Hi friends! I have a guest post today from the lovely Jessica Duffin of This EndoLife. Yay!
In case you missed it, I was on her podcast! You can listen to it here but today is all about her new cookbook called This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast! It’s a nutrition guide & cookbook for living and thriving with endometriosis. While I don’t have this condition, I have friends that do and can’t imagine the pain they sometimes feel. I hope you find this cookbook helpful! Share it with friends who need it. Okay, take it away Jessica! P.S. She shares a super yummy recipe with us at the end!!
This recipe book was five years in the making.
I remember at the start of my healing journey, being told by my surgeon that was nothing else they could do for me other than an induced menopause, daily painkillers and repeated surgeries.
The thing is, the severity of endometriosis and severity of symptoms don’t correlate. You could have deep infiltrating endometriosis and no symptoms, or minimal endometriosis and every symptom you could possibly have. I was the latter. And because of that, it didn’t seem right to me to take such drastic measures to manage my symptoms. Two surgeries hadn’t proved effective, so having another wasn’t very desirable and inducing the menopause for a small amount of endo at 25 years old? I wanted – had to find another way. I felt suicidal, I could hardly hold down my job and my health was spiraling out of control.
I began doing some deep digging on Google. And after falling down multiple rabbit holes, I finally stumbled across information about a diet for endometriosis. Once I pieced together all of the fragmented bits of advice I could find, I spent a month following an anti-inflammatory diet. My next period was pain free. I had gone from someone who could hardly stand on their period, who was rocked for 48 hours straight by constant agony, to not even realising my period had started.
As I began to experiment with nutrition for endo further, and reaped the rewards, I became so angry that this information was so hard to find. What if I had just followed orders and was dosed up on painkillers everyday whilst fighting menopausal symptoms? Why was this info not common knowledge? How many others were feeling suicidal like I had been? Who felt like they were out of options? Of course, diet changes might not work for everyone – but that shouldn’t mean this information must stay tucked away in some far corner of the Internet.
I channeled this anger into starting This EndoLife; my blog and podcast, which I have been running now for four years. All the time, dreaming of a cookbook. Finally, that cookbook is here! This EndoLife, It Starts with Breakfast is a nutrition guide and cookbook for living and thriving with endometriosis. In this book, I break down the research and data behind nutrition and lifestyle medicine for endometriosis, exploring anti-inflammatory foods, gut health, supplementation and demystifying the endometriosis diet. I also include 28 delicious endometriosis diet breakfast recipes. These anti-inflammatory dishes are designed to balance your blood sugar and support your hormones, helping you to implement new and healthy habits and live well with endo every day.
To help you get started, I’m sharing one of my recipes from the book with Shannon!
If you make this recipe, I’d love to see your pictures and hear what you think of social. Tag me using the hashtag #owningthisendolife
Sweet Potato Dream Boats
I can’t tell you how much I loved this recipe when I tested it! It’s creamy, satisfying and even though it’s so delicious, it feels nourishing and energising. It’s also a great option for a snack or even an alternative to a sweet treat or dessert – when you taste it, you’ll know what I mean!
Blueberries are super high in antioxidants whilst sweet potatoes offer slow releasing carbohydrates for energy. The cream cheese and yoghurt bring some healthy bacteria to the gut, and the seeds and almond butter boosts the protein, fibre and fat levels, to create a blood sugar balancing breakfast. Experiment with portion sizes to find what works for you in terms of feeling energised rather than sluggish, and also what fat levels feel right for your body.
If cooking sweet potatoes in the morning feels too time consuming, bake a couple in a batch on Sunday or Monday evening, and then you have sweet potatoes for breakfast or as and when you need throughout the week.Print
One small-medium sweet potato
½ teaspoon unrefined coconut oil
1 dessertspoon of dairy-free, good quality plain cream cheese (I like Nush almond or cashew cream cheese)
1 dessertspoon of dairy-free plain good quality coconut yoghurt
Handful of blueberries (80g/2¾ oz is one serving, but experiment with what feels good to you in terms of sugar levels for both inflammation and blood sugar levels)
Sprinkle of coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon almond butter
Optional: Almond milk
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F (add 10–20°C for a conventional oven).
Pierce the sweet potato several times with a fork and then rub with coconut oil.
Place on a lined baking tray and bake in the oven, on the middle shelf for 40-50 minutes, or until the potato is soft when pierced in the centre with a fork.
Whip the coconut yoghurt and cream cheese together until combined, in whatever way is easiest for you. I prefer to throw in my food processor, but whipping with a fork or a handheld whisk will obviously create less washing up!
Cut the sweet potato in half, spoon over the cheese-yoghurt mix and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes. Finish with a dollop of almond butter or, if you have time, briefly blitz the almond butter with a splash of almond milk in a food processor to create a runnier texture, and drizzle over everything.