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!

 

Thanksgiving with Food Intolerances

Thanksgiving with Food Intolerances

Learning to eat following a FODMAP diet in your own home is tricky enough, but it can be very daunting when you get an invite out.  This Thanksgiving, The Husband, The Kid, and I have been invited out to a friends place for Thanksgiving dinner.  Even thought they are dear friends, I am still nervous about the whole thing, so I thought I’d give myself a list of things to do before I try to celebrate Thanksgiving with Food Intolerances.

Have Platter, will Turkey!
Have Platter, will Turkey!

In some ways, successfully eating out when you have a food intolerance seems a bit like waging a war: 90% preparation, 1% action, and 9% waiting around for the worst to happen.  So here’s my plan:

Gutsy Broads Top 10 List for Eating Dinner out as a Guest

1) Call the Hostess to let them know, or remind them, that I have food intolerances.  This is the hardest thing for me to do, because I don’t look sick, I don’t want other people to pity me, and I hate explaining an intolerance to eggs, dairy and what the heck a FODMAP is.  I’m lucky that the hostess for this year’s Thanksgiving Dinner knows that I have food intolerances, so I will assume (which I know is a dangerous thing) that she’s waiting for me to call and help her out.

2) When talking with the Hostess, I will ask about the main course she is planning on serving.  Thanksgiving is usually turkey, so I’m hoping she’s not planning on serving it drenched in a heavy garlic cream sauce or something.  If the turkey will be cooked simply and just the gravy will be off limits for me, I’ll know just to stay away from the gravy.  Because of my dairy intolerance, if she’s planning on serving a butterball turkey I may have to do some heavy strategizing.  I’m not going to tell her what she can or cannot cook so I will plan on taking a teeny piece for my plate and asking my husband to quietly steal it during dinner.

3) Also when talking with the Hostess, I will ask about side dishes.  Usually it’s potatoes – if her plans are to prepare it in a way I’m uncomfortable with I can offer to bring my own baked potato.  She will probably then offer to nuke a potato for me –  if she doesn’t that’s no big deal.

4) I may slip in a question about dessert.  I will already feel like I am grilling her, so depending on how the conversation is going I’ll decide whether to approach this or not.  I can always pass on dessert – there’s always at least one annoying person at every dinner party who refuses dessert, it might as well be me.

5) I will offer to bring something.  Actually, I already know that I’m responsible for bringing the salad, so I’ll make sure that it, and the dressing, is low FODMAP. I will then feel comfortable loading up my plate with it.

What else can I add?
What else can I add?

6) Before going to the dinner, I will eat something filling at home.  Making sure that you are ‘sort of’ full before going out for dinner seems counter-productive, but it is a tried and true strategy.

7) I will take two things to dinner (besides the salad):  A positive attitude and a purse with a couple of safe granola bars. I may take an appetiser if I feel brave.

8) I will go easy on the alcohol.  I know that I need to stay alert during dinner, and getting blasted isn’t conducive to that. Sigh.

9) I will not make a fuss at dinner.  If all I have on my plate is a piece of turkey (inedible or not), a baked potato and my salad – that will be fine.  Having something on my plate is less of a distraction for other guests than having an empty plate at the table.

10) I will be prepared in case I ingest something that sets off my stomach.  I always like to wait about an hour after eating something I’m unsure of, just to see if my stomach will reject it or not.  So, not eating dessert, sipping my wine or tea, and then chatting while cleaning up the dishes will give me time to decide if I’m ok to get in the car and head home.  My purse will have my emergency kit (extra underwear, etc.) just in case.  Having this with me gives me some comfort and helps reduce my stress which can make a mild symptom much worse.

Contents of my kit.
Contents of my kit.

My plan is to do what I can to make sure I can accomplish the real goal of Thanksgiving dinner: spending time with family and friends, enjoying each other’s company.

Hopefully this list can help you if you’ve been invited out to Thanksgiving dinner!

GUTSY BROAD’S BOOK REVIEW: ALLERGIC GIRL

 

I first picked up this book a couple of years ago when I was at a desperate point with my IBS and figured that if someone could handle life with severe life threatening food allergies, they could help me handle life with multiple food intolerances.  It had such a strong, positive impact on my outlook that it was the first book I wanted to review… and I have to say, I got even more out of the book on my second read through.

 

The author is Sloane Miller, who has multiple severe allergies.  She’s also a blogger, advocate, consultant and authority on food allergies.  According to the inside of the cover, she “shows how a food-allergic person can live a life not constrained by what she or he can’t eat.”. She does this by using real-life examples (personal and from her practice) to show strategies in dealing with dietary restrictions in everyday life.

 

The book is divided into 3 parts:  You, Relationships and In and Of the World.

 

Part one is where we get to meet Sloane and find out more about her allergies.  She introduces the first one of her excellent strategies called “Team You”.  This strategy, about building a personalized medical team focussed on your needs was terribly empowering.  She follows this up with many other tips and tricks, including how to handle personal feelings of anxiety and shame.

 

Part 3 is about Relationships and she does an excellent job in outlining the various reactions that family members and others can have when you disclose your dietary needs, and how to handle these reactions with grace and strength.

 

She covers a lot of territory, from college room-mates, to first dates to family and work events.  All of her suggestions are practical, doable and empowering (even though some require a bit of practice, I find).

 

I very much appreciated her chapter on finding new ways of looking at food.  “Food is not the enemy”, gave me an Ah-Ha! moment and freed me from continuously waging war with dairy, when there was no way I could win.

 

Part 3 is called “In and Of the World” and provides an endless supply of ideas, tips and tricks and suggestions for surviving parties, celebrations, restaurant invitations and travel.

 

This book is a real primer on how to live with dietary restrictions.  Sloane writes with humour, but you know that she’s had some scary experiences.  Though her style is informal, she still shows how she is confidently certain that dietary challenges are totally compatible with living well. 

 

Resources listed in the back are comprehensive, mostly American but with some Canadian resources thrown in for good measure.

 

This book totally enthused me.  It gave me the confidence to try the techniques she recommends for managing her allergies.  This should be required reading for everyone with dietary allergies and intolerances.  Check out her blog and website (allergicgirl.com)  too!

 

Details:

Allergic Girl By Sloane Miller

Published 2011 by John Wiley and Sons Inc.

About 250 pages

ISBN 978-0-470-63000-9