May 22, 2011

Quinoa and Bean Salad, and a new direction for our lives...

Despite some of my heavier, sugary posts, I created this blog to encourage people to "Eat for a healthier life".... My goal was that I could show people that eating healthy is not only easy and affordable, but fun and enjoyable for your whole family. I have done my best to post recipes that use whole foods, and healthy ingredients, and I feel I have done a decent job at keeping things healthy. BUT, for us (Me, Toby, and Emory) eating "healthy" is just not enough anymore. I have talked about Toby's disease a little but before, but for a refresher, Toby has Ulcerative Colitis, a debilitating and terrible auto-immune disease that affects his colon.  For the past 6 years he has suffered this disease everyday, and although he is on medication that helps his symptoms, he suffers extreme diarrhea (not trying to be graphic, but that is the terrible reality of the disease, something he is not embarrassed to talk about because he is very passionate about spreading the word of this disease) daily, and is always having to plan his life around the disease. He has started a non-profit organization (Live Beyond Boundaries) in hopes that he can inspire kids and adults who suffer IBD diseases (or any other illness) that life can go beyond the disease. Despite his best efforts to eat gluten-free and taking his medicine, his colitis is not better, and to be quite honest he/we are sick and tired of him having to suffer the symptoms of the disease. There is nothing worse than watching your husband suffer something like this daily. 

SO..We have decided to take a new approach to his disease. After doing some research, and reading some great success stories, we are going to be starting the SCD (Specific Carb Diet) diet. It is a diet designed specifically for people who suffer from Colitis, Crohns, and other IBD diseases. It eliminates all foods that are potentially harmful to the gut/intestines, as well as focusing on foods that help heal the body naturally. It is a pretty intense diet in the fact that it is an entire new way of eating (at least for us). It will be gluten and grain free, as well as partially dairy free. It is a very specific diet, but we have done our research, and we're so excited to start it in a few weeks. We have taken a few weeks to prepare ourselves with recipes, plans, and some new kitchen appliances to help us along the way. All that being said, from here on out (well in the next few weeks) the recipes posted on here will be following this new diet. We plan on eating this way for the rest of our lives, and really believe it is going to help reduce Toby's symptoms. I am really excited to get going on this, and to share these recipes with all of you! 

Since Quinoa is a starch, it is an "illegal" food for us, but I made this salad last week that I wanted to share with you before we start over. Don't get me wrong, quinoa is in no way bad for you, in fact I couldn't encourage you more to try it out, but for people with IBD diseases, it is not a food that they should eat. This salad is very light and perfect alongside some lean grilled meat.

Quinoa and Bean Salad
This recipe is versatile and can be changed up depending on what bean you have on hand, or preferences on herbs/spices.

2 cups cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa), cooled
1/2 red onion, chopped very finely
large handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 1/2- 2 cups red kidney beans, or any other bean (you can use a can, or dried and cooked beans..If using a can, make sure to drain and rinse well)
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
juice of 1/2-1 whole lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine

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