My new low FODMAP lifestyle


Recently I posted about my diagnosis with fibromyalgia along with my new diet restrictions as my doctor and I diagnose my food allergies (aka-a low FODMAP diet.) As someone who has previously enjoyed a diet full of tangy, crusty ciabatta bread slathered with home made roasted garlic, you can imagine my disappointment when I found out that sadly, these foods are a no-no as I figure out what has been hurting my tummy.

So…what exactly have I been eating?

I am not here to boast the benefits of eating some unrealistic diet as a cure-all for everyone. I’m not a registered dietician and I suggest seeing a doctor before starting any kind of diet. I advise everyone against trying to self-diagnose. I just want to share what has worked for me as I navigate this new lifestyle, as suggested by my rheumatologist.

What is out:
-Most sugar alternatives and sweeteners including high fructose corn syrup, honey and maple syrup
-Garlic, onions and most allium bulbs
-Stone fruit, apples, pears (which is a little sad for me because every year I look forward to my nectarine, plum and apple tree harvests in my back yard)
-Lactose (I take lactase pills)
-Most dry beans and lentils (which is also disappointing because I used to get about half of my protein from these sources!)

My trick to this total lifestyle change is to prep multiple “safe” meal components and then mix and match my meals as I see fit. Currently in my refrigerator, freezer and pantry I have the following ingredients stashed away waiting to be heated and/or added to a meal:

Low FODMAP Starches:
-Cooked white basmati rice, seasoned with cilantro and lime
-Cooked rainbow quinoa
-Gluten free rolled oats
-Gluten free quinoa pasta
-Popcorn kernels, uncooked
-Cooked rice noodles
-Rice paper
-Tortilla/flax chips
-Red potatoes
-Cooked polenta
-Corn tortillas

Low FODMAP Proteins:
-Cooked diced chicken breast, seasoned with lemon zest and parsley
-Frozen salmon
-Natural almond butter
-Lactose free, sugar free cheese
-Home made chicken stock, free of high FODMAP vegetables

Low FODMAP Fruits and Vegetables:
-Shredded carrots
-Rainbow bell pepper strips
-Lemons and limes
-Romaine lettuce
-Scallions (but only the green tops can be eaten)
-Garlic (green tops only, not the bulb)
-Frozen berries
-Frozen kale
-Green beans

Low FODMAP Condiments and Beverages:
-Garlic and scallion infused oil (which is permitted as a condiment)
-Chia, sesame and poppy seeds
-Carrageenan free almond and cashew milk
-Bonne Maman jam (high fructose corn syrup free)
-Cold brewed coffee
-Iced black tea
-Most spices and herbs
-Salt and pepper

On an average day, here are a few examples of what I might eat, along with plenty of water.

-Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats, topped with cinnamon, seeds, bananas, frozen blueberries and almond butter or jam
-A fritatta or scramble made from the vegetables listed above, topped with a small sprinkle of cheese
-Cold brew coffee with almond or cashew milk

-Iced tea with chia seeds
-A smoothie with the fruits listed above, a small handful of kale, seeds and almond or cashew milk
-Freshly popped stovetop popcorn, topped with salt, pepper and herbs
-Tortilla/flax chips with diced tomato, scallion greens, garlic greens and cilantro

-Salad made from the vegetables and fruits listed above, quinoa, diced chicken, a small sprinkle of cheese, hard boiled egg, garlic and scallion infused oil, citrus juice, salt and pepper
-Tacos or fajitas with tomatoes, bell peppers, cilantro, romaine lettuce, cheese, diced chicken, chili powder, cumin, paprika, lime juice
-Soup made from the vegetables above with either tortilla/flax chips, rice or rice noodles
-Sautéed polenta cake topped with sautéed vegetables listed above and a small sprinkle of cheese
-Zucchini “noodles” (which can be made using a spiralizer, mandolin slicer, or vegetable peeler) combined with quinoa pasta, topped with garlic and scallion infused oil, fresh basil, diced tomatoes and a small sprinkle of parmesan cheese
-Roasted salmon, rice and vegetables listed above
-Roasted or mashed potatoes, vegetables listed above and diced chicken
-Cooked rice noodles, vegetables listed above and chicken wrapped in rice paper as a spring roll, dipped in warm almond butter + sesame seeds
-A fritatta or scramble made from the vegetables listed above, topped with a small sprinkle of cheese

The way to keep all of this from being boring is to add as much flavor as possible to each meal by utilizing as many low FODMAP herbs and spices as you can handle. Sometimes a combination works…sometimes it doesn’t. It’s all about learning.

After one week I have been told that I look thinner. So far, I have lost an inch and a half around my waist. I’m not suggesting that all people will lose weight, but I imagine my weight loss may be due to the fact that I don’t mindlessly eat anymore. I keep a food and symptom diary as a way to get into the habit of tracking what my body agrees with, before I hit my six-week mark and re-add a few foods back into my diet to see how I tolerate each one.

I realize this probably isn’t the most exciting post on Milk And Madeleines, but I hope that these ideas will help those who have been diagnosed with several food allergies, celiac disease or IBS. Feel free to leave a comment below with your favorite tips, tricks or low FODMAP recipes!

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