7 Days of gut-healing meals (and why they’re good for you)

Lately I’ve redoubled my efforts to include as many healing, happy-gut foods in my diet. Here are some of my current favourite meals and snacks for health and healing.


Chopped banana, strawberries and frozen blueberries drizzled with honey

It’s sad that fruit has a bad reputation (mainly due to its high fructose content), because it can really be so healthy. Bananas are easy to digest and they give you energy and heart-supporting potassium. I’ve also always found them extremely soothing to eat, especially when my tummy’s unhappy. Strawberries give me a good dose of vitamin C and blueberries are known to help ease the symptoms of digestive diseases.


Eggs, baby spinach and music

A lot of healing diets forbid or discourage the consumption of eggs, but I’ve never personally had a problem with them. They’re full of protein as well as important vitamins and minerals. Spinach meanwhile is virtually a ‘superfood’ and I’ve really been trying to get it into my diet as often as possible. I actually feel like I’m slowly healing my body with each mouthful! Spinach is full of vitamins, and it’s even got Omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory antioxidants. It’s good for digestion and flushing out toxins, and I recently learnt that cooking spinach actually increases its health benefits because the body can’t completely break down its nutrients when it’s raw. Music is good for the mind, body and soul, so include as much of it in your diet as you can.


Brussels sprouts

I adore Brussels sprouts (I know, it’s unusual!) and I can easily – and often do – eat bowls of them as snacks. Like most other veggies, they offer high doses of vitamins and nutrients, as well as their fair share of fibre. This means they can cause bloating and should be avoided if you’re flaring. Don’t cook your Brussels sprouts for too long or you’ll destroy the healthy bits! Three to five minutes is enough.



ALL THE VEGETABLES!!! (and a little steak)

So this is what my dinner plate looks like most nights. I take the 3/4 veggie rule so seriously that I usually end up with four quarters of vegetables on my plate and no space for the meat – hence the mashed butternut on the side! Starting with the butternut, it’s filling and easy to digest – it’s one of the first vegetables you can introduce on SCD, and I’ve always loved it and found it to be unproblematic. Carrots are the first veggie introduced on SCD, as they’re also generally very easy to break down. They’re also full of vitamins and minerals.

Broccoli and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables (as are Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage and kale), which means they’re packed with phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fibre, and overall they’re just amazingly fabulous for your health. They also help support the functioning of the digestive tract (read this fascinating article about the healthy interaction between cruciferous vegetables and the bacteria in your gut). Most of us know that peas are a great source of protein and fibre – but did you know that they also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties?

Avocado is one of the healthiest fats you can add to your diet and its Omega-3 helps to reduce inflammation in the gut. My nutritionalist has recommended I eat it every day – that’s how healing it is! Lastly, lean red meat is obviously a protein source, and despite what detractors might say, it’s also one of the best sources of nutrients that you won’t get from plant-based foods.


Coconut fish curry with cauliflower rice

I’m not the biggest fish fan but I am trying to get it into my diet more often because it’s just so damn healthy. This is hake, which offers Omega-3 acids and a range of nutrients. I’ve cooked it in homemade coconut milk, which is another incredibly healthy fat that my nutritionalist recommends I consume daily, due to the fact that it’s so healing for the gut. As you can see, I’ve tossed in some handfuls of baby spinach for an extra health kick, and it’s seasoned with all the usual ‘legal’ seasonings like garlic and ginger – both of which are also considered ‘super foods’ due to their healing and health-sustaining properties.


Coconut yoghurt with honey

This is made from coconut milk, and has the added benefit of gelatine and probiotics, which are added just prior to incubating it. Probiotics introduce healthy bacteria to your gut and gelatine is an amazing weapon in the fight against inflammation.  This is one of the healthiest things you can feed a damaged gut. Here’s my recipe for homemade coconut yogurt.


Oysters and champagne

Okay so this was a bit of a splurge (I was celebrating signing my permanent contract at work), and champagne – or any alcohol for that matter – should be avoided when you’re flaring, or when you’re trying to heal your gut. I was thrilled to discover some time ago that oysters, however, are so so good for you! They’re full of zinc, which is essential for those of us battling digestive diseases as we tend to lose a lot of it. Zinc is essential for healthy functioning and also helps to heal woulds. You’ll find it in pumpkin seeds too.


Bonus: Cauliflower pizza

Everyone needs to feel like they’re eating something fun every now and then – even those of us with IBD! This cauliflower pizza was made from many of the healthy ingredients listed above, so it has the added benefit of hitting that ‘junk food’ spot without actually being junk food! The olives and mushrooms are also sources of healthy fats and nutrients, and it’s all drizzled with coconut oil for that extra bit of healing.

What are you favourite healing, healthy meals?


Paleo pizza on grain-free seed toast – vegan/vegetarian


I’ve made cauliflower pizza crusts a few times and while I find them very tasty, it’s a pretty labour intensive process. Also, my bases never really mimic the texture of a ‘real’ pizza base (well mine don’t, anyway). So on Friday when I was craving a pizza – the kind you can pick up in your hands without it disintegrating – I knew cauliflower wasn’t going to be the answer. Instead, I decided to use grain free seed toast as my base.

The result was delicious, filling and as close to pizza as I’ve come so far. Plus it was incredibly easy to make. You can obviously change the toppings to suit your taste – these are just my faves.

Paleo pizza on grain-free seed toast


  • 3 slices grain free toast (I buy Lifebake)
  • A few teaspoons tomato paste
  • Dried basil and oreganum
  • Chopped garlic
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 onion, sliced thinly
  • Handful of calamata olives, pitted and halved
  • Half a ripe avocado, sliced
  • Salt and black pepper


Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste, oreganum and basil. Spread the mixture onto your slices of grain toast.


Cover the toast with all the toppings except the avo. Bake for 10 minutes.


Remove from the oven and top with slices of avocado. Season with salt and pepper.


Voila! And you’ll be able to pick it up in your hands – WIN!

Day 68: Packing SCD food for a weekend away

Tomorrow, K and I are heading to Tulbagh for a wedding. It’s about an hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town, and we’ll be there until Sunday. I’ve been dreading it not only because I’m not particularly partial to protracted periods of socialising (especially with people I don’t know so well), but also because of the food issue.

It’s one thing to pack food for a weekend away; quite another to pack for a wedding, where the food is supposed to be one of the focal points. I mean, of all the weddings you’ve been to, what do you remember the most? For me, it really is usually the food.

The way I see it, I have three options:

  • Give the caterers a plate of my own food and ask them to serve it when everyone else receives their main course.
  • Speak to the caterers in advance (one of the benefits of arriving at the venue the day before) and find out if they can prepare something for me.
  • Eat prior to the wedding and avoid food at the actual event. But a wedding takes HOURS and I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold out for that long, especially if I’m drinking. I’d hate to get hangry, which is a real possibility when I’m hungry.


Either way, I’m going to plan for each of these eventualities as I’m not sure what I’ll end up doing. Because we’ll be there from tomorrow night until Sunday mid-morning, I need to pack food for:

  • 2 dinners
  • 2 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch

I’ve planned what I’m taking and I know we’ll have a fridge in our room. I’ve also decided not to worry too much about my beef with bananas this weekend because I really will need to rely on them. So here’s what I’ll be packing:

  • 8 x boiled eggs – great for breakfast on both days, and for snacks
  • 2 pre-grilled chicken breasts
  • 1 portion of venison mince cooked with veg and tomato paste
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 large tuppaware of mixed vegetable (cauliflower, butternut, green beans)
  • My own tomato sauce (made from tomatoes, garlic and onion)
  • Fresh coriander
  • 1.2kg box of small ripe bananas
  • Jar of macadamia nut butter

I think that this should cover it for the time that I’m away. Plus, the guesthouse we’re staying at serves breakfast, so I’m sure I could get some more eggs (cooked plainly) if need be. I’ll try to remember to take a photo of my bounty tomorrow when I pack it all up 🙂


What I’m taking to this weekend’s destination wedding. And a dress.

What’s that fishy taste?

Last night, and again tonight, I started experiencing a fishy-tasting reflux in my mouth, and couldn’t work out what it was – I mean, I haven’t eaten any fish and the only new thing I’ve introduced is macadamia nut butter. I’ve heard of stale pumpkin seeds smelling fishy, but not nuts!


FINALLY tonight I realised that it’s the omega-3 capsules I’m taking. I started them about a week ago. I honestly can’t tell if they’re making any noticeable different to my health, and that, combined with this disgusting after taste, is enough to convince me to give them up once this batch is done.

All I can say now is – TGIF! Even though it’s not the weekend I’d have planned, it’s still a WEEKEND (or as I like to think of this one – a ‘wEEKend’). Do you have any big plans?

funny weekend


This is what an SCD plate of food looks like

Just 53 days in (which, I promise, goes quickly 🙂 ), you can look forward to this kind of meal:


It’s grilled chicken with gem squash, butternut, onion and green beans, topped with a tomato and garlic sauce and sprinkled with fresh cilantro (corianda/dhanya). And of course, a lovely, super creamy avo half on the side. SOOOO delicious. This kind of meal makes me feel like I am not missing out at all, and it’s taken less than 2 months to get here.

Remember, of course, that you’ll need to figure out what foods do/don’t agree with you. So far, I know I can’t eat mushrooms and apples. But everything else is okay – some of it in moderation (like bananas). I am still testing onions but I suspect they’re not doing great things inside my belly – and during the night, when I’m fast asleep and not holding things in, I think K is the one suffering!

If you’re doing SCD, what’s your plate looking like at the moment?


Day 37: 5 awesome things I can eat right now

I want to show you that being on SCD, even at this early stage in the game, is not impossible or even very difficult. It can be boring, sure, and it can be time-consuming, definitely. But with a little imagination (another essential element on this diet), you can make your meals pretty damn enjoyable.

Tonight I introduced green beans. I’m feeling a little gassy, I can’t lie, but I’m not uncomfortably bloated or anything. Plus, I had such a full plate of food tonight that I realised I can start mixing up my meals and alternating my veg. Which is what brought me to this post 🙂

So here are 5 pretty delicious things I can (and do) eat at the moment:

– Egg omelette with garlicky tomatoes and green beans (will try it this weekend)

You can get really creative with your omelette fillings. Use any veg that you've already phased in and that agrees with you, like spinach, mushrooms or peppers

You can get really creative with your omelette fillings. Use any veg that you’ve already phased in and that agrees with you, like spinach, mushrooms or peppers

– Grilled chicken with avo and boiled zucchini or carrot sauce

– Banana ‘ice cream’ (chop a few bananas, freeze them, them dump them into your food processor to make ‘ice cream’ – such a treat!)

– Gem squash with tomato and garlic sauce (one of my current favourite meals)

– Steak with avocado, butternut and mushrooms (if mushrooms agree with you)


– Bonus: Very ripe bananas or ripe avo. I list these as bonuses because they require no preparation (they are the only raw things I can eat thus far) and are absolutely delicious even on their own.

A note about avos

Avocado can really transform your meals so if you can tolerate it and you like it, try to introduce it as early on in phase 2 as possible. I adore the creaminess, especially combined with meat (it takes the place of sauce wonderfully), and it’s a fantastic, filling snack on its own. The healthy fats are phenomenally good for you and a great addition at this stage of the diet.


Other things you could phase in right now on Phase 2:

– Honey

– Pineapples, apricots and plums

– Peppers, spinach, cucumber (de-seeded and cooked), asparagus and pumpkin

– Nut milks (homemade)

I think that after green beans, I’ll add pineapple, pepper and SCD yoghurt made with homemade nut milk, before moving on to Phase 3.

How are you progressing so far on this diet?