Since being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome I’d spent a lot of time worrying about my summer holiday. “What if the food has garlic/onions?”, “what if there is not dairy/gluten free breakfast option?”, “what am I supposed to eat for lunch if I can’t get a sandwich?” There was a whole host of questions and stress, all ultimately leading to the fear that this years holiday would be like the last where I was unwell for days.
So when we finally arrived in the outstandingly beautiful Poreč in Croatia earlier this month, I could have never anticipated just how much of a eating adventure it would be…
As it turns out the hotel was very good on the non-dairy front, I had a whole host of meats for my morning protein fix and lactose free and rice milk (turns out I rather like rice milk) to choose from at breakfast. So everyday started with a bowl of oats and fruit and then some rice crackers with meat. While my milk was strictly non dairy most days, dairy is where the first discovery lies in this trip. Through some cautious sampling I learned that (after avoiding it for 13 years) I can eat cheese and ice cream! Granted it’s only hard cheeses and 1 scoop portion wise for ice but this is an astronomical discovery of pure joy for me, two of my favourite treats are back on the menu!
In fact I discovered that there are plenty of awesome options on a low FODMAP diet, over the week I sampled some awesome risottos (cuttlefish was my favourite) and tucked into plenty of fresh fish, meats and veggies. I strongly suspect that I ate some disallowed food as pretty much everything is made with garlic &/or onions and one of the rissotos did have mushrooms but I seemed to survive as long as I stayed sensible and kept portions small.
Aside from the occasional naughty choices (breadcrumbs, mushrooms) the only real issues I faced were 1. Under ripe bananas (I love them, my stomach does not) and one evening when we went to the hotel grill restaurant. The grill restaurant was a preset menu and in reality was all FODMAP friendly food however, I am a child of the “you can’t leave till you finish all of your dinner” generation. So this meant I attempted to consume the overly generous offering of food (there were enough fries to feed 6 people), had the food confiscated by my partner and spent the next 2-3 days in significant discomfort. Honestly when it comes to controlling my willpower, I doubt I’ll ever learn…
So in short I worried a lot for nothing, FODMAP is tough in some aspects (mainly no Bread) but there are so many alternative options that I actually barely noticed that I was on a restricted diet. I’ve come home inspired and ready to make the most of what I’ve learned, namely with the desire to up my polenta and risotto game and get cheese and ice cream back into my life!
For now though it’s back home to a rather chilly feeling Scotland, oh well at least I have this memory to keep me warm!
This was today’s lunch experiment and I was so pleased with it that I decided I must waste no time and get it added to the site!
This beauty is the 2nd of my Low FODMAP Recipes but it’s really a great. One for everyone as you’re free to make it your own by adding your own favourite spice combo!
I teamed them with some M&S “Made without Wheat – super seeded sandwich thins” and some of my own homemade Asafoetida Mayonnaise (another awesome recipe I need to add) and it was awesome! I’m looking forward to trying this one again and topping it with a bit o’ cheese!
Go check it out and give it a try, you won’t regret it! Just click the photo to be taken to the recipe!
So I’ve been a little quiet over the past few weeks, both recipe and workout-wise. The truth is I’ve not been very well. For the last few months I’ve been suffering an array of uncomfortable stomach pains and issues, something that led me to reduce how much I’m eating and as a result my energy levels dropped with it. (On a side note it’s been an eye opener toward just how important your eating is for exercise)
After a string of doctor visits and tests, this week I finally got my answer. The good news: it’s unlikely that I was ever lactose intolerant. The bad news: I have irritable bowel syndrome, meaning that lactose is now one of many things I can’t eat.
It was tough but I suppose also helpful news to take. Now that I know the problem I can work on the solution; and the solution I’m told is FODMAP (Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-Mono-Saccharides, and Polyols). The condition is aggravated generally by these so called high FODMAP foods and my emotions/stress (no mystery why this is the worst it’s ever been then with the jobless-induced worrying), so a FODMAP restricted diet is the best way to manage it.
So now my Challenge is to reduce dairy, gluten, high-sugar foods, certain sweeteners, alcohol, fizzy drinks (this one hurt to hear), garlic and onions (rendering every spice mix in my cupboard redundant). It’s going to be difficult, but it’s also an opportunity to try new things and maybe scrap some bad habits for good (cough*fizzy juice addict*cough).
So be prepare to see some new recipes and ingredients from me and for anyone else suffering from irritable bowel or any other restrictive diet, this is a chance to see one way of making it work for a strength training lifestyle (hopefully)!