It happened. My girl who has had stomach issues on and off since she was 6 years old, has been tested for celiac and told she has the gene, but hasn’t developed it yet, got hella’ sick while we were on vacation because she was hoovering as much gluten as she could put in her gluten hole, since every meal wasn’t prepared by moi. I realize it looks like we’re having fun up there, but soon after things were not pretty. In the poop department. You know what I mean.
Back to the GI doc we went, and what we discovered was while the celiac is still not there, she most likely has non-celiac gluten sensitivity. And the doc recommended 3-4 weeks of the FODMAP diet to see if that was helpful.
Always one to throw diet changes at a problem (I’m a slow, but consistent, learner) I hit my own books to find one FODMAP-friendly recipe (in Bake Sales are My B*tch) and then grabbed my book o’ over 100 recipes (The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet) and adjusted for FODMAP. All of these are going to be listed below.
So I whipped up lots of healthy dinners, went to the FODMAP store for these staples –
I know! Theres a store for everything! And for lunches, I got the girl some berries, no more than 10 nuts (I know, what happens if she has 11? What happens????), got some rice and chicken, and forbade any processed foods (above chips excluded) come within 1 mile of my girl. I also apologized to her for massive repeats over the next few weeks. And we (mostly) did it. She did have a birthday party where we adhered strictly to the no gluten rule, but bent it hard on the sugar and dairy.
Does she feel better? Well, of course. But we also completely eliminated gluten from her diet and cut way down on the dairy and sugar. Naturally she’s going to feel better. And while I’m happy we’ve got her tummy issues back on track, and her skin is doing better too, I’m also questioning this whole FODMAP thing and why it’s being prescribed. I mean, it’s not a diet that one can consistently maintain and live in the world. You would have to eat every meal at home and be happy with the same sh*t, different day. Having gone through it, I don’t get it.
I do understand an anti-inflammatory diet for healing your gut. I obviously understand the value of a very strict gluten-free diet. But how in the hell does someone having a gluten problem benefit from eliminating beans, onions, apples, and on and on and on? Again, I’ve written about it and cooked within its confines and know it’s a *thing* but I’m lost on its usefulness.
Can anyone fill me in on how this is a solution? Oh, and if you’re a FODMAPer 4 Life, please check out these recipes. (And know that I may be super cranky due to having to come to terms that I most def passed on these crazy genes to my daughter, AND I just had gall bladder surgery and am now having a massive pain in my neck/back from all the weird propped up sleeping. AND JUST FUCKING CRANKY.)
Kung Pao Chicken
The first thing I had to do was remove the onions and garlic from this recipe, which was totally cool. I mean, I missed the flavor but there’s enough going on so that if you have to do it, you can. Also, the instructions that you can only eat 10 nuts meant that I was picking nuts off my daughter’s plate. You could eliminate the peanuts from this recipe, but I kind of think they make it.
From The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet
Prep time: 35 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes
6 cups cooked rice
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons wheat-free tamari, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1½ teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 pound pork tenderloin, cubed in 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 dried whole red chiles
½ thinly sliced onion
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
½ cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1. Cook rice according to directions while preparing pork.
2. In medium bowl, mix sugar, water, 3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari, sherry, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
3. Add pork to mixture. Then add 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon tamari and mix until pork is covered. Cover, and allow to marinate for 20 minutes.
4. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet on high heat. Add chiles and onion cook until chiles are blackened, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Remove chilies and set aside.
5. Remove pork from bowl, leaving mixture aside, and add pork to skillet. Cook on medium-high heat, turning frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and ginger and cook until crispy, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Add sherry, cornstarch, and vinegar mixture and cook until it thickens and is bubbly. Add peanuts and chiles and remove from heat. Serve over rice.
Makes: 6 servings
Smoky Sweet Potato Soup + Steak
It’s true anytime I’m stumped for a gluten-free meal I go steak and veg. Same goes here, I just have to adjust for the FODMAP biz. Luckily my smoky sweet potato soup (recipe in The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet, and below) is already FODMAP compliant, and steak is, well, steak.
I also tried this non-grill way of making these steaks and I have to say they were some of the best steaks I’ve ever made. So do this if your grill is put away for winter. But can we just take a moment to appreciate the most beautiful avocado I used to top the yummy soup?
I get a farm box from Good Life Organics every week, and their bacon avocados are just the bomb. They do take forever, like a week, to ripen, but when they do they are the absolute best.
From The Gluten-Free Cheat Sheet
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
1 large baked sweet potato
¼ cup almond milk
¼ cup gluten-free chicken broth
1 chipotle pepper, sliced and in sauce
fresh black pepper
1 avocado, cubed
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Bake sweet potato for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it’s no longer firm to the touch. Remove from oven and carefully remove skin. Place skinned potato in blender or food processor.
3. Add almond milk, gluten-free chicken broth, and chipotle pepper, and blend to liquefy. Add more gluten-free chicken if you wish to have a thinner soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Pour soup into two bowls if it’s still warm from baking; otherwise heat up on stovetop or microwave to desired temperature. Serve immediately with avocado garnish.
Makes: 2 servings
Quinoa, Chicken & Goat Cheese Salad
While raw vegetables are not ideal on the FODMAP diet, I did add the carrots and nixed the green beans to give it a little diversity. Again, this is low-FODMAP, so not everything in this mix is free of all FODMAPs. It is, however, very low in those irritants and very high on the yummy scale.
(from Bake Sales Are My Bitch: Win the Food Allergy Wars With 60+ Recipes to Keep Kids Safe & Parents Sane)
Prep time: 15 minutes • Cook time: 30 minutes • makes: 6 servings
1⁄2 cup quinoa
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1″–2″ pieces
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
Juice of half a lime
Salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 11⁄2″ pieces
2 cups cooked corn kernels
1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram
1⁄2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1. Prepare quinoa according to instructions, and allow to cool. Marinate chicken in tamari, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet; cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes.
3. Cook green beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender- crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water to cool; drain. Transfer beans to kitchen towel and pat dry.
4. Mix quinoa, chicken, green beans, and corn in large bowl.
5. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, marjoram, and kosher salt in
6. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve.
Amy: Hope she keeps feeling better; you, too! My GI has me following the FODMAP diet as much as possible, and more closely when I have an upset of any kind. As it was explained to me, the purpose of this diet is to avoid the foods that cause extra gas to build up in your gut. It does indeed help me a lot when I need to follow it. Like you and probably your daughter, I do don’t need one more special diet to follow (I’m celiac). So, I let myself eat some of the high fodmap foods, but if I start having symptoms of too much gas I go more low fodmap for a while. I always eat gf, and also very very low lactose, as celiac ruined my gut’s ability to make lactase as well. Does this explanation help any?
This basically sums up my experience with being Celiac and being on the FODMAP diet for close to a year. It helped me narrow down some other foods that I’m sensitive to, and I dropped a few pants sizes as the bloating around my mid region went down, but it is very restrictive & not really a longterm solution, nor is it meant to be. I’ve since introduced most FODMAP’s back in & cut down on them when I don’t feel well.
Yes. Thanks, Jeanne! I go anti-inflammatory diet when I’m having issues so this extra mile with the FODMAP is confusing to me, still. But yes, this is helpful.
It’s my understanding that the FODMAP diet is supposed to be a temporary thing. You do it full-on, then start adding foods back in and if those foods trigger you, you don’t eat them but if you tolerate them then you are good to go. I know it’s helped a lot of people but I’ve never tried it b/c I just had my food intolerances tested at a naturopathic clinic, then went whole-hog into healing my digestive system with probiotics, herbs, glutamine, etc.
Yes, What they said. Temporary, then add one thing at a time back in until you hit something that makes you/her react.
I also suggest getting tested for Hashimoto disease. I modified my gluten-free diet to include things that you shouldn’t eat if you have Hashimoto’s. I feel better, skin cleared up, all that stuff.
And now, I can feel arthritis creeping up on me. So am now eliminating all nightshades. Yes, it’s bumming me out cause I love my tomato based sauces, etc. But, thought I would share the journey.