Hi, it’s me and a gazillion letters of text!
You may have noticed that I’ve been making a lot more gluten-free recipes over the past couple of weeks and I thought I would talk about why I’ve been doing this.
It’s sort of a long story!
Luckily, I’m jacked up on caffeine right now.
I’ve been experiencing some strange health symptoms over the past 4-6 weeks. For example, I’ve had bad stomach bloating to the point where I look 6 months pregnant (I’m not). I’ve always had bloating on and off all my life, but this is much worse than the normal bloating I’ve experienced in the past. I’m also experiencing bad stomach pains in my abdomen area, round-the-clock lower back pain, fatigue, and pressure in my pelvic area, among other things. The pain in my abdomen and lower pelvic area gets much worse after eating and I often feel really full after eating a normal-sized meal. Lately, I’ve been waking up with mild stomach pain too.
Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (which I’ve mentioned on the blog a while back) and for most of my life I’ve struggled with stomach pain, headaches, and GI discomfort on and off. My stomach is very sensitive to certain foods like dairy, nuts, soy, and beans. I never really know how it is going to react. Sometimes a handful of raw almonds can set it off with pains, while other times it’s fine. IBS is also strongly associated with our emotions, so it’s not surprising that my anxiety manifests itself through my stomach and digestive system.
Since I’m divulging my life story, another thing I’ve struggled with health-wise is my reproductive system. Specifically, my ovaries.
In 2009, a pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound revealed that I have multiple cysts on my ovaries as well as an enlarged (they called it ‘bulky’) right ovary. In addition to my regular yearly pap test and physical, I also go for a yearly ultrasound to monitor the cysts and make sure that they aren’t getting larger. Keepin’ an eye on things. Basically, I’m on watch for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
I had another ultrasound in March 2011 and it revealed that my right ovary decreased in size from 17.7 ml to 10 ml. My left ovary is also smaller in size. Apparently, this is encouraging news, but I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t really received a proper explanation. I’m thinking about asking for a referral to a specialist soon.
Fast forward to the symptoms I’m experiencing today. They could be the result of a mild or more severe illness, like most symptoms. And trust me when I say that I’ve Googled them all! I think Google has told me I’m going to die of a horrible illness about 654 times during my life, so I’m trying not to self-diagnose or draw any conclusions until I have the proper tests done. It could be something as minor as an ulcer or as major as Ovarian cancer. That’s why I always say it’s important to listen to your body and be your own health advocate if you think something is abnormal for you.
This brings me to tomorrow, my next ultrasound appointment. I pretty much had to beg my doctor for this ultrasound since my last one was only 6 months ago, but I’d rather ruffle a few feathers than to have a health issue go undetected for months. Bring on the 5 large glasses of water and bladder-bursting hour wait time!
The results of my ultrasound will determine my doctor’s next steps. I had blood work done in May which all came back normal, but I will probably have to get my blood checked again.
So, this brings me to the gluten-free recipes.
My doctor suggested that I try eating gluten-free for a while to see if I have any relief in my symptoms. I really do not think it’s gluten causing the issues, but I’m willing to try anything at this point. I’m also going to see a naturopath on Tuesday for a general consultation and food-sensitivity testing the following week. I’ve heard from many people who have had great relief from their digestive issues when seeing a naturopath, so I figure it’s worth trying out.
At this point, I just want to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible, but in all likelihood, it could take a while to figure out. I will try to post an update or two on the blog as I get more information.
PIZZA makes everything better.
Gluten-Free Almond & Buckwheat Flour Pizza with Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto
A thin, crispy, flatbread-like crust filled with a nutty and lightly sweet flavour that will keep you coming back for more and more. Top it with Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto, some fresh herbs, Daiya cheese, and roasted tomatoes for a pizza that will be gone before you know it.
Yield: 3-4 servings
Inspired by Roost.
- 1.5 cups almond meal (155 grams)*, made from ground raw almonds
- 1.5 cups raw buckwheat flour (205 grams)*, made from ground raw buckwheat groats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (I used oregano, thyme, parsley)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water, mixed)
- 2-3 tbsp water, as needed
- 2 cloves roasted garlic, optional
Notes: I ground raw almonds in my blender to make the almond meal. You can also use a food processor. To make the buckwheat flour, I ground raw buckwheat groats in my blender. I strongly prefer the taste of freshly ground buckwheat flour to the store-bought kasha flour.
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flax eggs and set aside for 5 mins. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix well with hands until you can form a ball.
3. Place ball of dough on a non-stick mat or on parchment paper. Place another mat or more parchment paper over top. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is as thin as you can get it. Transfer to baking sheet (dough may rip a bit and that is ok). Gently patch rips of dough with fingers and spread on a couple cloves of roasted garlic (optional). I left the crust looking very rustic, so don’t worry it’s not supposed to look perfect!
4. Bake in the oven at 350F for 15-17 minutes until golden along the edges. Remove to cool slightly. Set oven to broil on medium heat setting.
- Pre-baked crust (above)
- 1.5 cups Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto
- Daiya cheese, as much as you want
- 1/4 cup fresh finely chopped herbs
- 3-4 leftover roasted tomatoes
1. Spread the pesto onto pre-baked crust. Sprinkle on cheese, fresh herbs, and chopped roasted tomatoes.
2. Broil for 2-3 minutes over medium heat (3), watching very closely so you don’t burn it. Slice and serve immediately. I served this with a big salad to round out the meal.
This crust turned out much better than I expected. The dough tasted amazing!
I spread on a couple cloves of leftover roasted garlic before baking.
After pre-baking, I spread on the mouth-watering pesto.
Followed by Daiya cheese, chopped roasted tomatoes, and fresh herbs.
Then I broiled it for 3 minutes over medium heat.
Crispy, ultra-thin, packed with nutrients, and oh so good.
This pizza did not last long!
If you are a thin-crust fan, you will love this pizza.
The crust is one of the most flavourful crusts I have tasted and the toppings went really well with it, but of course you can top it with whatever you see fit.
p.s.- See my new Fall header image? Hold down Control + F5 to refresh the page if you can’t see it.
p.p.s.- I have an exciting mushroom challenge & recipe post coming up Monday! If you love pesto, you will go crazy for this recipe.
We’re off for a day of hiking on this gorgeous Fall day…have a good one!
you should look into macrobiotics– life changing!
(i had very similar issues a few years ago, and macrobiotics seriously turned my health and my life around)
I’ve been a reader for years but never comment because I’m lazy and time pressed! I love your recipes although I personally haven’t been able to make most of them due to my own food intolerences. I too have had issues with PCOS since the age of 17, all the while experimenting with every diet and cleanse in the book! Fasting is a great way to eliminate anything weird that’s been hanging out in your body, but it is advised to work up to it by eating a super clean diet. A while back I ordered an online ebook from overiancystnomore.com. It was basically a recipe book to prevent cysts from forming in the first place by eating foods that don’t interfere with hormones. Since I’ve also been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease I thought it would be an ideal way to eat for both issues. It’s a mostly raw and gluten free diet that includes little bits of fish and poultry. ALSO, paleo diets can be great for these issues, but I think a lot of people over emphasize the need for meat. The true wonder is the elimination of grains so filling up on veggies and fruit is the most important tenet of the diet. I know you’re vegan so you might find more relief in a diet such as that of kimberlysnyder.net, or Natalia Rose. Both are well known raw foodists who are also vegan, but know how to do it right so they don’t cause a lot of the health issues people bring on themselves by over consuming nuts and fats. They also promote eating a little cooked veggies. I find them both to be the most influential health gurus out there because they walk their talk and the results show! Another more extreme vegan diet is 80/10/10 which is basically 80% fruit 10% greens, and 10% fats. A lot of people find it to be the most miraculous diet out there while others (like myself) find following it 100% to be a challenge (with benefits!). I hope some of these resources help!
Thank you Amy! I will check out those sources :)
Have you considered tracking your fibre intake? You could be getting too much. This was the source of many GI problems for my husband and I and we aren’t even vegetarians. I would imagine when you eat a really healthy, vegan diet it may be quite easy to overdo the fibre. Too much can cause a variety of gastro issues and can inhibit nutrient absorption. Switching from snacking almost exclusively on fruits and veggies to things like almonds, yogurt and cheese has helped me a lot, even though I still eat tons of fruits and veggies, legumes and whole grains at meal times. I know you don’t eat dairy, but maybe you could find other ways to cut back on fibre a wee bit that may help you.
hi there! i’ve dealt with cysts a few times and have had a few rupture, which is pretty bad. i’ve also been dealing with a hateful gallbladder lately and my symptoms sound a lot like yours. an ultrasound did NOT show stones and a more advanced scan showed that my gallbladder only works at 50%. i’m vegetarian and eat vegan most of the time, but i still have the problem — it has nothing to do with fat intake. you may want to have yours tested to see what it’s function level is.
I also wanted to share this video that I just happened to watch today on Natashas reversal of PCOS.. amazing stuff. What synchronicity! http://youtu.be/vEpbrjksxFU
Hi Angela, I have also been going gluten free due to bloating, etc. I thought I would do a 30 day experiment to just see how I feel and I do feel better. I didn’t have severe symptoms, but annoyances. One thing I learned is that the standard gluten tests that exist now only test two components of gluten, but there are many more. I have attached a link that has some really good info. There is a paleo-diet influence, but I find this blog to be very informative.
Thanks for all the great recipes – I really enjoy your blog.
Thanks Laura, I will check this out!
LaURA-thanks for the great link to this fabulous article! very helpful and I think so true. It excourages me to really crack down on sugar and GF grains-thanks again!
I have all of these issues too. I do have celiac, and can’t eat gluten, soy, corn, or dairy. My problems came back after knee surgery in April. I believe I have Leaky Gut Syndrome. Look it up and it describes your symptoms. The world’s leading researcher for celiac, Dr. Fasano, believes it is real, although it is not mainstream yet. I am seeing my GI doc at the end of the month to discuss. It is a great thing you are getting another ultrasound as the symtpoms also mimic ovarian cancer, as you know. Follow your heart and gut to find out what is going on. I am so loving your blog and can’t wait to make many of these fabulous recipes. I love reading and looking at the pictures. Thanks for having it and good luck with your GI issues!
I have been a rather longtime reader of your blog and love making your recipes which have all turned out really delicious.
Anyway, I just wanted to say all the best and hope you get your medical issues sorted soon. I had a giant cell tumour growing in my foot bone for 3 months + in 2006 and it took a lot of x-rays/bone scans/MRI before the orthopaedist finally figured out what was wrong with me and scheduled me for surgery. So I empathize with the waiting and the not knowing. That’s the bit that’s really annoying.. At least if you know something, you can try to do something about it!
I have just recently discovered your blog and love what I see so far! You have had SO many responses that I havent been able to read them all so if I am repeating something you have read many times than im sorry! But I feel you pain I really do! I have suffered from IBS my whole life and always thought that my CONSTANT symptoms (despite a healthy diet) was just the IBS but after extensive testing a a few trips to hospital I found out I have Fructose Malabsorption! I have found that both my IBS and my fructose has effected my liver function and my ovaries/uterus due to constant swelling of my bowels. In fact last week I went to hospital as a large cyst had twisted my ovary and than ruptured! So I have my fingers crossed for you that it is nothing serious and if your doctors cannot give you an answer I suggest having your Fructose tolerance tested!!! It is all connected.. Once I addressed this things finally started to improve!
All the best!
Thank you Nicole, Im actually going to a new doctor today in hopes to get more answers. Thanks for sharing your story!
This looks so yummy! I tried the other pizza recipe on here and it was SO good, can’t wait to try this! Is there any kind of flour to replace the buckwheat and almond meal ? My mum’s allergic to almonds and I can’t seem to find buckwheat anywhere! Thanks, hope you are feeling better! :)
I have seriously struggled with almost all the same issues as you. I saw a chinese herbalist in Chinatown in Chicago and for 8 months. He got rid of all of my issues and I no longer take any herbs, five years later. I eat gluten now all the time and do not experience any symptoms. He has gotten rid of ovarian cysts with the herbs. He is also a doctor and a nutritionist. Not to mention he is a 6th generation herbalist. The site is www.liferising.com and his name is Zhengang Guo. I highly recommend him and have sent a lot of friends an family to him with great results. He also has other herbalists all Over the country working with his herbal formulations do if you aren’t near Chicago. Good luck!!
Thank you for the referral!
thanks for recipes.
Here is some info re IBS that may interest you.
Ignore his politics/belief in a supernatural being/and pro meat stance – and he is pretty good when it comes to just talking about health.
ooopss! Forgot the link, here it is: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/05/09/Natural-Remedies-for-Irritable-Bowel-Syndrome.aspx
Made this for lunch. LOVE the crust. Really tasty. I topped the pizza with sundried tomatoes, green peppers and black olives and made a roasted red pepper tomato sauce for the base. I used the jalapeno garlic Daiya cheese, that was the only disappointment. I keep wanting to like Daiya, but it repeatedly disappoints. I’ve tried the cheddar, mozzarella and the jalapeno garlic havarti style wedge which is definitely the best, bust still not that good. Is there a better alternative out there? I think I may go back to just sprinkling nutritional yeast on my pizza again, the Daiya is weird, haha. Have you ever tried using a nut cheeze on your pizzas?
I don’t know why I do a Search for stuff, when I always end up with the tastiest version at your blog post. Love this Crust ( Topped with my favorites) Best and easiest Version I have come across to date. Thanks so much
Aw thank you, so glad you enjoyed it!
These are amazing. I loved them! I haven’t had a pizza in ages since I’ve cut back on processed foods, but this pizza base is a hundred times better then any other. You can feel the yummy, healthy goodness with every bite!
I’ve experienced similar issues. I’ve had severe allergies to just about everything, which creates a lot of gastrointestinal issues. I’ve also had issues with ovarian cyst: I had a 4.4 pound cyst removed in December when it collapsed on top of my ovary, cutting off circulation to the cyst and the ovary. But I believe I have found the nearest thing to a cure for all of my many issues (these are just two) in the form of a juicing detox. By juice fasting, I have had a tremendous reduction in inflammation, weight, and female issues. I also feel like this is going to heal my intestinal issues, although I do expect that to be a slow process. This video kicked me off, although they don’t really recommend fasting as much as I am doing. But I don’t think many people are in as dire a need of detox as I am, either. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGyf27CocxM
This is the best pizza dough in all creation. I was trying to replicate the Amy’s frozen roasted veggie pizza and this was *perfect* as the base.
Is the olive oil essential for the crust to work, or is it just for flavour? I tend to be quite determined to avoid oils as much as possible (I’d rather get my fat in avocados, seeds and nuts), but I don’t want my stubbornness to ruin what would be a delicious pizza, hehe.
This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing! Great photography too!
Thanks for this great post! Fantastic use of photography! I love all your HD shots!
Hello Angela…Ive just recently been introduced to your blog and I love your recipes^^
I wanted to share something with you for IBS… I can emphasize with the discomfort pain and bloating. I was also diagnosed with ibs over 7 years ago. But i found a miracle mineral that has helped so much. I take magnesium oxide everyday and it has changed my life. I rarely get bloated and i can eat almost twice as much as i could before.
I have made this twice it is my new go-to pizza base recipe!! SO DELICIOUS
I’m sorry to hear of your physical ailments. I used to suffer from just about all of the above you mentioned- until I started doing parasite cleansing and taking probiotics. I hope it is nothing too serious! Keep us posted!
For the recipe: I used spelt flour instead of almond flour because almond flour is harder to digest for me. It came out AMAZING. BEST vegan pizza I’ve had so far. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!
I’ve been searching for a good vegan pizza crust and I’ve found it! The crust stayed crispy til the end and has a very good flavor. Very fast and easy to make!
Thank you for sharing! I also have PCOS and IBS (potential IBD) and limit my gluten and soy intake because I feel that it helps me dramatically.
I’ve been looking for a new pizza crust to test out. This looks like it is definitely worth a try.
Hi. I just read your post. I was diagnosed with Celiac disease 3years ago after being told for over a decade that I had IBS. I had to continue eating gluten until after the testing otherwise the test would not be accurate. What a difference in the way I feel now. No gluten for 3years and I feel great. Hope you’re feeling better.
Hi there. I understand completely what you’re going through. I have been there as well as my daughter who also has UBS. Her two children have many food sensitivities and almonds being one.
Do you think I could replace the almond flour /meal with sorghum flour?
Hey Heather! I haven’t tried any swaps for almond meal yet so I’m not positive. I would think if trying sorghum that you’d need to use less to achieve the same consistency. I’d love to hear how it goes!