Anyone that knows me well can vouch for my increasing obsessiveness to eat clean. After years of ongoing IBS and migraine, coupled with an eternity researching the whys and wherefores, I’ve finally come closer to understanding my body and its gripes! My own journey led me to a relatively unknown intolerance to sulphur and its derivatives (which for some poor souls can be a severe allergy resulting in anaphylaxis). I’ll say how I found out in another post (you’ll like the story I promise!), but for now what I'll say is that it’s frankly a right pain. Sulphur and sulphur containing substances are used to preserve pretty much most things that comes in a packet, tin, jar, bottle, vacuum pack. That includes “healthy” foods like organic tinned tomatoes, pulses, lentils, chickpeas and dried fruits as well as perhaps more obvious suspects like sweet chilli sauce, ketchup, jams, mayonnaise. It also affects wine, cider, beer, soft drinks, posh cordials… the list is endless. Thankfully mine is an intolerance, so ingesting these things isn't going to kill me, but within a week of weaning myself off Heinz Tomato ketchup (which has featured highly in my mealtimes since I was on solids) and some other higher sulphite-containing culprits I already felt like a different person.
I now work for myself which makes juggling Pilates teaching and eating clean a whole lot easier. I have tomatoes growing in the garden and can’t wait to make my own ketchup. My one weakness is still my sweet tooth, and a penchant for proper bread slathered in posh jam (yes I know it’s just sugar!!). I daresay I read this recipe somewhere but I’ve been mashing fresh berries together with a few tablespoons of chia seeds, so massive right now due to the high fibre, protein, omega 3 and anti-oxidative properties. This homemade “jam” seems to keep for a couple of weeks if refrigerated in a sterile airtight jar. It’s low GI and the Chia seeds are also a great way to help your body retain water and stay optimally hydrated since they absorb up to 27 times their weight in water, which can turn a soupy mess of crushed berries into something you can spread. It’s great served on porridge, Greek yogurt (the proper stuff, with up to 10.6g protein/100g) or my favourite; homemade sourdough bread. Try other fruit combos too - strawberries, raspberries, whatever’s in season!