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WIAW #7: New Friends!

A couple weeks ago, I posted celebrating that I’m finally through the re-testing phase of the low-FODMAP diet!

What does that mean?

Here’s what that means.

The low-FODMAP diet is an elimination diet that you’re supposed to follow for 2 to 6 weeks to help manage the symptoms of IBS, including bloating, constipation, cramping, nausea, and diarrhea. (FAQs answered here.)

FODMAPs are certain kinds of carbohydrates that ferment in the gut and aggravate IBS symptoms: specifically lactose, fructose, GOS, fructans, mannitol and sorbitol. After following the elimination phase of the low-FODMAP diet, you test certain foods that are high in those carbohydrates (each one in isolation) to identify which of these kinds of carbs you can’t tolerate, which you can, and in how large of quantities.

I spent a long time in the elimination phase. Like, 8 months. Every time I’d try a new food, I’d have a major flare-up. Then, I bought a book on re-introducing FODMAPs, and went through the process of re-introducing them correctly, but even that alone has taken me almost 4 months. So that’s a year of following a very strict elimination diet, with occasional exceptions.

But now I’m through! And I’ve been enjoying lots of new foods I haven’t been able to eat in a long time! I’m still trying to finagle the diet to see, for instance, how many different kinds of FODMAPs I can tolerate at once, but even the ability to incorporate just a small amount more has opened so many possibilities!

So for today’s What I Ate Wednesday here are some new friends I’ve been able to welcome to my diet in the last week and a half:

DSCN0993Hummus! Though I’ve been making low-FODMAP variations on hummus throughout the elimination phase (here and here), last week I was able to enjoy this “real” hummus I made for an English department potluck. I used sunflower seed butter in place of the tahini (simply because I didn’t want to go out and buy tahini), but—dun dun dun–a whole clove of garlic! (not allowed on a strictly low-FODMAP diet.) I’ve also bought hummus from the grocery store since, which is so convenient.

Speaking of pre-made things from the grocery store…DSCN1045Gluten-free frozen pizza! I still seem to be bothered by wheat, at least in significant quantities, but small amounts of onion and garlic, such as in pizza sauce, seem to be okay! When you haven’t had a frozen pizza in a year, it’s kind of a big deal. Just sayin’.DSCN1051Luna bars! Soy, at least in moderate quantities, seems to be in. Which means I can go back to snacking on my favorite energy bar.DSCN1010Almonds and almond butter! The low-FODMAP limit was 10 almonds or 1 tablespoon, but I’ve been able to enjoy this moderate-GOS nut in larger quantities, as in these cereal bars.DSCN1044Cauliflower! Pictured here in a simple stir-fry alongside tofu, spinach, carrots, garlic-infused oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, and green onions. If cauliflower is in, mushrooms probably will be too, although I’ve yet to try them.DSCN1034And mor chocolate! The low-FODMAP elimination diet limits you to 30 grams of dark chocolate, or about a tablespoon of cocoa powder, which is great and all…but sometimes you just want to make the extra super-chocolate-y brownies with all the chocolate and cocoa powder! Or eat the whole 40-gram bar. Or as the case may be.

I’ve still been trying to eat largely lower-FODMAP, which means sticking to some low-FODMAP meals, like these broiled salmon tacos I tried on Monday. They were so easy to make, and yummy! Definitely adding these guys to my dietary repertoire.DSCN1047And I’ve been experimenting with some low-FODMAP, gluten-free, and vegan pancakes–recipe to come!DSCN1042

Have you ever tried an elimination diet to try to identify food intolerances?

How do you feel about frozen pizza?

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  1. Emily says:

    This is pretty cool Joyce that you got to re-introduce some of these foods! God is GOOD! 🙂 <3

  2. I’ve been experimenting a lot with food lately to see what aggravates my eczema, but I can’t really do an intense elimination diet while breastfeeding full time. I have cut out sugar though, as an experiment and oh man, apparently my body does NOT like the sweet stuff!

    1. Joyce says:

      Probably wise not to do an elimination diet while breastfeeding. Glad that you’ve found something that helps you feel better, though!

  3. Yay to more chocolate ! That’s awesome that you get to reintroduce more foods!

    1. Joyce says:

      Chocolate is definitely a reason to celebrate!

  4. Cora says:

    Yessssssss. This post makes me sooo happy. I’m so glad you are finally coming out of that (seemingly dreadful) elimination/testing phase and are now seeing the light. Thank god you can have pizza sauce. I’d be one sad girl if I couldn’t have pizza. Can’t wait for more of these foods to come!!

    1. Joyce says:

      Thanks, Cora! Funnily enough, it was dreadful, but it wasn’t as dreadful as I might have expected once I got used to it. I’ve been very excited about pizza, too. : )

  5. Ellie says:

    I would hate an elimination diet! That sounds painful, but I assume eating certain things is actually painful so it must not be that hard for you. I haven’t had frozen pizza in a while, but I did get a pizza burrito a bit ago (frozen) and microwaved it and it was good. What is your favorite brand?

    1. Joyce says:

      Of frozen pizza? Good question. I haven’t had it on a regular basis in so long, I’m not sure I can say.
      It’s funny that you think the elimination diet sounds painful; I think going vegan sounds pretty tough, too. I guess it’s what you’re used to and what you’re up for putting your mind to!

  6. So glad you can enjoy more foods now!

  7. Kate says:

    That’s awesome you’ve reached the goal! I’m amazed you were able to stay on the strict diet for so long. Though I guess if I felt noticeably better, I probably would have too.
    For me anything overly fibrous will probably hurt later. I’ve stopped eating apples and the skins of fruits or vegetables if I can help it.
    Adding more food to your daily life most feel great- because food is so good!

    1. Joyce says:

      Thanks, Kate. It’s been a long process, for sure, but I’m glad to be here.
      Glad you figured out the fiber thing–fiber, especially insoluable fiber, can be a trigger for me too!

  8. GiGi Eats says:

    Cauliflower Dipped in hummus for the win!!

    1. Joyce says:

      Never tried that combo–sounds good!

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