People often ask me whether following a gut-healing diet means eating plain, boring food. They also worry they’ll have to commit to endless hours in the kitchen cooking complicated meals, and they wonder how they’ll ever remember what’s ok to eat and what isn’t.
But it’s actually pretty simple. You just have to remember a few key principles and before long you’ll be cooking up the tastiest food you’ve ever made and getting healthy at the same time.
Here are three recipes that work well for healing the gut. They are also delicious and filling.
Below each one I flag up some of the reasons why they are Gut Geek-approved.
A good strategy is to cook in large amounts then store leftovers in the fridge or freezer. This means that when you get into the house late in the evening, tired after work and feeling tempted to reach for quick and easy favourites like pasta or chicken nuggets, all you have to do is reach for the healthy stuff you prepared earlier in the week. Just reheat and you’re good to go.
1. Lemongrass Chicken
This recipe is by Brenda Watson and you can find the full details here.
This recipe is great because:
- It uses coconut oil, a healthy saturated fat. Coconut oil is a better choice than your average vegetable, sunflower or corn oil, as they are highly processed and full of toxins
- Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, and it tastes good.
Make sure that you buy good quality natural coconut oil, as some brands have been ‘hydrogenated’ to increase shelf-life. Hydrogenation involves high heat and pressure treatment, which is bad news for the fat molecules and for your body.
So check the label! Ideally you also want a brand that is organic and ‘cold pressed’. It’s not cheap but a little goes a long way.
- Scallions, onions and garlic are good for your immune system. They are also ‘prebiotic’, which means they feed the friendly bacteria in our gut
- Fresh ginger helps digestion
- If possible, buy free-range or organic chicken as it will have more nutrients and less toxins than intensively farmed battery chicken
2. Magic Chili
This recipe is by Mickey Trescott at Autoimmune-Paleo and you can find the full details here.
This chili really is magic because:
- It uses bone broth in the sauce. Homemade bone broth is bursting with nutrients and is a secret weapon against gut problems.
- It avoids using tomatoes, which are a common trigger food for causing problems for many people. They are a member of the nightshade family and can worsen inflammation in the body
- It avoids using beans, which are hard to digest. This is why they’re well known for causing trouser-trumpets
- It’s still a classic one-pot stew, so not fiddly or time-consuming to prepare
As the recipe says, try and use grass-fed rather than regular, industrial beef. It has a lot more nutrients and less toxins than industrial beef. You may not find it in your local supermarket. Instead, look for a good local butcher or farmer’s market, or order online.
3. Quinoa, Arugula and Beet Salad with Orange Balsamic Dressing
This recipe is by Kimi Harris at the Nourishing Gourmet and you can find the full details here
This salad kicks ass! Here’s what you need to know:
- It will fill you up as it contains quinoa, a good substitute for bread
- Quinoa has none of the problematic gluten of wheat
- If you’re following a GAPS or Paleo regime, you’re avoiding grains so quinoa is not allowed. However as your gut-health improves, for many people it’s fine to introduce quinoa. One big advantage is that it’s a good source of carbohydrates, so is awesome fuel for your workouts.
To make quinoa easier to digest, just soak it overnight with a splash of natural, live yoghurt. This will cause the little grains to sprout, releasing all their tasty goodness and neutralising their problematic ‘anti-nutrients’. Kimi gives more details here.
This recipe uses nuts which are prepared first by soaking then dehydrating. This may sound like a hassle but if your gut is out of balance, raw nuts can cause more upset. With this technique the nuts become sweetier, tastier, super-nutritious and won’t mess up your digestion. Here’s how to do it.