About a decade ago, I was introduced to the Paleo Diet. I remember when I first started learning the rules of that diet, I was having a hard time transitioning and creating my new “norm” with the food options. It was a journey but once I figured it out, I got super creative with ingredients and that lead me to the creation of this food blog. I am no longer “Paleo” but educate clients and readers on how to create delicious meals from natural whole foods.
I do not blog as much as I’d like to because I run a full-time nutrition practice solo. Being a business owner you wear many, many hats and there is only so much you can do in a day.
For the past 13 years I have been having on and off stomach issues. A lot of bloating, hard time digesting foods, feeling like I was pregnant, carrying water retention, inflammation, all the above. In my youth, all gastro’s would diagnose me with “IBS” and pretty much tell me this is something I have to live with. Crazy, right?! When I started the Paleo Diet a LOT of my symptoms went away. So I figured it was my dietary choices (which weren’t that bad prior to Paleo) was causing those symptoms. As the years went on, even after Paleo, my symptoms grew back and 10x worse. After the loss of my Mom, the stress that took on me put my symptoms into FULL force. It got to the point that no matter what I ate, I was bloated, crazy stomach pains (esp in my sleep), brain fog was on fire, restless sleep, anxiety (never had this ever in my life), bloating to the point where I felt 9 months pregnant – the list goes on. I had no choice but to seek professional help again. No matter what I did with my diet, exercise, self-care, it wasn’t enough.
I had learned and read a lot about small intestine bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) years ago. Every Dr. I asked this about would tell me, “it’s not that”. Without even the thought of testing. My opinion? They had NO idea what it was so that was the easy answer to get out of the conversation. Let’s fast forward to December 2019. I had ENOUGH with these Drs. My gut, literally, was telling me that I was SIBO positive. I found a new gastro that is rated a top gastro in CT (side note, not the biggest fan). I made an appointment and during my consultation I had a lot of high demands. I demanded to be tested for SIBO, ultra sound, blood work, stool test, and all the above! I was in a position of desperation and I no longer wanted to allow an MD to control my situation.
I took the 3 hour breath test and 3 days later was, SHOCKER, positive for hydrogen dominate small intestine bacteria overgrowth. Prior to this, I signed up for an online 4 week course to learn every detail of SIBO and every treatment option. News alert, treatment is very individualized and takes a lot of trial and error. But one thing I know for sure is diet has 100% a LOT to do with my recovery. Even the healthiest aren’t invisible. Road to recovery, here I go!
I had to learn a new way of eating by following a “diet” called Low FODMAP. Fodmaps is an acronym, derived from “fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccardies and polyols”. These are sugars that are found in a ton of whole foods. As soon as I learned what my restrictions were, I felt as though I was back to my early Paleo days, learning ways of how I can consume good quality food without feeling deprived. More on this in a different post.
So, this landed me to sweet potato chili. Luckily I can consume sweet potatoes. One of my favorite foods and the carbohydrate I lived off during my Paleo days. It’s still chilly in the North East so I still crave comfort food. So, I took a regular legume filled (which I can not eat) chili recipe and tweaked it wayyyy down to create a recipe that I could enjoy. Whether you’re following low FODMAP or not, definitely give this chili a try!!
Ingredients: Serves 10 (1 cup = 1 serving)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Organic Grass-Fed Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
- 1 pound Ground Turkey
- 1 pound Ground Grass Fed Beef
- 2 Cups Crushed Organic Tomatoes
- 2 Cups Chicken Bone Broth
- 3 Cups Cubed (small) Sweet Potatoes
- 1 Yellow Pepper (chopped small)
Topping (per bowl):
- Grass-Fed Cheddar Cheese
- Handful Fresh Parsley
- Handful Fresh Cilantro
- White Rice or Brown Rice Pasta.
- In a small bowl combine your seasonings together. Mix well and put to the side.
- In a large pot, melt butter and coconut oil on medium heat.
- Add ground turkey and beef. Chop well and stir frequently for about 10 minutes, or until the meat is browned and cooked through.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and chicken bone broth. Add the spice mixture, blend well together and cover for 5 minutes.
- Chop your pepper and sweet potatoes. After the 5 minutes, add chopped pepper and sweet potatoes to the pot. Cover and turn heat to low. Cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes.
- Serve in bowls and top with cheese (you can use avocado if you’re dairy free), fresh parsley and cilantro.