Well now that we are at the end of the first week of following the low FODMAP diet I can see why some people find it very difficult to follow strictly. If you’re the sort of person who eats everything outside of the home the diet is really hard, there just isn’t enough non-wheat options always available (especially for a short lunch break!); let alone also then trying to find suitable low FODMAP foods from the small selection presented to you. We have had a busy week, meaning we have had plenty of opportunities to test out the difficulties of the diet – including a sunny bank holiday weekend involving lots of eating with friends. Here are some of the things we found out this week:
I had to grab some lunch in Pret a Manger last week and was limited to two choices of Salad, which when you are really hungry sometimes isn’t what you always fancy – and especially hard if you want to eat on the move (luckily I did have time to sit down). I fancied a soup but all the soups had onion or some other high fodmap veggie so I opted for the chicken salad, and only had to remove the pistachio nuts. It was actually really tasty and not having any carbs wasn’t a problem (if you did want these you were probably limited to a packet of crisps or popcorn). We relied on taking lunches into work, usually leftovers from the night before – which is probably the way forward when following this diet. I also ate out on 2 more occasions, one at restaurant with a very small selection of food and so opted for…yet again…a chicken salad – this one a little dry and boring so left feeling quite unsatisfied. Our usual Saturday morning trip for brunch was again a little difficult with limited wheat free options, however Fego’s ( www.fegocaffe.co.uk) did give us some amazing tasty steak and chicken salads which really hit the spot. Sharing a portion of chips also meant we could still be a bit more indulgent on the weekend.
Nuts and suitable dried fruit have become my mainstay for snacking at the moment. I also tried the original 9bar (http://www.9bar.com/products/) which was great but at 222kcals per 40g it might put people off if they are trying to watch their weight. Having said that most of the calories are from seeds so definitely not wasted calories and it did seem to fill me up for a while. Eat natural bars are also wheat free and so long as you avoid the problem fruits…are a good snack on the go and available everywhere. Otherwise I have been snacking on fruit through the day such as grapes and strawberries.
This will be a blog post on its own soon, but this week we have been making our own cereal using oats, oatmeal, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, banana chips etc. We have also been making our porridge the night before, and having it cold in the morning mixed with fruit and soya yogurt. We have been trying a variety of gluten free breads, some of which are really great and perfect for weekend eggs on toast.
Yes even a dietitian screws up sometimes! We bought a grape juice fizzy drink in Pret which had a large percentage of apple juice…showing us reading labels for ALL new foods is so important. As far as trying new products go… It was probably a mistake trying Waitrose Love Life free from gluten bread which was really sweet and not particularly nice especially with eggs. We have been trying lots of gluten free breads and products already which definitely require their own blog post. Some are really great and make following the low FODMAP diet so much easier.
Main tip for the week
One of the best foods discovered this week was garlic infused oil which really does give a good flavour of garlic which we made a pesto with for our gluten free pasta, and was perfect (recipe to follow!)
We have both noticed a general reduction of symptoms, with more settled stomach in general after just one week. With having a break for one day, the return of these symptoms was noticeable that day and the next – shows sticking to it is worth it.
We are definitely getting used to the restrictions already and have found great products to replace with and so for the moment it is not feeling difficult. It feels that preparation is the key, and the difficulties are buying lunch or dinner on the go and eating at other peoples houses! We have got some really good low FODMAP recipes already which we will be sharing. Here goes week 2!
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We are currently travelling around the world and plan to bring you‘Around The World In 80 Low FODMAP Dishes’ – a collection of the best low FODMAP foods and recipes as we travel the globe. See more on our low FODMAP diet travel section.
Good news! The first ever book dedicated to reintroducing FODMAPs is now available to purchase on Amazon Kindle. The book is titled ‘Re-challenging and Reintroducing FODMAPs – A self-help guide to the entire reintroduction phase of the low FODMAP diet’. Click on the logo for more details.
More information on Reintroducing FODMAPs here.
Low FODMAP recipes here.