Thursday, November 21, 2013

Apricot Chicken (AIP, Paleo) + Reflections on Thrombocytopenia

Let's Eat!! If you don't like this recipe, well, I'm not sure we can be friends (unless you like chocolate, and wine, then it's probably ok).

Paleo Apricot Chicken

This is a recipe borrowed from my friend Beatrix. It's the one she sweated over to make AIP compliant when we ate together recently. I swear, it is delicious.


(makes 5 servings)

* 6 chicken breasts, skin off
* 3 tablespoons coconut oil
* 3 chopped onions
* 1 can coconut milk. I used AYAMS - net weight 270g
* 1 can of apricots in juice (this was 400g net)
* 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
* salt to taste
* fresh or dried herbs - I used a large handful of fresh thyme, savory and oregano, finely chopped


* Melt the coconut oil in a frypan and sear the chicken on both sides, sprinkle salt on each side.

* Transfer the chicken to an oven pan and put in the oven to cook at 180C. It is ready when cooked right through.

* In the same pan from which you just removed the chicken, sautee the onions until softened, then add the apricots (including juice), vinegar and herbs. You can add a little more salt if required.

* Let the apricot concoction simmer for 10 minutes, then turn down the heat to low and stir in the coconut milk.

* Return the chicken breasts to the frypan and swoosh them around until they are covered with the sauce.

* Serve.

Just for you, I did crunch the stats. This is per breast, with about 1/5 of the sauce.

Musing... I was reflecting today on the way that positive things so often emerge from what seem like negative situations or conditions. 

Obviously, at the moment I'm reflecting on my immune thrombocytopenia, reading my way through a pile of research and becoming immersed in the process of discovery. Like other autoimmune problems, the studies can't agree on the causes, but there is an 'shrugged consensus' that there is 'probably' genetic susceptibility + something that starts the process (e.g. a viral infection) + an ongoing environmental trigger. The last point is hotly debated. However, conditions like celiac disease support the 'trigger' theory - removing gluten and related proteins usually results in celiac disease remission.  There may be environmental triggers for other autoimmune conditions, but discovering them is time-consuming and not attractive research (no big drug money to be made).

"Environmental" could be anything, including, but not limited to foods.  Kek suggested that I might be triggered by housework and I've really taken that on board.  No more housework; it's almost certainly bad for me.  If that works, instant scientific renoun. ;)

Come to think of it, have truer words ever been spoken?

Sorry, where was I? Thrombocytopenia.

In terms of treatments that work, there are steroid drugs, which I hope to never need, and surgery (spleen removal), which seems pretty damn radical, and doesn't always work. There are a few random studies (mostly case studies, although there are a few mouse studies) suggesting that Chinese or Ayurvedic herbs and/or high-dose vitamin D may help - I'll be trying these.  I'm very grateful to Seth Roberts (PhD, author of the Shangri-La Diet), who posted my plea for help on his blog. The information I've received from his readers has saved me months of research and given me a much needed boost of confidence. 

My plan is to intelligently try those research-based ideas in an organised manner until something works, or I feel I've exhausted all options.  It's not in my nature to sit back and accept that nothing can be done, and in any case, it really is about the journey, isn't it?  When I think of some things I have deliberately 'lost': eating disorders, excess weight, arthritis, acne, what I feel most is a sense of gain through the process: knowledge, friends, confidence, skills, understanding and many adventures. And that's just the health related stuff.  I think the principle stands for other challenging life experiences too.

I think that's enough philosophising for a Thursday.  Let's make that apricot chicken recipe and get some eating underway!


  1. Definitely the housework. Stop it immediately. :)

    I'm right there with you with the "try everything before nasty medication or drastic surgery" approach to rectifying health problems. Let's hope herbs and vitamins and staying away from the vacuum cleaner sort you out quick-smart.

  2. Ha Ha. Housework. I have a slight allergy to dust there's an excuse. Must check out that helpful site, the Shangri-La diet for tips on autoimmune thyroiditis. All the best for your quest and looking forward to seeing how it all works out for you.

  3. This recipe looks delicious AND it fits the paleo autoimmune protocol (a rare thing). So, thank you! I recently started a weekly Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable through my blog, and I would love it if you linked up this recipe. I’m trying to expand resources for the AIP community. Here’s the link:


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