Snacking on the low FODMAP diet

snacking on the low fodmap diet

This diet isn’t about denying yourself treats, so when the snack attack strikes it’s essential that you’ve got some low FODMAP options around. There’s no need to turn your treat into a tummy ache!

If you’re a snacker like me, preparation is vital. These are some of my low FODMAP life savers:

sweet

  • dark chocolate
  • flapjacks (buy ones made with golden syrup rather than honey or fructose syrups)
  • peanut butter
  • fresh low FODMAP fruit such as raspberries, strawberries, banana, clementines, pineapple

savoury

  • plain tortilla chips (make sure they’re free of the ambiguous ‘flavouring’ which often contains onion and garlic)
  • crisps (don’t have too many veggie crisps and watch out for flavouring!)
  • rice cakes and oat cakes
  • low FODMAP cheeses such as cheddar
  • low FODMAP nuts such as brazils, pecans, macadamias

my favourite low FODMAP snack products:

  • Pip & Nut nut butter sachets – expensive, but handy on the go!
  • Kallo dark-chocolate covered rice cakes
  • Sainsbury’s basics tortilla chips
  • Lindt Excellence dark chocolate with sea salt
  • Itsu crispy seaweed thins (yes, really!)
  • Lazy Day Foods free from tiffin

low fodmap snacks

Sneaky snacks high in FODMAPs:

  • Dried fruits such as apricot, banana chips, dates, coconut chips, cranberries, papaya

Limit your intake of dried fruits to:

13g dried cranberries
5g dried papaya
1 piece of dried pineapple
13g raisins

Also watch out for…

  • Milk chocolate
  • Most cereal bars, which often contain added fructose syrup, cashews, pistachios, dates and dried currants
  • Yoghurts with fruit compote, which is often high in fructose syrup
  • Coffee! Although this is low FODMAP if made with almond milk, caffeine is a big aggravator for IBS. If you’re finding you still have symptoms on the low FODMAP diet, trying cutting down on your coffee intake, too.

GET mAKING

Life is easier on the low FODMAP diet if you can start making some of your own snacks. Shop bought options that claim to be free of one FODMAP can often include another. Many free-from items are also expensive and not necessarily very tasty – so it’s wise to embrace your kitchen. I am a terrible baker and have had countless disasters (coconut flour is not my friend),  but once you get a few go-to recipes you’ll be glad you made the effort.

View some of my favourite recipes for low FODMAP treats and snacks.

 

why not treat yourself to wheat?

Did you know, you can still enjoy moderate amounts of wheat on the low FODMAP diet? See my menu below of goodies that can be enjoyed in moderation:

eat wheat low fodmap diet

eat wheat low fodmap diet

Happy snacking!

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Yoghurt and turmeric lamb meatballs

Yoghurt and turmeric lamb meatballs

I often contemplate today’s lifestyle bloggers-turned chefs and think what their CVs might look like. I think  on the page would there would be emboldened sentences like :

‘created vast demand for the spiralizer: an expensive and oppressive kitchen gadget that creates noodles from previously unappealing vegetables such as courgettes’

and

‘contributed heavily to a staggering increase of the price of cauliflower during 2015’

Because do you know that that’s what has happened? Avocados and cauliflowers have become a lot more expensive lately, and it’s partly down to skyrocketing demand generated by the current health food wave driven by these wellness warriors. And that’s cauliflower guys, a vegetable previously associated only with cheese and farting; not glamorous glowing beings writing to you from their yoga mats.

I’m being cynical – however many of these glowing beings have provided a huge amount of grain free and low-lactose inspiration, which is hugely helpful to anyone on a low FODMAP diet. So it’s down to them, and indeed a real sign of the times, that I bring you cauliflower rice in my latest recipe.

We can all poke fun at it, but cauliflower rice is actually really good. You pulse up half a cauli and fry it – it takes less that five minutes and it does provide a lighter and more fresh carb alternative when you just don’t feel like rice. Cauliflower however is high in the polyol mannitol, so watch out for that. If you know you malabsorb mannitol or you’re still in the elimination phase, swap this out with the regular rice of your choice.

you will need:

For the cauliflower rice:
1/2 x head cauliflower
1/2 x lemon
garlic oil (for frying)

For the yoghurt and turmeric meatballs:
1 x packet of lamb meatballs (I used 12. You could also easily make yourself from lamb mince, but I was feeling lazy)
garlic oil / 1 x garlic clove (depending on your tolerance)
1/2 teaspoon x fennel seeds
1 x teaspoon turmeric
250ml x plain yoghurt (remember we are allowed 2 x tbsp in one serving, so this is ok)

method:

Mix turmeric powder, fennel seeds and yoghurt in a bowl. Add a dash of garlic oil, or one crushed garlic clove if you tolerate fructans. Add the meatballs to the mix, being careful not to crush them. Coat them in the mixture and leave in the fridge for about an hour.

While this is marinating you can make your cauliflower rice (or pop some regular on to boil). To make the cauli rice, just pulse it up in sections and add to a hot pan with some garlic oil. Add the zest of half a lemon, squeezing the juice in afterwards. Fry on a low heat for a few minutes until it has a fluffy texture. Empty the cauliflower out of the pan and into a bowl.

Add some more garlic oil to the frying pan, and remove your lamb from the fridge. I find it best to just fry these all up in one go and tuck into them throughout the week (if they last that long!)

Simply fry in the pan, turning gently as the coating hardens to form a sunshine-yellow crust on each side. A lot of liquid will enter the pan at first, just keep stirring this up and I really recommend eating any excess marinade as it cooks; it’s the tastiest treat and has a texture a bit like halloumi.

Once your meatballs have cooked to your liking, add to your rice and enjoy.

The FODMAP free challenge: two weeks to go!

So, I’ve been following the elimination phase for almost four weeks now. It really is much easier the second time around. My body doesn’t crave the things it did the first time, i.e. wheat, sweet fruits etc… but that’s not to say it’s been easy or that I’ve been a saint.

I have slipped up once or twice, as expected … although it made me feel considerably worse than it has done previously. I put it down to ruthlessly cutting out the FODMAPs again; I guess my body has become especially intolerant to these things for not being exposed to them at all in recent weeks.

The times that I have cheated have been when I’m out and about, and in need of sustenance. This is always my vice: if there isn’t a totally low FODMAP option, I tend to take the next best option, which normally incorporates some lentils, or some garlic, or some fructose… FODMAPs I choose because generally I know I tolerate these relatively well.

One key message, which if I could, I would illuminate with blinding, flashing bulbs?

SMALL PORTION OF TOLERATED FODMAP + ANOTHER SMALL PORTION OF TOLERATED FODMAP = HIGH FODMAP PORTION 

That is to say, me diving into a lentil salad with a very large portion of red cabbage alongside it in order to avoid all the wheat-smothered cafe foods whilst out in London last weekend might actually have done me more harm than if I’d just scoffed the scotch egg, with its delicious (but negligible) breadcrumbed exterior.

As soon as I’d been FODMAP free for three days though, I felt fine again. And so onwards with the elimination phase, with the revised knowledge at the front of my mind for reintroductions: only challenge ONE FODMAP at a time, and do so in regulated portion sizes as instructed by Monash and your dietitian. 

6 Week FODMAP Elimination Challenge

6 week fodmap elimination challenge

Happy New Year to all of you!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted anything … of course it’s been crazy over the holidays with family, friends and a tonne of other distractions I won’t bore you with… and all of a sudden, it’s all over!

As I woke up bleary eyed in 2016 I started reminiscing a bit about all of the mince pies, sauces, sausage rolls, crackers, Christmas pudding, cream and excessive amounts of booze I consumed in December. If you can check a couple of these guys off your list of FODMAP containing foods eaten over the holidays, you might know how I’m feeling.

The New Year is always a time for rethinking diets and lifestyle choices. However for us fodmappers it’s doubly hard I think. Not only do we feel guilty about the regular December indulgences, the cheese, the wine, the chocolate … we have to feel guilty about the onion gravy, or the chutney, or the honey roasted cashews we ate too.

Upon reflecting on my December choices I remembered it wasn’t the first time I’d slipped up with the diet. I started my low FODMAP journey in February 2015 and within a couple of weeks of my eliminations, I felt amazing. I had more energy, I felt slimmer, I didn’t get any IBS related pain or symptoms. It was like a miracle cure. But once you’ve been on a diet for some time and you start to see results, it’s easy to get complacent. This is what happened to me. I started eating the odd FODMAP containing food, a muffin here, some houmous there. When I ended up in Italy, of course I ate all the wheat I could get my hands on! And when it came to my reintroductions, I got them wrong, which led to inconclusive results. It made me feel lousy, and I was really annoyed at myself.

These experiences taught me a few lessons, though:

  1. We all slip up sometimes. This is a really hard diet to keep up with. It’s relentless, inconvenient and awkward. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall down, but be conscious of how it made your body feel.
  2. Slipping up doesn’t mean you have to go back to square one. You can (and should!) return to the diet if you eat any illegal food. Be sure to follow it strictly from that moment and take a few days to monitor your symptoms. As soon as you’re symptom free for 3 days, you can continue monitoring things as normal.
  3. Listen to your body. This experience is different for everyone. The only person who can truly tell you what works and what doesn’t, is you!
  4. Reintroductions = scientific experiment. i.e. you have to follow ALL of the rules during reintroductions or your results aren’t conclusive. A key mistake I made during reintroductions was introducing the foods that I had tested and tolerated straight away, while carrying out the remaining reintroductions. This can cause a build up of FODMAPs and essentially void your results. This is the main reason for my number one New Year’s resolution…

my new year’s resolution

Having been through the elimination diet once, I have decided it’s time for me to re-do it. I constantly find myself dreaming of the way I felt back in March – so why not try again?

It’s so daunting, especially after enjoying so many forbidden fruits recently (literally…) but it’s going to be worth it I’m sure.

If you want to join me, please do – and let me know how you’re getting on!