Popeye’s Matzo Brei Recipe

platter_redMy very generous mother-in-law bought me and my husband five pounds of matzo in preparation for Passover. Initially I felt that we might be set for the next few years, but then I remembered my adaptation of Sara Moulton’s Matzo Brei recipe.

Whether you observe Passover or not, I highly recommend trying this quick, easy and nutritious weeknight recipe.

The cooked onions provide a delicious creaminess and flavor to an already flavorful dish.
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High protein diets linked to adverse gut health

baconburgerYou might be familiar with the beneficial by-products that result from our gut bacteria feeding on indigestible carbohydrates, like fiber.  But, what happens to undigested protein that ends up in your large intestine (aka your colon), and why should you care?

A new review article titled “Insights into colonic protein fermentation, its modulation and potential health implications” investigated the harmful effects of protein fermentation and their relationship to irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer, and foul-smelling farts (sorry, folks).

Although our bodies are well-equipped to efficiently break down protein, some of it still escapes digestion and ends up in the colon.

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Avocado Toast Recipe

avocadoAvocado toast is one of my favorite go-to breakfasts when I’m looking for something easy, quick, nutritious and delicious.

Avocado is a terrific source of healthy fat and fiber, both of which will help keep you full until lunch time. Despite its fiber content, avocado is generally well tolerated by people on a low roughage/low fiber diet.

Avocado is a great substitution for your standard toast toppings, like butter and cream cheese, which are high in saturated fat. Add fresh slices of tomato for additional nutrients.

This recipe makes two servings.

Choose Hass avocados with bumpy, dark green skin. Buy firm ones and allow them to ripen at room temperature. Avocados are ripe when they yield to gentle pressure.

Ingredients

2 slices fresh whole wheat or sourdough bread, toasted
One ripe avocado, rinsed
Slices of fresh tomato (optional)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out flesh in one piece and then slice.

Spread avocado on bread; top with tomato slices if desired. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

April is IBS Awareness Month

IBS awareness monthI’m happy to share that April 1st marked the beginning of IBS Awareness month.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal condition that affects an estimated 30 million Americans and millions more worldwide—men, women and children.  IBS is not well understood in the medical community and not always easy to talk about.

As a result, many people are forced to suffer in silence.

People with IBS can experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation, fecal urgency, excessive and uncomfortable gas, mucus in the stool, and a feeling of incomplete bowel movements.  These physical symptoms take a serious toll on one’s quality of life as do the psychological and financial burdens.  Because IBS is not a life-threatening illness, too many people, mostly women, are quickly dismissed by their physicians, often made to feel like they’re crazy.

You’re not crazy.  IBS is a very real disease.

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A healthy sugar? Not!

This infographic is from 2014, but I felt compelled to share it today because some of the smartest people I know still believe that certain added sugars are good for us.

Please remember that added sugar, defined as sugars and syrups added to foods during processing, preparation or at the table, offers zero nutritional benefit.  Most of us eat way too much sugar and it’s making us sick.

Check out an earlier post for more information on how much sugar is safe to eat.  And, to find out if you’re choosing the “healthiest” sugar, check out this fun infographic by Noelle Campbell.

huffingtonpostsugar

Click image to enlarge.

This infographic is from an article in the Huffington Post titled “Sorry, But There’s No Such Thing as a Healthy Sugar.”  Definitely worth a read.

Dinner and a bathroom?

First_aid_sqIn an earlier post titled “Manage bathroom emergencies with some simple diet modifications” I called out dietary fat as a common trigger for diarrhea and abdominal cramping.

I doubt this fun fact came as news to anyone who suffers from diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D), small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

There are a variety of physiological explanations for why fats can cause unwanted GI symptoms, and today’s post is going to focus on your gastrocolic reflex.

A common concern among my patients with diarrhea is that they feel like food, particularly fried foods, greasy foods, red meat and high-fat dairy, “runs right through” them.

Sound familiar? You might have your gastrocolic reflex to thank for your urgent sprints to the loo shortly after eating.
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Butternut Squash Grain-Free Muffins

muffinSatisfying a food craving on a restricted diet can sometimes require quite a bit of culinary creativity. Fortunately, there are people like Lillian Mahl, who are up for the challenge. Thank you, Lillian, for sharing her easy recipe for delicious grain-free, low sugar Butternut Squash Muffins.

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Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth Q&A

First_aid_sq Ingredient1, a fun mobile food app, asked me to identify and comment on a “tummy upset” that I felt all of their readers should know about, and I chose small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

SIBO, a major contributing factor to IBS, occurs when excessive amounts of bacteria end up in the small intestine, where it doesn’t belong. These bacteria can contribute to a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, notably gas, bloating and irregular bowel movements.

To learn more about SIBO and how it might be playing a role in your GI condition, check out the feature “The Tummy Stressor You Need to Know” at ingredient1.

Gluten-free breads to add to your shopping list

breadMost gluten-free breads leave a lot to be desired. Baking bread without gluten, the protein responsible for its pleasurable airy structure and doughy consistency, is a challenge that often results in an unappetizing brick that tastes and feels like cardboard.

Fortunately, some bakeries have managed to overcome the gluten barrier to create enjoyable gluten-free breads that will satisfy any bread craving.

One of my patients was kind enough to share with me two of her favorites.
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Dietary pattern linked to Ulcerative Colitis

First_aid_sqThe rates of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), notably Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, have skyrocketed over the past 50 years, and many experts suspect diet might be to blame.

Earlier this year a group of European researchers published their findings from a recent prospective study titled “Dietary Patterns and Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Europe: Results from the EPIC Study.”

Physicians are often too quick to dismiss the possible role of diet in causing and managing IBD, so it’s a nice surprise to see a whole group of medical doctors involved in the design and execution of this study.
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