Potato + smoky chickpea bowls
It’s March. Which also happens to be endometriosis awareness month. Which means today we are talking about - you guessed it - endometriosis. If you’re scratching your head wondering what the hell is endometriosis? It’s a condition where tissue that grows inside the uterus also grows outside the uterus, causing symptoms like extreme pain, bloating, fatigue, excessive bleeding, etc. Endometriosis affects one in 10 women and can take years to diagnose. And since I’m one of those women (who got a diagnosis relatively early on), I want to chat about it today.
Let’s dive in.
In 2006 I had a laparotomy to remove a large tumor from my left ovary. Then a few years later I had another surgery to remove my left ovary, and that’s when the endometrial growths were discovered. At the time, I didn’t really give it much thought because I was asymptomatic, but then I turned 28 and BAM! my body turned on me. Suddenly my lower abdomen was perpetually bloated. I was extremely fatigued. My lower back ached like crazy. And, the worst part (in my opinion), the first two days of my cycle caused pain so excruciating it would make me puke (and still - on occasion.. like when I don’t properly manage my symptoms - makes me puke).
Shortly after my body decided to be symptomatic, I met my pal Jessica Murnane (funny how that worked out). Jess is a fellow endo sufferer and founder of Know Your Endo (though you probably know her from One Part Plant). Anyway, Jess enlightened me on all things endometriosis and armed me with the tools I currently use to manage my symptoms the natural way. At first it was solely through diet and exercise - and I felt a considerable amount of relief - but then I added supplements like magnesium, turmeric, and cannabis (both hemp and marijuana) and, within a few months, I was living that symptom-free life.
But then, last spring, I developed a pretty gnarly stomach bleed. I’ll talk about my treatment more in depth at some point (maybe next week?) but shortly after I started treatment for the holes in my stomach, all my endometriosis symptoms came back and rendered my natural tools useless (long story short, I was on a combination of meds that made it difficult for my body to absorb nutrients). In late February, I came off my hardcore ulcer meds and have started re-implementing everything Jess taught me. And the only symptom I have left? A super dull and totally manageable ache in my lower back. Which, after nine months of living with all my symptoms, feels like sweet relief.
It goes without saying: Jess’ advice literally changed my quality of life. And, lucky for those of us who are plagued with wonky endometrial growths, she’s taken everything she knows about managing endometriosis and has poured it into the Know Your Endo course - which helps women with endometriosis learn how to manage their symptoms the natural way.
So how am I managing my symptoms? By eating a nutrient-dense diet, staying hydrated (this one is a struggle for me), and weight lifting. Also: daily magnesium, turmeric, and hemp supplements (I noticed a huge shift when I started consistently using targeted doses of CBD to manage my symptoms) have helped a ton - not only with the daily symptoms, but with the symptoms that develop during the first week of my cycle. When all else fails and I’m hit with cramps that knock me on my ass, I take a painkiller.
Yes, a painkiller. I debated whether I would share this morsel of information but I think it’s important because so many people - especially in the natural remedies circle - act like pharmaceuticals are evil. My treatment plan is 99% natural and I’m really proud of that, but for moments when the pain becomes unbearable (for reference, this pain is a level 8-9 and can last upwards of 48 hours), I need something a little stronger than cannabis; something that can completely zap the pain within 20 or 30 minutes, not something that dulls it a little (CBD) or makes me so high I can’t walk down our stairs (THC). I want to stress that there is absolutely no shame in having pharmaceuticals in your toolkit. For a long time I avoided painkillers because I didn’t think they were compatible with my lifestyle, but you know what definitely isn’t compatible with my lifestyle? Spending two days laid up in bed with pain so bad it makes me puke. And then spending two more days in bed recovering from the pain my body had to endure for 48 hours straight.
My treatment plan isn’t perfect (and I slip up more often than I should), but it’s allowed me to live a mostly normal life. And I think that’s pretty fucking awesome. <3
Know Your Endo enrollment ends 24 March (that’s tomorrow!) at 8PM EDT. Use code OPP for 15% off. If you have any questions, you can reach out to Jess directly. She’ll be able to help you figure out if the course is right for you.
Notes: This bowl is a riff on the potato breakfast bowl from the OPP cookbook. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s made on a sheet pan. if you’d prefer to make it in a skillet, follow the instructions in the OPP cookbook. If chickpeas aren’t your thing, use your favorite bean. I used yukon gold potatoes but you can use russet, red, or whatever your belly desires. If you want to give this a little more oomph, add scrambled eggs, tofu, sausage, etc. This dish is great reheated, just throw it on a sheet pan and into the oven to warm things up.
POTATO + SMOKY CHICKPEA BOWLS
1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Sea salt flakes
2-3 yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1” chunks
1/2 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 tablespoon minced garlic)
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
You’ll also need
Favorite condiments (chile crunch, hot sauce, etc.)
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a small mixing bowl, toss together the chickpeas, 1 tablespoon avocado oil, smoked paprika, and a heavy pinch of salt. Set aside to let the beans marinade for a bit. In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and remaining oil (2 tablespoons); toss to combine. Dump the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle generously with sea salt flakes. Bake at 425˚F for 30 minutes then remove from heat, toss, and add the chickpeas. Bake for 10-15 more minutes, just until the potatoes and chickpeas are golden. Remove from heat and add the spinach, toss to combine. Serve immediately. Preferably with some mixed greens (on the bottom), avocado, chile crunch, hot sauce, etc.
Yield: 2-3 bowls