DID YOU KNOW? Avocados are rich in fiber — half an avocado (roughly 100g) packs 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the RDA. Fiber has been shown to have important benefits for weight loss, metabolic health and gut health.
About 25% of the fiber in avocado is soluble, which is known for feeding the friendly gut bacteria in your intestine. The number and type of bacteria is very important for optimal gut health and overall health.
If you’re dealing with IBS or weight loss resistance, I recommend replacing grain-based foods with high-fiber whole foods like avocados, vegetables and other fruits.
Here are a few way to incorporate avocados in your diet:
Add to smoothies (learn all about creating healthy smoothies here)
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1 lb wild Pacific halibut*
1 avocado, chopped into small chunks
1 small mango, chopped into small chunks
1 tsp red onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp cilantro, basil or parsley, finely chopped
1 lime, juice only
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
*If you can’t find wild Pacific halibut or it’s too expensive, try wild cod or another similar fish. If you’re not a fan of fish, this salsa works great with chicken too!
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Coat halibut with avocado oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.
3. Place halibut in oven and cook for 10-15-minutes (more time may be needed for thicker pieces of halibut). Halibut should be opaque and flake when cut with a fork.
4. While halibut is cooking, combine mango, avocado, red onion, fresh herbs, lime juice and seasoning in a bowl and mix until well combined.
5. When halibut is done, let rest for a few minutes then top with fresh mango & avocado salsa and serve.
DID YOU KNOW? Tuna fish is right up there with other healthy types of fish, such as salmon, when it comes to nutrition — it packs a good amount of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Tuna’s high protein content makes it an excellent addition to a weight loss diet since it can help reduce your appetite, prevent cravings and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
In addition, protein makes up the foundation of your hair, skin, nails and muscles; is crucial for the synthesis of certain enzymes and hormones; and is used for the growth and repair of tissues. So, including more tuna fish in your diet can help provide your body with the protein that you need.
Lastly, tuna is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (a.k.a. fish oil), which may be able to alleviate inflammation and reduce the risk of disease. Fish oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties, and multiple studies have shown that it could be therapeutic for autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
NOTE: Stick to wild types of tuna that are caught using the Pacific troll or pole and line methods. Also, avoid Atlantic bluefin tuna, which may have a negative impact on both the environment and your health because it is over-fished and often farm-raised.
INGREDIENTS: (serves 1)
1 can wild skipjack tuna, drained
3-4 cups mixed greens
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. In a bowl or container, add greens, tuna, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper.
2. If you’re eating right away, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and toss. If you’re taking it to go in a container, drizzle with olive oil and vinegar then shake container right before you eat to coat ingredients.
When I switched over to an IBS friendly diet many year ago, pad-Thai was one of the dishes I knew I was going to miss most.
I fell in love with pad-Thai during my university days and always found myself gravitating towards Thai restaurants when I ate out. Something about the combo of spices and flavours is just magical in Thai cuisine.
So, since depriving myself of the foods I love most is never an option, it was important that I had a grain free version of pad-Thai that I could easily create in my kitchen whenever a craving hit.
Check out this delicious Shrimp Pad-Thai with simple and clean ingredients. It’s one of my favourite recipes to date 🙂
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)
1 lb wild shrimp
2 pastured eggs
1 spaghetti squash
1 pack enoki mushrooms
2 large carrots
2 green onions
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch cube ginger, grated
2 tbsp. avocado oil
4 sprigs cilantro (optional)
2 tbsp. pine nuts or crushed almonds, lightly toasted
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
NOTE: If you’re not a fan of shrimp, feel free to swap it out for chicken. Just cut 1lb of chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds. Bake at 400 for 30-40 min. Fork should pierce skin easily when squash is cooked. Use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash. Set aside. (I suggest preparing the other ingredients as the squash cooks).
2. Finely chop carrots and green onion in a food processor or by hand. Set aside.
3. Using a deep pan over medium heat sauté garlic and ginger in 1 tbsp. avocado oil until fragrant. Add carrots, onion and mushrooms and continue to cook until carrots are tender. Season with salt.
4. Create a space in the middle of the pan, add eggs and scramble. Mix in with vegetables and let cook for 1-2 minutes.
5. In a small bowl combine all sauce ingredients until smooth and creamy.
6. Add spaghetti squash and sauce into pan and mix all ingredients together until sauce coats everything.
7. Add in cooked shrimp (see instructions below) and gentle combine all ingredients until warm.
8. Plate the pad-Thai and top with toasted pine nuts and chopped cilantro.
Shrimp: (can be cooked at the same time as the pad-Thai)
1. In a separate pan, cook shrimp in 1 tbsp avocado oil over medium heat. Season with salt and black pepper. Turn shrimp halfway through cooking.
2. Once shrimp are cooked, set aside until ready to add to the other pan.
So, I was going to talk about the health benefits of this flavourful Italian dish, BUT got sidetracked by some other interesting facts when I was doing recipe research …
DID YOU KNOW? Spaghetti alla puttanesca literally means prostitute’s spaghetti!
And that’s why we’re not talking about health today – and instead learning about how this dish got its name.
Some believe this was the easiest dish prostitutes could prepare between customers because the low cost, easily stored ingredients required little shopping or preparation.
Others believe it was was created by Sandro Petti, the co-owner of the restaurant Rangio Felon. The story goes that some customers arrived late to eat and because the restaurant had run out of many fresh ingredients, they asked Petti to prepare ‘una puttanata qualsiasi’, which literally translates as ‘a whore’s any’ but means any rubbish/ garbage. So Petti created a dish with what he had left in the kitchen. The resulting pasta dish was liked so much by the customers that Petti put it on the restaurant menu calling it ‘spaghetti all puttanesca’.
Moral of the story (whichever story you choose to believe): Spaghetti alla puttanesca is not only quick and easy to whip up, but it’s also a great go-to meal during the busy work week since most ingredients (like olives, capers, tomatoes and anchovies) can be easily stored in your kitchen.
Now check out my gluten free & paleo spin on a classic spaghetti alla puttanesca.
“Spaghetti” alla Puttanesca
INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
1 large spaghetti squash
6 anchovy fillets, canned in olive oil
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes , drained
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tbsp. capers
3 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Fresh parsley for garnish
Sea salt to taste
Not a fan of anchovies? Try tuna or chicken instead. Make it plant-based by replacing anchovies with beans.
1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and remove seeds with spoon.
2. Bake at 400 for 30-40 min (first 10 min bake with flesh down, then turn so skin is down for remaining time). Fork should pierce skin easily when squash is cooked. Note: Cooking time varies depending on the size of the squash. Check regularly to avoid overcooking the squash. You want the noodles to be ‘al dente’.
3. Use a fork to scrape out the strands of squash.
Time your spaghetti squash so that it’s done cooking around the same time as your sauce, so your noodles don’t cool.
1. In a large pan, sauté garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes in 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium-low heat. Break apart anchovies.
2. Once garlic is lightly golden, add tomatoes and crush with a fork. Add some salt and cook at medium heat until tomatoes break down, roughly 10-minutes.
3. Add in olives and capers and let simmer on low heat for another 10-minutes.
4. Add cooked spaghetti squash into the puttanesca pan with 1 tbsp. olive oil and coat noodles with sauce.
DID YOU KNOW? Sauerkraut’s live and active probiotics have beneficial effects on the health of your digestive tract — and therefore the rest of your body too.
That’s because a very large portion of your immune system actually lives within your gut and is run by bacteria that live within your intestinal flora.
Imbalances in gut bacteria have been associated with a long list of health related problems and increased risks of disease, but luckily obtaining good bacteria from probiotic foods has repeatedly demonstrated health benefits in clinical settings.
Probiotic foods can be beneficial for reducing symptoms like IBS, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, food sensitives and other digestive disorders since they can help lower the presence of toxins, inflammation and bad bacteria living within your gut.
In the process, sauerkraut and other fermented foods help you better absorb nutrients from the food you’re eating and even help manage your appetite, since they have an effect on hormones.
Sauerkraut with live bacterial cultures can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Read the label to make sure it contains live cultures.
Give this gluten free Tuna & Sauerkraut Wrap a try! It makes for a great lunch or dinner when you want healthy & probiotic-rich food.
On average, wild-caught salmon contains 988 IU of vitamin D per 3.5-ounce or 165% of the RDI. Some studies have found even higher levels in wild salmon — up to 1,300 IU per serving!
Up to 50% of the world’s population may not get enough sun causing many people to be deficient in vitamin D. This is partly because people spend more time indoors, wear sunblock outside and eat a Western diet low in good sources of this vitamin.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to everything from skin problems to weight gain to autoimmune disease to cancer and heart disease.
This stresses the need for all of us to get plenty of sun exposure, and supplement or eat vitamin D-rich foods, such as wild salmon, on a regular basis.