Food Stuff & Foodstuffs

This is another post I’ve re-written several times, as  I start to think about recipes that I’m going to share with you in the future. My repertoire has certainly changed as I continue to learn more about health and nutrition and figure out which foods support my health the most. I’m still very hesitant to put a label on the way I’ve been eating, but what seems to be working is a continued whole foods approach and finding some sort of balance between nutritarianism and a version of the paleo diet that embraces a very high intake of vegetables (check out my updated Resources page or my Amazon store for links to specific books and websites).

Oh my gosh, I’m not even close to perfect when it comes to food choices, I don’t want you to think that, but I can safely say that I do love “eating clean,” so to speak, and feel my best when I’m rested, eating this way, and managing my stress. Also, a brief update on my challenges with disordered eating and that is that after working for a few months with a specialized therapist and doing some of the hard emotional work, I’m finding restrictive eating and thinking to not even be on my radar anymore. In other words, I’m feeling really balanced in that way and no longer obsessive about my food intake, although, as I’ve said before, I’m probably always going to reach for chocolate on a bad day.

I’ve had a few additional challenges. While I would say that my energy levels are back to normal, I was diagnosed with osteopenia earlier this spring. Although that diagnosis isn’t overly worrisome and could simply be a genetic predisposition or a result of hormonal imbalances related to PCOS and hypothalamic amenorrhea, what was more concerning was finding from follow-up tests that my calcium intake levels were way, way too low, despite moderate supplementation and an intake of calcium-rich vegetables. So, I’m in the process of figuring out the balance on that front, trying to get as much calcium as I can from whole foods. I will likely write more about this in the future and might consider doing a dedicated calcium-rich recipe post.

The other issue I’ve become aware of is a FODMAPS food intolerance which is essentially a reaction of the gut to fermentable carbohydrates; Monash University in Australia is a leader in the research on this topic. I’d suffered from IBS symptoms years ago before I cleaned up my diet, but I’d noticed increased bloating after consuming certain foods, especially beans, despite cooking them from scratch, using kombu, skimming off the foam, and all of the other techniques for making them more digestible. The only plant-based protein-rich foods that aren’t high FODMAPS are tofu and tempeh and some seeds which may explain why I had experienced so much fatigue in the past.

Again, these issues don’t necessary make a plant-based diet impossible and I don’t intend to imply that, but can make it more challenging or require some unorthodox modifications. I also think it’s really important to talk about this stuff so people know they are not alone and that there are options available. For instance, through experimentation, I find that I can tolerate lentils pretty well, but just not other beans. If you are a member of Dr. Fuhrman’s forums, then there are dedicated threads for FODMAPS and other digestive disorders, so I encourage you to get more support there. And, above all, be sure to talk about this stuff with your healthcare provider for individual care.

So, what am I eating? Rather than have me blabber on, I thought I’d share some food pictures from the last several weeks. If there are certain items for which you’d love to see the recipe, let me know! This is a process of experimentation and adjustment as both my blog and I transition and find a new space. I hope you feel inspired and interested to learn more; I can’t wait to share some of what I’ve learned with you (trust me, it’s delicious). 🙂

Gluten-free oat porridge made with homemade almond milk topped with yogurt, cacao nibs, and molasses:

from Carrie on Living |

Wild salmon salad with greens, tomatoes, and onion:

Wild salmon salad from Carrie on Living |

Shredded chicken, chard, and celery soft tacos, topped with avocado:

Shredded chicken tacos from Carrie on Living |

Slow-cooker bison, zucchini, and sweet potato stew:
Crockpot bison stew from Carrie on Living |

Gluten-free honey bran muffins:

Gluten-free honey bran muffins from Carrie on Living |

Bok choy, beet kraut, and chicken tacos (do you see a taco theme here…):
Bok choy, chicken, and kraut tacos from Carrie on Living |

Maple baked tofu salad:

Baked tofu salad from Carrie on Living |

Kale, tomato, and egg scramble:

Kale scramble from Carrie on Living |

Sardine salad with greens, kraut, blue cheese, and green onions:

Sardine salad from Carrie on Living |

You may have noticed that my blogging frequency has diminished this summer which is mainly a result of me being occupied with moving to a new house, but also a reflection of the changes going on here. Expect that continue for the next couple of weeks as I get settled, but I am trying to get new posts up at least once every four days or so and I have a fun recipe coming up in the next few days. Plus, once everyone is back from summer vacation and we get into fall, I’m hopeful I’ll be posting on more of a regular schedule.

Until next time, follow me on my social media accounts @carrieonliving: FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter.


  1. says

    To me, that all seems quite Nutritarian though I do agree, labels are mostly just a burden. I currently don’t eat critter but if I did I would only eat top quality raising practices i.e. pastured chicken/eggs, grass fed beef, wild, line caught Alaska salmon (though now what w/ Fukushima…maybe no ocean fish at all!) It is a complex issue for sure and I salute you for taking all this on in service to your continued good and ever improving health!

    • says

      Thanks for the comment and words of support, Geoffrey! I agree, sourcing the animal products is a VERY important part of the process, and one aspect of the Paleo discussion that I really like. I’m lucky that I live in an area where I can find most of what I need grown locally and with care. Hope you’re doing well and sending you my very best.

  2. Roxanne Rit says

    Hi Carrie. Interesting to see what you’re eating and some of the changes. I am wrestling with what to allow back in on my Naturopath’s recommendation for more protein. I know to not compare but I am curious do you have a number of grams of protein you strive for each day? I’ve been low for my current weight – around 60 grams and am trying to get to 75-100 grams to feel better/energy. I’m using a plant based protein powder in morning smoothies again and also on new supplements.

    • says

      Hi Roxanne! Great question. I’m not great about calculating my intake, but I’d estimate my recent protein intake to be about 50-60 grams per day, most of it from animal sources. I’m pretty athletic, too, so that sometimes makes me crave more. I haven’t been using the powders much anymore, either.

  3. Diane Kass says

    Great post — as usual! Sardine Salad with blue cheese and kraut! WOW — That has so inspired me in a new direction!

    • says

      That’s cool, Diane. Most people are grossed out when I mentioned I’m eating sardines (admittedly, they are super gross to look at and get used to), but I’m mixing them with tahini, lemon juice, and dijon mustard and kind of enjoying the salad now. Plus, sardines with the skin and bones (ewww) are a great source of calcium and protein. 🙂

      • Diane Kass says

        Thanks for sharing how you make it. I’ve always wanted to search for recipes on such a salad, but never got around to it. I really enjoy the wild caught, bpa free, sustainably harvested “Season Brand” in olive oil. I drain them and eat them straight from the can on crackers. I don’t taste the bones like I do in the other brands. I eat them infrequently, but always have them on hand because I really do enjoy this brand. I get them at Costco. Tonight I will make your sardine salad! I know I’ll love it! Thanks! 🙂

  4. Heather says

    Your tacos look delicious Carrie! I love how they’re loaded with veggies. Think they are going on this weeks menu!

  5. says

    All of these meals look delish, please can I come eat with you?! Will you be sharing the muffin recipe? I’m currently having some problems with my tum and I suspect I’ll end up having to cut some things out, but I know I’ll look at it as a way to try new things. Focus on the positives!

    • says

      Thanks, Stephanie. Yes, please come eat with me. Better yet, how about you let me come to London and I’ll be your personal chef (I am a HUGE fan of anything and anyone British…seriously, I’m obsessed with your culture). 🙂 And, I will be posting the muffin recipe for sure, thanks for asking. Hope your tumkin feels better.

  6. Kyrandia says

    Hi Carrie,

    Hope you are feeling well.

    I would like to see the kale, tomato, and egg scramble recipe. I already have all those ingredients in my fridge.

  7. says

    Glad to hear things are going well overall!
    Ugh – I had to get checked for osteopenia because of my ED related issues – turns out I was at a high risk, but am slowly reversing some of the damage through my diet.
    ” after working for a few months with a specialized therapist and doing some of the hard emotional work, I’m finding restrictive eating and thinking to not even be on my radar anymore. ”
    That is truly amazing Carrie and so inspirational. I’ve been working with a specialist and therapist for 9 months now and am finally feeling more relaxed about things and not obsessing over every food and exercise related thing. It’s such a good feeling =)
    Are we going to see a recipe for those delicious looking muffins???
    Glad you are enjoying your summer!

    • says

      Thanks for the note, Kimmy. I’m so happy that you’re bone health is improving, that’s awesome. Also, I REALLY appreciate the supportive words about my progress with my eating disorder recovery. I was pretty amazed by how quickly it went into remission (I say remission as opposed to cured because I know I’ll always have a propensity for it to come back) and I can’t tell you how freeing it is to live my life without constant thoughts of food and eating. There is no doubt in my mind that finding the right therapist or approach is the key and taking that first step to get help is one of the hardest parts. For anyone else who is suffering and reading this comment, I cannot say it enough that you don’t have to suffer, there is hope.

  8. Sarah says

    I’ve been on a low FODMAP diet for 4 years now. Best thing I ever did! Question though: why still eating onions? Onions are the absolute worst FODMAP food for people with IBS. They’re the one thing the Monash folks find most people who are FODMAP intolerant have to moderate forever.

    • says

      Hi Sarah, I’m so glad to hear FODMAPS are working for you. A lot of these food photos I took before I discovered my FODMAPS sensitivity, so I have definitely eliminated onions since then and for now, although I find that cooking both garlic and onions seems to be okay for me. Thanks for the input!

  9. Jeanne says

    Hi Carrie, thanks for posting your ongoing explorations… You are inspiring in your dedication, courage, and honesty in sharing your ever-evolving journey!
    My own journey has included being vegan for 14 years total since 1994, having to adjust back to being vegetarian a couple of times due to health challenges (I have Scleroderma), and, in 2013, I was also diagnosed with FODMAP intolerance.
    Changing my diet to low FODMAP has truly been the most dramatic and healing experience by far! Unfortunately, I did ultimately have to give up being Vegan in order to get enough protein in my diet. This was such a difficult decision for me to make on so many levels…
    I do eat high -quality certified humanely raised eggs and I have found that I can tolerate eating some yogurts (depends on the cultures they contain, it seems). Also quality and compassionately created hard cheeses, although I do not keep much of that in my fridge, since my husband has been Vegan for 21 years, so I am the only one eating the eggs and cheese…
    I have found Quinoa to be a wonderful source of plant-based protein, and I would be happy to share some of my recipes with your readers! It has been nearly 2 years now since I made the change to low FODMAP (I was diagnosed at UCLA after being hospitalized for severe digestive problems).
    One of the most difficult challenges of eating a low FODMAP diet is the garlic and onions! However, the FODMAPS in both of these foods are water-soluble. This means that you can use garlic-infused olive oil in your recipes, rather than the actual cloves, and get a very satisfying result. The same goes for onions, although I have yet to find an onion-infused oil on the shelves anywhere… So I make my own by dicing and sauteeing a large onion in 8 ounces of high-quality oil for about 5 minutes, then strain and refrigerate. Also, I find that using the green parts of green onions can lend a nice flavor to stir-frys and other recipes where you might ordinarily use white or yellow onions.
    I hope that you continue to heal, and that you are able to return to a vegetarian diet in the future.
    I wish you health and happiness in this New Year… 🙂

    • says

      Hi Jeanne, oh my goodness, it is so refreshing to hear from someone else who had suffered from FODMAPS intolerance. My sensitivity seems to wax and wane depending on how my overall health is, especially my gut health. I’m so happy to hear about the garlic/oil infusions, that is really cool!!!

      On your note about returning to a veg diet, though, I have to say that given my history and my updated understanding about the benefits of consuming some animal products, it’s not likely I will ever attempt it again.

      • Jeanne says

        Thanks for your reply! Yes, the garlic and onions were the biggest challenge for me when transitioning to FODMAP–especially since I love Italian and Mexican food! I totally understand your not wanting to return to a Veg diet, especially given the wild and scary ride you have had with your own personal health journey! I have had to come to grips with the fact that I, too, need to consume some dairy and eggs at the very least in order to stay feeling healthy…there have been a few times that my body craved chicken (truly a repulsive thought to me at other times). I admit that I ate the chicken, and, I had to go through the difficult internal mental and spiritual struggle as to how was my life, my need, more important that than of the chicken… But all I can say is, in that moment, the instinct for survival was stronger than my need to live within my own personal morals and ethics…

        The thing that amazes me is the amount of fatigue that I experience when I don’t get enough “quality” protein in my diet… I am not sure exactly why this is, given that Quinoa, for example, is supposedly a complete protein grain… but as you have said quite eloquently in your writings about your personal journey, we are each individuals with individual needs for our bodies (and spirits, too!).

        One more note regarding FODMAP– as you stick with it, you will find, over time, that so many health challenges and day-to-day fluctuations are gradually healed and are no longer an issue… I had suffered from so much inflammation, mineral deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, sleep disturbances, anxiety, etc… that are either completely gone or vastly reduced after being low FODMAP for nearly 2 years now. I am so glad that you were able to figure out what was going on for you… I look forward to the day when FODMAP is a well-known dietary entity in the US as it is in Australia. I am seriously thinking of going there for our vacation this year!

        BTW, there is a new FODMAP book by Sue Shepherd which has some nice recipes (although some need to be “cleaned up” to be Nutritarian. The book is available on Amazon: “The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet” by Sue Shepherd, Ph.D. and Peter Gibson, MD.


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