Is anyone else as clueless as me?
Here’s a crash course in the low FODMAP diet. As I have mentioned before, I have food allergies. Wheat is a no-go and sometimes dairy trips me up. Occasionally I experience symptoms associated with eating wheat even when I am certain that no gluten-containing items have passed my chapped lips. The days where I feel at my best are the days when I don’t eat anything at all.
The long-term effects of the ‘eating nothing’ diet are not healthy (to put it mildly). When I follow a squeaky clean diet I feel a lot better – no doubt about it – but even then I can wake up feeling like I’ve single-handedly downed a bottle of cheap red. Which, if you know me, is ridiculous; I only drink expensive wine!
Here is not the place to talk about bowel movements so let’s just say ‘things were not as they should be’. I made several trips to the doctors and finally got a diagnosis of Diverticulosis. Before I had time to get excited about adding another medical condition to the long list of ‘reasons why I’m not normal’, I was handed a way out; the low FODMAP diet.
Is this the key? I can clutch at straws faster than anyone so I’m all in. I’ve bought the book, done my research and done my shopping. There’s no going back.
Here’s what you need to know; FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosacchrides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. Catchy, isn’t it? It’s the scientific way of naming sugar molecules. Eating a low FODMAP diet claims to have changed the lives of many people with food allergies or digestive problems.
For eight weeks, high FODMAP foods are shunned. They are then reintroduced into your diet group by group. I am surprised which foods are a no-go. Onions and garlic are out for a start. At least 50% of the meals I cook start with these two staples so I was a little worried.
Apples are frowned upon, as are chickpeas. (What, no hummus?) Asparagus has got to go and watermelons won’t be darkening my fruit bowl for the time being. For the uneducated (i.e. me) there seems to be very little pattern, but I am putting my trust in Dr Sue Shepherd and Dr Peter Gibson.
I started yesterday with a home-made pesto. Surprisingly, our store-cupboard standby contains onion, garlic and, in some cases, cashew nuts (all on the banned substance list). It is just possible that I will never buy pesto again. Home-made pesto is uh-may-zing. As one of my instagram followers put it #pestoisthebestthough. (recipe below).
Mini-me devoured his pesto with gluten free spaghetti while I had courgetti (thanks to my Hemsley & Hemsley spiraliser), a side salad of watercress and baby leaf spinach and a slab of monkfish with roasted cherry tomatoes. Mmmm. Taste-bud heaven.
I started today with softly scrambled egg (butter and two eggs – no milk) on gluten-free toast. Today’s portable lunch was quesadilla (or, to simplify, tuna and cheddar sandwiched between two gluten free tortillas and lightly fried in coconut oil.) I’m still wondering about dinner but I like the look of ‘Thai-inspired Stir-Fry with Tofu and Vermicelli’ from the low FODMAP cookbook.
Tomorrow I’m cooking baked salmon topped with some more of that homemade pesto for when Hubbie and Sunbeam return from their Cornwall trip. Isn’t it great when you can get your teeth into a diet? (Pun intended).
Yes it’s only been 24 hours but so far, so good. There’s been no bloating or spasms and I’m viewing it as a challenge rather than a restriction to my diet. And I can have a glass of wine a day, so it’s still a civilised way to eat.
I’ll keep you posted as to how I get on. Is anyone else is interested in joining me? If so, message me, and we’ll do this together.
Pesto recipe (Fills a medium-sized jar)
Pinch sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
100g fresh basil leaves
100g freshly grated parmesan
100g pine nuts
Olive Oil (enough to bind it together)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Put everything, except oil, in a food processor and pulse. Keep adding olive oil until it is the consistency you prefer. (It doesn’t need to be smooth). Taste and add more salt, pepper or lemon juice as desired. Spoon through gluten free pasta, warmed courgetti or spread it over a salmon fillet and bake.
Will keep in the fridge for a week.