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:
Hummus! 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…Gluten-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’.Luna bars! Soy, at least in moderate quantities, seems to be in. Which means I can go back to snacking on my favorite energy bar.Almonds 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.Cauliflower! 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.And 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.And I’ve been experimenting with some low-FODMAP, gluten-free, and vegan pancakes–recipe to come!
Have you ever tried an elimination diet to try to identify food intolerances?
How do you feel about frozen pizza?