It was my third day of treatment at the Taymount Clinic in Hitchin, UK. I was feeling good and remained true to my mission. The clinic was pretty clear in their directive: minimize stress, get adequate sleep, and eat healthy foods. And what about their nutritional guidelines? Enjoy healthy fats, avoid gluten and grains, and eat my vegetables. They were preaching to the choir.
Back when I was much less well, this same dietary strategy helped me recover. Following the work of Dave Asprey, Paul Jaminet, and others, I began introducing copious amounts of clarified butter and coconut oil into my customized Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Suddenly, I had more energy, and my digestion dramatically improved. Avoiding gluten and grains was a no-brainer, as even microscopic amounts of the former would wreck my gut for a week. As for the eating my vegetables part, my parents used to joke that I was part rabbit--as a child, I would enjoy my salads one vegetable at a time and showed a penchant for whole lettuce leaves. In adulthood, living with ulcerative colitis, raw vegetables were rough on my gut, so I mostly ate them cooked. On this day, however, teeming with a hungry microbiota, the produce section looked less like a source of digestive distress and more like a colorful carnival.
There are many great things about the UK. One of them is the ready availability of skin-on smoked mackerel fillets. I know smoking is not necessarily the healthiest way to cook, but deprivation really isn't my style. (...Damn it!)
A few other good finds:
Creamed coconut--This is just desiccated coconut flesh in air-tight pouches. It has no other ingredients and it is perfect for smoothies and creamy soups.
Caraway seeds and cabbage--A great place to start a savory meal. Perhaps I got a little carried away with my shopping. Stay tuned for the thrilling conclusion of this cart in tomorrow's episode.
(Supposedly) raw honey--on a tip from Dave Asprey, I started having a little raw honey before bed because doing so helps me fall quickly into a deep sleep. The jet lag is still a bother so I thought I'd get back into that routine.
This is what I ate for dinner:
Cilantro Salad with Lemon, Avocado, and Olives
Grass-Fed Sirloin Steak with Sautéed Onions
Like I said, deprivation isn't my style. If you insist on rubberizing your steak, just be sure to do it slowly, on low heat. Normally, when I cook on the road, I use water to prevent smoking and any grease spatter--but boiled steak just does not work for me.
I do this stuff for my own health but also work hard to be safe and to respect the hardworking hotel staff. With a little courtesy and understanding, everybody wins, including my new microbes.
In good health,
I'm Ethan, a guy whose life used to be controlled by ulcerative colitis. As I systematically tested diets, treatments, and all types of health advice to heal my colon, I learned a lot about my own biology and also how to cook without compromise. I'm here to share the best (and sometimes worst) of that journey with you.