When most of the significant carbohydrates were taken away from my life, I faced many challenges, but by far the biggest was breakfast! What on earth do you eat for breakfast if you can't have toast, bagels, cereal, or croissants?
For ages - although obviously I do not recommend this - I just skipped breakfast altogether.
Then, at the weekends when I had more time, I remembered the joy of omelettes; the best protein fix ever. And perhaps most joyously of all, I learned how to make gorgeously puffy pancakes using almond flour, served with warm cinnamon honey instead of maple syrup, which I blogged about on my How To Eat blog.
But that still didn't deal with the question of what I could eat every day that is quick, filling and nutritious.
For ages, since it sounded a bit of a hassle, I ignored the fact that a big part of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) is homemade yogurt. If you make this correctly (according to the SCD yogurt recipe) over 24 hours, the yogurt has a concentration of 3 billion cfu/ml. So just 250ml yogurt contains more than 700 billion beneficial bacteria. To put that into context, that's about 50 times more than that of a typical 15 billion capsule. So eating this yoghurt every day helps to correct the balance of bacteria types in the gut by eliminating the food supply of the undesirable bacteria and repopulating the gut with beneficial bacteria. Obviously, I am following this diet to cure colitis - but couldn't everybody do with a blast of beneficial bacteria? It's also cheaper than buying probiotics, and curiously satisfying to grow your own breakfast.
And actually, if you have a yoghurt maker, the basic process is very simple. I started off using a yogurt maker from Lakeland but the problem with that is that there is no temperature control. As this is a precision process, and a really important part of my diet, I wanted to be sure I was getting it right. So I ended up getting this TANIKA one from Japan because it has a digital temperature control. It's not cheap, but since I eat yoghurt every day, I broke the overall price into price-per-bowl and decided I could justify it!
Then once I'd mastered the yogurt, I started toasting my own granola (without any grains, obviously). So breakfast is now a bowl of yoghurt, my amazing nutty granola, raisins and blue/other berries/banana/apple with a squirt of honey. Which is not too shabby at all considering I used to have nothing at all for breakfast. I've gone from breakfast rags to breakfast riches, in fact.
DIY Grain Free Granola
You will need a couple of handfuls each of the following:
Roughly chop the nuts then put them and the seeds into a large frying pan and dry fry on a medium heat, tossing every so often, until they are deliciously toasted, which takes 5-10 minutes. Once cooled, add some raisins. This will keep in a sealed box for up to 2 weeks - if it lasts that long, that is.
Beneficial Bacteria Blast Yogurt
You will need:
*A yogurt maker.
- Enough milk to fill your yogurt maker. I use full fat organic milk, but you can use semi-skimmed too.
*Some commercial yogurt to use as a ‘starter'. I use Woodland yogurt as per the SCD yogurt instructions, which recommend only starter cultures with lactobacillus bulgaricus, L. acidophilus, and S. thermophilus.
First, heat the milk to boiling point then simmer for 2 minutes to kill the existing bacteria, stirring all the time to avoid burning. Sterilise your yogurt maker container, sieve and spoon by pouring boiling water on it. After 2 minutes, cover the pan to prevent airborne bacteria and dust contamination and cool the milk to below 110F (around body temperature). You can speed this up by standing the pan in cold water in the sink.
When it's cooled, mix ¼ cup of your starter yoghurt with half a cup of cooled milk and mix into a smooth paste. Then add the rest of the milk, put the lid on and switch your yogurt maker on. The yogurt maker needs to be 100-110F and you need to leave it for 24 hours so the starter culture multiplies and consumes the milk to produce your good bacteria packed yoghurt. After 24 hours, put it in the fridge where the bacteria will remain active for 2 weeks.