If you have a special diet, you are always on the look-out for new recipes and ideas. Some tips are useful, quite many, especially online, are not. Low FODMAP diet is not very well-known yet, and therefore, there aren't that many recipe books directed to us who have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or who treat people with IBS. I happen to fit into both categories.
Jess had a brilliant idea that we'd meet up with one of the creator of IBS-friendly recipes, Natalie Nott, whose The Low FODMAP cookbook is filled with delicious and easy recipes for everyday cooking. Nat also has a blog at www.lowfodmap.com. I JUST noticed on Facebook that she posted that her blog just turned 1 year - congratulations, Nat!
Before we arranged a meeting, I bought my own copy so i could take it home with me and would not have to pay the postage fee to Finland. Nat's book is sold on her webpages and even though the postage abroad can be costly, I'd say it's worth it, if you want tips to brighten up your low FODMAP diet. A diet, not terribly complicated, but not always very logical, if you don't know the background to it. And if you have a friend coming over to Australia, then request the book as your souvenir. ;)
To be honest I haven't had time to cook much from the book, but have tried the recipes on her webpage already in Finland - quinoa tabouli is my favourite! Nat's recipes focus on being low FODMAP, not gluten free or otherwise targeted at hyper-sensitive or allergic readers and cooks. But the thing is, the recipes are quite simple (in a positive way), and you can always alter them a little bit according to your needs. I, personally, will be cooking chicken recipes with tofu and probably trying a few of the meat dishes with quorn, a good protein source for the veggie-minded. I just heard the news that it's going to be sold in Finland too very soon! (Can't find anything on it online, though...)
Chatting with Natalie was lovely (over a cup of tea and a super-tasty banana muffin), and I somehow saw myself of being a bit of a fan in a meeting with her idol! That's why I also asked her to autograph the cookbooks. ;)
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Monosaccharides and Polyols. These substances cause problems for many people with IBS, because they are digested poorly in the small intestines. That's why they end up in the large intestine where the gut bacteria use it as their food and gas is produced. Imagine one of the long shaped balloons we blow up at first of May (or whenever feeling festive) and you probably get an idea how that feels when it's happening in you! Other symptoms related to IBS are diarrhea, wind, feeling tired and even depression. The low FODMAP diet helps alleviate symptoms in about 75 % of people with IBS.
Remember, that FODMAPs are good for the gut bacteria, and should not be completely avoided. Instead, the diet is good for CONTROLLING your symptoms. Say, you have a job interview in the afternoon, so it's probably not a good idea to have lentil soup and rye bread as a lunch before it or you might end up having to cut the interview short whilst trying to find a loo... It's also beneficial to determine a personal threshold for individual FODMAPs, so you don't end up cutting out healthy, nutritious (and delicious) foods from your diet unnecessarily.
If you have any questions, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org