SIBO Warrior - part 1

Let me guess, you’re like “what the hell is SIBO?” right? That’s what I said when I recently found out I tested positive for methane and carbon gas residing in my small intestines causing bacterial overgrowth. Funny side note: people with severe SIBO lose weight and ultimately cannot gain weight because they are malnourished. I, of course, get the not serve kind that makes you gain weight- and impossible to lose a pound and keep it off. My grandfather would call this Sod’s law, it’s the British version of Murphy’s law…like of course I get the version of SIBO that makes me bigger!

I think it’s been a resident for 3 years - at least that’s when the symptoms began. I didn’t give the changes much attention and managed the slow but steady increase in my body shape and the pain in my stomach and other weird bathroom stuff I’ll spare you from. I kept thinking with my background and profession that I could figure it out on my own. The breaking point was hitting 164 lbs, a gain of 24 lbs. Wille Victor to the rescue!

Willie is the founder and nutrition consultant of Essentials for Health (in Corte Madera.) She is guiding me through this process and I can’t say enough good things about her!

I have an appointment with a gastro doc in Mill Valley (Dr. Jolley) that Willie works with this week. I cannot wait to begin the antibiotics (xifaxan) and hopefully be on the other side of this. The more I read about SIBO the scarier it is. There’s a school of thought that SIBO is just the symptom to an underlying cause . One culprit can be mold which we have in our current rental. Oh, let the journey begin…

I decided to document this experience and hopefully it will help some of you out there struggling too.

PS Another great personal SIBO journey:

"No Cook" Granola Bars



2 1/2 cups GF old-fashioned rolled oats, divided

1/3 cup chia seeds

1/3 cup xylitol

1/2 cup raw coconut oil

1/2 cup creamy sunflower butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Pinch sea salt

1/4 cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon sesame seeds


Place 1/2 cup of the oats, the chia seeds, and the xylitol in a blender, and grind to a fine powder. Transfer to a food processor and add the next 5 ingredients (coconut oil through salt). Process until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the food processor. Add the rest of the oats, the cashews, coconut, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds.

Pulse until nicely combined, but still chunky (about 7 quick pulses), scraping down the sides as needed. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, crisscrossing two pieces and leaving the edges hanging over the sides of the pan. Press the granola mixture firmly into the lined pan, and chill until firm (about 4 hours). Cut into bars, and store in the fridge.

Beefy Butternutty Chili

I've heard great things about The Fast Metabolism Diet created by Haylie Pomroy. I don't like the word diet so I refer to it as The Fast Metabolism Program :) It was a New York Times best seller with millions of copies sold. Of all the diets I've experimented with this one is worth trying! 

Women's Health said..."The Fast Metabolism Diet is a strategic 28-day plan to nurture the body back to health. It uses targeted nutrients at strategic times to evoke a metabolic change in a body that's stuck or has become sluggish at burning fat. It incorporates healthy whole foods and all of the food groups but in a way that rotates between rest and restoration and rebuild and burn cycles. It celebrates food. The recipes are delicious and decadent. It is based on the science that pleasure stimulates the metabolism and that the body needs more, not less, for true repair."

This recipe can be eaten 5 days out of the week and it's DELICIOUS!

Beef Chili with Butternut Squash

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour Yield: Serves 8, Phases 1 and 3


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (Phase 3 only -- Phase 1, use broth)
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 cup seeded and chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or 1/2 teaspoon, if you like things spicier)
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  1. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, oregano, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil (or a couple of tablespoons of broth for Phase 1), onions, bell peppers, tomato paste, garlic, cayenne, and half of the seasoning. Stir and cook until everything turns a dark reddish brown, about 10 minutes. Add the ground beef and sprinkle over the remaining seasoning. Stir and cook until the beef is browned, and then add the 3 cups of broth and the squash. Raise the heat until it comes to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Cover and cook until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.

Cream of Coconut Tomato Soup


INGREDIENTS - I recommend organic

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large sweet onion or 2 small, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped in large chunks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2.5 lbs tomatoes ,chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cups stock or better yet, bone broth!  [beef, chicken or veg]
  • ¾ cup coconut cream
  • ½ Tbsp salt & freshly ground pepper to taste


Start by chopping the onion, carrot and garlic. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the coconut oil and let it melt. Add the chopped onion, carrot and garlic. Let the onions get really soft by sautéing for 10 minutes. In the meantime, chop the tomatoes. Add tomatoes, paste and stock to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook on low for at least 30 minutes.

Let the soup cool enough to handle it, then transfer to a blender to blend. A food mill or immersion blender would work too. Add the soup back the pot. Stir in the coconut cream. Top with more cream, cilantro, basil or crushed plantain chips.


Feeling super lazy? Use 40 oz of ORGANIC canned tomatoes instead of fresh! Grass-fed half and half instead of coconut cream would work too. Add protein to make it a balanced meal. A big salad with hard boiled eggs or grilled salmon would be perfect.

Tomatoes are rich in the antioxidant lycopene. This nutritional powerhouse is great for the heart, bones and is effective against certain cancers – most notably, prostate cancer. Other nutrients coming through for the win: Vitamin C & K, biotin, copper and potassium.

Cooked tomatoes are actually way better for you than raw ones. The heat makes the lycopene more bioavailable in the body, meaning it’s absorbed and utilized better. Yes, ketchup has health benefits. No, it’s still not healthy.

If you buy heirloom tomatoes, you can actually use the seeds to grow new heirloom tomatoes. How cool is that? If you like to put food on your face, tomatoes make a great cleanser because of their acid content. Mash one up with an avocado and you’ve got yourself a toning face mask.



Sweet and Crunchy Quinoa Salad


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 scallions, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Place the quinoa into a small saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water is evaporated. Turn off the heat and let quinoa sit covered for at least one hour.
  3. Place the sweet potato cubes into a roasting pan and toss with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until you can just pierce the cubes with a fork. Set aside.
  4. Place the pine nuts into a small pan over medium heat until lightly toasted, stirring often. Set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, place the remaining three tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Whisk well.
  6. When the quinoa is dry, use a whisk to break apart the seeds and place into a large bowl. Add half the vinaigrette and mix with the whisk. Add more to taste, depending on how wet you like your quinoa.
  7. Add the sweet potatoes, pine nuts, and scallions and mix gently. Serve at room temperature.

Kale Marinade


As I’m sure you’ve heard, kale is a superfood. It has more iron per gram than red meat. But kale can be very hard to chew because it’s so fibrous. Behold the most amazing marinade over raw kale: Ani Phyo’s Sunflower Thyme Marinade. Ani’s marinade softens the kale and is so flavorful, you’ll forget how good it is for you.

Ani Phyo’s Sunflower Thyme Marinade
2 T thyme
1 clove garlic
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sunflower seeds soaked an hour or more and then drained
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t sea salt
2 T lemon juice

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Marinade will keep for 3-4 days and makes enough for a few salads.