[Don’t want to read about the diets? – Jump to the recipe by clicking here]
If you follow food people on Instagram in January you are probably very aware of the #Whole30 craze going on right now. You can read more about it here, but the Whole30 is a 30-day “reset” program to get your body inflammation down. Now I have issues with it, and started to write my reasons until I realized some other bloggers did the same. Plane, Trains and Running Shoes has a post that I mostly agree if you want to see a well written piece with some issues with Whole30. Long story short I decided that the Whole30 diet wasn’t for me but I still wanted to do something to jump start my year after a lazy and treat filled holiday season.
There is another food diet out there I have been interested in called FODMAP. The FODMAP diet was originally brought to my attention by my doctor, which in my mind already gives it bonus points over the Whole30 diet. In High School I was diagnosed with a digestive issue. I had many tests done and was part of a no drug, experimental program to help with the symptoms. For the most part this issue hasn’t affected my adult life in a major way. However symptoms come and go enough that my current doctor suggested I try the FODMAP diet. The FODMAP diet, like Whole30, is a diet you stick to for a period of time (in the case of the FODMAP it is 6 weeks). After that period you are allowed to add food back in slow to see how it makes you feel.
The foods you cut out of the two diets are similar and different. The nice thing about the FODMAP is that it explains why you don’t eat certain things. It also used to have a list of foods that you can eat in moderation. That is one of my biggest issues with Whole30; it is all or nothing. On some level I do understand this but on another it seems too harsh. There should be some foods that you can eat in moderation, especially in a specific moderated amount like FODMAP suggests.
Note: I am in no way an expert or have a history or degree in nutrition (my masters is in biochemistry and cell biology). These are just my own personal feelings about the diets and what I plan to do under the suggestion of my physician but with no direct guidance from her. This is also just for me to make it public so I can be held more accountable, I know a lot of people probably don’t care about my diet choice 😛!
These are the two version of the FODMAP diet I used to make my diet here and here. These lists conflict in a lot of places which is frustrating (ex: tofu and cabbage). The Stanford one is very yes/no while the IBSdiets.org is a little more lenient and detailed. It is easier for you to look at them then to explain it since it is more complicated than “don’t eat insert large food group here”. These are the changes I made:
- I followed the guideline of Whole30 and decided to cut out all alcohol…except the occasional beer. The FODMAP diet doesn’t say you need to cut out all alcohol. You are even allowed one beer a night. I just thought completely cutting out alcohol for a bit would be a good thing for me to do. Beer, however, is a really big part of what Mr. Physics and I do eventwise in Colorado. We don’t drink a lot of it; we just travel and drink high quality beer with other people. As a result I decided I would allow myself to drink one beer when in a social setting like a brewery or other venue for a beer event. No more at home with dinner beers though *sad face*.
- I don’t eat beef so I will continue to not eat beef.
- I plan to go for the most part gluten free. FODMAP doesn’t say you have to not eat gluten as it is not a gluten free diet but a FODMAP free one. I might add sourdough bread in later in the diet as sourdough does a great job reducing gluten.
Though the FODMAP diet does allow sugar, I plan to remove it as well like in Whole30. What is really hard is that honey and agave are not allowed on the FODMAP diet so you can’t really use a sugar substitute. In recipes where I really think some sweetener should be use I plan to use brown rice syrup or maple syrup.I tried really hard to follow no sugar in anything but it became apparent at 4 weeks in that maple and brown rice syrup did not give the same effect to savory cooking recipes that have sugar in them. As a results I decided to allow myself to use sugar in savory cooking recipes and limit the no sugar rule to pastries, baked goods, candy, and other dessert like items. (Note I already don’t eat high fructose corn syrup and don’t buy anything with it in it).
- In general I will follow the more strict Stanford one with a few exceptions: I enjoy soy and will continue to eat firm tofu and the occasional miso and I will follow the moderation rules for the vegetables on the IBSdiets page.
- I will allow myself ½ an avocado once a week because I love avocado. If on days I eat it I notice I feel worse, I will remove it.
- Whenever I eat nuts or seeds I will soak them overnight before eating them to break the enzymes down and make them more easily digestible. I have always wanted to do this but it takes thinking ahead. This diet will help me think ahead!*
These aren’t drastic changes in my diet as I already don’t eat out much or eat much processed foods and cook most of my meals from scratch, but it will still have its challenging parts (gluten, cheese, sugar, and beer reduction). We shall see how this goes. I will keep all of you updated if there are any crazy changes and will write a final post on what I felt after it is over. I will also follow the Whole30 rule and not measure or weigh myself during the process (though we don’t even have a scale in the house anyway…). Wish me luck and to start off the diet with excitement here is a FODMAP approved breakfast recipe!
Peanut Butter Banana Granola
Makes about 6 cups of Granola
¼ cup coconut oil (or other oil)
2 tablespoons brown sugar syrup (or honey)
½ cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
2 bananas (very ripe is best)
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup almonds***
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking tray with silpat or parchment paper.
- In large bowl mix together oats, seeds and nuts.
- In a small saucepan over lower heat add oil, sweetener, and salt.
- While contents of saucepan are warming up mash up bananas in a small bowl. Once the ingredients in the saucepan all meld together (they don’t have to be that warm), remove from heat immediately and add the peanut butter and bananas****. Stir until smooth (if you use chunky peanut butter there will be more lumps, also the banana will leaves lumps unless you pureed it)
- Pour liquid into the oat mixture and stir until all the oats are coated.
- Smooth wet granola on the baking sheet until it forms and even layer.
- Place baking sheet in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, remove from oven and stir bringing the outside granola into the middle, cook for 10 minutes, remove and stir, cook for 5 more minutes, remove and stir, cook for 5 more minutes (total of 30 minutes, though every oven is different so judge accordingly). At this point the granola should be close to being done so watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. It always looks like it isn’t done right before it goes too far. Once it looks done, remove it and let cool until room temperature.
* I presoaked the seeds and nuts to break down the enzymes and make them easier to digest as I mentioned in the post above. To do this I take 1 tablespoon of salt for 2 cups of warm water and soak the nuts 8-24 hours. If you are really motivated, which I plan to be moving forward, you can do this as soon as you buy nuts from the store then dehydrate them and store them already ready to go! There are many websites out there with more information on this, some with very specific soaking ratios depending on the nuts. Check them out for more information.
** If you are presoaking the nuts like I did make sure to remove them from the water enough ahead of time so they can dry out (12 to 24 hours in a food dehydrator). The first batch I made I removed the almonds right before I baked them and they were still moist in the middle when the rest of the granola was cooked. Still good but if you don’t eat the granola fast enough it will make the rest of the ingredients less crispy in the storage container.
*** Keep in mind that almonds are one of those limited amount foods so don’t go super heavy on the almonds. I count them as they fall in my bowl.
**** Peanut butter does not particularly liked to be heated up. If you have every tried it you have probably experience this and the gross smell it gets. The heating is to melt the coconut oil and the brown syrup. You don’t particularly want to heat the peanut butter.