Hi! I’m Dora and welcome to my brand new blog!
Between being a mother juggling an active baby and a curious toddler, a wife to a supporting husband, and a woman diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, I blog my experiences from my kitchen in the heart of Quebec City in Canada and share Paleo recipes with everyone who drops by my blog for a visit.
I have always loved experimenting with food and cooking in general, learning about new ingredients and how to incorporate them. Being a Chinese Singaporean, I grew up eating a lot of rice, noodles, and street food and started cooking regularly from the age of 11. Unfortunately, loving food and eating just about anything that tasted good was not so good for me! I grew up overweight and was subject to almost constant teasing. In my 20s, I became pescatarian for about a decade, eschewing meats and focusing on fish and seafood and even dabbled in vegetarianism/veganism from time to time. The weight came off and I got fitter, but Graves’ Disease came a-knocking by my mid-20s in 2005 with the classic textbook symptoms – palpitations, anxiety, rapid weight loss, hand tremors.
Even after 3 rounds of thyroid-suppressing medication, my condition has not been put in remission. Doctors told me that I should consider radioactive iodine therapy and that I would simply have to take synthetic thyroid should I become hypothyroid. The idea of destroying my thyroid gland and not solving the root cause did not go well with me, so I decided to consider other methods of healing. I tried Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), downing mysterious black herbal concoctions prescribed by TCM specialists and also tried Functional Medicine. Nothing seemed to help. It seemed that the thyroid suppressor medication was the only thing that kept matters under control.
After getting married, moving halfway across the world to Canada, and the birth of my first son, I discovered Mark’s Daily Apple and through it, the Primal lifestyle. I was intrigued and enthused by the use of whole foods – this coming from someone who used to be excited by new flavours and varieties of boxed cereals or other processed foods/ beverages! Through the Primal diet, I learned about the Paleo diet, and eventually The Paleo Approach and the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). I realised that Graves’s Disease is an autoimmune disorder and that diet plays an important role in managing autoimmune diseases. It was like a light bulb moment for me. None of my medical practitioners had mentioned it before, apart from the usual caution against iodine and goitrogens. My doctors even told me point blank that a change in diet would have no effect whatsoever!
Now that I’m in my 30s and living in Canada, I’m learning to cook seasonally and locally as much as possible. Which is not without its challenges, given the long winters here and the fact that I miss Singaporean food from time to time. The family transitioned to Paleo eating in Spring 2014 and I am now strictly AIP. Within 2 weeks of starting AIP, my goiter subsided. This spurred me to continue with the AIP. My recipes will focus strongly on AIP-approved ingredients and I will post more South East Asian-style recipes if possible. It can be challenging planning AIP-friendly meals and I hope that my contributions here will help.
I am not a doctor so I won’t be dispensing any medical advice in my blog. There are many other fantastic blogs out there focusing on the healing aspects of autoimmune diseases (see links above), but that is not my forte, so I will instead dedicate this blog to my interest – food!
More to come… give me time to familiarise myself with blogging, food photography and such, thank you!