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 InstagramNew 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!Hey, hi 👋🏽 sup. . This is a photo of me at a surgical consultation. The very fashionable clothing you see me in is the garment I was given to change into so the surgeon could examine me. . As I announced on my Instagram Live yesterday, I found out earlier this week that I have to have another surgery (next week). I lost count around 12 or so, but I think this will be my 15th or 16th surgery under general anesthesia (and maybe 10th to manage hidradenitis suppurativa). . I am exhausted. My family is exhausted. Physically, mentally, emotionally. You think we get stronger with every serious health challenge, but in reality we are growing more and more weary. . The thing is, you can do everything right. You can follow the anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle protocol, take the immunosuppressants, try multiple rounds of antibiotics, get localized steroid shots several times, go to the ER, drain it at home repeatedly, alternate between ice and a heating pad, do all the yoga, apply all the balms, ointments, and essential oils...but sometimes nothing is enough. Sometimes autoimmune disease is relentless, and sometimes you need the surgery. And that is OKAY. . I’ve been dealing with this particular flare for over 6 months now. Six months of constant pain, a ticking time bomb, worsening physical condition, sleepless nights, pain meds, and more. I am disheartened by having to rely on surgery once more. I’m disheartened by how much pain this is causing my loved ones. I’m disheartened by the physical and emotional trauma I will endure once again. . But you know what? Feeling pain, exhaustion, taking time to process, being angry, and allowing the tears to flow freely do not take away from my strength. Strength comes in many shapes and sizes, and it’s important to remind ourselves that feeling our pain wholly does not make us weak. . If you’re fighting a battle right now and questioning your strength because you’re hurting, know that I see you. I’m here for you and with you. And your strength is greater than you could possibly imagine. . I endure because I have no choice, but I fight because I’m a damn warrior. . ♥️