Welcome to AIPooja!
My name is Pooja, and I am trying to keep my head above water while balancing disease, wellness, and graduate school. Continually learning and growing, with no end in sight. I hope you find something you can relate to here!
Follow AIPooja on InstagramHappy Saturday, friends! Today I thought I’d share another one of the meals I prepared during my personal chef trial. . My goal was to create meals that were balanced, colorful, delicious, interesting, and filling. I’m hoping I hit the mark with most of them! . The client told me that they preferred food with big flavors (speaking my language, right there) so I knew my herbed chicken burgers would knock their socks off. They’re so so yummy, especially when grilled 😋 and a great way to use herbs from your garden! . Details: two herbed chicken burger patties on a bed of butter lettuce that was torn to resemble buns, topped with grilled onions; kale massaged with lemon juice, salt, and olive oil & tossed with roasted veggies, then topped with crunchy chickpea croutons (tossed 1/3 can of chickpeas in olive oil, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and onion powder, roasted at 400F for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes); not pictured: tomato slices and avocado. . Reheating instructions were to remove the patties and reheat them, then assemble and enjoy! . Recipe for the herbed chicken burgers can be found on my blog, and I have a similar salad recipe on my blog as well.New recipe: RANCH MEATBALLS. . Meatballs that are packed with ranch flavor but are made with real ingredients? YES PLEASE. . Meatballs that will go perfectly with your Memorial Day spread (or turned into burger patties and grilled 🤤)? YES x 100. . Ranch meatballs that are AIP, Paleo, and Whole30-compliant? A THOUSAND TIMES YES. . OK I CAN’T STOP YELLING BUT YOU CAN FIND THIS RECIPE THROUGH THE LINK IN MY PROFILE. . Sidenote: I made these as part of my post-surgery meal prep, and I’m happy to report that they reheat from frozen just fine and taste absolutely delicious (even when you feel like 💩 and nothing sounds good).One year ago today, I chose this tattoo as my scar to define all my other scars, the ones I didn’t choose. . I desperately needed to shift my perspective on my heavily scarred body, and I felt like it was time to stop hiding behind my scars. I needed to reclaim my body for myself and change my internal story from one of brokenness and pain, to overcoming adversity and strength. . It was no coincidence to me that my surgery yesterday was on the 365th day of having this tattoo. A full year of feeling pride at my scars and the story they tell. A full year of re-learning to love my body and think of her as my partner instead of my enemy. . There’s going to be so much more pain after this surgery, more frustrated crying in my bathroom as I adjust to the changes in my body. But that won’t undo the immense work I’ve already done. I’ve learned to stop blaming my body, and instead empathizing with her. What initially began as learning to forgive my body has turned into learning to love her. . Maybe loving our bodies isn’t the first step. Maybe forgiving them is. How can you expect yourself to love something you’re so angry at, that continually brings you nothing but pain? I think that forgiveness led to partnership, which led to love. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel angry with her at times, but I’ve learned to shift gears and approach her with compassion instead. It’s changed my life. . I’m a work in progress, and I always will be. . Link in profile if you want to read the blog post I wrote last year about this tattoo. . Ps. At the time of writing that post, my scars were at 67 inches. After my gallbladder removal and yesterday’s surgery, they are now at 78. 💛“Mom can I please, please have a bite of that pawpaya?” #weirdfoodmydoglikes . Not cooking any food today, so instead I figured I’d show this photo of Margo begging for papaya. 😂 . Post photos of your dogs with the hashtag #weirdfoodmydoglikes —who knows, one day I may do a giveaway and select someone from that hashtag 😉 we are GOING to make this a thing, people!!Quick and easy lunch with all my favorite components! . My surgery is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2pm. Later today or tomorrow morning I will show you all the food I prepped and froze to make meals easier during recovery. I even typed up reheating instructions for each dish, printed the page, and stuck it on the fridge for my parents 😂 maybe a little extra but you can’t say I’m not thorough I guess. 🤷🏽♀️ . This meal came together quickly (as all of mine do) and was both delicious and satisfying! If you haven’t tried the recipe on my blog for extra crispy brussels sprouts, you absolutely MUST. They got a litttttttle burnt here because I was on the phone and got distracted 😬 but they were still delicious! . Details: 2 Wild Mushroom with Italian Herbs chicken sausages by @bilinskisausage, split and sautéed on a cast iron skillet until browned on both sides; extra crispy sautéed Brussels from my blog 🤤; 1/3 baked sweet potato (wrapped in foil and baked at 450F for 1.5 hours) with a drizzle of olive oil & a sprinkle of @primalpalate Super Gyro (SO GOOD); and some fresh, sweet strawberries!One thing I’ve been doing to make myself feel better and more prepared for surgery next week is batch cooking a bunch of AIP-compliant proteins and freezing them in individual portions. . My mom is going to be my main caretaker after surgery, and I know it’ll take pressure off of her to have these proteins ready to go; then all she has to do is sauté or roast some veg. It’ll also prevent any confusion about what is and isn’t AIP-compliant and will thus help me stick to the protocol while I’m healing. . Everything has felt so out of my control with this upcoming surgery, and it’s honestly done so much for my mental health to spend time this week prepping all this food. I am solution-focused and feel the most calm when I’m able to direct my energy in a productive way. It’s given me back some of my sense of autonomy. . I’ll share more of what I’ve been prepping, but here is the garlic rosemary crusted pork loin from The Healing Kitchen by @grazedandenthused and @thepaleomom. I had some the day I made it, and it is insanely good. It’s so nice knowing that I’ll have delicious, Pooja-friendly food ready for me after surgery and through recovery. I highly recommend checking out this book if you feel like you’re in an AIP rut and need some inspiration!