Fodmap Free Pancakes

This is my final installment on my current breakfast options.  When I first started following a low-FODMAP diet, (also eliminating eggs, bovine dairy and beef due to intolerances) meal planning was a daunting task because I had no handy list of what menu items would be appropriate.  Breakfast is particularly tricky because, really, who wants to think that hard about a meal first thing in the morning?  At first, every morning started with a rice cake, organic peanut butter and a sliced banana on top.  It’s ok, but – every day?

This weekend when my family had pancakes for Brunch, I really felt that I’ve come a long way from those days.

Pancakes

See?  Doesn’t look too bad, does it?  The super best part about this (besides the meal being gluten, dairy, egg and FODMAP free), is that I didn’t have to make it.  That’s right!  The Husband and The Son whipped this up.  This is a looong way from when I insisted that I prepare all meals for myself.

It’s a pretty simple menu:  Orange juice or almond milk, Fruit Salad (The Son’s speciality – I just have to set out whatever fruit I want him to use), bacon (mmmm, bacon), and pancakes served with organic maple syrup.

The best part is that the pancakes are made from a mix, so super easy to prepare.  Betty Crocker, Bisquick has come out with a gluten free option and it’s pretty good.  The back of the box lists the ingredients needed for pancakes or waffles, and I just made sure The Husband knew the appropriate egg and dairy substitutes to use.

Pancake ingredientsTo be fair, The Husband is an experienced pancake maker (usually makes from scratch), so getting him to make a ‘safe’ version for me wasn’t a big stretch.  It did take some experimenting, though, as they don’t brown quite the same way as a standard recipe.

Because an entire extra set of bowls are needed to make up a batch just for me, I ask him to make a full batch, and then once they’ve cooled, I freeze them flat in a baggie.  That way, if we have pancakes for brunch again, I can just pull them out of the freezer and pop them through the toaster to warm up.

 

The Husband and The Son have their hands busy flipping two batches of pancakes and watching a pan of bacon (the first couple of times it was almost funny how stressed they got – kinda like how I get when I make a Christmas dinner for 14 people).  But after a few times, they now have the hang of it, and it is a real treat for me to see some else cooking for me.

The Husband cooking for me!
The Husband cooking for me!

Sitting down to a full and decadent brunch is a long way from my peanut butter/rice cake/banana slices.  Yes, I know the calorie count is crazy higher too, but once in a while it’s ok.  Just because one has IBS, doesn’t mean they need to live off of tree bark and water, do they?

 

 

So, there you have it – my menu ideas for FODMAP friendly (and dairy and egg free too!) breakfasts.  It’s not a long list, but I’m not someone who demands a lot from breakfast.  Protein, some fruit, and some energy to start the day….

  • Toast and peanut butter (and bananas) (splurge on the expensive bread that tastes the best to you, it’s a huge psychological start to the day).
  • Granola, goat yogurt, and berries
  • Scones
  • Fodmap free Pancakes for brunch (and fruit salad and bacon!)
  • ok, ok, ok – I still have the Spartan rice cake/peanut butter/banana breakfasts when I’m travelling.  So, I guess it’s still on my list!

 

Meal Planning for Breakfast

I’ve been doing some thinking on how far I’ve come from when I first figured out I had IBS and discovered the FODMAP diet.  Besides the constant threat of diarrhea and the pain associated with it, what I remember clearly is the panic I felt around the question ‘what can I eat today?’. I didn’t start out consciously meal planning for breakfast, but I do have a small list of go-to menu items that make it easy for me to start my day AND to grocery shop for.

I can readily admit that I’m not a health nut.  I try to eat balanced, nutritious meals, but I don’t calorie count.  Maybe I’ll get there, but for now, I’m mostly just concerned about the basics about feeding myself.  I love eating for pleasure (having candles on the table makes food taste better, somehow), and can’t see myself gulping down a kale smoothie just ‘because it’s good for me’.  Maybe someday, but not today.

If anyone reads this and is starting out on their FODMAP journey, I hope you can get some inspiration from this post.  I shop at two stores: Safeway and Planet Organic.  Hopefully the ideas will make life just a teeny bit easier for you…. I’ll include recipes in later posts…

Granola Breakfast

toast

 

 

 

 

Breakfast – Weekdays

I tend to alternate between two menus during the week.  Easier to buy groceries for, easy to prepare on mornings when I need to eat before I’m fully woken up.

  • allergen free (gluten, egg, dairy, FODMAP free) bread, toasted, spread with organic crunchy peanut butter and topped with slices of bananas.
  • a dollop of goats-milk yogurt (for some reason my body can handle milk from goats but not a cow), granola (either a low-FODMAP kind from the store or home-made), and fresh berries sprinkled on top (I alternate between raspberries and blueberries, and have discovered that I can tolerate a small amount of blackberries (high on Polyols on the Monash FODMAP app).

scones baked

Breakfast – Weekends

If I’m lazy, I stick to the above.  But I do enjoy baking, and preparing foods with my family so will have one of the following for a special breakfast on a weekend.

Pancakes

  • Oat scones topped with marmalade.
  • Allergen free pancakes, with fruit salad (made with whatever I have on hand that’s got a green light from the Monash FODMAP app), and bacon. Served with pure maple syrup.

Breakfast – on the road

  • Travelling can be a real challenge for someone with IBS.  If I’m staying in a hotel, I make sure I have my rice cakes and organic peanut butter with me.  I’ve found that as long as I’m at a table of people who are ordering off the menu, my bringing food doesn’t cause much of a stir (I do try to be a little discreet, though). If I get an odd look, I’ll order a side of bacon off the menu and that seems to make everything OK.  On the bonus side, crispy bacon on a peanut butter slathered rice cake is incredibly yummy.

And those are about it.  I’ve experimented with other options, but these seem to be my go-to menu items.  At first, deciding what to eat can be daunting, but I’ve discovered that meal planning for breakfast doesn’t have to be a mind-bending, expensive or earth shifting experience.  Good luck to your own breakfast plans!

Road Trip Preparations AKA: Kitchen on the Road

Road Trip Preparations AKA: Kitchen on the Road

As anyone with IBS knows, the thought of going on a road trip doesn’t fill oneself with carefree thoughts of the open road.  There is fear, anxiety and a general feeling of helplessness.  That’s why I thought that making a lot (a LOT) of road trip preparations would really, really be important.

Our road trip this summer is to take us through the American mid-west with a goal of visiting family and doing some touristy things.  The Son and The Husband are eager for new sights and are really looking forward to the journey.  We will be on the road for 10 days, staying in 4 different hotels.  The Husband has been so very supportive, and has booked us hotels with fridges and microwave ovens in the room.

road trip

I am preparing on two fronts:  for Day-to Day meals and for Emergencies.  Here’s my plan for day to day meals…

Road Trip Preparation AKA Kitchen on the Road

My road trip preparations for regular meals means that I am going to be travelling with a small kitchen in a cooler (good thing we have a big car!)  Here are my plans for each meal:

Breakfast

To start my day I need two things to function:  a hot cup of tea with milk (dairy free) and sugar, and something with protein to keep me full.  The tea should be easy, I’ve found small tetra-packs of almond milk that I can bring.  Best of all, they don’t need to be refrigerated if they are unopened!  On the downside, once the container is opened, it can’t be sealed shut again.  Ill either drink a lot of tea each day (to use up the container), bring tape to try and seal it shut, or throw the remaining contents out.  I hate wasting food, so well see how this goes.  For the protein, I’ve decided to bring plain rice cakes and organic peanut butter.  I can eat this in the room with a minimal of fuss – maybe add a banana for flair.  The organic peanut butter needs to be refrigerated, and I figure I can manage this with the in room fridges and our cooler.  I’ll need to bring cutlery, and some sort of container that I can fill with hotel ice each night, as I doubt the hotel fridge will be able to refreeze a freezer pack.

Lunch

This will often be eaten at small road-side diners and I don’t want the hassle of checking with the waitress about ingredients, cross-contamination, and that sort of thing. My plan is to bring along a FODMAP friendly granola bar (heavy on the nuts for protein), or a small Tupperware container of nuts, a small baggie of carrots or an orange.  I’ll need a lunch kit that I can fill up each morning and then have accessible for when we stop.

Dinner

Dining out is usually one of the joys of travel, but I’d rather be safe and healthy than adventurous and sick.  So, my plan is to try and find a restaurant where I can get plain rice, baked potato, or fries that are uncoated and cooked in a dedicated fryer (no cross-contamination).  Also, I think it’s pretty easy to ask for steamed carrots or broccoli, so that will take care of my dietary need for veggies.  For protein, I hope I can get a plain grilled chicken breast, but ‘Ive got a back up plan.  I’ve discovered pull-tab single serving sized tins of tuna – easy to pop into my purse and have in an emergency!

Snacks

For snacks, I’ve discovered that salt and vinegar chips are fairly safe (still read the label as some brands list dairy on the ingredient list – what’s up with that?)  I know this won’t wash with the health food advocates out there, but I’m on vacation and have enough food denial in my life.

Everything but the kitchen sink!
Everything but the kitchen sink!

So, Ill take some stuff, buy some stuff on the road.  Hopefully my road trip preparations will take some of the adventure out of travelling with IBS!

I’m still working on what Ièll bring for emergencies… stay tuned for my next blog….