Building a GI-Friendly Meal Rotation

Today marks Day 12 of the treatment plan for my complicated cocktail of Candida + SIBO + gallbladder removal recovery. At almost two weeks in, the supplements and antifungals are finally beginning to gain traction against the toxins and inflammation in my gut. As a result, I’m slowly able to increase my intake of food and level out the caloric deficit I’ve been battling for several months. Gratefully, with each week that passes, I’m discovering more and more recipes I’m able to eat.

I began this plan by searching for specialty recipes for all three restrictive diets. However, as evidenced by the several grocery bags currently sitting in my pantry filled with expensive ingredients I really dislike, I now realize I prefer adapting my existing recipes to my new restrictions as opposed to futilely attempting new ones.

As of right now, these are my favorites. I’m proud to say they’re not just easily digestible, they’re legitimately tasty, as well. It’s been very encouraging; it’s been a long while since I’ve looked forward to meals!

DISCLAIMER: This recipe is personalized to my GI health and therefore breaks several FODMAP diet, Candida diet, and low-fat gallbladder diet restrictions as I’m able to eat more and more foods. Please use your own judgment, especially if you are in the initial elimination phase of any of these diets.

Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken Drumsticks

This simple marinade adds loads of flavor without anything you don’t want. If you remove the skin from the drumsticks before marinating, it lowers the fat without lowering the flavor.

10 Chicken Drumsticks, skin removed
1 large lemon, juiced and zested
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken and seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible. Massage marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.

When ready to cook, let chicken come to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Preheat oven to 425°F. Arrange chicken on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.

Sprinkle Green Beans

Have you been introduced to Bragg’s Sprinkle Seasoning yet? It is, by far, my favorite salt-free seasoning mix. It has 24 organic spices and herbs, including apple cider vinegar, with no preservatives. It smells incredible, and it tastes even better! It’s versatile, as well; I’ve used it on poultry, fish, beef, and even veggies.

To make these beans, I simply steamed fresh green beans until cooked through, then tossed them in a small drizzle of olive oil and a couple shakes of Sprinkle seasoning. Trust me; these are next level!

Ragu Meat Sauce over Zucchini

This is my take on popular low-carb Zoodle Spaghetti. First, I made my tried-and-true marinara sauce using no-sugar-added tomatoes and omitting Balsamic vinegar. I folded in a pound of browned ground beef that had been drained of all its fat (other ground proteins would work for this, as well).

I then spooned the thick sauce over zucchini chunks that I sautéed separately in a light spray of avocado oil and dried chives. I know some people prefer zoodles, but in my opinion, zucchini releases too much moisture when you spiralize it. This alternative turned out perfectly and tasted fantastic!

Garlic Rosemary Chicken Breasts with Tomato + Cucumber + Black Olive Salad

This meal came during an evening in which my electrolytes had fallen dangerously low, and I’d coped by ripping into an entire large can of black olives. Turns out, the human body needs a lot more sodium on a very low carb diet, so this salad has been added to the rotation.

It is relatively simple. The protein is boneless, skinless chicken breasts sprinkled with garlic powder and chopped fresh rosemary and grilled. The accompanying salad is one chopped roma tomato, 1/2 chopped cucumber, and a small can of sliced black olives (in water, drained and rinsed). Toss all the veggies in a bowl with just enough simple Italian vinaigrette to cover everything. Delicious!

My Go-To Italian Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil
1 TBSP white vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt

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