This is my second to last week of the FODMAPs diet. This is my second to last week of the FODMAPs diet! Hallelujah, break out the bunting, because I am bored!
I always knew the FODMAPs diet was going to be hard work, and actually, I don’t think it’s been as hard as I was worried it would be (and I think next week I’m going to write about why as part of my final round-up). But Christ has it been boring. Every damn week, every time I need a snack: ready salted crisps. Every time I need a quick meal: microwave mac and cheese. Every time I want to eat something delicious: taking out the things that give it variety.
I’ve always thought of myself as being quite a boring eater – happy to eat the same things time and time again. I’d assumed it was a legacy of being a fussy eater when I was a child. But actually, while I am happy to eat some things again and again, it’s really only the interesting things that I want to eat like that.
One of my favourite things to do is to take a simple recipe and make it over and over again, adding to it a little each time until it becomes one of those insane secret ingredient recipes that’s a bit of a signature dish. Take “red soup” for example. This is a warming dish I started making in winters a few years ago. It had tomato purée, water, red lentils, red peppers, and some caramelised red onions dropped on top. It was pretty tasty. But fast forward two years and that soup is a goddamn work of art. It involves a red wine reduction, six types of herbs, a special vegan stock cube, chillis, kidney beans, and shredded red cabbage. It is the reddest of all red soups in the world. And when you drink/eat it, it makes you feel like you’ll never be cold again.
That’s what I miss from the FODMAPs diet – that sense of inventiveness, and the ability to make a meal out of things that aren’t carbs. As a vegetarian I am genuinely unsure how I’m going to go without beans, lentils, chickpeas, and other pulses long-term. I think I’ll be able to get all the nutrients I need, the question is whether or not I can do it without ending up eating way too many carbs along the way. And I don’t react well to carbs – I get so sleepy and bloated, and always have done since way before I got IBS.
Still, the end of the diet is upon me and the re-introduction phase looms. Re-introduction is probably a good time to start trying some new foods as well, first up being the incomparable quinoa, super grain which will apparently solve all my problems. I tried to make my own quinoa once and it was basically horrible, but I’ve been assured by tonnes of people who seem to genuinely like eating that it is actually very tasty. This week’s task: learn to cook quinoa, just in time for re-introduction.