Day 1 of the Low FODMAP Diet

I cleared out the kitchen cupboard this morning. Everything that I can’t eat (but my boyfriend can) has been moved to a higher shelf so that they are out of my direct eyeline when I am looking for ingredients.

Seeing how bare my section had become, I went to the supermarket. It took me an hour, assessing each item, reading the ingredients’ list. “Fucking cipolla” I cursed quietly but repeatedly. Many gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, seemingly-ok foods had onion powder lurking at the bottom of the list of ingredients.

One of the biggest changes for me is having to now see food as alimentation. I’ve always eaten for pleasure. I enjoy the flavours, the textures and would eat as healthily and as variedly as possible.

For example, yesterday, I would have taken a fennel bulb, sliced it finely, added a glug of olive oil, maybe some lemon juice and a sprinkling of fleur de sel and would put it in a serving bowl so we should share it equally between the two of us.

Today, I took the fennel bulb and I weighed it. 170g. I consulted the booklet and then cut off a third (approximately the 50g that I’m allowed on the FODMAP diet) and put that on my plate.

bowl close up delicious fennel

I’m no longer looking at food thinking: ‘oooh, that’d be good, I could make it into….’ Instead, I’m double-checking the ingredients list and cursing.

Over lunch, I explained to the boy what this means for him.

Before we would only eat meat once or twice a week. Our diet was based around wholemeal flour – for pasta, as well as our sourdough bread or pizza dough – spelt grains, chickpeas, lentils and fresh, organic vegetables straight from the allotment. (Did you read about my orto?) All of these have now been moved to the top shelf (apart from the vegetables – fortunately I hadn’t planted anything on the red list) and I’m going back to basics.

Here’s what’s on the menu for the next couple of days: steak and potatoes and a boiled or steamed vegetable. Chicken curry and rice (skipping the onion, obviously.) Vegetable stir-fry with rice vermicelli or buckwheat noodles…

Just one last thing, even though this diet is restrictive, alternative-diet foodstuffs were much easier to find in the supermarket than I had feared. They cost considerably more but if this diet is only for a month or two, I can deal with that.

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Emma Bentley

Wine and Spirits Professional. Sommelier. Glutton. Traveller. Tour Guide and Writer. Trilingual. Find me at www.emmabentleyvino.com

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