Know this, Cannelle et Vanille is one of the most beautiful food blogs out there. Not just visually, but….spiritually, too (Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan, too). You can feel the love and care and whimsy from the pages of her blog. And Aran Goyoaga, a Basque food stylist now based in the US…well, she’s become a bit of an e-soul sister. We connected via our blogs and because we both have hashimotos (thyroid disease). We ask each other if we’re ok from time to time.

Anyway I thought she’d have a thought or two to share on healthy eating… and could give us a gluten-free recipe.

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Aran's gluten-free purple corn and banana muffins

Everyone meet Aran, Aran meet everyone:

How the auto-immune thing started for me:

But things changed for me when I became a mother. During the course of both pregnancies, I developed autoimmune conditions (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and autoimmune inner ear disorder) that left me exhausted, depressed, tired and even experienced debilitating vertigo attacks. I could barely function and I was adamant to find a doctor that was willing to look beyond mere symptoms. And so I did.

This is what throws me off balance the most:

I’m still trying to figure it out, really. I know that diet is number one right now. Any little bit of gluten and it’s vertigo a couple of days later (just happened recently when I had something with hidden gluten in it). But also when I’m not creative or I feel tied down, then I go into downward spiral for a few days. I just don’t know how to control those things as easily.

I grew up in a pastry shop. My grandfather was a master pastry chef who owned a quaint little shop that is still in my family. Everyday, we gathered there after school and we all helped out during the weekends. Later on in life, I became a professional pastry chef myself, so as you can imagine, my entire life has revolved around gluten. I inhaled it and ate it every single day of my life.

So, what’s working…

After extensive testing, I was diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome, vitamin b12 and vitamin d deficiencies and something I was expecting, gluten intolerance. I immediately began a healing diet of no gluten, dairy, soy, caffeine, sugar and most grains and suddenly, all my migraines, tinnitus, vertigo, depression and anxiety disappeared. Felt like a thick, heavy curtain was lifted from above my

This is what I eat

* Quinoa: I have discovered that most grains, even if gluten free, don’t really suit me well, so I have eliminated most of them from my diet. Quinoa, however, is a pseudo-grain and it doesn’t have the same effects on my body as others do. Quinoa really is the perfect food for me. High in protein, magnesium and iron, full of flavor and really versatile.  I eat it for breakfast with hemp milk, cinnamon and chia seeds, in salads like this fava bean, quinoa and poached egg salad or for dessert in this quinoa milk pudding with roasted fruit.

* Raw greens and salad: Whatever I might be having for a meal, I always add a raw green salad. Usually I will just have a plain raw kale salad with salt, lemon juice and olive oil. Super simple. I eat lots of salads incorporating some kind of protein in there like this green salad with poached salmon, peas and fingerling potatoes. All in one meals.

* Snacks: People always tell me that snacks are the hardest. Things that one can transport easily without spoiling. My favorite snacks are seeds and seed butters. I always have a bag of sunflower or pumpkin seeds in my handbag, regardless of where I’m going. Appes with sunflower seed butter is also a favorite of mine and very filling. I try to minimize corn as well, but it seems like blue and purple corn are better for me. So I make simple hummus and corn and take it with me. Sometime I even take leftovers, especially when I have made Spanish tortilla.

* Supplements: This is a big department for me, as I have seen that  if I skip my supplements things can still go wrong, even on this diet. When I don’t have my dose of vitamin b12, my whole body starts tingling and then tinnitus follows. So I’m adamant about my daily doses of vitamin b12, vitamin d, fish oils, probiotics and a gluten digestive enzyme.

AranMiren
Aran and Miren

This is what I do

* I have never been big on exercise. I know, I’m just lazy that way. But I do love to walk, so I make that my exercise of choice. I try to fit in a daily walk of 30 minutes every day and it really helps.

* Routine seems to be a big thing for me and if I do not follow it, I know somehow I will fall off the wagon or feel “off”. So I make my meals, my snacks, my walks, my supplements… all of this thing are a priority because otherwise my health suffers and then my family suffers.

This is how I think (or how I don’t think anymore)

I have always been a type A personality. Extremely driven, extremely organized, always moving, always doing, always thinking about tomorrow… And all of this also means that I was constantly comparing myself to others and I was not always kind to myself, my body nor my soul. I had a very self destructive behavior at one point in my life and I think that has had a very big role in my autoimmune process. I wonder if all my negative thoughts about myself have lived in my organs all these years.

Gluten-free Purple corn and Banana Muffins

makes about a dozen and a half muffins

3 eggs
50 grams (1/4 cup) organic cane sugar
280 grams (1 cup) ripe bananas, pureed
125 grams (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
25 grams (2 Tbs) coconut milk (can use whole milk if you like)
75 grams (1/2 cup) superfine brown rice flour
20 grams (2 Tbs) potato starch
20 grams (2 Tbs) tapioca starch
100 grams (3/4 cup) purple cornmeal
25 grams (1 Tbs + 2 tsp) baking powder
3 grams (1/2 tsp) salt
1 gram (1/2 tsp) xanthan gum

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, bananas and milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the liquids to the dry and mix until combined.

Divide the batter into your baking cups and bake at 350F for about 15-18 minutes depending on the size.

For the poached salmon salad recipe (in the picture above, which Aran serves her muffins with), go to Cannelle et Vanille.

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