A lot of you have commented on this lovely bowl of loveliness when I posted it on facebook/instagram so as promised….here’s the recipe – it’s crazy easy people so go for it and whip up a huge batch for the week ahead like I did.
Ginger Chicken Soup
- Get the rice on: I used brown rice and I always measure 1 portion of rice to 2 portions of liquid (I think this makes perfect rice every time) so to make it into coconut rice use 1 portion of rice 1 portion of coconut milk 1 portion hot water (if you use a whole tin of coconut milk then measure the rice and water in the tin as well and you know you have the right quantities)
- Pop in 1 lemon grass stalk, 4 kaffir lime leaves & 1tbsp stock powder (see comment below)
- Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer and leave until all the water is absorbed (about 20-30mins or so)
- In your largest pan put 2-3 litres of hot water on the lowest heat
- I used a swiss vegetable gf Vegan Bouillon powder to turn it into stock (but obviously if you were feeling very virtuous you could make your own stock)
- Add 2tbsp gf tamari light soy sauce (or normal light soy if you’re not gf)
- Add 5 chopped spring onions, 2″ thinly sliced fresh ginger, a stick of fresh lemon grass and 4 kaffir lime leaves (if you don’t have/can’t find these 1tbsp lime juice will probably work)
- Add veg chopped into 1cm chunks: 3 peeled carrots and 1 red pepper
- Thinly slice 3-4 chicken breasts into long thin fillets about 1″ thick and poach in the stock for 15mins then remove, shred into bite size pieces with a fork and leave to one side
- Add green veg chopped into 1cm chunks: handful green beans & handful sugar snap peas and simmer for 5 mins
- Lastly add 4-5 chopped mushrooms, pop the chicken back in and simmer for another 2-3mins (don’t forget to remove the lime leaves & lemongrass before serving)
I’ve been eating it all weekend as I’m still not feeling very well boo hoo. There’s nothing like hot soup to make you feel looked after is there? I’ve basically been under the weather since, I don’t know, January maybe? Where are we now? March….so that’s a lonnnnnnnnng time.
It started off with a cold like virus which wiped me out for a few weeks in the new year. I kept having to properly sleep in the afternoons coz I was just so exhausted. Then I thought I’d got rid of it when number 1 son caught something similar and I came down with it again. Then number 3 son came down with it too and now he’s all better but guess what….I caught it back again.
Do you know what I mean when I say ‘I could hear them rolling their eyes at me’?! Well this is how I feel when someone asks me how I am doing. I keep having to say: “that’s a very bad question to ask me at the moment!” I mean, you’re supposed to say ‘oh fine thanks’ aren’t you?
But it tends to be your closest friends, your family and your nearest and dearest who actually get the dirty truth. And then you come out with how rubbish you’re feeling and it’s then that I ‘feel’ the eye-rolling reaction. And then I feel guilty about moaning all the time!
And I feel for them too. Because what are they supposed to say back? They can’t cure me, fix me, help me, understand me. They might want to but ultimately it’s my stupid body and my hair wire hormones that are up the creek without a paddle. My immune system is totally rubbish at the moment and that’s just the way it is.
Although I did have a sort of epiphany moment earlier as I wondered whether it is purely my Hashimoto’s playing havoc with my immunity or whether is could actually be something else. Gluten withdrawal. Ha! Don’t laugh, it’s a real thing and I’ve just spent hours reading up on it and now I’m even more convinced that it’s probably what I have been suffering with.
So from reading some of these articles online, it turns out that the proteins in gluten act like a type of opiate drug on your system causing you to crave it and want to eat more of it constantly.
“In fact, gluten and dairy do act as drugs for many people” says immunologist and researcher Aristo Vojdani, PhD, MSc, MT, the CEO of Immunosciences Lab, Inc. in Beverly Hills, California. ” Just as with the heroin or pain-pill addict, going off gluten or casein cold turkey can produce withdrawal symptoms”.
It goes on to say that symptoms can last from three days to six months as the immune system and the body’s homeostasis readjusts. Great. (read this article here)
It goes to show that you shouldn’t just jump into a gluten free diet without thinking hard about whether it’s necessary or the right thing for you to do. Are you prepared for the withdrawal, are you prepared for the specialist shopping and are you prepared for everyone to think you’re annoying?!
I read on the Wheat Belly Blog that wheat withdrawal has been labeled by different names over the years–“Atkin’s flu,” “Paleo flu,” “keto flu,” “low carb flu,” etc. And that’s exactly what I feel like I’ve been struggling with, a sort of low dose of constant flu symptoms. Headaches, exhaustion, congestion and inflammation.
I think I am also at a disadvantage because of having an auto immune disorder and therefore having an already compromised immunity.
“You need to withdraw for yourself to know how long gluten withdrawal takes. For one person it may last a week or two, while for another it may last over a month before symptoms fully subside”.
There are a whole list of typical withdrawal symptoms including:
Fatigue: Another very common symptom to experience is that of severe fatigue during the early stages of gluten discontinuation. This fatigue may be debilitating for some people to the point that they just want to sleep all day. As long as you’re eating other high quality foods, your body will eventually adapt to gluten-free foods for its source of “fuel” and fatigue will subside. In fact, many people who’ve been gluten-free for an extended period report having more energy than when they ate gluten.
Flu-like symptoms: Those that react severely during gluten withdrawal may develop symptoms similar to having influenza. They may experience dizziness, a headache, joint pains, nausea, and in some cases vomiting. (Obviously make sure you aren’t actually sick with a virus or the flu). If these symptoms emerged when you quit gluten, it could be a direct result.
Headaches: Many people have reported headaches during the first couple weeks of going gluten-free. These headaches are more likely to occur in the earliest days of withdrawal, but should ease up the longer you’ve been functioning without gluten.
So I guess I have answered my own question from having done this little bit of research. I don’t know why I’ve been suffering so badly when I have done various periods of being gluten free and dairy free in the past few years but maybe this is the only time that I’ve been brutally strict with it. At the beginning of this journey I read somewhere that going gluten free is a bit like being pregnant….you can’t ‘sort of’ be pregnant just like you can’t ‘sort of’ be gluten free. You either are or you aren’t. I’ve had that at the back of my mind the whole time over the past few months as I try to persevere on this diet.
I have to say though it’s been tough. It’s always like this for me when I get any type if infection. It lingers and runs me down and sucks all the life out of me until I’m on my knees. It then takes forever, weeks and weeks, to get myself back to 100% again. And all the while I’m obviously running around like a crazy person dealing with life with 3 kids and a dog and cooking, cleaning, ironing, shopping and everything else that a normal busy mum has to deal with. A lot of the time I don’t want to say ‘oh pity me’ because it’s so crap to wallow in your own problems isn’t it. And also, what’s anyone else supposed to do about it?
This rings so true for me, a comment from an article of the Thyroid Health website recently: “What can be even worse is that sometimes you’ll have a string of really great days, where you feel like you might just be getting yourself back… And your friends and family notice it too… And then it just confuses everything when the following week you’re back to feeling awful and canceling plans or telling your kids you need a nap or that “mommy is sick” and can’t play… again”.
So…..I want to apologise to all my friends for the moaning! God I hope I get over this soon and can get back to a normal functioning mum of three, walking the dog, going to pilates and drinking wine again. Pleeeeeeease.
In the meantime, I’m just going to eat more soup.