2 Delicious Cookie Recipes and 2 Fantastic Blogs!

I think it is my new life goal to find the perfect gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe! I can’t say I have found it yet but these two are definite contenders. I couldn’t imagine keeping these little gems to myself so obviously I wanted to share them with you! Also, the great thing about sharing these cookie recipes with you is that the recipes come from two incredibly inspirational bloggers!

One blog that I really enjoy is by Meghan Telpner. She is a holistic nutritionist who has personally struggled with Crohn’s disease and her diet and amazing recipes have helped her combat her disease and live a full and healthy life! The other blog that I’m in love with right now is Against All Grain by Danielle Walker. She has struggled with a severe form of ulcerative colitis but remains mostly symptom free by following a strict grain free diet. Her ability to overcome the debilitating symptoms of her disease shows the remarkable healing powers that food can have!

A little aside about Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): The two types if IBD are Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s. Both types of IBD are caused by an exaggerated immune response in the gut mucosa, which leads to inflammation, loss of surface cells of the intestine and decreased absorptive function. It leads to severe nutrient deficiencies and weight loss, as well as episodes of bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s are similar, with a few main differences. Mainly, Crohn’s tends to be more severe and can extend throughout the small and large intestine. While, ulcerative colitis tends to be more localized to the colon and can often be treated with surgery. They both have very similar presentations of bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, and an overall decreased quality of life. IBD can be quite severe but it seems to respond incredibly well to eating a grain free, real food diet!! I find it extremely inspirational to see that these two bloggers have overcome such a challenging disease and are now helping others, who have to follow a strict diet for their own health reasons, eat nutritious, delicious and exciting meals!

Now let me share their delicious cookie recipes with you!

Meghan Telpner has a recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and it is definitely one of my favourites! They are sweet, chewy, and incredibly tasty! They are gluten free, dairy free (as long as you use dairy free chocolate chips, like Camino or Enjoy Life) and they can be vegan if you use chia paste instead of an egg! The recipe calls for coconut sugar but since I don’t always have that, I often just use cane sugar and they turn out great!

Although I love Meghan Telpner’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, and they were my favourite for a long time, I have recently discovered Against All Grain’s Real-Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies!! This name is the perfect description for these cookies. They are absolutely delicious and they really do taste like real, gluten-full chocolate chip cookies. Even the cookie dough is good!! My boyfriend loves cookie dough but since being with me he has learned that eating gluten-free cookie dough generally isn’t a good idea….for some reason, even if the cookies taste delicious, the dough often tastes weird. But these cookies broke this rule and he was more than happy to enjoy some dough 🙂

Now that I’ve shared these delicious recipes with you and you’ve had some time to think about the info I shared about IBD, maybe you are wondering how IBD compares to Celiac?? I know I was wondering the exact same thing! And I wasn’t really sure how to answer it until we learned all about diarrhea in class 🙂 it was a fascinating lecture for me! Celiac is also related to immune dysfunction in the GI tract. However, it is restricted to the small intestine and it tends to lead to flattening of the villi (the bumps on the intestinal mucosa that increase the surface area for absorption), as opposed to actual necrosis (cell death), as seen in IBD. This is why you see bleeding in IBD, and not in Celiac. Both will lead to malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies because the absorptive quality of the intestines are negatively impacted. Also, the immune dysfunction in Celiac is related to an immune reaction to the gluten protein and, therefore, going on a gluten free diet can get rid of the symptoms. Compared to IBD, in which the reason for the immune dysfunction, and therefore the treatment, isn’t quite as simple.

And how do these relate to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)??? IBS is classified as a functional disease, as opposed to an organic disease. This means that there isn’t actual damage to the intestinal mucosa but the intestines are not functioning optimally. It can cause diarrhea, constipation, or a mix of both. IBS may also lead to abdominal cramping, bloating, and gas. However, there isn’t blood in the stools, fever, or excessive weight loss, as would be seen with IBD. In IBS, the intestine is very sensitive to a variety of stimuli and there are often food sensitivities and psychological stressors that exacerbate IBS symptoms.

Stay tuned for my next blog post, which is going to be extra exciting (especially if you currently have no clue what a doula is!)!!! At the beginning of February, I am taking a doula course and I’m planning to share my experience with you!

Hope you learned a little something new and that you enjoy one or both of these chocolate chip cookie recipes!! Happy January 🙂

Emily

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