Ever since I happened upon some discussions over at Gluten-Free Goddess about FODMAPs, I’ve been studying up on them. (check out the various links within Karina’s post – lots of good talks about this.) I then found a book by Patsy Catsos called IBS–Free At Last. You see, like some others, despite going gluten-free, I still have some lingering digestive symptoms. I don’t usually like to talk about digestive symptoms here, because, after all, this is a blog filled with food and recipes. Most people don’t come here to talk about heartburn, gas, and bloating (or worse). But the reality is, many of us deal with these issues, and after reading about FODMAPs, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give this a try, to see if I could alleviate some of mine.
What are FODMAPs? FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols. (Yeah, FODMAPs is easier to remember. Thankfully, someone invented acronyms.) FODMAPs include a lot of different kinds of carbohydrates. Basically, there are certain sugars and fibers in certain foods that are hard for some people to digest before it makes its way to the large intestine, where it wreaks all sorts of havoc. These foods can include some fruits, vegetables, milk, wheat, onions, garlic, beans, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, etc. Patsy goes into a bit more detail here, and in even more detail in her book.
So if these might be causing digestive issues, what is the solution? Basically, to take them out of your diet for a while, and then reintroduce them in a systematic manner, taking notes about how you feel throughout the process. I spent this week understanding how to accomplish this. Patsy makes it really simple – she gives you sample meal plans and lists of allowed foods. She even tells you to cross out those foods you can’t eat for other reasons (for me, of course, anything containing gluten or dairy is off-limits). Of course, I can’t do anything exactly by the book, so I set off to make my own meal plans, following the guidelines of allowed foods. Once I got started, it was a lot easier than I originally thought. At first, I felt a bit overwhelmed, I’ll admit. “No onions, no garlic, no avocados? How will I survive?” But after seeing the meal plans and realizing that this wasn’t far off from what I normally can eat, I came back to my senses and forged ahead. I typically plan meals a week at a time anyway, but this took some additional thought with the new guidelines. I’m sure next week will be even simpler.
Wanna know what I will be eating for the next week? Here is the basic plan. The actual days meals are eaten may vary, as they typically do. All in all, it’s not much different than what I usually make – it was simply a matter of swapping out certain vegetables and fruits for ones that are allowed. But here’s the jist:
Dinner: Roasted Chicken, Steamed Beets, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Sauteed Yellow Squash (making extra chicken for later in the week)
(I also plan to hard-boil eggs for the week, make cream of buckwheat for breakfasts, and possibly other snacks to pack in our lunches)
Breakfast: cream of buckwheat with nuts, hard-boiled egg
Lunch: spinach salad with leftover beets, carrots, tomato, cucumber, radish, and chicken
Snacks: Rice cakes, blueberries
Dinner: Slow Roasted Salmon (sans onions) with Brown Rice and Steamed Kale (or whatever greens look good at the market)
Breakfast: smoothie with carrots, spinach, 1/2 banana, stevia, lots of cinnamon, and hard-boiled egg
Lunch: Tuna salad with Mary’s Gone Crackers, carrots and cherry tomatoes
Snack: handful of nuts
Dinner: Grilled chicken on salad (kinda winging it based on what salad stuff I have left)
Breakfast: Cream of buckwheat with nuts or berries, hard-boiled egg
Lunch: zucchini “noodles” with a peanut sauce (kind of like Ricki’s Pad Thai, adapted for my needs)
Snack: nuts, carrots, or rice cake
Dinner: Cajun sausage pasta with “cream” sauce, zucchini (this will be an experiment!)
Breakfast: same smoothie as Tuesday, hard-boiled egg
Snack: celery sticks with peanut butter
Dinner: Chicken Tacos/Salad with rice (using leftover chicken – since it will be a few days, I’ll probably freeze it Sunday and thaw for this meal)
Breakfast: GF oats with 1/2 banana, tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, cinnamon
Lunch: Spinach salad with tuna or chicken, cucumbers, carrots, tomato
Snack: Rice cakes with peanut butter
Dinner: Balsamic dijon pork tenderloin over polenta with roasted carrots
That’s it! We’ll see how close the actual meals come to that, but regardless, I’m crossing my fingers to see if those pesky “issues” improve.
Tell me – what do you think about seeing a meal plan from Tasty Eats At Home, regardless of whether it’s FODMAPs related or not? Is this beneficial for you? Would you like to see my meal plans every week? And if you have input about the FODMAPs diet, I’d love to hear it.
Also, there’s only a few hours left to enter for your chance to win a copy of Good Morning! Breakfasts without Gluten, Sugar, Eggs or Dairy by Ricki Heller! Check it out now and enter if you haven’t already. Giveaway ends tomorrow, Saturday, May 14, 2011.