Elimination diets, they can be daunting (it was a truly tearful event in my life) and no easy task figuring out how to change my eating habits, life style, and grocery budgets to reflect and maintain my doctors orders.
I was put on the "elimination diet" in hopes of discovering any further foods that may be causing flare ups and inflammation in my body, thus decreasing my body pain, hopefully, encouraging a better quality of life.
The hardest category for me was the protein category. I have always eaten meat and now suddenly I needed to cut meat out of my diet: red meat, pork, veal, and eggs. I felt lost, I felt like throwing in the towel and starving myself to death... HA HA okay, a little doom and gloom, but that's how I felt mentally when the doctor handed me my elimination diet plan.
Instead of starving myself I shook myself out of my pity-party (believe me, you need time to mourn these "secondary losses" in your life. But remember that once you have finished your "mourning period", brush yourself off, dry those tears, and roll up those sleeves because it's time to change the way you do things around the kitchen!) I started to turn towards a vegan diet plan to see if it could help me keep up my protein levels with little, to no, meat options allowed in my diet.
Venturing down the road of "veganism" I picked up some interesting and fun lifestyle ideas and recipe ideas. Amidst my vegan ventures, I stopped and wondered how I could use this new found vegan diet information in a way that coupled the elimination diet and focused on relieving inflammation and chronic pain in our bodies?
Welcome, "Vegan, Cannabis Olive Oil Infused, Stuffed Peppers":
Here's the finished product
I chose green peppers instead of the red peppers to help lessen the sugar associated with eating ripe bell peppers. Bell peppers are considered a "nightshade" vegetable, which I am supposed to avoid, but this recipe is amazing and if you can eat nightshade vegetables I highly recommend this recipe.
Bell peppers have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
First, hollow out your peppers but keep the tops.
- 2 peppers of your choice
Second, pick your favorite onion and garlic:
- 1/2 onion chopped to your liking
- 2 garlic cloves crushed and chopped
- Onions are wonderfully low in calories and one of the richest sources of flavonoids – antioxidants that mop up free radicals in your body’s cells before they have a chance to cause harm.
- One flavonoid found in onions, called quercetin, has been shown to inhibit inflammation.
- Garlic, it is hypothesized that garlic rather elicits anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative responses that aid in priming the organism towards eradication of an emerging tumor - AMAZING!
Third, add a bay leaf to the inside of each hollowed out pepper.
- Bay leaves have many health benefits, one being reduced muscle and joint pain.
**Keep in mind though that bay leaves are a sedative and can interact with some of our chronic pain and sedative sleep aid medications such as:
clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and meperidine (Demerol), hydrocodone, morphine, OxyContin, and many others.
- If you take a sleep aid, Bay leaves may increase your drowsiness and if you are on pain medication it may slow down the CNS causing a longer lasting effect for your pain medication(s).
I don't mind either of those interactions, more sleep sounds great, slowing down my CNS so my pain medication lasts longer - count me in!
**Please, if you feel any of these interactions may be of concern to your health stay clear of the bay leaf in the middle of the peppers.**
Cannabis infused olive oil to drip over your peppers so they bake nicely in the oven and aid in our chronic pain management.
- Olive oil; chronic inflammation is thought to be a leading driver of diseases in today's society. Extra-virgin olive oil can reduce inflammation, which may be one of the main reasons for its health benefits.
- The main anti-inflammatory effects are mediated by the antioxidants and are shown to work similarly to ibuprofen - very cool!
- Cannabis; chronic pain treatment through the use of cannabis oils is on the rise. Cannabis oil has many known medical abilities; such as, anticonvulsant, anti-inflammatory, and of course, anti-anxiety. Cannabis oils have been playing an important role in regulating body temperatures and treating chronic pain and inflammation for a number of years now.
Next, pour a generous amount of cannabis infused olive oil all over and into the hollowed out bell peppers.
Then, add 1/2 cup wild rice to 1 & 1/2 cups of water or broth, bring to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and cook until almost all moisture has been absorbed (cook for 30 - 45 minutes). Once cooked place in colander, rinse under cold water, strain, and set aside.
- The consensus of the masses is that once some, not all, of the kernels have split, and exposed some of the lighter color inside, it is at it's best to eat.
**Don't forget to rinse your wild rice prior to cooking; due to wild rice not being cleaned and milled like white rice, it may be dirty.**
- Wild Rice has so many health benefits: beneficial in maintaining bone density, helps to prevent diabetes and cancers, strengthens heart health, boosts immune systems, aids in reducing signs of aging, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and eliminates diarrhea, bloating, and cramping.
1 cup of beans (I used a six bean medley consisting of chickpeas, dark red kidney beans, white kidney beans, black-eyed peas, Romano beans, and baby Lima beans).
**If using beans from a can make sure you rinse the beans under water until the water runs clear.**
1/4 cup Hemp Hearts
- Hemp seeds are known as one of the best plant based proteins available on the market.
- Hemp seeds contain brain-friendly antioxidants and omega fats.
- Hemp seeds also contain Vitamin E, minerals, and a special fibre called, "resistant startch" that is a prebiotic - very good for gut health.
1/2 cup walnuts. Place in food processor or blender and blend to desired consistency (I like my walnuts barely blended so I get a chunky texture in my stuffed peppers but feel free to blend to it to a smooth, almost powder, and it will blend into the filling like a flour).
- I am sure most of you have heard people say that walnuts are good for your brain because they are shaped like miniature brains - but is this true? YES!
- Walnuts contain both omega -3 and omega -6. BOTH of these healthy fats have been shown to boost brain health and function.
Do you ever wonder why healthy fats are so important for our brains? Well, it's because some neurological issues seem to be associated with a change in the fatty acids of the nerve cells membranes themselves.
1 tsp sea salt (I used a smoked sea salt to get the desired taste I was craving but you do not need to use smoked sea salt, regular sea salt is fantastic too!).