Adventures in Croatia and holidaying on the low FODMAP diet

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…

There I am on day one, all excited about the sunshine (and damn I am seeing some good gains there)!

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!

CHEESE!!!!! 😀
Oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, fresh fruit and rice milk

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.

Oh look more polenta and cheese!
Octopus, polenta and ice cream were firm daily favourites and also note the breadcrumbs (that one was not a clever choice)

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…

I’m not sure why but it was a whole tray of pork (note I devoured the park ribs before I took the photo). It was soooo good though!
Is that not a thing of beauty? Oh the yum!

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!

Till next year Croatia! Dovidenja from my creepy wee toes!

Homemade Gains Ep.3 – Coconut Mixed Nut Butter!

Yep my latest episode of Homemade Gains is live and this week it’s a truly easy and heavenly recipe! 

For Nut Butter addicts like me you MUST try this! Click here to see me make it or click the picture below to get the full recipe!

Also this weeks episode features my lovely “Little Lifter” Tank in Heather Purple, which you can get here!

Enjoy! 

Homemade Gains Episode 2 is live! This week stars Oat and Almond Loaf!

After an epic battle with technology and its lack of storage space, I finally have episode 2 of Homemade Gains on the YouTube channel for you all to enjoy!

Click here to check it out!

This week features my absolute bread of the moment: Oat and Almond Loaf


You can get the full recipe by clicking the text above but make sure you watch Homemade Gains too! I’ve got big plans for the YouTube channel so I need your views to make it awesome and well what’s not to love about seeing some tasty food being made! And of course it’s always a chance to see my tees in person! This weeks episode has got 2 of my current favourites!

Right for now I have to go finish work on my training plan (super excited to share that with you all very soon)! Your homework good people is to go watch Homemade Gains and like, subscribe and share (if you would be so kind please 😉)! 

Homemade Gains Episode 1 now on the YouTube Channel

Yep it’s finally here! Yesterday I recorded the very 1st episode of “Homemade Gains”; the place where magical food is made (& also where I can product placement my own Tanks and tees hehe)!

Episode 1 features my protein honeycomb recipe (it can now also be found here on the blog). There’s definite improvement in this weeks video (though I think nerves are certainly still in there). Mostly in that I keep saying the honeycomb is “pretty good” when it is actually very damn good! Although, looking at my attempts last week, it does show that to get better at something you have to keep on doing it. I’m going to have to get busy in the kitchen and make it ultra awesome then!

So yes, protein honeycomb is awesome therefore, I must insist you go watch how it’s made and try it yourself! Just click the tasty photo below to go to the video!

Stepping way out of my comfort zone 

So if you’ve been following the blog, instagram or Facebook page; you’ll know that I’m hoping to turn this food sharing hobby into a career. I’m still job hunting but, as cheesy as it sounds, I just know I’m meant for more than a 9-5 where the only joy of the job is “thinking of the money”.

SO! With that in mind, I’ve realised that to achieve this I have to get out of my comfort zone. By nature I’m self conscious, introverted and can be socially awkward/anxious (it’s a strange irrational fear of people judging me, I was bullied a lot in high school so I guess I have those lovely people to thank for it). I can write anything on here, writing is the easy part, but when you put me in front of a person or a camera; it’s a whole other story. Cue nervous , tense, terrified of and convinced that the scary person in front of you is silently judging you. 

Walking around is obvious to see, but much harder to do!

But if I want to make this into a career I need to overcome these issues. I failed in the past by 1. Pretending those issues weren’t there and assigning my failings to everyone else instead of me and 2. If I did acknowledge them, I tried to change them all at once which was too much too soon. So now I’m taking it one step at a time; starting with overcoming the camera fear. 

I’ve wanted to do a series of YouTube videos for ages, but I’ve always chickened out and put it off. No more I say, if I wanna succeed, I gotta get my face and em, “delightful” Scottish accent out there! So yesterday I made my first video, its just me saying hello and laying out my goals for the channel, it felt like a good place to start. I was so nervous and self conscious that this tiny 2 minute video took around 20 attempts, the fact that I actually posted it is a huge step and victory for me. 

Click here or on the doodle below to go to the video and show some love (I know it’s not perfect but that’s the idea, I’m a real person and I want you to see that) 

Check out the video, subscribe to the channel and show some love (please)!