroductions. There are a few different elimination diets out there. You can look into AIP, GAPS, low FODMAP, whole30...
Healing naturally is about so much more than just diet alone
In my personal experience, diet alone is not enough. Healing naturally is much more than just diet. In order to heal naturally an autoimmune disease or other chronic illness you will have to consider :
- reducing stress
- get enough quality sleep
- reducing toxicity in your environment
- learn to listen to your body
- reconsidering your career if you hate your current job
- staying away from toxic relationships
amongst many other things!
What is the purpose of this blog?
Sharing my gluten free recipes with you
You won’t find on this blog any indication on what you should be eating. Because, again, everyone is different.
But I’m going to share my recipes with you. As a flexitarian, you will find recipes with meat or fish, but also vegan or vegetarian recipes. All my recipes are gluten free, many of which are also paleo, AIP or whole30 compliant.
My goal here is to show you that you can have a gluten-dairy-egg-whatever-free diet without being miserable and frustrated.
As a real food lover (yes all clichés on French people loving their baguette or cheese or pastries are completely true when it comes to me LOL), with a cooking passion, I decided that going gluten-egg-cow dairy free wouldn't keep me from enjoying my meals.
Because enjoying your meals is absolutely essential for this to work out. If you don't enjoy your meals or feel frustrated with your free-from-food, you won't be able to keep up the distance. You will fall off the wagon from this "diet" probably even before seeing the results.
But most importantly, if you don't enjoy your food, in the end you might "get the blues". Or you might even feel depressed (believe me I've been there!).
And if your mind is not feeling well, your body won't. That's the reason why I want to share my recipes with you.
Sharing my healthy tips and tricks
Like I've said healing naturally is about much more than just diet alone.
So I will also share with you all my tips for a less toxic life (about cosmetics, makeup, feminine hygiene, cleaning your home...). And last but not least, how to reduce stress, get better sleep and feel better.
The most important thing to know is that your mind and your body go together. In order to heal yourself you need to take care of them both.
With this method, not only did I stop taking any drugs for my ankylosing spondylitis but I also lost 33 pounds of overweight (you can read my article Gut Health and Weight Loss How I lost 33 pounds to find out more about that), cured my keratosis pilaris, gained a lot of energy, stopped being cranky when I’m hungry, learnt to listen to my body and much more.
Hope this blog will give you some tips on healing naturally!
I am thrilled to have come across your website while researching alpha-gal safe substitutes and foods! Your story on the hidden emulsier in Aroy-D cocunut milk brought me to your site, and it honestly was a breath of fresh air, even though it is disturbing that companies do this.
It's been a seriously frustrating few weeks trying to identify medications that are safe for someone with AGS since most meds (including those needed to treat allergic reactions) seem to include a variety of ingredients that are not AGS safe if they are animal sourced, but should be safe if they are plant sourced. Unfortunately plant vs animal sourced is not identified in the ingredients or on most packaging, and trying to find out this out has been beyond challenging.
I hadn't thought of checking the ingredients from packaging for other countries. I am going to try that.
Thanks so much for your website. I am looking forward to checking out your recipes too, and am so grateful for the information you share!
Bonjour Melissa. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a nice comment. I'm glad you appreciate my work. I have to admit that although I've been familiar with checking meds ingredients (looking for lactose or gluten), I never thought of how difficult it can be for someone with alpha-gal syndrome. I'm so sorry for you. Following your comment, I made a little research and here is what I found (which is not much and that you probably have, but just in case you might have missed it, here it is): Alpha-Gal Syndrome - Guide For Ingredients, Drugs & Supplements and you can check the ingredients listed in the summary of product characteristics of all medications available in the UK at http://www.medicines.org.uk. I hope this will help you!
I found your website while searching for tiger nut flour recipes. I’m so happy to have found a website where I can actually consider making some of the recipes without having to make significant substitutions.
I have environmental allergies and I find that I need to eliminate many common foods to feel my best. Grains, beans, sugar, ferments, dairy and some spices are all off limits for me.
I’ve struggled with making recipes using tiger nut flour as I often have the resulting product come out too wet as if it were raw yet it tests done when I test it. I’m going to try your muffin recipes and see how it goes. I often use flax eggs instead of regular eggs so maybe that is my issue. I can eat eggs but I try not to overdo it so I don’t tend to bake with them.
Thanks so much for your website. Your recipes look like they will actually work for me!
Bonjour Mary. Thank you so much for your comment. I'm so happy you have found my blog. Yes, I do have quite a lot of tigernut flour recipes. And lucky you, none of them use eggs nor flax eggs and they are my blog's most popular recipes. So you should be good to go and you will soon master the art of baking with tigernut flour! Please let me know how my recipes turn out for you.
Hi Bea! I am a 23 year old from South Africa. I have recently been diagnosed with AS and started Humira just days ago. I already knew I had a gluten intolerance and was looking for recipes online when I came across your blog, thank you for sharing your story! It really helped me see that I am not alone and through self care and healthy living it is possible to overcome this. My journey is only just beginning but I am so grateful for people like you who are so willing to share their experiences and give a little hope to others.
Bonjour Danyelle. I'm so sorry for my delayed answer, the past month has been crazy busy for me. Your message means the world to me!! I'm over the moon hearing that my story is giving you hope. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ And i'm really hoping that you will get there someday! Please keep me updated, I would love to hear how things are turning out for you. Sending all the best healing wishes your way! Take care.
Hello. I ended up on your blog looking for aip muffins which were amazing btw. I came bk hoping to find few more recipes and finally scrolled through your bio. I also ve AS and am on biologic, antinflammatories and other stuff. I hired a dietitian with good working knowledge of rheumatology patients and am trying to get to where you are or as close to it as I can. If I could drop daily meds I'd be super happy. Your journey encourages me further to keep going with mine. Bisous Dominika
Bonjour Dominika. I'm so glad you found my blog through my pumpkin muffin recipe (I remember your comment a couple of days ago). I've been where you are. I had my first symptoms when I was 8, my diagnosis came only 17 years later. I was first on Sulfasalazine for 4 years then I was on Enbrel for a few months, then Humira for a few months also and finally on Simponi for 4.5 years while also taking NSAID and other stuff for my stomach. In between, I've tested dozens of all kinds of medication. At one point I was taking 7 medications a day. And now, thanks to my diet and lifestyle changes I've been off anti-tnf for more than 3 years now and 2.5 years off all medication. So yes, it is possible, I'm sure you will also make it one day. Hang in there!! And in case you need personalized tips, I am now an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and I now do one-one-one consultations. Take care and please keep me posted. I can't wait to hear about your own success story!
I can't wait to try this recipe. I too have AS and am looking for great AIP recipes. Thank you so much for making me excited about AIP food possibilities!
Bonjour Tara. Thank you for your comment!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ I'm glad you found my blog. Sorry to hear you also have AS. I hope you will find here some recipes that will help you stay on track with AIP. Best healing wishes! Take care.
When people take the initiative to make healthy changes and choices their health, lifestyle, and energy happen. I made some drastic changes for myself a year ago and have never looked back. Thank you for sharing. Will follow you!
Bonjour Kathryn. Thank you so much for your nice message! Take care
Hi Bea, I came across your recipes while searching for tigernut flour recipes. Like you, I'm healing an autoimmune issue (Hashimoto's) and have food allergies and intolerances. My kids do too so thank you for sharing your AIP recipes! What I have found over the years of food testing, that the allergies/sensitivities change. Do you re-test yourself every year or so? Gratefully, Michele
Hi Michele! I'm sorry to hear that you too have an autoimmune issue and that your kids have food intolerances. Well, to tell you the truth, I've thought of getting a re-test because I'm curious to know where I'm standing now. But I have to admit that the price of the test is setting me back. So for now, I haven't done a re-test yet. But I'm trying (that's extremely hard when reactions are delayed) to listen to my body, to try to figure out for myself if there are other foods that might be my triggers. If I do a re-test in the future, don't worry, I will definitely write about it, to let my readers know about my experience. Best healing wishes to you and your kids! Take care.
I really appreciate your view on healthy eating. I also love that you add so many different substitutions to your recipes. I have auto-immune health complications, health complications that require low fodmaps, and food allergies. It has been extremely difficult attempting to do an elimination diet with all of my pre-existing food restrictions. I'm so happy that I've found a place where I can find recipes and ask questions! Thank you, Bea. You are now Bea the bookmarked recipe blogger. 🙂
OMG! I can't thank you enough for your incredible comment. You can't imagine how much this means to me to know that this blog is helping you somehow! Your message has litteraly lit up my day. I really appreciate that you took the time to write to me. This is excatly what keeps me motivated. Merci beaucoup!!! ❤️❤️❤️
Dear Bea, can I just tell you that you are awesome?! I found you through the autoimmune protocol Facebook group, and have seen your recipes posted from time to time. I have only just read your story and I am enamored. Words are powerful and even more so with action. You shine through in both. Thank you for sharing your recipes and story. 🙂
Dear Remy. Wow I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless. I’m extremely touched by your message. Thank you so so much!! ❤️❤️❤️