Low FODMAP bread!

Don’t make the same mistake as me, and line the pan…!!

Here’s the initial recipe. I made a few adjustments for fun and because I seriously did not understand the second half of the recipe. #noob.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 12teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Add yeast and sugar to warm water; set aside.
  2. Sift the four flours and vital wheat gluten into a bowl. Add salt and mix
  3. Beat egg in a small bowl; add vegetable oil and vinegar.
  4. Add water/yeast and egg mixture to flour mix. Mix well. Dough will be very wet and sticky – too wet to knead. (The sorghum flour is more absorbent than the other flours so if you need more water, make sure to pop some more oil in there too.)
  5. Cover and place in a warm spot to rise for about 2 hours. Extra for experts: use a reusable cover like a dinner plate!
  6. About ½ hour before the dough is finished rising, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  7. When the dough is risen, it will be quite wet, but full of air pockets. Transfer the dough to a lined bread tin and cover with tinfoil.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the middle of the oven. Then remove the cover and bake for 10 minutes more. And then keep baking until a stick comes out clean. Ish.

Delish when it’s still warm with golden syrup 🙂

YUM.

Cheers,

M x

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How has it only been four days?????

Sorry this blog is a bit of a downer! I’m trying to remain grateful and positive.

So we’re four days into a fully exclusive low FODMAP diet.

The biggest struggle at the moment is hunger at 4ish in the afternoon. Lunches are the hardest meal, as I pack them because I’m at uni all day, and I just don’t seem to be able to get enough food! I have been eating more protein, but it doesn’t seem to be enough. Last week I made a giant quiche and froze portions of it (before I was “officially” on the diet!). This week I’ve been making salads and chucking in some chicken – I have a beef mince patty with a salad for tomorrow. And my low FODMAP blueberry muffins are a lifesaver for my sweet tooth!

As of yet I haven’t had any resolve from my symptoms. Still living with a pretty consistent stomach ache, which is especially prevalent in the morning. Still living with irregular bowel movements, and I think my concentration is affected slightly. On the upside, I think I’m less bloated than before, and I haven’t had any disruption to my sleep – which can happen, I’ve heard. If my symptoms are still consistent by the weekend I’m going to get in contact with my nutritionist and talk about what other foods could be a potential problem.

I am starting to doubt that there really is going to be an end to this, and that is scary and upsetting. The pain is manageable, sure, and I know there are people out there who are suffering so much worse than I am, and I feel for them. But I am tired of having chronic pain, and of not knowing what the cause is. I realised today I don’t actually remember what it means to not have a stomach-ache, so I don’t even know if I’ll recognise it should it happen. What if it isn’t actually sore right now, and I just think it is? What if none of this is actually real and I am just imagining that I have this problem? I could drive myself mad. The joys of an invisible illness.

I want to be completely honest on here, because I want to share my true experiences with my future self and with anyone else who’s battling this stupid syndrome. I’m scared. I’m in pain, and I don’t completely trust that this is going to work.

In saying that, I’m grateful for the support of my friends and family – my step dad made a special dinner just for me tonight that was very carefully low-FODMAP! And so many people constantly saying encouraging things and sharing their experiences. Hell, it’s only been four days! What am I even moaning about? She’ll be right!

I go to yoga once a week and my yoga teacher often slips this into class; it helps me get through the day.

Look forward. Breathe. 

One day at a time.

Thanks for reading 🙂

M x

Low FODMAP Flour

It’s the starch in wheat which causes the problems for a low fodmap diet. Taking the gluten free option, which obviously doesn’t have wheat, can be a solution – except that the binding agent used in a lot of GF food is vegetable gum 412, or guar gum. Guar gum is high fodmap! So all the gluten free breads in my local supermarket, plus my favourite coconut nice cream, as well as the gluten free flour I bought (!!!!!!)… they’ve all got guar gum in them. Therefore, they’re off for at least the next four weeks. Damnit.

I found this article written by a pastry chef about low fodmap flours (it’s worth a read!) and adjusted it for what I could find. I also put some gluten flour in to help it bind. I bought mine from Piko Wholefoods for about $32 all up.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup White Rice Flour
  • 1 cup Sorghum Flour
  • 1 cup Tapioca Flour/Starch
  • 1 cup Coconut Flour
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoon Gluten Flour

Instructions:

  1. Sift each of the flours into an airtight container
  2. Put the lid on.
  3. Shakey shakey shake shake
  4. Go crazy!

So far I have made blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes (I’m on a blueberry buzz obviously) and both were delicious. Just don’t expect it to taste like normal flour! Also I’m pretty sure it’s more absorbent than normal flour so recipes might take a bit of extra liquid.

I’ll keep you posted with what else I put it in and maybe I’ll remember to take photos of my food before just nomming it away!

M x

Nutritionist Appointment

My first one! It was a weird combination of a counselling appointment and a doctor’s appointment. I went to Bek Parry at Positively Nourished, and seriously recommend her.

We talked about the symptoms from which I’ve been suffering for the last 15 months, and she told me it’s likely my villi, which are tiny tiny projections of the wall of the intestine that increase surface area and help absorb nutrients, are severely damaged. This makes so much sense! Malabsorption of micro-nutrients could be compounding the problems I have with digestion. It’s also likely I could have had a parasite initially which would have explained why I had food poisoning for such a long time. That is both fascinating and gross!

We talked about how I respond to stress, and I said I’ve been much less stressed since leaving drama school even though my masters degree is a lot more work, the stress is a different type of stress, and it’s one I seem to be able to handle a little better. How I was feeling overall came up too: I’d not really thought about how the gut can affect all parts of the body and mind, right from a sore tummy, to headaches, to eczema, to anxiety or a depression.  It’s an amazing organ and one that needs our respect and love.

In order to help my gut heal, she has suggested some supplements to take which will give the villi some strength. I will also be officially taking on a complete, exclusive FODMAP diet for four weeks.

I’ll be using the Monash University FODMAP app as a guide. I’m eliminating broccoli for a week, as broccoli can be a trigger food for some people! I’ll be upping my meat intake, which is a bit dah because I was eating a pretty vegetarian dominated diet. The FODMAP diet excludes legumes, which is a high source of protein for a vegetarian. Protein also includes amino acids which help heal the gut. I’m really just trying to make this as easy as possible for myself and that means adding some more meat and eggs to my diet. Gut comes first.

I’m feeling pretty good about diving into this. I don’t know how much more inconvenient this diet will be than having a permanent stomach ache! My stomach has been a bit sore over the last two days so hopefully it fades away over the next week, and then fingers crossed I can start getting some more understanding about what is actually up with my body. I’ve also noticed just over the last week since cutting out a few high FODMAP foods like onion, garlic and wheat, that emotionally I feel a bit richer. It’s exciting to think about how much of an affect this could have on my being. Analysing how I’m feeling and really listening to my body will encourage a more present and conscious mindset. But, it does mean I can’t keep feeding my chocolate addiction (presumably that’s actually a good thing!).

I’m excited!

M x

Beef and Vegetable Stirfry

IMG_20150718_121316~2I found this recipe here, but I have adjusted some of the amounts!
Author: Sue Daoulas
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time:  20 mins
Cook time:  9 mins
Total time:  29 mins
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 500g lean beef, cut into thin strips approximately 2 inches long
  • 1 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cleaned & trimmed, cut into 2 inch lengths
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 6 Brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1 Capsicum, sliced
  • 1 Courgette, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Gluten free, reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
  • 4-8 Chinese chili peppers (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut the meat and vegetables and set aside.
  2. Grate the ginger and chop the chives and set aside.
  3. Heat sesame oil in wok on high heat.
  4. Add ginger and chives to hot oil. Stir quickly and constantly for 1 minute.
  5. Add beef and pepper and continue to stir quickly and constantly until cooked (approximately 5 minutes).
  6. Remove beef from pan. Try to keep most of the ginger and chives (and chilies if using) in the pan.
  7. Add vegetables to hot pan and stir for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Pour soy sauce and vinegar over vegetables and mix well.
  9. Cover the vegetables, reduce heat to medium, and steam for 8-10 minutes (longer if you want softer vegetables).
  10. Remove lid and return beef to pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds if using, stirring constantly until meat is warm.
  11. Serve immediately over rice, or without rice if you’ve gone overboard on the veges like I did!

Low FODMAP Quiche

This quiche is a modified Alison Holste recipe and it’s easy peasy:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour (check out my flour recipe here)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 cup edam cheese, grated
  • 3 streaky bacon rashons, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli, sliced
  • 6 brussel sprouts
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 courgette, grated

Preheat oven to 200°C, bake.

  1. Chop the potatoes into small chunks, pop them in a microwave safe bowl with a splash of water and cook them in the microwave for 5 mins. Make sure they’re easily punctured with a fork once done.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Slowly add flour and baking powder – making it smooth is a bit difficult so give it a good mix to get rid of the lumps.
  3. Throw in all the vegetables including the potato, and the grated cheese. Mix through till all the vegetables are covered.
  4. Tip into a quiche dish and bake for around 30-35 mins. Yum!

I leave mine to cool before slicing it into quarters and transferring it into tupperwares and then into the freezer until required. Just pop it in the microwave at lunch and it’s good to go! The good thing about this is that you can change it up to whatever vegetables you’ve got around, as long as they’re low FODMAP obvs! Get creative and enjoy. M x

Hello!

This journey started for me in April 2014 when I went to A&E after not recovering from a pretty not-nice food poisoning. Before that point I always thought myself lucky to be one of those blessed people to never worry about what or how much I was eating – I remember eating entire packets of biscuits and never getting a stomach ache! Now, however, I almost constantly have a sore tum, and it seems that everything I eat is the wrong thing and sends me into cramps and spasms. 

After eliminating Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis as explanations for what’s wrong with my gut, I feel like the medical personnel I was seeing just gave up, putting it down to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). They gave me some supplements and sent me on my not-that-merry way.

So I have spent the last year plodding away with a bad stomach, trying to work out what works and what doesn’t, without going full out no FODMAP, or gluten free, or whatever. It always seemed to me that everything I ate was wrong, and it seemed to get worse if I ate at certain times or left it too long between eating. There’s also a sort of social pressure when it comes to this sort of illness, people thinking they’re doing the right thing questioning what I eat and when, which was hurtful and confusing when I was suffering something I didn’t understand. I blamed myself for eating the wrong things even though I had no idea what my body was doing, and even things that were apparently good for me to eat would give me troubles. So even though I know that I don’t have it that bad, my life overall hasn’t had to stop… this still isn’t pleasant. It is confusing, frustrating, and upsetting. So now that I’ve been dealing with it for a year without any signs of getting better, I’ve booked in with a nutritionist to discuss going no/low-FODMAP.

I guess the question I have been asking myself is why has it taken me so long to get to this point? The answer is that a low FODMAP diet seems scary. I had a friend at drama school who was on it and he hated the damn thing (his symptoms were a lot worse than mine). I love going out for meals with my friends, family, and boyfriend, so the thought of being in the position where that would be difficult or impossible is frightening. Plus it’s massively inconvenient. Do you know how many things have garlic and onion in them? Try EVERYTHING. Bye, canned tomato paste! Bye, my newly discovered recipe for delicious walnut and garlic crackers!

But now I have realized that actually, having a perpetual stomach ache is pretty inconvenient too. A low FODMAP diet is generally a fixed term arrangement – six to eight weeks in most cases I believe. There might not be an ‘end’ to this IBS debacle – but there might be a method of dealing with the symptoms.

This is a space for me to share recipes but also my experiences on the diet and if it helps or hinders my journey back to some form of normality in my stomach. I’d love to hear from anyone who has been on low FODMAP and for anyone who is starting out or thinking about starting out, hopefully my experiences will shed some light for you. And at some point I’ll write about what FODMAPs are, for those who don’t know!

I’m meeting with a nutritionist at the end of the week, so until then, cheers for having a read!

M