I’m officially two full weeks into my autoimmune paleo protocol diet or about 3 ½ weeks if you count a week of transition. And I’m happy to say that my stomach and digestive system are feeling better than they have in years. Seriously! It’s sort of amazing.
I’ve been suffering from bloating and sour stomach aches for a long time—at least since I moved back to California eight years ago, if not for years in Boston prior to that. And while I may like to blame my old job and the stress it caused me for my health issues, there’s definitely something to this autoimmune protocol diet. My belly feels normal again. It feels like it’s healing.
In my family, we’re pretty body aware. When my dad had lung cancer a few years ago, he knew something was wrong well before the doctors were able to figure out what was going on. That body sense saved his life. Lung cancer is usually a death sentence because people don’t discover it until it’s reached Stage 3 or 4. He knew immediately and had it removed at Stage 1. When I had a colon polyp a few years ago, I knew something was off. We’re just body aware.
I used to literally be able to feel inflammation in my gut. My stomach and lower abdomen would just feel inflamed, swollen. Sometimes my stomach would hurt, other times not, but the whole area just felt injured and puffy. I’m no longer feeling puffy.
In the past two days, I’ve also had two people tell me I look like I’ve lost weight. My home scale has not budged much, but maybe I was just sort of puffy. One person said my face looked thinner. My abdomen certainly does. No more bloat.
So it’s working thus far. And thankfully my blood tests did not reveal any new ailments, so that’s good. I will have 6-8 more weeks of the diet at least, though, to try to fully heal and also to get rid of some bacteria that should be living in my large intestine but have taken up camp in my small intestine instead. They’re gobbling up nutrients before they can get into my large intestine and absorbed into body, so they’ve been robbing me of some of my nutrition. I’ll be doing a bunch of supplements to send them packing, back to the LI where they belong.
I didn’t do as much experimenting with recipes over the past week as I have been doing, in part because I’ve had a bunch of leftovers in the freezer and fridge. One of the things in the freezer were some turkey meatloaf “muffins” I’d made the week before.
Ground poultry can be tough–literally. It tends to have a lot less fat than, say, ground beef, so it can be dry–or even flavorless–when you try to make things like burgers or meatload with it. So if you’re not using egg, you need something some things to help keep it moist. I went with adding some zucchini, carrots and mushrooms, all veggies that have a fair amount of water in them. When you can’t use egg or bread as binders, watery veggies make for a good substitute. These “muffins” are also great for leftover in paleo breakfasts or on top of salads.
Paleo Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
1 lb. ground turkey (either thigh or combo of thigh and breast)
½ zucchini, grated or shredded
½ carrot, grated or shredded
2-3 large mushrooms, chopped finely or shredded in food processor
1 tsp. minced onion
½ tsp. sage
½ tsp. marjoram
½ tsp. thyme
Shake of garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
- Combine ingredients in large bowl. Incorporate veggies and spices by hand to mix.
- Divide meat into six equal portions.
- Grease muffin tin with a little oil or softened ghee so that meat won’t stick. Stuff meat mixture into six muffin slots.
- Bake at 350° for approximately 25 minutes.
You could totally experiment with other veggies here as well. If you can have peppers, peppers would also be a good addition. Chopped spinach and mushrooms would also be good, I think.