Baked cauliflower

This is yum served as a side dish or tossed through a salad. Cauliflower isn’t the prettiest or tastiest vegetable on its own, but it’s a great vehicle for spices and other flavours.

Cauliflower contains compounds which offer benefits for estrogen metabolism and are shown to be protective against estrogen sensitive cancers (such as breast cancer). Turmeric is also included in this recipe which offers anti-inflammatory benefits. Tick!

Cauliflower isn’t low FODMAP but personally I don’t have any issues digesting it, so I’m happy to be including it my my repertoire of recipes!

Baked cauliflower You’ll need:

  • 1 small to medium head of cauliflower cut in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, pressed slightly with a knife (so it’s slightly squashed but still one piece)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp sumac


Preheat oven to a moderate heat, around 170 degrees celsius in a fan-forced oven.

In a medium frying pan heat oil over a low to medium heat then add the clove of garlic, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Once fragrant (after about a minute), turn the heat off and allow to cool a little.

Rub the oil mixture and the garlic from the frying pan all over the cauliflower, discard the garlic and place cauliflower on a baking tray, sprinkle with sumac and a little more salt and place in the oven for 25 minutes (check it at 20 minutes).

Serve warm and enjoy.

Health and healing,




Improve your health with self-compassion

We all know that if we have regular feelings of gratitude, compassion and kindness towards ourselves, we’re going to generally feel better than if we allow our inner-critic to dominate our thoughts and feelings.

According to Harvard practising self-compassion can improve your overall health and reduce levels of anxiety and depression.

About six months ago I learnt a technique from a psychologist that I now practise daily, it’s similar to practising gratitude but it’s more specific and I’d like to share it because it’s simple and proven to relieve anxiety and depression.

Meredith self-compassionThe practise: everyday find three positive things to say about yourself which can be said aloud, in your head, or written down.

These things can be like “earlier today I offered to make my partner a cup of tea, that was a thoughtful and kind act” or “today I went to yoga and I’m happy I took some time to look after myself”, or “I listened to my friend when she was going through a difficult time, I am a kind and supportive person”.

Even though some days it may seem insignificant or you can’t think of anything interesting to say, don’t underestimate the effects this practise can have, it takes time and like anything if you practise daily it becomes a habit, except this is a healthy habit to maintain which cultivates self-compassion and self-esteem.

Health and healing,

Meredith x

Healthy lunchbox ideas

For me, eating well means preparing most of my meals, that includes lunch. Taking home made lunches to work or school doesn’t mean boring and tasteless. It doesn’t mean you have to spend ages preparing your lunches either.

Usually on Sunday I will prepare a few dishes that I know will last a few days that I can take as leftovers. I also buy items that can keep in the fridge (or cupboard) for up to a week such as smoked salmon, cheese, salad ingredients, nuts and crackers.

I recently bought a bento box style of lunch box which I love as it has compartments that can be used for different foods.

healthy bento box
healthy lunch ideas

Here are some items I like to pack in my lunches:

  • Frittata
  • Boiled eggs
  • Smoked salmon
  • Flaked tuna
  • Leftover roast or poached chicken
  • Leftover slow cooked, shredded lamb
  • Leftover lasagne (I make a paleo style, as pictured)
  • Soup, depending on the recipe it can be a complete meal on it’s own if it has sufficient protein, fat and carbohydrates
  • Leftover stir-fry
  • Rice paper rolls or home-made sushi rolls (wrap tightly though as any air makes the rice tough)

To serve with:

  • Leftover roast veggies such as baked pumpkin (as pictured) or cauliflower
  • Chopped fresh veggies such as celery, carrot or cucumber
  • Roast vegetable salad
  • Steamed/blanched green beans or broccoli
  • Kaleslaw (shredded kale, cabbage, carrot, spring onions as pictured) with avocado, lemon and olive oil dressing (keep the dressing separate to avoid a soggy salad)
  • Chopped garden salad or Greek style salad
  • Zaalouk a delicious slow cooked vegetable dish that is almost a dip
  • Olives
  • Nuts or nut butter
  • Rice crackers (jasmine rice crackers are best with no additives)
  • A small amount of fruit such as melon or strawberries
  • Homemade dips
  • Organic goats cheese or yoghurt
  • Protein balls
  • Gummies (as pictured)
  • A small amount of chopped fruit such as melon or strawberries

Everyone’s needs for protein, fats and carbohydrates are slightly different; if you have SIBO you will probably tend to be lower carb than others, but I try to aim for my meals to be around 25% protein, 25% fats and get my carbohydrates by filling my plate with 50% of veggies.

If you’re vegan make sure you consume a combination of grains, legumes, seeds and nuts to ensure you’re getting sufficient protein and fats.

Health and healing,

Meredith x

What is the right diet for endometriosis?

I’ve tried many different diet approaches and I have found that when my gut is happy, so is my endo. Before I jump straight into what the diet for endo looks like, let’s understand a bit more about the disease and why diet is important:



Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition and an estrogen dependent disease.

Estrogen is a hormone which plays an important role in the female reproductive cycle; it assists in the growth and thickening of the endometrial tissue, when fertilisation doesn’t take place progesterone (another hormone) and estrogen levels decline which causes menstruation. Estrogen can also be spelt oestrogen by the way (just to clear up any confusion!).

Estrogen is processed through the liver and excess estrogen is then excreted via the gastrointestinal system; therefore the liver and gut both to be functioning well to process and remove excess estrogen. Fat tissue can also contribute to estrogen production, therefore weight management may also be a consideration with endo and overall health.

Why is endometriosis an inflammatory condition? Endometriosis occurs when endometrial tissue grows in other places than the uterus. When menstruation occurs the lining (or layers of endometrial tissue) is shed and the tissue located outside the uterus also bleeds. The bleeding creates inflammation, scar tissue, cysts and adhesions. This can also result in organs being stuck together by the adhesions. Therefore a diet that is anti-inflammatory is an important component when managing endometriosis symptoms.

Taking this into consideration, what should the endo-diet look like? I’ve seen many different approaches through social media; some may say that being vegan is the answer to managing endo symptoms, others prefer paleo, or a low-carbohydrate diet (such as the keto-diet). Recently someone told me about ‘seed cycling’ which involves managing the menstrual cycle by consuming different seeds at different stages. There are so many opinions out there, it would be perfectly understandable if you’re feeling confused!

So what is the best approach? It actually depends on the individual, what works for one person may not work for another; for example, if other health issues are coinciding with endo, then the diet may need to be modified accordingly. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition.

However, there are some guidelines (backed up by science) of what dietary approaches can be followed to help manage endo:

  • A diet high in fibre will help remove excess estrogen. A diet rich in plant based foods such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrains and legumes (except soy based foods). Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli get a special mention for their detoxifying effect and their benefits on estrogen metabolism, turmeric also gets a special mention for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so be sure to consume these regularly.
  • A diet low in xenoestrogens (xenoestrogens or phytoestrogens are chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body), such as soy based foods and certain seeds such as flax (or linseed).
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods, this means avoiding sugar, processed food, fried food, gluten and animal products that are a product of factory farming. An anti-inflammatory diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, legumes, nuts, wild caught fish and healthy fats such as olive oil. Meat and poultry are okay as long as they are free from chemicals and not char-grilled, try cooking slowly instead. Eat red meat sparingly and always choose grass fed, as it’s suggested that grass fed meat offers the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids (which are anti-inflammatory).
  • Dairy may be ok, it depends on the individual. Stick to small amounts of organic, additive free goats or sheep’s yogurt, cheese or kefir as these are lower in lactose and casein which can cause inflammation. Kefir has shown to be beneficial for a range of therapeutic actions including improving gut health, blood sugar, cholesterol control and immune function.
  • Stick to oils with health benefits such as cold pressed olive oil as it is high in monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, but don’t cook with extra virgin olive oil as it becomes unstable and loses its health benefits with heat. When cooking over high heat, use fats and oils with a high smoke point, for example ghee, avocado oil or extra light olive oil.
  • Avoid alcohol, limit coffee to 1 cup per day (or avoid it altogether) and drink about 2 litres of water throughout the day. Lemon in warm water is a great way to start your morning.

If you have other conditions co-existing with endo such as IBS or SIBO, a high fibre diet could make you feel terrible! In this instance wholegrains and legumes (the main sources of protein on a vegan diet) are often avoided and that’s when diet starts to become a bit more complex. Despite this, the guidelines can still be followed but you may need to tweak things and try a low FODMAP diet, a SIBO specific diet or the Fast Tract diet which all remove foods that can create symptoms such as bloating.

There is no quick fix to managing endo symptoms naturally, these guidelines are a long term strategy and should be incorporated into a lifestyle that also includes regular movement. It goes without saying if you’re following a healthy diet for endo, but still drinking bottles of wine on the weekend or devouring entire family size blocks of chocolate on a weekly basis, then you’re probably not going to see the full benefits.

What types of food work for you and what doesn’t? Drop me a note below!

Health and healing,

Meredith x


Mocha smoothie

I love this smoothie, it’s just delish. Sometimes I just don’t feel like a big breakfast first thing but need something in my belly and a pick-me-up.


Mocha smoothie

I’m sure you already guessed that this recipe contains coffee, I would suggest you avoid coffee if you’re struggling with endo pain. Personally I find one coffee a day is ok for me.

You can always omit the coffee and double the quantity of cacao to create a chocolate flavour. It will be a thicker consistency by omitting the coffee.

This smoothie uses pre-cooked pumpkin and zucchini, I cook batches of these veggies every week and keep in the fridge/freezer for later use in salads or smoothies like this.

It may seem odd using veggies in a smoothie but I promise you can’t taste them, they just provide a creamy consistency that fills you up.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • A handful of ice
  • 3/4 cup of espresso (cooled)
  • 3/4 cup of pre-cooked pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup of pre-cooked frozen zucchini (best steamed then frozen)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp cacao
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • A few drops of stevia (to equal one tsp sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla powder (I buy pure vanilla powder online, it’s expensive but lasts for ages)


Blend on high until completely smooth and creamy, serve immediately and if you like, top with some crushed nuts, coconut flakes or some chopped banana.


Meredith x


The Fast Tract diet for SIBO and IBS

A few weeks ago I started testing the Fast Tract diet, I wanted to see how my body (most importantly my gut) responded.

The Fast Tract diet for SIBO The Healing Yogi

After a few years of being on a low FODMAP diet it’s been a tricky shift in mindset, I find I am constantly checking the app on my phone, because I’ve had instances when I’ve eaten something without checking its fermentation point (FP) value. The Fast Tract diet uses a FP system which means the higher the FP value, the greater the chance at having symptoms.

Norm Robillard, Ph.D created the diet and identified five major carbohydrate groups that are hard-to-digest and are most subject to malabsorption, therefore are most likely to drive symptom and illness:

  • Fructose, including polymeric forms (apples, oranges, banana, grapes, etc.)
  • Lactose (milk, ice cream, etc.)
  • Resistant starch (most potatoes, most rice, most grains, banana, pasta, etc.)
  • Fibre (whole grains, bran cereal, legumes, supplements, etc.)
  • Sugar alcohols except erythritol (diabetic and sugar-free snacks, etc.)

An example of where I made a mistake with the diet recently was consuming rice noodles; it turns out they have a high FP value. I don’t eat a lot of grains but if I do, I’ll eat rice or rice noodles and occasionally quinoa, but it seems quinoa is also a high FP food.

Other examples of high fermentation foods are legumes, dried fruit and fruit juices, squash, peas, parsnips and corn. Many foods have a moderate FP score, so the idea is to calculate and keep track of your points for the day and stick to a limited amount.

Some items on the Fast Tract diet list raised my eyebrows, what I’m referring to are items such as brie cheese, heavy cream and Skittles candy; these items have low FP scores. Given I suspect I have a leaky gut, I won’t be eating these foods on a regular basis as there are other considerations besides the fermentation potential of food, such as the potential inflammatory response certain foods can cause. I’ll continue to eat a wholefoods diet consisting of vegetables, herbs, fruit (probably only 1 serve a day), lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, occasional small amounts of low FP grains and a little dairy here and there (small amounts of goats cheese, butter, parmesan and ghee). I’ll also continue to consume organic produce where possible to reduce the toxin burden on my body.

So has the diet worked for me? At this stage I’m on antimicrobial treatment; neem, berberine and allicin. I feel well and symptom free about 70% of the time, but the true test will be when I come off the antimicrobial treatment.

Unfortunately there is not much research on the Fast Tract diet. I attempted to find some original research and was unable to find any in relation to SIBO and IBS. However, I’m going to give it a try for at least a few months and I’ll report back to let you know my progress.

Has anyone else tried the Fast Tract diet for SIBO or IBS? Please leave a comment below and let me know how you went.

Yours in health,

Meredith x



Gummie treats

Gummie treats are delicious sugar free snacks and ideal for those with gut issues like leaky gut or SIBO. They’re fantastic for keeping sugar cravings at bay.

Gummie treat

The flavour I’ve used here is banana and turmeric but you could use just about any flavour you like.

Makes about 12-15 pieces.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of coconut milk (without additives like guar gum). I also like to use a combination of almond and coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of filtered water
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp of gelatin powder, I use Changing Habits
  • 1 ripe banana chopped
  • Optional – if you have a sweet tooth feel free to add some stevia


Combine all ingredients except the banana in a saucepan, heat and stir until the gelatin dissolves (don’t boil otherwise it won’t set).

Combine the liquid mixture and the banana in a blender until completely smooth, then pour into a flat rectangular or square shaped container, cover and refrigerate for at least four hours until set.

Yours in health,

Meredith x




Healthy chocolate mousse

Some Instagram friends requested this recipe so here it is; a healthy version of chocolate mousse. It’s low in sugar, contains healthy fats and protein. I like this as a filling snack or a lighter breakfast. Add as much topping as you like to make it even more filling.


healthy chocolate mousse

Feel free to play around with the quantities, sometimes I use a little less avocado and zucchini and add more ice which makes it lighter and fluffier.

I also use gelatin as it’s a great source of protein and helps create a lovely consistency. There are also some studies which suggest that gelatin may be helpful for gut repair (leaky gut). You could omit it from the recipe to make it vegan, but I haven’t tried that option yet.

A good tip for this recipe is to cook (preferably steam) some zucchini the night before, then pop it in the freezer so it’s ice cold, however freshly cooked zucchini will also work but try and cool it down as much as possible before using it.

Serves 1

You’ll need:

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 small zucchini chopped, steamed, then frozen or cooled
  • 1 tbsp cacao
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk (or any other type of milk you prefer)
  • 2 drops of stevia (this can vary depending on your taste buds)
  • A handful of ice
  • 2 tsp of gelatin powder, dissolved in 1/4 cup of hot water (not boiling)
  • 6 macadamia nuts (optional)
  • 2 strawberries
  • Topping of your choice, I topped mine with strawberries and macadamia nuts


Prepare the gelatin by adding it to hot water, stir until it’s dissolved, add it and the other ingredients (except your topping) into your blender. Blend on high for around a minute.

Once the mixture is completely blended it should have a smooth, creamy consistency. Pour it into a serving bowl and add your topping.

Yours in health,

Meredith x



Floatation therapy

I recently gave floatation therapy a try at Bliss Float.

In case you’re wondering exactly what floatation therapy is all about, it’s basically a pod (see below image) that is filled warm water and salts such as magnesium that allows you to float, the room is quiet and dark and the aim is to completely relax.

Floatation pod

Floatation therapy isn’t new and there are studies that have documented its benefits. Being a health science student, I felt the need to explore these studies myself before signing up to float and indeed there is evidence to suggest that flotation therapy can assist with stress, anxiety, pain and fatigue.

I was initially concerned with feeling claustrophobic, but I quickly realised there was no need to worry, as the pod was completely adjustable including the lid and could be left open if you didn’t want to be completely enclosed. There were soft lights that moved through the chakra colours (colours of the rainbow), if you preferred some light instead of complete sensory deprivation.

So how did I like it? At first I’ll admit it felt strange, I tried to fight the strange buoyant water and alien environment and kept checking the pod lid was open ajar (hello my friend anxiety). After about 15 minutes I noticed a shift, all my muscles relaxed and in fact I forgot they were there until I noticed some leg twitching, then I knew I was in a deeply relaxed, meditative state. I went through phases of being more alert to being more relaxed which I find normally happens in meditation. At the end when the music came on again, I knew I was very relaxed, so relaxed my body felt like jelly. Floating truly felt like a healing experience.

After I managed to drive myself home that afternoon, the effects lingered into the evening, although I experienced some nausea it passed quickly and that night I slept incredibly well. Floating is definitely something I want to do again. Now I’m over the initial strangeness of trying something new, I believe next time will be even more beneficial.

Yours in health,

Meredith x


SIBO, FMT, Elemental Diet and more

It’s a new year and to be honest I’m feeling happy to put 2017 behind me, I was on a mission last year – I was determined to ‘fix myself’. I did everything I could to heal my body and gut, trying everything from FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) to the elemental diet.



First up, I had all my amalgam fillings removed. I tested positive for mercury poisoning which has been linked to all kinds of nasty side-effects, including poor gut health.

I started taking prescriptive doses of vitamins to heal from pyrrole disorder and under-methylation.

I went through another round of treatment for SIBO including rifaximin and neomycin for methane and hydrogen SIBO and another round of herbal antimicrobials, where I took Bactrex along with Allicin and Thorne SF722 undecylenic acid, I’ve also been taking Motilpro for motility. Diet-wise I was following a SIBO specific diet.

I went through FMT (fecal microbiota transplant) to get a healthy person’s gut microbiome followed by a high fibre diet.

I did two weeks of the elemental diet (Physicians Elemental Diet formula) which didn’t help, in fact my results for SIBO came back worse than I’d ever seen.

I even went away to a health retreat where I detoxed from electronic devices, caffeine and ate low FODMAP organic food.

Well did it all work? Not quite. I recently had a stool sample tested and FMT did nothing for me and the elemental diet really didn’t offer any benefits, except I learnt that I have incredibly strong willpower not to eat for two weeks.

This is all incredibly frustrating, there have been times where I felt completely defeated. The thing I learnt from last year though, was that I was putting myself under too much pressure to get better. When I was away at the health retreat, majority of my symptoms disappeared, this is a huge lesson. I think the stress I was putting myself under, just desperate to get better, may actually be contributing to the condition. As a nutritionist to-be, I’m in my second year of university and am learning how much poor health can be linked to our ‘fight or flight’ response (our sympathetic nervous system) and our mental health.

So now I’m taking the pressure off and trying not to obsess about my health. It definitely seems to help, but despite this I know that I still have a healing journey ahead of me. The good news is my endometriosis hasn’t caused any trouble for a few years now, which I’m definitely happy about.

My next step is to try the Fast Tract diet approach. If anyone else has had success with it I’d love to know, drop me a note.

Yours in health,

Meredith x