It’s MS Awareness Week. Once a year I let myself get preachy about MS. Congratulations, it is that time of year. Feel free to skip this section and scroll down to the recipe.
You may have noticed a change in the content of my blog; that’s because I recently decided to try a Paleo diet to help with my MS. I’ve noticed some pretty significant improvement so I’ll be keep the diet around.
Most people who know me also know that I have MS. It’s a pretty nasty disease- you can read about it here. MS is different for everyone. I was diagnosed about 6 years ago in my last semester of seminary. My presenting symptoms were vision problems; since then I have wrestled with fatigue, numbness, and weakness in my legs. I told you that it is a nasty little devil.
I’m very lucky that I am still able to do most of the things that I love to do and my disease has been relatively quiet. I’d gone about 4 years without an attack until it made itself known again this last December. I really struggled with this attack because I’d been off medication for some time to have another baby and I was still breastfeeding my daughter. It is hard to go into the doctor and hear that you must immediately stop feeding your child so that you can take high level steroids and try a new disease modifying therapy. But there it was. The good news is that since I’d become pregnant and had my daughter new drugs were available- PILLS! A normal person would not be that excited about taking pills everyday but when you have grown accustomed to giving yourself (nasty) injections every day; pills get you giddy. And so, 2015 started with a new regimen. I’ve spent years reading various things about diet and MS but you all know I’m a foodie and giving up my biggest hobby seemed too steep a hill to climb. Until now. I have a busy career, an amazing family, and if changing my diet could help with those things, by God, I’m going to do it. And so, here we are. Since mid-January I have removed gluten, dairy, and refined sugar from my diet. You’ll notice from my obsession with trying brownie recipes; I haven’t given up chocolate- merely made some adjustments.
Talking about my chocolate addiction is a great segue into the recipe today. I find keeping my diet is a whole lot easier when I know I have something on hand at home so I try to keep a container of brownies in the fridge and a bag of Costco’s chocolate covered super fruits in the pantry. If you decide to use a dry sugar (coconut, etc.) use 1 cup. I’ve made these with both coconut sugar and maple syrup and I just happen to prefer maple syrup but that’s just me. You could also double the recipe for an 8×8 pan but a loaf pan makes plenty for me. These are very rich so a little goes a long way. Not to mention they are kind of expensive.
Also, I’m lazy and I don’t like too many dishes so I make these in the blender. Because they are gluten free, you don’t have to worry about over-mixing. I wouldn’t recommend that method with a “normal” brownie recipe.
Paleo Brownies (Here’s the original)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ c. maple syrup
- 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted (to be honest, I just guess and sometimes it comes closer to ½ c.)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients in a bowl until smooth or throw them in a blender. Pour into a parchment lined 8×4 loaf pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.
Cool brownies and cut them into squares. I keep mine in the fridge.