April is IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Awareness Month. According to the Canadian Digestive Health Organization, Canada has one of the highest rates of IBS in the world with 5 million suffering from it and 120,000 more people being diagnosed with it each year.
The problem with IBS is that it is often used as a blanket diagnosis to explain digestive problems that can not be attributed to a specific condition or disease. Bloating, indigestion, cramping, heartburn, and irregular bowel movements that could include diarrhea or constipation are all symptoms of IBS.
It can be so liberating and exciting when you get to a point of being able to manage your IBS. The good news is that most people find they can manage their IBS by changing their diet and eating foods that support a balanced and healthy digestive system. When working with our clients, we find that there are a few specific foods that are usually always contributing to the problem- dairy and gluten being the two big culprits.
While it is not always as easy as cutting out dairy and gluten- it is certainly a good place to start when you are trying to improve your diet to manage IBS. One of the best things you can do to help yourself is to keep a food journal.
How to keep a food journal:
1. Record the foods that you eat at each meal.
2. Then observe and write down how you feel during the meal, after the meal and 2-3 hours after the meal.
3. Keeping a food journal will help you start to figure out the connection that your body has with the food you are eating. You will begin to see patterns and can connect the dots between your health and certain foods.
Still want dessert?
We believe that everyone should be able to eat and enjoy dessert (although depending on your condition, this may mean modifying some ingredients and making healthier versions of traditional desserts). We love making healthy desserts that taste great. This Double Chocolate Beet Brownie Cupcake is gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free- making it an excellent option for you if you struggle with IBS, are gluten free, or following a paleo diet.
Double Chocolate Beet Brownie Cupcakes with Coconut Icing
(gluten free and paleo)
3/4 cup beets, chopped
1/4 cup almond milk (or other dairy free milk)
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 Tbsp maple syrup (omit if making paleo version)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup oat flour (or you can use more almond flour if you prefer certified gluten free and paleo version)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch sea salt
1/3 cup cocoa or raw cacao powder
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or use 1/2 cup if you have a big sweet tooth)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional)
1 can of full fat coconut milk
2 Tbsp raw honey
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Steam the beets in a small pot, until soft. Once cooked, run them under cold water to cool them down.
3. In a food processor, blend together the beets, eggs, almond milk, coconut oil, and maple syrup.
4. Mix in the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to blend completely.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.
6. Spoon the batter into a mini muffin tin (you can line with muffin liners or parchment paper). Bake for 10-15 minutes, until firm to touch.
7. Make the icing by carefully scooping the creamy part of the coconut milk out of the can. Leave the liquid portion behind- you can use the liquid in smoothies.
8. Mix together the coconut cream with honey, until blended smoothly. Set in the fridge to solidify.
9. Let the cupcakes cool completely before putting icing on them.
10. Put the icing in a plastic bag or icing bag, and carefully squeeze over each cupcake. You can sprinkle cacao nibs over top!