Your diet should be based around organic meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruit, veg, salad, sprouted beans and seeds, gluten free grains and pulses.
There are no gluten or dairy foods and sugar is very limited. It’s a medium protein, lowish carb, non-allergenic, blood sugar balancing healthy and nutritious diet. But remember:
• Always choose organic and free range wherever possible, especially with animal foods, to avoid harmful endocrine-disrupting chemicals and hormones
• Cook for as little time and at the lowest temperature possible to retain nutrients and avoid trans fats. Grill, stir-fry, poach, casserole or slow cook.
• Do not buy or store food in plastic packaging.
• Choose low GL always, or put high fibre and protein with medium GL foods.
• Eat plenty and regularly. Graze through the day with small meals every 3–4 hours to keep your blood sugar stable.
• Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
• Watch food labels like a hawk – things change constantly.
• Adapt the diet guidelines if you are allergic or intolerant to other foods.
Foods to eat lots of:
• Fish, especially deep sea and oily. Not tuna unless organic. (At least three times a week.)
• Poultry: chicken, turkey. Not fried (except stir-fried). No skin.
• Game: pheasant, ostrich, duck and goose (no more than once a week).
• Eggs: low heat omelette, boiled or poached is best.
• Beef, lean, any cut or minced.
• Veg, lots of. Include a daily salad and veg with your main meal. Squash, pumpkin, avocado, carrot, swede, beetroot and sweet potato in moderation – always have with high protein and fibre.
• Sprouts: any pulse sprouted. Add to salads or use in stir fries.
• Fruit: fresh or frozen. Three portions a day. Limit dried fruit and soak first.
• Nuts and seeds. Fresh, unsalted, unroasted. Use in cooking or for snacks. One handful per day recommended. Tahini in hummus. Minimise peanuts.
• Fats: cook only with olive oil, use flaxseed oil or extra virgin olive oil as dressings (with lemon, mustard or whatever you like).
• Seasoning: a little sea salt is fine, tamari, herbs, spices, mustard, seaweeds.
• Sweet stuff: fruit preferably. Limited Xylitol (Zylosweet) for sprinkling and in cooking. Blue agave syrup or fructose in moderation. The odd square of Green & Blacks dark chocolate is fine unless it makes you crave more sugar. A teaspoon of honey here and there is fine.
• Water, lots of. Four pints of pure, filtered water a day. Preferably reverse-osmosis filtered. Warm with lemon in the morning.
• Alcohol, with meals. Six glasses a week max. Best GL in descending order: neat spirit, white wine, red wine, beer
• Drinks: water (sparkling if you must), green tea is especially good for a low GL diet, redbush (rooibosch) tea, caro, dandelion coffee, herb and fruit teas. Avoid anything caffeinated or with sweeteners, sugar or chemicals. Tomato juice. Small glass of fruit or veg juice 50/50 with water.
Foods NOT to eat lots of:
• Dairy foods: anything from another species like cow, sheep, buffalo or goat. No milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, butter or dairy spreads.
• Gluten: no wheat, rye or barley or anything made with them. Some people are also sensitive to oats so avoid these if you need to.
• Grains generally and legumes (peas, beans and peanuts): eat in moderation as these contain major anti- nutrients that can block digestion and absorption of foods, compromise your body and slow down your ability to heal yourself. Although they are mostly good for you, they are high in carbs as well as protein so you could easily overdo it. Sprouted pulses and grains or sourdough varieties are much better for you so add these to your salads. Soak grains like rice or oats overnight to neutralise some of the anti-nutrients and make them more
digestible. See next page for specific recommendations
• Grains: oats, quinoa, rice, polenta and buckwheat. In moderation. No more than three times a week. Corn pasta is great if combined with protein. Brown basmati rice is the lowest GL rice and short grain rice is best for a sluggish bowel, but have only a small amount with plenty of protein and fibre.
• Legumes: lentils, aduki beans, black-eye beans, miso, mung beans, white beans (for example haricot, cannellini, borlotti, butter), shoyu, peas, tempeh and tofu. In moderation. No more than four portions a week. If you have an underactive thyroid, soya is not a brilliant food for you, so eat it in moderation.
One-Week Quick Start Plan
This plan is not calorie-counted or measured in any way so you can mix and match meals or swop anything you like; it’s simply here to give you a place to start if you need one. All the meals are taken from the ‘Meals To Enjoy’ section of the E-Book and I have tried to make the meal plan realistic to fit in with daily life. It’s probably not perfect, but it’s good enough – and that’s how your attitude should be. You don’t have to let it take over your life – and you should enjoy your food.
I have assumed you are like me and work Monday to Friday, don’t have much time in the morning, are too tired to cook on Friday night after a long week and have a family roast on Sundays. I have also assumed it’s easier to take leftovers to work for lunch the next day.
Start the day with a glass of hot water and lemon, drink pure filtered water through the day and other drinks of your choice. Eat slowly, preferably with no distractions and chew well.
Bowl of fruit smoothie sprinkled with seeds
Handful of mixed nuts and a pear
Slices of beef/chicken/ turkey from yesterday’s Sunday dinner with salad
3 squares dark chocolate
Spanish omelette and roasted veggies
Dish of olives
Melon, berries and soya yogurt
Two oatcakes, hummus
Left-over omelette, salad
Pumpkin seeds and a few cherry tomatoes
King Prawn stir-fry
Few squares of dark chocolate
GF muesli, berries and soya milk
Snack 1: few olives
Chicken or crab/mayo lettuce wraps
Snack 2: nuts and fruit
Tofu and veg casserole with quinoa
Strawberries, soya cream
Soya yogurt, seeds, chopped nuts and fruit
Raw broccoli – hummus
Tin of sardines in tomato sauce and salad
Piece of fruit and some pumpkin seeds
Chicken kebabs or organic salmon fillet and a little brown basmati rice, millet or quinoa with roasted tomatoes and pine nuts
Bowl of spicy popcorn
Fruit compote, soya yogurt, flaked almonds
Snack 1: small Innocent smoothie and a few nuts
Left over chicken kebab or salmon and rice
Few squares of chocolate or a cold hard boiled egg
Thai curry takeaway and portion of bean sprouts. Glass of wine.
Non-buttered, naturally smoked kippers
Handful of cashew nuts
Mushroom omelette (at home or out)
Snack 2: Dish of olives
Steak and salad
Strawberries, soya cream
Mushrooms, tomatoes and two 100% meat/ gluten-free sausages
Some raw veg such as carrot or broccoli pinched from lunch!
Lunch: Sunday roast (meat or nut) with roasted veggies and GF gravy, followed by baked apple. Glass of wine.
I would hope you’re full!
Salad leaves with olives, pine nuts and antipasti
Cherries or half a melon
Best Low GL Choices
Breads etc: Oatcakes
Cereals: Oat porridge
Soya milk (unsweetened)
Any organic, free range
Worst Low GL Choices
Processed foods eg quorn, soya mince, bacon
Nightshade-Free Survival Guide
“Belladonna: in Italian a beautiful lady, in English a deadly poison.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
What are Nightshades?
You may have heard of the term “deadly nightshade” referring to a plant called belladonna, which was used as a poison in ancient times. Lesser known are the commonly eaten vegetables in the same nightshade family. They aren’t deadly, but they contain enough toxins to cause inflammation in some people, particularly those with autoimmune disease. Often, we don’t realize just how much, until we stop eating them:
- Peppers (bell peppers, banana peppers, chili peppers, etc.)
- Red pepper seasonings (paprika, chili powder, cayenne, curry, etc.)
- Goji berries
- Ground cherries(similar to tomatoes, they have no relationship to fruit cherries)
- Ashwagandha (an ayurvedic herb)
- Read labels: terms like “spices” and “natural flavors” often contain the above seasonings, and “starch” often comes from potatoes.
Similar sounding foods that are not nightshades:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Peppercorns (black, white and pink)
How Are They Harmful?
First of all, nightshades aren’t harmful to everyone, but they are often harmful to people with autoimmune disease.
These vegetables all look so different, it’s surprising to discover they’re all part of the same Solanaceae family. They all contain toxic compounds called alkaloids. In nature, these protect the plants against insects, by poisoning the insect and dissolving its cell membranes. Unfortunately, alkaloids can have a similar effect in humans, increasing our inflammation, overactivating our immune system, and causing permeability in our intestinal membranes (known as leaky gut), all of which contribute to autoimmune disease. If someone’s healthy, with low inflammation in their body, a balanced immune system, and a healthy and strong digestive tract, they can often eat nightshade vegetables without a problem. However, people with autoimmune disease are vulnerable, and nightshades often exacerbate symptoms.
If you want more details on these compounds and how they affect the body, here are two excellent articles:
What are Symptoms of Nightshade Sensitivity?
- Joint pain
- Stiffness upon waking, or stiffness after sitting for longs periods of time
- Muscle pain and tension
- Muscle tremors
- Sensitivity to weather changes
- Poor healing
- Skin rashes
- Stomach discomfort
- Digestive difficulties
- Mood swings
How Do I Learn If I’m Sensitive?
The only way to know is to eliminate them from your diet for at least 30 days. (No cheating.) Then, reintroduce them into your diet as a test: eat them at least 3 times over a 2-day period, and then stop eating them, and monitor your symptoms for 72 hours. Did you improve during the 30 days? Did you have a negative reaction when you ate them again? If yes, you’re nightshade-sensitive. If no, you’re not.
You’ll find articles on the internet saying there are no peer-reviewed studies to support the nightshade-inflammation connection. This is true, largely because there’s no profit to be made in that research and therefore no funding. But you’ll also find many people who eliminated them from their diet, reintroduced them, and saw a clear connection between eating them and their symptoms. I’m one of those people, as is Sarah from Paleo Mom, Mickey from Autoimmune Paleo, Whitney from Nutrisclerosis, Stacy from Paleo Parents, and many others.
Does the Amount Matter? Can I Eat Just a Little?
I don’t recommend it. When I first went nightshade-free, I gave up the vegetables but kept eating the spices. I thought, ‘How can such a small amount hurt me?’ My inflammation lessened, but some remained. Then I did a strict elimination protocol, avoiding the spices as well. When I reintroduced them 30 days later, I had a huge reaction. Every joint in my body hurt, and it took 2 weeks before I returned to feeling normal again. Elimination diets are powerful learning tools, because by removing a food from your circulation altogether, you eliminate the chronic inflammatory response. When the food is reintroduced, if you’re sensitive, you will get an acute short-term reaction. It’s a very clear communication from your body on what foods are good for you and what foods are not.
Can You Be Sensitive to One and Not the Others?
It’s possible, because each vegetable has a slightly different alkaloid. You can test yourself by reintroducing them one at a time.
How Can I Live Without Them?
Let’s not lie; it ain’t easy. I cried when I learned I had this sensitivity. These are some of the most delicious vegetables and spices. They’re also heavily used in restaurant and store-bought food, making shopping and eating out even more difficult. However, there is a clear reward to a nightshade-free life: you feel better.
We Can Do This! Here are My Survival Tips:
- If you’re craving potatoes, replace them with a starchy alternative: sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, butternut squash. You can cook all of these the same way you cook potatoes: fries, chips, roasted, mashed, and you know what? They have more flavor, too!
- Although there’s really no substitute for a fresh summer tomato, there IS asubstitute for a classic tomato sauce.
- Nightshade spices usually give food a hot kick. You can still get this sensation through non-nightshade spices: white pepper, black pepper, ginger and horseradish. Usually you’ll need more of these spices than you would of the red peppers. Experiment.
- Restaurants are tricky. Many sauces and spice blends contain nightshade spices. You have two options: ask your waiter how the food is seasoned (and trust them to tell you the truth). Or order your food unseasoned and bring some spices with you.Herbamare is a good choice (lots of flavor, no nightshades).
- If you want to buy lunch meat, unfortunately most of them have nightshade spices. Paprika is especially overused because it adds color. However, Whole Foods has a “naked” line of deli meats and rotisserie chickens, which means they are simply meat with nothing (including spice) added.
- US Wellness Meatsoffers some nightshade-free snack meat options that you can order online. And Epic Bison Bacon Cranberry Bars are delicious nightshade-free jerky.
- There are many websites that offer nightshade-free paleo recipes:My Blog, Autoimmune-Paleo, Clean Plate, Nutrisclerosis, Paleo Mom and Chowstalker. Also, don’t be afraid to modify recipes you already have. You can often remove an ingredient or two without altering the deliciousness of the dish. Get creative and see what substitutions work best for you.
- My final gift to you is anightshade-free curry recipe. Happy cooking!
– See more at: http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/06/23/nightshade-free-survival-guide/#sthash.GEpOuhgf.dpuf “He who controls the spice controls the universe.”
~ Frank Herbert
Sometimes I wish I could photograph a smell or a taste, because curry is so strong in both, that a photo just doesn’t do it justice. When I first learned I had a nightshade intolerance, I thought curries were behind me. I had already made peace with giving up tomatoes and peppers and chorizo sausages, but a girl has to draw the line somewhere! So with a little experimenting, I created a nightshade-free curry that I love. Its heat is mild, but it’s full of flavor. If you thrive on nightshades, go ahead and cook this recipe with your traditional blend (and eat a tomato for me please!)
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs (cut into cubes)
1 large onion (chopped)
4 medium carrots (grated)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2½ Tbsp. nightshade-free curry powder (see options below)
2 cups chicken broth (ideally homemade)
2 large mangoes (peeled and cubed)
1 small head cauliflower (cut into florets)
Nighshade-Free Seeded Curry
my recipe and recommended if you tolerate seedbased spices
2 Tbsp. ground coriander
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
4 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. powdered ginger
1 tsp. dry mustard
Nightshade-Free Seedless Curry
Feed Me Rachel’s recipe (use for strict AIP)
1/2 Tbsp granulated garlic
1/2 Tbsp granulated onion
1/2 Tbsp turmeric
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground clove
- Choose your nightshade-free curry recipe. Whisk the ingredients together and put in a spice jar.
- In a large soup pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat.
- Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides. (You might need to brown the chicken in two batches. It’s okay if it’s not completely cooked, because it will cook more in later steps). With a slotted spoon, remove the browned chicken from the pan and set aside. Leave the chicken fat and juices in the pan.
- Add chopped onion to the soup pot and sauté 5 minutes.
- Add carrots, garlic and curry and sauté another 2 minutes.
- Return chicken to the pot and add broth and mangoes. Increase heat to a boil, then reduce heat, cover pan & simmer 15 minutes.
- Pulse cauliflower infood processor until it reaches a rice consistency. (You might need to pulse the cauliflower in 2 batches). Add cauliflower “rice” to soup pot & simmer a final 5 minutes.
- Juice the lime over the pot and stir to blend. Then add salt to taste.
Notes: (1) You can substitute 3 peaches or 4 apricots for the mangoes.(2) If you don’t have a nightshade sensitivity, you can use regular curry.
What Foods Have Gluten?
Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and any foods made with these grains.
Avoiding wheat can be especially hard because this means you should avoid all wheat-based flours and ingredients. These include but are not limited to:
- White Flour
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Durum Wheat
- Graham Flour
- Wheat Germ
- Wheat Bran
Common foods that are usually made with wheat include:
- Flour Tortillas
- Oats (see the section on oats below)
This may seem like a long list, but there are still plenty of gluten-free foods out there! Choose from many fresh, healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy, nuts and gluten-free grains like quinoa or rice. There are also gluten-free versions of many of the foods above available in most grocery stores. You just have to look for them!
You may not expect it, but the following foods can also contain gluten:
- broth in soups and bouillon cubes
- breadcrumbs and croutons
- some candies
- fried foods
- imitation fish
- some lunch meats and hot dogs
- modified foodstarch
- seasoned chips and other seasoned snack foods
- salad dressings
- self-basting turkey
- soy sauce
- seasoned rice and pasta mixes
There are also many addititves and ingredients in packaged foods that may contain gluten. Always check labels and ingredient lists for these. For a more comprehensive list of gluten-containing additives, contact your local celiac support group.
Other Tips to Remember
- Don’t forget that ingredients in food products change frequently, so always check the label before buying packaged foods.
- Remember that “wheat-free” does not automatically mean “gluten-free.” While a product may not contain wheat, it can still contain rye or barley in some form.
- If you have any question about whether a food contains gluten, contact the manufacturer directly.
The Fuss About Oats
Pure oats are a gluten-free food, but most commercially processed oats have been contaminated during the growing, harvesting or processing stages. In the past, many experts recommended completely avoiding oats those on a gluten-free diet in addition to wheat, barley, and rye. Now, some oats are grown and processed separately, and can be labeled “gluten-free.”
Many people with celiac disease are still advised to avoid oats initially. However, oats can help provide fiber and other important nutrients. Over time, most people with celiac can reintroduce pure oats in small amounts (about 1/2 cup of dry oats per day) without any trouble.
If you do choose to include them, let your doctor know and only eat oats that are marked “gluten-free”.