Many of you know I have had a neverending battle and cycle of stomach issues that defy reason. In the last couple of months I cut out lactose thinking my issues were linked to dairy and whey, which eliminated my breathing/wheezing/dry coughing issues. But, it seemed the healthier I ate, my stomach issues got worse. An artichoke for a side dish, spinach salad with pears or an apple for a snack would leave me in severe stomach pains for hours, but pizza and beer would leave me and my stomach perfectly happy. Yes, pizza with cheese and obviously lactose and whey. WTF? Was I going crazy???
One day about a week ago I came home with stomach cramps after having had an apple for an afternoon snack and googled my symptoms. I came across this article about “fructose malabsorption/intolerance” and the light bulb finally went on. I finally knew why eating a fresh apple gave me stomach aches yet I could eat apple pie. And I now understood what foods to avoid so I could eat to fuel my body the way I want it to feel. I already knew eating artificial sweeteners, Bud Lime and too much wheat gave me issues, and I can now add some fruits, sugars and veggies to the list.
I was working with a doctor back in NH on some of these issues as well as an overall “inflammation” issue that is wreaking havoc on my thyroid. It is now widely believed that chronic inflammation that goes untreated for years is the underlying cause of many illnesses such as type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis), Crohn’s disease, migraines and more. It’s readily apparent I’m on that path and I see the train coming. While money can’t buy you happiness, it can help with your health and when I had a nice income, I was able to pay for a gym membership, all organic meats, veggies, supplements, frequent doctor visits, nutritionists, kinesiology, and everything I needed to keep myself in good health. My income may be gone, that doesn’t mean I have to eat Kraft Mac & Cheese and Little Debbies and make excuses for not trying for better overall health. I don’t believe being on a budget means eating processed food, and have instead put more time into making more food from scratch. Following an Anti-Inflammation diet is in my control, doesn’t have to cost a fortune and will help both my PCOS, thyroid, and inflammation issues. And so I begin the challenge of figuring how to eat, combining my new found knowledge of fructose intolerance with an anti-inflammation diet.
I’ve started with a couple of breakfast recipes I found via Pinterest on a blog site called chocolatecoveredkatie, the last via smashedpeasandcarrots. I changed them a bit, but the results are great, for breakfast or for a healthy snack/dessert idea, especially for kids!
Banana Breakfast “Cookies”
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- scant 1/2 cup mashed banana (can sub applesauce)
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 2 1/2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips (or raisins, cranberries, dried raspberries, etc.)
- 1 T agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, sugar or whatever sweetener you prefer
- 2 Tbsp protein powder (I had banana whey, but use whatever you have or omit)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mash the banana with the peanut butter, then add all other ingredients and mix until well-combined. Shape into cookies (I used a small cookie scoop) and bake on a greased cookie sheet for around 14-16 minutes, then let cool 10 minutes before removing from sheet. This makes 10-12 cookies, perfect for breakfast!
- 3 cups rice crispies (You can use brown rice crispies. For a less-crispy bar, you can sub 2 cups of the crispies for 1/2 cup oat flour.)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/2 cup sticky sweetener, such as agave or brown rice syrup (I used agave)
- 2-3 tablespoons protein powder (I used banana whey, but if you don’t have, you can omit)
- dark chocolate chips
Mix your pb, sweetener, extract, and salt. Melt (either in the microwave or stove), then pour over the cereal and powder, and stir very well, making sure to coat all the crispies. Smush and smash the crispies. (Get mad; it’s fun!) Line a pan with wax paper and spread the mixture evenly into the pan. Place a sheet of wax paper on top of the mixture, then press down as firmly as you can. Really press it down! Melt chocolate chips in the microwave or on top of the stove with a bit of oil, and spread on top. Freeze for at least a half hour before slicing. I did half w/ & w/o chocolate chips as the ones with taste like a Whatchamacallit candy bar instead of breakfast!