Category Archives: FODMAP

Pi and Pie

Yesterday, 3/14, was Pi, 3.14, day.  Most years I remember too late that it WAS Pie/Pi day.

Not this year.

A wonderful friend put together a Pi day curriculum for me.  We practiced finding the circumference of circles using pieces of yarn and Pi.  We watched a couple YouTube videos, made Pi cootie catchers,  and a paper chain showing how there is not a number pattern in Pi.

To round out the day, the girls made an apple pie from scratch.

I did not have any of the finished product as it was full of gluten and apples, both a no-no when it comes to eating low FODMAP. So, I didn’t have any of the finished product.  Problem is, I had little nibbles of crust and apples as I helped the girls make the pie.  It’s not because I don’t know gluten and apples are a no-no according to low FODMAP eating.  I know they are, but sometimes, okay, often, I think, “all of this special eating is silly.  I don’t have food allergies so I am probably making a big deal out of nothing.”    I begin to feel ridiculous for the demands I make when it comes to food.  I tell myself I am just doing it to be a pain in the butt or feel “special,” so I stop.  I eat pie crust.  I eat sliced apples.

And then, within an hour or so, I find out eating low FODMAP is important, it does improve my life, it is worth the extra effort.  I was so sick last night I could hardly sit up during dinner.  My stomach hurt, my body was overcome with weakness.  I even had hubby take Sue to her play practice and I sat down on the couch and watched an entire movie…I have no idea when the last time was I watched a whole tv program at home, let alone a movie.  I just don’t sit that long.

Ignoring the rules of eating low FODMAP literally knocked me on my butt.  Lesson learned, for a while…

That was our day.  The Pie and the Pi of it.

Potato Salad and Memories

Caitlyn finished reading her book this morning.  With a lot of prodding.  It was due to the library today.  Our library allows two renewals and that’s it.  Times up.  Hubby says, “just remember where you left off and then check it back out in a week or so.”  That just doesn’t fly with me…read the book…you’ve had 6 weeks.  Get it done!!!  Caitlyn is a very capable reader, but it is not one of her true passions.  She has so many other things vying for her attention.  She has her arts and crafts, iPad games, and way more television options than I had growing up, even with us getting rid of cable.

Caitlyn is a very capable reader, but it is not one of her true passions.  She has so many other things vying for her attention.  She has her arts and crafts, iPad games, and way more television options than I had growing up, even with us getting rid of cable.  Reading just doesn’t always rank for her like it did for me growing up.

I am coming to grips with this reality.

In the meantime, a library trip was on the schedule today so we could return the book.  We got some schoolwork done and then headed to the library.  As I was parking the car, I said, “did we remember the library book bag??”

Um, no.  So back home we went–to get the books.  On the plus side, I hadn’t put money in the meter yet and we don’t live 45 minutes from the nearest library like I did growing up.

Growing up.  I lived “out in the country” where it is still actually “out in the country.”  We had a big garden.  We had farm animals.  We grew our own food.  The local butcher lived down the road from us.  Meal planning wasn’t trendy, it was necessary because grocery shopping happened once a week, if that.  My mom did a great job of canning produce so we had a lot of staples throughout the year and she kept the pantry well stocked.

One food I don’t remember us ever growing, though I think my aunt does now, was potatoes.  Those got bought from the store.  And somehow, making potato salad for my dad became my job.  It was always a big job.  Remember the extra humungous Tupperware bowl and lid set?  We had a yellow one and a batch of potato salad filled it.

I was super proud of making my dad his potato salad.  He liked it pretty bland by most standards.  A massive amount of potatoes boiled, peeled, and cut up, another massive amount of eggs boiled, peeled, and cut up, a little bit of onion cut up and added, and just a smidge of mustard to give it extra color.  That must have been its purpose because it sure wasn’t enough for flavor.

I made that potato salad over and over during the summer.  I loved making it.  I was so proud that my dad wanted me to make him his potato salad.  So proud, but I hated eating it.  It was just yuck to me.  And it stayed that way until I was in my 30s.  I just hated the stuff.

Until I was pregnant with Caitlyn.

Then, I loved it so much.  I literally dreamt of potato salad.  Any version, any brand.  Just hand over the potato salad and nobody would get hurt.

And I still love it!!!  It is even one food I can have on the low FODMAP diet.

So don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here wolfing down potato salad while the family has ice cream.

 

Sometimes it is Worth it.

A few weeks ago we were out with my mother-in-law and passed a restaurant that I like, but is a bit heavy on the budget.  I jokingly told my hubby he could take me there for our upcoming anniversary.  We all chuckled and went on with what we were doing.

Then, a week or so later, my hubby stopped by his moms’ for something, and she handed him a gift card for that place I mentioned hubby could take me for our anniversary!

What a sweet surprise.

Well, our anniversary came and went.  We ended up somewhere else as we were celebrating with our girls in tow.

But today, my brother-in-law and his wife took our girls to the circus (my in-laws are pretty great!) and hubby and I had time just the two of us.  And we weren’t too far from the restraunt…we grabbed our chance.  It was an Italian place, so I had been careful with my diet in case there was no way to avoid some of my food issues.  I told hubby I had done that.  He said, “I don’t think that’s how that works.”  And he was right, it’s not and I wasn’t able to avoid all of the food irritants, so I am paying for it a bit tonight, but I have to tell you it was ALLLLLL worth it!

I had tilapia, hubby shared his steak, we even had dessert.  I had a safer-ish dessert of cheesecake.  We talked about the book I just finished reading, we talked about politics (of course), and (again, of course, talked about the girls.  It was fantastic.  And then, because of the adventurous couple we are, we hit the grocery store.  Yup, living it up.

We laughed, we joked, we ate.  Several hours later I stand here at the computer with my stomach getting more and more upset…and it was still worth every bite, every moment.

Sometimes It Is About Control

I wrote this post in my head while taking a walk.  It was awesome…then.  We’ll see how it goes now.

I, like many teens/young people, danced with anorexia in my teens and then again in my 20s.  I was chunky from fourth grade on.  My cousin was slim, all the popular girls were slim, and then there was me.

High school sucked.  Most of the people around me were mean or indifferent (NOT the aforementioned cousin–she was and is one of the best people in my life).  I didn’t know how to fit in at either of the schools I attended during Junior High and High School.  Nothing I did helped.  I felt like I didn’t have any control.

And then I learned to control my food.  I could skip as many meals as I wanted.  That, I could control.  So, I ate less and less.  And I lost weight.

Bonus.

I got down to 84 pounds.

But hunger came back and so did the pounds.

Right after high school I discovered exercise and a healthy diet.  I took the weight off right this time.

And it stayed off.

Then I got involved in a relationship.  A really unhealthy relationship.  Let’s call it for what it was…an abusive relationship.  And they only thing I ever did that made him happy was losing more weight.  He loved to show people how much he could overlap his fingers when he put his hands around my waist.  So, I kept losing weight.

Praise the Lord, he and I split up, but again life was spiraling for a while there and food was one thing I could control.

Until I met my now husband.  I was  happy with him.  I had someone to eat with again.  I gained weight.  Then I lost weight…in time to get pregnant with our third baby…and then I lost all control of my weight with the various psych meds I was on and the depression I was in.

Control was again missing from my life.

I have slowly regained control my mind.  I am slowly regaining control of my weight.

I have lost 17 pounds since January.

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As I have written about before, I  have had to radically change my diet.  I have had to eliminate or severely limit many foods.  It is not always fun, but it is worth it.  The FODMAP diet has eliminated much of my stomach pain.  It has made losing weight much easier, and, an added benefit, it has given me control–healthy control–over my eating again.  I know what I can and cannot eat.  I know how much I can eat.  There is no guesswork in my food.

It is good.  Very good.

A Nibble Here A Nibble There

A nibble here, a bite there can’t hurt, can it?  Why yes, yes it can.  As you may know from the world of dieting, it is important to keep track of everything that passes our lips.  I have always struggled to count those, but lately those bits here and there have gotten me in trouble.  Not on the scale, that is finally headed in the right direction (down 15 lbs), but in some health issues.

I know I have mentioned the low FODMAP diet before, but here it is again.  I have had stomach issues for the last 15 years.  I’ve tried medication.  I’ve tried surgery.  Nothing helped.  And my small attempts at figuring it out via diet modification were unsuccessful.  Well recently I figured out that sugar was a big issue, but I didn’t know which sugars it was exactly or how to figure out how to figure it out.

One day I was whining in my Facebook fitness group and a wonderful lady mentioned the low FODMAP diet.  I tried really hard to brush it off.  I didn’t want it to be an issue with my nutrition, but the next day was so bad pain and nausea wise, I knew I had to give this diet a chance.  So, the next day, I did.  And by that evening I felt quite a bit better…and each day that week was an improvement…I couldn’t argue with the evidence, it was apparent this was the answer to my 15 year journey.

And the beginning of the rest of my foreseeable future.

Foods are broken into low FODMAP (good) and high FODMAP (bad) groups. I depend on this list to guide me on this new road.  FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols, meaning short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols.  That part doesn’t mean much to me, what does are my food lists.  I have certain fruits I can have (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) and others I can not (apricots–still mourning that loss) among others.  It is the same for veggies (green beans/carrots).  Some cheeses are good, others are a total no.  Wheat flour is not allowed, so add gluten as another consideration.  Sugar is definitely the issue I thought it was. Garlic and onions are two others that are high on the list of no-nos.

All of it is a big adjustment.  And honestly, I think I am doing okay with the adaptation.  I have given up a lot of foods (don’t even talk to me about the pizza the rest of the family is having tonight) and started eating a lot more of others.  I even had my doctor look over it to make sure it was not eliminating necessities.  She was fine with the diet, just sad for me that avocado, mangoes, and garlic are on the don’t touch list. It is not sitting down and eating the wrong foods that get me in trouble, it’s the crumb here and the crumb there.  I really am trying not to upend my entire family’s eating, so the forbidden foods are still around…and the Costco muffin crumbs are undoing me today.  I don’t even like the muffins that much, but the kids keep leaving uneaten portions behind and it is so hard to outright throw the food away, but I am getting better at it.

I am thrilled with how much better I feel overall, but I am a slow learner.  I have a couple good days and I think…eating this can’t make my stomach hurt that badly…and I am proven wrong again.  Over and over.  I feel bad for those friends and family members who keep listening to me say how I messed up again.  But I keep trying and at least now there is less time whining about the pain and not knowing what is causing it.

There is also always the weight loss to make me smile.  My wedding ring is now loose on my finger, my jeans are no longer tight, and I have lost an inch in my waist in just the last two weeks!

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Bit by bit…progress is being made…