Today’s from-the-garden baking experiment: low carb (thanks, almond flour) zucchini (my plants have been producing like crazy!) bread breakfast cookies. They’re also a good source of prebiotics, courtesy of oats and chia seeds. Prebiotics feed the native good bacteria in the gut, keeping it strong to fight off infection. And they support the immune system. 💪 One cookie was actually a pretty filling breakfast. Thanks, fiber. Did you know most Americans fall far short of the daily recommended intake of fiber? In fact, a recent study* reported that only 5% of men and 9% of women get the fiber they need. That matters because inadequate fiber intake is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, two of the most common diseases in the U.S. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber a day. Plus, it can cause a host of digestive issues and other chronic health issues.
“Usual Dietary Fiber Intake in US Adults with Diabetes: NHANES 2013-2018.” Derek Miketinas, PhD, RD (Texas Woman’s University) et al.
Grateful for food and the ability to eat it (gonna hold onto this one for a while!). Last night, we made individual pizzas with the gluten free crust from My GF Chef at Crack A Daddle Do Farm . Mine had a lemon-garlic-tahini sauce with tomatoes; mushrooms from DarkSpore Mushroom Company ; swiss chard and red onion from JBo Ranch ; kalamata olives; banana peppers; and feta cheese. For breakfast today, I had a mushroom and sundried tomato quiche (also from Crack a Daddle*) with some citrus fruit (so I can put the peels out later to dissuade the neighborhood free-roaming cats from using our mulch like a litter box). I also made some homemade strawberry (from the farmer’s market, of course) sourdough muffins with a crumbly topping, which came out fantastic. And as an additional note, I’m now the kind of person who drives her own herbs.
Trent said, “Is that a quiche from Crack a Daddle? They’re doing a lot more prepared foods now.” And he’s right. They are because people want convenience…but also healthy and good-for-you foods. We had their stuffed shells and Bolognese the other night, and I’ve got their Tuscan Chicken Pasta bake in the freezer for the next time I don’t feel like cooking from scratch for dinner. Next best thing to homemade because I know it’s made with good ingredients and not laden with preservatives that are bad for my microbiome and overall health. Win!
eatfresh #buylocal (for me, that’s at the Simpsonville Farmer’s Market !) #Maintain2022
➡️ Fennel: supports digestive enzyme production ➡️ Cumin: same + bile secretion, helps with digestion of fatty foods ➡️ Turmeric: anti-inflammatory + supports gut lining ➡️ Cloves: powerful anti-inflammatory
I used the first three pretty frequently when I was healing (and this recipe in the article is similar to one I made…without the veggies until I could tolerate them). I still use them regularly, and I drink a CCF (cumin, coriander, fennel) tea daily, particularly after meals. Coriander also aids digestion.
Today I’m #grateful to be back home and back to my routines! Even before CDI, I always felt best when I was on routine. After CDI, routine became even more important to healing. Even small shifts in routine could cause a PI-IBS flare. That’s gotten so much better now that I’m over a year out. But it’s still good to get back on routine. I’m doing a bit of a kitchari “cleanse,” since I did so much new and different eating over the last week. I’m back to my tea and turkey tail extract and tongue scraping and morning face mask and hour-long dog walks and yoga (although I did do some yoga every morning and evening on a towel in my hotel room 🙂 ). These are all things that helped me while healing, and now they’re a great way to make sure I stay healthy, especially after a change in routine. Just because I healed my gut doesn’t mean I can start taking it for granted again! Do you have a get-healthy or stay-healthy routine that’s helped/helping you?
Kidney bean (with chia seeds) burgers: proving you can make almost anything a burger (I’m still avoiding red meat)! LOL. What I am personally excited about with this meal, which I made last week, is that it was topped (as md sided) with cabbage slaw with cotija (this is a low lactose cheese) and paprika-Dijon aïoli (also on the side for dipping). Cabbage. Raw. Not cooked. Not fermented. That’s a first. And I thought for sure I’d have problems. But…no! So that’s my #successstory from last week.
🌱 Beans are such a good source of nutrition, including fiber and prebiotics. Great for the gut. I introduced them slowly and over time, and I now eat them regularly. If you have trouble with beans, I would encourage you to try adding in small amounts over time. As the expert in an article another group member recently shared, “Some people then mistakenly think they have irritable bowel syndrome or a gluten intolerance and back off the fibrous foods.You have to start gently. Increase the amount and type of fibre gradually. The answer to a problem with beans…is actually more beans.” Article: http://bit.ly/3q61jAU.
🎵 Or as we used to sing in my childhood, “Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. The more you eat them, the more you fart. The more you fart, the better you feel. So eat your beans at every meal.” 😂
❤️ They really are good for the heart, too…not just because of the fiber but because of their significant amount of antioxidants. They’re also linked to reduced frequency of breast cancer. Eating beans or lentils two or more times a week was associated with a 24% reduction in risk of breast cancer.
Remember when Ranitidine (aka Zantac) was banned from the market because it was linked to cancer? I do. Because I took Ranitidine daily. For years. And I commented to that effect on Facebook.
👨⚕️ And my friend Elliot commented that there is no way I should be taking that daily anyway. He said something about it being bad for you, not solving the root problem, diet & lifestyle changes…yada yada yada. And my response was something like “But my doctor prescribes it for me. It says right here on the bottle take one to two pills a day.” I may or may not have also mentioned loving tomatoes and jalapenos. And all food and not wanting to give it up. Let me live my best life!
📰 So…then a while later I end up on Omeprazole instead (in part because of burpees, but that’s a tangent). Again, my doctor again said it was fine. Totally normal. NBD. And you should listen to your doctor, right? Well, I’m nothing if not #alwayslearning. I was wrong. Elliot was right. My doctor was wrong. Because one, two, skip a few…c-diff, could’ve died, had no choice.
💊 And once I started really researching CDI, the microbiome, etc., one of the things I discovered about PPIs (proton pump inhibitors, like Omeprazole), H2 blockers (like Ranitidine), and really any ASM (acid suppression medication) is they have very serious effects on the microbiome. Elliott was right: they’re never meant for long-term use because that long-term use can be very detrimental to your health. In fact, a number of studies link PPIs especially to CDI, but H2 blockers and other ASMs have also been linked to it (and other problems to boot!).
🗣️ Listen, the ASMs certainly didn’t cause my CDI. But they certainly didn’t help when I needed to fight it off. And continued use would leave me open to relapse. So I said goodbye to PPIs and H2 blockers and have sought diet and lifestyle changes or natural remedies to help with GERD/heartburn. And, luckily, I’ve been pretty successful.
👩⚕️But lesson learned: you shouldn’t always just listen to the doctor. Do your own research. Ask a bazillion questions and don’t feel bad about it. Whip out a peer-reviewed study or two (not just Google stuff). Doctor doesn’t always know best. And don’t ignore your friends in the health & wellness field just because you like tomatoes.
This was in my news feed today. Evidently, a recent study (not the first) attributes two specific and resistant strains of c-diff (RT027 and RT078) to trehalose, a sugar additive used in some processed foods (especially frozen foods). The article explains that back in the 80s, these strains were not prevalent. But they have significantly increased since the year 2000, when trehalose began to be added to foods. Within three years, outbreaks of these strains were recorded. RT027 is “able to grow from small amounts of trehalose inside the human intestine, whereas other bacteria strains were not.”
Some other key points from this article:
➡️ “The researchers found a link between the rapid spread of the superbug [c-diff] in the past few years and the increased usage of trehalose in many sweet snacks.”
➡️ “Other factors may also contribute, but we think that trehalose is a key trigger.”
➡️ “An important contribution of this study is the realisation that what we once considered a perfectly safe sugar for human consumption, can have unexpected consequences.”
➡️ “Trehalose is commonly used in prepared frozen foods, like ice cream, because it lowers the freezing point of foods.”
📝 What I personally take from this: eating real, whole foods is always best for your health and your microbiome (and the more variety the better once you can handle it). Try to avoid processed foods as much as possible (although an occasional bowl of Cheerios isn’t gonna kill me). When the ingredient list is long, there’s no telling what’s actually in there and how it could affect your body (I’m still disturbed by beaver butt 😂).
So these sourdough pancakes I made on Christmas morning are now my official staycation obsession.
Last year, as I was recovering from c-diff, someone gifted me some sourdough starter because it’s considered to be good for the microbiome. After all, it’s home like a bazillion bacteria (that’s why it bubbles!) . And it’s supposed to easier to digest because it’s fermented. And fermentation is one step in the digestion process, so basically, it already made it easier by cutting out a big step, right? But really, here is a WebMD article about sourdough. Notably, it explains, “Sourdough bread may be easier to digest than white bread for some people. According to some studies, sourdough bread acts as a prebiotic, which means that the fiber in the bread helps feed the “good” bacteria in your intestines. These bacteria are important for maintaining a stable, healthy digestive system.”
Last year I made some great muffins and these, but failed at making bread. I made poser pizza with sourdough crust. We had great homemade sourdough tortillas, and I ate plenty of homemade sourdough dark chocolate chip cookies. But the pancakes are new. And I love them. I serve them with a little ghee (still avoiding lactose!) and a little real maple syrup. Delicious! And pretty easy too…at least for staycation!
This article was in my feed this morning. Thought it was really interesting, especially since so many people have worried about catching c-diff or other bacteria from dogs and cats.
From the article: ““A growing number of studies have documented the ability of animal contact to impact the human microbiome (collection of microbes in the intestines) in ways that may help prevent certain types of disease, such as cardiovascular disease and asthma,” said Dr. Laurel Redding, VMD, PhD, DACVPM, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Penn Vet, the project’s Principal Investigator. “In conducting this study, our goal is to shed light on the microbial exchanges that occur between pets and pet owners and assess whether pets can mitigate disruption of their owner’s gut microbiome following antibiotic therapy.””
Two things: 1) I added some (not too many!) cherry tomatoes when I was cooking my vegetable khichdi for the week. I ate it for lunch 4 times. I also put a tiny tomatoe slice on a sandwich earlier this week. And…nothing bad happened! 🥳 2) I’m so exhausted. Work is crazy. I slept for 9 hours the other night! I am so tired of having to prepare 3 meals a day for every day from scratch in my own kitchen. So I gave takeout another go. Last time did not end well. So we again scoured a menu for something we thought I could try and then I made some custom requests: whole grain bread instead of brioche; no butter for grilling; no sauce with milk. It’s a Ham & Gruyere Melt. I researched gruyere, and apparently it’s lactose free. So I had this sandwich (well, not the whole thing because it’s huge) for lunch today. Fingers crossed it goes well! So far, so good, but tomorrow will be the real tell. It will be such a relief to find at least one takeout thing I can eat! I’m almost 10 months post-treatment. Tuesday will be the anniversary of my first bacterial infection diagnosis and treatment (Flagyl) which started this whole roller coaster. That’s getting in my head obviously. Focusing on my gratitude though! And the tomato success is on the list!