Low FODMAP Tuscan Pork Chops

Its an incredibly busy time of year, thus the infrequent diet reporting, but I still want to share tonight’s dinner with you. This is a simple and quick recipe, for a tasty pork chop pasta dish,  inspired by Sweet C Designs. Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic-infused oil
  • 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 package of gluten-free pasta of your choice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Bring water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • While the water is coming to boil, heat a large skillet on medium high heat until warm. Add butter and garlic-infused oil.
  • Salt and pepper one side of your pork chops. Place the pork chops seasoned size down in your hot oil. Season the other side of the pork chops with salt and pepper.
  • Let the pork chop get well browned before flipping. Once both sides have been browned turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook for another few minutes on each side.
  • Add tomatoes, oregano, sage, basil, and a little extra salt. Simmer for amount 7 minutes. (you can add a splash of white wine to the tomato mixture, if you’d like).
  • Remove from heat when the pasta is finished cooking. Top the pasta with the tomato sauce, and a pork chop (or two).

low FODMAP – Crock Pot Hawaiian Pork Burrito Bowl

I didn’t post my low FODMAP day yesterday, because dinner turned out… meh. When we went to the grocery store on Friday to pick up eggplants for the eggplant Parmesan we decided that we should pick up something for Saturday too, since it would be a busy day around town/ on campus and we didn’t want to have to go out. Thing is, deciding on dinner on the fly with a low FODMAP diet isn’t easy. All of our usual go-to, lazy dinners were off limits, so we figured, why not just do burgers and fries- then I could eat mine without the bun and everything would work out fine. Well… we usually use ranch or mayonnaise as a binder for our burgers, and both of those options were out; we tried using egg as a binder and the burgers turned out… interesting. It wasn’t terrible, but not something I’ll be eating again; A and I will have to find a new low FODMAP burger option. Other than that the day was pretty boring, I had a bowl of oatmeal with strawberries, chia seeds, peanut butter, and maple syrup for breakfast, left over eggplant Parmesan for lunch, and another bowl of oatmeal- this time with blueberries and raspberries with peanut butter, chia seeds, and maple syrup, as a snack.

Today was a far more successful dinner. It was delicious.

I had one of the peanut butter protein bars for breakfast, left over chicken with green curry and roasted veggies over brown rice for lunch, a bowl oatmeal with chia seeds, dark chocolate chips, kiwi, and maple syrup as a mid-afternoon pick up, and a cheddar cheese stick that I split with Pepper.  Then there was dinner- Hawaiian Pork Burrito Bowl. MMMM. We’ll definitely be making this one again.

The recipe is modified from The Housewife in Training Files to be low in FODMAP.

Ingredients

Enchilada sauce

  • 14.5 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 cup pineapple juice (we could only find a pineapple ginger juice blend)

Pork

  • 2 Tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
  • Pork tenderloin
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper

Add-ons

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 3 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow) sliced into strips
  • pineapple, sliced into rings
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • lime juice

Instructions

  • In your crock pot, combine all the ingredients for the enchilada sauce and mix until well combined.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic-infused olive oil.
  • While the skillet is heating up, rub the pork with the pork spice mix, making sure it is well covered.
  • Add the pork to the skillet and sear on all sides.
  • Once the pork is well seared place it in the crock pot. Spoon some of the enchilada sauce over the top of the pork. Cook for 3 1/2 hours on HIGH heat.
  • In the last 30 minutes of cooking time:
    • cook your quinoa according to package instructions.
    • saute peppers in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat.
    • sear pineapple slices in a skillet.
    • slice avocado- for low FODMAP, remember to only have a few slices.
    • chop cilantro.
  • Once the pork has finished cooking, shred it using two forks. Mix the shredded meat with the enchilada sauce.
  • To serve, add quinoa to a bowl, top with the pepper mixture and then the pork. Add seared pineapple, avocado, and cilantro.

Enjoy!

low FODMAP- Eggplant Parmesan

I’ve lost count of what low FODMAP day this is. Nine or ten I think.

Today I was at a conference for work. I arrived too late for breakfast, so had a cup of Earl Grey tea for the first portion of the day. Lunch was provided by the conference, I had a small salad, deli turkey, roasted potatoes, and some roasted chicken. I’m not certain what was on the roasted chicken, but I did my best to pick low FODMAP selections, and still eat enough to satisfy me for the day. I had an unsweetened tea with lunch, and lots of water through the rest of the day. I also had one pack of Dole Dippers: banana slices covered in dark chocolate (one pack is 4 banana slices) to calm myself down after the Dr. H’s office incident

For dinner, we had a far more exciting and delicious low FODMAP recipe, inspired by Annie’s Eats Skillet Eggplant Parmesan.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants
  • Garlic-infused olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground black pepper
  • 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried parsley
  • Dried basil
  • Dried Italian seasoning – chose a garlic free mix
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1cup red wine
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar
  • 8 oz sliced mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • Fresh basil- I use fresh basil paste in a tube, it keeps longer and is delicious

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices, and spread out on baking sheets, in a single layer.
  • Brush eggplant lightly with garlic-infused olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  • Roast the eggplant for ~30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • While the eggplant is roasting add garlic-infused olive oil and crushed tomatoes to a pot over medium heat. Add the sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and other dried spices, to taste. Let simmer for a few minutes, then add the wine. Let the sauce simmer until the eggplant is done roasting, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour half of the tomato sauce into a casserole dish.
  • Layer half of of the eggplant slices evenly in the pan, so that it is well covered.  Add a small amount of fresh basil evenly over the eggplant. Top with half of the Parmesan, and half of the mozzarella.
  • Pour remaining sauce over over the eggplant and cheeses.
  • Spread the remaining eggplant over the casserole dish, and top with fresh basil the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for ~ 30 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbling.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

CT results

The CT results went up on my patient portal today, and the results are as follows:


Exams: 001120446 CT ABDOMEN & PELVIS W/CON

Examination: CT abdomen/pelvis with contrast

Indication: Abdominal pain, bloating, history of endometriosis

Comparison: CT abdomen/pelvis with contrast of 8/18/2013

Technique: Routine axial computed tomography images of the abdomen and pelvis were obtained after the intravenous and oral ministration of contrast. Images were acquired after a delay. Images were reformatted in the coronal and sagittal planes for additional diagnostic information.

Findings: The visualized lung bases are clear.

The liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, adrenal glands, bladder, uterus and adnexa are within normal limits. A 9 mm interpolar cyst is seen in the inferior pole of the right kidney. An 8 mm interpolar cyst is seen in the midpole of the left kidney. No hydronephrosis is seen.

No bowel obstructive or inflammatory changes are seen. The air-filled appendix is identified and is normal in caliber without periappendiceal inflammatory changes.

No abdominal or pelvic free fluid, free air or lymphadenopathy is seen.

The aorta and IVC are normal in caliber.

No acute destructive osseous lesions are seen.

Impression: No acute CT abnormalities of the abdomen or pelvis. Normal-appearing appendix.


I still haven’t heard from Dr. S about them, but I’m guessing that’s because the results didn’t say anything about my bloating. I guess I’ll be sticking with the low FODMAP diet. I’m not sure if it’s been helping at all- I guess it has a little, but its hard to deduce any relationship with diarrhea from the CT oral contrast and the bleeding that’s been going on since Monday.

More unknown. Great.

I’m SO MAD. The ongoing saga of my uterus.

I’m still bleeding. Thankfully, no longer overflowing the Diva cup, but still bleeding.

Yesterday, I got the student health center to write me a referral to my local GYN, Dr. H, so that it would be more affordable. I called her office immediately after I got the referral page. That was around 1pm. I had to leave a message for Dr. H’s nurse- who I hate, she’s a moron.

Dr. H’s nurse called me back around 1:50pm. She said Dr. H didn’t know anything about the letrazole, which I find interesting for two reasons 1) Dr. H and I talked about it together over the summer when we had to find Dr. Y again, and 2) if you have a degree, and specialize in reproduction, you should know what an aromatase-inhibitor (AI) does- even if you aren’t familiar with the specific drug. …So the nurse says I need to call Dr. Y’s office. I explain that 1) I have talked to Dr. H about this drug/treatment before, so I don’t believe she knows nothing about it, 2) an AI should not be causing this, that’s not how they work, this level of bleeding after being on an AI for almost a year is very unusual, and 3) I cannot afford to see Dr. Y again as he is not in my insurance network – so even if Dr. H doesn’t feel comfortable with the drug, she can take me off it now, and this needs to be seen. This was after having a long discussion with the nurse about if this bleeding was near when my normal period would be? HELLO WHAT DOES MENOPAUSE FOR ALMOST A YEAR MEAN TO YOU?! No, it’s not near my normal period time, as I haven’t had a period in over a year (I was on continuous BC- prescribed by Dr. H nonetheless, before that for 9 months). Then on the amount of blood I was loosing- and the nurse couldn’t get it into her head how mL as a measurement of blood works. She only wanted to know how many pads I’m going through- I’m using a menstrual cup, I can’t tell you how many pads I’m going through. I can tell you that I overflowed my 30mL cup, and an average disposable pad holds 5 mL, so that’s approximately 6 pads. She couldn’t understand that math either. … So after having that discussion, and me explaining the numbered list above, all she would do was insist again that I call Dr. Y’s office, and then call her back.

So I call Dr. Y’s office and get forwarded to his P.A.’s answering machine. I left her a message explaining the whole situation.

5pm comes and goes, and I don’t receive a call back. At that point I decided to send Dr. Y’s P.A. – we’ll call her J, an email. I have her email address from trying to plan my surgery this summer. I explain the entire thing again, in email, and send it off before I head out for my class.
Within 30 minutes I get a text message from J, asking if she can call me in about a half hour. I text back that I am walking into class from 7-10pm and unable to talk in a half hour. She says to text her as soon as I can speak to her on the phone the next morning. As it turns out, my class takes a 10 minute break at 8:00pm. I text J that we have a break so I can talk right then, if she wants, and she calls me immediately.

She says that Dr. Y is now in-network with my insurance…but unfortunately she has my old insurance information. I tell her my new provider, and of course, that is the one company he is not associated with. She says she understand the situation then, financially. So, she says she’ll fax my local GYN an order for an ultrasound, so that Dr. Y still gets the results but I’ll be billed through my local GYN (who is in-network). That I shouldn’t be bleeding at all on the AI, so after the ultrasound results- she’ll try to see if it can be handled up here, or if I’ll have to come down and see him. And she’ll have Dr. Y decide if we need to change my dose. I then had to explain that my new insurance won’t cover the AI, so I only have what I last ordered on my old insurance left- a 90 day supply. After that, I can’t afford it anymore. She asked if A and I were planning on having a baby in the next year or so, and I laughed and replied we’re second year PhD students. We’ll only do that if the ultrasound comes back that everything must go soon and we HAVE to. She expressed that we may be able to try other pills then, that are sometimes more affective after surgery than they were before, but we’ll revisit that after the ultrasound results come back. And, that if I text her my local GYN’s fax number, she’ll send them the order first thing in the morning.

Remember, this is after 8:00pm, on her personal cell phone. I can’t express how much I love J. She is wonderful.

So, this morning I get a text at 9:12am letting me know the fax had been sent, and I should be able to schedule the ultrasound soon. Great!
I spent all morning and afternoon at a conference for work, so I made sure to pick a seat at the back of the room where I could easily leave, and kept my phone on vibrate and on my lap, so that when Dr. H’s office called I could easily answer it.

Fast forward to 1pm and I still hadn’t heard from Dr. H’s office. We were on lunch break at the conference, so I took the opportunity to call. I reached a receptionist and explained that my specialist had faxed over an order for an ultrasound that needed to be scheduled. The receptionist forwarded me to Dr. H’s nurse’s line. Once again I got the answering machine and left a message.

So, I wait for them to call. The conference ends, I go to the grocery store, I go home, and still nothing. At 4:30pm I decide to call them back. I want this scheduled before the weekend.

I reach another receptionist, and explain “my out of town specialist faxed an order for an ultrasound this morning, so I can have it done locally. I called around 1 and got forwarded to [Dr. H’s nurse], but got her answering machine. I left a message but haven’t heard back from her, and want to get this scheduled before the weekend.”

And what does the receptionist say? “Oh she left at noon today.”

Logically, I ask “why did I get sent to her line if she wasn’t here?” because, shouldn’t they have said she wasn’t in when I called, not say, I’ll forward you to her?

Here’s where I start to get really mad. The receptionist starts to get snippy.She says “its medical, all that stuff immediately goes to the doctor and nurse, we can’t do anything with it until the doctor signs it. Dr H left before [her nurse] did.”

Okay. The fax got there well before noon. I know because J texted me. I explain this to the receptionist, and ask if it’s possible Dr. H has signed it already, as there was time from when it came in to when she left the office.

And snotty receptionist replies “other thing can come in before yours” like that justifies Dr. H not paying attention to things that are faxed to her that morning while she was in. (And since I called yesterday about the bleeding, and she said to talk to my specialist, you’d think that something from my specialist’s office would get her attention).  I ask if the receptionist can see if Dr. H had signed it before she left. ..and surprise surprise, of course she can’t.

I’m already mad, and you can hear it in my voice. Her snippy attitude isn’t making it better. I know, its Friday, and you may have had a long day. Usually I am super sweet to receptionists, and others in the service industry because they’re doing what they can. But I am a patient clearly invested in my health and being ignored. I have to wait over the weekend to find out the cause of my unusual bleeding, that my specialist’s P.A. was concerned enough to talk with me far after hours about. My being short was justified. I reply with “fine, I’ll call back first thing Monday then” and hang up.

At this point, I’m so mad I’m in tears. I mean are you fucking kidding me. I get people are busy and can’t always be in the office- my whole office was at a conference today so not there to answer phones. BUT WERE FUCKING CAREER COUNSELING NOT SOMEONES MEDICAL CARE. And Dr. H works in a fucking practice with a bunch of other doctors. IF A SPECIALIST CALLS IN A TEST FOR UNEXPECTED HEAVY BLEEDING (WHICH I FUCKING TALKED TO DR. H’s OFFICE ABOUT YESTERDAY AND THEY PUSHED ME OFF TO HIS OFFICE) THEN YOU SHOULD MAKE SURE TO GET THAT TEST SCHEDULED. ESPECIALLY RIGHT BEFORE THE FUCKING WEEKEND. NOW I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL MONDAY FOR THEM TO EVEN SCHEDULE THAT SHIT, AND WHO KNOWS HOW LONG IT WILL BE BEFORE THE IMAGING CENTER CAN GET ME IN. I MIGHT NOT EVEN BE BLEEDING BY THEN. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME.

Oh I hate her office staff so much. They’re shit at contacting patients too- one time they scheduled me on a day Dr. H wasn’t even in that office, and said they called me to tell me that and give me a new time BUT I NEVER GOT A CALL FROM THEM.

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

How can you justify not taking care of your patients?
Things like this make me thankful for medical professionals like Dr. B2, and J. But it shouldn’t. All medical professionals should care about their patients as human beings concerned about their well being. It shouldn’t be the exception.

Hello Uterus. (And low FODMAP Day 8: Chicken with Green Chili Currry and Roasted Veggies)

I missed my low FODMAP entry yesterday because I felt awful. I’ll give you a warning here, if you’re just here for the low FODMAP recipes, and are uncomfortable with menstrual related talk,  then you’re going to want to skip to the bottom of this post.

Continue reading

CT scan, and low FODMAP Day 6: Chicken Biryani

This morning I had my CT scan.

I had to be at the imaging center at 10:00 AM for the 11:00 AM scan, and couldn’t have anything by mouth for at least 2 hours before. So I woke up around 7:30 to take my morning pills, but was otherwise completely fasted. I arrived at the imaging center early, after dropping A off at work. Shortly after checking in, the technician came out with two cups full of the oral contrast, and a straw. I had twenty minutes to drink it all, and then an hour later I’d be ready for my scan.

Drinking it down was a bit of a challenge. It was thick, and had an odd taste I couldn’t place. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the magnesium citrate for bowel prep, but it was certainly a challenge getting to the bottom of each up. Another patient in the waiting room was also getting an abdominal CT, and had just finished drinking his dose when I got mine. We joked a bit about the taste.

Twenty minutes or so after finishing my two cups of contrast it hit me. The last time I had a CT, the oral contrast was different- it was clear, and mixed with saline and ice, and I didn’t find it bad at all; the stuff I had today was white and completely different, and apparently does not agree with me as well.

I made a couple of bathroom runs before the technician came and got me for the scan. Once in the CT room the technician had me lay on the machine, placed and IV in my right arm, and had me put my hands above my head. We did a set of scans, then the technician added the IV contrast. If you’ve never had IV contrast, it’s a weird sensation; you get a warm, burning feeling that starts at the top of your head and travels down your body. It also makes you feel like you’re going to pee. We did another set of scans with the IV contrast, then the technician came and took the IV out. I needed one more set of scans, 7 minutes later, so I just waited for a while on the machine. After the last set of scans, I was done. The technician made me a copy of the scans (at my request), and told me how to sign up for the patient portal. I finished up around 11:50 AM.

Since I knew I wouldn’t have eaten all morning, I brought one of the peanut butter protein bars to eat in the car.

I had to go refill my amitriptyline prescription, so I swung by Kroger. While I was there I also picked up some low FODMAP friendly jelly, for my PB&J sandwiches- blackberry, with no added high fructose corn syrup. My tummy still wasn’t feeling well, at all, so as soon as my ‘script was filled I picked up my husband from work and headed home.

When I got home I I had a small amount of left over Cottage Pie, hoping it would help me feel a bit better. Slowly as the afternoon wore on, my tummy settled down. Then it started to hit me that my blood sugar was getting low, since I really hadn’t had much all day- and lost a lot of what I may have had in trips to the bathroom. I decided to have a handful of blueberries, raspberries, and a bit of maple syrup as a pick me up.

A little later I made dinner- Chicken Biryani from The FOODMAP Foodie. This recipe was delicious. We’ll definitely make this again, maybe with some stewed tomatoes.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1, thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
  • olive oil

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a medium sized Dutch oven,over medium heat.
  • Add the chicken, ginger, turmeric, and curry powder. Cook until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Pour in the rice, vegetables, and stock, and stir to mix.
  • Bring the pan to a simmer, then cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

.I totally forgot to take an Instagram photo of this one, sorry guys! I was too hungry, and it was too good.