Sunday, October 12, 2014

FODMAP much?

Apparently I did, too much. And what, might you ask, is a FODMAP? Well, it stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols. You know the old rhyme "Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot"? Well, it's not always just beans and it's not always just toots. I have been feeling pretty crappy (pun intended) for quite awhile - like, a year, and mentioned it when I went for my yearly check-up. My gyno promptly sent me to a gastroenterologist, and based on my symptoms, and while awaiting the date for my colonoscopy, he put me on a low-FODMAP diet.

I told the kids about it, and Emily couldn't call me fast enough to say, "And you thought Whole30 was restrictive!!!" I may have made that comment when she was doing her Whole30...  Basically, this eating protocol was developed in Australia to help people with IBS symptoms. To show you how awful I felt, I jumped into it without a second thought, restrictive or not.

What it means for me is no lactose (milk, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese unless they are lactose-free), no gluten (wheat, rye, barley), no artificial sweeteners, eliminating certain fruits (among them apples, pears, watermelon), certain veggies (cauliflower - although strangely enough, broccoli is okay, corn, garlic, onions). There are a whole bunch of other restrictions, but these are the ones that will make you ask:

Which is exactly what I asked when I sat down to make a shopping list that first week. It really is not so bad, and it really, really, really makes me feel better, so it's worth it. Eating out is the biggest challenge, but we did find out that our favorite pizza place in town, Zio's, has fabulous gluten-free pizza. And one alcoholic beverage a day is allowed, so it's totally doable. Erin's 26th birthday was at a microbrewery on day 2 of this little eating adventure, so I had my one glass of delicious beer and filled up on water.

I was about a week into this protocol when we went to Michigan to visit the kids, and Aly, bless her heart, the Queen of the Internet, had done some research and had wonderful low-FODMAP meals and snacks (mmm, popcorn...) all ready for us. It required some tweaking, such as not lightly dredging my chicken in flour, but in parmesan (strangely enough, while milk is a no-no, hard cheeses are just fine). And luckily, gluten-free crackers are delicious!

My favorite breakfast of peanut butter toast or bagel thin required a change:

It's pretty good toasted, but not fabulous by itself. And thank God peanut butter is allowed! As far as berries, another part of my breakfast, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are okay (up to 1/2 cup), but no blackberries. Bananas? Yes if ripe, no if slightly green. (The way I like them, of course).

I found some other goodies:

corn is out, but polenta, cornmeal, and grits are okay

no milk chocolate, but hello dark chocolate!

pretty good

haven't tried 'em yet, but since maple syrup up to 1.5 T is allowed, they are on the menu!

I've been doing the elimination phase of this diet for several weeks now, so am playing around with reintroducing certain foods to see how my body tolerates them, the premise being to allow you to eat the most varied (and therefore healthiest) diet as possible. So far, I think I can have about half a cup of milk with no adverse effects, although I really do like coconut-almond milk on my oatmeal, so eliminating cow milk is not a big deal. I've tried apples, but they might be a little iffy. That is too bad, since I eat (used to eat?) an apple a day. After trying a day or two of eating just one of the groups to see what I can tolerate, I need to go back to the elimination diet to get back to a baseline. It sounds so scientific, which just makes so much sense to me.

I had my colonoscopy this week, and if you follow me on Instagram (cathyboll), you saw that I posted this. It just cracks me up!

Everything is okay in that area, but this is what half an hour of Propofol, an hour in recovery, and several naps during the day looked like:

sloth. i'm surprised i didn't have moss growing on me

Here's to more activity!

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