Sunday, July 28, 2013

My sister once told a crowd at a gathering, "Lisa is food intolerant." It's not far from the truth. I spent years attempting to find the key to resolving my IBS symptoms. I gave up dairy nearly 30 years ago and gluten about six years ago. That really helped, but then thankfully I stumbled across a reference to the FODMAPs research in April of 2011. That's when my life changed. I never thought I could feel so good. I never dared to dream.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

To Cheat or Not to Cheat

... that is the question.

I've seen a few friends and family members go through the elimination diet. Some don't really find out what they can and can not eat. If you do the elimination diet half way it doesn't really tell you anything. By reducing FODMAP content in your diet you may learn that there is something to it... but you won't know what you eat safely, what you can't and where you can fudge in the future without feeling lousy.

I had a co-worker who bought the book and said she was seriously on it, then three days later she was eating pizza for lunch. She said, "I'm still doing the diet, I'm only eating one piece." A couple days later it was, "Just half a bagel with a little cream cheese." That doesn't cut it!!

The thing that really helped me was carrying around two lists. One list with everything I could eat and another of everything I couldn't. I found it helpful to break them out by food category (fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.) When you try an elimination diet I suggest that you are very careful.... it may just change your life for the better.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Don't be a Baby -- Just do the elimination diet!

I've talked with a lot of people about their GI troubles... the world seems full of IBS!  The thing that continually surprises me is how many people seem unwilling to try the FODMAP elimination diet. According to the dietition Patsy Catsos who wrote IBS Free at Last, 75% of people who have straight forward IBS respond to a low FODMAP diet. Why not do something that can impact the quality of your life? Why?!!

It is seriously worth 3 or 4 weeks of a challenging or boring diet. The FODMAP elimination diet brought me many surprises...
1) I had no idea I could feel this good.
2) I had no idea how bad I had been feeling, as I was simply used to it.
3) I had made many incorrect assumptions about foods that bother me and foods that do not bother me. (I actually was able to add a number of foods back into my diet that I had given up years ago!)
4) Finally, I have some measure of control. I can travel, go to parties, go to restaurants and just be out of the house without fear of what my stomach is going to do.

Be brave and give yourself this gift. The strict part is less than a month. You can eat simply for that long. Heck, I think I could eat nothing but lettuce for a month-- and believe me I LOVE to eat. It gets easier after the elimination phase. It can even be fun, figuring out how to make it interesting and learning new ways of cooking.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Going Out to Eat

Keeping things simple when going out seems to be the safest option. Think of sticking to foods that are whole. Look for a restaurant that has gluten free and vegan menus and try not to get too complicated. Even when following a vegetarian diet it seemed to work better if I looked for gluten free and vegan items and then asked them to leave out veggies with FODMAPs. For example I might ask for gluten free pasta primavera and ask them to leave out the onions and green peppers.

If you look at the restaurant section of this blog I've included restaurants I know or have heard of that have gluten free and/or vegan menus. It seems to be a good place to start.

Going to breakfast seems easier to me than any other meal.
- If vegetarian you can get an omelette with swiss cheese, tomatoes, spinach, red peppers, etc. and have it served with home fries. No toast of course and make sure they don't use milk to make the omelette.
- If vegan home fries, sliced (grilled) tomatoes, grits and oatmeal are good options. One place I go serves the oatmeal with blueberries on top, perfect!

Lunch/Dinner Options:
- Pasta primavera as outlined above.
- Gluten free vegan pizza with toppings such as red peppers, olives, butternut squash
- Salad with oil and vinegar or with oil and lemon, lately I've been eating salad with just lemon or vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Be sure they use all low FODMAP vegetables in the salad.
-Plain white or brown rice with "safe" vegetables
-French Fries
-Gluten free vegan vegetable fried rice

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Explaining FODMAPs diet to your friends

I've had a series of complicated diets for many years. No dairy, gluten free, vegegarian, vegan/plant based; which can all be explained. FODMAPs is a little more challenging since no one has ever heard of it.

Now I say, "I am intolerant to carbohydrates that ferment in the gut." Or, "I used to have a lot of trouble with my stomach, until I found out that I have trouble with certain carbohydrates that ferment in the gut."

Some people ask for more information and some people just nod and move on. I've learned that many many people have stomach trouble. I've referred a lot of people to the IBS Free at Last Book. I'm hoping I can one day go into a restaurant and ask for a low FODMAP menu.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

INFO: New focus on low FODMAP diet

So... I started this blog when I was doing fairly well with a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. Then, a little over a year ago, I found out about the FODMAP research and nothing has ever been the same. I stopped blogging... because I was changing everything and I needed time to adjust.

My struggles with IBS went away.

I will forever be greatful to Patsy Catsos for writing the book, "IBS, Free at Last." She did all the work to make the information understandable... accessible. She explains how Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Mono-saccharides And Polyols (FODMAPs) effect many people with IBS. This simple book, that took me about two hours to read, gave me my life.

I have been a vegetarian for most of my life. At first it was a struggle and I did go back to eating fish, more eggs and some dairy. Once I had things under control I stopped eating fish again. Now I am trying a completely plant based diet. For now it is an experiement.

For the better part of a year I have been assembling a low-FODMAP vegetarian cookbook. I think for the resurection of the blog I will post vegan/plant-based recipes and will continue to work on the vegetarian cookbook.

The next few weeks will be about taking out some of the older posts that don't work for FODMAP life and adding tips.

All the best on your journey!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

TRAVEL: Atlantic City -Not FODMAP or GF Friendly!

Just got back from Atlantic City-- the worst place I have ever been for Gluten Free dining. I found a number of places recommended online as having gluten free options that really didn't. No luck at the Rainforrest Cafe-- though they did try.
We went to Harahs that supposedly has GF options and I did okay there, but they don't have a GF menu and they don't seem to be aware of GF needs.

I did find one place that was safe, had a GF menu and seemed to understand cross-contamination-- Los Amigos Restaurant at 1926 Atlantic Avenue ~ 609-344-2293. The food was pretty good and they didn't make me sick-- so that was great.

Most of the time we drove out of town to find restaurants. We tried to find Drazil Organic Restaurant in Egg Harbor Township, which had good reviews but sadly it was gone.

Atlantic City was nice enough, but I doubt we will be going back anytime soon.