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 weeks 5 & 6 . . .

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 РBeing 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.

coconut amminosTofu РI 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:

ingredients:

  • Firm tofu
  • sweet peppers (3-4 mini sweet peppers)
  • chopped tomato (half of 1 tomato)
  • cumin
  • turmeric
  • salt/pepper
  • 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.
fodmap diet appfodmap diet app

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 ūüôā

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 Week 2- My recipes . . .

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.

bacon pastaThis 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.

quinoa

Unfortunately, the pasta only lasted over the weekend ūüė¶ 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.

coconut oil

Also, I found some treats!  Check it out below, all found at my local Giant or Food Lion grocery store.

lemon burstpecan cookiesmultigrain crackers

So far week 3 has been a struggle ūüė¶ I’ll give an update next week.

FODMAP struggle . . .

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 ūüôā ¬†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!

peanut butter 2 peanut butter 3

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.

so chocolate icecream

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 ūüė¶ I’ll just add more salt and pepper.

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