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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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

 

My yoga teacher training experience

I was in Bali recently for one month of intensive yoga teacher training. I didn’t quite know what to expect other than learning the asanas, pranayama, meditation, anatomy and yoga philosophy, the stuff that happened in between all of this made it a transformative process for me, there were spiritual experiences and an intense amount of self-study known as svadhyaya.

Meredith headstand yogaI’m thrilled to be a yoga teacher, the practise is so important to me and a part of my daily life, even if I can’t practise physically, I still meditate. Yoga has been a critical part of my journey to health; when I was in my darkest moments suffering from anxiety, or depression associated with having endo or gut issues, I knew I could turn to yin or restorative yoga to give me relief, in fact just the process of being more present (which yoga instils) helped me manage my symptoms. There are also specific poses that really helped with pain, there’s a post I did a few years ago that shows these.

My yoga teacher training experience really helped me explore my own behaviour; understanding our behaviour patterns and why we behave in certain ways helps us to develop, but it also assists in the healing process. I also feel my health improved over the month from an energetic and physical perspective, I was able to let go of pain I was holding onto; I was really surprised when I realised how much pain I was holding onto in my abdomen (even though I rarely get endo pain any more), but the pain was significant because you couldn’t even brush my abdomen without me flinching, strangely it’s just not there anymore. Pain is complex and can be different from person to person, the nervous system can hold onto the memory of it, I think this happened to me and lasted about 10 years. Pain, whether it’s physical or emotional can manifest in unusual ways, so ignoring it or thinking you’ve dealt with it but you’ve actually suppressed it will only allow it to manifest further. Once we start to identify and acknowledge the source of our pain, only then can we can start to let it go and heal.

I am now available to teach here in Brisbane, so I look forward to sharing with you when that will be happening. Keep an eye on my instagram for updates.

Yours in health,

Meredith x

 

 

My experience with the Fast Tract Diet for SIBO and IBS

I posted back in February about the Fast Tract diet for SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth). For those who aren’t familiar you can read up on the Fast Tract Diet here, you can also read my previous post here.

In summary The Fast Tract Diet helped me, but I needed to personalise it to my own needs; there were certain foods that just don’t agree with me and given that I have endometriosis I’m cautious with dairy – I only eat organic dairy and preferably made from goat’s or sheep’s milk, cheese is ok for me but yoghurt or milk isn’t.

The Fast Tract Diet

So I should share with you that I didn’t follow the diet extremely closely and didn’t add up the points manually, I just learnt the diet and scoring system then ate accordingly. I roughly eat anywhere between 30-40 fermentation points per day (my understanding is 25 fp points per day is recommended initally).

I think the Fast Tract Diet has worked well for me because I can eat many different high FODMAP foods including garlic and onion, which is why I wanted to give this approach a whirl as the low FODMAP diet wasn’t assisting me greatly. I think if you’ve tried a lot of different approaches for dealing with SIBO (such as low FODMAP) and aren’t getting anywhere, then perhaps The Fast Tract diet could be worthwhile trying.

I am feeling so much better since I’ve been on this diet, but it hasn’t just been the diet that’s helped, as I’ve also been taking prescribed nutrients and strains of probiotics and prebiotics (partially hydrolysed guar gum). I also meditate and practise yoga regularly as I believe the mind body connection is extremely important to healing.

For me personally I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying different approaches to treat my health concerns and it can be isolating and confusing going it alone. I’ve learnt that long-term health issues such as SIBO and endometriosis warrant the ongoing support of a qualified health practitioner. I think if you’re completely confused about what to eat, see a nutritionist and let them take the complexity away so you can instead focus on healing and most importantly – enjoying life.

Health and healing,

Meredith x