Posts in The Healthy Gut

Mothers Day

Thank you mum

May 5th, 2017 Posted by Blog, The Healthy Gut No Comment yet

Happy mothers day The Healthy Gut

Whether you are a Mum, Mummy, Mom, Stepmum, Mama, or any other name your kids have given you, the one thing that makes your heart contract is when one of your kids says ‘thank you’. When they are small they don’t know that they should, and as they grow up, it’s not always the first thing they think of, before saying ‘where is my ….?’ (delete as appropriate!). As we get older we begin to appreciate the sacrifices, the hard work and most importantly of all, the love, that goes into raising children. So this Sunday in Australia we say ‘Thank you’ to all the mums, you rock and we appreciate everything you do.

Here at The Healthy Gut HQ we are a band of women who know that the solidarity of women is a powerful thing and that it can help you achieve amazing things when you want to. We’re not leaving the boys out by the way, we’re similarly proud and thankful for our Dad’s! Roll on Father’s Day.

So what does the word ‘Mother’ mean to us? We all need and get very different things from our relationships with our mothers. For some she’s our best friend, the one we turn to for fun and adventures, for others she’s the sage and insightful one who ensures that we stay on track, or she could be the mum who organises your life to the eighth degree ensuring you always have clean washing. Whatever your relationship with your mother is, it will be important in a way that is personal to you and you alone.

Yedah and mother

For Yedah her mum has managed to bring up her two girls alone. ‘I come from a single parent family, my mum has always made a super effort to ensure that my sister and I had everything we needed to be happy. When I was 12 computers were ‘weird machines from outer space’, I loved them at first sight! I told my mum that I wanted to design with computers, and she bought me one (a big purchase for her). My love affair with Graphic Design started right there. She has supported me in all the big decisions I have made in my life. She has helped me out countless times. I’m starting to recognise that we share a lot of personality traits as I get older and I love that’.

Chocolate mint slice

What will you be cooking her this weekend? My mum has a lot of allergies but the chocolate mint slice from the SIBO Christmas eCookbook is something she will love to eat.

Kate and mother


For Kate her Mama is her sounding board, ‘whenever I’ve got something to think through I talk it through with my Mama, before talking to anyone else. ‘My Mama lives on a different continent so we have to make the most of our time on the phone. Sometimes there are times that I just want her here, when I’m sick, when my own kids are playing up, or just when I need a good old natter and a glass of wine! She brought my brother and I up on her own, it’s only now I have my own kids that I realise how hard that would have been for her, I’m very proud of her’.

Salmon tartare recipe

What will you be cooking her this weekend? We won’t be together, but as she lives in the desert it needs to be cool and refreshing. I think we’d both enjoy the Salmon Tartare from the SIBO Summer Cookbook.

Rebecca Coomes Belinda Coomes Suzanne Coomes


For Rebecca, her mum is her biggest supporter. ‘My start to life was traumatic, with me coming two months premature and nearly killing both myself and my mum.  I also gate crashed my mum’s birthday party, so for the past 39 years Mum hasn’t had a birthday on her own. However this eventful start in life didn’t deter her from being incredibly supportive and loving, making sure I was given great opportunities in life, from ballet lessons from the age of five, to the best birthday parties a little kid could want, through to housing me in later years after my return from the UK to being sous chef, kitchen hand and photography assistant when I’m in cookbook creation mode.

Chocolate and pomegranate tart recipe


What will you be cooking her this weekend? My mum loves chocolate, so I will be making her my Chocolate and Pomegranate Tart from the SIBO Family Favourites Cookbook


If you’ve forgotten Mother’s Day we’ve got you covered, just use the code ‘mother2017’ at checkout for 20% off any of our books. Offer valid until 8th May. Click here to see all of our books.

8 ways to de-stress

8 ways to de-stress

April 15th, 2017 Posted by Blog, The Healthy Gut No Comment yet

8 ways to de-stress

Stress, we all feel it. Sometimes it can be a positive force, motivating you to perform well at a job interview for instance. But, more often, when we are expecting too much from ourselves, it can be a negative force. Experiencing stress over a prolonged period can cause many different symptoms, from having issues with sleep or a short temper to more chronic symptoms such as panic attacks or depression. SIBO is undoubtedly a stressful enough condition to deal with, even without all the other daily stresses we come across, so it’s particularly important for us to manage our stress levels. Here are The Healthy Gut, we regularly practice our top 8 ways to de-stress and wanted to share them with you.

The gut is particularly vulnerable to the presence of chronic or acute stress and needs us to be mindful of protecting it. The brain-gut connection is anecdotally recognised as a ‘gut-feeling’, ranging from butterflies in the stomach to full on anxiety-induced nausea, which is something you want to manage when you have SIBO. Understanding the difference between tired and wired is a good place to start. When you want to relax you should be able to. If you are stressed, it’s very hard to feel anything other than wired. Listening to your body is key, if you feel tired then rest, and if you really can’t manage that then it’s good to at least find something that gives momentary respite from the stress.

Here at The Healthy Gut HQ, we’ve been talking about stress recently. We’re all busy people, with busy, demanding lives. We were surprised by how differently we all dealt with stressful situations and periods in our lives. It’s interesting how what works for one doesn’t work for all. We wanted to share with you what we as individuals do to avoid and overcome stress, sometimes it just helps to know that you aren’t alone in experiencing stress and it might give you some ideas next time you feel it’s all getting too much. We hope you enjoy your 8 ways to de-stress.  Let us know in the comments below what you do to remove stress from your day.


Women of THG

8 Ways to De-Stress

1. Be active 

For some of us getting active is one of the keys to dealing with stress. For Kate during stressful periods it’s time to head outdoors and get active.

Kate says ‘I was brought up in the countryside, and whenever I feel like things are getting on top of me I know it’s time to head outdoors. I really love to head out on a long hike with my boys. We’ll aim for a big hill and all enjoy that exultation that comes from reaching the top. I like to walk mindfully, paying attention to my posture and my breathing. Usually, by the end of a walk, I feel more connected to myself and my surroundings, and I’ve often worked through whatever dilemma is stressing me. If I don’t have time for a long walk, I will just take a stroll around the neighbourhood or get myself to an outside exercise class. There’s nothing like a press up in the mud to make you forget your troubles.

2. Have some ‘me time’

We are constantly surrounded by people, whether real or virtual, connected all the time by today’s modern technology. Sometimes we need to turn off the noise and create time to just be ourselves, doing something just for us. For Yedah it’s about creating her own space to be calm in.

Yedah says ‘Lately I’ve been trying to have breakfast on my terrace. It’s a peaceful time that I get to spend by myself, and I can lose myself in my thoughts, calmly planning my day.  I love to try and get some sunlight every day, as I find it makes a big difference to how I feel. If I can’t do this then I love to find a new TV series to watch, something I can completely lose myself in. It’s great to just turn my brain off and just be entertained. The common link is that these are things just for me, I’m not sharing this time, it’s all about me.

3. Listen to music

Taking ourselves out of our ‘normal’ environment can often be a good antidote to stress, remember that old saying, ‘a change is as good as a rest’? For Niki, it’s listening to music, in particular, live bands.

Niki says ‘Before I had kids I’d head to the beach and be able to sit there for as many hours as it took for me to feel less stressed. These days however, post kids, I find my ‘happy place’ with music. Ever since I can remember music has made me feel like I’m taking a deep breath, and I feel that sense of calm come over me. Going to see a live band always leaves me feeling re-charged and on a high. Music is a great motivator too, I get lots more done with some tunes on.

4. Calm the mind through meditation

Allowing ourselves a few minutes every day to calm our mind can be highly beneficial.  For Rebecca, learning how to meditate has been really powerful.

Rebecca says ‘I am an all or nothing kind of person, a typical Type A character.  My mind can be racing with ideas, which can be a hindrance when it happens at 3 am.  For a long time, I had wanted to meditate but didn’t know how to do it.  I found some great meditation podcasts and apps and now incorporate them into my weekly routine.  I might spend anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes meditating, depending on how much time I have available, and I always feel calm and peaceful because of it.

There were also a couple of ideas that we did all agree on…

5. Sleep

Ostensibly we all know that everything looks better after a good night’s sleep, however, sometimes this can be hard to achieve. We all had different ways of creating that calm, still place we could relax enough to sleep in. We agreed that the space had to be tidy, that clean bedlinen made us feel more pampered and that electronic devices, phones and tablets must be left outside the bedroom. Maintaining healthy nighttime habits can go a long way to helping you to get more high-quality sleep, so identify what makes you feel relaxed in the bedroom. Getting into bed at a sensible hour is also important. Rebecca has an alarm set on her phone at 10 pm, reminder her to go to bed.

6. Work smarter, not harder

We all agreed that working smarter is one of the most important things we could do to minimise stress. Realising that our productive time at work was not when we were running to get to a deadline, but when we had planned ahead. Work takes up more of our time than almost anything else in our lives and it’s important to remember that we work to live and not the other way around. You can be the most passionate person about your career, but if you don’t have time to enjoy the things you work so hard for then you can find that stress creeps in. Setting aside time to plan your day, week, month and year can help you to identify what’s important to work on now, or what can be put off until later.

7. A long bath

This was greeted with a resounding ‘yes’ by us all. It’s not just the girls, a few of the male other halves were rather keen on a bath! It’s true though that creating your own little haven of calm and relaxation in your bathroom is one of the quickest and easiest ways to relax. We all had different rituals, lighting candles, having Epsom salt baths, reading a good book, listening to an enthralling podcast… the list was pretty long, who knew there were so many things we all liked doing in the bathroom!

And a finally there is one big element of recovery and the pursuit of wellness that’s too important not to add, it’s less a tip, and more a mantra that we should all try harder to adopt in our daily life.

8. Accept the things we cannot change

When we are chronically ill it can be hard to move on, we beat ourselves up about how we got there, what we might have done wrong, what else we can be doing. We can waste a lot of time and energy dwelling on the past when we need to focus on the present. It is important when you have a chronic illness like SIBO, not to beat yourself up, but instead, accept the situation, embrace where you are today and move on. How you are today won’t be how you are in the future.  Stressing about things you cannot control do you no good, and instead, leave you in a flight or fight mode.  Look to the future and set small goals, like planning the day you add a new food to your repertoire.  Celebrate your small wins today, such as having a bowel movement or seeing the sunshine.  A few simple changes to your daily routine might be just the ticket to dealing with any stress you are carrying.


World Health Day – Let’s talk about SIBO

April 6th, 2017 Posted by Blog, SIBO, The Healthy Gut No Comment yet


World Health Day


The theme for World Health Day 2017 is depression, you might ask, ‘why should we be talking about it?’ Depression affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. It can cause considerable mental anguish, and impact on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks. It can sometimes have devastating consequences on relationships with family and friends, and on people’s ability to earn a living.

In the SIBO community we are amongst those vulnerable to suffering with depression, especially during the period of seeking a diagnosis, and embarking on treatment of our chronic illness. And studies show that the health of our gut impacts the health of our mind, which is why SIBOers can experience anxiety and depression as a side effect of their SIBO.  If you have a strong network of supporters, be they practitioners, family, friends and community, then the chances of suffering with depression seem to be lessened. However if you feel alone and unsupported this can be a daunting, and maybe even frightening time while you find your way.

However, there is help out there, and there’s no reason that you should have to experience this alone. The good news is that depression can be prevented and treated. We love to talk here at The Healthy Gut, and we believe that talking about SIBO with your network of supporters is one of the best ways to avoid feeling alone, and prevent depression. You need your support network to understand what you are dealing with on your SIBO journey. Providing friends and family with information about what you are dealing with can really help to ensure that everyone is on board. They will understand better why you can’t eat something for instance, or why you tire quicker than them, why you experience bloating or even just why you feel a bit sad sometimes.

We want as many people as possible to talk about SIBO to help reduce any stigma associated with the condition. We hope this will lead to more people seeking help when they need it. We firmly believe that support is the key to success, so today we ask you to change your profile picture on your social media accounts whether you have SIBO or not, to show your support for those of us with SIBO.  Simply copy the images below and save them as your new profile picture. Together let’s get people talking about SIBO.

Next week we’re blogging about our very own team tips for mind and body wellness. What inspires us, calms us, keeps us balanced and helps us get through the tough times.


[two_column_block style=”1″] [content1]

Profile Picture for social media


Facebook picture to share


[/content1] [content2]

Instagram picture to share




Twitter picture to share


[/content2] [/two_column_block]



BLOG POST_Get involved with The Healthy Gut_INSTA (1)

Get involved with The Healthy Gut

March 25th, 2017 Posted by Blog, The Healthy Gut 4 comments


Get Involved with THG[images style=”0″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]


Hands up who wants to help shape a supportive, nurturing and inspiring community, to support people with their SIBO journey? You do? Well this may be the perfect opportunity for you. Why not get involved with The Healthy Gut as a guest contributor? As we evolve and develop The Healthy Gut platform we want to make sure that we are providing the resources that you need, the recipes you want, answering the questions you want answered, and more. The Healthy Gut is on a constant journey of SIBO discovery and we want you to be part of that.


The Healthy Gut Podcast

Our podcast is one of our most important resources. It’s where you can find out about recent SIBO developments from some of the world’s leading experts. Is there a topic that you are longing to know more about, or someone that you think could be a good guest for Rebecca to interview? We get a great response from the experts that we approach, especially if they know that our community is asking for us to have them on. So if there is that person that you’ve always wanted to hear more from let us know by email.


When you first start your SIBO journey, you can go into information overload as you trawl through websites, forums and blogs. We want to make your education as simple as possible and answer all those questions in one place. We have covered some of the basics in our new FAQ section, but we know that you’re bound to have more specific topics that you’d like us to cover. This is your opportunity to not only help yourself but also to help others be armed with the information they need for their journey too. Get involved and let us know what you’d like us to cover by emailing us.


Are you a passionate cook with recipes that you’d like to share with The Healthy Gut community? If so we want you! Creating meals that delight can be challenging during SIBO treatment, so how about inspiring others with your ‘go to’ starter, main course or dessert? Alternatively, you may have a favourite ingredient or recipe that you would like us to make SIBO-friendly. If you’d like to know more about contributing a recipe or suggesting something for us to develop, please get in touch by email.


Guest contributions

We love to share experiences here at The Healthy Gut and we want to hear more about yours. Do you have a subject that you would like to share? Maybe you’ve tried a diet, a treatment or followed a wellness protocol that you feel others could benefit from. It could be that your own personal journey could be inspirational and useful to others. Our community is full of people with a vast array of knowledge. We often become our own ‘Private Investigator’ when we have SIBO, and sometimes the best person to ask for help is someone who has had the same experience. Could you reach out through your writing and help someone else to have a successful journey? If so we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch by email if you have an idea you’d like to share.

THG_SQUARE_Stocking your SIBO store cupboard_part2

Stocking your SIBO store cupboard – Part 2

March 21st, 2017 Posted by Blog, The Healthy Gut No Comment yet


[images style=”0″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]
[images style=”0″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

So how is stocking your SIBO store cupboard going? Have you ‘Spring cleaned’ or ‘Autumn organised’ your food cupboards and got rid of old, tempting things, things you shouldn’t have in the cupboard? In part 2 of stocking your SIBO store cupboard, we look at amazing free-range and pasture fed meat, fantastic fats and super stevia, amongst a host of other great ingredients.

Stocking up with things that are SIBO friendly isn’t just about stocking up though, it’s about changing your mindset and giving yourself the tools to go forward on your SIBO journey in a positive way. We talk a lot about the 5 Key Pillars to Health at The Healthy Gut, and they are a great place to start on your journey, or to reinvigorate your food regime.


Sometimes just having that awareness that things haven’t changed for the worse, and that you’ll be nourishing your body with excellent quality fresh foods will help you to feel better about the change in your diet. Taking control is a powerful tool that increases your confidence.


 Understanding what fuel your body needs is a powerful tool against illness. You are unique and what works for you won’t necessarily work for everyone. It’s about finding your own way to eat, with the help of a nutritional practitioner, and finding new ‘favourite’ foods.


Okay so going shopping isn’t really the kind of movement we’re looking for, but we can’t express enough how a change in diet to one that is supporting your system will help provide you with the energy to get out and move more. Remember, when you are chronically ill, exercising can feel like the last thing you feel like doing, but as you heal you’ll find your energy levels increasing. Starting with gentle exercise like walking, yoga or swimming can be a great place to start.


Once you understand what’s in your cupboard and how to make fresh, tasty, healthy meals things become easier and quicker. Take that positive mindset to continue experimenting with foods and finding the things you love.


Starting out you can feel very alone on a new diet protocol but once you embrace the resources and start cooking and sharing SIBO friendly meals for friends and family you’ll realise that this new lifestyle is totally manageable.


We hope you enjoy this second part of stocking your SIBO store cupboard and if you are looking for some inspiration in the kitchen then head to our books for more. Whether you are cooking a celebration meal for your family or just looking for breakfast inspiration then we’ve got you covered.

These ingredients are all acceptable on the Bi-Phasic Diet, across the different phases.

[images style=”0″ image=”” width=”1900″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

[two_column_block style=”1″] [content1]

free-range eggs and poultry

I simply do not agree with supporting intensive farming practices and do not purchase chicken meat or eggs that are not free-range. There is much debate about the validity of free-range regulations, so I research farmers that are transparent about their production. You are more likely to have truly free-range eggs from your local health food store or farmer’s market than you are from a supermarket. I also believe the flavour of the meat and eggs is far superior to intensively farmed products.


Galangal is a plant similar to ginger and is commonly used in Southeast-Asian cooking. Ginger can be used as a substitute if galangal cannot be found, however, the flavour will be different. Galangal can be found in Asian supermarkets.

grass-fed meat

I always choose grass-fed meat. I support animals being able to roam and eat the food they were designed to eat, and am concerned about consuming meat from an animal that has itself consumed grains. Speak to your butcher about where they source their meat from and what practices they are using to raise their cattle. Not only are you supporting better welfare for the animals, but the meat will taste much nicer.


Not all honey is the same. Commercially produced honey is often heavily processed, heat-treated, and may have been chemically refined. This results in it losing its natural enzymes, minerals and vitamins. Conversely, raw organic honey is minimally processed and ensures it still contains its nutritional benefits, which is why it should be chosen instead of commercially produced honey. Honey is high in fructose, so should be avoided by anyone suffering from fructose malabsorption.

Organic produce

Getting your head around eating for a SIBO diet can be hard enough, so don’t worry if you can’t buy organic produce. If you are concerned about ingesting chemicals on your fruit and vegetables, you may like to buy organic options for the ‘Dirty Dozen’, foods that are more likely to absorb more chemicals and pesticides than others. The dirty dozen are, apples, celery, grapes, peaches, blueberries, potatoes, spinach, nectarines, bell peppers, strawberries, lettuce and cucumber.

raw cocoa butter

Cocoa butter is the extracted fat from the raw cocoa bean and is pale yellow in colour. It is the base for chocolate and has a lovely, chocolate aroma and flavour. However it is not at all sweet and needs to be mixed with other ingredients to make it palatable. It is available in health food stores and select supermarkets.


Stevia is a shrub whose leaves can be used as a substitute for sugar. It is 200 times sweeter than sugar, so should be used sparingly. It also has a distinct flavour that may not be suitable in some dishes. It is available in many forms, but only the ground leaves and natural liquid stevia (without inulin) should be used on the SIBO diet. Both are available from health food stores.


Tallow is fat rendered from beef fat or suet. It has a variety of uses, and can be used in cooking. It has a high smoke point and long shelf life. Tallow can be made easily at home from grass-fed beef fat.

yogurt culture

A yogurt culture is required when making homemade yogurt. It contains a variety of living organisms that consume the available sugars in the milk, to create the tang often associated with yogurt. A yogurt culture can be purchased from health food stores or online.

[/content1] [content2]

fish and seafood

Our oceans have been over-fished so, where possible, it is best to buy sustainably caught fish and seafood. I always buy local seafood. Not only has it travelled fewer miles, but I find the quality and purity is better.


Ghee is commonly used in South Asian and Arabic cooking and is made from clarified butter. The butter solids are removed, thus making it suitable for some people who have a dairy intolerance. Ghee has a lovely, nutty flavour and is used in a wide variety of dishes. Ghee can be purchased from the supermarket, health stores and speciality grocers. It can be made at home from good quality butter, at a fraction of the cost.


Ham is commonly cured with sugar and nitrates, which makes it unsuitable for the SIBO diet. Artisan ham producers often use a basic salt preservative, so speak to your local butcher about sourcing ham that is suitable for you. Also look for free-range ham where possible. Not only does the ham taste much nicer, but the welfare of the pig will have been better.


Lard is made from rendering pork fat and extracting the liquid fat from the solid component of the tissue. it can impart a subtle yet delicious pork flavour to dishes, and also has a high smoke point, making it ideal to cook with at high temperatures. Lard is high in saturated fatty acids and contains no transfats. It is sold commercially, but can often contain a mixture of high and low quality fat along with bleaching and deodorizing agents, emulsifiers, and antioxidants to give it a longer shelf life and stability. It is for this reason that artisan lard should be sought or made at home with free-range pork fat purchased from your local butcher.


Quinoa is a seed that originated in the Andean region of South America, and has gained popularity in recent years. a pseudo-cereal, it is somewhat similar to buckwheat and amaranth. It can be used as a replacement for rice and other grains, and can be found in supermarkets and health food stores.

raw cocoa powder

Cocoa powder is made from raw cocoa beans and contains antioxidants and enzymes. Traditional cocoa powder is made from roasted cocoa beans, which unfortunately, reduces the beneficial properties of it. It is available in health food stores and select supermarkets. It should be used with caution when treating SIBO, as it can have differing side effects on people. If in doubt, speak to your practitioner before consuming it. Start with small quantities to gauge symptoms before increasing the volume consumed.


Turmeric root is available fresh from Asian grocery stores or in powdered form, which is available widely from supermarkets. It imparts a strong yellow colour to food and the raw roots can easily stain nails, skin, and clothing once cut. I love the flavour it adds to dishes, and it can be used in a variety of recipes.

vanilla powder

Vanilla powder is simply ground up vanilla beans. It imparts a wonderful vanilla flavour to dishes, but does not contain other ingredients like vanilla extract does. This makes it safe to eat whilst on a SIBO diet. It is available from health food stores.

[/content2] [/two_column_block]

SIBO store cupboard

Stocking your SIBO store cupboard – Part 1

March 18th, 2017 Posted by Blog, The Healthy Gut 5 comments

[images style=”0″ image=”” width=”1900″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

Stocking your SIBO store cupboard with the right ingredients can make all the difference when treating your SIBO. The seasons are changing. Whether you are in the Northern Hemisphere and warming up, or the Southern Hemisphere and cooling down, why not get down to some, ‘Spring cleaning or Autumn organising’. Take time to stock your SIBO store cupboard. If you are just commencing treatment, it will help you to understand what your new diet will look like, and if you are mid-treatment it will help to refresh your memory of all those lovely things you can eat.

We’ve pulled together our store cupboard essentials and The Healthy Gut team favourites for you. We are all a bit crazy for the wonders of the humble coconut and it features a lot on this list. Rebecca likes a spoonful of coconut butter to see off those pesky sugar cravings and Kate is totally seduced by the creaminess of coconut yogurt! We also can’t imagine a store cupboard without herbs and spices too, who doesn’t want to occasionally add some spicy cinnamon to their hot chocolate or sprinkle some thyme on their Greek salad?

Next week we dig into good fats, turmeric  and organic produce, amongst a host of other gorgeous ingredients. We hope you’ll join us for Part 2.

Our SIBO Cookbooks, between them, have over 150 recipes to help you make sure that you don’t get stuck in a rut with your food choices, why not check out the recipes section, or treat yourself to one of our cookbooks and try something new today?

These ingredients are all acceptable on the Bi-Phasic Diet across the different phases.


[images style=”0″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″]


[two_column_block style=”1″] [content1]

Almond meal

Almond meal is made from finely ground almonds, it can be made from whole almonds or blanched almonds. Almond meal can be used as a flour substitute in recipes and is available from supermarkets and health food stores.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is readily available in supermarkets and health food stores, and can be used widely in many SIBO friendly recipes. We like to use it in salad dressings and Asian cooking.


Unfortunately most commercially made bacon contains sugar and nitrates, which are not suitable for a SIBO diet. Have a chat with your butcher and ask them to source it for you, Organic butchers often have it, or seek out a local artisan producer. If you can’t find it then prosciutto is a great substitute and is often only cured with salt, just be careful to check the ingredients.


Belecan is a pungent paste made from fermented ground shrimp, mixed with salt, and it is found in Asian supermarkets. It is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine and imparts a lovely depth of flavour to your cooking.

Cacao nibs

Available from health food stores, cacao nibs are roasted and chopped cacao beans. They have a chocolate taste but don’t contain sugar so aren’t sweet. They have a chocolate taste but don’t contain sugar so aren’t sweet. They can be used to add extra crunch and flavour as well as being a great decoration for desserts.

coconut aminos

Coconut aminos is a great alternative to soy. It is available from health food stores or online. Check the ingredients though as some brands use garlic and onion flavourings, which are not SIBO friendly. Rebecca loves to use the Coconut Secret brand.

coconut butter

Coconut butter is made from coconut flesh, which has been ground down to a very smooth and fine consistency. Rebecca finds coconut butter lovely and sweet, and would often eat a teaspoon of it when first overcoming her sugar cravings. It is available in health food stores and select supermarkets.

coconut flour

Made from the dried flesh of the coconut which is then milled into a fine powder, coconut flour makes an excellent substitute to gluten-based flours. It does have a coconut flavor to it, so we prefer to use it in dishes that are sweet or Asian in flavour. In addition, it is more absorbent than traditional flours, so you don’t need to use as much.

dessicated coconut

Desiccated coconut is made from finely shredded coconut meat, which has been dried. Commercially produced desiccated coconut can contain sugars and preservatives, so always check the ingredients. Choose a product that is 100% coconut.

Dried spices

Dried spices are a wonderful way to add extra flavour to your cooking, however beware of thickeners, cereals and anticaking agents that may have been added to them. Always check the ingredients list, and if there are any other ingredients other than the spice itself, its best to avoid using it.

[/content1] [content2]

Almond milk

Almond milk is made by blending almonds and water together, then straining out the residual almond meal. Commercially made almond milk can contain thickeners, binders, sugars and preservatives, making it unsuitable for a SIBO diet. Health food stores often stock freshly made almond milk, check the ingredients before purchasing. Even better have a go at making your own, it’s super simple.

Baking powder and bi-carbonate of soda

Both the powder and soda are often made from a base of rice flower, which is technically off limits on the SIBO diet. Some people may be able to tolerate it as its used in such small quantities. You may be able to find a suitable variation from a health food store, but check the ingredients and if in doubt check with your practitioner before consuming.


Dairy can be problematic for many people so if you think it might cause you problems, re-introduce it slowly, we look for butter from pasture fed cows that contains minimal ingredients. Not only do we disagree with intensive farming, but we also think butter tastes better when the cows have been able to roam freely, eating grass. Your local health food store will be able to tell you which butter is made from 100% pasture fed cows. We use this butter to make our own ghee.

coconut oil

Coconut oil is now available in mainstream supermarkets, which makes it much easier to buy. It has a high smoke point, which makes it safe to use when cooking at high temperatures. It has a long shelf life and doesn’t need refrigeration. We like to use it in Asian dishes and desserts as we find it can impart a coconut flavour to the food.

coconut milk

Coconut milk is made from the flesh of a coconut, which is grated and then soaked in hot water. The cream rises to the surface, which is then scooped off. The remaining milk is strained through a cheesecloth. Coconut milk can be used in SIBO recipes. Be sure to check the ingredients though, and only choose a milk that is 100% coconut milk, and doesn’t contain thickeners, binders, preservatives, or sugars.

coconut yogurt

Coconut yogurt is yogurt made from coconut milk or cream. It is gaining popularity and can be found in health food stores and some supermarkets. However, most commercially made coconut yogurts contain thickeners, binders, and sugars, which are not suitable on the SIBO diet. Homemade coconut yogurt is safer to use as it won’t contain these ingredient.

Dried shrimp

Dried shrimp are shrimp that have been dried and as a result reduced in size. They are commonly used in Asian cuisine and add an extra dimension and depth of flavour to a dish. They can be found in Asian supermarkets.
[/content2] [/two_column_block]









Meet The Healthy Gut Women

March 8th, 2017 Posted by The Healthy Gut 6 comments

We truly are an international team here at The Healthy Gut, and on International Women’s Day I wanted to celebrate a group of women from all over the world who are helping me to shape and influence the SIBO community.

When I launched The Healthy Gut in 2015, I didn’t purposefully set out to create an all-women dream team.  Instead, I went out looking for people who had the best possible skills who could help me achieve my dreams.  Today, I am incredibly proud of the amazing women who have helped me build an amazing community of resources for people with SIBO.

When I was diagnosed with SIBO, I felt incredibly alone and isolated. No one I knew had SIBO and none of my friends or family had heard of it.  I felt like I was constantly telling people about this unknown, yet common condition.  I realised how powerful being part of a community can be on your health, and how damaging not being part of one can be.  Knowing that there are people out there just like you, who totally get what you’re going through, is incredibly comforting.

It was with that in mind that I set out to create helpful resources for people going through their SIBO journey.  I am one of those women who can achieve anything when I set my mind to it, but also recognise when I need help from others with skills I don’t have.

THG Team Meap


I also hold some pretty firm views on how life should be for women.  I am a passionate advocate for equality and believe that women offer enormous value to businesses and communities.  Without women, the world would be a very dry and boring place.  Yet for so many women, equality is a distant dream.

When I launched The Healthy Gut, I made a promise to myself that I would do everything in my power to support all of the women whom work with me by any means possible.  Today, I collaborate with an amazing team of women from all over the world, who are able to live life on their terms, raise families, have freedom and most importantly enjoy what they do.

Although we don’t sit together every day and we work across many time zones, we are a tight knit team and the wonders of the digital world keep us all in contact. We are proof that today it’s possible to work from anywhere at any time and still make a valuable contribution to the world of work. We are strong, independent, intelligent, caring women carving out careers that fulfil us.

I would like to take a moment on this special day to say a big heart-felt thank you to this incredible bunch.  Thanks for everything ladies.  I couldn’t have done it without you.

Rebecca xx


Yedah Merino DesignsMeet Yedah

Yedah was the first person I worked with.  Based in Barcelona, Spain, it was kismet that brought us together.  I needed the skills of a graphic designer to create my first book, the SIBO Summer eCookbook, and Yedah fit the bill.  Little did I realise that she herself had SIBO and had long experienced the painful symptoms of a disordered digestive system.  In a country like Spain where gluten-intolerance isn’t even commonplace, a condition like SIBO can be very isolating. Yedah has worked her magic on all of my cookbooks and makes everything I do look beautiful. Next time you are salivating over one of the recipes in my cookbook, you have her to thank for that.


BELINDAMeet Belinda

Like the song says, sisters are doing it for themselves! My little sis Belinda is the most incredibly talented music composer and producer, so it was a match made in heaven when we started collaborating on my SIBO Cooking Show and later The Healthy Gut Podcast. Whenever you hear a piece of music from The Healthy Gut, my sister has created it from scratch. It’s not often that you get to work with your sister, but we’ve had lots of fun together these past 18-months.  I’m so proud of her for following her dreams and the world will be a better place with her beautiful music in it.


NIKIMeet Niki

Next came Niki, a whiz with all things practical and operational. Niki helps me with the behind-the-scenes things that aren’t often sexy but are oh-so important. Niki has a young family and recently set off on an adventure to be a digital nomad, working and travelling at the same time. I love supporting these pursuits of other women, changing the way we do business with each other. The 9 to 5 model doesn’t work well for most working mums, with many women having to step out of the workforce to have kids.  I say bollocks to that and know that there are amazing women out there, just like Niki, who have incredible skills that businesses like mine value.  And because I believe in being flexible and looking at the outcome, not the hours you have clocked on for, Niki is able to live life on her terms while still being a valuable asset to The Healthy Gut team.

CRESSIDAMeet Cressida

I met Cressida after sitting next to her mother at an event, swapping tales about poor gut health.  Her mum asked if I would meet her for a coffee, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Cressida and I have very similar health histories, both ending up very unwell with SIBO.  After taking time out of a successful corporate career to focus on regaining her health, Cressida started collaborating with me to support the development of the SIBO Coaching Program In recent weeks she has given birth to a gorgeous little boy, her second child.  She knows exactly what it’s like to experience SIBO; the highs and the lows this chronic condition brings, along with the added complications pregnancy throws into the mix. She is just as passionate and     driven as I am to change the face of our current healthcare system and is such a gorgeous person who brings such warmth and positive energy to the team.

ALIKIMeet Aliki

There are some people in life who are true angels, and Aliki is one of them.  A photographer extraordinaire, she has been one of the biggest supporters of The Healthy Gut in all ways possible. She coached and mentored me during the production of the SIBO Summer Cookbook, guiding me how to take beautiful food photos.  She then took the reins for the SIBO Family Favourites Cookbook and SIBO Christmas Cookbook, making every dish pop from the page. With Greek heritage, Aliki can cook. Oh wow can she cook!  We have so much fun eating each other’s food, and have dreams of touring around Europe, creating SIBO Cookbooks and new SIBO Cooking Shows that focus on French, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and British cuisines. Who’s up for that?!?

ARAMENTAMeet Aramenta

Aramenta is the woman responsible for taking the Australian editions of my cookbooks and making them suitable for my lovely US and Canadian SIBOers.  In this world where we feel so connected because of the internet, we sometimes forget how different the English language can be.  The one thing I am determined to do is make the SIBO journey as easy as possible, and if that means re-writing my books so they are using the correct names of ingredients and the appropriate weights and measurements for my North American peeps, then so be it!  Based in Canada, Aramenta brings a wonderful professionalism to the sometimes tedious task of editing and proof reading the hundreds of pages in my cookbooks. This is no mean feat!

KATEMeet Kate

Last but not least from my team is the lovely Kate. Kate is my ‘girl Friday’; she works on keeping me organised and dealing with our social media and marketing. We met in 2002 when we worked together at a UK fashion company just outside of London. We bonded over a mutual love of food and travel, and formed a friendship that we’ve kept going across the oceans. Kate is like me and can’t sit still. After leaving the corporate world having had her second child, she pulled together a portfolio career that enables her to spend time with her family and feel fulfilled through work. And amongst other things, she’s also a rugby coach! Kate understands how debilitating poor health can be, having had chronic hormone issues throughout her 30’s, which she has healed through diet. She is a passionate advocate of food as medicine and is a great friend.


[images style=”0″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ alt_text=”Meet%20the%20team” full_width=”Y”]