It’s spring, the sun will soon be shining for longer than it’s not, the days are warmer, flowers are waving cheerfully along the pavements, everything’s looking up. Everything except me. You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning and you wish you could go back to sleep? Or it’s the weekend and you were really looking forward to it with so much that you wanted to do, but now that it’s here, all you want to do is … nothing? You don’t have much enthusiasm for anything, really and you wonder what’s wrong with you?

So, today finds me and S 11 days into month one of our four month spring clean of our digestive systems. Fermentation in the gut, dysbiosis, and a leaky gut all leave you feeling the way described in paragraph one. If you’re lucky, you have only one of those, if you’re less lucky … If you do feel the way I have descibed above, do yourself a favour and get a copy of ‘Hard to Stomach’ by Dr John Mc Kenna to learn how an unhealthy digestive system can lead to ill health and how you can restore your digetsive system to its old self and continue to enjoy food with a bit more awareness of what particular foods may do to you.

Month one is extremely hard as you have to cut out all starch, sugars (including from fruit), refined sugar, preserved food, and processed food. During the first week, I really craved chips and chocolate for their variety of flavours, but I wasn’t hungry. During week two (just past) I craved marzipan chocolate for its texture, and when we went grocery shopping I was aware of how much stuff there was on the shelves – I felt a bit hemmed in by food – that I could eat, but I couldn’t eat.

We have decided to eat more meat during this month, so that we can make-up for all the snacks that we’re missing by flavouring the meat in many interesting ways and not feel like we’re missing out on anything tasty. Now even though we have decided to eat more meat, one of our favourite meals – sausage and bean stew as discovered in Marie Claire’s ‘Fresh’ cooking book – requires sausage, processed meat. We started making this recipe with chorizo from Raith’s in Garden Centre. The first time we made it, the chorizo worked really well, but the second time it was sort of bland. We decided to explore other spicey sausages and found Krakauer im Ring, also at Raith’s. It’s a Polish pork sausage with caraway seeds for flavour. Mmmm!

Missing our favourite stew, we decided to cook it without the sausage this evening. Instead we have this amazing smoked paprika from Woolworths, that delivers the same flavour as the Polish sausage. We’re over the moon because this stew is such a substantial meal that will definitely fill our salad accustomed bellies and it will last us two days.

I know you had to read a long way to get to the point of this, which is: we can have our sausage and bean stew without the sausage and it still tastes the same!