Mushroom quinoa pilau

I recently reintroduced mushrooms after removing them for SIBO treatment and am so happy to have them back in my life! They have such an amazing flavour all of their own and are good sources of B vitamins, chromium and selenium and offer modest amounts of protein. I’ve used oyster, wood ear and shiitake mushrooms in this recipe, if you’re on a low FODMAP diet swap the shiitake for shimeji mushrooms, or just omit the shiitake mushrooms.

Quinoa is a seed that I love as an alternative to rice and other grains – it’s gluten free, a complete source of all amino acids (protein), it’s also rich in fibre, B vitamins, manganese, magnesium and other trace minerals. Quinoa doesn’t have a great flavour on it’s own, so it’s important to rinse it thoroughly before cooking and I also cook it in a broth or stock. I’ve used an amazing mushroom broth in this recipe by Nutra Organics. You don’t have to use this brand for the broth, but I’d highly recommend it for the flavour and the health benefits.

I’ve used goats cheese, but it’s also lovely with a fried egg on top. You could always replace the goats cheese with a vegan cheese (a nut based cheese) to make this vegan.Mushroom and quinoa pilaf 2

Serves 3-4

You’ll need:

  • 150g mushrooms sliced (I used oyster, wood ear and shiitake)
  • 1 cup quinoa washed
  • 4 teaspoons of Nutra Organics Immune Wellbeing vegetable broth combined with 2 cups of boiling water to make a broth / stock
  • 2 zucchinis chopped
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 1/2 cup of goats feta to crumble on top OR a fried egg placed on each serve
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tbsp light olive oil

Method:

Place quinoa and broth in a saucepan, bring to the boil then turn down heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a larger saucepan / frypan add the olive oil on a medium heat, add the zucchini, salt and pepper and saute for about 3 minutes, add the mushrooms and cook for 30 seconds, add the spring onion cook for a further 30 seconds, then add the quinoa and combine all ingredients, stirring for a further minute. Serve in bowls and top with crumbled feta or an egg.

Yours in health,

Meredith x

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Protein pancakes

High protein, low carb and oh so easy to whip together – this pancake recipe has only 4 ingredients that just need to combine and pour into the pan.

Low carb, high protein pancakesMost of us seem to wait until the weekend for pancakes – but this recipe is so quick to make I’ve incorporated it into my mid-week routine as well.

I think this recipe is great post-workout, but it’s also good if you’re struggling with digestive issues such as SIBO and if carbohydrates give you symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea or constipation. Low carb, high protein pancakes

I’ve used black-strap molasses, if you’ve never tried it I’d recommend it as it’s rich in iron, magnesium and calcium, but a warning the taste is strong! Try small amounts to start.

Serves 1

Pancake ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp protein powder (I used hemp)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp of plant based milk

Topping suggestions:

  • Coconut yoghurt
  • Berries
  • 1 tsp of seeds (I used a combo of chia and sunflower seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp black-strap molasses
  • 1 tsp rice malt syrup

Method:

Add the eggs to a bowl, whisk gently, then add the remaining ingredients, combine and whisk until mixture is smooth.

Heat a fry pan with a teaspoon of oil (such as coconut or olive oil). Pour the mixture in, cover the pan and in a few minutes, when the pancake appears to be ready (the edges should be cooked), flip the pancake. When cooked, slide the pancake onto a plate and add your toppings.

Yours in health,

Meredith x

Travelling with IBS and food intolerances

This week’s blog update is coming from guest blogger Angi, who travels extensively, while still managing to look after her gut, by finding eateries that are food intolerant friendly.

Do you love travelling? If yes, you’re the same as me. My name is Angi and I’ve been wandering the world for over a year – with my gut issues always by my side.
I have IBS-C and many food intolerances (lactose, fructose, wheat, onion and garlic, just to name a few). And even though this obviously sometimes gives me a hard time, it’s been the best year of my life!Angi The Intolerant Wanderer
Travelling has always played a huge role in my life. It’s my passion and I said to myself that I won’t let anything stop me from doing it. Was it difficult at times? Yes! And overwhelming? Absolutely! Especially at first. But with a little preparation and calmness everything is doable. Also it gets easier with time. And along the way I learnt a lot about myself and how I deal with different situations. It’s definitely been a journey in every aspect – for my body as well as for my mind. If you want to read some more tips on how to travel with food intolerances, check out the article I wrote for intolerant.me.

intolerant.me is a platform I created together with my partner Pam while travelling. Our main goal with it is to make life a bit easier for people with food intolerances and allergies. There is a lot of information out there scattered around. That’s why we try and channel some of it on our Instagram profile by sharing worldwide recommendations for restaurants, products and recipes – all food intolerance and allergies related. Currently most of the action happens on Instagram. But we’ve already organised some events and have many more ideas what to do next.

Besides this, I have my personal Instagram profile the intolerant wanderer on which I talk about personal stuff, my travels and how I deal with my intolerances. It has helped me a great deal to openly speak about my gut issues and interact with others who go through the same. It’s people like Meredith who give me so much and keep me going. Thanks! Also for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself here.

About Angi:

Angi is originally from Switzerland but feels home wherever she is in the world. As the intolerant wanderer she portraits her journey. With that she wants to help others and show that it’s still possible to travel and enjoy a location independent life, even if you have food intolerances. Together with her partner Pam, she also created intolerant.me which is a platform for people with food intolerances and allergies. It’s supposed to be a place for inspiration, information and interaction – and to make life a bit easier.

 

SIBO diet kitchen essentials

Having your kitchen stocked with the right ingredients is going to help set you up for SIBO treatment success. It’s not just about what to have in the kitchen, it’s what not to have; if you’re anything like me if there’s chips or chocolate readily available, I am very, very tempted, especially if I know it’s restricted, so keeping these things out of your house while you’re going through treatment is going to save you a lot of heartache.

SIBO friendly salad and kitchen essentialsLet’s go through the staples that are going to set you up for success:

Eggs

Unless you’re intolerant, eggs are your best friend; fry, scramble or boil them, make a frittata or Spanish omelette, shakshuka (eggs cooked in tomato, spices and veggies), pancakes or add them to a stir fry. These nutrient dense little powerhouses will keep you going.

Protein powder

Find a protein powder that works for you, it’s important to try and find plant based sources of protein and fats as the SIBO diet can be very animal protein heavy which isn’t great for your body. I like Sacha Inchi protein powder personally. Adding a quality protein powder to a smoothie will help make it into a meal.

Salad ingredients

Crunchy fresh salads are usually avoided during herbal treatment, this is because we don’t want to give our gut microbes food to ferment. Sometimes though you just feel like a salad, especially if the weather is warm so I suggest keeping the fridge stocked with ingredients like fresh herbs, capsicum, cucumber, celery, cabbage and lettuce.

Coconut aminos

During my treatment coconut aminos were a saviour! Such a great substitute for soy sauce and so much better for you.

Garlic infused extra virgin olive oil

Another saviour if you miss garlic in your food, just don’t heat extra virgin olive oil because you’ll lose the health benefits.

Ghee and coconut oil

Ghee and coconut oil are my two top oils for cooking as they have a high smoke point.

Mustard

Get it from your health food store and read the label to make sure there’s no onion or garlic. Mustard such as Dijon can be added to extra virgin olive oil and lemon to make a salad dressing, or can be a great accompaniment to a steak.

Bone broth

Try to keep some in the fridge so you can have some as a drink but so you can make wonderful nutrient dense soups to heal your gut.

Tinned wild Alaskan salmon or sardines

Add them to a salad or maybe mash the sardines on some SIBO friendly toast. These will be a source of calcium on a dairy free diet.

Nutritional yeast

This one may be controversial being yeast, but it’s a form of yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii which has been shown to have health benefits for IBS. However, if unsure ask your health practitioner. I love it because it adds a cheesy flavour to food.

I hope this list helps you navigate your SIBO / IBS diet journey. It’s not exhaustive by all means, so if you have any pantry essentials you love – leave a comment below.

Health and healing,

Meredith

 

How mindfulness can help with endometriosis

Mindfulness seems to be a phrase mentioned a lot these days and it’s no wonder, because it can offer real benefits to our health. There are now studies that show the various health benefits of practising mindfulness meditation, including for people who are experiencing chronic pain, which is definitely a positive for those of us tackling endo.

What is mindfulness exactly? It stems from the practise of meditation but has been given a modern name. It simply means being more present, being aware of what’s happening right now. Mindfulness meditation has been shown in studies to improve chronic pain; it’s been shown to create a sense of well being, which comes from the acceptance of pain and a reduction in anxiety; changing our relationship to pain, acknowledging it and relating to it differently, encourages more consciousness to the condition.

how mindfulness can help with endo pain

Pain is extremely complex, everyone has a different perception and experience with it. Those with chronic pain conditions like endometriosis may become highly sensitised to pain stimuli for various reasons. As everyone’s perception of pain is different, so will be their experience of mindfulness; there’s no one-size-fits-all with mindfulness meditation. There’s many different types of meditation out there, so it’s worth trying some different styles to see what works for you.

Here’s a simple mindfulness meditation to get you started:

  1. Set aside 20 minutes of uninterrupted time every day (if you only have 10 minutes, that’s ok too, you can always build up over time).
  2. Sit upright in a chair or on the floor in a comfortable position you can maintain.
  3. Close your eyes and simply observe; it may be your thoughts, your emotions, your breath, how your body feels, or sounds you can hear.
  4. Let go of judgement; if you notice you start judging, that’s ok, just observe and allow the judgements to pass.
  5. If you become entangled in mind chatter or a story, just observe what just happened without judgement and keep going with the practise.

It’s simple in theory, but it can be difficult in practise, the good news is with time it becomes easier and when we start to experience the benefits it makes it so worthwhile.

Health and healing,

Meredith x