Sink your teeth into this, AIPs!

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Rump steak, fresh avocado and stir-fried vegetables

There are few things I love more than a juicy rump. I’m also a big fan of a rare steak, so I was pretty thrilled that K chose to fry up this bad boy for us tonight.

For carnivores, it’s the ideal paleo, autoimmune paleo or SCD meal: rump steak seasoned with fresh garlic and black pepper, trimmed of fat and fried in a dab of olive oil, served with perfectly ripe, creamy avo and lightly stir-fried veg seasoned with salt, pepper, a touch of lemon juice and a sprinkling of apple cider vinegar.

Such a simple but delicious meal that really hits the spot, and provides a solid dose of healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Plus, it takes just a few minutes to whip up. Win!

Day 49: Facing a few terrifying foods

On SCD, there are quite a few foods that scare me:

– Foods that other people have cooked (I don’t eat them)

– Foods that are cooked in restaurants (I am very reticent to eat these too, no matter how clear my instructions have been)

– Foods that I haven’t phased in yet

– Foods that stand too close to me

– Foods that look at me funny

– Foods that are not bananas

Fear of food was not something I thought would ever happen to me. But when you’re faced with a health crisis, I guess things can change.

Whilst reading up on this diet before starting it, I read a warning that you should not get stuck in a ‘safe food’ zone. Hah! I scoffed. Oh please, I thought. Me, get stuck in a food zone? Neh-vah!

I guess none of us want to be predictable, and we all want to believe we won’t fall victim to the mistakes of lessers others. But, surprised as I was to discover it, I did kinda get stuck – and I still kinda am. I’ve only just moved on to phase 3 after nearly a whole month on phase 2. I still eat butternut, gem squash, eggs and bananas EVERY day, and without them, my life – and my belly – would be empty.

Learning to cook these foods and then discovering that they agreed with me was a huge comfort after all the GI distress that came before. So I’ve grabbed onto those foods that make my tummy happy, and I’ve clung to them like a 2-year-old clings to mommy’s ankles.

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The truth is that the foods being introduced on phase 3 terrify me. They are the foods that have historically caused me some of the most trouble: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, onion, strawberries, lettuce, peppers… the list goes on. I was happy in my world of butternut and rubbery ‘balloon’ meatballs, as K referred to them. It wasn’t by any means a taste explosion in my mouth – but that also meant it wasn’t any kind of explosion in my colon.

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Tomorrow, I’m introducing onions. I’m not hopeful about it and I don’t expect them to treat me kindly. Apart from green beans (which have SO pleasantly surprised me), I haven’t been reticent to try any new foods, so this is a first. I plan to cook them really well, and test for three days as I have with everything else. If I can handle them, it’ll be some kind of miracle. Onion! In my meals! Amazing! But I’m not sure it’s going to go so smoothly. I know there are loads of people who’ve been on SCD for years and still can’t handle onions and various other veg from this phase.

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Tonight’s incredible dinner

K’s really been missing eating out since I started the SCD, and in the past 49 days, we’ve only done it twice. So we decided that tonight, we’d go to the steakhouse next door to our apartment. It’s one of our favourite spots and they are absolute pros. But when I went over there this afternoon to have a very serious discussion with them about my dietary restrictions, they told me they were fully booked. We googled a bunch of restaurants and eventually decided to make an amazing meaty meal at home… and that’s what we did.

K tried her hand at carpaccio, which is her very favourite thing to eat in the whole world. We bought top quality fillet from the butchery downstairs, and it turned out superbly! I was a bit worried at first because I love carpaccio too – but I usually have it with rocket, parmesan and a liberal dousing of balsamic vinegar. After all, it’s just slices of raw meat. Tonight, having only salt and pepper available to me, I took my first ginger bite… and it was phenomenal. Here’s K’s plate. Mine was significantly less colourful but outstanding nonetheless:

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I then grilled myself a chalmar beef sirloin, which was amay-may. I still can’t tell you what chalmar beef is, but I think it may be unique to SA? When I asked the butcher what differentiated chalmar from karan beef, he said, ‘The price’, but there has to be more to it. Chalmar is also grass fed up until 20kg, and seems to be nutritionally superior in some ways.

And what did the tequila say today after last night?

Well, it wasn’t fun waking up at 8.45am after hitting the sack with a belly full of booze and yoghurt at 2am, but my tummy felt fine, and I don’t seem to have suffered any ill effects after last night’s drinking. That’s not to say I want to make it a habit – oh no thank you! But nice to know I can party with my friends occasionally and not have to swap my shooters for carrot juice.

Tomorrow will be my weekly cooking day, which is tedious but necessary. K and I also like to make our Sundays ‘facemask days’, which yes, means we put on facemasks and post ridiculous photos on Facebook, but it also just means we try to stay home, hang out in our PJs until our guilt starts feeling guilty, then shower, get into clean PJs, and watch scary movies and Grey’s Anatomy until it;s time to go to bed. We’ll be doing this for most of tomorrow, though we are joining my folks for supper. Oh, how I love Facemask Sundays!

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The closest I get to chocolate these days: chocolate facemasks

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)

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– 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.

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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?