low FODMAP Day 5: Peanut Butter Protein Bars & Cottage Pie

I went to bed last night feeling pretty bad- abdominal cramps, some nausea, and all over feeling unwell. I don’t know what caused it, maybe the liquid smoke?

I woke up feeling a little better, but not in a great mood. I had to run to the grocery store to pick up some tamari, and had a bit of a break down in the car on the way home. I just wanted a comfort food snack, and couldn’t have any of my usual choices. The toughness of this diet hit me again really hard.

When I got home I made myself a bowl of oatmeal, with berries, maple syrup, and chia seeds. Besides half of the oatmeal spilling in the microwave, it made me feel a bit better.

Around noon I decide to have some lunch. I had picked up some snack packs of Kalamata olives when I was at the grocery store, so had a pack of olives with some feta cheese, some sweet potato tortilla chips, and an all natural peanut butter and preserves sandwich on Udi. The preserves probably weren’t the best option for low FODMAP, it was fig, but all the other options we had in the fridge had high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient. I figured a small amount of fig preserves would be safer than added high fructose corn syrup.

I started to feel better through out the afternoon, and late in the afternoon decided to have a peanut butter protein bar. I made these bars yesterday, so I would have something to get me through the days at school next week. I slightly modified the recipe from Kate Scarlatta.

Peanut Butter Protein Bar

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Line the bottom of an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.
  • Beat together the butter and peanut butter until creamy.
  • Add in the eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat together.
  • Blend in the quinoa flour, brown rice flour, and baking powder.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Spread batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.Let cool for 1/2 hour, and then cut into squares.

The protein bars are pretty tasty.

As the afternoon wore on I started feeling pretty bad again. No stomach cramps, but a bit nauseous, dizzy, and flushed. Just all over not well.

For dinner I made Cottage Pie, using The FODMAP Foodie’s recipe as a base.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 parsnip, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon tamari
  • glass of red wine
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 lb golden delicious potatoes
  • butter

Instructions

  • Wash the potatoes and add to a pot of salted water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Cook until fork tender, at least 45 minutes.
  •  While potatoes are cooking, heat garlic-infused olive oil in a stock pot or large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the ground beef to the stock pot, and brown.
  • Add the carrots, parsnip, wine, tamari, rosemary, paprika, oregano, celery seed, salt, and pepper. Simmer for ~15 minutes, until well cooked.
  • Drain the potatoes, then return the potatoes back to their pot- removed from heat. Add butter (I used 3 tablespoons, you should use an amount you’re comfortable with), salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Mash until smooth.
  • Pour meat mixture into a 9in round oven-proof dish.
  • Top with mashed potatoes, spreading them evenly over the meat.
  • Add some slices of butter over the potatoes, then place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

This is a delicious Cottage Pie recipe. It doesn’t quite have the richness of a Cottage Pie cooked with tomato paste, but does a pretty great job on flavors otherwise. We’ll certainly be having it again in the future.

No One Talks About the Fear

This is a wonderfully written piece about the unpredictable nature of chronic illnesses and chronic pain; it provides an elegant theory for chronic pain suffers’ actions and moods- one that I know I have experienced, but could never have articulated so well.

Then Everything Changed

The other day was a stunningly beautiful sunny day with a light breeze.  Exactly what you imagine when you think of the perfect day to be outside doing, well, anything.  I, however, sat looking out the window from my physical therapists office.  You know, like you do.  My physical therapist noticed me looking and said, “What a beautiful day.  Doesn’t it make you want to go for a walk?  You know, that is something you can do and it’s very good for your overall health.”  I produced my best fake smile and mumbled the appropriate agreement, but it really ruffled my feathers and I couldn’t figure out why.  People make these comments all.the.time.  Why was this one nagging at me?  Turns out, this was a good question.

Who wouldn’t want to take a walk?

Healthy people don’t understand that chronic illness and pain is not linear.  This means that the…

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low FODMAP Day 4: Dinner – Paprika Chicken & Roasted Veggies

For dinner tonight, we had paprika chicken with roasted carrots and zucchini. It was actually pretty delicious chicken, I’m sure we’ll be having it again in the future. The recipe is modified from IBS Sano’s. Interestingly, the IBS Sano recipe calls for Worcestershire sauce, which when I looked at the ingredients contained molasses, garlic, and onion. I didn’t feel quite comfortable using the Worcestershire sauce, so substituted liquid smoke instead; the liquid smoke had molasses as well, but no onion or garlic, so I figured it was a safer option. I also didn’t make the sauce the IBS Sano recipe includes, because I could not find lactose-free double cream at my grocery store. I don’t think it needed a cream sauce at all.

Paprika Chicken

Ingredients

  • Thin boneless, skinless chicken breasts (either buy the vacuum sealed thin breasts, or pound your breasts to ~1cm thin. We used 5 breasts, because that’s what came in the pack, and there was plenty of marinade to cover them)
  • Marinade:
    • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
    • 1 tablespoon paprika

Instructions

  • Mix marinade ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the chicken into the bowl, and mix with marinade until all the chicken is well covered. Let sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add some butter, and pan fry the chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Roasted Veggies

This method works for almost any veggies. Usually our favorites to roast are broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus… but of course those aren’t low FODMAP friendly. Today we roasted zucchini and carrots.

Ingredients

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Line a baking sheet (or two, if needed) with parchment paper.
  • Cut veggies for roasting:
    • For zucchini, I love using a mandolin to cut them into thin rounds.
    • For carrots, use baby carrots for no cutting, or carefully slice carrots lengthwise into roughly even quarters.
    • For bell peppers, slice into strips.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the veggies.
  • Season with spices of choice. We usually use: salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and paprika.
  • Mixed veggies until they are well covered with olive oil on all sides.
  • Put the veggies on the parchment covered baking sheet(s), making sure to spread them out so they aren’t crowded- preferably so there is space between all your veggies. You want them to roast, not steam.
  • Put into the oven. Depending on your oven, and your veggies, cook for 20-40 minutes.
  • If you can, or want to, flip the veggies half-way through cooking. This step enhances flavor, but isn’t essential.

Low FODMAP Day 4: Lunch Edition – Tuna-Hummus-Feta sandwich

Its the weekend! That means I get to sleep in, do a bunch of homework, and … have to actually make lunches. Here’s what I’ve had so far today:

Breakfast: 1/4 cup of instant oatmeal, with a spoon full of chia seeds, a bit of maple syrup, ~ 12 blueberries, 6 raspberries, and a sliced strawberry. And a water bottle.

Lunch: Tuna-Hummus-Feta sandwich, zucchini sticks, and a cheddar and mozzarella blend cheese stick.

I used Kate Scarlata’s hummus recipe to make some hummus for snacks this week, and decided to use today’s 1/4 cup allowance as part of my lunch today. It turns out we didn’t have any mayonnaise, so instead of eating the hummus as a side, I mixed it with a can of tuna. I added salt, pepper, lemon pepper, paprika, and a bit of feta cheese, then made a sandwich with Udi’s white bread- gluten free, low FODMAP, and surprisingly tastes like normal sandwich bread; its just a bit dry.

I’m usually pretty picky about my tuna sandwiches, so wasn’t sure how I’d like this one, but it was pretty darn good! The Udi’s bread is pretty small, so I ate half the tuna on the sandwich, and half just out of the bowl. Zucchini sticks on the side were a lovely complement.

Here’s the actual recipes:

Hummus, modified from Kate Scarlata’s FODMAP friendly Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 can 15 oz chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large lemon, juiced – about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-infused oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • a bit of water to thin

Instructions

  • Add chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, garlic-infused oil, and sesame oil into a food processor.
  • Blend until creamy- add water to reach desired consistency.

It isn’t quite as good as normal hummus, but it is a decent substitute. Remember, have 1/4 cup or less- depending on your tolerance.

Tuna-Hummus-Feta Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup hummus (above)
  • 1 3 oz can of chunk light tuna, in water
  • feta cheese
  • paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon pepper
  • Udi’s white bread

Instructions

  • Add hummus to a bowl.
  • Drain tuna, and add to bowl with hummus.
  • Season with paprika, salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and feta to taste.
  • Top a slice of Udi’s white bread with a heaping scoop of tuna mixture. Top with another slice of bread.

Low FODMAP – Day 3: Spam & Quinoa Fried Rice

Day 3! Today went better than yesterday, but I still hit some grumpy sugar lows. I did plan a more extensive menu for the next four days, and spent a lot of money at the grocery store. It is crazy how expensive it is. I needed quinoa flour for a recipe I will be sharing with you in the near future- it was $10.00 for a small bag!

I still haven’t noticed any change in my level of bloating.

Onto today’s food:

Morning: cheddar cheese stick and black tea

Snacks: 2 of cocoa lemon energy balls, a few hours apart; I enjoyed them more today than I did yesterday. And a water bottle.

Lunch: NY strip steak, broiled Italian tomato, and green beans from the dining hall. I’m not positive that everything was cooked without garlic or onions, but I picked the best I could. A had a lot of work to do this afternoon, so we didn’t get lunch until nearly 3:00pm. By that point I was cranky and a bit weak, I needed the extra calories from the steak, tomato, and green beans, over a salad. I had some more water with lunch.

Snack: A few Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips. Guys, these are SO good. The bag was on sale for $2.50, and I’m so glad I picked them up. I’m very glad I can have a few of these throughout the day.

Dinner: A 1/2 cup of  V8 Pomegranate Blueberry juice, a water bottle, and spam & quinoa fried rice. Spam & quinoa fried rice is actually a dinner we have often, although we did have to modify it to be lowFODMAP. It’s a recipe A and I wing every time we make it, but I’ll give you a general idea of what we do:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • Jasmine rice
  • 1 Can of spam
  • Shredded carrots
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Red bell pepper
  • 5 eggs
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Cumin, to taste
  • Curry powder, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

Instructions

  • Dice the veggies and spam.
  • Measure out the amount of rice you’d like, and begin to cook.
  • Measure out quinoa and rinse under cold water. Start to cook quinoa.
  • Heat a large wok on medium-high.
  • Beat together eggs with salt, pepper, cumin, and curry powder.
  • When the wok is hot, add the spam, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Cook until browned and crispy on all sides.
  • Remove spam to a paper towel covered plate. Add eggs to the wok and scramble to your desired doneness.
  • Remove eggs, adding them to the top of the spam.
  • Season the veggies with salt, pepper, curry powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes, then add to the wok. Cook until tender crisp.
  • Add back the spam and eggs, as well as the cooked rice and quinoa. Mix together.
  • Remove from heat, then enjoy! If you have wheat free soy sauce, I recommend adding that on top.

low FODMAP – Day 2: No Bake Cocoa Lemon Energy Balls & Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken

Thursdays are hectic. A has class from 12:30 – 2pm, and I have class from 7:00-10:00pm. So we head into work at 9:00am and I stay there until A’s done with class. Then we grab food from a dining hall, rush home, set up dinner so I can eat by 5:30pm and head out to class in time. So, I have no instagram photos for you today… whomp whomp. I will share with you what I ate today, and their respective recipes where appropriate. I found today that I certainly did not have enough energy, and did not take in enough calories. I’m feeling pretty crappy right now. And my bloating hasn’t gone down at all. I am, however, less gassy- but at the moment that is clearly not helping the bloating, since I still look quite pregnant.

Onto the food:

Morning snacks: a cheddar cheese stick, and 2 No Bake Cocoa Lemon Energy Ball. And a black tea blend.

The No Bake Cocoa Lemon Energy Balls (or Bites) are modified from ea stewart I’m not sure how I feel about them. I actually found them to be a bit too lemon-y, which is very unusual for me as I love lemon and lime flavors. My stomach also felt a little unsettled after them, even though I only had two, spaced over an hour apart. I’ll try the left overs again tomorrow and see how I feel about them.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons special dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon flax seeds

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture is sticky and well combined
  • Shape mixture into ~1inch balls. Place on a tray or plate lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before eating.
  • Store in the freezer.

Lunch: A Greek salad, with no onions, from one of the dining halls, and water.

Dinner: For dinner I needed something that took minimal prep, and was easy. I found Kate Scarlata’s Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tostadas, A and I love southwest US and Mexican flavors, so I though these might be a good transition dish. My impression while eating it was… it was okay. It had a nice heat, but need a better layering of spices. I really missed my garlic powder and onion powder in this one.

Crock Pot Chipotle Chicken Ingredients

  • 1lb boneless skinless chicken tenders
  • 1 can 28 oz petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper
  • corn tortillas
  • shredded cheese (cheddar, or Mexican blend)

Instructions

  • Put chicken, tomatoes, cumin, chipotle chili pepper, and bell peppers in to the crock pot. Cook on HIGH for about 3 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Turn off crock pot and shred the chicken.
  • Place corn tortillas on baking sheet. – I recommend using parchment paper, or non-stick spray, as I didn’t, and they stuck.
  • Using a slotted spoon to drain the juice, spoon the chicken mixture onto the tortillas.
  • Top with a bit of shredded cheese.
  • Bake for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

I also had a 1/2 cup of V8 fusion – pomegranate blueberry. And lots of water. That’s it for day 2!

low FODMAP – Meal 1: Scrambled Eggs and Pan-Fried Baked Potatoes

As a way to get myself through this low FODMAP diet for the next month, and to share what I’m eating with you all, I’m going to do my best to instagram everything I eat, and share the recipes for what I cook. I’ll tag everything on instagram as #foodforspoonies, #lowFODMAP, and #bestliaryouknow.

For dinner tonight, A and I had Scrambled Egg and Pan-Fried Baked Potatoes. Breakfast for dinner is always a winner in this house. It was pretty good. It wasn’t incredibly filling, so A had to eat something else afterwards, but it was good enough for me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large russet potatoes
  • Mediterranean spice infused olive oil (garlic and basil infused)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Butter
  • 6 eggs
  • Salt
  • Herbs and seasonings of your choice
  • Optional: shredded cheese of your choice
  • Bacon bits
  • Dried chives

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F (~219 C). Wash your potatoes thoroughly, then rub with olive oil, paprika, and pepper. Poke holes in the potatoes. Put on a baking sheet or pan, and put in the middle rack of the oven until fork tender, 45-60 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes.
  2. Remove potatoes from the oven, set aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides.
  4. Add butter and olive oil to a large frying pan, over medium high heat. Add the baked potato innards, and allow to crisp a bit.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk your eggs together with a splash of water, salt, pepper, and whatever other herbs and spice you’d like.
  6. Pour your eggs in with your potatoes. If you can handle some cheese, add in some shredded cheese. Scramble your eggs, stirring frequently, until they are done to your liking, then remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Portion out your eggs & potatoes to your plate, and top with bacon bits and chives.