FODMAP Diet challenges – Weeks 7 & 8 . . . .

For weeks 7 & 8 I was given challenges and if I was successful, I could incorporate another high-FODMAP item back in my diet, so exciting!

I wrote all my challenges for the past 3 weeks on a piece of paper and of course I misplaced it! My challenges for the past few weeks are all from memory, I hope I did it right . . .

Dairy Challenges

1st week – Add aged cheeses to your diet, if no bad symptoms move to next challenge. My choice was cheddar cheese and I ate it almost everyday. No tummywoes!

2nd week – If cheese was successful eat a slice of pizza, but be smart. My pizza of choice was &pizza. It’s a very popular pizza chain restaurant in the DMV that is known for their organic ingredients, gluten-free dough, and the option to make your own pizza. I created my pizza with the following ingredients:

  • gluten-free dough
  • basil/spinach pesto sauce
  • spinach
  • homemade mozzarella
  • mushrooms (one of my challenges)
  • chicken
  • bacon
  • cherry tomatoes
  • basil leaves

pizza

It was delicious and I had no stomach issues! I was so happy I almost cried lol Before I started this diet my goal was to eat an ‘&pizza’ again, mission accomplished ūüôā

Week 3 – If pizza was a success, try ice cream.  I have not tried this challenge because I have grown to love  dairy free coconut milk ice cream. I prefer coconut milk ice cream from Trader Joes, don’t feel the need to buy Breyers.

Fruit Challenge

Week 1 – Cherries. Cherries are one of my favorite fruits and to discover that they are high-FODMAP I was surprised. It was a wonderful coincidence during this week a co-worker brought in a big bag of cherries and I ate half the bag. Unfortunately, after eating the cherries I had gas and minor bloating. Since I did not successfully pass this challenge, I skipped the next challenge for week 2.

Week 3 – Kiwis. I believe my memory has failed me. I swear Kiwi was my next challenge, but looking it up in my FODMAP app, kiwi is a low-FODMAP item so I could have been eating kiwis all this time. Oh well! I added kiwis to my diet by adding it to my strawberry banana smoothies, pretty tasty and no tummywoes.

Vegetables Challenge

Week 1 – mushrooms.  I bought raw mushrooms and added them to my sandwiches, salads, and pastas. No stomach issues! Glad to have mushrooms back in my diet.

Week 2 – onions.  Cooked onions did not bother my stomach, but consuming raw onions gave me gas and a lot of belching. Since I did not pass week 2 challenge, I did not move forward with the next challenge of avocado!! Such a bummer.

It’s been great adding things back to my diet.  I  look forward to updating my nutritionist on the immense progress of my gut in the past 8 weeks. I enjoy eating again!

FODMAP Diet Week 4 – Travel . . . .

Week 4 of my FODMAP diet was out of my control because I was on vacation. Beforehand, I knew it would be a challenge and it was, but not bad.

Travel day was difficult, having a flight departing at 5:15 am is not a pleasant experience, but at least we had a layover where I could eat breakfast in order to take my meds. I thought buying a plain bagel, banana, and a bottle of water from Yogiberry would be safe. But right after eating, I went to the bathroom several times and had stomach pains that I have not had in months. I requested a plain bagel with butter and they provided me with the butter packets, so I assumed it was safe but maybe my symptoms were more UC related than my diet. Either way, it was the best option in the airport.

Once we arrived at the¬†hotel it was lunch time and I was starving. Thankfully my vacation was in San Diego and seafood is everywhere. For lunch I ordered Cioppiono Seafood Stew, absolutely delicious! Cioppiono is a tomato broth stew with shrimp, white fish, mussels, squid, and any other type of seafood. I did not have¬†visible onions in my stew but I’m pretty sure onion and garlic seasoning was used, and honestly I didn’t care in the moment lol ¬†The only negative was that it was served with garlic toast which smelled wonderful!! but I did not touch, just pushed it to the side. I had no tummywoes from this meal.

ciopinno

For dinner I had chicken fajitas with corn tortillas, refried beans, and rice, I avoided the beans.

Our hotel provided a complimentary hot breakfast every morning and since there were not many options, I had the same meal everyday. Whatever cooked meat (ham was my preference), scrambled eggs that had no seasoning, and a bowl of regular instant oatmeal with a glass of water. I purposely ate this meal at least two hours before we were out for the day just in case I would have any stomach issues. Surprisingly I did not, and it was a good meal to start a very active day.

In regards to snacks I bought plain almonds, blue corn tortilla chips, organic granola chocolate chip bars, and drink lots of water.

One of my biggest fears was visiting tourist attractions such as Sea World and the San Diego Zoo and figuring out what can I eat that will not bother my stomach when I will only have access to public restrooms. Sea World was significantly better  in providing healthy and allergy free  food options.  At Sea World we ate at the Shipwreck Reef Cafe, there were many signs stating how items were gluten, nut, and soy free. So I ate happily by ordering lemon thyme rotisserie chicken with baked potato chips and a cup of fresh strawberries for desert. I had no tummy issues all day, it was great!

In regards to my meals for the remainder of my vacation, if fish was an option I ordered it. ¬†Also, it was great to see almost every restaurant had a gluten-free menu, like the gluten-free pork ribs I ordered below ūüėČ lol

ribs

Overall, my vacation wasn’t bad in the eating department. ¬†I felt like I always had options and I allowed myself to cheat if needed. The one thing I learned is that eating in an airport is difficult because options are so limited, I highly¬†recommend eating a meal before going to the airport.

FODMAP Diet Week 3 – My recipes . . .

I added a couple of items to my breakfast routine. Eating a banana, steel-cut oats, and a boiled egg everyday gets boring. I found the below items that are all gluten-free, wheat, dairy, and soy free. Also,”So Coconut milk” is my jam, haven’t had any issues with it.

cereal blueberry oatscoconut milk

 Apologies for the quality of the pictures, my iPhone sucks!

This past week was the war of the meatballs for me. I made homemade ground turkey and beef meatballs. Turkey meatballs were way better. I seasoned both with the following fresh ingredients:

  • chives
  • sage
  • oregano
  • Basil
  • parsley
  • salt/pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic infused olive oil

In the turkey meatballs you can taste the flavor, not so much in the beef meatballs. I made the turkey meatballs for spaghetti using the same sauce recipe from last week. It came out pretty good and lasted for 4 days. Then I made the beef meatballs with sweet peppers and rice. I tried to make a gravy out of the drippings with the gluten-free flour, I was NOT successful and cheated.  I added ketchup to the drippings and anything else I had, and as a result I made my first ever BBQ sauce! I did not complain, it was my lunch for the week at work. Since it was such a heavy lunch,  for dinner I made turkey sandwichs with gluten-free bread, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and Dijon mustard. I bought the turkey lunch-meat from Trader Joe’s, no garlic or onion, all natural herbs.

turkey breast

By Friday I was all meat out! When I return from vacay, I’m going to do only fish, shellfish, and try tofu for a week. Sick of meat and potatoes. Friday night I made amazing tuna cakes with items I had sitting around. My recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of tuna in water
  • Half a lemon (for the juice and zest)
  • Dried basil, parsley, oregano
  • 1/2 cup of cooked cold quinoa
  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of water (used tuna water)
  • Salt/pepper

Mixed all ingredients in a bowl (except the egg) and tasted. I like a tangy taste so I added a little more mustard. Once it was seasoned to my liking, I added the egg and formed 4 tuna cakes and placed in the fridge for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I cooked the cakes in a non-stick pan using 2 tbsp of olive oil and a little butter.   Cooked each cake 4/minutes per side. They were delicious and moist!  Using quinoa instead of breadcrumbs is my new thing.

tuna cakes

Yesterday I went out for dinner for the first time in a while, and yes I was worried I would not be able to eat anything. But! I’ve noticed lately many popular chain restaurants now serve healthier, gluten-free, options and provide nutritional information on their website. I had dinner at BJ’s restaurant http://www.bjsrestaurants.com/menu and had their chicken and spinach quinoa. Of course it had onions, mushrooms, and I’m pretty sure garlic. I requested no onions and the waiter said “sure, no problem”. . . I sighed with relief lol  I could have asked without mushrooms too,  but I decided to just push them to the side. I definitely tasted the garlic but hey, I removed one of the two evils.  ūüėČ Overall it was a tasty meal and no tummywoes! ūüôā

This next week should be interesting since I will be eating out everyday, but might may a trip to a local Whole Foods near the hotel. Should be an adventure!

FODMAP Diet . . . .

I met with the nutritionist yesterday and I thought she was great. She looked over my medical history, asked a lot of questions and even suggested¬†ways to reduce my stress in addition to a new diet. When we were discussing my recent bloating, she stated it could be a result of the iron pills I’ve been taking. She recommended that I try a product called “Pur-Absorb” for iron intake, and since I do not have a gallbladder she also suggested that I should start taking digestive enzymes. “Now Foods Super Enzymes” is the product she recommended.¬†¬†I’ll look into both products.

For the next 30 days she wants me to try the FODMAP diet. It’s a diet that she recommends for her IBS patients and in some cases it can help people with IBD. It’s a strict diet, but luckily¬†I have already incorporated aspects of it into my current diet.

FODMAP stands for: Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. I would define each term but this posting would be an essay, so check out the links below.

http://www.ibsdiets.org/fodmap-diet/what-are-fodmaps/

http://www.aboutibs.org/site/treatment/low-fodmap-diet/

Basically the nutritionist told me for the next 30 days all I can eat is gluten-free, trans fat free, and no processed foods. Also to avoid the following:

  • All Dairy (only¬†coconut milk is okay)
  • Garlic and Onions (can only consume onion and/or garlic infused oils)
  • Honey and¬†artificial sweeteners
  • Soda, especially diet
  • Apples, mango, raspberries, watermelon
  • Raw vegetables
  • Wheat, beans, soy, rye, barley
  • Any frozen foods

Most of the things above I have already stopped eating, but giving up garlic and onions will be difficult. The one thing she said I can eat is tomatoes.  I was surprised because I do have GERD and I had to stop eating any type of pasta because of the sauce. She stated it probably was not the tomatoes itself, it might have been the garlic, onions, mushrooms, dairy, etc. that was in the sauce. It would be best to make my own sauce. In regards to meat she stated I should have no problems as long as I cook it myself, because a lot of prepared meat is cooked with garlic and/or onions.

So basically I will be cooking everything that I eat for the next few weeks. I will definitely share¬†my recipes. The nutritionist also recommended that I download the FODMAP diet app, it cost $7 but I think its worth it. My favorite features so far are¬†the food guide where you enter any type of food and it tells you whether it’s FODMAP friendly. The app¬†also has recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks. This diet will be a challenge but I’m somewhat excited because I love to cook, which is something I have stopped doing because I have had no energy in the past few months.

Since my appointment with her was going so well I decided to challenge her. ¬†My appointment was at 12:30 pm and I did not have time to eat lunch beforehand. I told her when I leave I am most likely going to get fast food what should I get? She started laughing thinking I was joking, and I told her “No I’m dead serious” lol I mentioned how a Wendy’s grilled chicken sandwich has never bothered my stomach. She stated its good that I know it doesn’t irritate my stomach, ¬†but¬†would not¬†recommend it. But she did admit¬†its bound to happen that you will eat fast food when you’re on the road. ¬†She suggested¬†instead of fries or salad for a side, to order a bake potato and eat it with butter and salt/pepper.¬†Which was exactly what I ordered¬†and I had no stomach issues after eating that meal. ¬†I think I like her ūüôā

I have a follow-up appointment in two weeks and I plan to officially start this diet on Sunday after I go grocery shopping. Wish me luck! ūüôā