One of the lovely and unexpected bonuses of following a healing protocol is the new people you meet along the way. The AIP community is a wonderfully inclusive one. Friendships are born – it’s how Emma and I met after all!
This is the first in a new series on AIP friendships. A place where we get to introduce some of the lovely relationships we’ve developed with fellow AIPers – both in real life and online – born out of a shared passion for improving our health through following the diet and lifestyle principles of the Autoimmune Protocol. We hope you enjoy meeting some of these ‘real life’ AIPers and the recipes they provide.
Our inaugural ‘AIP Friendship’ spotlight falls on the delightful and always enthusiastic Amanda Brangwynne-Smith, a Brit’ who has made her way to Queensland via a circuitous route through the Middle East. If you’re a regular instagrammer, you may already know Amanda from her wonderfully engaging amanda_whatcanyoueat profile. She is renowned around the AIP globe for her incredible networking. As I write this, she is preparing to head off to Canada for her second visit to catch up with northern hemisphere AIPers. She’s a bit of an AIP legend!
Amanda and I first met in the real world during Mickey Trescott’s visit down under to promote the metric version of her eponymous cookbook, ‘The Paleo Autoimmune Cookbook’ – at about this time last year. We became fast friends amd, while Amanda is based in sunny Queensland, she often travels to Sydney for long weekends with her husband who is currently working here on a contract.
The lovely Amanda first started her personal AIP caper in August of 2014. She had suffered from eczema as a child, and it reappeared as she developed Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) as an adult. More recently, she has had a Collagenous Colitis – IBD by any other name – diagnosis confirmed, too.
Amanda has been experimentimng with what works for her. While she has been in a strict AIP elimination for some time, she started experimenting with a low-FODMAP approach in conjunction with her AIP because she felt a little ‘stuck’. (She uses the Monash Universtity low-FODMAP model.) As a result, she has discovered that garlic is definitely not her friend, but she is now finding alternatives in leeks and spring onions (scallions).
Life has changed considerably since the beginning of her health caper. Amanda reports that although she is still on some medication for her RA, her:
- Eczema is almost completely gone
- Hormones have ‘equalised’ despite the onset of menopause (her personal doctor can’t believe her lack of symptoms and both her husband and son comment on how she is a much ‘nicer person to be around)
- Sleep has improved
- Energy levels are significantly higher
In fact, as far as she is concerned, the only downside of this lifestyle is the weight loss she has experienced.
You may know about my weekly sojourn to the Carriageworks Farmers Market. Well, whenever Amanda is in town, we have been making an occasion of meeting up at the markets – respective partners and puppy in tow – and then heading back to ‘Casa Jo’s’ for a serious AIP breakfast cook up.
There’s something very special about connecting with fellow AIPers – people who get what you eat (and love it as much as you do!); people who don’t think you’re weird having all sorts of leafy greens on your plate at breakfast time; people with whom you can swap fermentation stories!
Amanda, for me, is one of those friends.
Today, she is sharing her recipe for Avocado & Mackerel Boats. This is one of her favorite lunch options (Amanda tells me she stands at the kitchen counter eating it directly out of the bowl!) – and I can attest to the fact that this is a seriously more-ish little number.
Full of nutrient density and high in happy fats and omega-3, this easy little recipe is fancy enough to serve in ‘avocado boats’ for a dinner party, but simple enough to have with some leafy greens for lunch.
It takes no time at all to whip up!
We hope you enjoy Amanda’s recipe!