As hard as you can try to do the right things for your gut whilst on holiday; rich food, cocktails and heat are never going to be the perfect combo for a flat tummy so the chances are, if you have a sensitive tummy it might come out to play whilst you’re away.
If you suffer from IBS or food intolerances, you’ll probably be pretty familiar with keeping a food diary. Noting down everything you eat and drink each day, and any symptoms along the way. It’s one of the first things that we’re told to do in order to identify our triggers, and often the most effective (in fact, contrary to popular belief it’s the only proven way of identifying intolerances – intolerance tests are not proven to be accurate guys!).
There’s a lot of sucky things about having IBS, and if you search online you’ll find plenty of lists of how IBS can affect you in a negative way. These lists have been so helpful to me; making me feel like I am not alone, and they can really help form a community of support. However, I think a little bit of positivity could be a good idea right now (let’s face it, this weather is miserable so we probably all need it!). Searching “the good things about IBS” returns literally zero results (that I could find), and although I’m by no means saying having IBS, or any gut condition is a good thing I wanted to help spread a few of the positives that have come into my life from suffering with an unhappy tummy!
When I first began the low FODMAP diet three or four years ago, my life revolved around printed tables, shopping list guides and articles on what I could and couldn’t eat. Just “popping into the shop for lunch” would take half the day of standing in the isles trying to Google the ingredients on everything I picked up. With so much (not always trustworthy) content online, and the research on the diet being continuously updated I’d often be caught out, making the wrong choices and ending up spending the rest of the day cramped up with a hot water bottle at best.
I first discovered Iberogast when I was on a weekend city break in Barcelona. Although I was very careful eating out, I spent a lot of my time there feeling very sick and fairly bloated. At the time I was taking a prescribed antihistamine; cyclizine hydrochloride to help with the nausea (which did actually work brilliantly) however unfortunately I ran out whilst away.
Restaurants are definitely getting better and better at marking up menu’s, with it now being pretty much standard to mark up gluten free and vegetarian options (thank god!). However when your food intolerances expand to anything further it can be a lot trickier.
Following a low FODMAP diet and being highly gluten intolerant (I haven’t been tested for coeliac disease as too scared about having to ingest gluten prior to the test!) my main triggers are gluten, garlic, onion and lactose. Helpfully, these are possibly the most common ingredients of pretty much every dish! I have written an eating out guide to help with picking a restaurant/ meal and overall have had a massive success with following this process, however every now and then I still get caught out – especially if I can’t research and pre-select the restaurant.
When first reading the endless looking list of high FODMAP foods I was convinced I was going to be living a life of tasteless food forever. Previously throwing in as many cloves of garlic, onions and mushrooms into every dish I cooked, and covering with cheese, my foodie life seemed genuinely over!
However, over the years I’ve learnt that being low in FODMAP doesn’t mean low in taste! As well as all the brilliant gluten free stuff in the supermarkets, I have also found some other really good swaps that will keep your food tasting delicious and your tummy feeling happy!
Here’s a list of my top five favourites (there may be about five sequel posts to this as I could go on…)
Continue reading “Simple swaps for a happy tummy!”
Since I was little I have always loved going out for dinner. Even before I got ill and had to do my research, I have always been obsessed with reading reviews and studying menus; spending days getting excited about my pre-planned choices (sad, I know!!).
However, having a stomach condition can really take the fun out of eating out… How do you explain your needs to the waitress? How do you tell your friends that you can’t eat at their favourite place as there’s nothing safe on the menu? Should you just go with it and deal with the consequences later (no, definitely don’t do that). The thought of it all really can leave you feeling so anxious and upset to the point that you’d rather stay in eating your limp dry salad alone…
But don’t do that either. Over the past three years I’ve managed to get eating out pretty much down to a t, and have come up with a step-by-step guide that may help you too!
Continue reading “Eating out – how to!?”
I recently wrote a blog post on how to safely eat out on a low FODMAP diet. The post includes a bit of a step-by-step guide, but I wanted to give you guys a bit more detail on step 1 “do your research”.
Choosing the right place to eat can be quite time consuming, and frustrating. However if you get it right, you can avoid a lot of awkwardness trying to explain yourself when you actually get these, plus the even worse possibility of getting it wrong and suffering with the consequences.
So, I thought it might be helpful to share my “deciding on a restaurant” process…
Continue reading “Choosing a FODMAP friendly restaurant”