Swedish Egg

Swedish Egg

Friday, February 2, 2018

Body Ecology and the 80/20 Rule

I've been rereading The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates, a classic.

I am fortunate to own a 1993 first edition of the book, which came out before Donna had a bunch of products to sell (not that there's anything wrong with that), but I appreciate how in my copy, her diet and principles are outlined in a very pure form.

The Body Ecology Diet (or BED) grew out of Donna Gates' extensive research and experience. It incorporates elements of Ayurvedic medicine, macrobiotics and natural hygiene with the goal of providing a real food, plant-based, nutritional method for eradicating Candida overgrowth and rebalancing the gut microbiome. Many BED principles can be applied or adapted to SIBO, and the current, up-to-date Body Ecology website, unlike my vintage paperback, addresses IBS and SIBO specifically.

One of the seven main principles in the BED is "The 80/20 rule". This is applied to three distinct categories:

1) In terms of maintaining proper pH balance, the 80/20 rule is to eat 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidifying foods.

2) In terms of eating proper volume, the 80/20 rule is to fill your stomach only until it is about 80% full, and leave 20% empty space. This tip can help improve digestion and sleep quality in all people. Traditional Japanese culture has a phrase for this: Hara hachi bu

3) In terms of menu planning, the 80/20 rule is to eat 80% vegetables (land and ocean source) at every meal, and 20% of proteins or BED starches (root vegetables other than sweet potatoes and potatoes*, or the 4 allowable grains - amaranth, quinoa, millet and buckwheat). *As an exception to the no potato rule, red potatoes in their jackets are allowed.

Because animal protein is non-fermentable, it's one of the safest foods to eat on the SIBO diet, but relying too heavily on eggs, aged cheese, fish, chicken and meat at the expense of veggies can lead to gut heaviness, mineral deficiencies and other imbalances.

Not eating enough fresh veggies is especially a problem in winter when salads can lose their appeal. However, I feel best when I base my diet on vegetables and use animal food as an addition to, not instead of plant food. I am grateful for being reminded of the 80/20 rule by rereading The Body Ecology Diet.

Here's how I put the 80/20 rule in action for my tasty lunch today:

What you are looking at up there: A big pile of room temperature greens (chopped romaine, spinach and cilantro) under one, over easy organic egg. Diced orange heirloom tomato also in hiding. Two slices of sugar free, Paleo-approved bacon and a couple black olives. Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette with a little extra balsamic vinegar.

If I think of it, I'll add more 80/20 meal pictures to this post in the future, to give you more ideas on how to apply this principle to your SIBO safe diet.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


SIBO loves high FODMAP apples.
It was recently brought to my attention that I've mentioned FODMAPs and the importance of eating low FODMAP foods for controlling SIBO many, many times on this blog without every actually explaining what the hell a FODMAP is.

In case you were wondering...

FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols.

These mysterious Os, Ds, Ms and Ps are compounds found in specific carbohydrate-containing foods, namely starches (oligosaccharides), sugars (mono and disaccharides) and sugar alcohols (polyols).

Being fermentable means the compounds are consumed by microbes such as yeast and bacteria—organisms which produce gasses as a byproduct of digestion. The more of these organisms you have in your gut (enter SIBO), the more your belly will fill up with gas when you eat FODMAPs.

 A few examples of different high FODMAP foods are:
  • Fermentable....
  • Oligosaccharides: wheat & rye, beans, onions, garlic, cashew, pistachio
  • Disaccharides: Lactose (liquid milk, ice cream, soft unripened cheese)
  • Monosaccharides: Fructose in fruits (esp apple, pear, mango), HFCS, agave & honey, asparagus, jerusalem artichokes,
  • Polyols: Xylitol/sorbitol/mannitol, celery, mushroom, snow pea, stone fruits including avocado
The best place to learn more about FODMAPS is the Monash University website. Monash  has done most of the research in this field, notably by testing thousands of different foods for FODMAP content, and they have an awesome app you can buy for about ten bucks.

I also love registered dietitian Kate Scarlata's website and blog, dedicated to the low FODMAP diet. Kate also has created the best, free downloadable charts I've seen anywhere, plus she posts great recipes and wonderful articles that are informative and fun to read. Thank you, Kate!

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. ;-)