I’m finally getting round to trying a more systematic introduction of fodmaps into my diet. The low fodmap diet is not a long term solution, but I’ve been stuck in the elimination stage for ages.
I tried to reintroduce foods without much success a few months ago, and my GP just told me to stick with the restrictive stage indefinitely. It took me so long to manage to eat entirely low-fodmap in the first place, as I was so wary of eliminating foods and still managing to eat somewhat healthily. Then I wanted to give my tummy a chance to recover after Christmas and going to Paris in January. After that I was onto my second placement. The nerves and stress of placement had my tummy all over the place, so there was no point in trying to reintroduce anything as I wouldn’t be able to tell whether my body was reacting to what I’d eaten or just to my general stress. So, here we are at last, in April!
The idea is that you reintroduce FODMAPs one at a time so you can try to work out what your triggers are. Hopefully you find that you can handle some of the foods you’ve eliminated, and then you can gradually reintroduce them and modify the low fodmap diet to suit you.
You don’t have to do the reintroduction in any particular order, so I’m doing it in the order of what I think I can handle. I really miss bread and garlic (and garlic bread!), but I’m so nervous about reintroducing them as cutting down on wheat and garlic immediately made a huge difference. I’ve been using Lee Martin’s Re-challenging and Reintroducing FODMAPs guide. I can’t recommend it enough, it’s so clear and concise. I wish my GP or nutritionist had told me about it, it would have been very helpful!
So, round one was galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), which include beans, lentils and chickpeas. I certainly didn’t know that word before I started on this low-fodmap journey! Oh, the things you learn. I was so excited about this reintroduction. Since eating low-fodmap, I’ve actually dreamt about baked beans. So I did my reintroductions with butter beans. The small and medium portions are two tablespoons and four tablespoons respectively, which I added to a casserole. I managed fine with them both, hooray! For the large portion Craig made me a fodmap-friendly tomato sauce so I could have something a bit like beans on toast.
I know it doesn’t look great. But oh my goodness, it was fantastic. The large portion (6 tablespoons!) made me quite uncomfortable but not severely so. I’ve marked it as amber on my spreadsheet (I’m nothing if not efficient). I’m pretty unlikely to be eating so many butter beans in one go again, but I could definitely go through the equivalent of chickpeas in hummus. It’s good to know that whilst I definitely do have an upper limit, I should be able to cope with moderate portions.
Round two was the reintroduction of sorbitol which I got to test by eating homemade guacamole! Avocado is a sorbitol containing food, as well as blackberries, broccoli and coconut. I’d already done an unsystematic reintroduction of avocado, and was regularly eating half an avocado with no symptoms. Craig and I have avocado salsa either on toast (wheat-free for me) or with tortilla chips pretty much every weekend. The large portion is one whole avocado, which I also managed symptom free. Guys, I feel like I’m winning!
Next up for round three is lactose, and then I think I’ll try some of the fructans. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.