Today: Updating my plate.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I rarely talk about my eating habits On Tap, mostly because you’d like either be bored to tears or find my picky-ness offensive.  Or maybe both.  After years of dealing with stomach issues (that was delicately put, right?), I finally met with a Registered Dietitian yesterday at the urging of my new primary care physician.

While we’re waiting for the results of several food allergy/sensitivity tests to come back, my RD developed a plan to eliminate certain foods that may be triggering symptoms.  I was relieved to have tested negative for Celiac Disease last week, but they were not able to rule out a gluten allergy or sensitivity.  So in addition to following a low FODMAP diet, I’ll be doing my best to eliminate gluten as well.

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My RD answered every question I asked, and kindly corrected me each of the fifteen times I said food map.  I still have a lot to learn, but for the time being: FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates, and the word itself is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols.  If you know what any of this means, please call me immediately.  I need you to come food shopping with me.

A few high FODMAP foods, which I will be avoiding for the next four weeks:

  • Excess fructose: apples, pears, mangos, watermellon, honey, agave, fruit juice and most whole fruits (bananas, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, kiwifruit and grapefruits are allowed)
  • Lactose: Milk (cow, goat, sheep), yogurt, soft and fresh cheeses (lactose-free milk, rice milk, 2 oz. of hard cheese lactose-free yogurt and cottage cheese are allowed in moderation as long as artificial sweeteners are used)
  • Fructans: Artichoke, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, onions, shallots, scallions, leeks, garlic, wheat and rye, barley, raw oats (alternatives such as gluten-free breads and crackers, rice crackers, corn chips, gluten-free cereals are allowed)
  • Galactans: Most beans and products made with soy (soy milk is allowed as long as it doesn’t contain any high FODMAP ingredients)
  • Polyols: Sweeteners such as xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, isomalt (found in sugar-free gum, mint, cough medicines, cough drops, etc.)
  • Oliogosachharides: Added fiber such as inulin and the prebiotic FOS (sometimes added to probiotic supplements, granola bars and frozen desserts)

Being a life-long vegetarian, I am no stranger to the pasta.  Nor the beans.  Nor the salad.    I top my hummus with hummus.  I put onions in everything I make.  I eat enough garlic to kill the entire Twilight saga.  Will following all these rules be challenging?  Yes, I think it will.  Will it be worth it?  I certainly hope so.

In addition to following the diet as closely as I can, I’ll be logging my food and fluid intake, along with any presenting symptoms.  I have a feeling this in itself will be a helpful exercise.  I’ve gotten so used to feeling crappy (oof, pun not intended), that  I’d do just about anything at this point.  Up to and including stop drinking Diet Coke.  I know, I know.  But I mean it this time.  I’ve gone cold turkey on the caffeine.

I feel slightly demented, but hey.  Hopefully that will pass.  Along with the headaches and grouchiness. To quote 2pac (something I try to do daily), “You gotta do whatcha gotta do.”  And if that means stepping away from the Diet Coke and beans and apples?  Well, holler.

Also On Tap for Today:

  • Hitting the grocery store, with various lists, charts and spreadsheets in hand
  • Going for a run 🙂
  • Giving my dog a hug

Do you follow a special diet?  Any tips for learning the ins and outs?

13 thoughts on “Today: Updating my plate.

  1. Oh boy Elizabeth. I’m glad you are taking care of things to find out what has been bothering you.

    I have a pretty strict diet for my food allergies and intolerances. My trick is not to find ways to substitute foods and make the foods you typically eat. Enjoy the adventure of making new meals with things you can eat on this elimination diet. It will require you to be creative for a bit but think of it as a way to try new meals instead of mourning what you can’t eat.

  2. good luck, girl! elimination diets are tough but they you can learn a lot!! remember that you most likely won’t have to give up ALL these foods forever. and when you figure out what’s making you not feel well, you’ll find it easier to avoid eating those things!

  3. Good luck! I just learned about FODMAPS in school. They are frequently used in Australia, but not as much in the US. I hope it helps you. It can be tough knowing which fruits & veggies are good because my whole life I thought they were all good! I can’t wait to read your follow up!

  4. I took sugar out of my diet for 6 weeks years ago and for me it was the most difficult thing ever (at the time). Good Luck!!

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