Today is Friday the 15th and I’ve been on the elimination phase for six days. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a bit taxing at points, but it has been worth it. I’ve definitely noticed a decrease in bloating and overall gut discomfort.
I’ve been tracking everything (and I really do mean everything!) religiously on the free version of the MySymptoms app that my dietitian, Lesley, suggested and it definitely makes you more aware of what you’re eating and how much you’re having.
The main thing I’ve noticed about going into the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet is the importance of planning your shopping list for the meals you’ll eat in the week or weeks ahead. I’ll give you a rundown of my week’s meals further on, but at the very start of this process I used the Monash app to make myself a list of low FODMAP foods and the exact quantities I could have in order to remain within the low FODMAP limit for them. This might seem pedantic, but it made things much easier when it came to planning what I was going to eat.
It makes the elimination phase a lot easier when you have the peace of mind to know that there are a few meals you’ve got on standby that you can reach for when necessary instead of mindlessly staring at the contents of the fridge or cupboards trying to figure out what meal you can make that’s going to be suitable.
When I was preparing my list of low FODMAP foods I was struck by the fact that the majority of the foods were traditional foods that we would have eaten in the past, such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, cabbage, kale, spinach, common tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, radishes, green leek tips, pickled beetroot, rhubarb, raspberries, oats, maize, rice, and vinegars.
These are all foods which would have made up the staple diet of our ancestors because they would have been grown on our own shores, so isn’t it interesting that they’re the foods which are least likely to cause us digestive discomfort? Perhaps it’s just the historian in me that’s making these correlations, but I find it a very interesting link. It makes me wonder if the wide ranging diet we’ve become so accustomed to due to the availability of a plethora of worldwide foods in our supermarkets (and the easy availability of junk food) has had a negative effect on our guts. It’s just a thought, but I’d welcome anyone’s thoughts on the subject.
Another thing I’d like to mention is the importance of having suitably low FODMAP ingredients in your cupboards before you start the elimination phase. One thing I’d forgotten to pick up was Massell 7s stock cubes and on the first day of elimination when I made soup for lunch I sorely regretted it. Needless to say, I bought some online later that day and had them delivered promptly! Trust me, they make such a difference when you’re cooking from scratch.
On the subject of cooking from scratch, I think that if you want to successfully go through the elimination phase without accidentally eating high FODMAPs, making your own food is the way to go, with the exception of things like gluten-free bread. If you make your own food you can control what’s going into it and, subsequently, your body.
I have to say, I’ve eaten well this week and with the exception of finding myself without a sweet treat to satiate my sweet tooth during the week (which I swiftly corrected by baking some low FODMAP cookies) I haven’t really missed anything.
As I said in a previous post, I’m going to write another cookbook which will include all of the recipes I’ve created during the elimination phase, but here’s a list of my meals this week. I hope you enjoy the thought of them as much as I enjoyed eating them!
Breakfast: Gluten-free Crumpets with Fried Eggs
Lunch: Carrot, Ginger and Turmeric Soup with a gluten-free tuna sandwich
Snack: A banana and a mandarin
Dinner: Pork Loin in a Spinach and Sage Sauce with new potatoes and carrots
Breakfast: A gluten-free herb scone with devilled eggs.
Lunch: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with a gluten-free sandwich
Dinner: Pork Loin Chop with Rocket and Red Pepper Salad
Breakfast: Overnight Oats with Blueberries and Raspberries
Snack: Fruit Salad
Lunch: Sardines on toast
Dinner: Meatball Pasta Bake
Dessert: Gluten-free Chocolate Cookies
Breakfast: Quinoa Porridge
Lunch: Leftover Meatball Pasta Bake
Dinner: Pork Burger with Smoky Potato Wedges
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with a Herb Scone
Lunch: Carrot and Tomato Soup with a gluten-free sandwich
Dinner: Yakitori Chicken Kebabs with Kale Egg-Fried Rice
Dessert: A slice of Chocolate Orange Salami Traybake
Breakfast: Raspberry Buckwheat Muffins and a banana
Lunch: A baked potato with tuna
Dinner: Jerk Pork Loin Steaks
So, all in all, a very tasty week with decreasing digestive discomfort! Roll on week 2!