Two of the things I am currently making that I keep in the fridge so I can add to a dish, on bread, eat with a spoon etc.
- Hummus: Chickpeas and olive oil. That’s it! How is it possible that its that easy?! But it is. Of course you can add things to it. My two favourite “flavours” are garlic, salt and pepper and the second is fried red peppers with salt and pepper, Just pick your flavour and add it in to the blender with the chickpeas and blend. I then keep a stash in the fridge and pick away at it throughput the week.
- Guacamole: mashed avocado. That’s it! You can, again, add things to it. Onion, herbs (coriander, parsley, mint etc), lemon. Go wild!
Oh yeaaaah! Actually, oh no! They all have sugar in them 😦 What will I do??!! Obviously potatoes are fine as they are a vegetable but rice, pasta, bread and noodles all have added sugar. Devastating.
So I fired my keyboard up and scoured the internet for my options. What I found is there are other option! Phew! Some staples I am enjoying right now:
- Rice noodles
- Cous cous
- Alternative spaghetti (soy bean, black bean and edamame) All of which I got from Aldi
- Home made bread. I simply used a generic recipe and left the sugar out (Yeast, flower and water). Tastes so blumming good, especially straight from the oven. Heaven. I actually make a few batches up, divide into bun size portions and freeze until I need it. That way I get hot bread straight from the oven when I want it. Seriously, why didn’t I make my own bread sooner?!
Sweet! I might just be able to do this afterall!
The first thing I did was scroll Pinterest for ideas, saving the things with ingredient in I knew I liked and becoming curious to try things Id never had before. The hardest part of this type of diet change is that you realises that you have no idea what is in your food. The more I researched the more shocked I was how much sugar is in EVERYTHING! Bread, pasta, sauces etc. This makes it nearly impossible to eat out, grab a bite so there is only one thing for it…fall in love with cooking, with how your food tastes and most importantly, get prepared!
I dipped my toes in before I dived in, It took me around a month to make the transition. I had been thinking about it for a while before I decided that the challenge was something I wanted to take on. I got to the point where I want to do everything I can to improve the quality of my life.
The best thing about getting started is trying lots of foods you wouldn’t normally eat. I have pretty much replaced chocolate with dates, popcorn and honey…I have no issues satisfying my sweet tooth. Which I found quite surprising considering my favourite thing is marshmallows dipped in milk chocolate then covered in sprinkles and Costco carrot cake 🙂
Sugar and palm oil free nut butter are amazing, my favourite is almond and coconut hands down.
Nuts, dates, figs, coconut honey and popcorn go a long way as ingredient or on their own.
Next up I went to the condiments. I stocked up on
- coconut, sunflower and olive oil
- Rock salt, pepper and chilli flakes (personal reference as I love chilli)
- I looked around and found sugar free sauces in ASDA by the Blend Bros, who actually produce their products in Manchester, which was enough of an incentive for me to try them! Only had them a few days so far and as you can see the sweet chilli sauce is going down a treat. I’m not blown over by the ketchup as its very tangy but I also love the piri piri sauce.
- I also have a cupboard full of raisins, dried apricots, prunes, seeds and nuts.
As you can see my left knee (right in this picture) is considerably swollen. It looks like i have it bent but I don’t, this is straight. I have run two half marathons this year and my knee wasn’t too happy at the time and definitely isn’t happy now (over a month after the last one). Just to help you understand me a bit more, I walked a 10k on crutches so pain and discomfort wont stop me from doing something, and someone telling me I shouldn’t do something “because of your knee” will only make it want to do it more and make me more determined to manage this disease better! However when my knee is as swollen as it is right now it definitely does slow me down, which is pretty frustrating to say the least. I am used to the swelling continually going up and down but sometimes it doesn’t settle which is when I need to get help. This usually ends up in it being drained and occasionally having steroids to help prevent it from swelling straight back up again.
As Thomas A Edison said;
“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
I know I am past prevention but I am not past taking responsibility and taking advise from all the nutritionists I am reading about and seeing if what I eat really can make a different in the management of this disease.