I’m pretty sure that this week I needed a sign saying “I’m not a bitch, I’m just hungry”. I knew the FODMAPs diet would be hard, but I’m not sure I was fully prepared for the reality of it. One of my strongest beliefs in life is that if you want to do something, you should just get on and do it. Don’t overthink it, don’t wait for the perfect moment, because then you’ll just find excuses to put it off forever.
That’s what I’d been doing with the FODMAPs diet. “I can’t start it, I already sent in my RSVP to this wedding”… “I’m in America”… “It’s my boyfriend’s best friend’s birthday and I want to drink champagne” (!). The excuses were getting pretty thin, so on Monday I decided to just start – no matter whether I felt prepared or not.
I’m glad I did, because I think the diet is helping. Of course, a week isn’t really long enough to tell whether something is genuinely helping, but I haven’t had an IBS flare-up this week, and I’ve slept well and had any stabbing stomach pains. Sometimes I go for one or two weeks feeling this good no matter what I eat, so the real test is whether this carries on, but feeling like maybe it’s working has really buoyed me when I’ve felt rough. I’ve also lost two pounds – although I did eat a massive pizza the weekend before I started, so it’s probably an artificial weight loss. Still, the little things have been important because boy oh boy has this diet been hard.
It makes me hungry. I know that’s a bit of a no-shit-sherlock feeling when you’re on a diet. But not being able to eat carbs, nuts, pulses or beans means I’m mostly eating vegetables with a bit of brown rice chucked in. And it’s hard to eat enough vegetables in one sitting to fill you up until the next meal. I guess that’s why they tell you to eat them on diets – about 200 calories’ worth of vegetables and you’re basically done. And in an ideal world, about three hours later you would be able to eat more.
Offices, however, are not the ideal world. Wednesday and Thursday were the worst. On Wednesday, I had my big hair cut (which you can read about in the previous post if you care). The only FODMAPs friendly snack I could find was ready salted hula hoops, so I had a packet after work. Then I sat in the hairdressers’ until 8.30pm, then went to my boyfriend’s house. By the time I arrived I was so hungry I felt like angry ants were stinging the inside of my stomach all over. I devoured an omelette in about a minute flat. Then on Thursday, I came home from work ravenous to cook dinner, and had to apologise to my dad twice for yelling at him like a complete mega-bitch. It wasn’t me, it was the hunger!
The main lesson from this week? Prepare! I’ve made a massive vat of gluten free pasta with tomato sauce and vegetables to eat for lunch next week, and I’m going to try and find some more FODMAPs friendly snacks to eat in between meals so that I don’t lose my temper at someone less forgiving than my poor dad. It can’t be bananas though – I’m already eating two a day!
Sample daily meal plan:
Breakfast: porridge (oats are bizarrely allowed) with a banana
Lunch: rice salad with tomatoes, peppers, avocado, crumbled feta, cucumber and chilli sauce
Dinner: omelette with peppers and spinach
Emergency snack: banana number 2!