Since my early teens I have struggled with health issues. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism at about 15 years old, I realized that I would have to put in more work than the average person to maintain my health and mental clarity.
As I’ve grown, I have continued learning about my body and what I need to eat, how I need to exercise and what tools work for managing my stress. Even though I work hard to lead a healthy lifestyle complete with organic vegetables, cardio and meditation, I still struggle with symptoms such as bloating, mood swings, occasional rashes and inexplicable headaches.
So, I have chosen to devote this year to understanding why I’m still dealing with these issues. To accomplish this, I started working with a Naturopathic doctor which has helped immensely. She ran the tests I needed to finally understand what’s really going on in my body.
First, she tested my microbiome. We found out that I don’t have any good gut bacteria. She explained that some people are not able to colonize easily – I’m a non-colonizer lol! So, she put me on a super powerful probiotic called Mega Spore. So far, I’ve noticed less bloating and my nails seem stronger – I’ll take it!
After that, she tested my hormones. For this test, I had to provide a saliva sample. It was so hard to collect the amount of saliva that was required. I had to think of sooo many sour lemons! The test results showed that my estrogen and progesterone were a little bit low. I was shocked! I actually thought she would say my estrogen was too high because I am sooo emotional sometimes. She suggested some herbs to help get my levels up. I take Gaia’s Women’s Balance every day and I supplement with an additional 250 mg of VItex (chaste tree berry) per day 5 days before my period or day 23 on until my period begins. She also suggests that I consume 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed per day since it’s an estrogenic food.
Next, she ran a blood test to see if I have a mutation on my MTHFR gene. It turns out that I have one mutation on each gene. It’s a little difficult to explain but it basically means that I don’t methylate B vitamins as efficiently as I should and I’m not able to detox my body very well. For this, I take a methylated B-vitamin complex and I take Liposomal Glutathione to promote healthy detoxing. If you’re a woman of child-bearing age I definitely recommend getting tested!
The last but perhaps most helpful test that she ran was a General Food Panel: IgA/IgG test. This was a blood test that tested my antibodies to show which foods I’m reacting to as well as how severely I react. I discovered that I have a high sensitivity to eggs, almonds and coffee! Okay, when I saw coffee I cried for a couple days and I’m not even joking one bit. However, I’m happy to report that I have been coffee-free for one full month now and I no longer crave it. I’m now addicted to matcha, yay me! I also have a moderate reaction to sesame, blueberries, cranberries and sugar cane. She said once I cut these foods out of my diet, I should be able to heal my gut and all of my symptoms should eventually decrease as well. I’m pretty sure I have a long road until I’m completely healed but I do feel like my bloating has decreased and I haven’t had any headaches or rashes recently (knock on wood).
Okay so that was a very long winded way to tell you why I made Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Bread! I’m sorry but I just felt you should know the reason I had to search and search for a bread recipe that didn’t call for eggs. Actually, thinking of breakfast options has been difficult for me now that I know I cannot eat eggs. Most of my mornings consisted of scrambled eggs on gluten-free toast (that also contained eggs) and coffee with almond milk (aka 3 of my 7 sensitivities….anyone else wondering how I am still alive??)
I know what you’re thinking, “But you could just use egg replacer.” Well, that is true but have you tried egg replacer with gluten-free flour before? It creates a yucky gummy texture that I just CANNOT handle. Believe me when I tell you that this recipe is far superior to any recipe that originally called for eggs that were then replaced with fake eggs. I PROMISE!
- 1½ cups Pamela's Gluten-free all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup diced dried figs
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup light olive oil
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup cooked pureed pumpkin
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-by-4 inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, figs, and pecans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, pumpkin, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, stirring gently just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake until loaf is golden and springs back when touched, 40-45 minutes.
- Let the bread cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.
- Serve warm or room temperature.
I think the pictures are worth a thousand words. This bread is so delicious and it has allowed me to actually enjoy breakfast again….even without eggs or coffee! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If you have any questions about the tests I had done please don’t hesitate to reach out.