I've been wanting to talk about my diet for a while now. I mean, you guys have a pretty good idea of what we (used to) eat on the day to day around here. Not perfect eaters, we enjoy french fries and pizza, but outside of the occasional delicious extras (I love you, pizza), we're really well rounded, healthy eaters.
Well, apparently no amount of healthy can prepare you for antibiotic induced c. diff. (waugh waugh). This isn't exactly appetite inducing conversation, but the c. diff left my insides incredibly tore up-- like, my poor colon is crying heavy tears everyday. The other unfortunate issue I learned that comes with c. diff is that most doctors are in no way trained to help you recover from it. With the exception of warning me that I may now spend the rest of my life lactose intolerant (I already was, buddy) and offering more drugs, they tell you to eat whatever you want. WRONG. SO WRONG. (Theres no wonder there is such a high reoccurrence rate). Most (all??) patients who battle c. diff will be left with some form of IBS (or worse). In my gut alone, on top of being left with a good case of IBS, I also now have diverticulosis and ended up losing 10% of my body weight, leaving me incredibly malnourished and deficient in so many basic things. Short story: it sucked.
The good news is, food does heal you. Whether you've had something serious like c. diff or something slightly less worrisome like poor digestion and irregular bowels, when used and eaten correctly, food can do wonders for your gut. So no, I didn't leave the hospital eating whatever I wanted. And I am SO grateful I didn't. I plan on sharing more of the meals I've been eating in a later post, but I've got to tell you, taking the time to figure what I should and should not be eating was one of the best decisions I could have made for myself. It's been a slow and sometimes painful process, but my gut is healing. Yes, I have a lot of other problems going on now, but my gut is doing much better. And months later, I did end up being connected with (an amazing) dietician to talk about a meal plan, and she only confirmed everything I had already been doing. Go team.
Recipe after cut--
So before we get to the recipe, let's talk about the good stuff in here, okay?
Stomach allergies and sensitivities are real. Some of us are allergic to dairy (me me me), some can't handle gluten, yeast, corn, or soy. What I did know to do, was cut out all allergens. In my regular healthy life I can handle (organic) allergy sensitive foods, but theres no way I could after injuring my gut, now, and probably for a good amount of time.
I did however leave pureed almond butter in my diet to help give my body the extra protein it needs. Not peanut butter, not cashew butter, only almond butter. Why almond? Almonds are low in mold content. They're easier to digest and will cause create less problems with candida (yeast overgrowth). And if you've had any problems with antibiotics, the last thing you want to put yourself as risk for is another bad overgrowth of any kind. An choosing almonds in butter form is obviously easier on the gut--- the last thing you want is little bits of food scraping your inside lining. So organic salt free, sugar free, smooth almond butter. (here's one online if you cant find one in store)
Honey. Some vegans eat it, some don't. Yes, it adds a great flavor, but you can do without it if you prefer. Don't replace it with agave or anything like that, just skip it if you don't want it. The honey is in there for the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory proprieties. Buy raw honey when you can. And local is great too because it can help with seasonal allergies. Or if you're like me, you'll be lucky enough to have someone bring you magical medicinal honey from Yemen. (thank you marwa)
Protein powder, ehhhhh. Protein powders are tough. Ideally we would all be able to skip supplements and get the things we need from unprocessed food, but thats not always how it works. And when you've been ill and trying to get extra goods into your body, 15+ extra grams of protein is like heaven. Lately I've been using THIS powder because thats the one I found locally, but in Florida I was using THIS one, which I liked a hell of a lot more--- and seemed to have more probiotics and enzymes which is obviously a plus. They're both sugar free, allergen free, and vegan.
Coconut yogurt: in a perfect world, I'd make my own. In a perfect world I would also be back in florida with my coconut palm full grown and giving me coconuts. But in the real world, and especially when you're sick, your best bet is to go to the store and buy some. Not only is coconut incredibly good for you, but as we all know by now, yogurt is a great probiotic tool to add to your gut. Just be sure to buy the sugar-free variety! Sugar is a NO NO for your gut! ESPECIALLY when trying to heal it. Buy sugar, later for you. While we're on the topic of bad things for your gut, dairy is a nightmare. I hate to tell that to people because people automatically assume it's because I'm vegan, but it's not just that. Dairy is incredibly hard to digest. Yes, it's delicious, I get it, but if you want a happy gut, the best thing to do is go dairy free.
This recipe uses steal cut oats. Not quick oats or any other kind of oats. The key ingredient here is the steal cut. I used both when trying out foods in my stomach--- both were fine but what I learned is that, while the quick oats didn't hurt me, the steel cut oats were in fact more healing. There's been numerous studies done on steel cut oats and the effect they have on your gut. While fiber can be a scary word when you have certain stomach issues, the fiber in steel cuts oats is actually wonderful for binding and bulking and will make your bathroom experience.... dare I say, wonderful? Shit-tastic? I mean, at the least, eating them daily will help with bloating, pain, and make you incredibly, wonderfully regular. Since steel cut oats take a bit of time to cook, my best tip is to make a big batch for the week. Then each day you can re-heat the portion you need on the stove.
I've opted to include fruit in this recipe. If you have dealt with c. diff or IBS then you know, you have to be careful with fruit--- or anything raw or anything with any sort of sugar. Fruits with grainy skins (like blueberries) or anything with small seeds can upset a sensitive tract, so be cautious with fruit choices. Since the c. diff I have noticed weird allergies to food--- like a new itching sensation on my lips when I eat certain fruits. So if I do include fruit, it's really no more than two to three strawberries for flavor. If you don't have stomach issues and can handle fruit, by all means, pile it on there!
Also, not pictured? I take probiotics each morning and evening now. In the morning, I've found its easiest to just open up the capsule and pour it in my breakfast. I personally do this with s. boulardii since it actively fights c. diff. You guys obviously don't need to do this, but I personally feel it's important for me to religiously take it at this point. And s. bollardi isn't just good for c. diff-- it's great for IBS, chron's, and and for you gut digestion in general.
If you're making a big batch of steel cut oats in advance, then this recipe really only takes seconds to put together each the morning. It's quick, super filling and has loads of good stuff to start your day. I never ate breakfast until this whole health ordeal, but now, it's a serious requirement that I have to stick to. You can always skip out on the peanut butter if you'd like, or if you have allergies, thats not a big deal.
1 1/2 cups prepared steel cut oats
1/2 cup sugar free coconut yogurt
1 scoop of your favorite, dairy free protein powder. (right now, this is mine)
1/2 - 1 tablespoon, raw organic honey.
1 - 3 tablespoons, sugar free - salt free organic almond butter
a few sliced strawberries for garnish
optional: a probiotic capsule
-Mix coconut yogurt and protein powder in a bowl until protein powder is completely dissolved.
-Add warm, steel cut oats to same bow and mix well.
-If using probiotic capsule, open and mix contents well into bowl
-Drizzle almond butter and honey on top.
-Garnish with strawberries on top
-Eat everyday and watch how your bathroom trips improve.
There you have it, easy, healthy breakfast. Great for everyone, and extra useful for if you're looking for something c. diff friendly, IBS friendly, vegan or vegetarian, gluten, soy, and corn free. And it's even lyme friendly too. But above all, it's really just wonderful for your gut and overall body.
And now, I'm off to lay down, once again (but proud of myself for managing three posts this week!) Thank you you again for your support. All your words help me so much--- especially at the 4 am hours of insomnia <3<3 Alex flies back in this weekend, it will be good to see him again-- it's been a long time. I hope you guys have a great weekend.
Want more recipes? You can find more HERE. Pre-order my cookbook HERE (for less than 20$!), or pick your own price on a how to cleanse e-guide HERE!
*florals by marlowe ;) ;)