Greatness and a recipe

Greatness comes from within, so does gas. At this point in my life I am ready to confess that I am bloated ALL THE TIME. Yes, I'm painfully bloated each and every day after meals. I've come to expect it as a way of life as I can't pinpoint the cause by myself, sometimes it is pizza, sometimes the salad we just ate (and of course mumu is happily sailing away while I twist and turn to ease my painful bloatedness after eating the same exact thing!). But something clicked after my 100 millionth burp attack, trying to relieve the pain in my abdomin from gas pressure, maybe it was the look of mumu as I burped, burped and burped, or the fact that my insurance runs until the end of this month, I decided to see a digestive system specialist (gastroenterologist).

In order to see if the issue is lactose intolerance, he told me to try to avoid milk and milk products, including chocolate and ice cream :(. He also asked me to avoid tomato products, peppermint, caffein and not to eat three hours before going to bed (to rule out acid reflux); and he'll be testing me for celiac disease (gluten intolerance) with a blood test. He then told me that if it is none of these he'll give me some good bacteria to make sure I have enough of it in my digestive system to ease things.

It is of course nothing serious or life threatening. But through yoga and observation, I also know that I hold a lot of tension in my abdomin. I feel my anger there. My stress goes right through to my tightened stomach. As I watch TV, I find myself holding my belly for some reiki (I do the same while falling asleep). I keep coming back to this part of my body that apparently needs some healing and listening to. My grandmother passed away from peritoneal (the abdomin cavity) cancer. I feel that I need to pay attention to my body's warning signs even if they may be minor at this point (and yes, I am a bit of a hypochondriac, they tend to live longer :).

So with this in mind (and with a determination to follow my doc's advice), I had to come up with something to eat today and here is what came out of my fridge:

Celery, onion, garlic, carrots, some left-over mushrooms, green olives and pasta (that came from a cupboard of course not the fridge :)

And the secret ingredient (courtesy of my mom who uses it in everything): red pepper paste. Since I am not supposed to eat tomato paste, sauce, etc. this is perfect. Plus I love this stuff. It adds richness and color to any dish. You can buy it from a Turkish market or go to

First step: start cooking the pasta (you know, heat the water, boil, add salt, add pasta, etc.)

In a separate pan, after sauteing the onions, celery and carrots in 2-3 table spoons of olive oil for a while, add the pepper paste and olives.

Next is seasoning, this time I didn't add any salt since pasta and olives are already seasoned. Add any amount of black, red, crushed red pepper that you like (I added all of those).

And voila! Mix the veggies with the pasta and enjoy this healthy, vegan, low-sodium pasta!

Good news for me: so far no bloating, although things may change if I help myself to a second plate, hehe! :)


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