‘Not’ following fodmap

Honestly, it really shouldn’t be that hard should it?I’ve been ‘low fodmapping’ for either 2 or  maybe 3 and half years now, I really can’t remember (Scuse the brain fog that’s another chapter) you really think I’d have learnt by now right?

Apparently not. 

I’ve been lucky I suppose. I bluffed it for a while tbh, my friend told me about FODMAP, printed me some stuff, I got confused, couldn’t understand it but read some of a book, googled a bit, downloaded the app and thought how hard can it be?  Even my Gastroenterologist (EDS specialist Prof Aziz) strongly backed low FODMAP for functional gut disorders like many of us with EDS, POTS and Chiari, oh and diverticula disease,  there’s more but you’ll start to drift off… So it’s clearly helping millions globally now so I thought I’d give it a go.

 I knew wheat was an issue when I started it but I hadn’t even thought of onion and garlic and how the hell can that much fruit and veg be BAD for you right? But at this point in my life long dodgy tummy troubles I’d started to not make it through to the main course at a Chinese restaurant without throwing up the starter or, well, lots of other stuff you really don’t wanna hear and if you’re reading this coz of the subject I’m sure you already ‘know’. So anyway, I knew I had to do something, on top of all the aches and pains and shitty symptoms of my conditions I figured this might be something I could finally maybe help to control.
 Once I got well established in the FODMAP way and felt the benefits (not spending quite so many hours leaving my poor hubby waiting at the table in restaurants so many times or having to rush back to the room on holidays so ill from all the high FODMAP goodies) I thought I could manage things.  I often had early “I JUST WANT A TAKE AWAY” blunders of “I’ll be fine I’ve got to try introducing stuff” er…hem…cue rolling around the floor of the bathroom in agony. Yay go you; you won’t do that again in a hurry will you?

You’d think huh?

Well as you can imagine being a bit stupid and forgetful, this has happened many times again since as I sometimes have an ok week where everything in there just works, maybe, I get in to a false sense of security, i think I’ve been fine. I often have sweet and sour king prawns and they do it without onion or garlic so it’s a nice but potentially risky treat… but of course it has some wheat, then I can’t have that and not have king prawn balls….

Trouble is once you’re deprived yourself of the ability to just go for dinner wherever you want it gets frustrating. I’ve always loved eating out whether just with hubby or with the kids and other family and friends it’s one of my favourite things to do. So It got me down for a while but I can work round it now I just have to be careful. Sometimes you just have to go for it and hope for the best although restaurants all get the Gluten free deal, even people with seafood allergies or lactose problems. But FODMAP? Blimey that’s a whole other story to cope with but I can usually be ok if I can ensure no onion and garlic and a little wheat is ok. Trouble is even when you ask there’s often some onion power in something or you wonder did they check the spinach has no garlic (I can usually smell it a mile off now though!) but then I might have a quick nibble of the bread then a glass of wine then you get brave with the olives that may have been in with garlic but you’ve relaxed and thought I’ll be fine…. der; you’ve got no chance. 

It really depressed me for a while the whole going out thing being a risk or knowing I’d just get so knackered half way though you wanna go home or you’ll be knackered for the next day but I’m usually gonna be physically broken from going out anyway So i mostly now just get on with it. There’s no point getting down about it. TBH eating out and being ‘difficult’ seems to bother more of the others round me as no one really gets it and I think others probably think it’s just some fad to be difficult…so I end up feeling difficult or not asking /  pushing for things to be checked. I know it sounds silly but again probably another chapter!

Fodmap can be a real life changer for many reasons. Being in control and helping me to try new things at home has been great, knowing what’s in my food is a big plus but of course it’s all so much effort some, okay a lot, of days. There are usually a number of days every week I just can’t be arsed to stand up long enough to prepare anything.

 Anyway, I’m maudlin! Just letting my bad day / week  out. It’s been one of those weeks  (funny re reading this as I actually wrote it originally months ago and didn’t get round to posting yet last week was very similar! This being one of those game changer reminders where yet again I forgot that today was the worst possible day to eat anything ‘bad’ but just when I crave it! My body’s pretty much been on a long shut down this week, two days of migraines awful debilitating neck and hip pain (see chiari / EDS) all while / because of the Mental / pre menstrual physical days from hell so many with chronic illness / EDS suffer so much from. It’s bad enough for most women without the other shit but for us spoonies it seems to tip us over the precipice of pain and tears.

So of course I thought sod it im having stuff I want but if course here I am, stomach exploding, bloated, pots symptoms going mental all week, below was just before my HR rose to 140+, my head starts immediately pounding in agony, blurry shaking feeling sick and have no choice but to sit before I fall 😦 

Arrggghh some days life’s a bitch!
Dont worry kids You don’t have to copy my way. You can be more successful with FODMAP. Listen to the advice of experts and look after your body!!


Tasty Salad when you’re just too hot too cook

When the last thing you can think about in this heat is standing and cooking, you can never go wrong with a delicious salad of spinach watercress and rocket leaves, few plum tomatoes, feta, crumbled pecans, avocado, fresh basil with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice. 

#LowFODMAP peeps go careful with the avocado #salad #salad #fodmap #toohottocook #sorted 

Tasty Pasta 

Mmm why is it when you’re home alone make a seriously tasty dinner no one gets to taste it freshly cooked?! 😡 

Just made this but #lowfodmap #fodmap #fodmapfree #lowfodmappedit version. I exchanged garlic for garlic oil, plum not cherry toms #glutenfree pasta and bit less butter, I also added spinach for the last few seconds @delicious #tastyfodmap am knackered now but was worth it #yum 😜 
Sorry lazy link but that’s how I roll… See below


Tasty Coconut lime chicken 

Been meaning to post this for a while – you have to try this! Another super tasty, highly recommended and pretty simple dish. Not too much prep; you can marinade in advance then do the cooking later which I find suits me perfectly so I’m not having to stand up too long. 

I used this recipe http://menumusings.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/coconut-lime-chicken.html?m=1 but replaced canola with garlic oil for extra flavour.

1 package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts

3 Tbsp canola (or garlic) oil

zest of 1 large lime

1 tsp cumin

2 Tbsp soy sauce (I use tamari but a little soy is still low FODMAP unless you’re fully GF)

1 – 1 1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp curry powder (depending on your tolerance you might need to look out for added onion powder)

1 x 500g tin coconut milk

Juice of 1 lime

Optional – 1 chilli, finely minced or cut into thin slivers 

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

See the link above for step by step photos for the method.

It was perfectly sumptuous!

Tasty #lowFODMAP blueberry and coconut muffins and a catchup

Sorry I’ve been sooo pants at posting anything lately. I’ve been signed off work since early December which you think would leave me loads of time to do this sort of thing but I really don’t know where the time has gone! Seems now I only have 3 things instead of 300 things to do a day I just, well don’t seem to have the time or energy somehow…. 

So a bit of what I’ve been up to then I will share my latest bake,  a rather good bake it is too but soooo simple and my excuse to have cake for breakfast – you can have muffins for breakfast right??

So as my Physio and hydro insurance sessions will be dwindling soon but I need to carry on with it for life (sad times but I’m over it – for now) I’ve been doing some Physio and going to the gym about 3-4 days a week doing my hydrotherapy in the large jacuzzi at the local Virgin. My lovely Physio Jane (specialist in EDS) managed to get me some more sessions but we thought better to space them out a bit now and I can go off and follow the way she’s shown me closer to home (hydro is at the Chelsea pensioners hospital in town and I’m so over the commute – although I feel so young once I’m there with the old boys….!) 

Check out my sexy pink new 0.5kg weights – yes my exercise is that lightweight but my connective tissue is crap so my muscles need a gentle approach alongside the heat of the hydro to help warm tight and spasming overworked muscles. You think they’d be super strong but it takes forever to build muscle, then it wastes away really quickly –  the virus that knocked me out for a week recently set me back weeks in muscle tone. It can be a tad frustrating! 
Sorry I digress….. So doing my hydro exercises in a jacuzzi is entertaining to say the least. In I stumble with two swim noodles, my hand paddles, a kickboard and my laminated sheets with all my exercises on them. I get some funny looks but as its a lot more ‘older’ ladies in the middle of the day they tend to not be too shy in coming forward asking ‘what have I done’. So at least I’ve been able to educate a few people about EDS (see my ‘about me’ for more info). I’ve found it quite enlightening listening to the old girls talk about their hip replacements and bad knees and the like while we discuss our aches and pains 🙂

I’ve been making sure I set my alarm every day (granted later than a ‘normal’ working day) so I’m in a routine even when I’m feeling proper crap. Being off has made a huge difference to many things, I feel like the old me again, I hadn’t realised what a miserable cow I was becoming. I’ve been fairly steady and consistent with my exercise, I’m sleeping better (most nights) and as much as I could happily lay in bed all day given the choice I haven’t done (apart from a few particularly bad days) I’ve been cooking more, despite not getting round to writing about it, but being able to spread preparation over the course of the day with a bit of chopping here and there or marinading the day before, means I’m not getting too ‘tachy’ and then want to sit on the kitchen floor in a heap or too tired to enjoy it once I’ve cooked it.

So I’m realistic, I know it could all go belly up when I go back to work I guess but I’m hanging on to these last few weeks and hoping I can stay as positive once I’m back, I know it’s gonna be really hard. I’m planning a phased return and will only be part time now if I’m to keep up the good work with the Physio etc. I’m determined to look after my poor old body and mind, it needs a lot of TLC!

So to the bake…. 

I used this recipe http://www.fodmapfun.com/low-fodmap-blueberry-coconut-muffins/ 

Ok so they don’t look like muffins but I used muffin cases so they are bigger than they look – I would only do 8-10 max next time with the ingredients rather than split to 12.

They are super simple to do (I used an electric wisk but if you’re stronger than me (very likely) you should probably use the creaming method properly) main thing was – they’re really tasty 🙂

 My daughter took one to work for breakfast this morning and has told me I “have to make a batch every week”. Thinking of adding in banana to the next lot maybe, at least they might not make me feel so bad about cake for breakfast…..

Blueberry and coconut muffins Mmmm… 

#lowFODMAP Prawn Laksa soup

You have to try this delish Prawn Laksa tasty low fodmap soup!

Sorry I’ve not been keeping up to date much. I have been pretty ill and not really had any energy left for cooking so much but am finally able to start pacing a bit better (well mostly) as am back doing physio every day and hydrotherapy twice a week. But, and of course there is a big but only through being signed off sick from work….
Er yeah. Not sure what comes next TBH if I’m to carry on having any life at all outside ‘work, sleep, rest repeat…’ #scared

So at least I have finally had time to do some cooking, this is a good one you can do in stages if like me you’re not great at staying standing for too long!

I adapted this recipe http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/prawn_laksa_rice_noodle_12790 after Hubby saw it on another show. Was absolutely lush! 

Obviously you could adapt to be chicken or just vegetables if you prefer. 

Preparation time: less than 30 mins 

Cooking time
: 10 to 30 mins

Serves: 3-4 

A fabulous, warming Malaysian-Chinese fusion of spicy prawns in noodle broth. I thickened it up with veg and a bit of cornflour so goes further

Prawn laksa rice noodle soup 

Shopping list / Ingredients

For the laksa paste

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 large bunch of green of spring onion chopped

50ml/2fl oz coconut milk

2.5cm/1in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2 stalks lemongrass (about 25g/1oz), roughly chopped (I also added 2 additional ‘smacked’ lemongrass stalks whole to add to the soup later for extra flavour)

2 chillies, seeds removed of prefer not too hot, roughly chopped

1/2 tsp fermented shrimp paste

For the prawn noodle soup and crispy prawn garnish

400g/14oz uncooked de-veined prawns, with tails on

4 tbsp garlic oil

350ml/12fl oz coconut milk

500ml/18fl oz organic chicken stock (I used knorr liquid chicken stock as is low FODMAP)

2 dried kaffir lime leaves

1 tbsp brown sugar

2-3 tbsp fish sauce

2 pinches cracked sea salt

2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp potato starch (or cornflour or any other wheat free option you have does the trick)

100g/3½oz vermicelli rice noodles

1 -2 limes (I used the zest of one as well as the juice, save half to 1 lime sliced into wedges, to garnish

chilli seasoning (powder or flakes), to taste (optional)

80g/3oz beansprouts / beanshoots or other veg you k ow you can eat)

salt, to taste

large handful of coriander leaves, to garnish


1. Put the ingredients for the laksa paste into a blender or food processor and process to a fine smooth paste.

2. For the crispy prawn garnish put two tablespoons of the laksa paste into a bowl and add four of the whole prawns. Cover and set aside in the fridge to marinate while you make the soup.

3. For the soup, heat two tablespoons of garlic oil in a large wok and cook the remaining laksa paste for a one minute until it deepens in colour.

4. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, dried kaffir lime leaves, sugar and fish sauce and a further 300ml/10½fl oz water.

5. If you would like a thicker soup add cornflour to a cup and take out a cup full of the soup to mix I’m to the flour and remove any lumps then pour back in. Bring the soup to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the flavour deepens.

6. While the soup is cooking and a few minutes before the soup is ready, prepare the crispy prawn garnish. Take the four marinated prawns out of the curry marinade, season with sea salt and black pepper and sprinkle over the potato starch.

7. Heat a small pan, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil and cook the prawns for one and half minutes on each side until golden-brown, crisp and cooked through. Take off the heat but leave them in the pan to keep warm.

8. To finish the soup, add the vermicelli rice noodles and stir while cooking for two minutes. Then add the remaining prawns and cook for two minutes. Season the soup with lime juice, add the beansprouts or other veg, Remove the kaffir lime leaves, give it a final stir and then it is ready to serve.

9. Divide the noodles evenly among the bowls and ladle over the soup. Garnish with the fried prawns, coriander leaves, and extra lime wedges.

Delicious Beef lemongrass and chilli stew

Sorry my blogging has been so rare lately, I’ve been ill loads and mostly lazy with cooking.

This one was created the other week thanks to my amazing husband who has been looking after me so well (and adapted Sunday brunch Simon Rimmer recipe)

We both LOVE these Thai flavours but rarely cook with beef. We’ll certainly be having this one again, it was delicious!

Ingredients (for 4)

750g beef, (we used stewing beef but can use whatever you can find as it’s cooked slowly) large 50mm cubes

Bunch of green stems from spring onions roughly chopped

Decent glug of garlic oil to replace cloves

2 sliced red chillies

3 stalks lemon grass, bashed, then each stem cut into 3

3 lime leaves

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

400ml beef stock (it’s hard to get stock without onion but I seemed to be ok with the tiny amount)

15ml fish sauce

juice 1 lime

125g pea aubergine (we didn’t actually have these so not essential)

Additional veg you fancy (beensprouts, bamboo shoots, small amount of mange tout if fancy it) 

200g cooked sticky rice (or Thai, whatever rice you prefer)

Garnish with coriander leaves and  lime wedges


1. Fry the beef in garlic oil, for around 3 minutes total to seal. Remove.

2. In same pan, gently fry the green of spring onion and chilli for 5 minutes.

3. Add everything else except the additional vegbring to boil, then simmer for 3 hours.

4. Add whatever veg you fancy for a few minutes 

5. Serve with rice and garnish with coriander leaves and lime wedges.

Simple but deliciously tasty!