Welcome to my blog, here is a little bit about me and why I have decided to start this blog. Over the past year or so I have gone from feeling so poorly I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, to quite literally the best and healthiest I have ever been.
This time last year I was a right mess. I had spent all summer with shingles (which had kindly decided to appear all over my face … grim, I know), and ended up in such a state that my body went into hypersensitivity exploding into a reoccurring hive like rash. From here things really went downhill. I became exhausted all the time, my skin was terrible, and I was experiencing a whole host of stomach related issues that had begun to make life really unpleasant. For about 9 months I headed back and forth to the GP with no luck, and was becoming more and more unhappy. I had tried everything, prescribed medicine, vitamin drinks, natural remedies (weird kefir goat milk cleanse I’m looking at you), you name it I had tried it. I was still feeling just as awful as before. It was at this point, I finally put my foot down and got an appointment to see a gastrointestinal specialist. After thankfully finding nothing sinister, I was referred to a dietitian who deduced that my ongoing symptoms were caused by a functioning gut disorder (IBS). This is where my journey into the weird and wonderful world that is FODMAP began.
The term FODMAP stands for ‘Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. Essentially they encompass a collection of badly absorbed simple and complex sugars that are found in a whole host of things ranging from fruits and vegetables to dairy and wheat. To put it simply, for those of us with sensitive stomachs, one, or a combination of these badly absorbed sugars tend to be the source of our woes. This is where my wonderful dietitian stepped in, introducing me to the FODMAP diet. It gave me a way in which I could effectively manage all my symptoms by understanding what my ‘triggers’ were.
For me overhauling my diet was no mean feat. Up until this point I was the self declared crumpet Queen, and loved nothing more than tucking into a big plate of garlicky pesto pasta. Now this, and what seemed like pretty much everything I liked to eat was most certainly off the menu. For the first month or so I ended up eating pretty much the same thing everyday – it was very bland and very boring. I was so nervous of accidentally eating something I would react to, that food and meal times became stressful and tense events. Gradually I became more inventive and adventurous with the ingredients that I had to play with (thank God for chives), and though I’ll be the first to admit I am no culinary genius these experiments started to turn out pretty well. Now there have been many disasters, the brownies my Dad helpfully described as not dissimilar to ‘saw dust’, being a particular flop. Gradually though things started to come together. I discovered that I didn’t have to compromise tasty food for feeling healthy, eating FODMAP friendly meals could be just as good as what was on the menu before!
I hope by sharing on this blog what I have learnt along the way, that others that have gone through or are going through this now will realise that a FODMAP diet is not sentencing you to a lifetime full of bland, ‘safe’ food. Recipes and meal times do not have to be complicated or stressful. There is a wealth of delicious opportunity just waiting to be tapped into. I hope you enjoy what you find here and much as I have enjoyed making it !