I took a risk today and regretted it. Since I was short on time for lunch, I went to the convenient shop in my building and bought a pre-made Italian cold-cut. So not freshly made, full of preservatives, and definitely not gluten-free. Within 20 minutes of consuming the sandwich, I became severely bloated and my stomach was hard. I was so uncomfortable and miserable at my desk. I contemplated asking my boss if I could leave early, especially when I started to feel nausea, but I was resilient. To ease the discomfort I walked around the office and chugged water until I had to “go”. And once my body was ready, I went to the restroom and felt sooo much better. Thank god for #poopourri 🙂
Honestly, I haven’t been eating the healthiest lately, barely cooking due to fatigue and I chose to stop eating gluten-free bread. It’s such a waste of money for those tasteless little pieces of bread. So I’ve invested in artisan bread which thankfully my body has accepted. I’ve also discovered I can eat cheddar cheese and been consuming it like it’s water. The predinsone makes me want to eat everything in sight so I’ve been bingeing on bread and cheese because it fills me up. My guilty snack lately has been nachos . . I know the worst!! but it’s not what you think. It’s corn tortilla chips, pico de gallo, and medium cheddar cheese. It doesn’t bother my stomach . . so I love it, but I can imagine my blood pressure from all the salt.
I’ll see my GI in a month, should be interesting.
In the past couple of weeks I have basically been eating the same things so I will only list my newest additions.
Drinks – I realized I have never mentioned what I drink since starting this diet. I have tried to eliminate soda and juice cocktails from my diet, but of course it’s easier said than done. In regards to juice I have drink pure cranberry, grape, or pineapple juice. Cranberry cocktail is NOT pure cranberry juice because it contains many other fruit juices including apple juice.
Alcoholic beverages is something new I’ve added to my diet because the past couple of weeks have been stressful! I stick strictly with dry wine (pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc) and vodka. I have had cocktails where the only type of liquor is vodka and avoided juice and fruit flavored vodka that was not FODMAP friendly. So watermelon juice or flavored vodka is a NO. In my social outings I have had only 1 drink and I was fine, no tummywoes.
Smoothies – Being completely dairy free for the past 6 weeks has been difficult for me because I was a smoothie junkie. However, I have figured out a delicious alternative, key ingredients are a frozen banana and vanilla flavored coconut milk. I had a pineapple, banana, coconut milk smoothie and it was delicious! No need to add sugar, just popped those three ingredients into a blender and it tasted better than a smoothie you can buy. I also tried the same recipe with strawberries and raspberries, got the same result. The frozen banana provides the creamy texture that yogurt usually provides.
Soy Sauce – I love sushi and to completely eliminate it from my diet is a joke, so I have cheated. But you can’t have sushi without soy sauce right? WRONG! I found an alternative called Coconut Aminos that I could only find in Whole Foods market. I will admit it does taste sweeter than regular soy sauce, but adding a little wasabi to the sauce did the trick for me.
Tofu – I decided to try tofu as a protein alternative and I discovered i do not like it . . .at all lol Since I never like to throw out food I decided to be creative and made a tofu scrambled wrap for breakfast or a light dinner, kind of like scrambled eggs. My recipe is as follows:
- Firm tofu
- sweet peppers (3-4 mini sweet peppers)
- chopped tomato (half of 1 tomato)
- olive oil
- gluten-free tortilla
Saute the sweet peppers and chopped tomatoes in olive oil for about 3-4 minutes or until peppers start to soften. Toss in tofu, add salt/pepper, cumin or turmeric seasoning to your liking and stir like you’re cooking scrambled eggs for about 2-3 minutes. In a separate pan heat gluten-free tortilla with butter for about 4 minutes or until tortilla starts to brown. The dish came out pretty tasty, but I did not have a bowel movement for a day. When I told my nutritionist she said, “Krystal you freak out about soy in skittles but you eat tofu?!? Tofu is made from soy, that’s probably why you had mild constipation” . . OMG! I felt like an idiot lol . . . . . But, according to my FODMAP app (I highly suggest everyone to download), it said tofu was FODMAP friendly. So in regards tofu, to each its own. I discovered tofu is not good for me.
Since I am now starting week 7, my nutritionist has given me challenges by slowing putting dairy, onions, garlic, and other high FODMAP items back in my diet. The thought of having a slice of pizza in two weeks is scary and exciting! I’ll list my challeges in a future post and as always keep you updated 🙂
Thanks to this FODMAP diet or just overall feeling better because I enjoy eating again! However, there have been days where I have eaten too much (prednisone!) and have had a similar experience like the kid in the video below.
Thank goodness for benefiber! 🙂 Enjoy!
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.
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:
- 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.
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:
- 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)
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.
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. 😉 Overall it was a tasty meal and no tummywoes! 🙂
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 week 2 was a little easier. I decided to be adventurous by making a shrimp, bacon, and tomato based pasta. It came out sooo well, I had to pat myself on the back.
This was the first pasta dish I have had in 6 months, and it did not irritate my stomach at all. No cramps, bloating or urge to go, stomach was silent. I almost cried! lol Below are the ingredients I used for the sauce:
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 tomato
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (plain)
- 1 can of tomato paste (plain)
- fresh herbs recipe size: basil, thyme, sage,
- olive oil infused with garlic 2TBP
- balsamic vinegar 1tsp
- dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- salt/pepper & sugar
All ingredients except for the tomato paste, bay leaves, and sugar were put into a blender. After my sauce was blended I put in a pot, added the bay leaves, and let simmer for 30 minutes. I eventually added the sugar.
For the bacon & shrimp I did the following:
- 6 slices of thick slices bacon chopped
- 1 pound of raw shrimp, size depends on you
Sauté bacon in garlic olive oil, cook for 5-7 minutes (I like my bacon crunchy). Add in shrimp, a splash of balsamic vinegar , salt/pepper, fresh basil and cooked the concoction for another 3-4 minutes until shrimp is pink. Once done add the bacon and shrimp to the sauce and include a little bacon juice :). Stir and served over quinoa linguine.
Gluten-free pasta is something I will never like lol so I was grateful that I had ample sauce, but below was the brand I used.
Unfortunately, the pasta only lasted over the weekend 😦 So for the week I baked a turkey breast with the leftover fresh herbs I had (basil, thyme, sage, oregano) and stuffed it under the skin. As sides I cooked white rice and green beans. Left over turkey made some tasty, gluten-free turkey sandwiches with dijon mustard, yummy!
I saw the nutritionist again this past Friday, she was very impressed by the variety of my recipes and how I have tackled this diet. But she added a few challenges. I was complaining how I’m sick of drinking only grape and cranberry juice, her response was well let’s get off the juice all together , and do fruit flavored water. . . . . that was not what I wanted to hear! lol I reluctantly agreed, and told myself I’ll do “no juice days” I can’t survive off of just water, that’s craziness. She also suggested a couple of supplements. Omega-3, 1000 mg with EPA and DHA, aka fish oil right? And I told her how I’ve been stressed and can’t sleep, she stated my magnesium levels might be low. She suggested I try a magnesium supplement called “Natural Calm”.. I ordered both online, much cheaper. Lastly, she wants me to drink benefiber with every meal . . . . yeah . . . I decided to do it with just dinner. I had benefiber with every meal Saturday and I think I lost 5 pounds Sunday morning, can’t imagine doing that everyday lol
I stated how I’ve been cooking with so much butter and salt she suggested to substitute the butter with coconut oil. So I found the brand below at my local Giant.
Also, I found some treats! Check it out below, all found at my local Giant or Food Lion grocery store.
So far week 3 has been a struggle 😦 I’ll give an update next week.
I went grocery shopping yesterday and was so excited when I found the gluten-free section. Unfortunately, because it’s gluten-free does not mean it is FODMAP friendly. I have discovered that soy, onion, and garlic is in EVERYTHING!! Did you know soy is in kool-aid packets? I could not believe it! And yes I have removed kool-aid from my diet 🙂 After my 1-hour grocery shopping experience where I read the label on every item I put in my cart, I was exhausted and very grateful that I do not have food allergies.
Since I will be on this diet for the next 4-6 weeks I believe I bought enough food to last for the remainder of May. I bought a variety of foods that included snacks and even desserts. Out of my half full cart I found the below items most interesting:
Gluten-free bread is the most unappetizing food I have ever seen. It’s look and feels like plastic and I feel foolish for buying lettuce and tomatoes thinking I can make a sandwich. But, I later discovered it’s not bad when toasted.
My most exciting purchase was white chocolate peanut butter that was under $4. No trans fat or high fructose corn syrup. I could not believe that pure peanut butter was selling for $6 or more, umm. . . no thank you!
So chocolate ice cream. I know I’m testing the waters with this product, but it’s no dairy, sugar, or soy, just coconut milk and coco. Haven’t tried it yet, but I hope its delicious.
Since I like to cook meals for the week, I cooked boiled eggs and quinoa for breakfast and baked a whole chicken for lunch and dinner. I’ll share my recipes later this week. The chicken came out well, but I will say without the garlic and onion it taste like it’s missing something 😦 I’ll just add more salt and pepper.
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.
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 🙂
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! 🙂
As some symptoms went away, I’ve gained a new one . . sighs . . Ladies have you ever been severely bloated where it looks like you’re pregnant? I first noticed it at work yesterday. I knew I wasn’t feeling well because my stomach was making a lot of noise and I was belching a lot. As I was in the staff lounge, I happened to look down and see my stomach before my feet. I freaked out! and even a friend at the job looked at me and asked “What’s going on?” I responded “I don’t know” quickly got my cup of tea and wrapped my cardigan tighter around my stomach before anyone else noticed. A few minutes later, I felt the cramps and took a powerful painkiller that made me feel so good for the remainder of the work day lol The bloating eventually went away, but later last night it happened again.
I know it was probably the lunch I had, a chicken bruschetta sandwich on multi-grain bread with a side of melon fruit was probably a bad idea. I plan not to order such a meal again, but I am worried since I was discharged just a few days ago. I’m hesitant to tell my GI, I don’t want to go back to the hospital 😦 Anyway, I made an appointment with a nutritionist that specializes with GI disorders/diseases next week. After talking to her on the phone, I am very hopeful that she can help me create some type of meal plan or diet because I’m sick of throwing out food. For the past month, no matter what I ate irritated my stomach. It would be nice to enjoy eating again.
Remaining hopeful and taking one day at a time :).