The Endo Bowl
The Endo Bowl is a tool I use in clinical practice. It is an adaptation from the popular Buddha bowl, but with an endo twist. The origins of the endo bowl stem from a mixture of empirical and evidence-based knowledge, acquired through my years of practice and research. The Endo Bowl puts together years of clinical practice of which foods are associated with a reduction in symptoms in those living with endometriosis.
What are the basic principles behind The Endo Bowl?
The nutritional principles involve avoiding foods that are associated with inflammation and working with the natural elimination pathways of estrogen. Patient-friendly principles are that it is easy to prepare for beginner cooks, can be served hot or cold, adaptable to seasons, budgets, and individual intolerances. Furthermore, it has to be delicious, so that my patients don’t feel like they are sacrificing further impacting the quality of life impact associated with endometriosis.
What is The Endo Bowl?
The Endo Bowl is not a recipe. In fact, it is more like a set of flexible options to help guide your eating habits. It covers seven important nutritional components related to endometriosis.
These are the seven pillars that make up The Endo Bowl. Each of those seven pillars has food sources to assist you in creating the Endo Bowl that is perfect for you. The benefit of this flexible structure is that it is easier to shop, prepare your meals, and also eat out and socialize. You just have to choose the item on the menu that most closely covers the seven pillars. Simple! The Endo Bowl is a clinical tool I developed to empower each endo warrior to find a way of eating that helps them to avoid trigger foods and simultaneously reduce their inflammation and pain symptoms.1-2
Generally, I ask my patients to try and make sure that they consume The Endo Bowl 3-4 times a week, at a minimum. This way they are not only making room for these important nourishing foods, but they are also taking out some of the foods that are associated with increased pain ultimately resulting in improved quality of life.1
The 7 pillars and their food sources
- Good fats: Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, avocado, olives.
- Fiber: Brown rice, sweet potato, pumpkin, quinoa, lentils, carrots with skin, chia seeds, buckwheat, black beans, chickpeas, edamame, millet, teff, and amaranth.
- High anti-oxidants foods: Blueberries, raspberries, oranges, pecans, walnuts, purple/red cabbage, bell peppers, brazil nuts, pomegranate seeds, strawberries, beetroot, and artichoke.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, collard greens, arugula, watercress, and radish.
- Fish or plant-based protein: Tofu, tempeh, smoked salmon, canned salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, mackerel, or other fish or seafood options.
- Green leafy vegetables and herbs: All types of lettuce, spinach, and Asian greens. Don't forget, herbs also count too, especially as they are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals!
- Probiotic: This is achieved by choosing a salad dressing that is yogurt, crème fraiche, miso, or sour cream-based and/ or good quality sauerkraut, kimchi, or some pickled onions or cucumbers.
Endo Bowl ideas
Some possible options include:
- Brown rice, smoked salmon, yogurt & olive oil-based salad dressing, with spinach, kale, and a few walnuts
- Quinoa, black beans, bell peppers, tempeh or tofu, miso-based salad dressing, shredded cabbage, and broccoli
- Can of salmon with grated carrot, kale, beetroot, basil leaves, olives & dill
- Sweet potato, tuna, avocado, side salad of arugula & herbs with some pecans with a yogurt-based dressing
Although it might seem a little complicated at first, take baby steps, making sure you incorporate 3 or 4 of the pillars, then keep adding until you reach the seven. Eventually, it becomes second nature and you won't even have to think about the pillars or look to the list of food sources. Good luck! Let me know how you go adapting it to your lifestyle.
Have you ever experienced one or more of these side effects from your hormone therapy?