I was feeling amazing this fall post-testing and eating a lot more stuff again (finally!), but alas… I started feeling really awful these last two weeks, and on my doctor’s recommendation I’m back on the most-restrictive version of the FODMAP diet until my system resets itself.
We had a party a few weeks ago and I ate a lot of chocolate-covered pretzels and two-bite brownies because, hey, they are delicious and I had been feeling great, and then we had a ton left over. :-/ Guess who kept eating them all week? Terrible idea. I’m currently eating large romaine salads with feta, cucumber, oil and vinegar, brown rice with garlic oil, salt and pepper, and old-fashioned oatmeal with cinnamon, brown sugar, and frozen raspberries (way better deal - they don’t spoil!), and I treated myself to a few bites of TJ’s smoked salmon after yoga class today. Speaking of which, stress can be a big factor in IBS and my husband just moved 500 miles away yesterday for an 18 mo. job rotation. Yoga, friends, and a simple diet are the plan for right now.
I’m quite pleased with dinner tonight. Not only was it delicious and healthy, but I’m feeling full of Michigan pride. After running the Dexter to Ann Arbor Half Marathon today (a beautiful, well-organized run), I was very hungry and made this salad, typical of the Coney Island restaurants you find in Metro Detroit. If you have not been, they are a low-cost, quick-service, bizarre blend of chili “coney dogs” and “cheez” fries, diner breakfasts and Greek cuisine. I grew up eating and working at Coney Islands, and they stay close to my heart.
While coney dogs are not - by any stretch - healthy, village salads are by contrast a filling, fresh option. They’re Greek salads without the lettuce, sometimes with potatoes and meat. My version here is vegetarian, but this would be great with some grilled or roasted chicken.
In a bowl, combine:
1 chopped bell pepper - yellow or orange are prettiest for contrast of color
1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions (no white parts = FODMAP-friendly)
1/4 cup pitted, chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
about 1 1/2 cups cooked Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
To make the dressing, which is adapted from Ina Garten (of Barefoot Contessa fame - her recipes are fantastic), blend:
1/4 cup garlic-infused oil
2 tbl. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Toss the veggies and potatoes in the dressing. While you can eat it immediately, it just gets better if you let it sit for a little while…if you can hold yourself back!
YUMMY Tomato Sauce
I LOVE this sauce, and it’s pretty easy, but there is a caveat: if you are sensitive to fructose, you have to be careful about how much tomato you have. I’ve found that I can use this sauce on a homemade gluten-free pizza, no problem, or in small portions (1/4-1/3 cup) on my Tinkyada pasta if I haven’t had too much fruit or other fructosy items during the day.
In a heavy-bottomed pan (pref. non-stick), heat 2-3 tbl. garlic-infused oil over medium-high, until it gets thinner and more slippery.
Add 1 bunch of chopped chives or green onions to the oil and stir until fragrant. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. each of black pepper and sea salt while stirring. If you’ve got some fresh or dried rosemary, basil and/or oregano, pick your favorite and throw a few tablespoons in with the oniony bits.
Add one 28-oz. container of chopped/diced tomatoes (be sure there’s no garlic or onion on the ingredients list!) and let the sauce cook down until reduced to 2/3 or the consistency you prefer, still on medium-high heat.
When the sauce is reduced enough, turn off the heat, add 1 tbl. balsamic vinegar and white sugar, starting with 1/2 tsp, tasting and adding another 1/2 tsp. if it’s still too bitter.
Like I said before, this stuff is awesome (at least, my husband and I really like it), but be careful that you don’t have too much!
Is there an American out there that doesn’t love a great ranch dressing? Enjoy this one, based on the lovely Ina Garten (of Barefoot Contessa fame)’s buttermilk recipe, modified for happy tummies, of course.
1/2 cup “buttermilk”, shaken (1 tbl. lemon juice + unsweetened almond milk to make 1/2 cup)3 scallions, green parts only, chopped
1 handful fresh chives, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
juice of 1 lemon (3-4 tbl.)
11/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup lactose-free yogurt
Prep the FODMAP-friendly “buttermilk” and let it sit for a few minutes while you get everything else ready.
In a food processor (blade already in!) or a good blender - we like our “Ninja” - place the chopped herbs, lemon juice, mustard, oil, salt, and pepper . Pulse it a few times until your ingredients start to blend a bit. Add the mayo, lactose-free yogurt, and “buttermilk” and blend until it looks dressing-y.
Pour the dressing into a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. You could use it immediately, but it’ll taste better and thicken if you let it sit for 30 min. or an hour.
Enjoy as with any other ranch dressing: carrot sticks, or on your favorite grilled-chicken salad, on your cereal (kidding).
It’ll keep for a week or two, refrigerated, since it contains cultured/soured “milk” products.
1. I am so excited to stop testing and be able to eat more stuff!
2. Smaller amounts of wheat and onions don’t bug me.
3. Garlic - as warned by my dietitian - still does.
4. Fructose is the big one for me. Less than a cup of fruit for me at a time; definitely not a serving of tomato pasta sauce, but a small amt. (say, 1 tbl.) of FODMAP-friendly sauce is, say when making a homemade pizza or using some BBQ sauce for fries.
4. Sweet corn contains fructose, but you’re supposed to be able to have small amounts; I’ve learned that two bowls of Gorilla Munch (corn meal) for dinner is a REALLY bad idea, and that polenta - so delicious - bugs me, and that if I eat a few Rice Krispy Treats (marshmallows=corn syrup) - again, so delicious - I’ll feel miserable.
5. Lactaid Milk is good, and Lactaid Ice Cream is fantastic (but stick to the safe ones, vanilla and butter pecan). It’s pretty normally priced and tastes as good or better than the regular stuff. On a similar note, Nature’s Path Peanut Buddy Chewy Granola Bars are a new go-to snack.
6. This whole process has been a major pain in the butt, but it’s been enlightening, and hope-giving, to learn the specifics of what I can and cannot eat.
7. Are there any food scientists/manufacturers out there that want to start bottling some FODMAP-friendly sauces and dressings? I had delusions of doing so this summer, but then I realized that I don’t know the first thing about packaging and making stuff shelf-stable, and getting licenses to sell online and ship etc. I’ve got recipes and would love to see this stuff on the shelf. Right? It’s a pain to make the good-tasting stuff by scratch all the time.
Salads for me every day, or sandwich wraps, and lactose-free yogurt, which is my new favorite food. It’s too hot stand over the stove.
Still testing new foods! Apparently I’m fairly sensitive to fructose; I think i’ll test oligos next.
My doctor put me on another round of antibiotics, thank goodness. Although I’ve followed the FODMAP diet carefully, I felt best when my doctor put me on Xifaxan, an antibiotic that kills off excess gut bacteria of some sort. I felt awesome, BUT, once finished, I’m pretty sure I reversed all the good it had done by drinking homemade Kombucha tea (a fermented, tart, fizzy drink meant to impart lots of “good” bacteria, though I now understand that’s highly contested).
In any case, this time I’m not going to mess it up again. I’m supposed to stick with the Low FODMAP diet - I can finally test out new foods! - and no more hippy drinks for me.
YUM! I approve. These will be going to book club with me tomorrow. And btw, when made with Earth Balance or other dairy-free butter replacement, the cupcakes are dairy-free, too.
Brown Sugar and Pecan Fruit Salad
Turkey, Heirloom Tomato and Arugula Salad
My husband and I just returned from an REI Adventure vacation to the Canadian Rockies (MAN, is it beautiful up there!), and I have been inspired to eat more fresh, low-prep stuff after packing up hiking lunches every day. Plus, I’m jet-lagged and tired, and the last thing I want to do right now is stand at the stove.
This salad fits the bill. You could even skip some of the chopping to make it quicker, and if the lettuce bag says it’s triple-washed, I see no reason to wash it a fourth time. If you’re vegetarian you could leave out the meat and toss in some walnuts or quinoa to make it heartier.
For one person, toss together:
A handful of little heirloom tomatoes (they’re prettier with mixed colors, I think)
A big handful of chopped English cucumber - skinny ones have fewer seeds
1-2 tbl. chopped chives or green onions (no white parts = FODMAP friendly)
1 oz. chopped extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 oz. oven-roasted turkey from the deli, chopped
Short drizzle of olive oil and balsamic (less than 1 tbl. = FODMAP-friendly)
Coarsley ground black pepper (I like lots)
Sprinkle of sea salt
Done! Fresh, fast, tasty.