Pasta Salad for two

Low fodmap Gluten free pasta salad with olives and tomatoes

What you need:

160g of gluten free pasta (I used Ceres Organic Quinoa Rice Fusilli)

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1/4 cup goats feta, crumbled

2 tbsp Cobram Estate Herb Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 handfuls of rocket

Salt and pepper

What to do:

  1. Add 3 cups of water to a pot and bring to boil. Add a pinch of salt and pasta. Stir gently and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the pasta is soft. Remove from heat and drain water

  2. In a large bowl add pasta, tomatoes, olives, feta, olive oil, rocket and season with salt and pepper. Toss everything together until well combined.

  3. Enjoy hot or cold

Low FODMAP gluten free pasta salad with olives and tomatoes

Like this recipe? Why not try my Kale Pesto Pasta - find the recipe here

My Eye Journey - Part One

My Eye Journey - Part one

Sarah Brittain

If you’ve seen some of my Instagram stories you’ll would know that I’ve been trying different treatments for my dry eyes. I thought I’d write a blog post to fill you in on my journey and give you an insight into my current eye regime.

One of the ‘hallmark’ symptoms of Sjogrens syndrome is dry eyes. ‘There are two main causes: decreased secretion of tears by the lacrimal (tear-producing) glands and loss of tears due to excess evaporation. Both can lead to ocular surface discomfort, often described as feelings of dryness, burning, a sandy/gritty sensation, or itchiness. Visual fatigue, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision are also characteristic of dry eye’.

From my early teenage years I started to experience dry eyes and I was quickly referred by my primary Sjogrens specialist to a Opthamologist. They advised to put in various different types of lubricants (eye drops) throughout the day. I also had punctual plugs put in when I was about 16 to reduce evaporation (these have fallen out over the years but I have had them replaced). Over the years I had various flares which resulted in me ending up in at the eye hospital on various occasions, being put in dark rooms, prescribed short term steroid eye drops and at its worst , developing cornea ulcers. 

My eyes can go from 100 to 0 in a matter of minutes - I find it hard to explain to people as one minute I can see totally fine then the next it can be sooo blurry- I put an eye drop in and they can be okay for for a few minutes and then straight back to being blurry. It can be exhausting, it gives me headaches and I find it really effects my mood as not only I can’t see properly at lot of the time its also really painful. 

However, nothing could have prepared me for what was to come over the past months. My eyes had been pretty bad leading up to coming home from London to renew my Visa but I hadn’t had too much time to think about it I was just trying to solider  on as I was so busy and trying to tie up loose ends before coming home for a month. As soon as I got on the plane my eyes deteriorated  - the air con completely dried them out and no amount of eye drops were making them better or providing any relief. I was straight off the plane and into the eye hospital as was worried about developing a ulcer. I was given antibiotic drops and told to come back in a week. A week later with no real improvement I was put on steroids to help settle them down. This helped slightly and after a few weeks my vision was slowly returning. I had been back to my specialist a few times who really didn’t provide many more suggestions other than ‘to up my eye drops’ and ‘she didn’t have a magical pill’. A few weeks later my eyes started to deteriorate again - super dry, very sensitive to light, seriously blurred vision and all the eye drops in the world weren’t helping. It was relentless, I was taking pain killers every 4 hours, couldn’t drive at night and barely could drive during the day. I couldn’t look people in the eyes when talking because looking up involved looking into too much light and couldn’t leave the house without a cap and sunglasses (even if it was raining). Most days I would end up crying to myself as I struggling to see how it would get better. 

After some serious research, finding a new Opthamologist - who is AMAZING!! Yes he still tells me the main thing to do is put in ALL the drops but he’s also trying some new things. He believes I need to just throw everything at it. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing and will continue to do. I’ve also been trying some new holistic approaches (below is my current eye regime). I feel like I’ve finally turned a corner and my eyes are in a better position. My goal is to keep the inflammation in my eyes under control and continue my eye regime so they never get to this state again. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic pill (yet) to cure it but my goal is to keep my inflammation in my body down, try and keep my eyes under control with my eye regime and hoping they don’t end up in that state for as long as they were.

My approach to my eyes is a combination of traditional medicine and natural approach. 

Current eye regime:

Eye drops: I use a variety of eye drops throughout the day (including eye drops made from my blood) and at night that range in thickness (aka vary in how they effect my vision) - at its worst I put in them in every 10 minutes or so, when my eyes are on their A game - its about once hourly.

Hot compressions: I sit with a hot eye wheat pack on my eyes for 5-10 mins ( I usually meditate during this time) then apply pressure around the around the top and bottom edges of my eyes to get my oil glands moving before washing them thoroughly with sterilised eye cleaner.

Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL): I’ve had two of a three round treatment and it has a cumulative effect so I’m not expected to notice a difference until after the end of my third treatment. ’the treatment has been shown to help relieve dry eye symptoms, particularly when associated with congestion of eyelid glands (Meibomian gland dysfunction)’ 

Long coarse antibiotic / anti inflammatories: I’ve taken a coarse which is a slow release over 3 months which is supposed to help with my eye health and assist in reducing the inflammation in my eyes. Its too soon to say if this has had any impact yet.

Sunglasses: Even if it isn’t sunny you’re find me wearing sunglasses - this is to help protect my eyes from sunlight (they are super sensitive), wind and dust.

Moisture chamber glasses: These are normal glasses with added silicon that wraps around your eyes. This helps to  retain tear moisture so that your eyes remain more lubricated, and also protecting them from environmental irritants like wind, dust, air-con and heaters.

Punctal Occlusion: A surgical procedure where they temporarily or permanently close off the tear drainage channels, to retain as much of my own natural tears. I’ve previously had only had this done temporarily with punctual plugs but I’m in the process of having them lasered closed permanently.

Acupuncture: I’ve had 6 sessions so far and I think its really helping. My acupuncturist does a serious massage around my sinus and then puts needles in my face and various other points around my body. I also have been taking Chinese herbs given to me and I am have noticed a positive improvement.

Omega’s: Taking fish oils daily

Beef Tacos

Beef Tacos
Beef Tacos

What you need:

700g skirt steak or schnitzel, sliced into 1cm strips

2 limes, juiced

1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 - 1 tsp of chilli powder (depending on chilli preferences)

Salt and pepper

Corn & Cucumber Salsa

1/2 Lebanese cucumber, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/2 lime, juiced

3 tbsp of finely chopped coriander

Salt and pepper

Soft corn tacos, lettuce, coriander, guacamole and extra lime to serve

Serves 6

What to do:

1. Combine beef, lime juice, paprika, cumin, chilli salt and pepper. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, overnight is best!

3. Heat fry pan, add a small amount of garlic infused olive oil. Add meat and cook for a few minutes each side or until browned.

2. Combine the salsa ingredients in a bowl

4. Serve meat on soft corn tacos with lettuce, corn salsa, guacamole, coriander and squeeze of lime

Beef Tacos

Like this recipe? Why not try my Chipotle Chicken Taco - find the recipe here

Steps I take to settle my stomach

Hot water with lemon and ginger

After I posted and got so many lovely comments on my bloated photo on Instagram I’d thought I write a blog post and share what I do when my tummy is upset.


When my stomach is upset, bloated or I’m just feeling average I will turn to the steps below to help settle it and give myself some relief

  1. Drink peppermint tea

  2. Hot water with lemon and ginger

  3. Pineapple anti-inflammatory drink, find the recipe below

  4. Up my bone broth intake (I aim to drink at least 1 cup daily)

  5. Doing some gentle exercise - a slow walk or some yoga. I love the yoga for digestion by Adriene. Find the link here

  6. Not being too hard on myself / stressing about ‘eating too much that doesn’t agree with me’. Stress often makes its worse!

  7. A lie down / rest with a hot water bottle or wheat pack

I often alternate between all of the above drinks during the day to help and don’t limit drinking them to only when feeling “off” - these are drinks I often consume daily. X

Hot water with lemon and ginger

Pineapple anti-inflammatory drink

From Good Magazine

Pineapple skins contain protein bromelain, that helps digestion & healing. Simply boil pineapple skin, preserving the medicinal properties & add ginger & turmeric. This refreshing tonic takes 25 minutes & is a great substitute for a glass of wine.

Serves 10

1 pineapple peel, crown, scraps
1 piece turmeric
1 knob of ginger
Water, enough to cover

Place everything in a medium pot & cover with water. Simmer on a medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. Cover pot with a lid & let it infuse for 25 more minutes. 

Strain everything into a jar & place it in the fridge until cold. Serve cold with plenty of ice or you can also enjoy it hot

Like this post? Why not check out my tips for eating out while being low FODMAP here

Banana Bread

Gluten free banana bread

Banana bread is an absolute favourite in our household so as soon as we have a few bananas that are a bit ripe my sis is begging me to make it. So I love experiment with different recipes - this one was a goodie!

What you need:

Gluten free banana bread

3/4 cup gluten free flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1/4 cup ground flaxseed or LSA

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

3 banana’s

3 eggs, lightly whisked

1/3 cup Ceres Organic rice malt syrup

1/4 cup rice bran oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 160°C

In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients and set aside

In another mixing bowl mash bananas, add remaining wet ingredients and mix well

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and combine thoroughly

Pour mixture into a greased loaf tin

Place into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cooked through (a skewer inserted into the middle should come out clean when its cooked)

Let the loaf sit and cool before slicing

Like this post? Why not check out my banana cake recipe here

Potato and Chickpea Curry

Potato and Chickpea Curry

What you need:

3 tbsp of spring onion, green part only finely chopped 

2 tbsp garlic infused olive oil

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

2 tsp tumeric

1 1/2 tsp coriander

1 tsp chilli flakes

1/2 tsp curry powder

2 tbsp water

1 can chickpeas, rinsed well

600g potatoes, cut into small pieces

1 can tinned tomatoes

1 can coconut milk

Salt and pepper

150g spinach

Potato and Chickpea Curry

What to do:

  1. In a large pot on a medium heat, fry the spring onion and ginger in olive oil until soft. 
  2. Add in all spices , fry for a minute then add in water and continue to fry until it forms a paste 
  3. Add chickpeas, potato, tomatoes and coconut milk and gently stir all together 
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until potato is soft. Season with salt and pepper and stir through spinach until soft.
  5. Serve with brown rice, coriander and a dollop of yoghurt 
Potato and Chickpea Curry

Like this recipe? Why not try my dhal- find the recipe here