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Crohn’s, Cooking and Me: Why gut health is so important and a tasty avocado breakfast recipe

Debbie Hamilton.

February is the month of never-ending wind it seems with all of these storms. I’ve never known so many to fly in at once.

It almost seems representative of the difficult times we’ve all faced these past two years.

We seem to be heading into a phase where Covid-19 restrictions are really beginning to lift as we head to somewhat normal times again.

There’s a real split opinion on this and I am in conflict with myself as a result.

On one hand I am desperate for normal life to resume but on the other I still feel fearful about the virus.

Debbie out walking her dog.

Things are still a little unsettled with my symptoms being more problematic and I’m working hard on trying to reverse this myself using diet, shifting my focus to gut health as well as emotional wellbeing.

My diet seems to be all consuming at the moment and thinking daily about every meal can be exhausting.

Understanding your diet

Crohn’s disease and diet is a complicated pairing and for me it seems a constant struggle to balance what I need to eat, what I want to eat and craving what I shouldn’t eat.

I am a self-confessed foodie and food is a massive part of my life; it is my passion.

When I was initially diagnosed I was told diet wouldn’t be affected by Crohn’s really, but I have since found out that it has a massive impact. This seems to be the case for many, and it is a minefield.

One of the meals Debbie has been cooking up.

It really isn’t a case of one size fits all in terms of diet, each person’s journey with this disease is so unique.

It really made those early days extremely difficult and continues to do so even on good days. Going out for a meal now requires careful menu choices, remembering pain relief medication and my personal favourite (said with much sarcasm) knowing where the toilets are.

For anyone struggling with any aspect of Crohn’s Disease, Crohn’s & Colitis UK have valuable sources of information on their website.

But good communication with your consultant is also important, I’m still working on this. I am firmly in the camp of I will wait another week then call, people are much sicker than me and I don’t want to take up their valuable time or I don’t want to be taking steroids again.

Debbie at her infliximab infusion.

I had my infliximab infusion last week and I have also started researching gut healthy food and drinks and the impact they will have on my health. Cutting out processed products seems to be the first step.

In the coming weeks I’ll ensure my gut has a combination of prebiotics, a source of food for gut bacteria and Polyphenols, a micronutrient which occurs naturally in plants and are loaded with antioxidants. And probiotics, which is the all-important healthy bacteria for your gut.

Some of the products Debbie has been trying.

Stick to what you know

As my symptoms have been problematic, I am trying to stick to chicken and fish served with rice, pasta and potatoes as I seem to be able to tolerate those.

Chicken soup is my go-to for lunch just now. Not only is it warming and comforting, it is gentle on my digestive system.

Chicken soup in the making.

Trying out a variety of chicken dishes for dinner, a recent favourite has been honey and mustard chicken served with rice cooked in chicken stock with vegetables. It is quick and easy and features chicken stock, honey, wholegrain mustard with a spot of organic double cream.

My breakfast favourite is avocado –  I can’t get enough of them. I eat them sliced with a little lemon salt or served with bacon and a poached egg.

But I can’t see past my avocado smash served on toasted sourdough bread served with the best quality cherry tomatoes.

Avocado Crush

Serves 2

Debbie’s avocado breakfast.


  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Quarter of a red onion, finely sliced
  • Quarter of a tsp of dried chilli flakes or half a fresh chilli, finely chopped and deseeded (Add more depending on your preferred level of heat)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste


  1. Slice your ripe avocado in half, remove the seed and scoop out the flesh using a spoon.
  2. Slice it up and put it in a bowl. Using a fork, mash it to your desired consistency – I like mine slightly chunky.
  3. Now add the rest of your ingredients, apart from the salt and pepper, and combine.
  4. Now add your seasoning tasting as you go.
  5. Serve on toasted sourdough and with chopped cherry tomatoes on top.

For more from Debbie…