How to meal prep

What is one major reason why some people eat consistently well and others don’t? Food preparation. Eating well consistently will help improve our overall health. It’s especially important to eat nutritious food when you’re struggling with a health condition like endo, SIBO or leaky gut.

It might seem time consuming, complicated and exhausting if you have a chronic illness – I get it. I’ve found though that preparing food in advance makes life easier. I know for myself if I don’t eat well (home-made food) majority of the time I feel it; I’m more tired, don’t sleep as well, don’t handle stress as well and have more reactions to food.

My meal prep is usually done on a Sunday or Monday depending on what I have on and I keep it as simple as possible.meal prep

 

  1. Plan ahead. What day of the week are you going to dedicate a couple of hours to shopping and food prep?
  2. Create a meal plan for the week. Before you write a shopping list, think about the events you have on. Make a list of what you want to eat and when and roughly how many days of leftovers you can get out of a meal. Choose recipes that are not too complex and that you’ll get a few meals out of – using a slow cooker is a great way to do this. I’ll share some recipes I like to make further down.
  3. Create a shopping list. You may need to freeze some ingredients (such as fresh fish). Also include fresh ingredients you don’t need to cook such as salad ingredients like cucumber, lettuce and fruit (frozen berries are great for smoothies). Don’t forget to maintain enough kitchen staples such as olive oil, olives, smoked salmon and nut butters (such as almond butter).
  4. Once you have your groceries, spend a few hours preparing your food. Here are some general ideas to inspire you:
    • A batch of stock or bone broth in the slow cooker (for soups and to drink)
    • Roast or bake vegetables such as pumpkin, capsicum and cauliflower 
    • Roast a whole chicken or another protein
    • A curry or soup in the slow cooker
    • Slow cooked casserole or stew
    • Whip up a stir fry
    • Boil some eggs
    • Frittata
    • Make a healthy lasagne such as a Paleo style or one using brown rice pasta
    • Cook some grains and store them in the fridge (quinoa, buckwheat, rice)
    • Make some bircher muesli, granola or porridge and store it in the fridge
    • Have ingredients ready to make a quick and filling smoothie (such as nut butter, cacao, cooked pumpkin, avocado, berries, banana and a quality protein powder)
    • Snacks such as protein balls are awesome for an afternoon snack
    • Nuts and seeds are also great, a handful should be enough as a quick snack

Some of the above recipes are from the JCN Clinic website, there are some gorgeous ideas there so head on over and get inspired!

Health and healing,

Meredith x

 

 

 

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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

Method:

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

Method:

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

 

 

Elemental diet for SIBO done and dusted!

Well I’ve reached the finish line! Two weeks of nothing but liquid nutrients and I am so proud of myself for finishing!

Overall was it challenging? Yes. I am I glad I did it? YES! The hardest part was the first few days, after that I felt pretty well, except for some gastrointestinal symptoms here and there and feeling pretty lethargic at times it was ok. Apart from these side effects and feeling like ripping food out of other people’s hands when they were eating in front of me 🙂 I feel good; none of the sluggish bloated feeling paired with brain fog, I feel lighter and clearer. I didn’t lose any weight at all, I already border on being underweight so this was a happy outcome for me.

Today I introduced my first meal of scrambled egg with ghee and some herbs, it was delicious but went straight through me, however after two weeks of no solid food this was to be expected as my body gets used to real food again. I’ve also prepared some slow cooked grass-fed beef with some pumpkin puree for dinner, but I intend to only have very small serves and build my way up. I’ll also continue to drink the elemental formula to ensure I get enough nutrients during this introductory phase.

IMG_8640

I’m so happy I did the elemental diet, it’s given my gut a much needed rest and hopefully accelerated the repair process to heal my leaky gut. My diet now will be inspired by the Fast Tract Diet, but I will tailor it to my own needs by listening to my body; previously fructose has been an issue for me so I will be cautious with that. I will slowly reintroduce different foods over the next few months and will stick to homemade, softly cooked food.

Check out my Instagram page healingyogi for more on my healing journey post elemental diet.

Happy healing x

Meredith