Ep 35: The 5 Best Recipe Blogs for Moms with IBD {gut healing recipes that never sacrifice taste}

Are you ready to use food to help quiet your Crohn’s and colitis symptoms, but with information overload you don’t know what resources you can actually trust?

Has your gut healing recipe collection dried up?

We all need a little spice and renewal in our weekly meal rotation from time to time. Whether you’re a “food is medicine” newbie or you’re looking to rev up your IBD meal planning, I’ve got you covered in this episode.

We’re talking about:

  • The recipe website that makes a healthy, gut friendly version of your favorite candy bar, the Twix bar
  • The recipe creator and blogger whose gluten free recipes should be your #1 starting place when your ready to go gluten free
  • The grain free comfort food baking/cooking genius that even has a recipe for SCD legal mac and cheese (two ideas you never thought would go in the same sentence!)

And so much more!

After this episode, you’ll have hundreds of tried and tested, gut healing recipes right at your fingertips. The only question you’ll have is, which one should you try first?

Episode at a Glance:

  • [05:00] The Paleo recipe creator who gets the whole family in on creating and tasting recipes
  • [11:40] The mom whose UC struggle led to creating SCD recipes and sharing them with the world wide web
  • [16:18] The SCD legal balsamic vinegar you need to make Baked Chicken Bruschetta
  • [16:47] The recipe creator and blogger whose gluten free recipes should be your #1 starting place when you go gluten free
  • [20:10] The recipe website that makes a healthy, gut friendly version of your favorite candy bar, the Twix bar
  • [20:58] The grain free comfort food baking/cooking genius that even has a recipe for SCD legal mac and cheese (two words you never thought would be in the same sentence!)
  • [25:49] The self-trained chef, IBDer, and mom of 3 who created a cookbook empire that centers around Paleo and other grain free foods
  • [32:30] My “do it like a mom” challenge for you
  • [34:02] The best way to take your IBD healing journey to the next level

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Mentioned in This Episode:

Nom Nom Paleo

Healthy Gluten Free Family

A Life of Happenstance

Lila Ruth Grain Free

Danielle Walker

Against all Grain

Episode Transcript:

Are you ready to use food to help quiet your IBD symptoms, but with information overload you don’t know what resources you can actually trust? Has your gut healing recipe collection dried up? We all need a little spice and renewal in our weekly meal rotation from time to time. Whether you’re a “food is medicine” newbie or you’re looking to rev up your meal planning, I’ve got you covered in this episode. It’s the five best gut healing recipe websites for moms with IBD. Let’s get this party started.


INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis, connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.


Hello, hello my love! It’s the best day of the week because it’s the day that I get to connect with you and talk all things Crohn’s and colitis, gut health and healing, and how it all ties into the quality of our life as a mom. Today is no exception. I’m really looking forward to telling you about the websites I count on and use most to find recipes that work to keep my Crohn’s quiet.

One quick note before we get started, I’m not at my podcast studio where I usually record episodes so the sound may not be as clear as it normally is. I’m actually sitting in a closet at the house we are vacationing at this week. I’ve heard the closet helps block out other noises. We’ll see how it goes. We’re celebrating my youngest’s birthday with a staycation at a house different from our own. VRBO is an awesome invention isn’t it. Especially during a pandemic. I can’t wait to tell you about these absolutely fantastic, and in some cases, little known recipe websites that can help you to starting healing your gut troubles so you can turn your life around so let’s get started.

[03:00] Within these 5 best to gut healing websites for moms with IBD we’ll be talking about three things. #1: Who is the recipe extraordinaire behind the website (and by the way most are moms too because I love supporting other mamas). #2: who these recipes are best for so you know if it’s the best site for you to check out.  And #3: my top three favorite recipes from each website so that if you want, you can get started with these gut healing recipes right away.


Let’s start with hands-down the best food photography I’ve seen from a website and that’s Nom Nom Paleo. The culinary backbone and recipe designer of this website is Michelle Tam. According to Michelle, she was a “Frankenfood” junkie (you know, the kind of food Frankenstein would have developed in a lab—chemicals and ingredients a 5th grader can’t pronounce) while she was in college at Berkeley studying nutrition and food science.  After getting married and having kids, Michelle talks about developing a “muffin top”(oh, the muffin top), and wanting to lose weight by trying calorie counting and doing heavy amounts of exercise.

Michelle’s husband found the Paleo diet first. Although Michelle was skeptical, she saw that her husband’s health improved by eating this way. In 2010, Michelle started Paleo and began to lose weight and feel great. She started her recipe blog and website to chronicle her journey and help others on their own health journey. Nom Nom Paleo is a family affair, often including Michelle’s husband and her kids.

Not only is Nom Nom Paleo a website, but Michelle now has an award-winning app and podcast. I’ve listened to a few episodes of the podcast and really found it endearing because Michelle gets the whole family to weigh in—including her husband two kids—big O and little O). It looks like no new episodes are being published at this time, but I did find what I listened to really engaging and helpful when it comes to paleo life for the whole family so you might want to check those out if you’re interested in using the Paleo diet to be a centerpiece for your IBD healing.

Michelle also has a couple of cookbooks out so if you try the recipes on her website and you want more from Michelle, you can buy her cookbooks as well.


My absolute favorite thing about this recipe website is how the recipes are laid out. Usually, and you might be like this as well, when I find a recipe blog, I jump straight to the recipe because I’m not interested in the blah, blah information that comes before. But with Nom Nom Paleo, I never jump straight to the recipe because the information is laid out so well, it’s really informative, and it’s information I actually care about. Plus, as an added bonus many of Michelle’s recipes include a video, and I don’t know about you, but I love a good cooking video so I can actually see someone making the food I’m about to make.

If you’re finding that you relate to Michelle’s story, maybe you tried the calorie counting approach before, maybe you’re a Frankenfood addict, maybe you love the idea of her business being a family affair. If so, you’ll definitely want to check out her gut healing recipe website. I think Michelle’s recipes are best for moms who know they want to dive in in a big way with well-known diets like Paleo, Keto, or Whole 30. Michelle’s recipes follow the principles of these diets, the ones where these diets are household names, there’s lots of support and chatter about these ways of eating (both in person with a girl gab and virtually with thousands of sites dedicated to diets like these). If you’re interested in following a diet like this, where it might not check every box for your IBD symptoms, but it can make a huge difference and, it’s so ubiquitous that you can even buy ready-made food at the grocery store—many IBD eating plans can’t say that. If you feel that way, this is the recipe website for you.

While there’s a plethora of free recipes on the site, like I mentioned Michelle does have cookbooks you can purchase, and within her website, she’s partnered with a meal planning service which we know can make life much easier. So if that’s something you’re interested in you can get more information on her website. And I will absolutely post a link to Nom Nom Paleo in the show notes so you can easily access the site.

When I’m trying to decide if a gut healing recipe blog is for me, I always look at the recipe index. I want to know, how do they lay out the recipes, is it easy to follow, are there categories that are of interest and might be beneficial for me and Michelle definitely doesn’t disappoint. There’s a massive recipe index with categories like gluten-free, grain free, dairy free… you can also search by recipe type like beef recipes, nibbles, or treats. I also really like that she has a search by cooking method like slow cooker or instant pot. And if you know the type of diet you want to try, or if you’re already on one of these popular diets like Whole 30 or Paleo or Keto, she also lets you search by diet. And if you’re looking for Paleo lunch ideas for you or your kiddos, Michelle’s got you covered with Paleo lunchbox ideas, a section on her site that includes recipes and lunchtime tips.


So, super robust site. It is probably the most user-friendly gut healing recipe website that I’ve found. If you’re interested in one of the diets I just mentioned or you just want to dip a toe and start trying some of these recipes that can really help your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms, I highly recommend checking out Nom Nom Paleo. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that all the recipes are super organized, very professionally laid out, and the pictures are absolutely stunning it makes my mouth water and I want to eat the screen.


Now, while every recipe looks delightful and of course you have your own tastes, I want to make this as easy as possible for you. Right now, my three favorite Nom Nom Paleo recipes are #1: the spicy pineapple turmeric smoothie. This is so light and refreshing and perfect for this time of year. I have to confess that I don’t add the chili pepper as it’s a little spicy for me, but do what works for you. It’s great with or without it. My second favorite recipe right now is the chunky monkey ice cream bonbons. Again, this is a sweet gut healthy treat that’s perfect for this time of year with the warm weather we’ve been having.

And of course, if any website has an instant pot recipe, I’m always game. My third fav of Michelle’s is her Yankee Pot Roast. And there is a cooking video that goes along with this recipe so bonus points for that.


[11:40] Let’s talk about gut healing recipe website #2. It’s A Life of Happenstance. Who is the recipe genius behind this delicious website? It’s Jen, who’s a mom of two. Jen has a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. On her website, Jen talks about the challenging symptoms of IBD with abdominal cramping, fatigue, bloody diarrhea, and weight loss.

After Jen experienced multiple stays in the hospital, all before she was 30, she decided to seek out a nutritionist, a functional medicine doctor, and she also decided to switch her gastroenterologist. I have to give Jen so much credit for doing this. So many of us know that we are stuck in a dead-end relationship with our gastroenterologist, but we don’t do anything about it. They don’t listen to us, they don’t see any connection between food and our illness, and they spend our entire 15 minutes which is never enough time, pushing the medicine of the moment. And while we may very-well need medicine, we also need to think about the food we’re putting into our body. It is so important and can be one of the main factors that can get us off all that medicine were taking.  


Jen ended up trying the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and she talks about how it’s really helped to lessen her symptoms. From the information that’s currently on her website, it seems like Jen considers herself a work in progress when it comes to her ulcerative colitis. I definitely love this mentality and mindset. It takes many pieces and parts to fall into place for us to achieve remission, and that remission may not always be the case. I never take my remission for granted and I’m always finding new ways to help balance my illness and my overall health.

Jen’s website, A Life of Happenstance, is perfect for SCD newbies. Whether you’re dipping a toe in, trying recipes to see if they fit for you, or you’re starting SCD with gusto, I think Jen’s website is a great place to start.  Lots of recipes and pictures as well. I just can’t make a recipe without a picture.  

It’s very traditionally laid out with categories for breakfast, mains, dessert, side dishes, etc… but it also has some really cool sections like recipes by proteins so if you’re looking to make chicken, beef, seafood, pork, or turkey recipe, you can look in those sections. The categories even go above and beyond with the sections for further sensitivities many have even when you’re on SCD, like sensitivities to dairy and eggs. There’s also recipe categories for other diets too like Paleo, Whole 30, and Vegetarian, but my favorite recipe index is the recipe by season. I love this because I love to eat by the season. Pears and apples in the fall, winter squash in the winter, berries in the summer… When food is in season it just tastes better, it’s fresher and healthier for your digestive system. If you go to Jen’s website, you have to go to the by season index.  

As a reminder I will be putting a link to A Life of Happenstance in the show notes so you can check it out if you like.


So, what are my top three recipe recommendations from Jen’s website? Remember, my tastes and I’m sure yours change over time, but right now my favorite three recipes are, #1: the cumin lime tortilla chips. These are delicious when you dip them in guacamole. I’ve mentioned this before on a previous episode, but I really love her no bake strawberry gelatin pie. I’m also a huge fan of Jen’s baked chicken bruschetta. I absolutely love bruschetta from my former high carb, high bread life and this allows me to eat the bruschetta toppings I used to load my bread with, with a chicken twist. This particular recipe does call for balsamic vinegar which many of us SCDers might be wondering about. Know that in the SCD legal world, balsamic vinegar that is aged and does not have added sugar is legal. So, if you can find that type of balsamic vinegar, you should definitely try this recipe. It is so delish, it will not disappoint your whole family.


[16:47] Let’s talk about gut healing recipe website # 3. And that website is Healthy Gluten Free Family. Healthy Gluten Free Family is run by Karen, a mom who has a son with celiac disease. I absolutely love that Karen and her family are all supporting her son by living a gluten free life. It’s something we can all relate to. We’d want to do the same for our own kids in need. Karen’s recipes are all about foods that her entire family eats and enjoys.

Healthy Gluten Free Family is an awesome resource for recipes if you are ready to eat gluten free to help manage your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms. Whether you want to try a few recipes to dip your toe in or you want to make a whole gluten free shift to help your IBD, this website has so much to offer, and I think it’s you’re # 1 starting place. If you are completely new to eating for IBD and you want to just try one thing that will have a big impact on your symptoms, go to this website. It will get you started with some delicious, healthy recipes. You won’t even miss the gluten.

I really like that Karen’s website doesn’t just have recipes, it also has a blog for gluten freers. It’s not a weekly offering, but I’ve gone through the articles several times before and it does have some really good information for those starting a gluten free life. Karen also offers shopping recommendations on her website with affiliate links through Amazon just in case you’re completely new to the world of gluten free food, with food recommendations and kitchen gadgets that can make your gluten free life easier.


Those are some of the lovely bonuses on the website, but of course it’s all about the recipes and Karen does not mess around here. Her recipes are well laid out and the pictures make them look delish. Not only are there several recipe index categories that you can click on, but I love that she includes these super cute icons at the top of the main recipe page that make the recipes easy to navigate. These icons include traditional categories like breakfast, dinner, lunch, and salads, but also some really interesting options like Taco Tuesday, which is a section full of Mexican dishes that my family personally loves, as well as 30-minute meals (and who doesn’t need 30-minute meals in their life), and another section called Think Spring. I’m sure that Karen changes this seasonally so I bet summer will be on the horizon. She also has a no bake icon which again is fabulous when we want a quick and easy recipe to make for the family.

Really clever, right?


My three favorite recipes on the Healthy Gluten Free Family website are the no bake mini Twix bars. Yes, Twix! Do you remember Twix bars? They were my favorite candy bar growing up. This is a gut healing and gluten free version of the popular treat. My whole family loves these. I also love Karen’s gluten free black bean burgers. This is a really good twist on the traditional burger and perfect for the vegetarian in your life. Of course, I mentioned that my favorite icon is the Taco Tuesday section. Right now, I’ve been making a lot of the grilled shrimp tacos with corn salsa. My kids are huge fans.

Of course, I have a link to Healthy Gluten Free Family in the show notes if you want to check it out.


[20:58] I’m super passionate about gut healing recipe website #4, Lila Ruth Grain Free. Catherine, the recipe developer for the site says that both she and her husband struggled with autoimmune issues. Catherine has a passion for baking and photography, which you can totally see in her amazing food photographs on the site. I also love that the name of the website comes from Catherine’s grandmother. It’s such a sweet way to keep your memories of a loved one alive, I think.

Katherine’s husband, Ted, is a blog contributor who has celiac disease. A lot of people with celiac and also with IBD find that going gluten free just isn’t enough for them. They find that eating grain free can help them even more and this website and it’s recipes can definitely help you if you’ve already tried gluten free and found that it just wasn’t enough to totally get rid of your Crohn’s or colitis symptoms.

Catherine and Ted seem to have a really exceptional partnership with this website. Catherine talks about being the baker, and creating traditional and comfort foods. While Ted makes the salads, savory dishes, and cocktails. What a perfect combination for these two! It must be fun to live in their house at dinner time.

The Lila Ruth Grain Free recipe website is best for anyone experimenting with eating grain free or anyone on a special grain free diet like SCD, GAPS, Keto, or those who are dairy free or vegan. And if you really like Catherine’s recipes, she does have a cookbook you can purchase right from the website (it links to Amazon). Catherine has loads of recipes, with like I said, the most amazing photographs. Photographs are really important when it comes to feeling like I must shelp out all these ingredients and take the time to try a recipe in the first place.

Recipes on the website are broken down by categories like SCD, Paleo, Vegan, Keto, cocktails and smoothies too. So, you can just go to the eating plan or a grain free gut healing diet you are most interested in and start there.


My favorite three recipes from Lila Ruth Grain Free are #1: the Cran-citrus fizz cocktail/mocktail. I made this the other day for my hubby and I to hang out late one warm night on the back deck. It was really light and sweet and delicious– and healthy, which is such a bonus. My #2 favorite recipe is the SCD Mac and Cheese. SCD and Mac and Cheese never go in the same sentence. Catherine’s take on this usually illegal comfort food is to die for. You’re gonna love it.

My third favorite recipe on the website is the SCD + Paleo key lime pie. I am a sucker for a really good key lime pie. And of course, eating no refined sugar and no grains, this wasn’t an option for me. I remember years and years and years ago, probably 25 years ago, my hubby (who was my boyfriend at the time) and I lived in Florida. We would often frequent the always busy, line out the front, restaurant called Joe’s Crab Shack. While I am definitely not a fan of crab, I always went with my hubby because of their most delicious key lime pie. Shout an amen if you know this restaurant and you know the key lime pie I’m talking about. It’s really the best in the world, hands down, until I tried Catherine’s grain free key lime pie. If you’re a lover of key lime pie, you have to try this recipe.

Lila Ruth Grain Free is linked in the show notes.


[25:49] We’ve made it to healthy gut healing recipe website #5. This is one you might already be acquainted with. It’s Danielle Walker’s Against all Grain and Daniellewalker.com websites. Against all Grain was Danielle’s first website but it looks like she’s moving things over to daniellewalker.com now. I include Against all Grain here because you might still want to check it out. There are several good recipes on that site. With cookbooks like Against all Grain, Celebrations, and Eat What you Love, Danielle Walker has become a household name for grain free eaters everywhere. Danielle was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at 22 years old. After a few years of suffering, hospitalizations, and doctors saying that food doesn’t matter, Danielle was at her wits end. Weight loss, arthritis type of pain, elevated heart rate, hair loss, malnutrition, sleepless nights, unbearable joint pain and insatiable hunger plagued Danielle. During her worst periods, Danielle says that she “bordered death more than once.”

I’m betting having IBD yourself, that these are symptoms and scenarios that you can relate to all too well. After trying a couple different grain free approaches, Danielle decided on Paleo to help her heal and started a blog to help others suffering from similar ailments. Danielle calls herself a self-trained chef and her site features grain free, gluten free, dairy minimal, refined sugar free, Paleo, SCD, GAPS, and gluten free recipes.

It’s a little bit of something for everyone who suffers from Crohn’s and colitis and is looking at food to help in the healing process. Over the years, I’ve made several of the recipes from Danielle’s website and I’ve collected most of her cookbooks. She’s a really talented recipe developer and I love her website especially because the food pictures are gorgeous and very professionally done. Recipes on the website are traditionally laid out with categories for appetizers, beverages, breakfast, etc… recipes are also laid out by diet to so that would be things like Paleo, SCD/GAPS, vegetarian, as well as by cooking tools so if you want to make a meal in a slow cooker or instant pot. You know I’m a sucker for any instant pot creation.


There’s way too many favorites to count when it comes to Danielle’s recipes but I think my favorite right now are #1: her Gorgonzola fig flatbread. I’m a huge fan of blue cheese so I swap out the Gorgonzola and use blue cheese, but figs and blue cheese or gorgonzola are so delicious together. I also recently made Danielle’s ice cream sandwich recipe. It’s Paleo and gluten free. It was so much better than I was expecting. Ice cream sandwiches are just something that is difficult to recreate. There’s that childhood love and memories you have to compete with. But these ice cream sandwiches were delicious, even my kids enjoyed them.

My last Danielle Walker favorite is her stuffed sweet potatoes. Back in the day, I was a huge loaded baked potato fan. Jason’s Deli anyone? White potatoes are now not on the menu for me, but occasionally I’ll eat a sweet potato and Danielle’s recipe is so overloaded with savory goodies that it’s a party in every bite.

Like all of the websites we’ve talk about today, I will link Danielle’s two websites in the show notes so you can easily check them out.


So, tell me what you think mama, is there a website or a recipe I mentioned today that’s calling your name? If you’re completely new to the world of eating for your IBD, I highly recommend Healthy Gluten Free Family. It’s your perfect starting place. If Paleo is your jam, you can’t go wrong with Nom Nom Paleo. Super delish recipes the whole family will enjoy. If SCD is your life right now, go for it with A Life of Happenstance. It’s the perfect starting place for SCD legal recipes that don’t give up taste. And if you’re grain free and you’re sampling different diets right now like Paleo, Whole 30, or Keto, check out Lila Ruth Grain Free or Danielle Walker.

So, where do you go from here? How can you do IBD healing recipes like a mom?


As soon as you’re done listening to this episode, go check out the one website I mentioned today that’s calling your name. Pick one recipe, just one. You can use my favorites and see if they become your favorites, or you can pick the one that sounds the most delicious to you. You can’t go wrong with any of these. I promise you that. Once you’ve picked out the recipe you’re going to try this week, DM me on Facebook. @TheIBDHealthCoach. I can’t wait to hear which recipe you picked and how it goes for you.

It’s one little step, but remember it’s baby steps like this, when we add them together that create gut health and healing from the inside out. You can do this and I’ve got you, every step of the way my friend.

Until we meet again, I’m wishing you much get that and happiness always.

Chat soon!

Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.

[34:02] One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.

My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them to. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble shooting sesh today at karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, to cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first.

Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This podcast, video, and blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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