Last monday I had a followup appointment with the practice nurse, I walked in thinking  I might need to take some sort of prescriptive medicine to get me back on track healthwise but came out knowing the rest my life was going to be different.

I did a bit of research and as far as I can tell my conditions all stem from  autoimmune disease.

So I believe I need to take out chemicals and food stuffs from my diet that may be aggravating my immune system, Gluten appears to be the highest possible aggravant so is first on my list. For ease as there is such a lot I need to be addressing right now I tried a bag of Doves Farm free from gluten brown bread flour and even though I messed up the timing of adding the milk it came out pretty good, GD had some and then came back for more, so that’s telling in itself! . There is a recipe printed on the back of the packet but to be honest there is not much information to go on, it says oil and sugar but not which type, same goes for the miik. For my loaf though I used the following,

Ingredients:

2 egg whites. Mine were from my own backyard chickens Fae and Crystal.

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6 tablespoons of oil. I used Hemp oil.

1 teaspoon of vinegar. I used apple cider vinegar by raw health.

1 tablespoon sugar. I used rapadura.

1 teaspoon of salt. I used freshly ground pink himalayan.

425 ml milk or vegan milk. I used oat milk.

500 g Doves free from gluten brown bread flour.

2 teaspoons yeast. I used 1 x 7 g sachet of Allison’s quick yeast.

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I used all of the above ingredients because I had them to hand in my pantry as I have long time had more than a casual interest in nutrition.

But now my quality of life will depend on trying to get the best immune building nutrients as possible into it and by putting as less strain on my body as possible by eliminating any aggravates. Along with Hypothyroidism and all its symptoms, fatigue, weight gain, coldness, muscle pain, foggy head, insomnia, brittle nails, dry cracking skin and all the other delightful effects, I have bone loss, anemia, tinnitus, and am border diabetic, (GD says although I am out of warranty he will hang on to me for a bit ),these are all more conditions brought on by the thyroid not functioning properly, the thyroid is known as the master gland and that’s for good reason.

I have always been such a healthy person having been a trained swimmer at National level in my youth and an avid yogi for many years, so this is a very steep learning curve, until two years ago I have always enjoyed good health, been strong and a fit and able person, I have always looked after my body with good diet and plenty of exercise, now it is no longer responding how I want it to and apparently there is no fix to it. I am grateful there are drugs to help, very, very grateful, but there are so many emotions I am feeling right now, especially after yet another night of not sleeping and lots of muscle pain and the ever present ringing in my ears, I could easily give into feelings of despair today or let the nurse’s words that no amount of right nutrition will coax my thyroid back into functioning again, but I tell myself it’s okay to feel these feelings, to own them, I need to remind myself that it’s not wrong to be grieving for the me that was always on top of life, and I don’t need to feel guilty about feeling low, even though I know there are far far worse things happening around me, it’s important to sit with these emotions, acknowledge them, they are true and they are honest, however it is not a place I intend to be staying in for long, I am determined to give my body the best opportunity it can to heal and for that I need to get motivated. There is soooo much to learn,  for instance since using this flour I have found there is debate on one of the ingredients concerning xanthan gum and that’s not to say it is not okay for people on a gluten free diet, just it may not be optimal for my own conditions and what I am trying to achieve.

I’ve got to admit I am really really tired right now, so I am going to get on with writing the method for the loaf, but I am really hoping to write up on what I find out about helping the body heal from autoimmune diseases and the changes that I am making in my life. I hope you will stay with me while I take some time to understand all that is happening right now and I will still be posting GD’s and mines adventures and the skills and crafts we learn together down here in Cornwall.

Method:

Beat the egg whites together in a medium to large bowl, add half of the oil,  add the vinegar, sugar, salt and the milk and continue to whisk well.

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Note picture above: this is where I forgot to add the milk until after I added the flour, so now I can legitimately blame my foggy head!. (and it still came out alright).

Add the flour and the yeast and mix until you have a thick, smooth batter.

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Add the rest of the oil and using a large wooden spoon bring the mixture together, should be  thick and sticky. The wording on the packet here reads ‘dough’ so I went on the web site to see what it should look like and I personally would not term it dough, more like a very thick batter mix.

Tip the mixture into a 1 kg / 2 lb bread tin and smooth the top.

Cover loosely with cling film it says on the packet, but  I don’t use cling film so I put mine in a reusable bag.

Leave until it rises to the top of the tin. It did not say anything about needing warm conditions here or not, so I left it next to the rayburn but not on it. After about 50 mins it looked like it had swelled more than risen, but I bake a lot so I might be being a bit picky here with termanology.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 55 mins. This was about right, I did turn mine out of its tin ten minutes before time and returned to the oven to crisp the bottom.

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All in all it made a really nice loaf and I think people looking for a gluten free bake would really enjoy it, but I can’t say  I’m really excited about using the flour, I suppose because I really want to find all the different naturally gluten free flours for myself and make a loaf from scratch and maybe that’s impossible without the added xanthan gum, but I aim to find out.

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