I apologize now for the long lead-in before my recipe, but I felt like I needed to give you a little information first.
For the last year and a half I have worked hard to combat depression and digestive problems. Foolishly, I thought they were not related. However, after doing some research and reading a fabulous book by Robb Wolf called The Paleo Solution, I have come to the conclusion that part of my depression stemmed from the food I was putting in my body.
Truly I was a skeptic at first, but I was desperate enough to try anything at this point. I’ve known since I was a little kid that I was allergic to yeast but didn’t take it too seriously. Getting hives seemed like a small price to pay for eating bread. However, after an upper GI, months of limiting acidic food and taking Prilosec, I still was feeling sick. Seemingly random food made my stomach queasy, some even resulting in vomiting. At other times my body would just feel drained and lethargic. My sleep was also unpredictable, making me irritable in spite of being on Prozac. And my weight has fluctuated intensely.
The types of food my doctors encouraged me to keep in my diet were things like pasta, breads and grains. They were considered “safe” foods. Ironically, those were the foods, according to Robb Wolf and others, could be exactly what was making me sick. Gluten seemed to be the biggest culprit. There is much research and information available showing a link between gluten and depression. I have been reluctant to completely follow Robb Wolf’s advice and also go completely dairy free because I love Greek yogurt with fresh berries in the morning, but so far by eliminating most of the gluten from my diet, my stomach aches and vomiting seem to be a thing of the past. I haven’t even been taking Prilosec for weeks.
And the depression? Still a work in progress. The Prozac didn’t seem to be working as well as it did in the beginning. I was prepared to talk to my doctor about increasing the dosage, but lately have started to feel a little more stable again. I will be calling on Monday to reschedule my follow-up, but how wonderful would it be to not have to increase medication and just decrease the gluten instead.
By the way, Robb Wolf, I’d really LOVE to review your new ebook, The Paleo Diet Budget Shopping Guide. *hint*hint*
Now for this week’s favorite recipe. Now that our refrigerator is mostly filled with fresh produce, it has been harder than I thought to eat it all before it spoils. Most recently, I found a handful of seemingly mismatched fruits and vegetables needing to be eaten immediately, so I decided to mildly season them and throw them all on the grill together. What started out as oddball produce, turned in to the most amazing meal ever.
Marinated Artichoke Hearts
First, I drained the artichoke hearts and set them aside. Then I took the artichoke liquid and used it to season my raw zucchini, red onion and tomatoes. After sufficiently marinated, I placed the raw veggies and the mango slices on the grill until slightly al dente. I don’t like them mushy, but slightly crisp. The mango slices were pretty dry initially, but by grilling them, the natural juices were able to come to the surface, releasing the sweetness. Also, be sure to slice your tomatoes thick, otherwise they will just end up sticking to the grill and make a big mess. Once the veggies and fruit were grilled, I sliced them up and added the artichoke hearts and edamame (for protein). Just a few pinches of salt and pepper were all that were needed since the artichoke juice made such a great marinade.
Not only was it delicious, it was also a beautiful summer meal.