When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 22 years ago I was a complete and total full-blown sugar addict. I don’t say this lightly. I mean it. I was addicted to sugar the way an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol. In order to reverse my autoimmune disease (which I did within 6 months of diagnosis and it’s been gone ever since), I had to quit sugar. The break up was tough. In fact I write about this in my #1 best-selling book, Solving the Autoimmune Puzzle. I talk about what I now call the “detox-retox rollercoaster.” It took several detox-retox cycles before I finally knew that sugar was like rat poison. I knew I would never eat rat poison, so I was able to stop eating sugar. One of the ways I was able to stop so completely is by replacing the rat poison version of sugar and sugar substitutes with some alternatives that still gave me the sweet taste every once in a while.
I get patients in my practice who are frustrated with the limitations their autoimmune disease and leaky gut has placed on their dietary choices. I always feel nothing but compassion for these frustrated patients of mine. Navigating the dietary changes necessary to reverse inflammation, hormone imbalances, digestive issues, chronic pain, and autoimmune disease can feel very overwhelming, especially when you are told to give up sugar completely. My patients always tell me how hard eliminating gluten, alcohol, caffeine, dairy and sugar are. It is hard. But it’s easier now than it has ever been.
Fear not if you are one of these frustrated people. You can still make sweet treats, celebrate birthdays and holidays AND reverse your autoimmune disease. An autoimmune diagnosis does not banish you to the inner circle of hell and tasteless food. On the contrary, it can be a culinary adventure as you try out new ingredients for the first time. It’s a lot easier if you have some key baking ingredients in your pantry like: almond and coconut flour, coconut sugar and lo han sweetener or monk fruit, coconut milk, and stevia sweetened chocolate chips (I like Lilly’s). Try my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and let me know if you find living an autoimmune free life is tasteless and joyless!
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Autoimmune Friendly Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 2 pastured eggs
- 2/3 cup almond butter
- 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
- 1 cup organic coconut palm sugar or Swerve brown sugar if your gut is ok with xylitol
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 5 cups almond flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup Lilly’s stevia sweetened dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a high powered blender or food processor blend together all of the ingredients except the chocolate
- Stir in the dark chocolate chips once you have removed the dough from your food processor or blender.
- If the dough is sticky chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. Roll the dough into balls and place evenly on the
cookie sheets. Slightly flatten to about ½ inch thickness.
- Bake 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to set up before transferring to wire racks to cool.
Dr. Keesha Ewers, PhD, ARNP is a Doctor of Sexology, Psychotherapist, is board certified in Functional medicine and holds an advanced certification in Ayurvedic medicine, and is the founder and medical director of the Academy for Integrative Medicine Health Coach Certification Program.
Dr. Keesha has been in the medical field for over 30 years. After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis—an incurable disease according to Western medicine—she discovered how to reverse autoimmunity using her Freedom Framework® Method, which she has now used with thousands of her own patients and teaches to her health coach students in her online certification program.
Dr. Keesha is a popular speaker, including at Harvard and from the TEDx stage, and the best-selling
author of Solving the Autoimmune Puzzle: The Woman’s Guide to Reclaiming Emotional Freedom and
Vibrant Health and Your Libido Story: A workbook for women who want to find, fix, and free their sexual
desire. You can listen to her Healthy YOU! Radio Show and find her programs at DrKeesha.com.