I am Indira Shyju and I currently live in Connecticut, USA with my loving husband and two wonderful kids. I am a pharmacist and worked as a health economist/researcher for 15 plus years. In January 2017 I decided to quit my stressful job and follow a healthy and stress free lifestyle in order to manage my RA. I just recently became certified as a Nutrition Therapy Consultant (NTC) (Nov 2018) by the Nutritional Training Academy (NTA), Washington, US.
I started this blog in 2014 to document traditional Kerala recipes that are mainly recipes that I have learnt from my amma. Kerala is a beautiful coastal state in southern India (If you have never been there, you should add it to your ‘Top 10 places to visit before you die’ list! :). The cuisine of Kerala is very different from the rest of Indian cuisine because of its great use of coconut and seafood. Most of keralan recipes also use less oil and mainly use coconut oil. My amma is no more physically with us and this blog was a way for me to keep her and her recipes alive always. My husband and I also love to experiment with a lot of other cuisines too, so you can see all kinds of foods in our kitchen. My blog has really continued to evolve since I first started blogging in 2014. Of late I really strive to use natural and healthful ingredients as far as possible.
I was diagnosed with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in the summer of 2015 with the disease affecting my hands, shoulders and knees. All of a sudden I went from active, ‘super’ mom to someone who needed help with even the littlest of things! Read more of my struggle with RA in this story that was published on the Autoimmune wellness website. I am currently taking immunosuppressant medications to control my symptoms but I am also actively following dietary and lifestyle changes to help control the disease. Being a pharmacist I am well aware of the side effects of the RA medications and so I would like to control my disease by eliminating all inflammatory foods, eating anti-inflammatory foods and through lifestyle changes like yoga and exercise. Although this disease has made everything harder for me, I continue to cook, bake and blog with the help of my supportive husband and children. I hope to motivate all other RA patients who have similar interests in cooking and baking as me to ‘remain positive and keep at it’. My deep faith in God has allowed me to overcome a lot of my physical challenges and I continue to move forward with my healing.
I have been also following a Paleo diet, specifically the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) that has been developed by some experts who used this diet to reverse or control their autoimmune diseases. A Paleo diet is a ‘nutrient dense’, grain free diet that focuses on fresh vegetables, fruits and good quality meats like wild caught fish and grass fed beef and chicken. Additionally, an AIP diet tries to eliminate further some of the other potential inflammatory foods from our diets which include nuts, nightshades, spices and eggs for a period of time after which we can try to re-introduce these one at a time to see if it is inflammatory to our body. So to summarize, the Paleo Autoimmune diet eliminates the following from your diet: all processed foods, including refined sugar and flour, dairy, gluten, nightshades (tomato, peppers, eggplant and potato), nuts AND all grains
I currently follow the AIP diet with some reintros like spices and potatoes occasionally. Interestingly for me the Paleo diet was one where I finally began to feel at home! Paleo promotes use of coconut and coconut oil as well as root vegetables like cassava (tapioca), yams and taro root etc and those being so intrinsic to Kerala and Kerala cuisine, I feel quite at home with it! There are so many Kerala recipes that I can adapt to embrace my new Paleo lifestyle!
I cook paleo and AIP for myself but I also cook regular healthy meals for my family. however, I strive to always cook and bake clean and healthy recipes. By clean I mean avoiding the use of all processed foods like white sugar, white flour, vegetable oils and all other ingredients that contain preservatives or dyes. I also try to limit the use of sugars and dairy in general, but having young kids at home means to allow for some occasional indulgences 🙂
Below are some useful websites and resources for Paleo and AIP that will give you detailed information including the science behind it as well as recipes and tips if you would like to follow this diet:
DISCLOSURE: The recipe posts on my blog may contain one or more affiliate links. Sometimes when you click a product link on this blog , it’s an affiliate link. This means that if you decide to buy it, I get a small commission. Your price stays the same, but your purchase helps to support this blog at the same time.
The contents of this website belong to me(Indira Pulliadath). You’re welcome to mention my recipe posts elsewhere as long as you link back to this website and include my name and the name of my blog (Indu’s International Kitchen). Please don’t copy entire posts/articles or reblog entire posts without linking to my site. THANK YOU!