Swedish Egg

Swedish Egg

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Mini Coconut Carrot Cakes (sugar-free, flour-free, nut-free)


Every December, my friendly next door neighbors host a Holiday Cookie Swap in their beautiful home. The whole street is invited and it's lovely, gathering together in such a warm, inviting setting. I always enjoy going. The only problem for me is cookies.

The way a Cookie Swap works is you arrive with two dozen cookies to share, and leave with your choice of two dozen assorted cookies, baked by others. In between is the party!

I wasn't sure about attending this year because, as I said earlier, cookies. Right now, I'm in a disciplined, post-Thanksgiving eating phase (one thing led to another, flares happen, it's okay) and felt hesitant to compromise my progress by tempting fate. On the other hand, I didn't want to miss the event. So I made these Mini Coconut Carrot Cakes. Not technically a cookie, but on the spectrum.

Mini Coconut Carrot Cakes are sugar-free and flour-free. The main ingredient is 1 pound of shredded organic carrots, bound together with 2 eggs. Also in the mix: a half cup each of shredded coconut and hulled hemp seeds, some spices, some lemon juice, and Lakanto monk fruit sweetener. So simple!

I wasn't sure how my little offerings would be received at the party, surrounded as they were on all sides by ginger snaps, chocolate chips, macaroons, creme brulée tarts and so on, but everyone loved them!

And you know what? As gorgeous as everyone's cookies looked, artfully displayed on gleaming counter tops and banquet tables, I enjoyed tasting them with eyes only.

Yes, I felt a little self conscious at first—not partaking, and all—but then I forgot about it, poured myself a glass of water and had a wonderful time catching up with neighbors. Even at a Cookie Swap, there's always more to life than food.

Mini Coconut Carrot Cakes

Makes 3 dozen


1 pound peeled organic carrots (roughly 4 large carrots)
1/2 cup shredded coconut, plus a little more to sprinkle on tops
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
2 large eggs (organic, pastured or free range)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 Tablespoons Lakanto* monk fruit sweetener
2 pinches sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
1 Tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350º F.

Shred the peeled carrots by hand, using the smaller size grating option on your stainless steel box or flat grater. Alternatively, use the food processor, which will yield a coarser shred. Sprinkle shredded carrots with lemon juice and set aside.

If you have a mixer, use it for the next step. If not, it's fine to proceed by hand using a large bowl, a whisk and a spoon. Either way, begin by beating the two eggs together. Then add cinnamon, nutmeg, Lakanto and salt, and beat some more. Add in shredded coconut and hemp seeds, and beat or stir to combine. Finally, add shredded carrots sprinkled with lemon juice. Mix in the carrots until batter is uniform.

Next, divide batter into 36 silicone mini muffin cups. I love these flexible little guys, even though they are made of weird stuff. I use them to make Chubby Checkers, too.

(If you don't have silicone mini muffin cups, Option 2 might be to use metal mini muffin tins lined with parchment paper, or to drop batter by the teaspoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Better yet, get some silicone molds!)

When all the cups are full, sprinkle a little coconut on top of each to decorate. Place the silicone molds on a metal cookie sheet to avoid flopping, and place in oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until coconut on top begins to look toasted. Mine took exactly 20 minutes to perfection.

Remove tray from oven and allow to cool before removing mini cakes from molds. Store in the fridge, in a covered container. ♥︎

*I purchase my Lakanto directly from the manufacturer. If you'd like to do the same, here's their website www.lakanto.com This is the sweetener I use in my tea. It's made from a blend of non-fermenting monk fruit extract, and erythritoI (the only non-fermenting polyol). I prefer the Golden (looks like brown sugar), but the Classic (white) is good, too.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Salmon & Spinach Egg Muffins

Here's a recipe for a tasty little, SIBO-friendly Egg Muffin that you can eat with your fingers. It's a fun way to combine protein and veggies: tasty, packable and portable.

Ever since I learned that egg muffins existed, I've been wanting to make some. This may sound weird, but due to its shape and size, I find that eating an Egg Muffin offers some of the familiar comfort I associate with eating real muffins. True confession: I miss muffins! But even almond flour or coconut flour muffins hurt my tummy. Egg Muffins, on the other hand present no such problem!

I made these today for the very first time and they came out great! If you try them, I hope you like them, too.

Salmon & Spinach Egg Muffins contain about 9 grams of protein each, supplied by both smoked salmon and eggs. If you add the optional cheese, protein count will be closer to 10 grams apiece. I ate two muffins for my mid-day "break-fast" meal and felt super satisfied all the way until dinner, with NO BLOATING.

Salmon & Spinach Egg Muffins

Makes 6
Serving Size: 1 or 2 muffins


6 large eggs (please choose organic, free-range or pastured!)
1 4-oz package smoked salmon, diced (or 1 cup crumbled leftover salmon)
1 cup chopped baby spinach
1 teaspoon dill weed*
several grinds of black pepper

Optional: 2 oz of grated cheese (consider aged cheddar, feta or brie)


Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease 6 muffin tins with fat of choice. (I suggest butter, ghee or coconut oil.)

In a medium bowl, beat eggs together well. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. (Note: salt is omitted due to saltiness of smoked salmon and optional cheese.) Ladle egg mixture into greased muffin cups. Expect them to be about three-quarters full after all the batter is divided.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. The tops will puff up like little golden chef hats! Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing Egg Muffins from tin.

*Change up the herbs for a different flavor. Instead of dill, you could use tarragon and thyme, for example. ♥︎

Friday, October 27, 2017


Just a quick post to make sure you've heard about an awesome webinar event called the SIBO SOS Summit taking place this week! This is the second time the Summit has aired, with all-new videos added for Summit 2. (I've been invited to be a speaker in Summit #3, so stay tuned for more on that!) Click here to watch more than 40 experts from across the SIBOsphere share a wealth of expertise and different perspectives on how to diagnose, treat and manage SIBO.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What Can I Eat if I Have SIBO?

 If you are new to SIBO and wondering what to eat, 
have a look at my Sexy Sibo Level 1 Diet.

The Level 1 diet is, essentially, a low-FODMAPs version of 
the SCD/GAPS Intro Diet. I created this for people with IBS-C and SIBO.

There are two levels, Basic and Advanced.

Start with Level 1 – Basic for one to two weeks, 
or until symptom relief happens. 

Move to Advanced as symptoms and personal tolerances allow.
(If you know you can't tolerate nuts, or coconut milk, or eggs, for example, don't eat them!)

Remain on Level 1 for at least one month, and during active treatment. 
ALWAYS fall back to Level 1 Basic if flaring in future!

NOTE: Please use the highest quality meats and animal foods whenever possible.
Choose naturally-raised, organic, wild or pastured animal foods and organic produce.

And now, Introducing....

The Sexy Sibo  Level 1 Diet 

Here's what you CAN eat!
And here's what you need to avoid. 
These high FODMAP foods will ferment in your belly
causing gas, bloating and other symptoms.

DO NOTE EAT: Beans, Grains*, Flour, Corn, Soy, Wheat, Milk, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Garlic, Onions, Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cauliflower, Collards), Mushroom, Celery, Dried Fruit, Dates, Apple, Pear, Peach, Plum, Pectin, Inulin, Chicory, FOS, Gums, Seaweeds, Carrageenan.
 *possible exception: Jasmine rice, ½ cup 

If you are curious about a food that isn't listed above, check out Dr. Allison Siebecker’s very complete SIBO FOOD GUIDE: http://www.siboinfo.com/diet.html.

Please feel free to contact for a large, high resolution version of the Basic and Advanced Level 1 food charts shown above. For personalized guidance, inspiration & support, contact me to schedule a private session. To help you get started, some ideas for how to put it all together are below!

Be well!

   Sexy Sibo Level 1 Meal Ideas                                                                                                                                                         

Chicken Soup (add choice of carrots+zucchini; cubed butternut squash; tomato+green beans, etc. Garnish with green herbs.)
Mediterranean Fish Stew w/ tomato, carrot, black olives, Italian herbs. Serve over Zucchini Noodles.
Roasted Chicken with Baked Acorn Squash, braised spinach or chard
Grilled Salmon with Scallions, Ginger Green Beans, Baked Butternut Fries (toss in coconut oil, salt & pepper)
Creamy Pureed Soups (i.e. Butternut Bisque, Carrot-Ginger)
Indian Curries – Veg, or Chicken/Shrimp & Veg (add fire-roasted tomatoes if desired)
Thai Coconut Curry - carrots, eggplant, red bell pepper; shrimp or chicken (no sugar!)
Omelet/Fritatta – choice of spinach, zucchini, red peppers, olives, shredded hard cheese
Chinese Restaurant Food – “Dieters” Shrimp/Scallop/Chicken & Steamed Vegetables, Eggplant & Green Beans
Poached Eggs on Greens (Poach/Steam in chicken stock if you have it – yum!)
GAPS-style Pancakes (make with cooked, mashed winter squash, eggs and nut butter)

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tomato-Marsala Short Ribs w/ Spinach & Carrots - a Delicious Slow Cooker Recipe

A couple posts back, the picture at left appeared with the caption "Food is Love, Exhibit B." (Exhibit A was a potato chip that came out of the bag in a perfect heart shape.)

Potato chips may offer dreamy, drug-like comfort in the moment (confessions of a chip-a-holic), but they in no way offer love to your body in the way that real food delivers.

The dish, of course, is Tomato-Marsala Short Ribs, and I made it in my slow cooker. YUM.

As someone who works 40 hours a week and is committed to eating a Paleo-style/whole food/SIBO-safe diet, I consider the slow cooker to be a godsend. There's nothing like coming home at dinner time and having a wholesome, digestible and delicious dinner ready to enjoy!

Many people only think of using their slow cooker during the winter months, but I love it for summer use, too, since slow cooking doesn't heat up your kitchen like stove top or oven cooking will. Such a great invention!

So far, I've made this recipe twice, once with short ribs, and again with a 2 pound boneless pot roast. Both dishes came out great, with Marsala wine being the distinguishing ingredient. I've not cooked with Marsala before, but I will again! Adds a little something special for sure.

Tomato-Marsala Short Ribs with Spinach & Carrots

Makes 4 servings

4 good sized, grass fed beef short ribs (1+ pounds total)
1 Tbs coconut oil or ghee
Himalayan pink salt & fresh ground black pepper
6-8 organic carrots, peeled
2-4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup tomato paste mixed with 1/2 cup water, or 3/4 cup sugar-free organic tomato sauce
1 teaspoon each oregano and thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 handful chopped chives or green onions
1 bay leaf
1-2 handfuls baby spinach per serving
additional salt, Nama Shoyu (naturally fermented tamari) or coconut aminos to taste

Sprinkle short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat coconut oil or ghee in a skillet over medium-high heat, and brown short ribs on all sides. While ribs are browning, chop carrots and tomatoes into 1-inch chunks and add to bottom of crock pot. When ribs are browned, place them on top of the veggies in the crock pot and sprinkle with chives. It will look like this:

Go back to your skillet and turn heat off if you didn't already. Allow skillet to cool for a minute and then pour in Marsala wine to deglaze the pan.

Add tomato paste-water mixture (or tomato sauce) and seasonings (oregano, thyme, cayenne/red pepper) and stir to combine. Pour this Marsala-tomato sauce over the short ribs and veggies in the crock pot, stir gently, and tuck in a bay leaf for good measure. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Before serving, stir in 1-2 handfuls of baby spinach per person and allow to wilt. This takes about 2 minutes with the cover on. Please note that depending on how many people are eating this dish, you may have leftovers. You want to add fresh spinach every time so it always will be fresh and green. Swiss chard can stand in for spinach any day.

Add extra salt, Nama Shoyu or coconut aminos to taste. Serve in shallow bowls, as there will be lots of yummy sauce!

Note: When ribs are done cooking, the meat will just fall off the bone. It's up to you if you want to remove all the bones and break up the meat before serving, like a stew as pictured up top, or put a whole short rib in each dish and ladle sauce on top. Take your pick. ;-)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My Cheating Fart

Food is Love - Exhibit A

As anyone who’s ever followed a restricted diet knows, maintaining your resolve can be very, very challenging. Even if you are restricting for health reasons, even if you know what the consequences of diverging from your program will be, temptation is always out there. It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie or an experienced practitioner of SIBO-safe eating. Nobody’s perfect. We all fall down. Which is why the ability to pick oneself up is such a gift.

I haven’t posted much in the past few months. Without going into full-on confession mode, the truth is I’ve been struggling with the holding of firm dietary boundaries, and it set my progress back. I flared. I started feeling sorry for myself. My stomach hurt a lot (like every day). Constipation increased. I was gaining weight and feeling sluggish. Poor me!

It isn’t fair that fresh fruit in season is so delicious. Not to mention Kettle Potato Chips, New York Cheddar (see Exhibit A, above). It isn’t fair that others can eat those foods without consequence, but I can’t—not without paying the price in pain and bloating.

But that’s my situation. I have SIBO. And I don’t believe it is ever, forever going away. I’ve had IBS-C since I was in my teens. My gut was damaged long ago by emotional and behavioral trauma, and my motiity and microbiome is permanently altered. There is no cure. In fact, the main takeaway message (for me) from the 2017 Integrative SIBO Conference I attended in March, was this:

SIBO is a chronic, relapsing condition for the majority. Two thirds of all cases will never be cured. Ongoing management is expected.

If you are in the lucky one third of people with SIBO for whom the condition is not chronic, I am so happy for you! There’s a light at the end of your tunnel.

For most of us, though, 100% symptom resolution is not expected. Why? Because in the majority of cases, elimination of the underlying cause is not possible.

Yes, with proper treatment, 80-90% symptom resolution is expected, which is great, but relapse is expected, too. According to SIBO expert Allison Siebecker, the common timeframe for relapse is 2.5 months. But it can happen in 2 weeks, or even 2 days if there is an underlying structural cause, or if the condition was not completely eradicated by one round of antibiotics, in which case multiple rounds are called for. And even then.

SIBO is a chronic, relapsing condition for the majority.

Just as taking insulin doesn’t cure diabetes, antibiotics will not fix our problem forever. People will feel better, but not 100%. There is usually not a cure for SIBO that makes it so you never have to think about it again. Ongoing management is expected.

This is sobering, indeed. But it’s not a death sentence, no more than birth itself. Ongoing management required just means that we have to accept, grow up, keep learning and, if we chance to tumble, we get back on the horse.

Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to be in Maine and meet up with Amanda Crutcher, a nutritionist friend of mine from way back, who shined some light on my resolve. She told me how she’s eating these days, and it’s exactly how I need to be eating, too (not that I didn’t know how, but knowing and doing are two different things.)

Amanda inspired me to firm up my boundaries (no more nuts and fruit for dinner like I’d had the night before, “because I was travelling”—hel-lo!). She reminded me to focus my diet on a) vegetables that are both low-FODMAP and low starch, and b) clean animal foods.

Food is Love - Exhibit B
Clean animal food means: grass fed meats, wild-caught fish, pastured eggs and full fat/lactose-free dairy products, such as raw milk aged cheese and organic heavy cream. Amanda pointed out that chicken, upon which I’d been relying (so easy! so tasty!) often can cause problems due to being grain fed, and hence high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. And she motivated me to resume the beneficial practice of Intermittent Fasting (aka Meal Spacing, a critical strategy for SIBO) with more diligence and attention.

Amanda also introduced me to a podcast called The Health Edge, which I began listening to immediately on the drive home, and am now recommending to you. Check it out!

On that note, I will leave you with a promise to always be honest here, never hold myself up on any kind of pedestal, and hopefully be back soon with more recipes, tips, resources and inspiration. May you be true to yourself and successful in your efforts. Management is not so bad. We just have to be strong, and never stop trying.

xo Diana