So nice to see you here at the corner of Good & Good-for-You. This is where I like to share tips and tasty recipes in pursuit of gut health and autoimmune wellness. Please come in and make yourself at home. Let’s get to know each other…
WHAT’S IN MY NAME?
Ciao and welcome! My name is Tiziana, pronounced tee-tsia-nah. It’s an Italian name. I was born and raised in Puglia, the heel of the boot on Italy’s map. I grew up in a quintessentially Mediterranean kitchen with 2 hard-core cooking parents so passionate about food, they would actually argue and compete over “who made it better”. (Italians! 😃)
Yes and no. Even though by birth I’m 100% Italian, my life journey has also made me an American. Many moons ago I left Rome to move to New York City where I felt right at home for a long time. Until one day my husband and I had the opportunity to enjoy far better weather in Miami Beach. And I mean, faaaaaar better! We love it here.
FOOD BLOG BECAUSE…
Food is in my DNA. I can’t remember a time I didn’t cook or come up with recipes. I love tweaking Italian classics and experimenting with ethnic cuisines. For a while, I even owned a catering business on the side (I still have the company car’s vanity plate stuck to my fridge). As for the blogging part, I love writing almost as much as I love food. I’m the author of two Italian non-fiction books and have contributed various articles to newspapers and magazines over the years.
WHERE IS THE CORNER OF GOOD & GOOD-FOR-YOU?
It’s where Pleasure meets Pain. The pleasure of eating our favorite food and the necessary pain of having to make better choices because of health problems or weight issues. For one reason or another, many of us are dealing with all sorts of dietary restrictions. The struggle is real for us food lovers, and it’s easy to get lost without some direction.
Life is too short to eat bland food! Don’t you agree? If I’ve learned anything from elimination diets is that it’s hard to stick to better choices when those choices are tasteless and boring. It impacts our cravings, our mindset, and most importantly our chances to succeed and heal. Life at the corner of Good & Good-for-You is all about exploring better nutrition, delicious recipes, and vital information for a healthy life full of flavor.
PURSUIT OF GUT HEALTH
“All Disease Begins in The Gut”– Hippocrates
All disease begins in the gut. True… but so does health! That’s why my quest for wellness in this blog and in life is always focused on gut health and the balance within the microbiome that populates our gastrointestinal tract (for more on the subject, read this post ). I’ve always appreciated the power of nutrition; the role it plays in disease prevention and our body’s ability to heal itself. My mother is a Registered Nurse, so I developed health awareness at an early age. While at university in Rome, I also studied Nutrition Science and fell in love with it. A passion that I’m resuming now, as I’m becoming a Health Coach. But why now? You might ask. Because in recent years I’ve been diagnosed with 3 autoimmune diseases.
MY AUTOIMMUNE STORY
So, now I have 3 autoimmune diseases:
1) Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; 2) Psoriasis; 3) Vitiligo
As if that were not enough, a genetic test has revealed that there are some serious genome mutations I have inherited from both my parents. That explains why our family has an unusual number of members afflicted by an array of autoimmune diseases, some worse than others. To give you an idea:
- Mom has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, and myasthenia gravis
- Dad has psoriasis and Graves’ disease (they eventually removed his thyroid completely)
- My sister has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and at one point she was hospitalized with a severe case of brain vasculitis that resulted in the permanent loss of life as she knew it
- My aunt recently died of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. I can’t think of a worse autoimmune disease
If you have a similar family history or have been diagnosed with one of the many “mystery” autoimmune diseases out there, you know how it feels. It’s scary, confusing, and mentally exhausting. And that is on top of the physical discomfort, fatigue, chronic pain, and flare-ups. In brief, it’s pretty effin’ bleak.
IS THERE ANY HOPE?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES!
As I said, I have vitiligo (most of it on my face because destiny can be one spiteful b*tch sometimes. Read this post for more information). Just around the time it started blooming, so to speak, I also got a horrifying mystery rash all over my face and body. Hives as big as dessert plates, itchy as hell and looked even worse. I didn’t know it then, but that aesthetically challenging combination (I looked like one of the aliens on Men In Black) was my blessing in disguise that spurred me into action and turned things around. Today, it’s my canary in the coal mine. Both vitiligo and the hellish rash, which I keep under control with periodic cleanses and herbal remedies, are too visible to ignore. I can pretty much keep tabs on my overall gut health and autoimmune issues just by observing their status. And what’s the status today?
MY WAY TO RECOVERY
By now, you’ve probably guessed that I am determined to break the genetic curse I have inherited. I believe that the right food and nutrients are not just key, but the only real solution. And my journey does not stop in the kitchen. After following a cyclical strict elimination diet for 5-6 weeks at a time 3 years in a row now, I am realizing that supplements can make a huge difference in the quality of our daily lives, especially while aging with autoimmune diseases. And this year, for the first time since my Hashimoto diagnosis, my doctor lowered my thyroid medication.
MY HASHIMOTO IS IN REMISSION!
I can’t even tell you how good that feels. My doctor is baffled and had me test my blood twice just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. He claims that at my age it makes no sense. That is because conventional medicine does not believe in the mighty role of Nutrition and the miracles it can perform. But I’m here to share my journey with you, along with my real-life recipes. Not just AIP Paleo recipes, which are the ones I strictly follow during my elimination diet periods. But also the low-carb recipes that I usually make for my husband who flirts with dirty Keto, plus my friends’ favorite recipes, which I always make when I entertain because– Hello, guys! — I’m still Italian after all.